Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Lots of good stuff today!!

Well, Sherman and I have had quite the eventful couple of days. First on Saturday I took my little sister to the pool to swim so I took Sherm along. I don't think any of my pups have been to a pool so I decided to go for it. He did great. He loved to sit by the side and watch my little sis swim, and splash around. Here is a pic of Sherm with my little sister.
Then today it was my friends sons third birthday so a group of us went to a kids discovery museum in Salt Lake City. Since I don't have kids of my own to bring I brought along Sherman. I think he had a lot of fun. He had a dopey smile on his face the whole time. He was a big hit there, getting mauled by kids and parents. He was a champ though and handled it all like a pro. I was very proud of him. Here he is by this thing that you drop pennies off this little ramp and they spin in smaller and smaller circles until they go down a little chute thing. Anyway, my friends son loves this thing so she brought about fifteen dollars worth of pennies and let him have at it. He loved it and it entertained him for hours. Sherman didn't mind it at all and was so good about waiting for us to move on. :)
We went into this "About your body" display hosted by sesame street and there was this little Braille thing by the touch station. I got all gitty and started feeling all the letters and then I had to get a pic of Sherman with the Braille thing. It didn't turn out so fantastic so I took this pic to see what Sherman is posing by. (I am so easily amused)
Here is Sherman next to the Braille card thing.
Then there was this thing that you jump on and Grover leaps up and hit a bell. My friends son loved it and kept jumping on it. Sherman just liked the sound of the bell. Here he is waiting for Grover to hit the bell. (eventually I had Sherman stepping on the pad so that the bell went off. He got so excited and started doing it over and over each time looking up after he hit the pad and watching for the bell to ring.) It was super cute and way entertaining.

Sherman with Big Bird. Kind of makes Sherman look itty bitty!
Sherman was totally embarrassed to get his picture taken next to the poop display. It was revolting. You would hit the button and a farting noise would sound and then a flushing toilet and then in this glass box you would see a piece of *plastic* poop slide down a cylinder thing. (I still can't believe they had that in a sesame street venue) It made me laugh and since one of Shermans favorite things is going #2 I had to get a picture. But each time he closed his eyes, I finally resulted that he was embarrassed of the poo display.
There was this art room and so I took advantage of the chalk board and got a picture of me and my boy.
After the museum Sherman slept like this the whole way home it was too funny.
I think the outing went great, we were there for nearly six hours and Sherman did so well. I could not be happier with his behavior with all those screaming, running, loud kids. He is absolutely exhausted and has been sleeping ever since. It may take him a day or two to recover.
My other good new is . . . Guess who is Mr. September for the GDB 2009 Calendar. That's right. . . Sherman himself!! I am so excited and super honored that his picture was chosen for September. Here is the e-mail I got today:
Hi there Megan -
Just writing to let you know that the photo you submitted of Sherman for GDB's 2009 calendar has been chosen for inclusion as one of the main photos. Sherman's shot will be the featured photo for the month of September. Congratulations!

In addition, starting in 2009 we're going to feature each of our pin-up pups in our monthly e-newsletter during the month that coincides with their calendar picture. For those purposes, I'm wondering if you could send me a little more info about Sherman. Primarily, I'd like for you to tell me how Sherman has been a great partner to you and/or your family - what about your relationship with Sherman really says "partnership"? Other than that, I've included just a couple other questions that would be fun to get answers to as well:
Are you and Sherman alike in any ways?
What are some of Sherman's funny, unique or quirky habits or behaviors?
What is your favorite activity to do together with Sherman?
What does Sherman do that makes you smile?

Anyway - if you could get back to me with those answers within the next couple of weeks, that would be great. Thanks again for your photo submission!

I am so proud of my sexy little beast being chosen for a month of his own, and I can't wait to get my copy of the calendar!! Oh, and I am not telling which picture I sent you will all have to wait til you get your copy. ;) Just know that it is super cute!! (How can it not be with my handsome little devil of a dog)
Lastly, I got a call while I was at the children's discovery museum today and if all goes according to plan something very exciting should be happening around the middle of may. I can't say too much yet because I am not sure it is set in stone but hopefully I will hear more in the next few days and I will definitely let all y'all know what is going on as soon as I know. All I can say is, I hope it happens!!
Oh, and lastly, lastly ;) I weighed Sherman the other day and he is now officially 59 pounds. Woot, woot!! Although, I am a little concerned though since my CFR thought he was chunky at 56 pounds and I even cut his food. I hope it is filling out weight and not chunky weight. :) But my boy is big now . . . well, almost. Ha Ha. Hope everyone has a great Wednesday!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Ouch!!

So, I have had a very interesting week. I have had to go to the doctor three times this week!!

It started on Wednesday when I woke up (forgot to take my contacts out the night before so my eyes were really dry) I went to take out my contacts and put in a new pair, with the new pair in the vision in my left eye was significantly blurry. Far more than normal so I was a little concerned. I went to work and figured it would correct itself as the day went on but it didn't. So after work I made an appointment with the doctor and went an hour later. The doc didn't know what was wrong, my eye looked fine so he prescribed me some eye drops. I went and got those and put them in my eye and, oh my word did it ever STING!! When I got home I took out my contacts and wore my glasses the rest of the day.

