Sunday, July 31, 2011

Jam and Lydia

On Friday, my good friend Christy brought her 10 and a half month old over to see Jam and to go to lunch.

It was quite interesting to put a toddler together with a puppy. Jam is pretty good about not being super jumpy and bitey, but he is still a puppy, so the initial meet and greet was a bit chaotic.

It is very important that our puppies have interactions with infants, toddlers and children. They need to be very comfortable around them. So it was very nice that Christy was comfortable bringing Lydia over to meet Jam. It helps that Jam is on the mellow side.

Lydia was at first a bit surprised by the puppy.

One might even say, shocked! but she got over her reticence and eventually they established some coexistence rules.

Of course, I have video of the whole thing.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

First Obedience Class

We had our first obedience class last night. Here Jennifer greets Jam in the parking lot.

Mick is lying down while Judy talks during the meeting.

Jam is sitting quietly during the meeting doing a nice down-under.

Phyllis was taking it easy under the table.

Even Jam was a bit curious about what was coming up.

Annie however, was raring to go. Cute ear, Annie!

Here is Jean with Holly at her feet. Holly is very dog distracted, so she spent most of the class working outside the circle of acceptance, which is ok! Where ever the dog is most comfortable is where you should be with your dog. When they can actually pay attention to you and follow your commands, is when you have gotten the distance right. That may mean you are in the circle or it may mean you are on the far outfield, like Jean and Holly....and....

Well, we started out in the circle. We did pretty well. Then the puppy attention span just sort of dissolved and Jennifer very kindly said, "Perhaps you should take him over there." Then she pointed outside the circle of acceptance.


OK. He was getting a bit rowdy, kicking up his heels and veering wildly left and right. I guess she noticed that. So we headed out. But it worked out just fine as I had two prospective puppy raisers try walking Jam (individually of course!) and getting him to sit, which he enjoyed. And he had the attention all to himself and was able to focus much better outside the circle than inside with all the distractions, which is what Jennifer knew and I should have recognized sooner and moved him.

Lesson for me for next week! 8-)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Mall Walking

On Saturday, Fred decided that he needed to buy some new sandals. Fred wanting to go shopping at all is a bit of a big deal so I was very up for the outing! We decided to make a morning of it.

That meant first getting breakfast. Jam had already been up (at 4:30) for his breakfast and morning poo, so we were set for a while.

We walked in and found a booth. Jam went under the table and after a few initial scrounges around for crumbs, finally settled in for a little nap. Then it was on to Macy's at Tyrone Square.

We were able to park close, since it was just before 10 and that's when they open. Since jam was up a bit early I wanted him to try again to busy, but the areas around Macy's aren't really busy friendly. Jam wasn't interested. So we went into the store.

As you first walk in, there are some rugs laid down for wet feet, so you don't slip. The tile is a white shiny marble. It's highly reflective. Jam made it to the rugs ok, but once he saw that sea of white tile, he balked.


Fred coaxed. Jam said, NO.

Fred coaxed. Jam said, I'll step over to the side.

Fred coaxed. Jam said, I'll continue over to the side. I guess when he didn't fall in at the side of the tile (by this time he is at the wall), he decided the tile was ok and he could walk in the center. But he didn't want to walk very fast.

So we sort of ambled down the aisles of Macy's followed by the cooing of customers of and salespeople:

"Oh, look at him!"

"Isn't he cute!"

Then one saleslady said, "He is just adorable!" Right then, Jam leaned over and snatched at a pair of pants hanging off a rounder. Eeeep! I corrected him back over to me. The pants stayed on the hanger. I didn't look back and moved more in the center of the aisle.

At every mannequin, Jam would rush over to their feet and look up. He loved them! They fascinated him. He would stop and stare at them. I would have to get his attention and get him moving forward again.

This happened at EVERY mannequin. Macy's has lots of mannequins.

I kept us on the tile because Jam generally has an 11 o'clock poo and it was 10 and he had gotten up early. I was carefully watching for poo signs. This is part of the puppy raiser experience: does that jog to the left mean "I'm going to poo?" or does is just mean "I like that smell?" So my shopping experience is completely taken over with watching Jam's butt and looking for poo signs.

