Friday, July 1, 2011

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Sweet, Sweet, Stubborn Jam

The day had arrived. Thursday. June 30th. Time to pick up Joseph A. Merluzzi, AKA Jam, our third guide dog puppy from Southeastern Guide Dogs. There was a pretty big group of us going down to SEGD to pick him up: one of the Student Forum Sponsors (Mike), two of the student forum representatives who helped to raise the money to sponsor Jam, one of our most ardent guide dog supporters from middle division, one of my back up guide dog helpers Christina, plus Berkeley parent and SEGD supporter Merideth and her son, who also volunteers at SEGD, were going to meet us down there.

When we first arrived, we had a short wait, which we passed by taking some photos at the sign.

Ashley, the puppy services manager, came out and introduced Titus Herman, the CEO of SEGD to our little group. He thanked the kids for their hard work, which surprised and pleased them. It was definitely unexpected and a very sweet gesture. I know it made the kids feel great. So, of course, I made everyone pose for a photo for the blog.

Then we got down to the boring paperwork, blah, blah blah. Then it was time to go get Jam!

As you can see, he is the fattest and the cutest of all the puppies in his litter (everyone said so! 8-).

Puppy Services and the kennel staff had it all going on yesterday! The kids were thrilled. They each got to hold Jam.

But what they were really waiting for was PUPPY HUGGING! They let out Jam's little for everyone to hug.

It was awesome! Our middle division student, who visited HRH Berkeley every Friday morning at 7:30 am for private Berkeley time said it was the happiest day of her life.

Fred got his first Jam kiss. Fred stayed outside holding Jam while I stayed inside taking photos for the presentation for school. I also took some video. Then everyone went over to the gazebo for blind walks. It was fabulous. Everyone had an amazing afternoon. Then it was time to take Jam and tuck him into the car and drive him back to school and then home.

We weren't anticipating any problems, because Bingo and HRH had just fallen asleep right away at our feet. What could go wrong?

Looks sweet, doesn't he? He's a stubborn, stubborn puppy. For about 58 minutes, he attempted to jump up on the seat and when that didn't work (puppies aren't allowed up on the seats, they must lie down on the floorboard), he attempted to wheedle his way with whining. For 58 minutes.

That's persistence. About two minutes from school he finally gave Fred a look and turned in a circle and went to sleep.

Of course, then we were at school and we had to wake him up and get him out to pee and say hello to the ladies in admin. Who understandably went completely nuts over his beautiful self.

But when we got back in the car, he looked up at me (I was in the passenger seat now, and I thought I detected a bit of a sigh), curled up tightly and was out like a light. That's our Jam: stubborn, persistent, but oh, so smart.

It's going to be a long year! ;-)


  1. What a long day for a baby! I bet he was pooped after all that. He's adorable!

  2. Yay Jam!!! Good luck this year, CD!

  3. He must be the most beautiful puppy ever! Such a pretty fur coat. I know that you and Fred will have many adventures with Jam this year.

  4. I enjoy reading your blog. I am raising a male lab that is 11 weeks old. I have RP and would like to learn how to raise him to be a guide dog to help me since I am loosing my vision.

  5. Labs32904, we are only puppy raisers. We only START the process, which includes socialization, obedience training, etc. The real guide dog training comes when we take the puppies In For Training when the certified trainers go to work. Go to and take a look at SEGD's site. If you qualify, a guide dog will be provided to you at no cost. You should talk with them.