Sunday, April 17, 2011

My first puppy meeting

Greg and I are a little behind on blogging, but here is the story about Smokey's first puppy meeting on March 20.  This was our first puppy raiser's meeting with all the new puppies. We got to meet all the recent arrivals from Florida, plus the "teenagers" who have been in the group since October.
 As usual, our meetings are on Sunday afternoons at HEB Central Market in Houston.
 As you can see, everybody loves me. I instantly assummed the position of  greeting all the many shoppers. Say, do you think I could get a job here?
 We meet upstairs in the conference room. I'm too small to walk up the stairs (plus I haven't learned how to manage stairs just yet) so we are taking the elevator. When I grow up to be a guide dog I will have to recognize elevators and be able to find them for the person I'm guiding.
 Here we go... My first elevator ride.  I'm not scared.
Dad, can you mash the floor #2 button for me cuz I can't reach it. Thanks.
Gosh, its high up here. Our meetings are in a room adjacent to this 2nd story landing. From here, I can see ALL over the market place and see lots of people. I won't get too close because I am still a tiny bit afraid of heights.
Quick, mom, take my picture while dad holds me. It's still a long way down!
 This is my sister, Parkie, wearing the red collar and leash. This is the first time I'd seen her since our loooong ride here from Florida. Don't we look alike?
 Yay! Kisses for the both of us!  It was so good to see you again, Parkie!
Now, let's meet the other new puppies!!
This yellow lab puppy is named Hannah. She will be raised by Carol and Bob, our area coordinators. Hannah is pictured here in Christie's lap. Christie and her mother, Sue, brought Hannah back from Florida after they returned the puppy they were raising, Bruce, for final harness training. Christie was really sad to return Bruce, so it made it easier on her to have Hannah drive back home with her and her mom, Sue.
 This is Ellie. Her black lab puppy is named Addy. You can follow Addy's adventures on Facebook - her facebook page is Addy the Guide Dog in training. Also be sure to check out Addy's blog.
 This is Jenni and her black lab puppy named Lulu.
 This is Wendy, who is raising my sister, Parkie! We are both black lab puppies.
This is Abigal who, along with her mother, Sharon, is raising my other litter mate, named Suzette.
And, of course, you already recognize ME!...
After a few minutes to visit, we had to settle down and start the meeting. We guide dog puppies must be trained to sit under our master's chairs. It's easier for us puppies to do that at our young age because we're still so tiny. 
Carol leads our meetings and she put us in a big circle for our meeting today.
Carol asked me to come out and join her in the center of the circle. We are demonstrating the right way to do something.. But I don't remember what it was! Did I do good,  Miss Carol?
 After a few minutes to settle down, we pups take a nap while the puppy raisers talk about ...stuff... 
The dogs in this picture are (from top) LuLu, Houston, Star, and Parkie. 
Houston and I are the only boy dogs in the group.
Man, we are SO out-numbered!
 Next we go outside for some evaulations. The big pups split off to do some advanced work. Us new puppies are just showing how well we can walk on a leash.
We spent a while outside working on basic obedience before saying our goodbyes.
One of our homework assignments from Carol was to go shopping at Petsmart. We stopped by PetSmart in Pearland on our way home. We pups need to get used to all the smells that we will encounter in pet stores and grocery stores. This is the ultimate distraction test for a little guy like me - all the smells and toys are so inviting! treats!
 Can you believe all the toys for good boys?
 Now, it IS getting to be dinner time. And, man, am I hungry?!
 Let's see if there are any kibbles waiting to be rescued from the floor.
Dad says it's time to leave. I will be coming back here, for SURE!
 We stopped at Whataburger on the way home - which was my very first dining out experience!
Guide dogs must stay under the table at restaurants, and scavanging for food is a big No No.. I was so good no one even noticed I was there.
Finally, we're heading home. It's been a looong day. But it was good to see all my puppy friends again. Until next time....happy naps, ya'll!
Later, Smokey

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