Monday, March 31, 2008

See What You're Missing Kid (by: Lucky)

Carlo is away and I get to play! In case any of you non-assistance dogs in training are wondering... no, you don't need to be an assistance dog to go places and do fun things! Saturday night my pal (aka Carlo's puppy raiser) and her SGF (aka special guy friend) packed ME up in the car and we headed to Napa! Carlo, if you're reading this from college... see what you're missing kid!

Carlo had been to Napa before and he used to tell me all about it (whatever)... but, I am sure that he never had as much fun as I had when I went to Napa. Our day was filled with mystery and intrigue cause we went to the CIA! That's right, baby... the CIA! [side note by puppy raiser: Ummmm... Lucky, the CIA we went to was not the Central Intelligence Agency... it was the Culinary Institute of America]. Yeah, I know... but, "culinary" sounds so boring. After all, what the heck is a culinary? [side note by puppy raiser: it essentially means cooking... as in cooking food]. FOOD?! FOOD?! Why the heck didn't you tell me that sooner?! That's even better than the Central Intelligence Agency! Hey Carlo, if you're reading this from college... let me repeat... we went to the FOOD Agency!

So, we went to the Food Agency in Napa! How cool is that?! That photo at the top is of me with the Food Agency in the background. When we first got there, we went on a long walk around some vineyards. OMG... the smells were out of this world! There is something about that fertile Napa ground that just made me wanna sniff and sniff and sniff. And, of course, I had to pee everywhere... just to let everyone know that I was there! Here's a photo of me on the best smelling land ever!

After a long walk, we headed back to the car. My pal fed me dinner. At the time, eating my dinner was pretty exciting to me. But, that was when I thought my pal and her SGF were going to the Central Intelligence Agency. If I had known they were going to the FOOD Agency... I would have been a little more disappointed in my bland old dog dinner... and I would have insisted on going to dinner with them! [side note by puppy raiser: Ummmmm, Lucky, you wouldn't have been allowed in the CIA because you're not an assistance dog or an assistance dog in training]. Yeah, whatever... as if I don't provide my own special kinds of assistance! Anywayssss... while they dined on fine food, I took a nap in the car. I actually really enjoyed the nap because it was a beautiful day, the windows were cracked, car was parked under a big tree, and I was able to curl up in my nice big comfy car blankie. Ahhhhhhhhhh! It was total bliss!

So, all in all, the day was a blast. Of course, what would have made it better is if my pal and her SGF had at least brought me back a doggie bag from the CIA! Their excuse was that they had scallops for dinner... and I wouldn't have liked them. I don't know what a scallop is... but, if it came from a place called the Food Agency, I'm sure it would have been quite tasty! Here I am at the entrance of the Food Agency. This was as far as I was allowed to go. But, just think... right within those huge doors behind me, all kinds of cooking is going on. Dang... just the thought of it makes me drool. [side note by Carlo's puppy raiser: Blog time is over... I've gotta clean the drool off my laptop...]

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Me, Food, and My Wiggle Butt (by: Zucchini)

Hi! My name is Zuleika! Most people have trouble saying that, so they just call me Zucchini. I think that's hard to say too... but, I like being named after food! I love food! LOVE it! Speaking of food... is it time to eat yet?!

Eating makes me so happy, that I wiggle, wiggle, wiggle. Carlo's puppy raiser told me she has never seen anyone wiggle so much. I can't help it though. I LOVE to eat! It makes me happy! [side note by Carlo's puppy raiser: Zucchini, how can you even enjoy eating when you just swallow your food whole?!] Errrrr, I dunno! I eat fast cause the sooner it gets in my tummy the happier I am!

Speaking of swallowing things, I'm kind of known for swallowing things. Things other than food. This one time, I swallowed a really long piece of ribbon. My puppy raiser wasn't very happy with me. I ended up getting really sick and had to go to the emergency vet clinic. I now have a huge scar down my tummy. I like to show off my scar by rolling over on my back. Ok, ok, I really do that cause I love having a belly rub! Belly rubs are the best when I have a full tummy. Is it time to eat yet?! Everyone keeps asking me why on earth I would swallow a ribbon. What can I say... it looked like spaghetti!

I'm staying with Carlo's puppy raiser while my puppy raiser is in Peru. I hope she brings me back something from her trip... like food!!! Just thinking about that makes me wiggle!

