Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Dewey's Big Day:The Evil Pink Back Pack, All School Convo and Dealing with the Dean!

Today was the first day that Dewey was at school and all the students were at school.  I was a little nervous and wanted to make sure that Dewey wasn't overwhelmed.  I wanted to ease him into school life.

We started with breakfast in the new cafe.  While we were there, we ran into Dean Caroline, who said Dewey was running very close to the edge of the booty line with his puppy coat.  She gave him a warning. (Note: we had tried the adult coat, but it is still too big! Two more weeks Dean, we promise! 8-)

Dean Caroline gives Dewey a dress code warning.
After escaping with a warning, we got our coffee and fruit and Dewey thought about what he would need to do now that he was an Upper Division dog.  There were "expectations," Dean Caroline had said.  What about that?  What's a puppy to do?

Dewey contemplates being in the Upper Division as faculty sip coffee around him in the cafe.
Later that morning, Dewey found out that Upper Division was going to come with some challenges.  As we were walking back to the library, there were two Upper Division students studying in the arboretum.  One of them had a bright pink backpack.  Dewey stopped short.

Bright pink! How horrifying!

Dewey wouldn't go any closer.  I looked around trying to figure out what was the matter and finally caught sight of the backpack.  I made a wide circle around the girls.  Dewey reluctantly followed with his tail tucked.  When we were directly opposite, I started to go toward the backpack.  Dewey's tail was wagging low, and he was looking up at me.  I crouched down and approached the backpack.  

"Dewey.  Take a look at this." I tapped the back pack. Dewey approached the backpack, his tail slowly wagging. I tapped it again. He came a bit closer.  As he did, he also began to realize that there might be food in the backpack.  He sped up and started nosing the bag.  The student laughed.  "That's my lunch!" She said.  

Dewey and I walked away and walked back to the backpack, no problem! Then when I took the photo, he didn't want to leave the backpack and the hidden lunch inside.  

Photo of Dewey's Faculty ID badge.
Dewey also got his faculty ID badge today.  Everyone who comes on campus needs to wear an ID badge and that includes Dewey.

Dewey at the all school convo.
We also attended the all school convo held near the end of the day.  We sat near the exit just in case Dewey didn't like it so that we could make a quick exit. But he did great.

Dewey was resting and relaxed.
 We had everyone clapping, singing and cheering.  Dewey mainly slept or relaxed on the floor.

The seniors and the kindergartners with balloons.

Dewey sat in his most relaxed pose: the frog, to cool off on the wood gym floor.

 Then we walked back to the library.  He was awesome.  Now, he is off to a short puppy camp with Duke and Melisa!  We'll miss our little Baby Dewey!!

Monday, August 19, 2013

One Stubborn Boy!

Dewey's litter has a special problem.  They are a soft litter.  Some of them are a bit anxious. Some are a bit fearful.  Some might be a bit visually overwhelmed.  We know for sure that Dewey is very sensitive and all it takes is one firm NO and he is pretty much with the program.

What we haven't quite been able to figure out is where Dewey is on the spectrum of softness.

I'm leaning towards stubborness. Let me explain.  Last week, I was walking out to my car with Dewey.   We have assigned parking.  So, by the second week, he knows where we park and what the route is.  As we started across the second median and into the shaded path, we made it halfway across when Dewey sat down.

"Dewey?" I looked back to see him in his FOREVER sit. He was looking firmly rooted to the ground. I put on my happy voice. "Let's go!" I gave a little tug on the leash.

No way! He was not moving.

At this point, Laura was walking out of her office and spied us having a leash disagreement in the brush.

"Is this Darth Dewey?" She asked.

"Oh my yes." I replied.  She watched and laughed as he denied all of my attempts to get him to walk.  I tried treats, I tried more happiness.  I nearly burst with joy, but to no avail.  He would not move.

Then I remember that I had not parked in my usual spot.  Someone was in my spot and I had to park in a visitor's spot.  So I looked at Dewey and said, "Left, left."

I started walking away from where we usually walk and Dewey followed me like a meek little lamb!

Success!!!  I had found the key.  Trick him.  Now, I just had to park in a different spot every day or take a new route to the car and trick him into thinking we weren't going to the car.

He's also very cautious, which is exemplified in his reaction to the full length mirror in the ladies' bathroom.  Every other puppy we have had, has gone crazy mad, when they see themselves in the mirror.  This madness usually involves barking, zoomies, possibly some jumping up.

Dewey saw himself and said, "Oh.  There's another dog."  He went up to the mirror to get another look and it freaked him out a bit so, he decided to get some distance from the mirror dog.

He sat down and stared at the mirror dog for a while.  Then he scooted back a foot or so.  I went up to the glass and tapped it.  

"Do you want to meet the doggy?" I asked him.

He thought about it some more, then he got up and with a happy tail, held high, he walked up to the mirror and touched noses with the mirror dog.

 He's stubborn.  But he's also smart, thoughtful and cautious.  All good qualities, I think, for a guide dog.

Now, if only I didn't have to change my parking spot every day!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Mucho Gusto, Señor Dewey

By Fred
Dewey and I made our first visit to Casa Tina, a very dog-friendly restaurant in Dunedin. Today was the first day of our soon-to-be normal routine, walking up and down Main Street, waiting at the traffic lights and crossing from one side to another.

By the time we get to the restaurant, the puppy is usually tired, and I can eat my lunch in peace. At this age (Dewey's age, not mine), I can hear the whispers from the other tables about what a good little puppy and so on, and I allow myself to feel proud of him, because why not?

A picture of Dewey with his coat. He doesn't want to leave.