Jam's Poo Signs
Drifting off to the left
Stopping and starting
Sniffing (see, it could be anything!)
Suddenly running off to a far away
Gopher butt (I would explain, but you probably don't want me to)
And if you don't catch the circling,
The dreaded humpback (but it's probably too late by then!)

About midway through Macy's I get a sniffing and drifting sign and tell Fred Jam has to poo. We go out. No poo. I tell Fred to go in and look at shoes and I'll wait.

No poo. Macy's really sucks for poo places. We walked to a better place. It still sucked. We went back in. I'm not any calmer. This dog is filled with poo and it is going to come out.

Why are malls so problematic?

Malls are a good place to take guide dogs in training because the ceilings are very high and the light is bright and there are lots of plants, which can fool them into thinking they are outdoors. You don't want them thinking they are outdoors.

Fred says, "Lets go to Dillards."


More mall walking.

We start walking to Dillards. We get all the way to JC Penny's when he starts to stop and start. I turn to Fred.

"This dog has GOT to poo! I'll meet you at Dillards." I took him out the exit at Penny's. Around the corner, thankfully, a shady poo spot. Room for circling.

Poo at last!

Now, with a spring in his step, we continued into the mall and on to Dillards.

Fred bought three pairs of shoes. Unheard of! Jam did not have an accident in the mall! Good job!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Many Sleeping Faces of Jam

Some say there is nothing sweeter than a sleeping puppy.

Jam can usually be found in this position when he sleeps, curled up and every now and then chasing some rabbits.

Occasionally, though, he will opt for the full exposure position when he is really comfortable. Any little noise will startle him and make him move to a different position. It's like he's perched on top of a mountain peak.

Then there is the old stand by lie on your stomach, head between your paws. He does feel very comfortable in this position as well. There aren't usually any dreams in this position. No freedom of movement.

Then there is the less used, but still cute, legs straight out sleeping position. Great for dream running.

I've often wondered if in addition to dreaming if dogs could have nightmares. I found out last night when I was woken from a dead sleep by puppy screams from Jam. I leaped out of bed, turned the light on and ripped open the crate. Little baby rushed out and I checked him for injuries thinking perhaps he had hurt himself, but he was perfectly fine.

His heart was going a hundred miles a minute. So I stroked him for a bit and then put him back in the crate and told him everything was ok. Then I turned out the lights.

The glow-in-the-dark stars on our ceiling came back on.

Jam settled in.

I thought about dogs and nightmares and hoped that he was back asleep chasing rabbits. We both slept until morning.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Jammin' Highlights

On Thursday, Jam and I went to the hairdressers to get our hair done. Here he is at an empty station where he watched me get my hair done so he wouldn't eat any hair.

In case you are wondering, the hairdresser's is a great exposure for puppies as the chairs go up and down as well as around. In addition, there is usually music playing over a sound system. There are hair dryers, mirrors and all sorts of other things that can be of interest to a puppy.

We first stopped at the shampoo station, which is great as Jam got to do a down stay. I'm pretty lucky that Jam is very laid back and will lie down and sleep pretty much at will. So, when the shampooing started, he went to sleep.

My hairdresser is very puppy friendly!

As you can see from the outer edges of Jam's ears, she is a whiz with color as well! She gave him just a hint of caramel on the tips of his ears.

I'm kidding! 8-) He didn't get highlights. Those are lowlights. Haha. I'm kidding again. Who would give their dog a dye job? Well, come to think of it, there was a groomer I knew who had poodles and he would give them mohawks and dye them pink. He also put them in punk collars with the spikes running round them. So, imagine this: you have standard poodles (those are the big ones), with pink mohawks, and punk spike collars greeting you when you bring your dog in to get groomed. It was quite a sight. But no, Jam's a natural blonde with lowlights. He even has a streak of lowlights running along his spine. He is quite a handsome boy, my Jam.

I don't think he appreciated my remarks about the highlights.

He did, however, enjoy the mirrors at the salon. I caught some of his mirror interaction on video. It is below.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Our New Favorite Place

By Fred
Jam and I had our first lunch out together today, and we went to our new favorite place for lunch, a very dog-friendly restaurant called Casa Tina. (Coincidentally, Casa Tina was Berkeley's favorite place and Bingo's favorite place.)