Carlo's puppy raiser like to take photos. She made me hold still so she could get some photos this morning. But, when she said "release" I jumped up and wiggled cause I knew I would get a treat for being such a good model!

I'm going to be heading off to college in May. I can't wait to see my buddy, Carlo! It's just not the same here without him to play with. I've been playing with Lucky... but, she ends up stopping LONG before I'm ready to stop. I have to wave toys in her face to get her... hang on a second... I hear something! It... it sounds like the clank of a food bowl... woohoo! gotta goooooo...........

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Letter from the Kid (by: Lucky)

We got a letter from the kid (Carlo) yesterday. Sounds like he's having fun in college. In fact, who have known that college could sound so fun... if I had known, I would wanna be an assistance dog in training! He says that every day they get to play in the yard, which even has a pool with a slide!

Carlo also said that his roommate is named Jerry. Jerry was actually raised in this area and came over to our house once when Carlo had a Halloween party. He was dressed like a bumblebee. Poor guy. On second thought, I sure am glad I'm not an assistance dog in training...

Carlo's trainer is named Andrea. She's going to send us monthly progress reports on how the kid is doing. Carlo also sent a photo of himself from turn-in day. The little kid looks all grown up in his fancy blue cape [side note by Carlo's puppy raiser: Lucky, do I need to remind you again that the "little kid" is bigger than you?]. Yeah, whatever.

Well, I gotta go. There's another assistance dog in training staying with us right now. I have no idea how to pronounce her name, so I just call her Z... or bouncy black thing. She's just visiting. But, I've been told that I need to keep an eye on her cause she likes to eat things. She's been pestering me to let her write in this blog. Maybe I'll let her do it later this week...

Friday, March 14, 2008

Me, Carlo, and Marvelous Mercer (by: Lucky)

Hey Everyone,

Lucky here. I'm the pet dog. And, I rule the roost. I'm hijaking Carlo's blog for a bit while he's off in college.

My pal (aka Carlo's puppy raiser) sure has been missing Carlo. Geesh, you'd think he was special or something. But, let me tell you this... I'M the special one. I've had to help raise FOUR of these CCI pups... and there's talk of a 5th one coming soon. I've had to put up with pups stealing my toys, hogging my pillows, pouncing on me, getting in my way, and taking attention away from numero uno... in case you didn't know, that would be me!

But, even though they have all been a little annoying, I have sorta liked all the little critters who have lived with us... especially since they have all realized that I am numero uno and I rule the roost. And, the one who realized this the most was Carlo. Yeah, I don't blame my pal for missing him... I've gotta admit, I miss that little guy too [side note by puppy raiser: Ummm, Lucky... Carlo was actually bigger than you]. Yeah, whatever. But, I still ruled the roost.

Anyways, the reason I'm writing today is that I wanted to tell you about this little 12 year old girl named Shea. She has a CCI dog named Mercer. And, she just released her 2nd book, "Marvelous Mercer - The Secret Project". She was on the CBS news the other night and it was a cool interview.

You can check out an excerpt from the news story here...

I could see Carlo helping a little girl like Shea. He would love doing something like that. And, a little girl or boy would love him in return. Carlo is pretty good... for a little pup. But, he should be good because he had me to help train him!

Friday, March 7, 2008

My Movie

My puppy raiser and I started making this movie before I headed off to college. So, if you're seeing it on my blog now it means that my puppy raiser finally got around to putting the finishing touches on it!

A special shout out to Jack Johnson, who wrote the cool song, Better Together, which I "borrowed" for use in my movie. Errrrr... hope he doesn't mind (if he does, it was my puppy raiser's idea!). My puppy raiser and I used to dance to this song all the time (we danced really well together cause we both have no rhythm). Anyways, we thought this particular song would be the perfect song for my movie.

Woof from college!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Revenge of the Puppy (by: Carlo's Puppy Raiser)

I just wanted to share this cute guide dog commercial from the Norwegian Association of the Blind. This commercial came out a few years ago, but it always makes me smile. The little puppy reminds me so much of Carlo when he was that age.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Camp Carlo's Puppy Raiser (by: Skipper)

Hi, I’m Skipper (aka Mini-Me Carlo)! And, my time here at Camp Carlo’s Puppy Raiser is coming to an end! I stayed the week here while my puppy raiser was livin’ la vida loca in Mexico. My goal at Camp (other than livin’ la vida loca myself) was to help Carlo's puppy raiser get over Carlo going to college. Let me tell you... it was not easy! Carlo, Carlo, Carlo... that's all I ever heard! But, I think I was a good assistance puppy... cause I sure did make his puppy raiser smile and laugh a lot. And, I kept her busy! It’s been lotsa fun here! Here are some of the highlights of my week:

Best overall moments:
  • Playing in Camp Carlo's Puppy Raiser backyard. It was awesome! There was so much stuff to pick up... and tons of room to run around and act crazy.

