Wednesday, January 30, 2008


Cel-e-brate good times, come on! Cel-brate good times, come on! There's a parrtyy goin' on right here. A celebration to last throughout the year. Let the good times role and the bad times too. We're gonna celebrate and party with you!
That's right... we're havin' a party right now! My buddy, Zuleika, is here for a sleepover! I like to call Zuleika "Z" cause Zuleika is hard to say... and write. Anyways, Z's puppy raiser dropped her off a little while ago... and we've been playin' ever since. The only time we've stopped is when my puppy raiser made us stop to take a photo.

Z finds Ashley (the parrot) really interesting... especially, when Ashley decided to join the party by flying over our heads into the other room. Z also likes what my puppy raiser calls "the most annoying toy in the world"... a ball with a super loud squeaker. Z doesn't just squeak it once... she squeaks it over and and over and over. She's so cool!

Anyways, I've gotta run! Who wants to blog when we're havin' such a party over here!

Monday, January 28, 2008

My Favorite Words

After days and days of rain, the sun finally came out today! The best thing about it not raining was that during our lunch break my puppy raiser took me outside to our favorite spot to do some training.

She had me working on all kinds of stuff like "heel", "side", "back", "under", and "stand". The toughest thing we worked on was doing "roll" from a standing position. For some reason, that one always gets me. Once I'm in a down position, I get it. But, when I'm standing, I forget I have to lay down first. So, she had me work a whole bunch on this.

My puppy raiser also tried faking me out by doing a combination of "up" and "jump". [sidenote by puppyraiser: I didn't "try" faking you out... I "did" fake you out!] Uhhhh... yeah, I guess she did fake me out a few times. But it really wasn't fair because she took me over to this one spot where we always practice "jump"... so, I figured that's what she wanted me to do! My puppy raiser said that's why it is important that I listen. She made me do it over and over and over until I listened to what she was saying and got it right.

Even though the training session was a bit tough today, it was fun too. I love it when I do things right because my puppy raiser always says things like, "Carlo, you are soooo smart!" My absolute favorite words she says are: "Carlo, you are the best boy!" I love hearin' that! It makes me wanna listen harder, so I get it right the first time!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

More Photography... sigh...

Yesterday my puppy raiser and I attended a photography workshop. I didn't really find it all that... I slept during the entire workshop and only woke up when everyone took a break and my puppy raiser took me outside. But, my puppy raiser sure did find it all that. She rambled about it ALL the way home. She didn't stop... even, when I pretended to be asleep and gave her some of my best snores.

She told me the focus of the workshop is Living Abstracts. By "living" it means anything living... people, animals, trees, flowers, etc. etc. The "abstract" part is where it gets a little trickier. By "abstract" it means you have to be able to turn the photo all the way around and it has to be comfortable to look at no matter which way the the photo is turned. Abstract photos are typically not 100% recognizable. In other words, the photos are kinda artsy-fartsy.

She told me she plans on shooting lots of different subject matters, but one idea she has includes me (uh oh...). She said the tricky part is that what she has in mind for me may be a little difficult in terms of the abstract part (whew!).

When we got home, I thought maybe she had enough of the photography stuff. But, nooooo.... she started having me modeling for her. I told her I wasn't abstract enough... but, she didn't listen! She had me sit in a certain spot and she took a bunch of shots and then went to her computer to download them.

As she was doing this, she looked up, and suddenly realized I hadn't moved from my spot. Part of my training is that I'm supposed to stay wherever my puppy raiser puts me until she says "release" or gives me another command. Well, she was so caught up in the photography moment, she forgot to do either! So, there I stayed. As soon as she realized, she came running over and said, "Carlo, release!". She gave me a big hug and said, "Carlo, you are the best CCI pup in training AND the best model EVER!". Yeah, what can I say? I am pretty dang good CCI pup! But, sometimes I sure wish I wasn't such a good model!

P.S. The photo above is one of the photos from tonight. My puppy raiser said it didn't turn out exactly as she hoped. I'm hoping that means I'm not abstract enough for her and she'll move on to another subject!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Orangutans and Yada, Yada, Yada

Today's blog is going to be a little different in that I'm going to write about orangutans instead of myself.

