Sunday, March 30, 2008

The other "S" kids

I have been in contact with a few of Shermans siblings over the last year. I love being in touch and knowing similarities and differences in the litter. Sherman has four other siblings, Spartan (MYL), Sirroco (MBL), Sage (FYL), and Samantha (FYL). From what I have heard Sherman, Samantha and Sirroco are the most alike in looks while Sherman and Sirrocco share the same personality and Spartan and Samantha are the opposite of Sherman and Sirroco personality wise. I have not heard anything about Sage so I don't know what she is like at all.

This is a picture of Spartan. Isn't he handsome. Doesn't look much like Sherm at all though. :) Here is what his raiser had to say about him in her most recent message.

"Spartan has matured a bit, weighing in at 75 lb. But he still try's to be the boss sometimes. His recall date is May 3 for the college prep course. I will really miss him as he's been my constant companion. We've both learned so much in our time together and have had many adventures."

He is huge, and is nearly twenty pounds bigger than Sherman. I can't even imagine Sherman with another 20 pounds on him. :) He definitely got his daddies size. (I hear Norbert is a BIG boy) I wish Spartan luck in formal training and look forward to watching him on the phase report. You will do awesome Spartan!!

This lovely little lady is Samantha. I can see a lot of Sherman in her, she is almost a yellow version of Sherman. :) Here is what her raiser said in her most recent message,

"Samantha is a small girl. She weighs about 53 lbs. She is pretty good but likes to be a little dominate sometimes. She was looked at for international breeder, but has a little bit of a heart problem. Not a bad enough problem to stop her from being a guide. I have not gotten her recall letter yet, but I am anticipating June."

I heard that she and her sister Sage were both looked at for international breeding but neither were chosen. I do know that Sage has the same recall as Sherman. She will be going into training in June as well. We will see if sister Samantha will join them then. :)

I haven't heard from Sirroco in a while. I sent a message to his raiser a few days ago so hopefully I hear from them soon. :)

Well, that is all for today. Hug those pups for me. :)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The jacket story and a "what the. . . " moment

So all of you who guessed what was wrong with the pic got it right. :) So, Friday night I threw Shermans puppy coat in the wash, I always take the sleeve off when I wash the coat because I don't think it is machine washable, anyway I set it on top of the washer and went to bed. The next morning I must have slept through my alarm because when I woke up it was 30 minutes until puppy class (and it takes me 15 to 20 minutes to get to the place we were meeting.) I looked at the clock and jumped out of bed grabbed Sherman ran his outside and then got him fed, while he was eating I hopped into the shower. We ran back down to my room and I blew my hair dry while doing make-up and grabbing some clothes and putting them on. Then I ran upstairs, and outside and loaded Sherm into the car. I started pulling out when I realized I didn't have Shermans jacket. So I ran inside grabbed the jacket out of the washer and the sleeve on top. I slid the sleeve back on as I was running out of the door I got back into my car and draped the jacket over the A/C vent in my car as I drove to puppy class to try and dry it a bit. So he wore his jacket like that all through puppy class and I had no idea because he was being handled by other people and I was walking in the back with one of our new raisers getting her puppy next month. (She is very excited and talked to me a lot about the new puppy and hopes she doesn't ruin it. I am sure she will do great, she and her two boys are great with the dogs :) Anyway, After puppy class me and Sherm went straight to work. While we where at work I noticed a lot of people looking at Sherman and cocking their heads to the side. I just thought it was such an unusual reaction to Sherman that I had never seen before. So I look at Sherman thinking he had something on his face or something, nothing was wrong that I could see. I had a short shift so I was off at five and then we went home. When I got home I went to relieve him and took off his jacket and that is when I noticed that his guide dog sleeve was upside down. How embarrassing. I can't believe not a single person mentioned that it was upside down all day long. :)

Now for my "what the. . . " story. :)
Today at work I had this older gentleman come in and he started talking to me about guide dogs. We went through all the normal questions and then hit the #1 question that you get asked as a puppy raiser. "Isn't it hard to give them up?" I said "Yes, that is the hardest part but they have wonderful lives, and they are helping people who love and need them." Well this guy does the whole "Oh, I could never give them up" spiel and then this is where he put a twist on the conversation. He said "I could never give them up." (I am sure you have all heard that, but have you heard this next part?) "Do you wanna know why?" I said "sure, why?" He pulls out his camera phone and flips to a picture and shows the phone to me. I look at the picture and it is of a Siamese cat curled up into a ball. Then he said that it was a picture of his dead cat in the freezer. After further examination of the photo I concluded that the cat was in fact, dead and in a freezer. WHAT THE HECK. Why in the world would you show someone a picture of a dead cat in the freezer. Anyway, he goes on to tell me that he loves his pets so much that after they pass he can't bear to part with them and he actually has quite a few pets in his freezer. (He also showed me a pic of a min pin and a fluffy thing (could not quite make that one out) that were also in his freezer) I finally separated myself from him and went over to Sherman and gave him a big hug and told him that as much as I love and adore him he would not have a spot in my freezer. Sorry to those of you who may have pets in the freezer but that is a bit too weird for me. What does that guy tell his grand kids, "Yes you can have some ice-cream it is just behind the dead cat." I am officially creeped out, that was just about the most bizarre experience I have had while socializing my dogs.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Babysitting the Nephew