  • Getting Lucky to chase me. The first few days at Camp, I was scared to death of Lucky. Dang, she’s got a big bark! And, she barked at me every time I came near her... which sent me scampering... sometimes so fast I would do a somersault! But, then I realized Lucky was just playin'. So, I started barking back at her to get her to chase me. It was tons of fun! I think Carlo's puppy raiser got annoyed by the barking though because as soon as we would start barking at each other, she would say, “Lucky and Carlo... I mean Skipper... QUIET!” We were good and would immediately be quiet. Ashley (the parrot) wasn’t quite as polite... Ashley would yell, “SHUT UP!

  • Playing with the green squeaky toy. There were tons of toys at Camp, but my absolute favorite was the green squeaky bone. I would squeak it and squeak it and squeak it. Ashley would then start making a sound just like the squeaky toy. It was so cool! Carlo's puppy raiser said that she is going to let me have the toy... she is sure that it will make MY puppy raiser so... happy.

Best Training Moment:
  • Riding in the box that moves [side note by Carlo's puppy raiser: it was an elevator :-)]. I wasn’t scared of the box at all! And, Carlo's puppy raiser showed me exactly where to sit while it moved. She said it was the best spot because I was between the wall and her, so no one could pet and distract me (ummm... I would have actually preferred it if people had been able to pet me!).

Scariest Training Moment:
  • Stairs. Carlo's puppy raiser thought it would be a good idea to do some training with me walking up and down stairs. Yeah, it was NOT a good idea! I didn’t like ‘em at all! They were big and scary. I made it up one step and then backed down again and cried. And, there was NO WAY I was even going to attempt walking DOWN the stairs. Besides, why take the stairs, when you can ride in the box that moves!

Things I assisted Carlo's puppy raiser with:
  • Gardening. Carlo's puppy raiser would pull weeds, and I would pull them out of the bucket and move them to another part of the yard to do my own decorating. I also assisted by jumping into piles of leaves she had raked up cause the leaves looked much better strewn all over the place.

  • Puppy training. Every day at work, Carlo's puppy raiser would take me to this area where there were other 2 other CCI puppies! They were just little baby pups though... not nearly as big as me [side note by Carlo’s puppy raiser: Skipper, you’re not that much older!]. Yeah, but I’m a lot bigger [side note by Carlo's puppy raiser: Skipper, you’re not all that much bigger either!]. Well, it’s all in the eyes of the puppy... and in the eyes of THIS puppy... I’m wayyyy older AND bigger! The puppy raisers of these tiny baby pups are brand new puppy raisers, so Carlo's puppy raiser gave them some training tips and showed them how much stuff I already know (which in the eyes of THIS puppy is a whole lot!).

Things I sorta got in trouble for:
  • The trash bag incident. I started getting a puppy attack and pounced on a trash bag and then swung it over my head, so that everything came flyin’ out. Everything! It was all over the place. Yeah, I got a big time time-out for that one!

  • The newspaper incident. I got another puppy attack and I pounced on some newspapers under Ashley’s cage. I started to shred ‘em, but Carlo's puppy raiser was too quick for me. Yeah, I got a time-out for that one too.

  • The toilet paper incident. While Carlo’s puppy raiser was going to the bathroom, I grabbed the end of the toilet paper, which was hanging from the roll, and ran for it! I would have gotten in trouble for that one, but Carlo's puppy raiser was ummmm... occupied... and laughing too hard.

When I saw Carlo at graduation he told me, "kid... get ready to pose for lots of photos." I had no clue what he meant until I got to Camp. Fortunately, Carlo's puppy raiser is still working on something called her "living abstracts" project... so, she took a bunch of photos while I was sleeping. They were photos of my paws... which I guess she wasn't all that thrilled with because she didn't want me to include them in this blog. Here are a couple of photos she told me I could include. The first one is me having a hard day at work. And, the second is of me checking out a thing called a guitar... it made cool noises!

Well, I gotta run... I'm going to see if I can get Lucky to chase me. See ya!