Monday, December 31, 2007


My puppyraiser told me today that everyone writes resolutions on New Year's Eve... and that maybe I should write my New Year's Resolutions in my blog.

I looked at her blankly. "What the heck is a resolution?” I asked.

She responded, "Well, resolutions are those things that you want to change about yourself in the coming year. People tend to write resolutions that focus on bettering themselves in some way."

I looked up her with my most adoring, but blank look.

"For example," she said, "resolutions tend to be things like: I will go to the gym, I will eat healthier foods, I will learn another language, I won't work so much, etc. etc. etc."

"What does etc. etc. etc. mean?" I asked, as I pounced on my toy... which my puppyraiser promptly took away so that I would focus.

"It means and so on," she sighed, slightly exasperated. "The point is, Carlo, that resolutions are kind of fun things to write at the end of the year."

"Ok, ok, I muttered, "I'll take a break from my napping and write some resolutions..."

So, I thought and thought and thought some more. I even wrinkled my brow in deep, deep thought. But, to be honest, I couldn't think of anything that I would do to do to better myself next year. But... I did think of some resolutions for my puppyraiser... :-)

Puppyraiser Resolutions (written by Carlo)

  1. I will not get exasperated when Carlo loses focus and wants to play and when he asks a ton of questions (like: "what does etc. etc. etc. mean?")
  2. I will feed Carlo whenever he is hungry.
  3. I will not take Carlo's toys away from him... even when he chews little holes in them and pulls out all of the stuffing.
  4. I will kick Lucky off of the comfy pillow by the fireplace and let Carlo sleep there.
  5. I will let Carlo eat the food that Ashley drops on the floor... and any other food I may happen to see on the floor.
  6. I will let Carlo dig in the backyard... and I'll join him in the fun!
  7. I will run as fast as I can outside just for fun... I'll run so fast that if I had ears like Carlo they would flap in the wind.
  8. I will get off my computer at work, get on the floor, and give Carlo a big hug once in awhile.
  9. I will not forget to take breaks at work and walk Carlo outside (even when work is busy).
  10. I will do everything I want to do now... so that I will be happy and not want to better myself in any other way... then there will be no need to write resolutions next year and I can take a nap and not have to think so hard about what my resolutions are!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Carlo the Super Dog!

What to do on a cold rainy day? Write my own theme song!

When people are feeling blue
and their smiles are too few
When stress has got them down
with faces in a frown...

There’s no need to fear
Carlo-dog is here!
Underdog may be talk of the town
but my doggie superpowers make me quite the hound!

I spring into action
causing quite a reaction
scrunching my nose and wrinkling my lip
with my doggie smile I look so hip!

And before you know it
people’s faces are all a-lit
with smiles and happy glee
for everyone to see!

No more frowns and sad faces
not even mere traces
stress and blue feelings fade away
oh what a happy day!

The sounds of “Sweet boy Carlo”
make me just glow!
My job now done, it is time once more
to take a nap upon the floor!

There's No Need to Fear... Underdog is Here!

Two nights ago we watched the movie Underdog (2007) on DVD. It was REALLY good. I especially liked the scenes with Polly Purebred. She was pretty hot! My puppyraiser thought it was funny that I watched intently ever time Polly was on screen.

My puppyraiser is pretty old and she said she still remembers watching the cartoon version of Underdog when she was a kid. The cartoon version came out in 1964... dang, my puppyraiser is REALLY old! [Side note by puppyraiser: That's BEFORE I was born!]. Uh, huh...

Anyways, the story is about a beagle named Shoeshine Boy. When villains threaten, Shoeshine Boy ducks into telephone booths where he transforms into the caped and costumed hero, Underdog. He is quite the poet and usually speaks in rhymes. Here's the theme song from the cartoon version of Underdog:
When criminals in this world appear,
And break the laws that they should fear,
And frighten all who see or hear,
The cry goes up both far and near for
Underdog! Underdog! Underdog! Underdog!
Speed of lightning! Roar of thunder!
Fighting all who rob or plunder!
Underdog! Underdog! Underdog!

Underdog rocks! I wanna have a theme song too!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

I love Christmas!