My puppy raiser read an article in the newspaper to me the other day about orangutans in Indonesia. I've never seen an orangutan, but my puppy raiser showed me photos of them... and they look like they would be fun to play with! According to this article, the search for eco-friendly products and alternative fuels, is leading to massive deforestation in Indonesia. The deforestation is unlocking carbon gases into our environment, and taking a toll on the people and wildlife living in Indonesia. I didn't really understand any of what my puppy raiser read in the article... or what I just wrote(my puppy raiser helped me with it). But, then my puppy raiser took a break from reading and told me all about orangutans...

She told me that when she was in college she majored in Anthropology and had dreams of some day doing research in Borneo to study orangutans. But, she ended up not following her dreams... and yada, yada, yada now she's a state worker. I asked her what the yada, yada, yada meant. She told me it was a long story, and knowing me I would probably fall asleep before she was through telling it (uh, she has a good point!). Anyways, she said that even though she never followed her dreams, she has always had a soft spot in her heart for orangutans.... and reading the newspaper article really made her think.

She told me that as a result of people's quest for palm oil, many orangutan babies are being orphaned. I asked her what that meant and she told me that in the case of orangutans it means that they are no longer with their mommies. She said orphaned orangutans are ending up in Care Centers where people can take care of them... and it's difficult for the people at the Care Centers to take care of so many orphaned orangutans. She didn't go into the details of why the orphaned orangutans are without their mommies... she said that it may be a little too heavy for me... but, she said that if any of my blog readers want to learn about it they should check out Tom Knudson's article, Dark side of a hot biofuel.

She told me that the problem with people is that are always in such a rush to do things... and, as a result they don't always make the best decisions. She said if people would just slow down and think things through, they wouldn't fix one problem and then replace it with another problem. She went on to vent about how people rush things for political reasons... and because high level management wants to impress others with the fact that they can meet deadline dates... even if the deadline dates jeopardize quality... and have harmful long-term consequences.

By this time, I've gotta admit I was getting pretty sleepy. My puppy raiser just kept going on and on about this stuff. So, I went in my toy basket and brought her a toy. She smiled and gave me a big hug. Then she told me she is glad that the yada, yada, yada stuff happened... because if she had ended up in Borneo, she wouldn't have become a puppy raiser... and she wouldn't be MY puppy raiser. But, she still wishes she could help the orangutans in some way...

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

A Weekend of Fun! (Part 3)

I thought the weekend of fun was over when we left San Francisco, but it wasn't! Since Monday was a holiday, after leaving San Francisco, we headed to a place called Half Moon Bay.

It was dark by the time we got there, so I wasn't really sure what the place was like. Plus, Lucky and I were super duper tired from our San Francisco adventure. After having dinner in special bowls supplied by the hotel and sampling some of the tasty doggie treats that the hotel left for us in our welcome package, we both crashed and slept soundly all night long!

In the morning, we all went for a walk on a trail called the coastside trail. It was so cool! But, as we were walking and my puppy raiser (as usual) was taking photos, we began to notice that it was raining over the ocean. My puppy raiser and her special guy friend said we better start heading back to the hotel. We had headed back only a few steps, when it started raining... and then pouring! We all started running. I was with my puppy raiser and we ran really fast. Dang, it was fun! Lucky was with my puppy raiser's special guy friend and they were a little slower. We kind of left them in the dust... :-)

We then got in the car and drove up the coast... where we found the best beach ever! Fortunately it had stopped raining (at least for a little while). So, we all played and played and played. And, we even got to see a beautiful rainbow (the first photo in this blog is of me and my puppy raiser sharing a special moment as we watch it). The photo below is of Lucky and me playing...

There was this one time when my puppy raiser was taking some photos of me and she looked up just in time to see the start of a REALLY big wave coming our way. She yelled, "Carlo, run!" I, of course, did and we both narrowly escaped getting super wet. Her special guy friend and Lucky saw the whole thing and they thought it was really funny. Here's a photo my puppy raiser took shortly before we had to run for it...

