Sunday, October 19, 2014

First Week of School

Corky, our Southeastern guide dog puppy in training, had a slow first week of school.  He will be five months old this Monday, but even so, we wanted to take it slow with him at school and not rush things.  He is a sensitive soul.

On the way into work we pass by a fountain.  As we got near, the splashing of the fountain got louder and louder.  Corky stopped. He looked around.

"It's ok." I said and tried a "Let's go." But Corky was still analyzing the situation.  I waited with him. Finally he looked up at me.  "Ok?"

"Let's go." We started off towards the library.

Corky meets Head Student Library Proctor Gabby, who shows him his big bone toy.
I decided that the first couple of weeks Corky would spend in the library only, getting used to the office, the library and students in general.  Then we would slowly work up to some open halls, a classroom and after than maybe some crowded halls and a convocation.  

He's a real friendly fellow. Greetings aren't a problem for him.  But sounds are distracting, so I want him to be comfortable in his new environment before moving to the next level of sound.  The library is very quiet, but certain hallways can be noisy.  And certain times of day are noisier than others.  

Assistant Head Layla tried to take the bone away from him.
Needless to say, he won't be venturing into the cafeteria any time soon for lunch!

He got very good at sleeping under my desk.  Excellent work Corky!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Corky's First Bath

There are some big events in a boy's life.  Events when you just need to man up and get clean. One of those events is going to school.  Corky will be going to school tomorrow and he needs to be smelling nice for the ladies.  That means, he needs a bath.

Fred takes Corky outside and starts lathering him up.
Corky was a real trooper.  
Fred is running the hose down Corky's back.  Corky's head hangs down.
He got a bath like a real outdoorsman.  
Corky looks in despair for some help, but doesn't see any.
No yelling or screaming or whining.  Just standing firm and getting wet.  Good boy.

After the bath, the toweling process begins.
Then the toweling.  Oddly, there were no puppy crazies here either.
Corky is toweled vigorously with a brightly colored towel and he looks off to the side for help.
He was very calm and cool.  
Close-up of a smushed face Corky wrapped in a brightly colored towel.
A little tired and subdued perhaps, but calm.

Tired of the toweling, Corky just closes his eyes.
All in all, a good bath time was had.  And a clean smelling Corky is now in the house!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Home Depot and Clowns

Corky had a Southeastern Guide Dogs Puppy Raiser meeting this morning at Home Depot. Home Depot was having a safety expo for kids, which was a great exposure for dogs as it had lots of things going on.

Close-up shot of Corky
 Now, Corky is still a little guy, so we stayed mostly in our area and just let Corky do a little meet and greet.  But he did get to hear the sirens of the fire engines because they were right next to us.

Roger specifically wanted a shot of him helping with the orange table cloth.
He did an excellent job folding!
 We had two pop up tents, so we had plenty of space in which to retreat from...

The Clown Krewe was opposite of our tent.  I am scared of clowns.  Yuck. 
Clowns!  Well, I don't care what sort of exposures Corky needed, he wasn't getting a clown exposure!  Not with me by his side.  I don't care what you say, they are creepy and I'm not putting a dog through that.
Leo, looking handsome.  Leo is a chocolate lab.
Jalika didn't have a fear of clowns and neither did Leo.  He handled his clown exposure with ease.

Bingo was so sweet.  She is a black labrador.
Bingo and Leo are the same age.  They are both 6 months old and seemed to be real favorites with people.

Nancy, a puppy raiser, has Cleo, a yellow lab.
Nancy was nice enough to offer to drive up to Palm Harbor, so Corky and I carpooled with her and Christy.

Sylvia and Denny are in our group and are puppy sitters for us.  Denny is a remarkably sweet former guide dog candidate who didn't make it.

Sylvia with Denny.  Denny is very white around the face.

Close-up of sweet Denny.  He will greet any dog with good humor.

 There was a pygmy goat wandering around on a leash and they always have issues.  They would rather be regular goats.  So, we made sure to keep our distance.  Same went for the chicken and the horse.

Keep it light, keep it small, keep it clown-free.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

A True Music Lover

By Fred
One thing I've come to accept is that dogs don't care for my piano playing. For years and years our dogs have consistently snubbed me, usually by leaving the room at the first note. A few would literally boo me and howl before they walked out. Even our good-natured guide dog puppies have run politely into the kitchen to escape.

Then Jam came along. As a little puppy he sat patiently while I played and would gaze up at me as if to say I really love that. But the fact is that Jam hates to be alone. He hates it so much that he will put up with anything. The look he gives me probably translates to this: Can we please, please leave now?