I've just gotta say... I LOVE Christmas! Today was the best day ever! Here are some of the highlights:

  1. My puppyraiser and I didn't have to go to work.

  2. We slept in... until the sun actually rose!

  3. I ate breakfast (and it seemed as if there was a little extra food in my bowl this morning!)

  4. We opened a bunch of presents... which I wasn't really sure how to do until Lucky taught me the art of putting my whole head into the gift bag.

  5. We played with new toys... until puppyraiser noticed that I was already beginning to chew holes in mine and took mine away.

  6. We visited with puppyraiser's friends who came by to visit... and they brought me gifts!

  7. We went not just on one walk... but TWO!

  8. I smelled some really good things cooking in the oven.

  9. I slept next to my puppyraiser's feet while she sat by the Christmas tree.

  10. I received lots of Christmas hugs and kisses!

I wish every day was Christmas!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Dog's Night Before Christmas

My puppyraiser just read this story to Lucky and me...

Dog's Night Before Christmas
Author Unknown

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.
My dogs were nestled, all snug in "MY" bed,
While visions of chewie toys danced in their heads.

I in my sweat pants and Dad in his sweater,
Had just settled down to read the Great Dog Reporter,
When up on the roof there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my chair to see what was the matter!

Off to the window I flew in a flash,
Tore open the shutter and threw up the sash.
The moon on the crest of the new fallen snow
Gave a luster of midday to the objects below.

And what to my wondering eyes did appear
but a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer.
With a little old driver so lively and quick
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.

With a sputter of ashes -- a flurry of soot,
He slid down the chimney with all of his loot.
My Dogs stood there so regal and proud,
Guarding their home with barks oh so loud.
St. Nick showed no fear and called them by name,
He knew in his heart they were gentle and tame.

He brought out his list, checking it twice.
"Well, my beauties, all year you've been very nice.
I have in my bag toys and much more,
Just tell me what you pups really long for."

My dogs talked to each other -- much to my surprise
and turned to Santa with tears in their eyes,
"We have chewies and balls and ropes to be tugged,
We are pampered and coddled and petted and hugged.
But for Christmas, dear Santa, we have but one care,
that all dogs be loved as much as we are.
We want no dog beaten, whipped or chained,
No dog abandoned, abused or maimed.
We want all dogs, no matter what size,
to see love reflected in their master's eyes."

St. Nick stopped for a moment to gather his wits,
"I have nothing to stop humans from being such twits."
All dogs are so beautiful and are such a treasure,
Living only to be loved and give humans pleasure.
This lesson I will try to teach
Then maybe your wish will be within my reach."

St. Nick leaned over and kissed each beautiful head.
"Now you gentle giants, go off to bed.
Think good thoughts and dream good dreams
Of running and jumping and playing in streams."

St. Nick turned to me, his face wet with tears.
"Be proud of your babies, they are such dears."

In an instant St. Nick disappeared in a poof,
And I heard him chuckle as he ran on the roof.
He jumped in his sleigh and to his team gave a whistle,
and off he flew like the down on a thistle.

And I heard him exclaim as the drove out of sight,
"Merry Christmas to All and To All Dogs a Good Life!"

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Tip Top Shape

Yesterday my puppyraiser took me to the CCI vet clinic in Santa Rosa so that I could have x-rays taken. All CCI pups have hip x-rays taken when they get turned in. CCI wants to make sure that we don't have any degenerative joint problems like hip dysplasia. Dogs that do have a problem, even if it very minor, are immediately released because you have to be in tip top shape to be an assistance dog.

Anyways, my puppyraiser took me to CCI to have my x-rays done early because she was concerned I may have problems with my shoulders. I do this thing when I sit where my front paws sometimes tremble. I'm not sure why I do it... I just do it. She mentioned this to my local vet and the vet examined my joints. When she pushed my shoulders in a certain direction, it was very uncomfortable for me and I squirmed a bunch.

So, my puppyraiser dropped me off at the CCI vet clinic in the morning and then she and Lucky went on a hike nearby at a lake. Lucky said it was awesome. She told me that even though my puppyraiser was feeling crappy (she has a cold), she still took Lucky on a nice long hike. Geesh... I wish I could have gone! It would have been much more fun than being at the vet clinic all day!