My favorite nephew (I get to say that because he is my only nephew) came over today to be babysat while his parents went out to dinner. We had a lot of fun because it was an "I love Auntie Mae Mae! (that's me)" day and he would not go to anybody else. He doesn't have "I love Auntie Mae Mae!" days very often so I had to milk it for all it is worth. He was very snugly today and I just loved it. Anyway, I finally got a chance to introduce Cannon to Sherman. They both were unsure of each other at first but warmed up pretty fast. They are very cute together.

I love this one where Cannon grabbed Sherman's foot. Sherm was great with him too. Just let Cannon poke and pull. Eventually Cannon would crawl around and Sherman would slowly follow behind. Cannon would look back and see Sherm follow and would let out the cutest, melt your heart, giggle. We had a very fun afternoon!! I love my nephie!!
Here is my incredibly handsome boy, but there is something wrong with this picture. :) If you figure out what is wrong leave it in the comment and I will post about it tomorrow. :)


Sunday, March 16, 2008

Sherman vs. the Yo-Yo

Sherman is back home now. He was very excited to see me, bouncing all over me and trying to give me kisses. At least I know he likes me. lol He got a very good report from the puppy sitters. They really liked having him, so that is good. I am glad that he behaved himself. I went straight from picking him up to puppy class. We worked on our "come" commands. For some reason Sherman turns into a complete idiot when it comes to recall. I think he thinks "If I act like an imbecile and run around all aloof like I am not paying attention to mom then she will tell me to come and then I get a kibble." He is really good at recall I may just have to work on him not becoming a complete wreck when he knows what I am up to.

Sherman had his first introduction to a Yo-Yo today. My brother went and bought himself a yo-yo the other day and was playing with it at my grandmas house and we noticed Sherman was very interested in it. It was so funny to watch. This lasted until Sherman tried to bite it and it bit back. He wasn't so into playing with it after that. He wasn't afraid of it just preferred not to get to close to it. The video is his initial intro to it. I love how he cocks his head from side to side.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

I'm Back!!

I am back and totally missing my boy. My room is so boring and lonely without him. :) I keep looking down at his bed and there is no sleeping, black lump. I keep waiting for him to come poke me to let him out or show me the toy he wants to chew on. I keep reaching down to give him a pat and he is not there. All day I kept giving people commands and talking to "phantom dogs" when I was out. I got a lot of weird looks when I left a gas station and said, "Lets go" and "good boy" (I am pretty sure the cashier lady thought I was talking to her) It is weird being puppyless, I have not, not had a dog with me in over two years. And I DON'T LIKE IT!! Not one bit. I can't wait to pick up my boy tomorrow. Hopefully the puppy-sitters have good things to say about him. ;)

Anyway, for those of you who did not de-code my message . . . . or did not want to :) Sherman has an official recall date. He is leaving on June 7th, in conjunction with our summer guide dog workshop. He will be going to the San Rafael campus which is good because I have family and friends there that I can stay with if he graduates, and it is easier for me to get to. He is very ready for formal training and he proves it to me every day. I am so proud of his progress and I am sure he will do great. He will make me proud whatever he decides. I still have a while, over two and a half months so we have plenty of time to fine tune everything. :) I sure will miss him though, he is such a great dog and so easy to get along with. Anyway, I better get some sleep before puppy class in the morning. G-night everyone!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Just another day at the theatre

(I have hidden a message in this post. It should not be to hard to "de-code" :) Have fun. If you don't figure it out I will probably post tomorrow, or maybe not because I won't be around for the next few days. Definitely on Saturday though. I will be back then. Have a good rest of the week everyone!

