Sunday, December 28, 2008

My New Career and Twinkly Eyes (by: Carlo)

After I wrote about my last performance of Annie, I said to stay tuned as to what was next on my ever busy agenda. Well, hopefully you haven't gotten bored reading about Gerrit frolicking all over town and you're still out there reading my blog so I can give you the scoop on ME!

About a month ago my pal and I received our official letter of acceptance from the Delta Society! We are now officially a registered Pet Partner Team! The photo above is of me sporting my new and groovy Delta vest. My pal convinced me to try it on... but, it was just an excuse for her to take more photos of me. She got all into taking photos that bring out my eyes. She said that my eyes are the window to my soul and that she can tell what I'm thinking just by looking into them. Huh? I think Gerrit was right... that Marley & Me movie sure did bring out her sappiness!

Anyways... becoming a registered Delta Pet Partner Team is just a part of the process. In addition, we will have to apply to each individual place we would like to volunteer. This is because every hospital has its own rules and policies. So, about a month or so ago we started the application process at Sutter Hospital. And, just last week were officially accepted! In fact, on Christmas Eve we went by the hospital and the nice people there took our badge photos.

I really liked going to Sutter. Even though it was just for our badge photos... it was nice walking the hallways of the hospital. Every person that walked by looked at me and smiled! Even people who looked like they were in a rush, smiled as I trotted by. It made me really happy. My pal commented on how my tail didn't stop wagging and my eyes didn't stop twinkling. Dang, she sure is into my eyes lately!

After we got our badges, we stopped at Shriners Hospital for Children and dropped off all those knitted hats and bears that my pal's mom made. I actually stayed in the car while she dropped them off. Even though I'm now Delta certified, my pal didn't want to bring me in there yet since we haven't gone through Shriner's application process yet. Geesh, she's such rule follower! But, she did pick up an application, so hopefully we can start volunteering there too! And, she told me that the staff people were so happy to receive the hats and bears and couldn't wait to give them to the children. If she hadn't been such a rule follower, I could have seen how happy they were... and flashed my twinkly eyes at them!

Marley and Hair Plugs (by: Gerrit)

I dunno what the heck Carlo was talkin' about... I LOVED going to the movies yesterday. Going out to see Marley & Me at the theater was way better than staying home and reading the book! I LOVED everything... the sticky theater floors, the popcorn (which I tried on numerous occasions to swipe up from the floor when my puppy raiser wasn't looking), and all the people who wanted to pet me... it was awesome! Another cool thing is that I got to lay in such close proximity to my buddies Skipper, Idelle, and Nick. In fact, I was close enough to Skipper that I could bop him on the head with my paw! The whole movie experience was soooo much fun!

There sure were a lot of people at the theater. And, since the movie was about a dog (who I found out looks kinda like me and Skipper), we sure did get a lot of attention! Everyone kept pointing at us saying, "look... it's Marley!". Not only did I find out that I look like Marley... I also found out that my whisker dots on my face look like hair plugs! I have no clue what a hair plug is... but one of the puppy raisers commented on my dark whisker holes and said they looked just like hair plugs. All the puppy raisers laughed and laughed at that. So, not only do I have a wish spot... I also have... hair plugs! No wonder my puppy raiser always says I'm so cute!

At the end of the movie, all the puppy raisers were sobbing cause it had a sad ending. Boy, did I take advantage of that! Uninvited, I crawled up into my puppy raiser's lap. Normally I would have gotten corrected for that (cause I'm not supposed to do that unless I'm given the "lap" command). But, instead my puppy raiser gave me a big hug! So, in return I gave her a big wet kiss on the cheek! And, she didn't even mind! Boy, oh boy... sad dog movies ROCK!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Movies, Books, and Photos... oh my! (by: Carlo)

My pal told me she was going to take Gerrit to see the movie, Marley & Me today with a bunch of his buddies and their puppy raisers. To make it up to me (since I can't go) she said we could read the book together at home.

Since I'm not an assistance puppy in training... or a graduated assistance dog, I can't go to places like movie theaters any more. But, that's cool with me. To be honest, I would much rather snuggle on my comfy bed and read the book rather than sit on the sticky theater floor (where you can't even SEE the movie).

After my pal told me that we could read the book together... she proceeded to take a bunch of photos of me with the book. Oh my! I think this whole read the book thing was just a ploy for her to take some photos of me. She wanted to try out some of the new photography equipment she got for Christmas. We now literally have a little photo studio set up in the house. I told her that my modeling fee has now gone up to 2 Yummy Chummies, 3 Charlee Bears, 2 Zuke's Power Bones, and a few Old Mother Hubbard biscuits... per shot. She just gave me a look over her camera as she clicked away. Sigh...

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas! (by: Gerrit)

I just wanted to wish you all a very Merry Christmas! May you all have a fun day filled with eating and playing!

Speaking of playing, I've gotta run... Carlo just grabbed my new toy and is running around the Christmas tree with it!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Bowling Alleys and Shoes (by: Gerrit)

Yesterday I got to go with my puppy raiser and her work team to a really cool place called a Bowling Alley. This alley was like no other alley I've ever seen!

When we first got there, I was super intrigued by the whole thing. The Bowling Alley had these long areas where people rolled big heavy balls, trying to knock down these white toys. When the ball hit the white toys, it made a super loud noise. CRASH!