When my puppyraiser came to pick me up from the clinic, boy was I happy. I ran over to her and gave her my special “smile”. I felt like I had not seen her in ages... even though it was really just a few hours. The CCI vet clinic staff told my puppyraiser the results of my x-rays... and it was good news! They said that after examining my x-rays, the vet said that my shoulders look good! There is nothing wrong with them! I'm in tip top shape! Woohoo... time to go play!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Random Acts of Kindness

This morning on our walk we ran into the Treat Lady! The Treat Lady (as my puppyraiser calls her) is this really nice lady that lives in our hood. For some reason she doesn't have dogs of her own, but she LOVES all dogs, big and small. The Treat Lady carries dog treats with her and every time she passes by a dog, she gives the dog a treat (after she receives the ok from the dog’s person). All dogs love the Treat Lady and run up and sit nicely in front of her when they see her!

Of course, I don't get to have any treats. I asked my puppyraiser about this and she said it was because I was "special". That didn't make sense at all to me. If I'm "special" then shouldn't I get even more treats than all of the "non-special" dogs? My puppyraiser tried to further explain it by saying that it was important that I learn to focus on one person. Right now that one person is my puppyraiser. But, someday, if I graduate, it will be the person that I am matched with. My puppyraiser said that if other people gave me treats then I would lose focus. She’s got a point there. Sigh... being an assistance dog in training sure can be tough sometimes. Although, I can’t really complain too much because my puppyraiser does reward me with treats when I’m being a good boy. And, even better... with love and attention!

Even though I can't have any treats from the Treat Lady, I still love it when I see her coming. I get really excited. Partially because Lucky gets excited (she gets to have treats from her. Whatever!). And, partially because the Treat Lady talks to me and she tells me how special I am and that I'm doing well with my training. She's super duper nice.

The Treat Lady carries treats with her all the time. She doesn't just do it during the holiday season. My puppyraiser said that if everyone were as nice as the Treat Lady and did similar random acts of kindness, the world would be a much better place.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

T - Day

My puppyraiser received my official turn-in letter from CCI. This is the letter that confirms my turn-in date (the date I head off to college). T-day (as my puppyraiser calls it) will be February 23, 2008.

My puppyraiser said that she doesn't really feel like blogging right now. She said that she would rather watch the Cole video we posted on Dec. 6 to remind her why she she does this puppyraising stuff...

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Mysterious Happenings

Tonight started out like any other night. My puppyraiser and I got home from work. Lucky excitedly greeted us at the door. Lucky and I bounded joyfully up and down the hallway as my puppyraiser came into the house with her hands full of stuff. But then, the evening took quite a turn from the usual...

My puppyraiser started to walk into the living room and froze. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw a medium gray animal walking on the rug! Thinking the worst (that there was a diseased rodent in our house), she started waving her arms in the air and shouting expletives. But then, suddenly she stopped... and shouted, "Everybody freeze!" I'm assuming "everybody" was Lucky and me... but we were already frozen because her arm waving and potty mouth had already pretty much freaked us out.

I've gotta admit though that my curiosity got the best of me, so I inched up out of my frozen state just close enough to see what was going on. I saw my puppyraiser calmly walk over to the gray animal, and say, "Ashley, how the heck did you get over here?!" That’s right… it was Ashley, the crazy parrot that lives with us! My puppyraiser held a stick in front of Ashley and she calmly hopped on to it. Then, my puppyraiser walked over to Ashley's cage... only to find that the door was closed! My puppyraiser was scratching her head by this time. She opened the cage door, put Ashley on her perch and said, "How in the world did you get out?!" Ashley looked at her with her head cocked and simply said, "CHIHUAHUA!". That's Ashley's response to everything. She's not all that bright... or is she?????

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Party On Dawg

My puppyraiser took me to a holiday party last night with all of her co-workers. I didn't wear my CCI vest to the party... because after all, it was a PARTY! I think everyone was really surprised that I just fell asleep. But, what can I say? I'm a really mellow dog and I enjoy my nap time. Here's a photo of me having a rip-roaring time at the party... and, yes, that is one heck of a big bubble I'm blowing in my sleep!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Bark Avenue

Last week my puppyraiser and I came across a doggie store in El Dorado Hills called Bark Avenue. They opened about 6 months ago and specialize in premium dog and cat foods. They also sell cute boutique stuff, like this mug (which my puppyraiser bought because the dog reminded her of me!). The store is owned by the Mizells, who opened the store after researching natural and human-grade foods for their dog, Spencer, who was diagnosed with cancer. By giving him an alternative diet, they were able to help prolong his life from the three-month diagnosis to more than a year!

