Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving Wishes from Dewey

On Monday we were having the freshman crossfire debates in health class.  They have been quite a fun research project.  This year has been really fun with the freshman because I have been able to get to know them much better.  I don't know whether that is because of Dewey and instagram or because we have had a long world history project or a combination of the two, but whatever the reason, I'm all for it.  It makes for a nice, friendly year and helps me know the students better!

After one class, Marie came up with her friend Jennifer and asked if she could come back after school and take some photos with Dewey.  I said sure as the freshmen seem to consider him their dog.

After school, she and Jennifer show up, right on time and she has a big bag. They sit up by the comfy chairs and I take Dewey's coat off. 

Marie and Dewey. Dewey has a sign around his neck that says I heart pie with a big pie underneath.
Marie opens the bag and inside she has about 10 different Thanksgiving themed outfits/signs for Dewey to wear in photos.  She has a pilgrim hat on a stick that she can hold above his head, a sign that says "I heart pie", one that says Happy Thanksgiving, and more.  

I was amazed.  I asked her if she made it all.  

"No, I just went to Michael's," she said.  Later, I asked her big sister who told me that she had spent a considerable amount of time putting all the stickers together to make the signs.  They are sooooo cute!

Marie and Dewey with the Happy Thanksgiving sign.

I told Marie that she was now in charge of all of Dewey's holiday photos.  She smiled.  Expect to see more cool photos in the future.

Have a relaxing and calorie filled holiday from us to you!!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Our Dog

 We've had a Southeastern Guide Dog at Berkeley for five years now.  It's become a way of life for us. I knew that, but I didn't REALLY know that.  This year, I instituted an Instagram account to try and make Dewey more a part of things.  I wasn't sure how it would work.

History class with Dewey.
One of the first things I tried was taking photos with my research classes.  That was fun!  The kids seemed to like it too.

Sort of by chance, Dewey got very involved in Homecoming. We won't go into ALL of the details. 8-)

But he is so sweet and well liked that one of the 9th grade boys wanted to use him as his invitation to homecoming.  That's never happened before! (She said yes!) 

Fans would stop by to see him. Dewey with three freshmen gathered around him.
He also developed a habit of picking someone during my research classes and sleeping next to them.  Most everyone wants it to be them.  So when I walk around and help people they are hoping that Dewey stops and falls asleep!  I get more questions, anyway. 8-)

Dewey next to his choice for the day.
 He has joined after school clubs like the Faculty/Staff Book Club.

Dewey being held by one of the members of the book club.

And while his conversational gambits are not necessarily clever and witty.  He usually doesn't whine or cry or bore us either.

What I didn't expect was what happened yesterday afternoon as I was leaving.  I had taken the long way around and had stopped to talk with the digital photography teacher about whose selfie I still needed to receive.  All of a sudden a little girl from lower division, Julia, runs up to me and says:

"Can I pet him? He doesn't have his coat on!" This is, of course, the danger when I go home of walking him to the car without his coat: that I will be mobbed.  But it was late, after 5.  Her mom ran up after her carrying her backpack and essentials and was a little out breath.

"Sure you can."  Dewey was almost asleep already on the ground.  She knelt down and started petting him.

"He's so soft.  And nice." 

Her mom looked at me. "She saw him from across the quad.  What do you call it?" We told her it was called the mound.  "She saw him and said, 'There's our dog.' And took off running."

"Well, it is our dog." She was still petting him.  She looked at me.  I agreed.  "He's Berkeley's dog."

Her mom laughed, "And your dog." I laughed.  "And mine!"

But I felt really good that as a community, we all had a Southeastern Guide Dog puppy in training that we thought of as our own.  That, for the kids, the feeling went that deep. It was a sweet moment.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Dogs of Anarchy

Jam has separation anxiety.  So, we try to frequent restaurants that have patios that allow dogs so that we can bring Jam and Dewey with us when we go out to eat.  Dunedin Smokehouse is a favorite.  We just found a new one in Safety Harbor called the Nantucket Bucket and it was great.

We were all excited to try out Rumba on Gulf to Bay and Keene because we heard that they also had a big patio and allowed dogs.  How nice! How close and convenient to our house!  What a find! And, evidently, the food was good too.  The whole package.

Sunday, we took the plunge and went there for dinner.  Now, one of the things that I am a little bit proud about is that our dogs are very well behaved.  They do a quick down under, under the table and pretty much go to sleep.  If people come over to see them, they are sweet and polite and then they go back to sleep.  There isn't any wild jumping and barking.  There isn't any peeing on chairs.  There isn't any wandering around.

Are you sensing a theme?

We walked up to the big patio of Rumba, which features a huge bar, and noticed several dogs right away.  The nice hostess was going to seat us by one of the dogs, but we requested a table on the opposite side of the patio.  Foolish, foolish me.  I picked the wrong side.

Two tables down from us were two guys wearing Sons of Anarchy shirts (one of Fred's favorite shows).  They seemed like nice guys.  And then their friend Grizzly Adams showed up.  Grizzly walked in with his dog Buddy, who didn't have a leash OR a collar, but better yet, he didn't respond to any commands.

The first thing Buddy does is run inside the patio, find a palm tree and claim it as his own.

Wow.  Inside the patio, Buddy has peed.  Major balls on Buddy.  Grizzly Adams hasn't even noticed as he is walking towards his friends.  Great.

I'm watching Buddy pee, I'm watching Grizzly Adams walk away and I'm becoming very concerned that Buddy is going to, wait, yep, here he comes.  Right over to us.

