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.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Coach: An Update

We have some unfortunate news. While Coach made it as a guide dog, he did not stay a guide dog.   When Kristen brought Coach home on graduation day, her personal pet did not get along with Coach and there was some growling.  Southeastern's trainer went to try to fix the situation and was unsuccessful.  Coach returned to Southeastern last Tuesday, was reevaluated on Wednesday and dropped from the guide dog program Wednesday afternoon.

Coach in his harness.  

In our hearts, however, we will always remember him as a success, the nicest, most eager to work and eager to please puppies that we have raised.  Whoever adopts him as a pet will be very lucky.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Dewey at Publix

By Fred
We can try, but we can't really imagine what it's like to be a puppy in a grocery store. No music could overwhelm our ears in the same way. No sight could overwhelm our eyes. Nothing we experience with our senses can compare to the rich palate of scents that a dog can experience. And because they are so good at smelling, it makes sense to believe that they appreciate and remember certain odors in an emotional way.

A picture of Dewey being good,
in a down stay next to the grocery cart

I saw The Eagles in an outdoor concert in 1974, and I remember the sound so clearly now that I can almost taste it--crystal clear and beautiful. I have other sound memories like this--my first record player, Joe Cocker, Jimi Hendrix and all the sounds that came from it.

Will Dewey remember his trip to Publix yesterday? Will he be nostalgic about the aisle full of corn chips and potato chips and the bag that stuck out a little and teased him to take a little bite? Will he be a seasoned guide dog someday, and will he be working while at the same time daydreaming about the mysteriously stinky pile of goo just under the meat case? Just there, out of reach?

Dewey, dreaming with eyes open

I hope so.