Then on Thursday I woke up and my left eye was super red and crusty. Gross! I figured pink eye and made another appointment later that day to get some pink eye drops. When I went in the doc didn't think it was pink eye, but maybe a bacterial infection or something. So more eye drops were prescribed, with the instructions that if my eye didn't feel better the next day to give him a call and he would send me to a specialist. These eye drops stung as well.

So today I woke up and my eye is still red, really watery, sensitive to light, itchy, and painful. So I called the doc and he set me up with the specialist. I went to the eye doctor today and he put a numbing drop in my eye (oh, it felt so good not to have my eye stinging for a bit) and he flashed a light in my eye (which hurt and I could barely keep my eye open) Anywho, he started looking in my eye and said, "Oh, there is an ulcer! A really big one!" So apparently I have an ulcer in my eye. (Had no idea you could get one in your eye) And the ulcer has a pretty bad infection in it. So, I have more eye drops (which are the strongest antibiotic you can get) and so far it stings for about ten minutes after I put them in and then it feels good. :) And I have to put the drops in every two hours. I am glad that we got down to the bottom of it, and my vision is getting a little better too. :) But boy does my eye ever HURT. Probably nothing like Kelsey (all I can say is OUCH!!!) but still hurts. And I have a very low tolerance for pain so I am acting like a big baby. lol Anywho, that has been my week.

Oh, to make this post Guide Dog related Sherman was a trooper being dragged to the doctors office over and over and also to the pharmacy. He was way interested in the blood pressure machine and would tilt his head from side to side as it would puff up and squish my arm and then release in little puffs. He liked that part.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Guess who!?!?

Guess who made it into the Community Connection Newsletter? . . . That's right. . . Sherman and my completely adorable nephew Cannon!! (By the way, Sherman is honored to make it into the same issue as Angel) Anywho, Sherman and I are very excited about his 15 minutes of fame. :)

I am not sure if everyone can access the newsletter so here is the blurb that was written above the pic.

"Megan Stewart, of Lindon, Utah, sent in
this picture of current puppy Sherman
and her nine month old nephew, Cannon.
Megan says: “they were not so
sure of each other at first but became
friends fairly quick. Sherman
was great with him and let him poke
and pull and crawl all over him. Eventually
Cannon would start crawling
around and Sherman would slowly follow
behind. Cannon would look behind
him and see Sherman following and
would let out the cutest, melt your
heart, little giggle. I think Cannon wants
to be a puppy raiser when he grows
up.”

Friday, April 18, 2008

Airport Outing and stuff . . .

The airport meeting was a lot of fun. I am glad that I went and I think Sherman had a good time. We started by going into the hanger and getting on this really tiny plane that had some super steep and skinny stairs. Sherman was awesome and went right up. Then they had us all sit in a seat and get our dog settled. Since Sherman is so small he fit just fine. Here is a picture of him sitting on the plane.

and here is Me and Sherman on the little plane. (I have a bit of claustrophobia so it was a bit uncomfortable for me, but Sherman was just fine. :)
While we were on the plane the had someone talk on the intercom and go through the isle with those drink carts and they flashed the over head lights and beeped the seat belt lights (the ones that do the little bong sound, if that makes sense), and even turned the plane on (not the engines I think, just enough that it made some noise and shuddered a bit) And Sherman didn't even bat an eye. He was superb. Then the next step was getting off the plane. Going down the scary stairs is a bit harder than going up but Sherman did very well too. I had him come down after me because the stairs were so narrow that we both couldn't really get down at the same time. I was very proud of how well he did. :)

After that we went into this room that was all grates. Sherman started walking in so his front feet were on the grates and did fine until his back legs went on and then he realized that the floor was a grate and walked with his feet all spread out, it was pretty funny to watch his realization of what he was walking on. He did really wonderfully and walked around just fine. After that we went through a security door that talked to you, it said "Please close the door." if you held it open too long and it said that as me and Sherman walked through and he looked up at the door frame. He had the goofiest expression on his face but didn't seem afraid or anything. I had to laugh. Then we went up these open stairs that had gaps between the stairs and on the sides. Sherman had a few issues with open stairs when he was little but he was a master and went right up and down then with no problem and then we went on an elevator, he has been on one a million times so he didn't care at all. Then we sat around and talked for a while. It was so much fun.

There was also a working guide there. A humongous Black labby named Alcatraz. I loved watching him work and he was beautiful (handsome) He seemed very at home with all the puppies like remembering his youth. :) I also love watching guides work because it reminds me that the dogs are never perfect and still do some silly things. (Not that Alcatraz did naughty things, just a general observation)

Sherman chilling while we raisers talk. . .

Hobbs and Sherman.

Overall I think it was a very successful outing and it exposed my pup to things he probably wont experience until he is with his blind person, and he did magnificent. All of the pups did. Oh, here is a funny little observation, there were like ten black labs there and two yellow labs, I just thought that was funny since in the past it is usually yellow labs that dominate. . .I guess that is why GDB is trying to breed more yellow pups. :S

AND. . . I have finally heard about Sage. Thanks to Lindsey (Thanks a bunch) I hope she doesn't mind me quoting her but. . . here is what she has to say about Sage. :)

"Hi Megan,

Just thought you'd like to know about Sage...

