Thursday, December 16, 2010

New Arrivals

It's a boy! It's a girl! Wait, it's three girls and two boys.
On Sunday December 12, 2010 at 2 PM, Akira gave birth to five, healthy golden retriever lab cross puppies. I was at PAALS today volunteering, and I was happy to learn that all is going well so far. So, let's keep all fingers and paws crossed that each little fluff ball grows up healthy and strong and ready to take on the world as service dogs.
Congratulations Miss Akira. It would seem that your second time around as Mom is going as planned and you are doing a great job.
I saw Akira today and she seemed just as happy and friendly as ever. I didn't see the pups of course, as they are only three days old and it is important to keep their exposure to germs down; at least for now.
I also learned that Kyo is staying with Miss A over the holidays and is doing fantastic. His training is moving right along.
As for Glacier, he was stellar today. He patiently laid by my feet while I worked away at my appointed tasks. He didn't even hop up when we busted out the peanut butter to put into "enrichment" toys for the grown PAALS dogs. Glacier even allowed two other PAALS volunteers to bathe him right along with the other dogs, as he was stinky and in dire need of a bath. What a great guy my Mr. G is.
All in all, it was a very productive and exciting day.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Merry Ho Ho!

Mr. K and I have done Christmas early. We are flying to Michigan for Christmas, so we thought it would be easier to exchange presents here at home. So that is what we did. We put on some Christmas music and wrapped our presents in front of one another. Since neither of us can see, we figured this worked. :) We had a great time and I think it's going to become a tradition. Aria and Balloo kept making off with the tape and at one point Glacier sat himself down on the wrapping paper I had spread out across the floor to wrap the bread maker I had gotten for Mr. K. Aria also thought it was fun to try to shred the paper while I was cutting it, but we had a great time.
I got Mr. K a few shirts, a pair of boxers with my name on them, a Jack Skelington stocking, a bread maker and a belt. Mr. K got me a purple digital camera, which a "point and shoot," which should help me with my horrible aim.
Roscoe and Glacier got a bucket of "pupcorn" and Aria and Balloo got a treat ball. Their other gifts was ordered off line and won't be here for a few more days.
All and all it was a lot of fun and a pretty neat Christmas experience. :) The best part is that it's not over.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

"Celebrate Good Times!!"

Today is Jetta, my first guide dog's, birthday. She turns ten and she is still silly little Jetta. She retired just over two years ago and went to live with my parents. I had wanted to keep her, but made the difficult decision to give her to my mom and dad. I knew that I wouldn't be able to give her what she needed right away, as I was going off to get my second guide, who turned out to be Glacier. Every year that she was with me, I celebrated her birthday with special treats, fun toys, parties that all of her dog friends were invited to and a bunch of other silly things. I know she's well taken care of and enjoying her retirement, which is what I wanted for her.
So, here is to you Jetta. Have a very happy tenth birthday and many more to come.

In honour of Jetta's tenth birthday, here is a list of her nicknames and their origins if I can remember them. :)

Jetta The Jitter Bug: because she could never sit still. Her "stay" was excellent when working, but she had so much energy, she always needed something to do-that is why we were a good match.

Jingle Jetta: The big heavy chain collar Leader dog uses in combination with her tags made her jingle when she walked. She never walked, she trotted and the bouncing made everything clang together.

Turkey: Um, her Auntie Tenie named her that one...and I'm not sure why. lol

Jetta Sauce: That was from her Auntie Sarah and it was because Jetta had "'tude."

Miss Moo: because she ate grass everywhere we went when she was not working. This also progressed into "Moo Face," "Moo Bum" and just "Moo." lol

Homer: I thought Tenie called Jetta Homer, when she called her Turkey and it sort of stuck.