Poor Spencer has since passed away, but their new pup, Charlie, is now learning the ropes of how to assist in the store. He's a golden retriever... and he's only about 2 months old. He is pretty fun... except when he wanted to play with my tail.

Here's an article about Bark Avenue in the El Dorado Hills Telegraph.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Cole and Ilia Massie/Service Dog Team

My puppyraiser found this video tonight. She said that watching it reminds her why she keeps raising puppies for Canine Companions for Independence. She said it also makes her realize that she shouldn't shed any tears when she sends me off to college in February... because some day I may get to help a little boy like Cole.

Rainy Night Blues

This is what happens to an assistance dog in training when it's raining outside and his puppyraiser isn't the mood to go out in the rain to do her usual work out stuff. I kept telling her she should go... but, no. She decides to stay in, get all Christmas-y, and put this funny looking hat on me. Sigh... what's a dog gonna do?

Monday, December 3, 2007

Big Guy in a Red Outfit

My puppyraiser took me to a Christmas tree lighting ceremony this weekend. It was lots of fun! There were dogs, and kids, and music, and dancing, and stuff. We walked around and went into shops. In this one shop, there was this big guy with a long white beard. He was wearing a red outfit. His name was Santa. I think he was a pretty important guy because there was a red carpet that went up to where he was sitting! And, everyone wanted their photo taken with him.

Later in the evening we saw another funny dressed guy. He called himself an elf. I don't think he was as important as Santa because there was no red carpet. This elf guy was really funny looking. He had a big ears and really big shoes. His shoes had balls on them that flashed. Even though he was kind of freaky, I couldn't resist checking out those flashing balls on his shoes. The elf guy told a dog joke: This guy walks up to another guy standing next to a dog. The guy asks, "Does your dog bite?". The guy standing next to the dog says "No, my dog is really friendly". So, the first guy puts out his hand to pet the dog and the dog bites him. The guy says "Hey! I thought you said your dog doesn't bite?!" The other guy said, "That isn't my dog!".

I like this time of year. There are lots of fun things to do... and you run into lots of strange people!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Just Elfin' Around

To celebrate Lucky's good health, Lucky and I decided to go wild and crazy and elf ourselves tonight! Check us out getting our groove on at Office Max's very cool Go Elf Yourself site!

May We All Be So Lucky

My buddy Lucky has once again lived up to her name!!! She had surgery on Monday to remove a growth on her tongue. My puppyraiser was worried that the growth may be cancerous. However, the biopsy results showed that it was benign! This news came just a few weeks after the vet thought Lucky may have lymphoma... and those results came back negative! When she found out the good news, my puppyraiser gave Lucky a big hug and said to her, "You sure are one lucky dog!"

Lucky was given her name when, as a puppy, she was about to be dropped off at a pound, and my puppyraiser saw her and took her on the spot. The name Lucky came from the fact that she didn't have to spend a single night at the pound.

Over the years Lucky has lived up to her name repeatedly. She once ate snail bait, which a neighbor had carelessly strewn all over his lawn... much of which ended up falling into my puppyraiser's backyard! Lucky went into shock and ended up in the emergency center. The vet said it was a miracle she lived.

She was attacked twice in her lifetime by other dogs. In both situations the other dogs were off leash while Lucky was on leash. She miraculously came away from both incidents completely unscathed! She once jumped out the back window of a moving car to chase a squirrel. This act left her without a single injury... but boy was she in troubbbbllllle! She was also quite the escape artist in her younger days... escaping from the backyard so that she could roam her hood. But, she was always found unhurt. She's bounded off high mountain rocks, swam out of strong river cross currants, eaten chocolate (and the foil it was wrapped in), and was chased by a flock of big crows who were very pissed off at her. She bounded back from each of these incidents as if none of them ever happened.

Long live Lucky! May we all be as lucky as she!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Patience is a Virtue

In the spirit of the holiday season, and with all of the hallmark words floating around, I thought that today I would write about patience. The saying "patience is a virtue" are my words to live by. Case in point - gaining access to a much-wanted nylabone.

Lucky will often pick up the largest, yummiest looking nylabone in the house and settle down for a chew fest. This used to be very upsetting to me because I would want that particular nylabone too (even though there are other nylabones and an assortment of toys to choose from).