She was started in Durango...then in November she went to GDB for Japan to look at her as a breeder for them. She was one of the few dogs who DID pass her heart exam and all the other exams...anyway, Japan picked her to be one of their breeders...and in the process of waiting for everything to be cleared to go to Japan, GDB decided she had too soft of a trachea to be a breeder.
She is now in the SLC school program. I taught the kids in the program today and she is a sweetheart. "


She sounds like an awesome puppy. And it is super cool that Japan chose her, to bad it didn't work out though. I had no idea she was in the high school raising program here in Utah, that is really neat too. So, I am hoping to get to meet her in June when we have a guide dog workshop. They are both (Sage and Sherman) being recalled that day so I really want to meet her. She sounds a lot like her big bro. Shermanator. :) She is so cute too, looks like her sister Samantha. I hope that she does well in training. And here is a pic of the cute little girl (she has Sherms eyes too)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Just because I am bored. . .

So, I got this idea from Elizabeth. This is my door. :) Random, eh? Anyway, one night I got home from work (about 6-7 months ago) and found my door like this. I thought it was so cute, I love my door. Turns out it was a form of rebellion for my sister (who is quite the artist) who had been begging my parents to get her more canvas to paint on and since they didn't she painted all the bedroom door in the basement. All of them have a lot of the bedroom dwellers personality and interests on them. My parents where not pleased but we all still have our painted doors. :) So, it even has all my animals on there. My frog (Wednesday) my Beta fish (Sir Rio Grande who is 2 and a half years old, crazy fish), my ratty (Elphie, she has since passed away) and of course Sherman. I love my door. :) lol
Closer shot of Sherm on my door. Isn't he handsome. I can't believe how much it really looks like him too. ha ha
And this is my GDB wall in my room it is above my bed. I love having these little things to remember my pups by.
Anywho, this is my random post of the day. . . I will probably post again tonight or tomorrow because I am going to this really fun meeting at the Salt Lake Airport that another group has set up and invited other groups too. It sounds like it will be a great outing for the dogs. I am excited. :)

Monday, April 7, 2008

Two months from today

Two months from today my boy will be leaving for his formal training. It seems like a long time but I know it is going to fly by. Also, a week ago was our one year anniversary. I can't believe a year has gone by so fast. We have been through a lot together and I am proud of how far he has come. I really hope he does well at puppy boot camp. I made a sideshow of our year together so ENJOY!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

My Turn. . .

I figured it was my turn to answer Erins questions.

How many puppies have you raised?
Five- Prudy (FYL), Tahoma (FBL), Glennie (FYL), Adeline (FYL), and Sherman (MBL)

Why did you start raising?
I love dogs and I love helping people so it was the best of both worlds. I love learning new skills and meeting people too so that didn't hurt.

How long have you been a puppy raiser?
I started attending meetings in November 2001 and got my first puppy June 2002 so about 6 1/2 years.

What is one thing you have learned in raising?
No one is perfect, all you can do is try your best.

What have your puppies taught you?
Prudy- Good things take time, and "It is better to have loved and lost then never have loved at all."
Tahoma- With hard work and determination you can accomplish anything, she taught me about tough love and perseverance.
Glennie- It is okay to just be a dog and no matter how hard you work not all dogs are meant to be guides.
Adeline- Unconditional love, it is okay to relax, and somethings are just perfect from the beginning even if the end result isn't exactly what you wanted.
Sherman- It is okay to laugh and be silly and to have fun.

What is the strangest thing someone has asked/said to you about your puppy?
Umm. . . you all heard my freezer story. YEESH!! I think it is funny that while I was raising all my girls they kept being called he's when out in public and now that I have a he, he is always referred to as she by people. That gets kinda annoying. I dropped my chap stick once and had a guy pick it up and he grabbed my hand and opened it and stuck my chap stick in my hand and then closed my hand around the chap stick because he thought I was blind. I had a good laugh over that later. (I did wait until I was away from him to laugh) :)

Do you give your puppies real name out in public?
Most of the time, when I am bored though I will tell people that Shermans name is Boomer or something like that. Adeline was Tina. I know it is a weird way to amuse myself. :)

What is the most embarrassing incident that you've had with your puppy?
When a lady was asking me about potty training and I was telling her how all of our pups are potty trained and go on command and my puppy started peeing. Luckily we were outside so it wasn't a huge deal but still embarrassing enough that I just walked away and got in my car and went home. :0

What is the most proud moment you've had with your puppy?
~When Tahoma was chosen for breeding and had her litter
~When Tahoma graduated as a guide
~When Glennie had her first successful trip to the grocery store. (She had alot of public issues and it took us a long time to accomplish that but I was so proud of her when we did)
~When my first puppy made it to recall and then to phase 8

and many, many more. :)

What advice do you have for newbie puppy raisers/owners?
Try it once I am sure you will get addicted. :) Don't be afraid to get attached, these pups have a way of wriggling themselves into your heart.