We also gave her the middle name "Frank" because we were naming our animals-Loki and Sisu-and for some reason Jetta got Frank. lol

Happy Birthday girlie

Monday, December 06, 2010

Get Well Soon

I was just over at
Ruled By Paws
and read about Mr. Phe's condition. He is a 14 year old, retired guide dog and his Mom was worried he had a stroke last Thursday. It seems he has a condition that should rectify itself and for that we are thankful. We love him very much and wish him a speedy recovery.

Christmas Shopping

Christmas is less than twenty days away and I am still in the process of shopping. I have nearly all of Mr. K's gifts bought and a few friends' presents, but that is about it. I had all of the dogs' presents bought too, but their wonderful grandma went shopping and bought them the same things I did. So, now I have to take most of their gifts back and buy new stuff. I'm not complaining, that just means I get to go puppy shopping again. :)
I had bought the big boys a Busy Buddy and the little ones as well, but that is one of the things grandma got them. So, it's back to the drawing board. I found a really neat site-I think it is
They have a few fun toys that could substitute the Busy Buddies.
I have humans to buy for, of course and I'm hoping to get out shopping this week. I may have to do a bunch of my shopping online this year, since getting around tends to be a problem. Either way, I love Christmas and giving gifts, so even if I have to buy them online, I'm sure it will still be fun giving them.
So, happy shopping to all of you out there. :)

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Puppies Puppies Everywhere

Grace didn't settle in as nicely into our household as Chloe did. I think it's partly because Grace is always with the same foster parent every weekend, and Chloe moves around. J tries to get the dogs to move around in order to get them used to being in new environments and to get them as many experiences as possible, but Grace seems to have landed herself a permanent foster mom. She did not sleep well and therefore, neither did I. I'm hoping tonight will be a bit better as she is used to us now and realizes I am not letting her out of her kennel at night just because she fusses. Other than that, she is a very sweet girl. She is another small, yellow lab female.
To keep her occupied today, my friend and I took all of my dogs and her Bull Mastiff for a nice leisurely walk through a city park. The sun was shining and there were ducks everywhere. The dogs did great. I worked Glacier and his guiding was outstanding. He didn't pull me once towards the squawking, splashing, flapping ducks. There were a lot of people walking along and kids playing noisily too and he ignored them. Even his dog distraction work was good. Sometimes, if there was a dog coming towards us, I would stop and put Grace in a "sit stay" to do some basic obedience with her. Glacier was expected to stand alert at my side and not stray over to the passer by. He passed these little tests with flying colours. Grace did very well too. She has an "alert barking" issue, and I am proud to say, that she didn't get one bark off when other people or dogs approached us. She thought about it once and started huffing, but I asked her to sit instead and then do "touch" and she stopped immediately; too intent on the new task set in front of her. She did wear her gentle leader, as I am more comfortable working with Glacier and walking another dog that way. It just gives me more control and is a safety net just in case either dog, or both for that matter, decide to take off running. Grace may be small, but she could definitely take me for a ride if she got it into her head to chase something.
Another set of dogs I was proud of were Aria and Balloo. At first, I wasn't sure they would be able to make the distance and speed we were walking. They are still puppies and very small as they are miniatures. We started off with Aria walking and Balloo in his carrying bag slung over my shoulder. Aria was doing fantastic and wasn't showing any signs of slowing down, so we left Balloo in the bag. The swinging of the bag on my shoulder must have been a bit too much for him and he ended up throwing up. lol I made my poor puppy motion sick. After that, it was game over-he was expected to walk like a big boy since he puked in the bag and I didn't want him sitting in it. He accepted his challenge like a champ. He was always pulling out front and running to try to keep up to me. My friend was walking the two little ones and her Dog, Isis, and all three seemed to keep a better forward momentum if I was in front with Glacier and Grace. Needless to say, after a mile walk, my little guys were worn out. Isis was sleepy too as she is only seven months old and a bit of a couch potato. I think Glacier and Grace could have kept going, and I could have as well, but we called it a day and headed back to my friend's house to decorate her tree.
The dogs were all really good while we decorated. We blocked them in the living room with us and they just milled around, watching us put the decorations on. Aria spotted a low hanging silver ball and stood on her back paws and began whacking it with her front paws. The ornaments are plastic, so we weren't too worried. She finally managed to knock the ball free and chased it around the living room. There was a little silver trail everywhere she went from the sparkles flying off of the ball. I managed to get all of the dogs, one at a time, in front of or beside the tree and take a few cell phone shots. I could tell the dogs were getting tired and hungry, so we headed home. Now that they have eaten supper and been out, they are all passed out, snoring away. :) I think that was a day well spent.