But, I learned that if I were very, very patient, the coveted nylabone would eventually be mine. All I have to do is lay quietly next to Lucky as she chews on the nylabone. I put my head down between my two front paws and stare intently as she chews... and chews... and chews. Finally, after what seems like forever, she finally stops. But, the nylabone isn't mine yet. No, I must be even more patient for Lucky will then rest her head next to the nylabone... and I dare not take it at this point. But, in time, Lucky will get bored and finally walk away and the nylabone will be mine, mine, mine! Ahhhhhh!

So, as you are dealing with the holiday madness - waiting in security lines at the airport, waiting for long lines in the shopping malls to move, waiting for Santa to finally arrive - remember this: Patience is a virtue... and, if you are very patient, eventually that "nylabone" will be yours.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thankful Thoughts

I've been thinking today about all of the things that I have to be thankful for...

I'm thankful for being an assistance dog in training. I get to go to places that most dogs only dream of going to, I get to be with my puppyraiser all the time, and I get to grow up knowing that some day I will be able to help someone in need.

I'm thankful that I get to go to training classes every week and that someday I will go to college (aka advanced training).

I'm thankful that my puppyraiser is always encouraging and helps me through those times when I'm a little scared or unsure of something.

I'm thankful for soft plush toys, nylabones, balls, and kongs.

I'm thankful that my puppyraiser leaves her socks on the floor, where I can pick them up and create sock piles.

I'm thankful that Ashley, the parrot, drops food on the ground. And, that my puppyraiser sometimes doesn't notice me picking up the food... until after I've already eaten it.

I'm thankful that Lucky greets me and my puppyraiser at the door every day when we come home from work.

I'm thankful that my puppyraiser calls me "sweet boy" instead of "lil' sh*t"... which is what she sometimes called her last CCI dog in training (who had a tendency to REALLY get in trouble).

I'm thankful for sticks, butterflies, rose petals, acorns, and all those other fun things that I find out in the backyard.

I'm thankful for movie nights when I get to snuggle with my puppyraiser.

I'm thankful for camping trips, road trips, and well... any kind of trip.

I'm thankful for kids with food covered fingers.

I'm thankful for long summer days when I can bask in the sun, as well as long winter nights when I can bask in the warmth of a fireplace.

I'm thankful that people are so happy. They always seem to smile at me every time I walk by.

I'm thankful I'm a dog and I have a blog.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

I just wanted to wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving for tomorrow! May your day be full of thanks and giving, as well as play, sleep, and good food. Hey... that sounds like a typical day for me!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Dare to be Different

A few weeks ago during dog training class we were working on the "up" command. "Up" means that you have to put your two front paws on something and you have to keep them there until your puppyraiser gives you another command or says "release". I'm getting pretty good at doing "up", but class was kind of tough because were doing scary "ups"... we had to do them on a rod iron fence... that moved!

I was towards the back of the line of dogs. So, I watched one dog after the next walk confidently up to the rod iron fence and, after their puppyraiser said "up", each of them effortlessly placed their two front paws on the top bar of the fence. They even held it as the fence swayed to and fro. Then, it was my turn. My puppyraiser and I walked up to the fence. My puppyraiser said, "up". I looked at the fence thoughtfully. And, finally I did what came most natural to me. Instead of doing what all of the other dogs before me had done, I slowly placed each of my paws on the lowest bar of the fence. I've gotta admit that this wasn't exactly an easy thing to do cause my head hit the bar above it. But, I still held my position proudly until my puppyraiser told me "off".

I was a little worried that maybe I didn't do the command right. But, my puppyraiser bent down, gave me the biggest hug, and said, "Carlo, you are such a good boy!” It made me so happy!

Later that day I told my puppyraiser that I felt like I wasn't as good as the other dogs because I did the "up" differently. My puppyraiser said that I did exactly what I was supposed to do and it didn't matter if I did it a little different. She said it would be a mighty boring world if everyone did things the same way. She said if dogs all did things the same way, they would not have done the things they did to change the world...

My puppyraiser said that if I dare to be different, I may very well change the world... or, at the very least, make a big impact on someone's life. My puppyraiser can be a little overly dramatic sometimes. But, I do love it when she rambles. And, it was fun researching all of the famous dogs. So, to show my appreciation, I wagged my tail and planted a big wet kiss on her cheek.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

No Lions, Lots of Puppies

Yeah, yeah... I know. The video I tried posting yesterday of the lion never made it on to my blog. I tried several times to get it up there, but it's just not working. What can I say? I'm an assistance dog... not a computer geek!

