Oh yeah... September HAS ended and we bet you have wondered where we've been? We didn't fall off the edge of the earth - well, not quite, but September was a blur for us. We will try to do a quick update and catch you up on where September went.
Melissa was scheduled for surgery on Sept 12. We thought it was going to be a routine experience including an overnight stay in the hospital. Twelve days later, after receiving a couple of pints of blood and the wonderful experience of an ICU stay, we finally got home to began the long recovery process. We are getting back into a routine again, and realize how much we have neglected Smokey's blog.
Smokey has been doing great. He was able to spend a couple of weeks of puppy camp with Lauren while we were in the hospital. What a relief it was to us to know that Smokey was in good hands and having a great time with a really neat lady. We packed him up on Sept 11 for puppy camp and took a few photos of him with the American flag in recognition of the 10th anniversary of Sept 11th.
This was Smokey's second puppy camp. It just so happened that Melissa's surgery coincided with the fall puppy camp schedule. This puppy camp is supposed to be 2 weeks long - a time when puppy raisers exchange puppies for that time period. With our situation, we could not trade puppies, so Lauren came to our rescue. Lauren is a past puppy-raiser (she raised CupCake, now a successful guide dog for a lucky gentleman in Atlanta). Lauren has taken on the role as our group's certified puppy "sitter" -- e.g. willing to fill in at what seems to be the drop of a hat, and has been a relief to many of us in the Houston puppy raiser group. She enjoys interacting with all the pups, which is probably her reward, but she still deserves a gold star. Thank you Lauren!
|Packed for puppy camp - food in tow. Have food..will travel!|
For those of you who may not know already know, puppy camp is a time where the pups-in-training go to another raiser's house/environment for a period of time. This experience gives the puppy different exposures and teaches the pup to respond and obey the "human on the end of the leash". So many people ask us about separation anxiety - believe us when we say, the anxiety is more on the human's part than the pup's. These pups adapt very quickly and don't seem to miss a beat. We are teaching them to respond obediently in service to whomever gives the proper commands.
Lauren reported that Smokey settled in nicely after a few days. She has a cat, which was Smokey's first in-house contact with a feline (a suggested exposure for guide-pups-in-training). Lauren said they got along nicely, definitely on the cat's terms.
|Smokey meets Lauren's pet cat|
Lauren took Smokey on hours long shopping trips, which he endured with a few dirty looks. Lauren says, "Well, Mr. Excitement had no idea what he was getting into while accompanying me grocery shopping. We hit three stores in three hours and by the last store he was giving me the look: "are we done yet?" I guess Lauren shops more than Melissa does (Greg says this is not possible)!
|Smokey relaxing at Lauren's house during puppy camp|
Lauren took Smokey to the Mercer Arboretum in Spring where he got to greet a turtle and various people in the gift shop where Lauren volunteers.
Below, Lauren's grandson, Forrest, and Smokey are pictured shareing some snuggle time.
|Forrest and Smokey|
Thanks again, Lauren, and to ALL of you who called, sent well wishes, cards, emails, and prayers during Melissa's hospital stay and for showing love and support through the recovery process. We're on the mend and finally back on the blog train, so stay tuned!!