At one point, my puppy raiser caught me rolling on a mound of sand. She knew that couldn't be a good thing... so, she yelled at me to stop. She and her special guy friend came over to check out what I had been rolling in. As they came closer, they smelled something really good [side note by puppy raiser: it didn't smell good... it smelled disgusting!]. Well, it smelled really good to me (which is why I was rolling in it). They soon found out that under the mound of sand was a dead seal! They were totally grossed out and asked me what the heck I was thinking. I told them that I did it cause I'm a dog... and that's what we do... :-)

Needless to say, the weekend of fun ended with me getting a bath as soon as we got back home. Lucky got a bath too (even though she didn't roll on the dead seal... she wanted to, but my puppy raiser yelled at her before she could do it). My puppy raiser also washed the bed that I was laying on during the drive back home and she washed my collar. It sure is a good thing my puppy raiser loves me... :-)

A Weekend of Fun! (Part 2)

So, as if Saturday wasn't fun enough, on Sunday my puppy raiser and her special guy friend packed the bags, put Lucky and me in the car, and said we were headed to San Francisco! I had never been to San Francisco before and didn't know what to expect. But, I discovered that San Francisco sure is a happening place, with tons of things to see and smell! This photo is pretty much my very first view of San Francisco...

Part of the day was spent hanging out waiting for my puppy raiser to take photo after photo after photo. You'd think she would get tired of taking photos, but she never does! She's tried to explain it to me by saying that taking photographs to her is like chewing nylabones is to me. Yeah, I didn't get it either... why would anyone wanna take photos instead of chew on a nylabone?!

The best place we went to was this place called Crissy Field. It was the bomb! We played at a beach and had the best time ever! Here's a photo of Lucky trying to catch me...

Our day in San Francisco ended in the Marin Headlands. My puppy raiser and her special guy friend wanted to get a shot at dusk of the moon rising. They had it all planned out and set up their cameras to take the shots. It was super windy and REALLY cold! Fortunately, they left Lucky and me in the car most of the time. We were pretty tired after our romp at the beach and weren't really interested in sitting in the cold, waiting for the moon to rise. It was really funny when they finally saw the moon rise... but, it wasn't in the location they expected! They thought it was funny too... and laughed and laughed as their teeth chattered from being super cold. Here are a few photos that my puppy raiser took... note how there is no moon to be seen... :-)

My puppy raiser and her special guy friend are already planning on going back to San Francisco. They said that they could have spent a whole day photographing each place we went to... plus, there are a bunch of places we didn't even make it to. I wanna go back again too... and play at Crissy Field beach!

Monday, January 21, 2008

A Weekend of Fun! (Part 1)

So much happened this weekend that it is going to take me a few blog entries to cover it all!

Part 1 of my fun weekend started on Saturday, when my puppy raiser and her special guy friend dropped me off at at another puppy raiser's house. My puppy raiser said they were going skiing and I couldn't come with them. I asked them what skiing was and they said you strap two long planks on your feet and slide down hills. I didn't understand why I wasn't invited, but I didn't mind so much cause I got to go to play with my buddies, Zuleika and Hope! I also got to play with a dog named Maddy. She is kind of like Lucky... old and not a CCI dog. To be honest, I was a little scared of her... just like I'm a little scared of Lucky. I'm always a little weary around those old alpha dogs cause they like to put me in my place when I'm naughty.

Anyways, I had a great day playing! Zuleika's puppy raiser even gave me a pedicure (that wasn't all that fun... but, it sure did make my puppy raiser happy). The only real bummer part of the day was when Zuleika's puppy raiser put me out in a garage kennel by myself. I was kinda lonely and whined a bit. My puppy raiser told me that she asked her to do this to me. What's up with that?! She said she did it because it would be good training for me since I have to live in a kennel environment when I go to doggie college. I told her that from what I've heard I will have a roomie in college, so at least I won't have to be by myself! My puppy raiser didn't have a response to that... she just muttered something about me being a mama's boy.

At the end of the day, I asked my puppy raiser how her day of sliding down the hill went. She said it didn't happen because after they dropped me off she realized she never got her skis bindings adjusted to the particular boots she had with her. She said she had not gone skiing in a long, long time and forgot that she never had her skis adjusted to those boots. My puppy raiser is so funny... she doesn't always think things through... just like me! Anyways, she and her special guy friend ended up still going to Tahoe and they shot photos (the photos in this blog entry are some of the ones she took). They said that even though they didn't go skiing, they had a fabulous day... just like me!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

In the Dog House!

Boy am I in troubbbblllle! I'm in the dog house... big time!

After an evening of modeling for my puppyraiser's ghetto lighting photo shoot, my puppyraiser said that it was time to get ready for bed. So, she let Lucky and me outside to go "hurry" (aka "potty") one last time. Lucky went and came right back inside. But, I found errrrr... something... and I kind of dawdled. "Carlo, here!" my puppyraiser shouted from the house. I only sorta half heard her because I was really interested in what I found. My puppyraiser stormed out of the house, and without a word, grabbed me gently by my collar and led me back to the house.