Me and Sherman went to a movie with a couple of our friends last weekend and he did so good. (By the way, The Other Boleyn Girl is an excellent movie) Anway, we got there about 30 minutes early so we sat in the theatre and talked for a while. The theatre filled up really fast and was PACKED! During the previews a guy was sliding through the isle behind us and he dropped his popcorn and it went into mine and my friends lap and all over the floor. Sherman sat up and looked at me and stuck his head on my lap. He was trying SO very hard not to eat it. I kicked as much of it away from him as he could and after a few minutes he settled down and didn’t try to eat any of the popcorn through the whole movie. Then as the movie was ending the popcorn guy dropped his soda and it leaked under the seat and soaked Sherm, I didn’t know until after the movie because Sherman didn’t move a muscle but was all wet and sticky when we got up. After that my friend was balancing a big box of nerds in the cup holder on her chair and accidentally bumped it so nerds went bouncing everywhere (I never realized how much noise a spilled box of nerds could make, it was just embarrassing!!) Sherman did not try to eat those either and he barely moved. The movie ended about five minutes later. The lights came on and I looked down at Sherman (this is when I realized the spilled soda, GROSS!!) and he looked horrible. He was all wet and soggy looking, and since the soda has dried a little he had popcorn and nerds stuck all over his belly, and all down his legs and sides. (At least I didn't have to shave gum out of his fur this time. Sometimes I hate movie theatres) He looked so funny, gross and sad at the same time. He looked at me with the most pathetic look on his face. I brushed him off as good as I could and decided not to go to dinner with my friends but took him home and gave him a nice long bath and got him all cleaned up and looking fresh.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Lots of Good News Today!!

I got a phone call today from Tahomas partners wife. She was asking me about puppy raising! Sounds like Tahoma's handler has talked her into raising a guide dog puppy and after watching Tahoma in action for the last year she is really excited about it. She was asking me what puppy raising is all about. I talked to her about the roller coaster ride that is puppy raising. :) She was also asking me about access laws because she would have to take the puppy to work with her. I told her what I know and then after we hung up I did a little research to find schools in her area and sent her some links. I really hope that it works out. She and I both agree that Homie will be a terrific mentor dog and will do wonderfully with the puppies, especially after having some of her own. I am just thrilled that she is thinking about it, and really hope that it works out for her. She said she would let me know how it goes.

She also told me about Tahoma and her handlers latest trip to Israel. This time he took 23 or so of his religion students with him. He e-mailed me shortly before they left and was telling me that he was nervous about traveling with all the students and Homie and wasn't sure how they were going to feel about hanging our with a dog for three weeks. She told me that the trip went wonderfully. The students ended up fighting over seats in the bus, airplane, and restaurants in order to sit next to Tahoma. They all adapted well to each other and had a very successful trip. It was funny because I was talking to his wife and I could hear him in the background telling her which stories about Israel to tell me. It made me laugh. Sounds like the only bump in the trip was when they went to a buffet and Tahoma decided that she wanted to dine too. I love what he said thought, "Nothing is perfect!" Ha ha, it is so nice knowing that he is willing to work with her unique personality. They really are a perfect match. Definitely meant to be together and I love hearing from them. He said that a lot of his students took a bunch of pictures of them in Israel and as soon as they send them to him, he is going to forward them to me. I can't wait to see them. It is so cool, she has traveled so much and seems to love the new lifestyle! :) I could not be happier with how things turned out for little Homie!

This is a picture that he sent me. He assures me that she is only allowed on their bed (I am sure she loves that, she has always loved being close to the people she loves) but were at his in-laws house and his mom-in-law said it was okay to be on the sofa. She looks nice and comfy.

The other news is that the recall list for April came out and

Sherman is not on it!!!!

Which means that he will stick with me for a few more months. I am not sure when the next puppy truck is after the April one, but he will most likely leave then. There are two dogs in our group that are leaving on the April truck and after they leave Sherm will be the Papa of the group. (Hopefully he is up for being the example.) *smiles* I am sure he is. This also means that there is no April puppy for me. I will get a new one when Sherm leaves, which is fine. So, lots of good news today.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Picture Post

I have not posted pics of my handsome boy for a while so here ya go. :)

"Play with Me!!"

I love the tongue through the gough-nut. ;)

He is not a very snugly puppy but my little sister sat on his bed and he went over and plopped down right next to her. Eventually he was laying half-way across her lap. It was precious!

Sherman at Home Depot. I was bored and my friend was taking forever looking at sinks so me and Sherm went to play on the riding lawn mowers. Doesn't he look Man-ly? lol (This was the biggest one there, HUMONGOUS!)
Still on the Lawn Mower.
My fat boy enjoying his free time in the house.
Every day Sherm has his free time in the house for a few hours. I close all the doors so he only has access to the kitchen, stairs, Living Room, and a hallway. Today he spend about a half an hour curled up at the bottom of the stairs. I don't know what that was all about. But, when I brought out the camera he popped up so I could not get him posed at the bottom. Oh well. You get the idea. :)
Hope you enjoyed pics of my goofy boy!