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!