Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Quality Dewey Time

By Fred
My typical Tuesday trip with Dewey became untypical today. Normally we take a long walk through Dunedin before eating, but today was rainy. My shirt was soaked after just crossing the street. So we walked back and forth a few times under the awnings on Main street. With Dewey, short walks and long walks are equally OK. He is the king of cool.

I ordered fish as usual, but it wasn't quite the same. More peppers, less fish. This was an omen of bad luck, though I didn't know it at the time. Dewey went right to sleep under the table--he is so good at restaurants now, even today with the wind howling outside and rain bashing against the windows.

The rain let up just as it was time for us to leave. Good luck, I thought. So we hurried to the car, I put in the key and turned it. Nothing. I had left my lights on in the parking log, and the battery was dead.

AAA said it would be about an hour before someone could come. Fortunately, the skies were cloudy and a cool breeze was blowing. We opened the doors. I texted my bad luck to Cheryl, and she responded with sympathy. I was feeling pretty mad at myself, then I noticed Dewey smiling at me. What a good boy. He spends much of his day waiting and never complains.

I texted Cheryl back and told her that Dewey and I were bonding. In reality, he was giving me a lesson in patience. Too bad I still don't have any.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Officer Buckle and Gloria

Spring Break seemed to put us out of sorts.  We were not able to post as much as we would have liked and so we need to catch up on some Dewey stories.

Right before we headed off for Spring Break, we had the great pleasure of being invited down to Lower Division to read to the Kindergarten.  We had a special book picked out: Officer Buckle and Gloria. It's about a safety officer who gets a service dog to help him with his school visits.  Little does he know just how much Gloria the dog is doing to rev up his speeches!

Dewey contemplating the book Officer Buckle and Gloria.
Dewey was very excited about going down to Lower.  Well, Dewey doesn't get charged up about anything, but he did seem very happy about the opportunity.  He loves the little kids.

Some of the students pointing at Dewey. 
The students were VERY excited when they saw that Dewey was part of story time.

Dewey and I at the front of the class with Mrs. Edwards to the left.
I had to explain that Dewey was going to listen to the story. We were HOPING that Dewey was going to be a good boy and listen quietly.

Dewey sitting in front of me as I explained to the students about the story time rules.
Dewey sits down very politely in the front row.  All of the kids in the first row are SUPER excited as they are the closest to Dewey. We start the book.

Dewey is sitting in front of me and staring up.
I start to read with lots of animation, after all, I am a frustrated actress living inside of a librarian.  So, my many dramatic voices come pouring out in the different characters of the book.

Dewey gets very interested and gets up to take a look

Dewey sits up to take a closer look at the book.
I tone it down a bit.

I go back to reading, Dewey sits by my side.
Dewey sits down at my side, but soon, I have reached a crisis in the book and Dewey becomes worried for the characters.

Dewey is standing and looking at me wondering why I am so worried.
Officer Buckle has reached a crisis in the book!  I tell Dewey that he is just going to have to sit down and wait to hear the end like everyone else.  The students laugh.

Dewey making sure I am ok.
Dewey slowly goes into a sit. Then into a down.   He is waiting for the story to calm down.  What will Officer Buckle do? What will Gloria do?

Everybody is looking at the book to see what Gloria is going to do, including Dewey.
In the end, Officer Buckle makes the right decision and he and Gloria become partners again and save the school from safety disasters.

View from the back of the story time of everyone watching me flip the pages.

And Dewey? Well, Dewey got to dream about being the best guide dog ever because he had fallen asleep. Finally.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Scary Camouflage

Coffee.  All I had on my mind was getting a cup of coffee before the cafeteria closed before 9.  We were walking at a fairly brisk pace and had just turned right down the main hallway toward the senior mall when Dewey stopped short.  

"Dewey?" Nothing.  I noticed that his ears were up and he was staring intently dow the hall.

I looked down the hall.

The view down the hall: a large camouflaged backpack with a beam of sunlight falling on it.
There were two backpacks on either side of the hallway, but Dewey wasn't looking at them.  He was staring straight ahead.  Intently.  There, in the bright sunlight, was Caleb's oversized camouflaged backpack.

Dewey was not going to go any closer.  I tried the happy voice.

Nope. Nothing.

I looked at Christina.  She went over the backpack and kneeled down beside it.

She tried the happy voice, "Dewey! Come! It's okay!"

I tried the happy voice where I was beside him, "Okay buddy, let's go! You can do it!"

