Thursday, April 28, 2016

Day Dreams

Day Dreams

Bassett is usually a very calm dog. As you can tell by the photo below, he can be almost angelic in his sleeping position. 
Bassett in his crate with an angelic look on his sleeping face.
More often than not though, he is sleeping with his head at a crazy angle, hanging over the edge or sleeping while having the hiccups or snoring VERY loudly.

But sleeping is the big constant.

Bassett, in his crate, just befor closing his eyes for a nap.

I guess he is a bit angelic.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Mine, Mine, Mine!

Daffy Duck

Jam, the dog who loves too much, tends to look at the world as his oyster.  It's all his.  Every last bit of it.  Consequently, he pees on a great deal of it.

He reminds me in many ways of Daffy Duck, a character who also was concerned with owning everything.  This scene is from one of my favorite cartoons with Bugs and Daffy.


Jam and Establishing Ownership

So, back to the peeing.  Jam generally pees on lots of items.  Sometimes this means walking into a new home and taking possession of the best pillow, the one previously owned by the small male dog in the house.  Method: Pee on the pillow.

Meet a new friend? Why not pee on their head?  Guaranteed to let the neighborhood know whose friend they are.  Jam's friend!

Where Shopping Is a Pleasure

My favorite place to shop is Publix, so of course I went to the Publix Paws booth to sign up for Publix Paws at Walkathon!! And I took Jammy with me while I signed up.  Jam was quietly sniffing the banner and sizing up the tote bag and the two water dishes that they were giving me (two dishes because Publix rocks!) and then Jam had a brilliant idea.  Why not own Publix? Why not become a part of Publix Paws? Really get into it? Make it his program?

Wait for it...

So, he peed on their sign.  In front of them.  Standing next to me.  While I was obliviously filling out my form.  That is until I looked up to see the wide open, staring eyes of Publix employees locked onto Jam.

I turned to catch him shake it off, so to speak, and lower his leg.  Quite pleased with his aim as it hit the paw print right on the money and  kinda blended in with the cornflower yellow of the banner.

I could only think that "Wow. I'm glad that banner is water proof, um, pee proof, and all the pee is beading up and running off it." 

"Bye! Love Publix!" I grabbed my tote and yanked Jam away from the booth.  

Jam, sitting by the Publix Paws banner, he loves Publix and so do we.
Despite the peeing, Jam is very grateful to Publix for all the treats and toys he will be getting in the near future from the Publix Paws program coupons.  He's hoping to pee on the toys.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Our Seventh Puppy: Bassett!

Once More, Into the Breach!

On Jan. 5th, Fred and I went to pick up baby Bassett.  Bassett is our 7th Southeastern Guide Dog puppy to raise.  
Fred and I and Bassett at the Freedom Walk. Photo by Christy Clark.

Bassett is the last name to the beautiful girl he is named after: Christie Bassett (in fact, you can also join our facebook page at The Adventures of Christie and Bassett). Christie is pictured below.

FirstThe first week was just a blur as we were getting back from the holidays and getting the puppy and starting back at school was quite a one-two punch!  Fortunately, Bassett is super good.  He is calm and confident and mostly sleeps through the night.  

First Puppy Meeting

He went to his first meeting that Saturday.  I was very impressed with his behavior.  He is an older puppy.  We had been hoping to get a very young puppy to experience the whole puppy experience again and had asked for a baby baby.  But Bassett was born on 9/29/15 and was about 15 weeks old when we picked him up.

Close-up of Bassett at the puppy meeting looking up at me for direction.  Photo by Paul Carroll.
But it's one of those crazy things, you love every puppy, no matter what.  At least we do.  They are all amazing.  And Bassett is no different.  He is unlike all of our other puppies.  He is calm, but very independent.  One of the puppies who is about two weeks older arrived and started to bark excitedly and pull to come see Bassett.  Bassett was sitting by me and he looked over at the puppy and then looked up at me.  I could see the wheels turning and then he got up and walked away from the puppy and sat down on the other side of me. Not hiding, but clearly not interested in playing with someone so rambunctious.  He's very precise.  Very curious and observant.  Rather like Sherlock.

First Week of School

His first week of school was a big success.  He is spending the first month only in the library.  I walk the back way in, out of direct traffic and encounter few students, so it is very calm.  The library itself is quiet and calm most of the day as well.  

We have a firm petting exposure rule: one person only and no more than two people per hour ( one per half hour).  It's been interesting telling students that "I've just put the baby down to sleep, so you can't pet him now."  They have been quite ok with just looking at him.

Bassett with one of our Student Library Proctors.

In fact, they are all so well trained that no one tries to reach out a hand as we go by on our way out to the restroom.  Although I do hear the faint cries of, "Awwwww!" as we pass.

Bassett, with his head tilted.
And really, who wouldn't say, Awww, to that face?

Friday, November 20, 2015

I Am Thankful

Post Puppy Depression

For six years, I have driven to school with a puppy curled in the wheel well of my passenger side of the car every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

For just about every day, I have had a puppy there and on the way to work I glance down and there is my companion and I have my conversation and we talk about the day and what we are going to do.  Sometimes I tell him what we aren't going to do. 8-)

Sometimes, I tell him to stop trying to drink my coffee.

That happened a lot.

With Corky.

I digress.

Now, out of the corner of my eye I think I see something and I quickly look.

But there is no puppy. I'm alone.

Sometimes, when NPR is especially interesting I'll comment, but none quirks their head.

I sigh.

And my office is replete with puppy paraphernalia and I sit alone with the puppy toys.  Periodically, I use my toe to move a  nylabone out of the way of my rolling chair, but there is no puppy to gnaw on the bone. 