I sat and watched transfixed for bit, but then I got sorta bored by the whole thing. I didn't really understand the whole concept of the game. Why on earth would you wanna roll a ball so far away? And, then not even try to chase the balls after you rolled it?! So, after awhile I stopped watching. Besides, there were far more interesting things at the Bowling Alley... like Bowling shoes... which had tons of smells on them! I tried to figure out just how many people had worn those shoes... but, I lost count after a while. All I know is that it was probably up in the zillions!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

My Holiday Comedy Performance (by: Gerrit)

Guess what?! I'm a star! That's right... Carlo is not the only performer in the family! Last week I got to perform with my puppy raiser in a holiday choir performance! For some reason (which I still don't understand), I wasn't allowed to actually sing with the choir. I was just supposed to lay there and look cute. But what fun is that? So, I decided if I can't sing... I may as well be a comedian!

During my big scene... when I got to be out front with the kids who sang I saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus I decided to be my goofball self, roll over on my back, and wave my paws way up in the air. It was quite the comedy routine. And, check this out... the audience LOVED it! They laughed and laughed and pointed at me. I'm tellin' ya... I was better than Jerry Seinfeld! I brought the house down!

So, now I'm thinking that I may just give up my dreams of being on American Idol... and do a comedy show instead!!!

P.S. Unfortunately, I don't have any photos of my comedy performance, but here I am after the performance, striking a pose in my Santa costume.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Gin, the Dancing Dog (by: Gerrit)

My puppy raiser showed us this video today from a show called Britain's Got Talent. Gin, the dancing dog, is so cool! Even Simon Cowell called her "incredible" and said she was better than Rin Tin Tin. What the heck kind of a name is Rin Tin Tin?!

Anyways, I really liked watching Gin... but, I'm sure glad her act is dancin'... and not singin'. I still have secret aspirations to be on American Idol some day... and I don't need any competition!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

I'm Cute Too! (by: Gerrit)

I sure am glad all of that "Annie" stuff is over. It was fun going to the theatre to watch Carlo... but, other than that it just took time away from me! Carlo, Carlo, Carlo... that's all I ever heard for the past month. I'm cute too you know!!! And, I betcha I could walk across the stage all by myself!

Needless to say I was jumpin' for joy when my puppy raiser told me that I would get to go to a holiday party on Saturday! The party was for our local chapter of CCI. My puppy raiser took holiday portraits of all of the pups at the party... and during that time I've gotta say, I was a little BORED. I had to lay on a stage (where I couldn't even do cool stuff like Carlo got to do!). I just had to lay there, be good, and wait for her to finish. Fortunately, my buddies Nick and Idelle kept me company. The best part of the party was the after party. All of us "stage dogs" got to play. It was sooooo much fun!!! Here's a photo my puppy raiser took of me at the party... this was before the REAL party started.

As if my puppy raiser didn't take enough photos at this party, she took a bunch of holiday photos of me on Sunday, while we were hanging out at home. Somehow Carlo and Lucky got out of having to do this... they told me that's what I got for wanting all the attention. My puppy raiser took a bunch of photos of me with a teddy bear and a book called Twas the Night Before Christmas. She told me that she would read the book to us on Christmas Eve. I can't wait! Carlo told me it's a really good story and that has something to do with everyone, including the mice, being asleep...

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Curtain Closes (by: Carlo)

On Sunday we had our very last performance of "Annie". What a roller coaster the last few weeks have been! I got to spend a bunch of time with my pal... had a multi-night sleepover at Annie's house... received tons of attention from cast members... received tons of attention from the audience after performances... got to go to a cast party... received tons of treats for being a good boy... was in the newspaper... was almost on tv... and had people applaud me and ask me for my autograph! Wow, just thinking of all of that makes me wanna flash my infamous smile... and then take a nap! 

Even though the hours were long, I sure do miss stage life. It was fun, fun, fun! 

So, many have been asking me now that "Annie" is over... what's next?! Well, a whole heck of a lot! Stay tuned... :-)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Show Biz Life (by: Carlo)

The last few weeks have been sooooo busy with all of my showbiz stuff! The week leading up to opening night, we had long rehearsals pretty much every evening. The best part about that rehearsal week was I got to have a sleepover at Annie's house! And I'm not just talkin' one night... I'm talkin' several nights of sleepover fun! It was awesome!

The opening night of our stage performance of Annie was last Friday. Since then, there has been a whirlwind of activity. The weekends have been filled with performances... some days there have even been two performances in a single day! I've been doing pretty well at all of the performances. The only scene that has been a little tough for me is the scene in which I first make my appearance. I'm usually a little sleepy for this part (cause I sleep backstage on my blankie until it's my turn to go on stage). Plus, they use a smoke machine for this scene, which I don't like all that much. There have been a few times where instead of walking on stage, I've turned around to go back to bed, and my pal has had to shove my butt a bit to get me to go out on stage. One time, I did go right out on stage for this scene, but since I just woke up, I did a bunch of stretches as I walked across the stage. People thought that was pretty funny. What can I say? Stage work is tiring! That photo of me above was taken on stage in front of the Christmas tree used for the set of Daddy Warbuck's house. It was taken after a performance. Yeah, I was about ready for nap when that photo was taken!

Lots of my friends have come to see me perform! One day, a bunch of my CCI puppy friends (including Gerrit) came to watch me! SGF has been there a whole bunch of times! I think he's got the record so far! And, my pal's whole family came to watch me yesterday!