Dewey walked forward a few steps.  He looked up at me.  He looked at Christina.  He walked a few more steps. We kept up the happy voices and he kept slowly walking.  I decided not to come at the backpack directed and we took a wide arc to come at it sideways.  Dewey's pace increased.  His nose started twitching. Christina was still calling him in a happy voice.

He was always in a forward motion. Finally we arrived at the backpack and Dewey came right up to it and sniffed.

He backed up two feet and then approached the top again, opened it with his nose and got a good sniff.

"Well, that's nosey," I said.  I closed the top. He sniffed the backpack up and down.  It was no longer scary.

Dewey leaning against the backpack.
We came back about 15 minutes later with my iPhone to take photos. He walked right up to it, no problem.  Fear conquered.

Good job Dewey!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Dewey's Week with Al and Rita

Just got back from vacation. Thanks to our friends Al and Rita Young for taking such good care of Dewey while we were away. Here are some of their comments and pictures from the past week:

By Al and Rita Young
Dewey is like a dear old friend. No matter how long the separation things just start up right where they left off.

Dewey Update 03/15/2014:
Dewey slept until 7:30 this morning!!
Our granddaughter Amanda is visiting and helping Dewey practice his commands. Later today we will get past the "pet me" command (shown below) and move on to the more practical ones. Dewey patiently waiting to come upstairs with me.
Amanda did a great job with Dewey. We worked out a few procedural things and she continued on with the sit, down, stay and come commands. Finally on a down command Dewey rolled over and demanded a tummy rub.

We will do some command work later today. Now it is just straight up lovin!

Dewey's visit has been a real treat. His puppy raisers are on the way home from their vacation and will pick him up later today. He will be 1 year old next month and will probably be off to puppy college during the summer. Then a guide dog for a vision impaired person. I/we are so happy that we have been able to play a small part in his life.

Friday, March 14, 2014

House Cup Day

Before spring break, we have a thing called the House Cup.  And during the House Cup we play some games.  One of those games is Chubby Bunny and it involves marshmallows. 

A photo of the Publix Big and Fluffy marshmallows that we used.

Lots of fluffy marshmallows.  Essentially, you need to continually be able to say, "Chubby Bunny" as you stuff the marshmallows into your face.

Lots of interesting faces were made!

 There were four rounds of this game.
Dewey was not sure what to make of this game.

 Dewey remained calm throughout most of the afternoon of games.  He is not much of a marshmallow fan.  We did take the coat off for petting purposes, as it was House Cup.

Dewey looking relaxed.
 Ms. Beitler came in to check on things and got to give Dewey a hug.  Or is that Dewey giving her a hug.  You never can tell with Dewey!

Dewey and Ms. Beitler.

Dewey sniffs some marshmallows.

Round two students pose with marshmallows and Dewey.

Marshmallow fun.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Party in the Driveway

By Fred
Trainer Jen suggested that we do some work with Dewey so that he begins to think about the car as a happy and fun place. So today we had a little party in the driveway. I sat in the passenger's seat, and he sat just outside while I gave him some stinky salmon treats.

No pressure. He was glad to just sit there (Dewey is a very content little guy). Just him and me and some kibble that smelled like a fish's butt. And we sang some songs.
I like fishes' butts
And I cannot lie
When those butts get in my eye.

And then we went back inside. I won't be surprised if the neighbors report me as being unbalanced. I've got to think of more songs...

Saturday, February 22, 2014

PetSmart Temptations

By Fred
I had an unusual childhood. The front room of our house was a candy shop for kids from the high school, which was just across the street. We had a juke box, and I can remember opening our kitchen door to see girls dancing, their long skirts twirling. I can still see my mom and dad behind the candy case. Candy bars were 5 or 10 cents, I think, and we had so much candy that I could have sneaked in there at night and stolen something now and then, but I don't believe I ever did.

At our puppy meeting on Thursday we tried something new. We took the puppies into PetSmart and let them sniff and investigate to their heart's content for about 10 minutes (like a kid in a candy store).
Toys and more toys.

Of course there is every imaginable temptation at Petsmart, visual and odiferous. Fussy toys, plastic toys, rubber toys, birds and hamsters, entire rows of bagged food, treats large and small, each with its own scent signature.
Too many toys, way too many

I thought for sure that Dewey would find something irresistible, something to pick up with his mouth. How could he not?
A fuzzy toy is just begging to be picked up.

But he never mouthed a toy or licked a bag of food. The only thing he picked up was a small doggie bed, and this was only because the bed was tucked away under a shelf and Dewey wanted to get a better look.

Dewey is sniffing a doggie bed. He pulled it out to get a better look.

And OK, maybe I did take a Butterfinger bar from our store once. Just once, though, and only because I thought it had a funny name.