Jam was warmly received by the staff and other lunch-goers, most of whom stopped by to praise his goodness as he napped soundly at my feet, ignoring all the "what a cute puppy" comments that came his way.

If only Jam knew about the variety of food on the table just above his head, about the variety of tastes and textures, the home-made tortillas, beans, rice and spicy sauce. Yes, he can smell it all (much better than I), but surely it does not occur to him that actual food is so near. Surely not. Obviously he is not aware that food is nearby, considering his embarrassing behavior at home when it comes to the smallest kibble.

We need to keep it that way...

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Magic Man

Vets are special people. They are the ones you go to for the health and care of your pets. They generally have a tough job to do. Many days are spent as grief counselors or helping their patients get through very serious illnesses. So, I am sure when a puppy arrives, there is great joy in the building.

Our Vet, Dr. Don Woodman, is not only a good vet for his patients, but he also donates his time and services to Southeastern Guide Dogs (he has raised two puppies for them as well). So, he is Jam's SEGD Vet as well as our personal Vet.

Jam has been eating all of his meals quite rapidly and energetically. He looks forward to each meal and in fact about an hour before each mealtime can usually be found, if circumstances permit, staring at the magic door willing it to open and food to appear in his bowl.

Any slight jostle to his metal bowl will bring him racing to the kitchen, wild eyed and ears flapping crazily. Skidding around the corner, he will lunge into the kitchen and dive for the bowl, only to realize that I have mistakenly kicked it and have effectively done the doggie equivalent of


He will look from bowl to me and then turn around. Disgust rolls off him in waves.

For the past three out of four nights something unusual has happened. Since we had a visit to Dr. Woodman this morning for the last of Jam's 12-week old shots, I thought perhaps I should mention it. So when Dr. Woodman asked if everything was ok, I said,

"Well, for the past three out of four nights, he has woken up about 2 or 3 in the morning and vomited."

Dr. Woodman explained that with some dogs, it upsets their tummy to go so long without any food in their tummy. This might be Jam's problem as his last meal is between 5-6. So we are going to try a small amount of food right before bed and see if that settles his stomach.

I glanced down at Jam. I sensed a secret smile. It was as if, like the Grinch's heart, his heart had just grown three sizes too big and was in danger of bursting from happiness.

He gazed up at Dr. Woodman. Forget the magic door. This was the Magic Man!

Here is Jam with Kayce, a student intern from the UF Vet program.

It looks like the real world and Jam's world are starting to merge!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Good, the Annoying and the Sleepy

Yesterday was Jam's first meeting of the Central Group.

We met at the St. Pete Pier. It was a long walk in for little dog, but he did very well. On occasion, we would have to do a sing-song "Hurry up, hurry up!" to get him back in the groove, but he made it to the pier under his own steam.

Once there, Central AC Judy led the meeting and then trainer Jennifer did some obedience with us. We learned how to make a proper correction and Judy talked with us about the right length for a training collar.

When the obedience class started since Jam was so small, we mainly sat and watched. What is always curious about having a meeting like this in a public place is what the public will do. For instance, what you can't see in the photo below is that there is a small annex to the right of Fred and Jam where all the big dogs are following Jennifer's instructions.

Now bear in mind that when we are out with Jam we are officially representing SEGD and that is why they suggest in the manual, "if you are in a hurry, don't take your puppy with you." Why? Because someone ALWAYS stops and wants to talk or pet the puppy and it's just good PR and common courtesy to be polite and have a friendly conversation with them about the program. You never know who might be a potential puppy raiser or puppy sponsor.

But then there are the others.

I was a little off to the side taking photos of the group when I heard this loud voice say, "Down! Down!"

I happen to look over to where Fred is and there is this rather large lady who has taken it upon herself to come over to where Jam is sitting watching the big dogs do a down stay and she is almost shouting at Jam and Fred, "Down! Down!"

Jam is freaked out and frozen in place. Fred however is Mr. Chill. As the woman begins her large arm movement for down and says, "Doesn't he know down?" Fred very calmly grabs Jam around the hips and slides him from one side the chair to the other where she can't see him. Then he turns back to the obedience class.

There is a faint smile on his face.

The lady wanders off.

Here is Jam with Fred before large lady shouted at him.

