Monday, May 30, 2011

Some new first’s for Joe!

Sorry for the lack of blogging, it was a little crazy at our house making sure everything was ready for my sister’s wedding which was last Saturday.
Joe was an awesome bridesmaid helper! He tolerated days of shopping for a dress, shoes and everything else that we went along shopping for. He was a perfect little gentleman on every shopping trip and every minute of shopping. 
Last Friday Joe got to experience several new firsts. He went to his first wedding rehearsal (thanks to Matt for holding him during the rehearsal). He apparently thought the rehearsal was a little on the boring side and went to sleep. His next first was a rehearsal dinner. He did a perfect under down and went to sleep. He did wake up to watch the flower girls, their brother and the ring bearer running around and playing, but he didn’t even try to get up.  He did want to go play with groom and the best man when they were playing with a ball of wrapping paper. Joe only really gets excited when he sees some of his favorite people and Michael is one of them. I guess Joe should be happy now that he is his uncle! 
Being a  good boy at the rehearsal dinner
After all the rehearsal stuff, Joe got to spend the night in a hotel for the first time. However it was not just any hotel it was the Great Wolf Lodge! They get an A+++++ for their service dog etiquette and friendliness! No one said anything to Joe or about Joe the entire time we were there, the employees just smiled at him as they walked by. The lodge is huge and it was sold out the night we were there so Joe got A LOT of people distractions, including a lot of kid distractions. Normally with that many people there are at least a few people who scream or try to pet Joe, but no one did either one!
Riding in the elevator
Joe got a lot of new exposures including a talking tree, fake animals moving and fake people moving and talking(during one of the shows in the lobby). They also have an interactive game for the kids called magiquest where they get a wand and can go around looking for stuff. They can wave their wand and make stuff make noise and light up. Joe and I were standing by a stature of a bear head and a little boy came by and waved his wand and made the bear make noise and eyes turn bright blue. Joe handled it very well! Joe also got a lot of elevator and stair practice since we were on the top floor. The only thing that Joe was interested in was bears that were carved out of wood. Joe got to hang out with some of my family from out of town, but it wasn’t too long before he was passed out. Joe also got to sleep without a crate or tie-down for the first time. We were in a suite so there were two bedrooms and then a living room. Joe went right to sleep beside the bed (after he fixed his blanket just right)
“Hello! Do I know you?”
The next morning (Saturday) Joe and I walked down with my sisters and my mom to get some breakfast. Joe found several ‘friends’ alone the way. We then went on a long walk to make sure he was tired for the wedding. 

“I thought my feet were big!”
Once we got back it was almost time for us to head to the church. Joe hung out with my dad for an hour or so and then some more of his favorite people arrived to watch him during the wedding! (Another big thank you to Mike and Dianne for being on Joe duty!). They said that the only time he stood up was when my sister was coming down the aisle, but besides that he just laid there like  a good boy. They took him to the reception and he did a perfect under down and didn’t move (not even when I came up). I had to wake him up to go and get some pictures taken.  He did even better than I had hoped during the wedding! The poor guy was exhausted by the time we packed everything up, but was still the good little boy that I love! 

*Sorry for the lack of wedding pictures, I totally forgot to go grab my camera after the wedding! Bad puppy raiser mom! Thankfully the professional photographer got a few pictures of Joe!
Saturday night Joe went to his last symphony, but I will post about that later!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A Very Special day!!!