Now we have Corky, who runs over when I play and seems to enjoy it. He's a sweet boy and is probably just being kind. We'll be getting his ears checked for sure.
A picture of Jam and Corky sitting under the piano.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Crossing the Koi Bridge

We have a lovely wooden bridge that Fred built that goes over our koi pond.  Last week Corky, a Southeastern Guide Dog in Training, learned how to walk over it without falling in.

Fred and Corky ease up to the bridge.


Fred explains the bridge walking concept to Corky.

Corky shows a little anxiety by yawning.


There was a moment of hesitation on Corky's part, so Jam showed him what to do.

Fred waited until Corky felt comfortable. and then when he did, boy did he let loose!

They start over the bridge.

Smooth sailing up to the hump.

Corky stops to smell something.

 All in all it was a successful backyard exposure.  We did the bridge the opposite way and there was no hesitation.  Just a smooth walk on and over.  Now he crosses it with a leash easily.  When they are this little, as puppy raisers, we are supposed to find the little things to show them and build their confidence.  This bridge was something easy for him to do.  Now when we do a big bridge over a river or a wooden walkway by the pier, he will already have experienced something similar and can think back and say, "I've got this."

Go Corky!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Corky Snuggles Up

By Fred
At a dinner party this weekend I tried to explain to our friends why it is fun to have a small puppy in the house, in particular to have one puppy after another for the past six years. I could tell they weren't buying it. I didn't even believe the crap coming out of my mouth. After all, an adult dog is so much easier to manage. So what is it about a puppy?
Waiting for breakfast

First, Corky is not your average puppy. After just 10 days here he seems completely comfortable: he knows the mealtime routine, he naps at just the right times, he plays with the right toys, and he poops in the right places.
Kissing up

And he knows just how to handle Jam and Willow. He loves to snuggle up.
More Kissing up

And yesterday I found him snuggled with Willow (unheard of). He knows not to torment her.
Corky resting his head on Willow's butt

But he does require some extra attention. He sometimes wakes Cheryl up in the middle of the night, and he interrupts my work occasionally. So what is it about a puppy? I have no idea--they're just fun.
Another nap, with Corky's nose as the pillow

But we haven't forgotten Dewey. We have his postcard in the kitchen, and we wish him well. (No pressure, Dewey.)
A postcard of Dewey wearing a Lei.
To the side it says "Greetings from Florida" 

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Bringing Corky Home

Yesterday we picked up puppy Corky.  He is named in honor of Corky Taylor, Vice President at BB&T Insurance Services by the BB&T Insurances Services Walkathon team in appreciation for his long standing support for Southeastern Guide Dogs.  Already Corky, the puppy, has shown himself to be a self confident, friendly, and sweet natured puppy.  I'm sure Corky, the human, shares many of those same qualities!

Tara at Southeastern was very kind to let us do our pickup on Friday afternoon, which we so appreciated!  We wanted to have the long weekend to get over some of the sleepless nights associated with a new puppy, but thankfully, that puppy program is amazing and Corky slept through the night (almost).  He slept from 9:30 p.m. to 4:30 a.m.!

Cheryl and Corky say hello with a kiss.
Tara said his report card said Corky was a confident pup and sweet natured.  We are finding that to be true.  He also seems to possess much more common sense than our career changed dog Jam does!  Already today I think Corky has rolled his eyes at Jam more than once as if to say, "Really?"

Corky settles into Fred's arms in contentment.
Corky and Fred got along great from the get go.  Could that be because Corky's dog dad is named Fred as well?  Who's to say?!

Corky gives Fred a big smooch.

Fred is in love! (Fred smiling at Corky)

Cheryl leans in to kiss Corky who is in Fred's arms.
Corky was very calm through all the meet and greet.  We even had a couple of dear friends with us to photograph the moment: Michele, my teacher friend, and her son Kelland.  They have been there for all of our puppy pickups either in coordinating them, sponsoring them or being there when we got them.  So, even though they moved to another school this year, it was only fitting that they met us to get a glimpse of Corky!

Corky and Kelland.

Michele and Kelland and Corky

Michele and Kelland and Corky
Corky did get a little frisky with the camera and I got a nose shot.  It was kinda cute.


As I mentioned, the puppy program is fabulous.  Corky already knows sit, is working on stand and has a basic understanding of down.  He sat for the car.

Corky walks up to the car.

Fred asking Corky to sit.

Corky sits.
Corky only tried to jump up twice.  Then he settled right down and played with the toys we brought for him.  He loves the set of keys. He must be a car guy! We'll have to ask his sponsor about that! haha!

He got along great with Duke.
We stopped off at Melisa's to pick up Jam and he met Duke and got Duke and Melisa approval.

Corky's first portrait.  He has a lovely smile.
He's a go getter. He's tail never stops wagging.  He's curious and friendly.  We just love him and can't wait to tell you more about him!
Jam's first Corky photo bomb.