Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Save yourselves. I got this.

No worries, says Euka.  I got things under control here. No really, this crab is right where I want him.

A photo preview from our next blog post on our road trip vacation with three dogs. Adventures and acts of derring do coming up later this week!

What's it like to vacation with three big dogs, you ask? You ever unpeel a banana to find a dog hair inside?  Yeah, it's a lot of that kind of thing.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Since you've been gone

Well, for the love of fish sticks, says Bodine.  There you are. Glad to see you finally remembered that I need to be fed, Chickie.  Where the [expletive deleted] have you been all day?

All day? I ask.  Bodine, we've been gone a week, dude.  Although I do appreciate the warm welcome home.  I peek over at the cat food bowls. And your bowl's full of kibble, kiddo.  Why the grief over hunger pangs?

Interesting story, says Bodine. You should write a book.
Bodine waddles over to the food bowl.  Well [crunch crunch], he says, spewing kibble out the sides of his mouth, I had to ration myself.  I didn't know if you were coming back.  Hey, by the way, Chickie, I left you a remembrance of me in the litter box.  Go fish that out will ya?  I'm heading that way next.

Sure thing, I say.  Just let me set my suitcase down first, ok?  I walk over to check the answering machine for messages.  So, Bodine are you telling me that you didn't get fed while we were gone? Here, I'll call Lisa to  see if she ran into any problems last week.

Naw, says Bodine.  I didn't say that. I just said I was [burp] pacing myself.  Some Kibble Chick came by every day to pay homage to me.  And I gotta say, she was a lot better about keeping the litter box clean than my usual . . . he pauses to look up at me.  Wait, did you say a week?

Bodine, my love, I say. First of all, Lisa is a professional pet sitter, not a Kibble Chick to pay homage to the benevolent ruler of Sword House. And secondly, we were all gone. All of us. For a whole week.  Even the dogs. So you just started to miss us yesterday?

That's it!, he slaps his forehead with a paw.  The dog bed's missing!  I knew something was different around here.  You brought it back with you, right?  I'm gonna want a nap after I recycle this little snack.  Oh, take a minute to wipe off the counters next.  They're absolutely covered with fur and it's messing with my Chi. Honestly, it's like I'm the only one who notices how you can't keep up with this mess. Like, um, the litter box. Still waiting on that mcnugget removal, you know.

Really? I ask. That's your response, is it? You're not even curious about where we've all been the last few days? Bodine? Hello?

Huh? says Bodine.  Are you still talking?  What? What's that look for?  Fine, but you know what they say about curiosity.  It doesn't end well for we of the feline persuasion. No prob, chickie, I'll take one for the team, but you owe me now. Go ahead and tell me your bedtime story while I stretch out here on the counter . . . [oof] ok, ok, the cat bed then. Right, Once Upon a Time . . . you can take it from here.

Nice view, says Jager. But I'm not getting any closer to that water stuff.
It was a lovely vacation, I say with a sigh. We drove to Cedar Island; it's a remote area of the southern outer banks of North Carolina. We were right by the bay, no crowds or touristy stuff to deal with. A glass of chilled white in the evenings while watching the seagulls from the deck.  Oh, but the mosquitoes were pretty bad. We had to use bug spray if we were sitting outside for a while.

Uh huh, uh huh, nods Bodine. He pauses in his post-dinner cleaning ritual. Interesting stuff.  You should write a book.

I ignore the biting feline sarcasm and continue.  The dogs had a blast, of course.  New smells to discover and all.  Micron especially enjoyed the place; he really loved the water. Jager plotted in his terrier brain on how to catch a seagull and we had some wonderful opportunities to socialize Euka in the area. Oh, there was a storm that came through one day that changed our plans, but in a good way. And we saw wild horses and a wild cow. I don't know, though. The cow might not have been wild, she seemed nice enough. We met some local fishermen and a lady who apologized for being part Yankee, like it was a bad thing. Which I guess it kinda is down there.  I found out mud turtles have an attitude. Is that a turtletude, then? Oh yeah, just wait till I tell you about when Euka stole my toothbrush  . . . Bodine?

zzzzzz[snert], says Bodine.

