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!