And then there are the fabulous people. After the obedience class and after we had been on the glass elevator and up to the 5th floor to see the view (Jam went right over to the railing, no fear), some kids asked (it's so nice when people ask instead of using the zombie hand) if they could pet Jam. Fred said they could, but there were some rules, they needed to be sitting, Jam needed to sit and if he started to bite, they must remove their hand. They were all great. Jam included!

Jam also got to meet a small fish. He was intrigued, but we hurried on by.

At the end of the meeting though, we were all tired and hungry. We met up with Annie's parents for lunch at Bella Brava and the pups fell right asleep and stayed that way through lunch.

Below is a little video I put together of some of his exposures on Saturday.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Meeting the New Headmaster

Today, Jam got to meet the new boss (and he gave him a big smack as seen in this photo). Mr. Seivold is an animal lover and has three dogs at home (Peanut, Tucker, and Pepper) and one cat (Peaches) and his wife! He was very kind to take a quick break for a photo op.

As you might have noticed in the photo above with the headmaster, Jam did not have his coat on. But we did practice the coat on, sit to greet visitors as you can see here with Jam and Jaimie and Hugh. Jam did great.

Of course, after sitting pretty, we took the coat off for some lovin! Here are Pat and George with Jam. There were some other rules we had to work on as well:

  • Remaining calm

  • No jumping

  • No baby voices (oh, did you think I was talking about Jam?!) 8-)

And Jeremiah got in a hug as well.

Jam also got a literary stuffed toy today. After all, he will be in the library.

Can you identify the children's book that toy is from?

Table Manners

Jam is something of a glutton. If he could, he would eat all day like Augustus Gloop of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Of course, we don't allow unlimited eating. He gets fed three times a day. You can imagine that his internal food clock is very accurate, but a bit fast. At around 4 am, he will start to cry (he gets fed between 5:30 and 6 am). At 11 am if he is downstairs he will go to the end of the tie-down and stair at the magic door, convinced that sheer will can make it give up the kibble. And at 4 pm, again, the magic door stare down.

We usually move him to some other place in the house and try to distract him from his internal food clock. But you can see it in his eyes that he knows what we are doing. Soon, the magic door will open and kibble will be given out.

That is why we are working hard on table manners. Right now, we are just doing a sit-stay. It used to be that when we brought out his bowl with kibble, he used to go into fits. Now we can get him to sit and calm down. We've now progressed to making him sit until we actually put the bowl on the ground and say "Take a Break!"

With a puppy, we kind of do this at the same time as Jam is doing pretty good just to sit patiently. It took him a couple of days to even do this. Getting him to understand the concept of sitting before food was a chore. That boy wanted to EAT!

But is he now a very polite little sitter. I'm proud of him. When he is older, we will progress to a down stay and then leave the food bowls down and walk out of the room and come back and do a release. That day is a long way off.

Until then, please enjoy watching this one hungry pup vibrate with happiness at the sight of his kibble.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Unforeseen Problem

Jam is quite the pretty lab. In fact, some might call him a fuzzy lab, almost polar bearish. His pelt is thick and white and Fred supposes that left with a momma polar bear, she would adopt him as her own and love him fiercely. I think she might make a snack of him, but he very cute, so it's a toss up.

Since it is summer and summer means schools out and casual clothes are in. Consequently, I have been wearing lots of shorts and t-shirts. Not my usual school dress code clothes, which is mostly made up of


I didn't realize there was a problem until we were on our way home from dinner with friends of ours who have children. We had brought Jam with us so that he could interact with their kids. He had a blast.

On the drive back I happened to look down at my pants and saw this.

Egads! This dog is going to make me a walking carpet of yellow hair. I do have a lint roller. I've now realized that I am going to have to buy one for the office staff now as well.

Oh Jam. It's a good thing you are so, so cute.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Cat House

Jam is a little nervous. He's at a cat house. He's going to have an interaction, nudge, nudge. They say these things go better if they are done when a puppy is young, but Jam is still a bit unsure. After all, Willow has been whispering strange stories of cats she has known.

It starts off innocent enough. Cosmo is in the wicker chair relaxing. Jam wanders in clueless.

"Jam, look at the cat."


"There. On the chair."

