Sunday, March 28, 2010

Mudpuppy [muhd-puhp-ee] –noun


Mudpuppy [muhd-puhp-ee] –noun; any of several often large mammals of the genus Canis Smelliness of the southwestern Ohio region
It finally stopped snowing here in southwestern Ohio. We know spring is just around the corner because, of course, now it's raining. And since this is Ohio weather, the rain held up for one day so it could snow again. But that was resolved the next day with more spring rain. They don't call this Sinus Valley for nothin'.

The dogs were desperate to play outside in the backyard. I'm motivated to keep my beautiful taupe carpet free of muddy pawprints. So who won?  Oh right, as if I had a choice in the matter. After yet another day of the zoomies and overturned dining room furniture, I thought perhaps the backyard was finally dry enough for a hearty frisbee session. But hey big surprise; I lost on that one too. A modest little pond had formed back there, surrounded by a six foot radius of a shoe-sucking mud moat. 

But I'm making too much of things, really. Most of the yard was pretty dry. The two dogs could just let loose and run without me squealing like a caught rabbit every time they wrestled each other to the ground.

Sharing some action shots of Micron and Jager. Note the common theme, though. Jager may be in front of Micron, or behind him. Even nose to nose right next to him.  But not once does the hapless spotted dog get to carry the frisbee. He does look happy though, doesn't he? In a maniacal sorta way.

Moving on to another topic. I've expanded the blog roll over there in the side panel on the right. I'm adding some wonderful blog sites that I've recently come across that are written by hearing dog teams. Cathy shares her experiences from Canada with Bosley in Life with a Hearing Dog.  And Hearing Elmo is an amazing blog that shares yet another perspective of a hearing dog team. Insightful stuff; I do hope you can take a few minutes to check these out.

It kinda looks like Micron's eating the mud doesn't it? Yeah, well.  He is.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Oh, the places you'll go!


"Today is your day! You're off to great places! You're off and away! You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes."  Right, so definitely not shoes.  Many thanks anyway to Dr. Suess for the fun segue. (Notice that rhymes. Dr. Suess would be proud, don't ya think?)

Micron is five months old and we are so outta here. We got things to do and people to see. He has earned his big boy cape. Because he is only five months, we start off pretty slow with quick in and out trips to the local places.  During Inga's puppy raising we found certain businesses around town that were supportive of CCI, so we hit those first. Grabbing a latte at the Starbucks kiosk in Kroger was our first stop. Grande vanilla, nonfat with cinnamon sprinkles, in case you felt the need to know. And of course, the Northmont Library where they still don't know my name, but remember Inga's. The Wendy's around the corner is a good stop too.

We did have an interesting thing happen last week that I wanted to share. Micron and I met my mom (Hi Mom!) for lunch at K's Restaurant in Brookville. K's is another wonderful supporter of CCI. You ever really notice the floors at restaurants? Sit down with a dog and you will. I love K's spotless carpet. Anyway, as we walked past a table we heard a growl. "Dang, was that somebody's stomach?" was my first horrified thought.  But when the barking started from two tables down we saw a service dog under the table. I want to be clear right now that this was not a CCI dog. Micron handled things like a pro. He looked at the dog, looked at me ("play?"), and was given a Down command. Which he did, much to my pride and relief. How utterly and completely perfect of him. As the handler could not get their service dog to settle, Mom, Micron and I moved to another table out of line of sight so they could enjoy their lunch in peace. The moral of this story is this is exactly why CCI demands so much of their service dogs. These dogs must be solid in every situation, regardless of distractions. At five months, I'd say Micron is off to a very good start.
On to another topic, here's a fun side trip. Micron's brother, Mars, has a blog on the 7 News Denver Channel website. It's written from the pup's point of view and is very clever indeed. Being a widely read blog in Denver, it's a wonderful way to raise awareness of CCI. Mars had received an email from Micron and here he tells his puppy raiser about it:  Mars.


One more bit of bragging them I'm done here.We just finished puppy classes at Dayton Dog Training. At the end of the course, an evaluator tests the pups for the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy Program. I'm so proud that Micron is now a card carrying S.T.A.R. dog. He, however, is very humble about the whole thing and only wants to eat the medal.

You know what's missing from this picture? A puddle of drool.

Inga registers for the second semester

The February progress report is in and I'm pleased to tell you that Inga has passed the first semester of CCI Advanced Training.  Ok, we're not talking Dean's List here, but Eric tells me she is showing improvement. She's a smart girl and I know she's capable of so much more. Just a wee bit stubborn, it would seem. 

Inga's now moving into the second semester of AT. More is expected of her now as the commands bump up a level in complexity. She's learning the retrieve process and working with different types and weights of objects in distracting situations. She's also been out on a couple of field trips. As her puppy raiser, I was glad to see the box checked for "walks nicely on leash" which is one of the top things we're to work on when the pup is with us. A service dog simply cannot pull on leash; not a good thing. If Inga continues to progress, she will have another three to six months of advanced training.  As always, let's keep fingers and paws crossed for success for this bright, but independent girl. 
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