I get to give autographs after all the performances. Well, my pal uses a paw print stamp to stamp autographs for me. While she does that, I just sit there, look cute, and wag my tail as people pet me and tell me how good I was in the performance. People sure are easy to please! It's amazing! I mean, even when I've goofed in a performance (like when my pal had to shove my butt), they still think I was wonderful! I can do no wrong!

In addition to the performances, we've also been having special Tea with Annie events after some of our performances. These are my favorite! Little kids get to meet some of the cast members (including me!), eat cookies, and go on a backstage tour. The reason I like Tea with Annie so much is because all of the kids dote on me. They pet me and say nice things to me. A few times I've been so comfy and relaxed, I've even started falling asleep with my head resting in their laps!

Yesterday, the cast got to be on tv! Unfortunately, because of lack of time, some of the numbers had to be cut. One of those numbers was mine, so I didn't actually get to be on tv. But, I had fun hanging out in the theatre. I got to hang out in the audience part of the theatre. This was a different view for me because I'm backstage for all of the performances. Here are few photos of me that my pal took while we were hanging out in the audience. The first shows the rest of the cast performing NYC in the background. And, the second one is of me wishing I could go back to sleep already!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Marley and Me (by: Carlo)

Last night my pal showed us the movie trailer for "Marley and Me". She wanted me to see another show biz dog in action! Talk about action... that Marley looks way fun! My pal was kinda concerned that Gerrit was sitting transfixed in front of the screen as the trailer was playing. She kept saying, "Now Gerrit, do NOT get any ideas!"

The movie is going to be in theaters on December 25! Cool! I can't wait to add this one to our dog movie collection!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Rehearsing for "Annie" (by: Carlo)

I've been one busy doggie rehearsing for my upcoming performance in the stage production of Annie! It's super duper fun cause I get lots of attention... as well as nap time between numbers.

For the show, I'm going to be on stage four times... with Annie as she sings to me and protects me from the mean dog catcher, the Hooverville scene in which I hang out with Annie and some other kids until the mean cop comes and we run away, the end of the N.Y.C. scene in which I wander across the stage all by myself, and the New Deal for Christmas scene in which I get to join the whole cast for the grand finale! 

I really like all the kids in the play... but, I especially like Annie. She's really, really nice. She gives me treats and sings to me. She sings a song about how the sun will come up tomorrow... and how thinkin' about tomorrow clears away the cobwebs and the sorrow. It's a really nice song. 

When we got home from rehearsal I started teaching the "Tomorrow" song to Gerrit, but my pal heard and yelled "STOP!". She then reminded me of how much Gerrit LOVED to sing when he was a little puppy and how the last thing we should be doing is encouraging him to pick up howling again. Errr... oh yeah, I totally forgot about that! That little dude used to keep us up all night!

My pal told me tonight that I may get to have a sleepover sometime this week at Annie's house! Oh boy, oh boy! If I do that she will get to sing to me even more! And, her singing is MUCH better than Gerrit's! 

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veterans Helped by Healing Paws (by: Carlo)

This morning my pal was telling us dogs all about Veteran's Day. She was reading some articles to us that she found on the Internet, when she came across one that mentioned a relative of mine!!!

The article, Veterans Helped by Healing Paws, is in the New York Times and describes how dogs are helping disabled veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The article mentions several dogs and what they are doing to help. One of the dogs mentioned (Sharif), who is teamed with Jeffrey Adams, is a relative of mine! We both have the same dad, Terrell... so, I guess that would make him my half brother! Sharif is a little older than me because he graduated at the same time I went into Advanced Training (February 2008). It makes me so proud to think that dogs like me (and, in particular, my half brother!) are doing so much to help our veterans!

I may not be able to help our veterans directly like these other dogs, but I can show our veterans how much I care by saying thank you. Thank you to all of you veterans out there. Thank you for the sacrifices you have made for our country. Thank you for what you do.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

R.E.A.D. (by: Carlo)

Yesterday my pal and I interviewed for a volunteer program at a local library. I am going to be a part of what is called a R.E.A.D. (Reading Education Assistance Dog) program! My buddies, Mason and Hope, have been involved with this program for awhile and they've been telling me that it ROCKS!

An organization called Intermountain Therapy Animals launched the R.E.A.D. program back in 1999. The program uses registered therapy animals (that's me!) to help kids read! During our interview on Saturday, I mostly slept, visited with the nice people doing the interviewing, and snuggled up next to my pal as we watched some R.E.A.D. videos. But, I did listen to all the chatting that was going on, so that I would know what the program was all about. Check this out... the program involves me snuggling with kids as they read to me!

For some reason kids are often scared to read aloud. They are afraid that people will make fun of them or tell them they are not doing it right. I can totally relate to that! I used to be scared too when I was an assistance puppy in training. I was always worried about not doing my commands just right. Since being released from CCI, my puppy raiser has found that I do much better when I am on a "release" because then I'm just myself and I don't worry about things so much. I think the R.E.A.D. program is kind of like putting a kid on a release. They can totally relax and read (to me!) and I won't criticize or correct them. I'll just listen and snuggle and love them! Just like I wanna be loved!

My pal and I are super excited about the program! If you wanna read more about the R.E.A.D. program, check out these articles:

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A Puppy in the White House! (by: Gerrit)

Guess what?! There is a going to be a puppy living in the White House!!! President-elect Obama told his kids in his victory speech that they've earned the new puppy!!!