Today Joe turned 1 year old! Hard to believe he is that old already! 
My birthday boy!
It seems like just yesterday I got an e-mail from one of my friends announcing that Tina was the proud mom of 9 little puppies, 7 boys and 2 girls. I am very happy that Tina listened to me on our trip to and from Walk-a-thon last year. I told her she needed to have lots of boys and she did! 
The first picture I saw of my little guy and his family. He was not even a day old in this picture!
Snuggle time!
Joe is certainly a special pup, not just because he is the nephew to Colt or the half nephew to Ely. He has the best personality and adores working and learning. I have loved every minute of our time together and look forward to our last few months together.
Joe has had a very busy first birthday. We did one of his favorite things today… we went shopping! That boy loves to shop!  We went to the bank, Marshalls, PetsMart, Home Depot, Super Target and the Dollar Store. Joe was awesome in every store as always!
Joe needs to be just a little bit taller!
He also got to pick out some birthday presents. He got a new bed, some treats, a new kong wubba, and 2 nylabones (one for Joe and one for Ely). Joe loves all his presents!
Poor Ely is not a big fan of the party hat
When I got home from work tonight, we went on a walk and then he got to play with one of his best friends, Cole. He is now passed out asleep beside me. 
Joe and his friend Cole!
Joe would like to thank everyone for all the birthday wishes that he has already gotten! 
Joe during one of his phone calls today. He thinks some people sound interesting on the phone
In honor of Joe’s first birthday!
12 things that I love about Joe
1) As a guide dog in training, Joe has to learn how to follow along either the edge of the grass or road. Joe sticks to that edge like a magnet, however when something gets in the way of his edge, he will go around it and back to the edge. It always makes me smile when he does that!
2) The general public is good about ignoring Joe most of the time, however recently a good portion of the people have been horrible about wanting to pet Joe. Joe, however, is really good about ignoring them. It is like he is thinking “if I come see you then I will get in trouble, I better let you get embarrassed for trying to pet a working dog.” Joe and I have been educating the public a lot lately. It is kind of sad when the kids correct their parents for trying to pet Joe.
3) Joe adores kids! He is so gentle with them and they all love him! I am so happy that he loves every size of kids!
Joe is the one coming towards whoever was taking the picture.
 4) Joe learned what the find commands were in about 2 weeks. When you tell him to find something, he kicks it up into 3rd gear and is off. When I had my in home interview 8 years ago, one of the AC’s at the time told me how her puppies found elevators that she didn’t even know were in the building. Joe does this! All of my puppies have somewhat of an idea of the find commands by the time they go back, but none of them are as confident about finding what you ask them to find as Joe.
5) Joe has an awesome drop it, he will even drop food! He also has a great leave it!
Joe and his birthday balloons!
 6) In the morning (or when he has been in his crate during the day) he will pick up his collar on his way out of the crate and sit with it in his mouth. The only other puppy that has done that is Colt, Joe’s uncle. Must be a family thing. It always makes me laugh.
7) I love how excited Joe gets about his clothes! Whether it is his collar, leash or coat, Joe is always excited when he sees any of them. I guess he knows that it is time to go have fun.
8) I love how Joe’s brain works. It is amazing how he figures things out so quickly. He is one smart little guy!
Joe is the one trying to get out and see some people!
 9) Everyone who meets Joe falls in love with him. He has the biggest fan club! Employees at most of the regular stores that we go to know Joe by name. They love it when Joe comes in. I love that so many people love Joe as much as I do.
10)   I know I have said it before, but I LOVE Joe’s coloring! He has a lot more tan peaking through his black now. I have told him that if he changes too much more tan, he will be going back to school a tan lab instead of a black and tan lab.
11) Joe is a snuggler, he loves to snuggle up next to Ely or someone’s feet and go to sleep. Hopefully he will get some roomies when he goes back that like to snuggle.
Joe and his brother and sisters
12) Joe is always happy, he always has a smile on his face and you can’t help but be happy when you are around him. He truly is a special pup and I am so blessed to have him in my life.  
Happy first Birthday to Joe, Lexie, Charlie, CW, Snap and the other 4 boys in the L10 litter!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother’s Day

Joe had an honor that none of my previous puppies have had. He got to go shopping for the perfect Mother’s Day present for his mom and then got to deliver it in person. 

The search for the perfect present started last week. We searched through two different stores before Joe found a toy that he thought his mommy would like, unfortunately it was a not so cute snake toy.
I broke the news to him that his mommy probably didn’t want a snake (he is such a little boy!).
So we kept looking. Joe narrowed it down to 3; a purple kong wubba, a purple snuggle wubba, and a bunny wubba. Joe picked out the purple kong wubba for his mom and a blue kong wubba for an early birthday present for himself :)
Yesterday morning our puppy meeting happened to be 5 minutes from where Joe’s mom lives. We made a detour before our meeting and headed over to drop off his present. Tina  and Joe played for over 30 minutes. The funny thing was that Tina doesn’t normally play with other pups, but the loved playing with Joe. I guess he really is her favorite son! Maggie, who is another breeder and mom to 4 pups in our group, loves to play with other dogs and didn’t quite know what to do when Joe wanted nothing to do with her. He only wanted to play with his mom! Joe must be built like his daddy, since he looks so big next to his mom. 

Joe certainly is a mama’s boy!

A very happy Mother’s Day to Sensei (Alexander’s mom), Susan (Colt’s mom), Lucy (Ely’s mom), Morghan (Sherman’s mom), Bella (Rocky’s mom), Tina (Joe’s mom) and to all the rest of the wonderful moms that make up Southeastern guide dog breeders!