Ok, sure, I say.  Let's save the stories for another time. I want to get some unpacking done and we can sort through the photos later. Sleep tight, little furball.  You'll need your rest now that the dogs are back to torment.

Where are the dog paddles for the canoe? snorts Micron.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Wordless Wedesday: Caption This #9

Photo credit Facebook: Chris Kittredge Photography
Not your average California blondes, these two.

The lovely Emma and Euka are six weeks old in this archival photo from their Canine Companions for Independence volunteer breeder caretaker.

Miss Euka is giving off an aura of sassiness, meanwhile Emma looks on with a look of practiced patience.  It hasn't even been two months yet, but she has her sister figured out.  That attitude of yours, says Emma, is going to get you in big trouble, sis.

Let's try some photo captions for these two fun and furry personalities. What are these two girls saying, do you think?

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Five Things I Stopped Doing After Becoming a Volunteer Puppy Raiser: The Rerun

We're working on a big project this week that does not involve cloning.  Which is too bad, really.

Because if multiplicity of one's self were possible, I would be able to knock out some never-before-seen photos of Euka II doing something clever and cute.

But not today.  My energies, as they are, must be funneled into another realm of my fur covered existance. It'll all be worth it in the end.  I do hope.

Anyway, on today's Story Sunday I'm serving up a popular blog posting from last fall for your reading pleasure. 


It was four years ago that I began this journey as a volunteer puppy raiser for Canine Companions for Independence. On September 5, 2008, we welcomed the lovely Inga into our lives as an eight week old cotton ball. In these mere few years there's certainly been no shortage of opportunities to learn something new. Always those helpful life lessons on how to do things right.

But you know, there's the other side of the leash as well.

And today I share with y'all . . .

Five Things I Stopped Doing After Becoming a Volunteer Puppy Raiser


1. Wishing I had three arms

We human beans been granted the brain power to multitask, but frustratingly enough, we're a little short-handed, so to speak, on the body parts. This was especially apparent to me as a young mom carrying a fussy toddler in one arm and rummaging across the bottom of the purse for enough change to buy Tylenol because anything stronger needed a prescription. How many times did I wish for a third arm those days.

Kid munching on Cheerios in the highchair, dog strategically positioned with maw open like a moat gator catching the crumbs, dinner on the stove, pots soaking in the sink. You know the rest, the phone's ringing, the man wants your attention for some such thing, and the washer buzzes that the load's done. Those days it would have been nice to have one hand on a magazine, the other in a delicate grasp of a glass of chilled white. Instead my greatest wish was to have an extra appendage to just expedite the evening.

Um, speaking of needing a hand here
It's different now, my mindset on this. Puppy raisers learn to do it all with only one hand free. Oh! Don't even try to make that dirty, now. Honestly, people. I'm trying to be all serious here.

When folk ask me, would you like me to hold the dog while you do that, I politely decline.

You see, I wonder what it would be like if I actually had limited mobility. With this pup in training, how much can I trust him to hold a command, to stay still by my side until it's time to move along again?  Can distractions be ignored? The best way for me, a fully physically able person, to determine this is to limit my own range of motion in some way.

So, I'm learning. Do you want to leave the pup with me while you go through the buffet line?, asks the Husband. Naw, I say. I'm good. I'd like to walk her near the food and reinforce her self-control.

With the leash in my left hand, I balance the plate and its mounded deep-fried buffet goodness in my dominant right. The pup is at Heel and totally solid. In tune with my movements, she answers every Let's Go and stops to sit when I pause. We're like dance partners. It's beautiful.

Oh ugh, the sour cream is stuck to the spoon. My attempt to give the spoon a sharp shake to dislodge the clotted mass goes terribly awry.  The dairy glob takes a right turn at Albuquerque and bypasses my baked potato. Instead it smacks squarely on the pup's cape. She looks up at me to ask what she should do about this.

