Saturday, October 9, 2010

What Joe has been up too (part 1)

Joe and I have had a busy September and start of October. He is growing faster than a weed and is super smart! I keep forgetting that he is not even 5 months old yet; he is so easy to take places and is wonderful about going in a new place and lying down and going to sleep, even when there is food all over the place.

So here is a little recap.

Joe went for his first swim at the beginning of September. My sister who is an aquatics manager at a local resort was the one who taught him how to swim. He was not overly excited about water, but at least knows how to swim if he ever needs to know it. It doesn’t surprise me; his uncles Colt and Ely missed the gene that labs are suppose to love water, so at least he likes it a little bit more than them. Thanks to my sister’s boyfriends’ parents for letting Joe use their pool.

Joe graduated from obedience class in mid-September. It was a lot of fun to see Joe and his brother Charlie S. and his sister Lexie grow up each week. I think it helped Joe being around all the puppies and realizing that he had to pay attention to me at meetings instead of the other puppies. I had fun going and catching up with our group each week. I found out that nothing fazed any of the pups in our group, which is a good thing.

A few weeks ago, for our puppy meeting, we hopped on the light rail and headed uptown. Joe thought the light rail was pretty fun and loved sitting by the door and watching everyone get on and off; he eventually got tired and went to sleep. We walked around uptown and got used to grates, fountains, marble floors and people out and about. We also went to one of my favorite places downtown, it is a really nice small park in the middle of all the skyscrapers. There are some cool big fish that shoot water, walls that make noises when you pass, and kids. It is also a great place to take pictures!

We did some obedience then headed back to catch the light rail home. Joe slept most of the way back. Part of our group went out to lunch afterwards. About halfway through our lunch a family set down two tables down from us. As we were leaving all 5 pups filed out from under the table from their nap and walked past this family. The dad got all excited as his son is blind. Joe and I were the last and it just happened that the people sitting across from this family worked at our local library so she had to tell everyone with her about my puppies and me. Mean while Joe got tired of waiting on me and laid down to finish his nap. The dad of the family asked if he could take a picture of Joe which I didn’t have a problem with. He then wanted to know what Joe name was, I told him and the boy perks up and says “my name is Joe too! I spell it J-O-E.” I told him that is how this Joe spelled his name too! His dad asked some questions one of which was how old you had to be to get a guide dog. I told him and he told his son that in 5 years he could get him a dog. After the boy Joe got done eating, he wanted to come meet the puppy Joe. They fell in love with each other the moment Joe (the puppy) kissed Joe (the boy). Joe (the puppy) knew that there was something different about this boy and curled up on his feet and went to sleep (which he has never done before). Joe (the boy) asked some really good questions about guide dogs, some questions I have never gotten before. What totally hit home as to why I raise puppies was when Joe(the boy) leaned over and hugged Joe ( the puppy) and told him that in 5 years he wanted him to be his guide dog. It was one of the sweetest moments in my puppy raiser career.

Joe is now a college student! He started going with me to class once he got his 16 weeks shots and is now one of the most popular students! It is amazing how one little puppy can change the atmosphere of a class so quickly! He definitely puts a smile on everyone’s face that sees him. Joe loves going to see all his friends in Student life and he knows exactly how to get there, in fact he know which buildings my classes are in, the doors I go in, the stairs I use and the chair I sit in. He even knows where my car is in a packed parking garage! He has picked up on the find commands on his own, that he is not even supposed to start learning till he is 10 months! I guess I should be scared that he is interested in driving! Is it sad that when you go to class by yourself that immediately you have 5 different people wanting to know where Joe is?

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Rebecca and Joe