I asked my puppy raiser if I could go to the White House and have a puppy play date when the new puppy arrives. She said that if we receive an invitation, she will be more than happy to take me there! Awesome! I can't wait to play on the White House lawn!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Happy Election Day! (by: Gerrit)

Guess what? Guess what? Guess what? Today is Election Day and my puppy raiser took me on a long walk with her to the polls! I didn't get to vote myself, but I got to watch as she put her ballot in a big box!

In honor of Election Day, I got to wear a cool red, white, and blue bandanna. AND my puppy raiser even let me wear her "I vote" sticker (errrr... but, she took it away when I tried to eat it).

Now we are cuddling in front of the television, chewing on bones, and watching the election results (my puppy raiser just asked me to clarify that she is NOT chewing on a bone).

This is so much fun! I love Election Day!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

My First Halloween (by: Gerrit)

Yesterday was my very first Halloween! I was going to be a skier for Halloween... not that I have any clue what that is, but it involved me wearing a sweater and hat. The only problem was that my puppy raiser had to make the costume, and when she started working on it the night before Halloween, she realized it wasn't working out. So, after dog training class we ran to the store and she got me a Peter Pan costume. My puppy raiser said it was the perfect costume for me because she can picture me never wanting to grow up and staying a puppy forever! Errr... she's right about that! But, I had no clue who this guy Peter was until my puppy raiser told me his story. Wow!!! He is one cool guy!!! And, check this out... he can fly!!!

Since we were in a rush, I didn't try the Peter Pan costume on in the store. My puppy raiser grabbed a size large thinking it would fit. When we got home, we found out that it didn't come close to fitting around my chubby puppy tummy! It was made for a large small dog! So, my puppy raiser had to sew a bow on it, so that it could tie around my tummy. She was worried that I was going to end up looking really dorky on Halloween. But, she was wrong... I looked super duper cute!

I got to wear my Peter Pan costume at work. All of the CCI pups at work got to dress up and parade across a stage. It was fun because people gave us so much attention! Then, my puppy raiser took a bunch of photos of us. She only had a little camera with her... not the big camera she usually uses. The little camera wasn't working all that great, so she was taking photos forever trying to get a decent shot with it. Here's a photo of me with my CCI work pup buddies. My bestest buddy, Nick (the cow), is next to me... I'm, holding paws with him. Enso is in the green dinosaur costume and Idelle is in the bumble bee costume. Our buddy, Dupre (who had dressed up like a devil), isn't in the photo. He was lucky... he got the devil out of there before the photo taking session began!

We had so many photos taken, that us pups started entertaining ourselves by having contests... like who was the biggest class clown (that was a toss up between me and Enso), and who had the longest drool (it was a close race between Nick and Idelle, but I think Nick won!). What do you think?

All the photos and contests soon wore us out and Nick and I started falling asleep! Halloween is fun, but really exhausting. And you know what? I tried all day long to fly like Peter Pan, but I just couldn't do it! I think my costume wasn't working right... or maybe it was just too dang small!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

A Day About Me (by: Gerrit)

Since Carlo has become the big show biz dog... everything has been Carlo this and Carlo that. Ugh! I may not be in show biz, but I'm still super duper cute! I told my puppy raiser this and she said that every day is all about me cause I get to go to work with her. Uh... oh yeah. I kinda forgot about that. But, still... Carlo has been getting lots of attention lately!

So, to make it up to me, my puppy raiser made yesterday all about ME (and it wasn't even a work day)! I got to go on a special training trip with my buddies Nick and Idelle!

We took a train all the way downtown. It was our first time ever for all of us pups on a train! We all did really well. In fact, the only hard part was getting on the train cause the stairs were kinda steep... and, it was also tough not picking up stuff up off the floor of the train. I found a really yummy peanut and picked it up, but my puppy raiser pulled it out of my mouth and said, "ick!". Personally, I didn't think it was ick at all!

Once we got downtown, we walked around and found a bunch of scary statues. First, we found this statue of a monster-sized cat...

Then, we found this scary dog! He was part of a civil rights exhibit at the library. If I looked scared, it's because I was! At least the scary monster cat, didn't talk. The scary dog growled and barked every time I went up to it. No kidding!!! Nick and Idelle didn't seem to mind too much. They told me there was nothin' to worry about cause the dog wasn't real. But, with the way it was barking, I wasn't quite believing that!

After visiting the scary statues, we joined up with a bunch of other puppy raisers for our actual dog training class. We worked on a bunch of commands, like "stand", "under" (which we had to do under a tiny chair!), and "back". Needless to say, we were all zonked by the time class was over.

It sure was a fun day... other than the scary dog. I told show biz boy, Carlo, all about it when we got home... :-)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Show Biz! (by: Carlo)

This week has been a busy one with my new found show biz career (for those of you who haven't heard/read the news... I'm going to be playing the role of Sandy in a stage production of "Annie")!

On Sunday I had publicity photos taken and today cast photos were taken. With all the photos taken of me, it was just like being at home! Only difference is that at the "Annie" photo shoots, I received TONS of attention by lots and lots of kids. It was awesome! I also got to wear a big (really big!) red bow. I've gotta say... I was lookin' good!