Well, I say. Shit. Which I know is totally unacceptable at a buffet.  Even Golden Corral, the Wal-Mart of buffets. But in my defense, I kinda forgot myself, not having the previous life experience of slapping sour cream on a dog in a buffet line. How does one react to such things, anyway?

2. Asking my dogs to follow commands

Say it like you mean it, I tell co-workers. He'll sit the first time. We dog lovers want to be gentle and caring with our furry family members. We want to be kind, we do.

What do the dogs want? Well, consistency is a good start. Ok, we say, you can lie on the sofa next to me, but not if you're muddy. Yeah, that kind of thinking doesn't chug well through a dog noggin.  And if you want them to sit, you tell them Sit with that tone that makes clear there's not really an alternative option here. If you ask them kindly to sit and they just stand and look at you, you going to have to ask a second time. Or even a third. By the fourth SIT! with your hand pushing on their butt they will finally plant it. So now your dog knows that he doesn't have to do anything until you ask four times. And that's consistency.

So I don't ask my dogs to do things. I let them know what behavior is expected and what will get them praise and possibly score them a cookie.

An assistance dog must be responsive. These dogs love having a job to do and want to do it well. And we want them to feel good about themselves, after all.

3. Leaving offerings to the food fairy

Did you catch that gaping maw moat alligator mentioned in Number One above? Ah, there was a magical time in my life that I didn't really clean the kitchen floor all that much. I had a dog.

A friend with small children was lamenting about how her otherwise adorable kids had taken a carton of eggs out to the living room and cracked each one open on the carpet. A dozen eggs!, she cried. How do you even begin to get that out of the carpet?

You know what I'd do? I said, calmly sipping my coffee. I'd just let the dog out there. Better than a wet vac, in my experience. A Labrador would suck every trace of that egg slime out of the fiber, now wouldn't he?

Oh, but it's not the same with an assistance pup in training. An assistance dog cannot walk into a restaurant with his handler and be hoovering the carpet all the way to the table. And this starts with the puppy raiser.

With three dogs in the kitchen as I work at the cutting board, food flying everywhere like it has super powers or something. A potato morsel lands next to a dog nose, but no matter. These furries are being trained to ignore food on the ground.  Their goodies come from their food bowl or a dog cookie from my hand.

Why didn't I do this before I was a puppy raiser? Never again will I have a begging dog at the dinner table.

So, whatcha eatin'?

4. Panic over a torn dewclaw

Or other such small things. Just like kids, the more dogs you have come through your house the more relaxed you get about minor emergencies.

I was a Cub Scout leader for a few years. I'd hear things like, Mrs. Sword! Bobby poked me in the eye with a stick! And I'd ask, Is it bleeding? Still got the marble in your head? You can still see? Then get back out there and play capture the flag, kiddo. Come back if you've cracked a rib or something.

Before puppy raising, we just had Jager as an Only Dog in the house. My sister went on a long deserved vacation and I'm keeping the kids for a couple of weeks.  The two kids are playing fetch with Jager in the backyard when he gets so excited he somehow rips a dewclaw. Holy cow, but do those things bleed.  I try some basic first aid, but the dog has ripped the thing at the root and there's tissue damage as well.  Fine, no prob. Ok, maybe a little bit of a prob. I'm just a bit rattled.  I pack the kids and the bleeder in the car (Direct pressure, kids. Elevate that leg). and we head off to the vet for a stitch or two.

Jager can get a wee bit intense when playing
Problem is, I left all the bloody gauze and smeared blood all over the kitchen floor without nary a note of explanation. The Husband comes home from work to this CSI crime scene. Which one was it, he wonders. The wife, the niece or the nephew? Well, at least I answered my cell phone to What the hell is going on! to keep the police out of it all.

Since then, I've taken a Red Cross first aid course for pets. I've not had the opportunity to put a dog snout in my mouth to give CPR respirations, but I'm ready for it should the need arise.

With this gig of raising valuable dogs that aren't even mine, well, I want to do the right thing to keep the furries safe, sound and healthy. I do feel more confident about handling certain canine emergencies. But still hoping to avoid the CPR dog snout thing.