So, to make it up to all of you, here's something else cute for you to look at. My puppyraiser took this photo. It doesn't have a lion in it... but, it has lots of puppies! What can be cuter than that?!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Hugs and Kisses

A lady that my puppyraiser used to work with sent her this video today. The lady retired not too long ago. I really miss her. She used to wear black all the time and I liked to rub up on her clothing so that I could highlight her clothing with my golden blonde hair.

Anyways, I wanted to share this video on my blog cause it's really cute. My puppyraiser keeps trying to explain to me that it's a lion in the video... and not a dog. Whatever he is, I'm hoping that my puppyraiser will invite him over to play with me.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

When I was a little puppy, my puppyraiser used to put a baseball cap on me and tell me that someday, when I was older, she would take me to a baseball game. This past summer I was finally old enough! I went to my very first baseball game with my puppyraiser and her guy friend. What an adventurous night it was!

A smorgasbord of food smells permeated the air and floor. I'm talkin' peanuts, cracker jacks, cotton candy, pretzels... and best of all, hotdogs! Of course, since I'm in training to be an assistance dog, I could have none of it. What a lesson in self-control that was!

There were some people down on the field playing with a baseball. They would throw the ball and catch the ball and run around. Dang, it looked like fun! But, the weird thing is that of all of the people at the ballgame, only a few were actually playing. The rest of the people sat up in the stands and just watched! It didn't make sense to me at all. I thought that maybe all of these people were in training to do something like me... maybe they were going to be assistance people. My puppyraiser tried to explain to me that this wasn't the case. She said the people in the stands were just watching the game for fun. But, I still didn't get it.

Towards the end of the game, we were walking around and my puppyraiser and her guy friend started talking about how cool it would be if they could get a photo of me with Dinger. I had no clue what a Dinger was, but I thought sure, why not. After all, I'm always up for a photo opp. But, then before I knew it, a GIANT... and I mean GIANT cat walked up to us. It was the biggest, scariest cat I have ever seen in my entire life! I'm talkin' nightmare-ish size! I took one look at that thing and ducked behind my puppyraiser and no amount of coaxing was going to get me to come out. My puppyraiser finally mumbled, "uhhhh... never mind... the photo is not going to happen" and we walked away. But, I kept looking back to make sure the giant cat monster didn't follow us.

I've been to baseball games a few times since then. And fortunately the giant cat monster wasn’t anywhere near us. Although a few times, I thought I saw him gyrating and dancing around in the distance. To this day, I sometimes have nightmares about him. I’ll be sound asleep at work, and start dreaming he’s chasing me. I start groaning in my sleep and my paws start moving like I’m running. My puppyraiser then gives me a little shake and tells me it’s ok and I can hear her co-workers laughing in the background. I stretch and yawn feeling so relieved it was just a nightmare. Then, I fall back asleep and start dreaming about happier things, like hotdogs and peanuts and playing with baseballs. And, the happy ball game song plays in the background...
"Take me out to the ball game,
Take me out with the crowd.
Buy me some peanuts and cracker jack,
I don't care if I never get back,
Let me root, root, root for the home team,
If they don't win it's a shame.
For it's one, two, three strikes, your out,
At the old ball game."

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Spiders, Bees, and Cats

My puppyraiser works on some kind of a team called a Web Team. Between naps, I've been trying to figure out exactly what they do. To be honest, I'm still not really sure. It seems like they are always either at their computers, at meetings, or at potlucks.

Meetings are kinda nice for me because I get to nap. Sometimes I try to get my puppyraiser to join me under the table. I give her the invite by putting my paw on her foot or I gently bite her shoe. But, she never does join me. So, I have to go back to napping cause there's nothing better to do. Sometimes I lay awake listening to everyone talk at the meeting. Let me tell you... BORRRRRING! I honestly don't know how my puppyraiser can stand it. A few times I haven't even been able to stifle a really loud yawn, which everyone at the meeting can hear.