If rehearsals and performances are going to be anything like the photo shoots, I'm gonna luv this show biz stuff!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Blog Action Day (by: Carlo)

For those of you who are not aware, today is Blog Action Day! This is an annual event in which bloggers (like me!) write a blog about the same issue on the exact same day. Wow! That is so cool that bloggers world-wide are writing about the same issue! And, I get to be a part of it!

The issue for this year is POVERTY.

I've gotta admit, I don't know a whole heck of a lot about poverty. I've never lived a single day in poverty. I consider myself very fortunate that I was born a CCI dog. From the moment I was born, I was given special treatment. Starting at 2 months old, I got to go with my puppy raiser to work every single day. Going off to college was tough on me… but, even there, I was surrounded by loving people, who took good care of me. And, it wasn't long before I was reunited with my puppy raiser. Now that I'm no longer a CCI dog, I don't get to go to work every day like I used to... but, I still get to do cool things like therapy work and show biz stuff. And, even though I sometimes grumble about not getting enough food (because I LOVE food), the reality is that I NEVER miss a meal... and I get treats throughout the day.

I am one lucky dog.

It's hard for me to imagine that there are millions of dogs and people in the world who live in poverty. They don't have someone like a puppy raiser taking care of them. They don't get fed meals and treats. They don't have a warm cozy bed to sleep on and toys to play with. Thinking about all of those dogs and people makes me really sad. No one should have to live in poverty. I wish I could could do something to help all those living in poverty. I asked my pal if we could invite them all to live with us... but, she just smiled and said that we don't have the money or space to take care of all them. But, she said we could help in little ways. And, she said that if I participated in Blog Action Day, I could help encourage others to help in little ways too!

One little way that we are going to help is to deliver a bunch of baby hats to local children's orphanages and hospitals. My pal's mom makes these hats in her spare time. My pal would make them too... but, if she attempted to knit a hat, it would turn out very scary looking. So, we're just acting as the delivery service (which, in my opinion, is the fun part anyways!). We are going to deliver the hats soon so that babies will have the hats when winter comes.

We're also going to figure out some other ways that we can help. I just know that there has gotta be more things that we can do to help others living in poverty... there has just gotta be...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I've been Nootered! (by: Gerrit)

Guess what everybody?! I've been nootered [side note by puppy raiser: Gerrit, it's actually "neutered"]! Yeah, like I said, nootered! I have no clue what being nootered means. But, because I was nootered I got to go on a sleepover at the Veterinarian Office! It was so much fun! Errrrr... at least what I can remember of it was fun! For some reason I was really sleepy there and I slept a whole bunch. But, during the times I was awake, lots of people gave me hugs and pets. It was so cool!

During the end of the stay I was told me that I won a really special collar! I was really excited about getting my special collar at first... but, it wasn't exactly what I had in mind. I think they gave me the wrong size cause it keeps making me run into furniture, walls... and even my puppy raiser!

Carlo and Lucky were excited to see me when I got home. They kept checking out my new collar. I think they're a little jealous that they don't have one! For some reason, my puppy raiser didn't let Carlo and me play. She thought I could use a nap. Speaking of napping, I am pretty exhausted from my nooter adventure. I'm going back to sleepzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz....

Monday, October 13, 2008

A Shout Out to Guide Dogs in Training (by: Carlo)

I'd like to give a shout out to all the Guide Dogs in training out there, who visit my blog on a regular basis. Some of them even nominated my blog for a special "I love your blog" award!!! How cool is that?!

As the winner of this award I'm supposed to nominate 7 other blogs and put links of blogs I nominated on my blog (to keep passing the love!). But, the truth is, between all of my new careers, blogging about important things like how Gerrit is naughty, and sleeping, I rarely have any time to check out other blogs! So, I'm not exactly going to follow the "I love your blog" award rules, but I just wanna give a woof paws up to few blogs that I have checked out: Raising Eyes for the Blind, The Puppy Raising Roller Coaster, Spanky: The Adventures of a Guide Dog Puppy in Training, and Brax's & Frankie's Blog. These blogs are all about guide dog puppies... and all of these pups (and their puppy raisers) have checked and commented on my blog at one time or another!

P.S. Sorry for being such a rule breaker. But, hey... I'm a change of career dog! I don't have to follow all the rules anymore! Hee Hee! :-)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

My New Careers (by: Carlo)

Being a CCI assistance dog may not have been for me... but, I finally have a new career! Actually, I've got several new careers!!! My pal has been working hard as my agent and she's been finding me all kinds of cool stuff to do (well, two cool things... and one not so cool)!

The first cool thing is that last week my pal and I passed our Delta Society evaluations! The evaluations were held at a hospital. We were tested on some basic obedience stuff, like sit, down, stay, and here. Then we had to go through a series of exercises that simulated what hospital visits would be like. My pal and I were a little nervous at first... but, it was so much fun! The evaluators thought I was super cute cause I wagged my tail and smiled throughout every single exercise! All we have to do now is submit some paperwork and our photo (for our official badge) and we will be a registered Pet Partner team! We'll be able to visit people in hospitals, nursing homes, schools, and other institutions! I'm going to get so much attention... AWESOME!

My second cool career is in show biz! That's right! Last week I auditioned for the role of the dog Sandy in a stage production of "Annie". And, I found out today that I got the part!!! Over the next few weeks I'm going to be in all kinds of publicity photo shoots. Then, rehearsals will start. And, finally... show time! I'll be blogging lots about my life as a show biz dog!