5. Forgetting the camera. Again.

You just can't plan for this kind of adorable
A pup in training is a 24/7 photo op. After about a hundred and two times of wishing I had a camera to capture the moment, I finally starting carrying a permanent purse camera. I was thwarted in the attempt to save money by buying an inexpensive model and had to replace the cheap little piece of electronic waste with another purse camera. And for serious stuff, I have my beloved Canon to capture the pretty portrait shots. It's entirely possible I might have more cameras stashed about the house, too. Theoretically and all.

So, how many cameras do you have, asks the Husband as he observes me pulling equipment out of the camera bag like it's a circus clown car. Oh, I don't know, I admit. Isn't that like asking how many pairs of shoes I have? [sigh] says the Husband.

Raising a puppy is a 24 hour gig. I want a camera to be there for all the adventures.

Awesome isn't something that you can plan. It just happens.

That's it, Micron!  Work it!

And in volunteer puppy raising, awesomeness happens a lot.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: It's Symbolic. Maybe.

Euka & Ella
So this image is symbolic, right? 

Ella and Euka's crossed paws show their unity, that we're in this thing together, sister.  The paws show that no matter where their paths take them, they will always walk the journey with the memory of their familial ties.

The deep midnight blue background is the unlimited sky.  Cool night, a gentle wind with a billion stars twinkling with as many opportunities.  To boldy go . . .

And the yellow tennis ball, as round and bright as the sun itself, well, it represents that service dogs can have fun, too.  The ball is within reach, actually touching a furry paw. Showing that these working girls can transistion from serious business to playtime and then back again. Just a touch away.

We pause here while you ponder this. And so I can grab a donut.

Ok, back now.  So whad'ya think, y'all?

Yep, you're absolutely right. I'm just messin' with you.  I happened to look down from my laptop and saw this. Thought it was cute and took a picture. And that's about it.

You know what that ball actually represents?  Its true purpose is to hold it in one's maw and push it into Everett's nose.  Look what I have and you don't, says either one of the girls.  Try to get it! bwahahaha.

More paw art below.  We can try for more trinity style symbolism for these three pups.  If you find yourself inspired, drop a comment with what your artist's eye can see.

1. Unity in Three

That's Ella's paw on top. That must mean something, right?
 Everett's is the lower one.

2. Tennis Ball Twister
Only three dogs. Take a moment to figure out which leg belongs to whom.
I sure had to.

3.  Nose to the ball

Nose now touching the ball, paws in a protective circle.
What could it mean?

Click for links to some great pet blogs

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Where's the Off switch on this thing?

Euka II and Emma

[Blam! slosh slosh splish]

The former Bob II. He told good jokes.

Girls! I cry. That'll do for nowLet's leave the fish tank out of it.  One hundred pounds of wound up yellow dog have t-boned the saltwater tank cabinet bringing about an ominous sploshing sound.

What? says Euka in a tone of innocence that takes quick and dark turn into teenage sass.  It's not like there's even a fish in there. Doesn't that make it just a dirty water tank?

Not even the point, missy, I say. Fourteen gallons of saltwater on the carpet isn't any less a catastrophe just because it's missing a flopping clown fish. 

Bet he'd be funny to watch, says Euka. Clown fish! [snort].

Alrighty then. I say. Look, I can see you and Emma have a lot to catch up on. Now that you've shown her every toy you have and you two have both performed a full dental exam on each other with your mouth play, well, I continue, let's go take a walk and burn off that remaining puppy energy.

Littermate Emma was dropped off a couple of hours ago for a play date while her puppy raisers attend a family event. And it's been Game On ever since with these two. Micron and Jager have positioned themselves on the sofa as spectators of the coliseum event on the carpet below.

Only thing missing from this gladiator battle are dog thumbs to determine the fate of the conquered.

Seems to me like a walk in the metro park will bring a sense of order back to the day.  As we're getting dog gear together, the two pups are circling around me chanting Park! Park! Park!