Anyways, I'll let you know if I ever figure out what the Web Team does. All I know is that for Halloween they all wore black t-shirts with a spider on them. And, I wore a spider costume. Come to think of it, a lot of people at work wore costumes that day. There were some really weird people running around in bee costumes who kept chanting "buzzzzz... buzzzzz". And, I even saw some people dressed up as cats! I can't believe that anyone would actually want to look like a cat! The people at work sure are a strange bunch... but, that's what's makes it so much fun to go with my puppyraiser to work every day. I never know what I'm going to experience next!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Crazy Bird and Movie Nights

In addition to my puppyraiser and Lucky, I live with a crazy bird named Ashley. She's an African Grey parrot. She came to live with us this past summer. Another puppyraiser needed to re-home Ashley and my puppyraiser being the sucker she is... errr, I mean nice person... took her in.

Ashley's not all that bad... but, she can be wayyyyyy obnoxious, especially during movie nights. Movie nights at my house are the best! My puppyraiser rents a movie, pours herself a glass of vino, and sits down on the floor next to Lucky and me. Lucky likes to sleep on her pillow. But, me? I snuggle right on up next to my puppyraiser. And, now that the weather is getting cooler, my puppyraiser usually shares a big cozy blankie with me. Awwww... total bliss. However, just when I'm on the verge of falling into deep puppy slumber... I hear "CHIHUAHUA!" I awake with a start. Hearing nothing further, I stretch, yawn, close my eyes, snuggle a little closer to my puppyraiser, and then I hear, "SPEAK! WOOF WOOF! QUIET! HELLO ASHLEY! LUCKY... LUCKKKKY". And, this goes on and on and on. And, then my puppyraiser, in noise competition, turns up the volume of the movie. It makes me just wanna yell, "SERENITY NOW!". But, instead, I just drown out all the noise, bury my head deeper in my puppyraiser's lap, and add to all the noise by sawing some Zzzzzzzzs. Dang, even with the crazy bird, movie nights sure are the best!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Top Dawg

Yesterday I mentioned going on a walk with Lucky. Lucky lives with my puppyraiser and me. She’s been around a long time (about 13 years) and she’s the top dawg, alpha, boss dog, and queen b**** [side note by Carlo: my puppyraiser just told me I couldn't use that word because while it's acceptable in the dog community, some people may take offense. People are way too sensitive!]. Anyways, Lucky is my pal and I love her. She totally rocks!

When I was little, I used to be kinda scared and intimidated by her because she would growl and bark at me if I was bugging her too much. But, then I discovered that she was just teaching me how to be a good boy instead of an annoying, pestering "twerp" (her word, not mine). And, Lucky learned that I was more than ok that she was the top dawg. Being top dawg would be way too much responsibility for me.

Our favorite game is when Lucky stomps her feet and barks at me. I then go running around and around the tree in the backyard. My long ears flap in the wind, and I act like a complete goof. And, when I stop, Lucky stomps her feet and barks, and I run around the tree some more. It’s great fun! And, my puppyraiser laughs and laughs when we do this... which makes us wanna do it even more!

My puppyraiser takes Lucky and me on lots of fun outings together. Usually I'm not in work mode on these outings, meaning that I don't have to wear my yellow CCI cape. This summer, we got to go camping in Tahoe and Yosemite! We even got to ride in a motor boat around Lake Tahoe. Here’s a photo of us on the boat. My puppyraiser made us wear life vests, but fortunately, we didn’t have to use ‘em! I laughed when I saw Lucky bursting out of her vest. She looked at me annoyingly and told me that when females age they sometimes become gravitationally-challenged.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

What’s Up with Working on Sunday???

Today my puppyraiser had to go to work. And, since she had to go... I had to go as well. As we were driving to work, she asked, “What’s up with working on Sundays?” She didn’t even wait for me to respond before she grumbled something about a deployment (whatever the heck that is) and then started rambling about how the word “Sunday” is probably a portmanteau of “Sunny Day” [side note by Carlo: she read the word portmanteau the other day and now can’t stop using it]... and that she can’t enjoy a sunny day, when she has to be stuck in a building all day... blah, blah, blah [side note by Carlo: I didn’t hear the rest because I fell asleep].

I really don’t know what she was griping about. She took Lucky and me on a long walk on the trails before heading to work [side note by Carlo: I’ll blog about Lucky in a future post]. And, once at work, I got to take a really nice long nap! On top of that, there was no annoying bird to keep me awake while I napped [side note by Carlo: I’ll blog about the noisy bird in a future post as well].