So, what does therapy work and show biz have to do with me being in a witch's costume? Absolutely nothing! But, that brings me to my 3rd career, the not so cool career... photo model (sigh). As you all know, my pal is really into photography... and I (unfortunately) am one of her favorite subjects. I thought that pet therapy and show biz would take her mind off shooting photos of me. But, today she throws all of this stuff on me and makes me pose for some Halloween photos. It wasn't all that bad cause I did get paid heavily in treats. Plus, she only took a couple of photos. The part that's got me worried is that she said these photos were just test shots. Uh oh. I think I need a raise!

Gerrit the Naughty Dog (by: Carlo)

I've got so much stuff to blog about. Lots of good news about ME! But, writing about me can wait because first I just have to tell you about how Gerrit got in sooooo much trouble this week! Not only was he super naughty in class this week, but he also shredded a sock!

More on the sock incident later. First I'll tell you about how bad he was at puppy class. I got to go to class with my pal and Gerrit, so I got front row seating in watching how naughty he was. Usually, the little guy is pretty good. But, class this week was held at a dog park. Talk about distractions! There were dogs of all shapes, sizes, and smell. And, all the dogs were playing in this big park-like gated area. Puppy class was held outside of the gated area… but, we were close enough where we could see all the other dogs playin' and havin' a good time. I've gotta admit, even I was a little distracted and didn't watch the puppy class the whole time (but, I'm no longer a CCI dog in training, so I don't have to pay attention! Ah, the benefits of being a change of career dog!).

Anyways… Gerrit, the naughty dog, does this thing when he gets super excited… he starts to whine. It's this high-pitched annoying whiny sound that he sorta does under his breath. He rarely ever does it. But, boy was he doing it during class! Non-stop! AND, to make matters worse, he was so distracted by stuff going on at the dog park, that he started forgetting all his commands. This was really annoying my pal cause she had worked with him all week on stuff (to make up for the time she didn't get to work with him while she was in Hawaii). She knew Gerrit knew his commands. He just wasn't doing them! He got a little better with the commands towards the end of class… but, the whining didn't stop. He was even getting' on my nerves!

During the drive home my pal kept talkin' about how hopefully Gerrit will settle down and stop with the naughty behavior once he gets the 'ole snip snip. Gerrit had no clue what she was talking about. Poor guy. The little guy is getting de-masculinized tomorrow. I've tried explaining the whole thing to him, but he still thinks he's just going to a doggie spa…

Then, there was the sock incident. Friday morning we were following our usual morning routine. My pal was getting ready for work. Us dogs were just hanging out. While my pal ate breakfast, we all layed quietly on the rug, chewing on bones and toys…errrr… well, Lucky and I were doing that. Gerrit was chewing on something, but it wasn't a bone or toy. Unbeknownst to my pal, he found one of her socks. And, proceeded to chew it up like there was no tomorrow! Most of you probably know that I've always had a sock fetish. But, I don't shred them! I just like to carry them around and move them from room to room. But, naughty Gerrit, was shredding. Completely shredding. When Lucky and I noticed what he was doing, we stopped playing with our toys just so that we could watch what we knew was going to happen.

Sure enough, my pal glanced over at us, and said, "You guys are being such goo... Gerrit, what the #@!)@! are you doing?!" She quickly ran over, pulled what was left of a sock away from Gerrit, and yelled, "No! Bad boy!" And, Gerrit, who is totally oblivious, looked at her as happy as can be, wagged his tail, and gave her a big wet kiss on the cheek! Gerrit is one weird puppy. He is happy ALL the time... even when he gets totally busted!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

What is Wrong With These Photos? (by: Carlo)

I'll tell you what's wrong with the photos... I'm not in them... that's what's wrong with them!!! My pal and her Special Guy Friend (SGF) went to Hawaii last week. That's the reason why I (and Lucky and Gerrit) haven't been writing in the blog. Our paws aren't well suited for typing... so, we need my pal's help! But, she was off hanging out on the tropical Hawaii beaches... without us!!!

It wasn't all that bad though. Gerrit went off to another puppy raiser's house where he got to play with a bunch of other dogs. And, my pal's parents puppysat Lucky and me... and they are SO cool! They took us on lots and lots of walks. And, they gave us lots of treats! The best part is that they don't know all the rules... or (like all good grandparents) sorta forget about the rules. So, as you can imagine... we were livin' the high life! Party!

So, while I didn't get to go to Hawaii, I did have a pretty good week. The only problem is that I'm way behind on my blog writing. And, I've got LOTS to write about! But, I'm a little tired from breaking all the rules... hee hee... so, I've gotta take a nap first....

Monday, October 6, 2008

Congrats Cole and Ilia! (by: Carlo)

About a year ago I wrote about Cole and Ilia and posted their video on my blog.

Cole's mom recently wrote to me and told me the great news that Ilia has just been awarded the ASPCA's 2008 Dog of the Year Award! How cool is that?! They get to go to New York later this month for a special luncheon, where they will celebrate the important role companion animals play in people's lives!

A big Congrats and WOOF to both Cole and Ilia!!!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Upside Down (by: Gerrit)

Today my puppy raiser asked me what was up with me ALWAYS sleeping on my back. She said she's never seen any other puppy sleep on his/her back as much as me. And, she said that if there was such a record, she is sure I would hold the Guinness Book of World Record for amount of time spent on my back.