"Uh?" Honestly. Is this puppy for real? Then Cosmo takes over and deigns to move his head. In fabulous Cheshire Cat fashion he turns his head and fixes his large, mesmerizing eyes on Jam. Jam freezes. I think I hear a puppy "oh crap".

Cosmo is not amused. Jam decides to sniff his tail. Just the tail.

Then he backed away. Cosmo rolled his eyes. I swear he did. Then he disappeared.

I heard Jam gulp.

We'll be back next week.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Party Tricks

For a baby dog, you wouldn't think Jam had the diplomatic skills of an ambassador in him, but he does. Last night he attended a dinner party, that, while not held in his honor, was the equivalent of his coming out party.

We had been practicing his sits for a week and he was getting quite good at them. The Come command still required a GREAT deal of enthusiasm on our part to get him moving. But the big deal was that we had figured out the potty training. Locationally, if he was off of the tie down and was in the family room, he would go to the back door. However, if he was in the kitchen, he would go to the small stairs. Any move to the small stairs triggered us moving him outside which became a successful pee break. Yea!

But the Sit command was key. He was going to have to sit to be greeted by the guests.

Here Jam waits for the first guests to arrive.

Our plan before the guests arrived was to have everyone arrive and be greeted by Willow upstairs. Jam would remain downstairs with Fred.

Carrie and Greg were the first to arrive were eager to grab him and love on him. But they were very good and ignored him liked we asked until he calmed down and was able to sit to be greeted.

In fact, everyone was super about ignoring his amazingly cute face and sweet little puppy body and hoping that he would calm down quick (it didn't take too long). They were also good about stopping any petting if he started to bite, which is important as we don't want him to get in the habit of mouthing and biting people who pet him.

So all in all, the meet and greet was a big success! Yea team! Let the puppy hugging begin.

Carrie turned out to be the puppy whisperer as she put Jam to sleep by her massage-like petting technique!

It was a fairly amazing technique and Jam was uper-cute. Here Linda goes in for quick pat, but then can't resist a puppy hug.

The evening was almost over before Ken got a chance to hug Jam.

Ken had been very good and was just petting him when Jam was in a sit or when he was wandering by off leash.

It was way past Jam's bedtime and he was very sleepy. Time for all sleepy puppies to go to bed.

Saturday, July 9, 2011


By Fred
Like every puppy who ventures onto the back porch to witness his first Florida downpour, this week Jam made an evolutionary leap to consider whether it might be better to poop inside rather than out. He didn't actually say anything, but you could tell what was in his mind, a careful weighing of his dilemma and then an abrupt about-face back into the house, even though he really needed to go.

So that's when the deception began. I got out the umbrella and carried him to his favorite dry-weather spot, pretending that it was just as good as before. But it wouldn't do--the leaves were soggy and the rain pounded away on all sides. He looked up at me with a disappointed face, knowing me now to be a liar and hypocrite, as if to say to me, "Why don't you do it?"

So we went back to the house, dry and safe, with many poopable spaces, with several rooms set aside for the purpose of pooping in safety and comfort, to wait and watch each other and pretend that everything was OK.

A picture of Jam walking away on rain-soaked patio stones, looking for a poop spotFinally the rain let up and he reluctantly found a spot outside.

It's a dog's life.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Vet Visit and an Ear Infection

Tuesday we went to the Vet' s for the official visit and check up.

Here is Jam checking out the cold examining room table as we wait for Dr. Woodman to arrive.

I think Jam hears Dr. Woodman, who has raised two SEGD puppies. It is indeed Dr. Woodman and Jam turns out to have an ear infection and needs drops in both ears twice a day. He came to us at 14 pounds and has only gained 6 ounces in spite of eating like a little piggy.

Here he is with April, who brought him his drops and gave him his flu booster shot. He was still a bit miffed about the flu booster shot.

I was the first person to give Jam his ear drops and didn't have any problem. Fred gave him the next dose and we ran into a bit of a problem. Jam has his sound he makes when he's mad that we call The Weasel. It's a bit like when you step down on the gas and run your motor on overdrive and it sounds like the car is going to explode: that high pitched angry squealing noise. That's The Weasel.

When I give the drops, I try to sneak them up on Jam, massage his ears, pull on his ear flaps, then do it when he isn't expecting it. So we made a video in case anyone is interested and has a puppy who also makes weasel noises. It makes for a happier home.