Inside my head I am screaming.  I will not share those words with you.  They were not polite.  Instead, I put my hand out to stop Buddy from coming next to Jam and Dewey.

Grizzly approached.  "Oh, hey."

"Yes, take him away." The lack of leash has taken away any surface courtesy I might have possessed and I am at irritation. From zero to 55 in about 5 seconds. Grizzly picks Buddy up and walks him over to his table of friends AND DEPOSITS HIM IN THE CHAIR AND STARTS TO FEED HIM AT THE TABLE.

Buddy in his chair, staring at me.
I am outraged.  I am now the embodiment of the stereotypical middle-aged woman from, probably, Sons of Anarchy, that they hate.  I'm sure I'm looking at their table in shock.  I probably just said something like, "They just broke every health code in the book!" And to make matters worse, I am secretly hoping that the manager will come by and tell them to make Buddy sit on the ground like a normal dog.  Or better yet, kick them out for not having him properly under control.  But no.  None of that happens.

It's like a little nightmare for responsible dog owners.  First, Grizzly Adams is mobbed by what I can only imagine are half wits, as it seems to be a steady stream of people who are delighted to see a dog sitting in a chair at a table in a restaurant eating food!  They crowd around, cooing over Buddy.

The crowd of halfwits around the table.
 Finally, Buddy can stand the adulation no more and jumps down to wander around at will.  Grizzly Adams doesn't care and lets him.  Where does he go?

One guess.

Our table.

He walks behind Fred and lifts his leg.  He pees.  Fine.  Whatever.  I see Grizzly Adams get up and start to search for Buddy.  Once again, I have Buddy pushed back and away from Jam and Dewey. He finally finds Buddy and picks him up and takes him away. Again.

I cannot leave this restaurant fast enough, I thought.  While we were waiting for the check, a woman wandered over.

"Can I pet him?" She said pointing to Dewey.  Fred told her no that he had his coat on, but said she could pet Jam.  She wasn't thrilled by that option.  "We wanted to make our boxer a service dog."

"Oh, did you?" Fred asked.

"No.  But he's a little old now."  Fred asked how old.  "Twelve or thirteen."  She looked a little vague on the details.

"Better not to bother with the training then," I said.

She nodded.  "And he has cancer."

"Well, there's that too."  I said.  I looked at Fred. He looked at the ground.  The lady walked off.

Oh my.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Coach's Latest Report Card: November News

We were hoping for completely positive news, but Coach is still dealing with some issues. Our boy is still in the program, though and he is fighting the good fight.

Coach smiling next to some red flowers.

COMMENTS: Coach is still a very loveable boy.  He has started to show  signs of kennel stress again and because of that has been going to a volunteer home periodically to help with the anxiety.  He has mild separation anxiety when in the crate but otherwise has had impeccable manners.  His harness work is going very well at this point.  He really thinks ahead and is good at problem solving when working through a difficult situation. I really hope that we can get his anxiety under control because he is a very nice working dog.  I have really enjoyed getting to know him and training with him.  He also loves his puzzle time during kennel enrichment. :)   

If you have a moment, think of Coach and send out some calm, positive energy his way.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Invisible Dog

When I tell the lower division about Dewey, I usually preface it with how Dewey's coat is like Harry Potter's cloak of invisibility, you can't see him, you shouldn't call his name.  He isn't there.  Most of the kids get it and will just wave to me.  There are some kids who take it VERY SERIOUSLY.

During US History, Dewey picked Jake as his favorite and sat by him.
Yesterday, I was walking with Dewey to AP US History and took the elevator up to the second floor.  I was working on the "find the elevator" command with Dewey.  When we got off the elevator, there was a line of 4th or 5th graders who were coming out of their building and heading down the stairs.  As Dewey and I came out of the elevator and turned right, we started to walk beside them.  

I could hear some of the students talking:

"There's Dewey!"

"It's Dewey!"

"Look! Dewey!"

And then, there was one little boy who said, in a very loud voice, "You don't see HIM."

"It's Dewey," someone else said.

"You don't SEE HIM!!" he said louder.

"Oh Dewey."

He could stand it no more: "YOU DON'T SEE HIM!!!"

Can you have a heart attack in fourth grade?

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Dewey Stars in the Homecoming Film

Since you have all heard about the almost POOPCIDENT at the mall, I thought you might want to see what the filming produced. After all, Dewey was the star.  Well, that might be overstating it just a little! The students are the stars.  Dewey has a very small cameo at the very end of the film and he only needs to do one thing, and he doesn't really do it.  I have to help him out.  Dewey can be a little stubborn about being told what to do.

I think it was the pink wings.  He was hoping for blue. 8-)

But the film turned out really cute (in spite of my atrocious acting).  The dance was truly lovely with all the amazing decorations that Kendall's mom made for us and the kids decorated that gym so that it was gorgeous.

Not so fall Florida - Homecoming Premiere 2013 from Nathan B. on Vimeo.

So, enjoy Dewey's debut.  It's probably his first and last debut on film!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Coach's Latest Report Card

We were a little worried about Coach given his roommate problems, but his latest report card came back with good news:

COMMENTS: Coach is a very sweet and smart boy.  He is doing better in the kennel and really enjoys his play time in the field.  He is doing very well with his harness work and seems to really enjoy it.  :)  I have really enjoyed working with him and look forward to more.  

It looks like things are evening out and Coach is back in the groove again.  He is mostly a mellow boy. Let's hope he can keep that up!!

Go Coach!!
Photo of Coach in the car staring very directly into the camera.  He was always a very serious boy.