[side note by puppyraiser: I didn’t get to nap at work. It must be nice to be you!]

[side note by Carlo: It sure is!]

College and Career Choices

Where’d I leave off yesterday? Oh yeah, college. My puppyraiser told me she will be very sad when I go off to college because she will miss me so much, but she is happy that I am going to be embarking on such an exciting new journey.

As for me - to be honest, I don’t know what to think about college. I’m kinda nervous about it, but kinda excited too. My puppyraiser tells me that I will live in a dorm-like environment (aka kennels) and that I will have a roommate. I guess that will be ok as long as my roomie doesn’t snore too much. She also said that I will be assigned to a CCI trainer and that person will teach me all kinds of advanced commands, such as how to turn lights on and off and how to retrieve things. I sure do hope my trainer will be as nice and encouraging as my puppyraiser.

My puppyraiser also tells me that I will have to be on my best behavior (aren’t I always?) and that I will have to work really really hard in college. She says that college is very competitive and that only about 40% of dogs actually go on to graduate! She said that the rest are released (that's sort of the same thing as flunking out). The idea of being released really freaked me out until my puppyraiser told me that if that were to happen, I could come back and live with her FOREVER! She told me that while I’m in college, I will have to decide whether I want to be an Assistance Dog or whether I’d prefer to do something else. And, if I decide that I don’t want to be an assistance dog, I will become what is called a change of career (COC) dog and she will help me figure out what to do with my life. She said that I'm way too good just to be a stay-at-home dog. So, she would want to see whether I could get certified to be a therapy dog, where she could take me to visit patients in hospitals.

So, it's a win-win situation for me! I'm either going to graduate and become an Assistance Dog. Or, I'm going to get released and come home to my very own personal career counselor! How cool is that?!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Very First Blog

Hi. My name is Carlo, I'm a dog, and this is my very first blog. To start things off, I'm going to answer a few questions:

How can a dog blog when a dog can't even type?
Well, duh... of course dogs can't type. Unfortunately, humans didn't make keyboards big enough to accomodate paws... especially big yellow paws like mine. So, my puppyraiser is going to do all of the typing.

Just go with it. Or, this blog will never go anywhere.

Ok... so, who or what is a puppyraiser?
My puppyraiser is the person who takes care of me. She feeds me, and loves me, and teaches me stuff, and takes me EVERYWHERE! She's the best!

Everywhere? How can she take you everywhere when you're just a dog?
Watch it buddy. No dog is "just a dog". Would you call a human "just a human"? I didn't think so. According to Wikipedia,

...dogs are valued for their intelligence... dogs have lived and worked with humans in so many roles that their loyalty has earned them the unique sobriquet "man's best riend".

[side note by puppyraiser: this should be "person's best friend"]
[side note by Carlo: my puppyraiser is obviously a woman]

Anyways, the bottom line is that I don't think you should be calling your best friend, "just a dog".

Ok, ok, I'm sorry. But you never answered the question. How can your puppyraiser take you everywhere... when most dogs aren't allowed to go everywhere?
I'm kind of a special dog. I'm from an organization called Canine Companions for Independence. This is national nonprofit organization that enhances the lives of children and adults with disabilities by providing highly-trained assistance dogs. So... until I head off to college, I get to live with my puppyraiser. She helps socialize me by taking me to work, restaurants, malls, movies, EVERYWHERE! It's great!

How long do you get to live with this puppyraiser?
About a year and a half. I'm actually heading off to college this Feb.

College? Dogs can't go to college.
You certainly are narrow-minded, aren't you? This is a special college just for dogs from Canine Companions for Independence. It's actually called "Advanced Training". My puppyraiser tells me that I'm going to be there from 6 to 9 months before I graduate.

Dang, that's not a very long time to be in "college". Why only 6-9 months?
Because dogs are really intelligent. [check out wikipedia]

I see. So, how does your puppyraiser feel about you going off to college?
Ummmm... my puppyraiser just told me that she needs a break from typing...

Oh, ok. Well, I'm looking forward to your next blog because I've got a whole lot more questions.
All of your questions will eventually be answered. But, keep in mind I've got a busy life between sleeping, training, hanging out with my puppyraiser, playing, etc. etc. etc.