I'm already exhausted and we haven't left yet.

We get Emma and Euka to jump into the backseat of the car and prepare to head out.  As I pull to the end of the driveway, I take a quick glance to make sure they're behaving.

I see this.

Really?  If I knew a simple car ride could bring such domestic harmony, we would have left a whole lot sooner.

Englewood MetroPark is part of the Five Rivers MetroParks system in our greater Miami Valley area. From their website:

"Englewood MetroPark is one of five natural areas created by the construction of earthen flood control dams. Stillwater River, lakes, woods and wetlands serve as focal points of this 1,900-acre MetroPark."     

It's rather wonderful to have this natural area so close to home. Merely just down the street and around the corner. When there, I always keep a lookout for a glimpse of one of the nesting Bald Eagles catching the air currents above.  A rare sight which makes it all that much more awesome.

With the recent rains, we decide to keep to the paved walking path this trip. Muddy Dog Alert is Code Yellow and honestly, I'm too tired from this morning to even consider bathing these two today.

This next shot may concern those who know the nature of water dogs. So let me relax those fears to let you know that my favorite kid and photography assistant was at hand with a firm grip on those leashes just out of camera range.  Avoiding mud is one thing, people.  Chauferring two web-toed puppies smelling like river water in the backseat of the Mercury is a whole nuther animal, so to speak.

Euka and Emma by the Stillwater River.
 No cars were stinkified in the making of this picture.

And holy cow, have you seen the ticks this season? One of the thirty CCI commands to be introduced by puppy raisers is Roll.  Different than Roll Over, this is more like a Roll for Exam.  We ask the pups to roll onto their backs and just relax for a few.  This position of comfort is intended to make the dog more accessible to a person with a disability to handle grooming tasks and such.  A puppy in a Roll position is now available for ear cleaning, a dental check, toenail clipping and under carriage brushing.

Today we use this command for an post-walk tick check on each pup.  Before we even feel about our own noggins for the little buggers, the kid and I are examining the yellow dogs.

I absolutely hate ticks, which is natural I think. But then, I have a serious problem with anything traveling about on eight legs.  Some dark force was involved with this octopedal thing, is my way of looking at it.  Think about it for a sec. Nothing good ever came about with an eight-legged critter. Ticks, spiders, scorpions, mites, even crabs - the spiders of the sea. Ah, but not an octopus, you know. Those are arms, so they're all good. And I don't want to hear any of that spittle about spiders being helpful because they eat other insects. Birds eat bugs too and they're not evil, now are they?

See?  If a sparrow was perched in the corner of your bathroom, you wouldn't squash it by throwing your husband's shoe while screaming, right?

Dark forces, I say.

Anyway, no malicious parasites to be found on the girls. A blessed relief to not have to put the tweezers to work.  The kid and I came out of it clean too.  Another bonus, as we both still carry the emotional scars from the time I had to tweeze a fully engorged tick from between his big and second toes.

And now I think we've finally worn the pups out. They still have an attitude of puppy playfulness, but seem satisfied to lie on their sides and play something like patty cake with their front paws. It's like there's no real Off button on a puppy, you're just to wait until their batteries drain.

Which brings to mind another helpful CCI command.  Euka! Emma! I say, pointing to the dog crate. Girls, Kennel!

Ah, peace. Now some time to charge my batteries, too. Because I think the Round Two bell will be ringing very soon.

Emma looking rather lovely.
No ticks were harmed in the making of this picture.
Because we didn't find any. Otherwise I would have sent the little
buggers to a fiery death by match in the bathroom sink. They
make a satisfying popping sound when meeting
a hot match head. [bwahahaha snort] 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Rising to the (Kibble) Challenge

Such a great response to the Kibble Name Photo Challenge, y'all.  I am just wondersmacked by these dogs and their handlers. So much so, that I have two things to tell you.

