WELL today was quite the fun guide dog day. 😀 Since Anna commented that my blog posts are usually just a few sentences, I have a full-length post WITH pictures and lots and lots of words just for you, Anna.
We started the day nice and early at 7:45 when we (my mom and I) headed over to pick up Janda. I was very glad that it worked out to take J to graduation with me. There’s something just blah about going to a guide dog graduation without a guide dog. PLUS I knew that a couple of special people would be there, who would want to meet my new litte amiga.
Janda generally rides on the tie-down on the floor in the backseat of my car. She has just enough length to put her head between the seats and give you the “I’m so pathetic sitting here all by my lonesome self” look.
It’s a 4 hour trip for us, so we always stop at a certain McDonalds on the way. Every time from Fun Day to Arturo’s recall, to Lawrence’s graduation, we always stop there. So J got to share in our tradition, and be the first little girl I took there.
Her manners were impeccable, as always, but she did have that little pulling problem. I was going to use her Halti all the time when I start school on Monday (that’s something you’ll have to wait to hear about) but when I put it on for graduation, she cowered when I brought it out. She was SO fearful of it that I really don’t want to put her on it unless necessary. What are your thoughts on that? She’s definitely a soft dog, but also a bit headstrong. If you correct too much or too hard she becomes fearful but she’s not the shy kind of dog that does nothing wrong. That’s why I thought the Halti would be good. But for now I think I’m going to stick with just one good correction on the training collar.
It was raining/drizzling the entire drive. So welcome to Oregon!
I knew that Lawrence’s ex-partner was graduating again with his new dog, Francisco. Plus I also knew that Anna would be there with Avani. I was kind of hoping that J wouldn’t completely embarass me at graduation like Arturo did. Artu was one of those whiners who you hear during graduation. Fortunately, J is not a whiner at all so she was great, but that’s getting ahead of the story 😛
We went to Oregon half because my mom’s mom’s birthday is in a few days. So she and all her sisters met at my aunt’s house in Portland. We had half an hour before we had to leave for campus, so we walked over to the park that I have many memories with Arturo. Plus poor Bean had been shut in the car for 4 hours minus one 12 minute break. So we walked around, met 2 great danes, and took a few pictures. But J hates grass, especially wet grass. So it was hard to get her to pose.
Once we got back to my aunt’s house, J was allowed loose in her house. She has excellent house manners and I figured we’d be sitting still soon enough. I’d been teaching her hide-and-seek while she was here a few weeks ago, so we played that till the cute pink tongue was lolling out all over the place and she was happy just to grab a toy and lie down.
Oh and this picture is slanted. She’s not about to fall off the deck 🙂
It must be SO hard to be a puppy. 🙂
Oh, as to my school news, J is coming with me on Monday for a test-run. Tuesday she has her approval meeting with the disabilities director. If both the director and I think she does fine, she’ll start out coming 2-3 days with me, and then sooner or later she’ll start coming every day. I personally think she’ll be fantastic. There aren’t many stressful situations at school. Just the crowds and the gym.
We had a lovely time at graduation. Turns out I knew or, rather knew of many of the dogs graduating! I talked to Tom before graduation started and he got to meet Janda Bean.
<–this is Janda at graduation. Picture perfect guide dog in training.
But we also saw Fantine’s brother, Fulbright graduate as well as Lantana’s sister, Lavette. Of course, Shelly’s favorite Loyola graduated as well.
Lovely Lavette, with the same gorgeous block head as Lana.
EDIT: From here on, the text is all screwy and won’t format around the pictures it goes with. Just so you know.
I love that I got to see a golden graduate! It’s so rare. Haha (sorry Abby!)
Unfortunately, I wasn’t close enough to the stage to get any good pictures of the actual graduation but here’s Loyola afterwards. I do have a few of Loyola’s raisers giving their speech and Loyola’s new partner but I won’t post their faces for privacy. I’ll get those to you, Shelly, If you want them.
My special retired boy Lawrence was also at graduation. He is very happy and was glad to see Tom one last time. He’ll be a great pet, his other raisers are very lucky. It never ceases to amaze me how WHITE he is!!!
It was also sweet because Lawrence got to meet Janda.
I know it is one of the HUGEST “no-no’s” in guide dog puppy raiserhood, but I was SO SO SO SO SO tempted to take a tour/walk back to the kennel area and just see if Icould see Tex Tex. Or just say his name and see if any cute black head pops up. I didn’t, so don’t freak out, but I really wanted to! I did talk to one of the trainers who knew him (or at least knew of him). When I asked her if he was doing well she went “……yessss”. lol. Being very Vortex I take it.
When Janda and I went outside to take some pictures and just see the dogs outside, we saw Tom and Francisco (who looked great in his harness)
When we were outside, we again ran into Anna who was busy with Avani and Shimmer, so we took a picture of my lovely Bean watching the other dogs and wondering why she couldn’t go play with them.
I find it amazing how much they change in just a few months. She still looks similar to the baby girl
I brought home, but a little more grown up!
Probably my highlight of the trip was meeting Anna and Princess Avani. She’s a gorgeous puppy, very sweet! Someone will be very lucky to get her. So here are Avani and Janda together. Pardon me in the background….it was a tiny bit of a challenge to keep them from playing.
What’s a trip to campus without a picture by the sign?
Another raiser was taking her puppies’ picture by the sign before me, and we started talking. I love puppy raisers. I talked with her and her husband for about half an hour! Never met her before in my life but we both have little black guide dog girls and thus we have something in common! It was a very un-eventful drive home. Janda got to ride on the seat half of the way back since I felt bad about having her in such cramped quarters. She loved that and stretched out ALLLL the way on the backseat 😛
So there’s the full story! I really enjoyed the day, and had a lot of fun meeting people, puppies, and taking pictures.
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