When the natives get restless

Yesterday and today not much went on here, so our resident 8-month old puppy resorted to causing trouble about the house. So I decided today that Fantine needed a nice long walk. We went up to the shopping center (1.5 miles away) which happens to be where I work, and full of fun stores. I needed to look for graduation presents, anyway. Fantine was a trooper and handled the traffic well. The road we have to go on is one of the main roads through the city, and has no sidewalks, so there were lots of cars zooming past, and we were just on the shoulder of the road. I’ve taken many dogs on it before, and there are alternate paths that go on residential roads, but they take a lot longer. So we walked up the hill to the shopping center and visited Cold Stone, a party store, Safeway, Jamba Juice, and the drugstore. It was great. 😀 Fantine recieved many compliments on looks and behavior, and (Emily, you’ll be glad to hear) out of all the people who petted her, she only got excited once. (YAY!) I’m trying to get pictures up, but the uploader is being funny so I might have to add them later.

Tomorrow we’re skipping church ( 😦 ) and riding the bus to my summer camp choreographer’s meeting. We’ll get to walk through downtown Kirkland, and mayyyyyybe visit the waterfront. But probably not. Afterwards we’ll be riding the bus back to the park-and-ride and then going to Target to see if they have something I’m looking for, and then going home for a nappy (we’ll both probably snooze) and then off to our puppy club meeting!!! I’m so excited! I haven’t been to one since I had P-mo, even though I did get to go to the Fire Station Outing in April. And then we’ll go to Mars Hill Church that night. So we have a fuuuun day tomorrow! No more of this “bored” stuff.

 Oh! And the other  thing Fantine’s REALLY improved on (that I forgot to mention in the list earlier) is checking in. I really encourage dogs to check-in so that I know they’re focused on me. When she came to me, she hardly ever did it, but now she does it tons. That makes me happy. 😀

My little brother and Fantine–both awake

Daniel decided Fantine was a good pillow

 

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Lovely Lady

In just a week Fantine has improved on a lot of things:

  • not pulling on leash
  • left turns
  • greeting people (especially kids)
  • general obedience
  • “come”
  • and standing still for brushing

Right now we’re working on polishing meeting people and passing dogs, and fighting garbage mouthiness. But overall she’s still a joy, and I’ll be so sad to see her go next week!!!

 

Run in the Sun and eat a Bun

Not really eat a bun, but I wanted to rhyme. 😀 Today is yet another gorgeous spring day here in WA, and Fantine is LOVING running around. I love working on command drills so I’ll let her run around and then we’d do the “sit-stay” walk away and then “come”. She thinks it’s a giant game, and loves it.

Lindsey, Fantine is sooooo amazing, I wouldn’t be surprised if she’s a breeder-in-training. I don’t know much about the rest of the litter, but Mr. O’Connor made at least one amazing pup. I’ll probably post today’s pictures tomorrow as my camera is in the other room, and if I get up, Fantine will, and I just want to let her sleep on my feet.

Oh, and some non-Guide Dog news…I got my Zune the other day!!!!!! I’m so happy! For those of you who don’t know what a Zune is, it’s basically Microsoft’s version of an iPod, but I can’t get an iPod because the software messes up my computer. I’ve been listening to the Guide Dog podcasts, they’re sooo interesting! I listened to the puppy raising one the other day, and my jaw dropped when the leader said she’s raised 46 puppies!!!! I understood it a little better when she said most of them were starters. It made me happy inside to know that a LEADER counts her starter puppies as puppies she’s raised. I always wonder about counting Lawrence and Pomona in my total of puppies raised. But now I don’t feel bad. 😀

Cheers! Anna and Fantine

Letter to Home (by Fantine)

Hi mom and everyone at home, it’s Fantine. Anna’s letting me write a post.

I’m having a lot of fun here. We’ve gone dozens of places, and Anna’s introduced me to all her friends. There must have been a THOUSAND. (Anna: More like 20 you goofy girl) They pet me lots, but I have to sit nicely which isn’t so fun. I just want to wiggle all over them! Everyone at this house loves me–Anna’s brother was talking about me and he said, “if this dog were a person, she’d be an optimist.” I’m not sure what that means, but I think it’s good.

Yesterday we got to go to church twice and to Pizza Hut. We all enjoyed it. This is me–THRILLED to be at Pizza Hut:

 I spend most of my time chewing all the cool toys that smell like other dogs, so they’re even MORE cool and running around in the backyard. I think that running around in the yard is the neatest thing since dry dog food. I grab a Kong and then run around the yard like a cat with it’s tail cut off (Anna: You mean, a chicken with it’s head cut off) Yeah same thing. Anna says I look like a rabbit because I hop like rabbit when I’m running.

Oh, and just so you know, I’ve been hearing them saying you’ll never get me back. Anna decided she’s going to keep me forever… or at least until I have to be a guide dog. I’m not sure how I like this idea… I miss you guys and my doggie brothers.

So far the plan is to relax today, and then we’re going to see Prince Caspian with some of Anna’s friends. But I’ll be the only dog there, so I’ll get all the attention.

Say hi to Toby and Len for me~

Fantine

 

Photo Shoot

Today is so

gorgeous that Fantine and I headed up to the park and took a ton of pictures. We found a great spot, but I soon discovered that there were red ants there, as one crawled up on my foot (I was wearing flip flops) and bit me. So we left that area pretty darn fast. Otherwise, it was pretty uneventful. Worked on some left turns and walking at different speeds. And got to do a lot of PR with the families at the park.

Theater Experience

With a name like Fantine (a character from the world-renown musical–Les Miserables) I knew this little lady had to make at least one trek to my theater while she’s here! So last night we went and saw Seussical the Musical. After a couple rounds of clapping, Fantine handled the show like a pro, and I was very proud of her behavior at intermission and after the show was over! She did so well that she’ll be able to come to my summer camp training meeting on June 1st. She may also get to see the Wizard of Oz once or twice before she leaves.

She also got to meet Lantana and they we got our pictures taken together.

She’s so funny with cars–once she gets into one, and has to be squished on the floor, she backs up and likes to get a running start to get into it. But once she’s in, she’s usually fine.

Today is gorgeous so after chores I’m hoping to walk up to the shopping center with Teenie (as I like calling her) and maybe take a ton of pictures. We’ll see….

 

The Look

You puppyraisers know what I’m talking about. The look you get from people when you walk into a store and there’s this furry thing in a green vest walking next to you. The initial reaction of “don’t know know you can’t take your dog places??” that quickly changes to “oh my goodness! That’s a working dog!” I love it. I’d forgotten how good it feels to go somewhere with a green vested dog by your side.

We went to school today. During study hall hour, a friend of mine and I skipped out and went to Subway to get our lunch. Fantine was an angel in Subway, and did pretty well at school. Kids of all ages go there, so she was rather startled and interested in the little screaming balls of terror (i.e. the Kindergartners). After school we ran a bunch of errands ranging from another school to Emerald City Smoothie. We did a little work on meet and greet at the other school and she’s getting better. Otherwise, we’re on a no-pet policy.

I did get some pictures…she’s such an adorable girl. Everyone keeps saying how good she is, and I’d have to agree. She certainly is testy–being with new handlers, and she seems a little stressed (probably since her mommy isn’t here!) but otherwise, we’re having a blast.