  1. I had the original and mildly grandiose notion to just post a few clever photos here. Click, click, done.  But was blown completely out of the water after receiving these fifty-some submissions representing more than one hundred awesome dogs. What a wonderful problem. So how do I get these out to the world without having a photo laden blog page that takes ten minutes to load?  In a flash of something I think was inspiration, I made you a photo gallery thingy. You're welcome. I just hope it works.

    and . . .
  2. I can say with confidence, that I missed somebody or something somewhere. Simply let me know. Really. Easy peasy to fix and repost.  Just pop me a note to
One more thing. You'll note some abbreviations in use.  Let me offer up a quick little glossary to help you along as you view the photo captions.

AT:  Advanced Training program
COC: Change of Career Dog (released from the training program and adopted as a pet)
FD:  CCI Facility Dog
HD:  CCI Hearing Dog
PIP: CCI Puppy in Program
PR:  CCI volunteer Puppy Raiser
SC:  CCI Skilled Companion Dog
SD:  CCI Service Dog

Get Adobe Flash player
Photo Gallery by
TIP: Pass your mouse over the top right corner of the photo gallery to see the navigation buttons and options for full screen view and slide show.

What's that you say?  You want more? Oh, we got ya more. Facebook, dog blogs and even a recently published book written from the viewpoint of CCI puppies. Enjoy! 

We're on Facebook because dogs can't read Dogbook

Bright, SD (Help on Four Legs)

Dog Blogs

A Novel Pup (Karen & Novel PIP)
Endless Pawsibilities, Adventures of a Pacific Northwest puppy raiser (Cassie & Helaine PIP)
Jeb's Dog Blog (Marianne & Jeb PIP)
Help on Four Legs (Alex & Bright, SD)
Raising a Super Dog (Donna & Euka II, PIP)
Redwood Musings (Constance & Renelle HD)
Still I Can't Be Silent (Natalie & Cassius SD)
Paws for Independence (Ellie & Haddie (at AT) & Kolby (PIP)
Paws to Hear (Leslie & Nettie HD)
Pooch Smooches (Jackie & Rita, a rescued dog)


Let the Dogs Speak, by Marianne McKiernan

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Micron shares his Therapy Dog Top 5 List

This month Micron and I will celebrate our first year anniversary of graduating Miami Valley Pet Therapy Association as an animal assisted Therapy Dog Team.

So using photos from a recent Healthy Kids Fair event, Micron and I are here to wax all philosophical on y'all about this past year's volunteer gig in pet therapy.

Our top five things we love about pet therapy

Hey, Food Lady! Let's do the Cartoon Dog trick again! 
You hold the leash real tight and I'll do that
scrambly running thing.

1. Experiencing exotic locales in the nether regions

Micron demonstrates his comfort level on placing his nethers on different surfaces. He gives absolutely no mind to slick floors nor pokey mulch.  In our travels we find retirement facilities have smooth flooring that's a little slippery for dog paws, but libraries are usually carpeted.  And the floors of elevators are pretty much random; you never know until the doors open.

I love that Micron is so well socialized and flexible about whatever may be down there supporting his weight under those baseball mitt paws that he walks into any venue with confidence. Because a worried dog is not a happy dog. 

Yeah, I had to do a finger sweep to get the
mulch out of his mouth for this shot.
And an unhappy dog isn't going to be much help in the therapy dog world.

We have more important things to focus on during our travels.  We don't want anything to dampen down that ridiculously sunny personality of his.

2. We meet the most interesting folk

You don't have to be the subject of some Oscar winning biopic movie to be an amazing person, you know.  Each of us get up each day to continue writing those chapters in our life stories, right?

Hey, if there was a movie about your life who would you want to star in it? Besides yourself, that is. Micron says he wants that dude that plays Kirk in the new Star Trek movie play him. Or Jim Gaffigan.  Either one will work.
When we visit patients of Hospice of Dayton, Micron and I have listened while being told a life story that is, truth be told, holds my attention more than any old movie or book could. 