Once we were back inside, I layed down and spit my finding out on to the floor. My puppyraiser looked... and then looked closer. And, then said, "Carlo... that better not be s#!t!" She ran into the kitchen, grabbed some paper towels, picked up my finding and smelled it. "OMG! Bad, bad boy!" she yelled at me. I layed there with my head down between my paws, and gave her my "I'm so cute" look. "What is wrong with you?!" she cried out. "Why on earth would you put THAT in your mouth? And, why would you bring it in here?!!"

I really didn't have an answer for her. I just thought it, well, smelled kinda good. And, to be honest, I'm not sure whether it ummmmm... came from... Lucky or me. I just kinda liked it. Besides, what does she expect after an evening of laying motionless in the dark (for my ghetto lighting photo shoot)? I needed to have some fun before I called it a night... :-)

Ghetto Lighting

Tonight my puppyraiser told me she was in one of her creative experimentation moods. "Oh oh....," I thought.

She wanted to shoot some photos using ghetto lighting... and she wanted me to be the model. She told me that ghetto lighting is lighting that the photographer has on hand... no fancy photography equipment. She said it can be things like lighting from the refrigerator, flashlight, candles, etc. I dunno why my puppyraiser thought this was something different... she ALWAYS uses ghetto lighting! But, she was very into it tonight... must be because she just got a new thingy to put her camera on [sidenote by puppyraiser: the thingy is called a tripod... and I LOVE my new tripod!].

Anyways, as the lucky one who was chosen to be the model (yes, I'm being sarcastic!), she made me sit in the dark and told me that I couldn't move... at all! She said it had something to do with the slow shutter speed she was using. I don't know why she was using the word "speed"... cause there was nothing speedy about the whole thing.

When she was finally done messing around with her camera... she then started messing around with her computer. She told me that she was using photoshop to make the photo look more like a painting. This part wasn't too bad for me cause at least I didn't have to lay motionless in the dark anymore!

My puppyraiser sure is weird sometimes... I told her that she would have much more fun chewing on a bone...

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Another Rockin' Day

Today was another rockin' day! My puppyraiser and her geo-caching puppyraiser friend took me and my buddy Zuleika (another CCI puppy) hiking on Salmon Falls Trail. The hike was along a river and was very scenic, with lots of good smells! The only thing I didn't get is why Zuleika's puppyraiser kept going off into the brush. One time she came out with a box that had a notebook and toys and stuff in it. She called it a cache. I have no idea what that is... but, every time she went into the brush, I got a little worried and whined.

Unfortunately, we had to cut the hike short cause these bugs kept getting on Zuleika and me. I actually didn't even notice that the bugs were there... but, they really freaked out the puppyraisers. They called them hicks... or was it ticks? Anyways, they decided to turn around because of the bugs. As soon as we got back to Zuleika's house, our puppyraisers combed every inch of us and then we were given baths. And we were scrubbed and scrubbed and scrubbed. And then we had to stand on something called a grooming table... where our puppyraisers dried us with a blower and then furminated us.

After all that grooming, I finally got to play for a bit with Zuleika, and my other buddy Hope. Hope is a CCI dog too... but, she got released. She came back to live with Zuleika and her puppyraiser... and she is now a certified therapy dog!

It was another fun-filled, but exhausting day. I sure am going to need this work week to get some good nap time in so that I can recuperate from the weekend!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Lots and lots of SNOW!

I guess my puppyraiser wanted to make up to me about the whole Skipper thing cause today rocked! We went up to the mountains to play in the snow! I've only been in the snow once before... but, this time there was MUCH more snow. There was so much snow that Lucky (who is kinda well... chunky) got stuck a few times and my puppyraiser had to help her out [side note by puppyraiser: ummmm, Carlo, you needed help a few times too]. Oh yeah, I guess I did, but that's just because I'm a mama's boy and I love it when my puppyraiser comes to my rescue... :-)

Here's a photo of us playing in front of a "stop" sign. And, yep, that's just the top poking out of the snow!

When we got home, the fun didn't end! We went on a long walk in our hood. And, then we did some gardening. I helped with the gardening by digging up lost bones! Whew... I've gotta say I'm exhausted right now. I'm going to take a nap and dream of playin' in all that snow...