Dewey can be so incredibly good and comfortable. He rolls up into a perfectly relaxed little ball, with no awareness of the world, even in a restaurant like this with smells and bits of food on the floor, there he was under the table in perfect shavasana. Considering some of Cheryl's stories about Dewey at school, I wondered if he would want to leave when the time came.

But he did get up. Slowly. And we made our way to the exit. And then he just stopped and sat down a few feet from the door. It was soon clear that he did not intend to be coaxed, happy-voiced, tempted, bribed, nudged, or intimidated to move from that spot. I put a treat on the floor--nothing. A little girl happened to be at the door and she called to him in a sweet little voice, puppy, puppy, here puppy, but he didn't care, not even a little. And he has this look on his face...

So I picked him up and walked out.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Dewey Death Stare

We have two days at school under our belts. Two days to see how a year ahead is going to pan out.  How a little puppy is going shape my year. I have one word for you:

Library work is hard. Dewey is asleep on the carpet upstairs during weeding.


Dewey is curled up by my file cabinet sleeping by a Kong Wubba.

Dewey is a power napper, which is great.  But during our first lunch out, we discovered a darker side to our sweet boy:  Darth Dewey.

I hadn't encountered Darth Dewey before.  Who knew our sweet boy was so stubborn? Had such a commanding presence?  Little did I know that he wasn't afraid to put it out there for public consumption. Yes, DD is not afraid of acting out in public. 

It was our first day back and we were going to Cheesecake Factory for lunch.  Dewey had busied and we marched into reception and were seated at a booth.  A long dark booth, that to Dewey appeared house dragons or bears.

He balked.  

Across the aisle, two ladies were having lunch, "Oh! Look at the cute Southeastern Guide Dog puppy!" They were both staring at me expectantly.  Jan and Christina had already moved into the booth.  Dewey was sitting very upright and was giving me an intense direct stare.  It was the Dewey Death Stare.  An attempt at mind control "These are not the drones you want."

"Dewey, come." I tried to get him out of the aisle and under the table so that we could do a down stay. I wasn't going to attempt the turn command. 

Dewey: "This is not the dog you seek."

"Dewey. No."

Slight laughter emanates from table across the aisle.  

Dewey: "This is not the dog you seek."

Deep sigh. I turn him around, and slide him under the table. "Dewey, down." He slides into a down, surprised. Then, once down: naps. Mission accomplished.  I'll take it. He slept all through lunch.  Fabulous! Good dog.

However, I thought, lunch was long, I don't want a pee-saster.  So, I told Jan and Christina that I was walking straight out and would meet them outside.  Dewey woke up and we power walked past lots of admiring people and Ooohs and Aaahs to the front door.  Where we had to stop.  And sit.

So, we stopped.  And Dewey sat.  

There were two young ladies on the bench in reception and they were watching us.  They both said very admiring things like, "Oh wow! He's so cute! Look at him."

Dewey sat very upright. He was staring very intently at me. I started to have misgivings. I glanced over at the two ladies and they smiled big sunny smiles.  

I opened the door. 

"Let's go, Dewey!" I said in my most happy voice.

Dewey: "This is not the dog you seek."

Oh no. Air conditioning was blowing past me, whipping my hair and Dewey was growing roots into the cement.

I tried again. 




I picked him up.  At a certain point, you have to move out of the way. We will work on doors. He does not like them.

Darth Dewey.  You have met your match. This battle is far from over!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Smart Bump

By Fred
When I was born my head was just as big as it is now, and it is freakishly large now. This must have been a surprise for my mom. In one of my baby pictures (below) I'm wearing a cap, probably a very large man's cap, and it barely covers my melon head.

So it is with a certain sensitivity and understanding that I discuss Dewey's condition. He has a pronounced occipital bone, also known as a smart bump, on the top of his head, something that is fairly common for Labs and Goldens. All dogs have this bump, but maybe it is Dewey's droopy ears that causes the bump to stick up.

The bumps are not a cause for alarm--in time he will grow into his head. With me the extra head room did not come with any extra intelligence, but we have hopes for Dewey.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Posing as a Puppy

By Fred

A picture of Dewey waking from a nap,
his face snuggled into a towel.
Dewey has almond eyes that light up whenever a surge of happiness hits him, which is every five seconds or so. He has very good house manners, a perfect disposition, perfect to the point that I almost suspect he's not a puppy at all but some sort of human shape-shifter pretending to be a puppy, some graduate student making money for the summer, maybe.

But this phase of puppy goodness and light is temporary, as we know from experience. He will be growing up fast. Too bad for Cheryl, who is not here this week--she's missing the fun part.

For example, yesterday on a walk Dewey and I came upon a neighbor lady walking her pit bull. But Dewey couldn't have cared less about them. He just walked along with his head up, not struggling to get closer to (or away from) the big dog, not sniffing and scouring the ground for every little scent, not listening to that puppy head-banger music in his head (the music that's turned up so loud they can't hear a word you say). For now Dewey is a joy to walk--of course, the treats help quite a bit.

Dewey and Jam looking up and laughing for no reason
Dewey has the tip of Jam's tail in his mouth
Willow and Dewey are getting along. I don't have any pictures of Willow here because she doesn't like to be posed. When I point the iPhone at her she glares at me and turns around or just stares at the ground as says Arghhhh.

But Jam loves the camera and he seems to love Dewey.

Jam has become more affectionate in general. He misses Cheryl and often goes to the window to look for her car, which is parked in its usual place, so where the heck is she? I shrug my shoulders because the truth (that she's taking a crochet class in California) would be too strange a notion for Jam (or any dog) to process.

So I look out the window with him, and we sigh.

I've staged photos before, but this one happened for real,
with no encouragement from me. Jam is using Dewey as a pillow