Hey, Blinkin! 
Did you say Abe Lincoln?*
We hear of local history made personal, family lost and found then sometimes lost again, ways to process regret and what a successful life means to an individual. And about their beloved pets from over the years. Micron's presence brings back warm memories of that always extraordinary bond between pet and person. And those times after we have said our last good-bye to our person, their stories remain with us. We'll carry those experiences and lessons until our own book is closed.
And you know what? My own life is richer because of these other folk. Truly.

3. The treats are pretty awesome, too

Cordell and Micron politely await some popcorn.
In the mighty Micron's early training as a CCI puppy we thought that maybe, if he really applied himself, he might end up a service dog.  So we never offered him people food. Ever. He learned to not eat anything that fell on the floor or to be all obnoxious about asking for a dog cookie.

Well, all bets are off, Micron says now.  He's a pet and he can sleep on the sofa any darn time he feels like it, he lets us know.  So sure, we've relaxed some standards. For the sofa naps, anyway.

But still, for a dog as food motivated as this big guy, I insist on maintaining the no-eating-off-the-floor and polite manners stuff.  When a fellow mvPTa friend at our info table asks if Micron can have some popcorn from her bag, I did allow it though.  The other therapy dogs working the booth were being treated from the same paper bag, so it looked as much like a dog cookie reward than people food, I thought.

In hindsight, this was a duh moment for me. There sure were a lot of kids coming by the info table that morning with bags of those salty little dog treats.  A sticky sucker clutched in a toddler's grip was still a no-no in his canine brain. But thanks for holding that treat bag so near my tongue, kid, said Micron. Ah, but disasters were efficiently averted thanks to my hyper-vigilance. Mostly.

And the popcorn was free anyway, so there's that.

4. Little kids are sweet things

Little boys smell like french fries with ketchup, says Micron. And little girls? They smell like cotton candy and cherry suckers.

He would know.  When he's not snarfing popcorn from a youngster's paper bag, he's licking the kid's hands. Or face. Or good grief, now that it's sandal weather it's the toes.

Micron is so good with kids though. He plops his self down to their level and soaks up the attention. Here's my head, kid, says Micron. Have at it.

On a separate topic, I'm considering replacing the carpet in my house with gymnasium flooring to match the dog. 

At 14, Shelby finds herself like some of us do. It's easier,
to get down, than back up.  So, she'll  be glad to greet you on
all fours. Thanks for understanding, young person.

5. The free belly rubs

Micron doesn't charge a dime for these.

So you can just do this all day long, he says. Please. Feel free to continue. It's my pleasure.

I'd like to bring you attention to that yellow sucker poised all tempting-like in that young person's hand. Being totally ignored by the mighty Micron, you will note.

Belly rubs trump candy on a stick, according to this canine's value sytem.

At least this kid didn't have popcorn

* Yep, another obscure movie reference.  Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993).  It's a comedy classic, people. I make no apologies. Now if I can just get a Young Frankenstein quote in here somewhere.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Name Game Photo Invite

When I said call me for dinner, says Euka, this isn't what I had in mind. But no prob, I could hear the kibble calling my name.

But truth be told, y'all, Euka did not get to partake in the noshing of her meal out here on the patio. But before you think this totally unjust, I can explain.

To be a service dog, that canine brain needs to wrap itself around the idea food on the ground, anything perceived as possibly edible, is not for them. Think about it this way . . .  a service dog in a restaurant must be focused on the handler, not the nibblets of treasure to be found under the table.  Same basic concept for any outing. A service dog is always tuned into his or her person, instead of like our pets [coughJagercough] who pass the hours of the day with nose to the ground scrounging for a scrap of edible goodness.

And this frame of mind starts early in life in the puppy raiser's home. We understand the need for this training, we puppy raisers. So we do this, we always have.

But new and trendy among us these days is the sharing of photos showing our young charges with the expression of cool indifference upon their faces when faced with their name spelled in kibble. So you got me thinking . . .

An invitation

You don't have to be a CCI puppy raiser to join in. If you have, or wanna take, a photo with your dog posed by their kibbley name, send the photo to me at  Be sure to include a link to your pet's Facebook page or blog, if you have such things.

We'll post the grouping on next week's Wordless Wednesday.
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