Skipper, the Wannabe Carlo

A few days ago my puppyraiser told me that when I head off to college, she's going to puppsit another CCI puppy for a week. She said that the puppy's name is Skipper and he will be about 12 weeks old when she puppysits him. I didn't think much of it, until my puppysraiser saw some photos of the "Carlo Wannabe" and started going on and on about how cute he was (yeah, that's the wannabe in the photo above). As if anyone could be cuter than me!

I've gotta admit, it kinda made me a little annoyed that she would want to replace me so soon. I mean this Skipper guy is going to be playing with MY toys and sleeping on MY bed. What's up with that?! But, then my puppyraiser sat me down and told me the following:
Carlo, I'm going to be very sad when you head off to doggie college. While I'm proud of you and I want for you to do well in college, I'm going to miss you. We're all going to miss you. I'm going to miss you constantly being by my side. Lucky is going to miss playing with you... and bossing you around. And, Ashley... well, I'm sure that Ashley will miss you in her own special way. Skipper is going to help us get through that first week when you aren't around. After all, there is nothing like a cute puppy to help brighten someone's day. But no other pup, can ever, ever replace you. Just like no pup can replace Lucky... or any of the other CCI pups I have raised. You are all special in your own ways. But, you of course, are extra special...
That made me feel much better about things... especially that extra special part! But, I made her promise not to let Skipper pick up any socks... cause those are MY socks (ok, ok, they are actually my puppyraiser's, but Skipper doesn't need to know that!). And, I made her promise not to let Skipper use MY blankie (ok, ok, it's actually Lucky's blankie... but Skipper doesn't need to know that either! Besides, the blankie was given to Lucky by MY special work friend... and Skipper does need to know that!).

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Stormy Weather

After days of stormy weather, the sun finally came out today! There were three big storms that hit us... the Thursday night through Friday storm had super duper heavy rains and winds. I really wanted to go out and play in the storms, but my puppyraiser wouldn't let me. She would only let me go out to do a quick "hurry" (that's the word for going potty). My puppyraiser always takes the literal translation of the word... and makes me "hurry" in a hurry, especially when it's pouring rain outside.

Since the rains stopped today, my puppyraiser took Lucky and me on a walk. We walked for about 2 - 3 miles on the trails in our hood. And on that short walk, we saw the following storm damage:
  • BIG branches that fell off trees: WAY too many to count. But, it sure was fun checking them out.

  • BIG trees that fell: 2 oak trees

  • Fences around homes that were demolished: 10! Lucky and I asked my puppyraiser if we could go into the backyards of these homes and play. But, she said no. Geesh, she's no fun!

  • Mud factor: Lots of mud. So cool! My puppyraiser wouldn't let Lucky and me come back into the house until she had completely wiped us clean with a towel.
My puppyraiser went out later in the day to shoot some photos (she's really into photography). I usually get to go with her on her photo shoots, but she left me at home today. What's up with that?! It wasn't all that bad though cause I got some good quality nap time in... and then got to "help" her when she got home and cleaned up all of the backyard storm debris.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Back to Work

My puppyraiser and I went back to work today. I've gotta say... after our long holiday hiatus, it sure wasn't easy!

The morning was the toughest part. The alarm went off at 5:00 a.m. I didn’t mind getting up that early cause it meant we could eat breakfast (yay!), but, my puppyraiser sure was grumbling. My puppyraiser didn't bring out my toys cause there wasn't enough time for play (I did mind that part!). And, Ashley only got to come of her room (bird cage) for a little bit... so she didn't have time to drop much food on the floor.... not that I would have eaten the food off the floor cause I'm such a good boy [side note: had to say that last part cause my puppyraiser started giving me "the look"].

Once at work though, it really wasn't such a bad day at all. I got to sleep on my comfy bed while using my toys as pillows. People kept coming by to visit me... including my buddy Delphine (she's a kid and she's super cool). I gave Delphine and her mom my special smile cause I was so happy to see them. Also, it was a nice sunny day, so my puppyraiser took me to the park at lunch. She said we won't get to go to the park for the next few days cause a big storm is moving in. I told her that a storm would make going to the park even more fun! We could jump in puddles, role in the mud, get sopping wet... what could be better?!!

I don't think my puppyraiser is too keen on this storm idea cause she gave me "the look" again... and she told me to stay on topic ("back to work"... not "playing in stormy weather"). But, after a long day of napping (errrr, I mean work), I'm tired, so I'm going to cut this blog short and take a nap.