Thursday, April 21, 2011

Gonna fly now!!! (queue Theme from Rocky...)

Little pups like me have problems judging depth, so maneuvering stairs and steps is a skill that needs practice. I'm old enough now to start the learning process. Since I have resisted climbing stairs in an enclosed stairway, mom and dad took me to outdoor stairs with plenty of open space to ease my fears.
We started out slow - at the small stairs outside the library.
After a few tries, up we go! We practice here several minutes, then mom and dad decide to increase my goal...
to the BIG stairs at the county courthouse.
Gosh, this looks challenging for a little guy like me.
At first, I don't even want to try. But mom walked up a few steps and sat down, calling for me to "come!"... So I ran to her... I think I can do this!
So here we go
Easy does it.. Don't look down..
 Almost there....
Ta Da!  I knew I could do it!
Can you see me waaaaay up there at the top of all those stairs?
 The hardest part is going down. It's a little bit tricky.
 I have to learn to sit at every landing.
I'm taking it slow and easy -- watch your step dad!
Almost done!!  This is a piece of cake!
 Dad says no to these stairs...
We have to save them for another day - when I'm bigger.

Thanks for checking in with me.
Stay tuned for more progress updates!
Later, Smokey

What big paws you have!

Smokey is getting growing so fast. It seems like he grows an inch taller and an inch longer every time he takes a nap.
Just check out these man paws. 
These pictures were made March 29th - when he was just about 3 months old.
Napping and mealtimes are his favorite parts of the day.
His current weight is 28 lbs.
 He has already gone through almost 40 lbs of starter feed.
After Greg emptied what was left of his dogfood into a sealed container, Smokey ran in to investigate if there were a few kibbles left behind.
While there were few, if any, remaining nuggets, we quickly snapped a photo of his rescue attempt before confiscating the bag.

April Puppy Raiser Outing

Once a month the Houston area puppy raiser group meets for an outing with the puppies in a public place. This month we met for brunch at "The Egg and I" restaurant in Bellaire.
Our Area Coordinator, Carol, gives some opening announcements.
From L to R (Carol, Kevin, Cindy, Jenni, Greg and Eileen.
Pups Hannah (sitting) and Sunshine (laying down).
 (L to R) Cynthia, Lauren, Wendy, Sue, Christie, <?>, Carol, and Ellie
(L to R) Lauren, Wendy, Sue, Carol, Ellie (holding pup Addy)
 (L to R) Christie, <?>, Carol, Bob, Eileen
(L to R) Eileen, Jenni, Carol, Kevin and Cindy
 Consulting about Smokey.
(L to R) Greg, Smokey, and Carol
 Ellie with pup Addy
Cindy and pup Sunshine
 New pup Hannah
And me, Smokey!

Thanks, everyone, for an "Eggstra" special outing....

Later, Smokey

New sights and sounds

I've had several busy days this week. As a guide dog puppy in training, I need exposure to many different places, sights and sounds. My puppy raisers are supposed to take me just about everywhere they go because I need to be familiar with the types of places where I may someday lead a visually impaired person.

Since I am doing very well with house training now, I got to attend Bible Study and church with mom on Monday night. It was a long evening, but I behaved very well in both the classroom and the big church setting. And no accidents!
I did so well that mom took me to choir on Tuesday morning, too. Mom is in a group that sings gospel music at nursing homes every Tuesday. I love music and listening to all the people sing. It was fun to meet more new people and get used to these new environments.
We had another fun day on Wednesday. We went out to lunch and ran some errands. This was my first visit to Brazos Mall. We were stopped by several people that asked about the guide dog program, and even how they could request a guide dog for a loved one. It's great to be able to share the good news about Southeastern Guide Dog service!  My position is to lay, sit, or stand while mom and dad do the talking. No noise from me!
I met a cute little girl in a stroller at the mall with her mom. She squealed and was really excited to greet me. I haven't been around very many kids, but I was interested in smelling her. I need lots of exposure to little children so that I know how to behave around them. Since I am still a youngster myself, it's okay for people to greet me and even pet me a little bit when I have my coat on. I am learning that when I wear my coat, I am working, and I need to behave like a big boy. When I get a little bit older, I won't be able to greet people while I am working in my jacket. I am also learning to sit before people can greet me, and both me and my greeters have to be reminded of that sometimes.  See, Dad is making me sit before I greet this little girl.

Since I am running low on food, we made a stop at PetSmart to choose my new dogfood. I got to smell alot, but I didn't get any samples.
Hey, while we are here, I think I need a new Kong. What do you think?
 We visited the grocery store, and every time we go there we are greeted by people who are interested in me and my pretty blue jacket. 
Many people down in this area are not familiar with service dogs and can't understand why I'm allowed in these kind of public places. We are handing out alot of brochures and explaining what my service role will be when I grow up.
After a long day, we are finally heading home..
Here I am watching mom & dad unload the groceries...
hey, did yall remember to buy MY food?



Look who got a surprise in the mail today!
It's from Aunt Mary Naye!
 It's a soft and fuzzy raccoon.
 I haven't met Mary Naye yet, but it was very nice of her to send me a cuddly new toy!
 I think this is now my NEW favorite toy.
 Thanks Mary Naye! Hope to meet you soon!


Sunday, April 17, 2011

Mom's special day

Posted by Greg.
Mom had a birthday on March 30th. I can't tell her age cuz that's a secret, but it was a very special day.
Mom got lots of birthday greetings from friends and family.  The mail man puts them in the box, but Dad and I have to bring them to the house.  I still think I am sooo big when I carry the mail.
 I don't know who sent this card, but it is kind of heavy for me.  I think they may have even paid extra postage for this one.
 Look at all the cards.  Boy this is a special day.  Usually, I only get to bring in the bills.
 My gift for Mom on her birthday was this special stick.  You can wave it around, say some magic words, but the only thing that happens is I get cuter.
 Another surprise on this special day was a visit from Mom's Mom.  We call her GG Mom for short.  That all started when Kenzie was born,
 because GG Mom is easier to say than Great Grandma.
Here is a picture of me with two good looking gals. This picture makes it look like Mom is choking me, but I have a habit of turning my head as the camera beeps.  Maybe I am trying to save my retna.
As a finale for the special day, we got together with the extended family for dinner in a resturant in Pearland.  Two are missing from this photo (I am under the table, and Michael is away on business).  In the photo above from (l to r) is Dad, Mom, Clint, Karen, Kenzie, Molly and Mary. 

Mom, I hope you had a good day.  I know I sure did.

Love, Smokey


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