Guinness Book of World Record? I didn't quite understand what that was, so my puppy raiser explained it to me. And, then I was so excited that I might be a record holder, that I bugged her to find out if I did indeed have a Guinness Book of World Record! She just gave me a look and said I was getting totally side tracked from the main question... why do I ALWAYS sleep on my back?

So, I wrinkled my wish spot, and thought and thought about this for a bit. As you can see from the photo above, I've been laying on my back since I was just a little puppy. It's super comfy and allows me to air out my tummy and errrr… stuff. Plus, it encourages people to give me belly rubs. And, best of all, everything looks cooler when I'm on my back and upside down! Like at work... my bed is right by the entrance of my puppy raiser's cube. Lots of people... and even other CCI pups in training... walk by all the time. It's fun looking at everyone walking by... but, it's even more fun when I look at them while upside down. Everything takes on a whole different perspective! It's totally cool! In fact, if you ask me, being right side up is kinda over-rated. EVERYONE should be upside down! What makes being upside down even more fun is when you bend your body into really weird positions... kinda like Yoda [side note by puppy raiser: Gerrit, I think you mean yoga]. Yeah Yoga! That's makes being upside down even more fun! I bet that little green guy, Yoda, likes doing that too!

When I finished giving my upside down answer, my puppy raiser just looked at me and then started laughing and laughing and said, "Gerrit, I think you are quite possibly the funniest and strangest puppy I have ever known!"

"Really?!" I asked totally excited. "Is there a Guinness Book of World Record for that too??"

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Bark the Vote (by: Carlo)

These days I've been seeing campaign ads everywhere... yawn! But, I recently found a campaign Web site that is just for the dogs. How cool is that?! On The Dog Vote you can order a campaign bandanna (either Obama or McCain), read interesting articles by canine political analysts, and even check out a doggie electoral map! And, most importantly, you can buy stuff that has not just the typical elephant and a donkey... but, a dog!

Finally, a campaign Web site devoted to dogs! Bark the Vote! Maybe there is hope after all...

Thursday, September 11, 2008

I'm Not for Sale! (by: Gerrit)

I spent the last week at "boot camp". At least that's what my puppy raiser called it... but, I didn't really think camp was very boot-ish at all! It was soooo much fun!

For camp I stayed with the lady who teaches our dog training classes. She's super nice and has 2 little kids that I LOVED hanging out with. The older one read to me, the younger one crawled on me, and... both of them even painted me! And, I loved every minute of it!

Of course, I also had to do some training. I worked on stuff like down-stays, heel and side positioning, bed, and roll. One time I was doing a roll so that I could get my nails dremmeled, and one of the kids came over and straddled me... it was so much fun!

My puppy raiser received a really good report on me! She was told that I am awesome with kids, I have great house manners, and my energy level is perfect (cause I love learning, but I'm not too crazy). Of course there are a few things to work on... my positioning (cause I get a little lazy) and when I get super excited I have a tendency to whine a little. But, if you ask me, I'm pretty dang perfect!

The trainer and I hooked up with my puppy raiser tonight, so that I could go back home. We met at this really cool place that has both a dog park and skate park! They said it was awesome for training cause there were so many distractions. Boy, were they right... it was such a fun place! Anyways, they were working with me on some training stuff and some guy came up and asked me if I was for sale! I was a little worried for a second that maybe I was and just didn't know it. But, my puppy raiser and the trainer just laughed and said, "Nope, he's not for sale!". Whew! What a relief! So, if any of you out there are interested in buying me... I'M NOT FOR SALE! But, if you really want to spend some money... you could buy some raffle tickets and help Carlo and me win this really cool basket of toys! Hee hee! :-)

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Back to School (by: Carlo)

My life since coming home from doggie college (aka Advanced Training) has been full of summer time fun... napping, swimming, playing, and eating! It’s been GREAT! But, now that the dawg days of summer are winding down, it’s back to school for me!

My pal is taking a Delta Society workshop later this month. I don’t have to go with her to the workshop... but, I do have to go the evaluations with her, which will be sometime in October! So, my pal and I have been brushing up on some of my skills and reading the Delta Society training manual. We are going to be evaluated as a team! This means that my pal won’t be able to do pet therapy with any other doggie (as if she would want to!) and, likewise, I won’t be able to do pet therapy with any other person (as if I would want to!). We’re going to be a TEAM... sort of like a baseball team or football team... only there will just be just two of us! We’ll be like the dynamic duo, batman and robin! How cool is that?!

But, first we have to pass the evaluations. We were studying the manual the other day and my pal got kind of side-tracked. She put glasses on me and then pulled out her camera (ugh!). I finally had to tell her to stop messing around or we'd never pass the evaluations. Actually I just told her this cause I wanted her to take the dang glasses off my nose. Now, if she would put me in a cool Batman or Robin cape, she could take all the photos she wanted!

Monday, September 1, 2008

My Wish Spot (by: Gerrit)

Today I asked my puppy raiser why I was different.

"What do you mean?" she asked.

"Well," I sighed, "I have that funny mark between my eyes. None of the other puppies I hang out with have it." (side note: You can see the funny mark in the photo above. It's an old photo... and you... errrr... have to look beyond all the mud. But, if you look real close, you can see a little dark spot right between my eyes. My hair actually grows a different direction in that spot. It's REALLY weird.)