Visitors at the Door

Yesterday, as I was feeling particularly down, I heard a commotion at my office door.  I looked up and there stood Mrs. Hillmer, the lower division art teacher, with two lower division boys.  She motioned to one small, blonde boy to walk over to me.

"Hi," I said and smiled at everyone. The boy held out a card to me. I looked up at Mrs. Hillmer.  She just smiled back at me.  I took the card.  I read it.  I started to tear up.  

There's a reason I am thankful for working where I do.  Situations like this happen all the time and your empty bucket gets filled up by children who never know you needed it.  Matthew made the next few weeks bearable. I'm thankful for Matthew and Mrs. Hillmer and all the people I work with who continually fill up my bucket and never even know they are doing it.

And in January, I will have a little puppy in the house. And all will be right with the world.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Burger 21: Friendly to Service Dogs

On Monday I met a friend in the Burger 21 on Linebaugh to discuss a class we would both be teaching.  I was a bit nervous about it.  

I have brought dogs before to Burger 21 and not had a problem, but this time they were really exceptionally pleasant.  We sat in the corner at the back away from everyone.  Eventually, the place filled up and people sat next to us (a mom and her two daughters), but at the beginning, we had the place mostly to ourselves.

The one guy at the counter brought over a bowl of ice water for Corky and I didn't have the heart to tell him that he can't drink in coat.  We just moved it out of the way.  Corky tried to tip it over almost immediately.  

Which led to us using tons of napkins to sop up the water on the floor.  Which Corky then tried to eat.  

All of the wait staff who helped us were friendly and helpful and very cognizant and sweet to Corky.  Even the customers were amazing.  I have never been to a restaurant where all of the moms knew to ask if Corky could be petted first.  

I was at the counter with Corky waiting with one mom who said, "I can't believe my daughter hasn't run over here yet.  She loves dogs." She glanced at their booth and sure enough a small little girl was sliding down and running toward us.  The mom almost yelled at her as she came up to Corky,
"Honey, you have to ask if you can pet him!"

She looked at me.

I shook my head.  "I'm sorry.  He's working.  He can't be petted right now."  

The mom took her daughter's hand.  "See honey, he's working.  He's doing a job."

Dang, these Burger 21 people were on it!

I got back to the booth and my friend and I worked some more.  Then the small family of three moved into the booth next to us.  The two girls sat along the wall and the mom was in the far chair. They made sure to slide in from the far side so as not to bother Corky.

Corky, lying against the booth, is in good position to whack his tail
against the small girl's feet as she is sitting in the booth next to us.

Corky looked up and saw the girls.  He wagged his tail.  It thumped against the older girls feet and ankles.  She smiled and bit into her hamburger.  She knew a good thing when she had it hitting her in the shin.

When we had finished lunch, I thanked the girls next to us for being so nice and letting Corky smack them with his tail.  I told them that he really needed to get his wagger under control.

I highly recommend a stop in Burger 21. Not only for the food, but for the service and the people.  They are uniformly nice and pleasant.  It was a great lunch.

Friday, April 10, 2015

I Want to Be Corky's Favorite

Today was a busy day for us in the library.  We had so much to do getting ready for the librarians conference for next week.  Even so, life at school went on as usual and some of the 8th graders brought some rising 6th graders by the library for a tour today.

Two of them brought a group of ten by my office and asked if Corky was in. I said he was and they asked if the 5th graders could see him. Corky happened to have his coat off, so when I took him out of my office and into the main library there was a general sucking in of breaths and a breathing out of "He doesn't have his coat on!!"

"Can we pet him?"

"Yes, you may, but give him some room."

They spread out into a semi-circle and started to pet Corky, who stood calmly wagging his tail. One of the girls dropped down to the ground and Corky, sensing a licking opportunity, turned her way and started to lick her face.

"Ah, I see you are Corky's favorite," I said without actually taking in the meaning of my words.  Immediately, all the 5th graders fell to ground as if they had dropsy.  The boy to my right said in a loud voice, "I want to be Corky's favorite!"

"Oh, my."  I thought.  "I hope this turns out ok."

Corky happily obliged, going down the line and licking everyone in the face.  They all laughed.  I told them all that Corky loved them best. 

Corky, doing what he does best, giving a kiss to someone, in this case, our librarian Christina.

Corky was the big winner.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Advisory Chooses Southeastern Guide Dogs

I do have the best advisory there is.  I always do.  And for the past three years, I have had a wonderful group of very talented and funny girls and boys.  They are all juniors now and will be heading into their senior year next year, which makes me a little sad.

We had a spirit day today and all the advisories were supposed to pick a theme and dress up in costume.  Our kids decided to dress like Southeastern Guide Dogs.  Julia told them all "to wear black pants so they would look like Corky."

The Southeastern Guide Dogs (Girls only) with Corky and two Puppy Raisers (Me and Mrs. Fletcher).
Now you might notice in the photo above that there are just girls.  The girls got to wear the glitter letters and Caroline made headbands with felt dog ears on them for them, assuming the the boys wouldn't wear them.  This was confirmed this morning when Wade said, "Yeah, I'm not wearing that" and it was echoed by three other of the boys.

Good call Caroline! Julia brought nose paint, but not everyone was into that.
Just the girls who did nose paint, Caroline, Julia and Kimberly.  They rock!
Caroline made the ears and Julia made the shirts. Kimberly got it all to school on time.
 So, we took a photo of just the three who went whole dog, so to speak! 8-)

The whole advisory group. Everyone participated!  Such a nice group.
Here's the whole group.  I think they all rock.  They all participated and were great.  They are a very sweet group and Mrs. Fletcher and I have a lot of fun with them.