PS: I saw Kyo yesterday when I picked Grace up. He was so happy to see me, but he did not bark or jump up. I am so proud of him. He had just been to the vet for an eye exam and Miss A said he did great. She just sat on the floor with him and the vet dialated his eyes and checked them. Kyo didn't budge. He's always been good about that kind of thing. I also noticed that he was wearing PAALS tags and he was wearing his very own seatbelt! All of the PAALS dogs have to wear seatbelts in the car and up until this point, I had not seen Kyo wear one. So, now that he has passed the eye exam, I guess everything is good to move ahead. Miss A said that the volunteer trainer that is training him right now, had a salad spinner out and Kyo was very worked up about this apparatus until she put it on the floor and he was able to check it out. It's funny to think of the things the dogs have never encountered and may encounter some day. I was so happy to see him and to know that he is doing great. He is very loved by the PAALS family-volunteers and trainers alike. Yay Moose.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Tis The Season

Christmas has always been one of my favourite holidays-Halloween comes in at a close second.
Mr. K and I are not getting a tree this year as we are going home for the holidays, but I could not resist buying a Christmas tree ornament today. I haven't been an active swimmer in over two years, but we found a reindeer tree ornament that has the deer in a front crawl position wearing goggles and swimming trunks. I went off to the bathroom and Mr. K bought it for me and surprised me with the girl version. She too is wearing a swim suit and goggles and is in the front crawl position. I love them! I'll find somewhere to hang them this year and next year, maybe we'll actually have a tree. :)

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Jingle Bones, Jingle Bones, Jingle All The Way

My name is Awia-wait, big bwother Gwacier says it is spelled "Aria." Gwacier says I should write my Chwistmas wist on the computer so that Santa and Mom can see what I want. I am not wery good at typing, or spelling because I am onwy five months owd, but I hope Santa can wead this.

Dear Santa,
I have been a wery good girl this year. I gwaduated fwom puppy cwass with honours-whatever that means-and I am now potty twained. I just have a few things to ask for. Not all of them are for me. I am going to share with Bawwoo-wait, Gwacier says it is Balloo. He is onwy thwee months owd and can't type yet. So, I am writing his wist too because I wove him and I am his big sister.
I would weally wike a pink camo winter coat-it looks wery warm and I wike pink because I am a girl. Bawwoo, oops, Balloo and I would also wike some soft squeaky toys-Gwacier and Woscoe wipped our stuff hippo when they were pwaying tug of war. We both wike bouncy, squeaky balls and yummy cookies. I would wike a pink collar or maybe a Chwistmas collar-mine is just a leather bwown one and it is boring. I am a pwincess and need cwothes that are shinier. Balloo and I would also wike to share a treat ball. We are both wery small and could pway for a wong time chasing it around our wery big house. There is a puzzle toy that is a gingerbread house-whatever that is-with squeaky things in it. I saw it when Mom was on the "inter Net." Can I pwease have this? It would be fun to pway with puzzles. I am vewy smart and would wike toys that chawwenge my intewect. (Gwacier says that is spelled wrong. He says it is "challenge" and "intellect." I think he's wrong).
So, Santa. Can we pwease have these things? I will keep being a vewy good girl and Balloo will get better at potty twaining. He already wearned how to sit. That is good right?
Thank you wery much Santa.
All my wove,
Awia (oh, Aria) and Balloo