My puppy raiser looked at me and smiled. She said, "Gerrit, all the other puppies wish they had a wish spot like yours."

"Huh?" I said, "What's a wish spot?"

"It's that special spot right between your eyes. Don't think of that spot as funny or different... cause it's actually extra special. It's so extra special that if someone kisses it, their wishes will come true!"

"Really?!" I said as my tail thumped up and down.

"Yes!" exclaimed my puppy raiser. "Why do you think I kiss that spot all the time? I don't kiss it just because you're so cute... I kiss it because I want my wishes to come true!"

"Wow!!!" I woofed. "So, I shouldn't be ashamed of it?"

"Heck no!" said my puppy raiser, "In fact I want to kiss that spot right now!" and she bent down and smooched me right between the eyes... right on my wish spot (which, by the way, was clean... and not muddy like in the photo above)!

I flopped down on my pillow as happy as can be that I have a wish spot! I then started thinking about how I wanted to make a wish... I wanted to wish that dinner would be served early tonight! But, as hard as I tried, I just couldn't kiss myself between the eyes! I bent this way and that and flipped my body round and round, but it just didn't work. I finally collapsed from all the effort and fell asleep. I guess I'll just have to ask my puppy raiser to make that wish for me!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Dawgs in the Ruff (by: Carlo)

The 8th annual Dawgs in The Ruff Golf Tournament for CCI is almost here! It's on Monday, September 22... that's just a few naps away from now! If you think you might wanna play the game where you hit the little white ball all over the big green park (aka Granite Bay Golf Club), then you can register here: Dawgs in the Ruff.

Also, we are having a really cool raffle this year! You can win all sorts of baskets full of neat stuff! If you go to Raffle Information you can see photos and descriptions of the baskets and you can find out how to get raffle tickets! I've already told my pal that she has just gotta win item 5: Dog Toy Chest on Wheel!!! Check it out...

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Life is Good! (by: Carlo)

My pal bought me a cool new collar the other day! She said it's going to be for special occasions (like when we start doing therapy work... if we pass the evaluations in October!). The collar says "Life is Good", which is my motto! Life is good! Very good!

Case in point: Yesterday my pal took Gerrit and me out to the lake to play with our buddies Skipper and Hope! Talk about a good day! Here's me hanging out in the water.

Gerrit and Skipper swam really fast and always got the stick. If you ask me, they were total stick hogs...

Here they are with Hope. She was a bit of a stick hog too... but not nearly as bad as Gerrit and Skipper...

Since I had no stick, I resorted to other activities... like helping my pal out while she took photos. Here I am helping her... errrr... frame the photo with my tail! Notice who has the stick!

My pal and her friends finally made Skipper, Gerrit, and Hope sit while I got to swim and retrieve the stick all by myself! It was nice cause I could take my sweet time. After all, what's the rush?!

An afternoon at the lake... what could be better! Life sure is good! :-)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Check Out My Bro! (by: Carlo)

Check this out! The first dog in this video... Chisum... is my brother! He graduated in the North Central region in June!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Phelps Ain't Got Nothin' On Me (by: Carlo)

This weekend I've been practicing my swimming skills. And, let me tell ya'... not to brag or anything... but, that Olympics swimmer guy, Michael Phelps, ain't got nothing on me!

I used to just like to get my paws wet in the pool. I'd stand on the first step and just hang out there. But, my pal taught me that if I go all the way in... that's where the fun really begins! My pal throws a really cool toy in the pool (you can see it in the photo above) and I get to swim out and get it! The only problem is Lucky and Gerrit. They both don't like swimming in the pool. Instead, they lay in wait as I go swimming to retrieve the cool toy. And, as soon as I climb the steps to get out of the pool, they pounce on me, and steal my hard earned toy! Then, they go running off with it! Fortunately, my pal makes them give it back.

Well, I've gotta go... it's time for some more swimming!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Dog Level (by: Carlo)

Today Gerrit came home from work and asked me what the heck was up with people at work always using the phrase high level. I laughed and told him, "my friend, even when you are an old and wise 2 year old like me, you will still never understand some of the things people say and do."

I still vividly remember the days when I was an assistance puppy in training. My puppy raiser would take me to meetings and between my snores and dreams, I would hear, "Let's keep this at a high level discussion..." and "We are going to provide just a high level overview..." and "On a high level blah blah blah"… SNORRRRE! (the snore part was me… not the people in the meeting… they all just wish they could have tuned out and snored with me!).

So, what the heck is up with work people always saying high level? My pal tried once to explain it to me. But, I still didn't get it. For me (and any other dog out there), there is just one level. And, that is… DOG LEVEL. If us dogs crouch down low, we might be able to see, smell, and eat (if our humans aren't watching) yummy morsels of food just a little better. And, if we do an "up" or a "lap" we will be at a level high enough to give our humans a big wet kiss. Nice! But, even those lows and highs all fall within... DOG LEVEL.

DOG LEVEL is the best level ever! From this level, you can get pats on your head and scratches behind your ears, you can receive treats for being a good boy, you can easily play with other dogs (even if some are smaller or bigger than you), you can fit on those comfy doggie pillows that humans leave on the floor for us, and you can run fast and the wind will hit your ears just right so they flap in the wind.

So, I ask you… why on earth would you want anything to be at a high level, when there is a DOG LEVEL?