Monday, December 21, 2009

Best Christmas Gift Ever! (by: Carlo)

Sorry it has been FOREVER since I've posted a blog. But, you won't believe what happened on Dec 11! Santa delivered my very own baby boy!!!

Well, actually, my pal delivered him... but, she said that the delivery would have been easier if Santa had brought him down the chimney. I didn't get to see him right away cause my pal and baby boy were in the hospital, but she sent home his receiving blanket so that Lucky and I would know exactly what he smelled like before they came home. And, boy oh boy did he smell good!

Since baby boy has been home, we haven't gotten much sleep. Well, I've been getting my sleep cause I can sleep through anything... but, the humans haven't been getting much sleep. Baby boy likes to stay up at night... all night. My pal calls him her little night owl. It's kind of like having a new 2 month old CCI puppy... except noisier. Actually, now that I think of it, baby boy sort of reminds me of Gerrit. He sure did have some lungs when he first came home too. Gerrit said that it was because he had aspirations of being on American Idol. Hmmmmmm... I wonder if baby boy wants to be on American Idol too! Maybe he and Gerrit could do a duet!

Baby boy sure is sweet. I love him so, so much! My favorite thing these days is to lay right next to my pal while she feeds him. I feel so proud and happy to be there!

I leave you with this cute holiday video. The dog is waiting for his Christmas gift. I got my Christmas gift early this year... and it's the best Christmas gift EVER!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Holiday Dreams (by: Carlo)

I've been getting lots o' razzing since my last post. For some reason, people seem to think that I prefer sleeping over holiday decorating. Well, I'm here to tell all of you people... YOU ARE SO RIGHT! But, it's not as if I'm lazy or anything... it's just that when I sleep, I dream... and when I dream, I dream about REALLY fun stuff.

So, what do I dream about that is so fun? Well, when it's the holiday season and it's cold and wet outside... and my pal is busy decorating, I dream about things like summer!!! In fact, this video is a pretty dang good representation of my winter dreams...

In case you hadn't noticed while watching this, these are the same dogs as the ones from the holiday decorating crew video. Oh, and one dog in the video has the BEST name ever... which just happens to be the same as mine... ;-)

Well, I gotta go... so, I can fall asleep and have some more summer dreams... before my pal asks me to help put the Christmas lights on the house!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Decorating... and Napping... for the Holidays (by: Carlo)

This weekend all the humans in the house decided to decorate the house for the holidays. They went to a Christmas tree farm up in the mountains, found "the perfect" tree, lugged it home, and proudly displayed it in the front window. Then, in anticipation of decorating the tree, my pal showed Lucky and me this video. She said that it would get us in the holiday spirit and show us how helpful we could be...

But, to be honest, the video didn't do all that much to motivate us. Lucky and I got tired just watching these dogs do all of that work! So, we decided that our time would best be spent supervising the humans as they decorated! Of course, supervising made us sort of sleepy... and then we remembered how all of the dogs in the video fell sound asleep at the end of the video. Hmmmm... that looked like fun! So we only supervised for a little bit... and then settled in early for a long winter's nap. We LOVE napping... errr, I mean decorating... for the holidays!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

A Special Purpose (by: Carlo)

My pal was watching this video tonight as I cuddled up next to her. My first thought was, "Geesh, that little dog sure is an overachiever. When I was that age, I was scared of things like walking down the stairs! And here that little puppy is doin' things like the pull command! Whatever!"

But, I kept watching the video anyways (just because my pal kept watching it), and when the dog didn't make it as service dog, it got MUCH more interesting because I could TOTALLY relate. My pal had tears in her eyes by the end of the video. I gotta admit, I was feeling a little emotional too. I'm sooooo happy that my pal lets me just "be" and that she thinks that I'm perfect just the way I am!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Treats and Dogolanterns (by: Carlo)

For Halloween this year, we made a dogolantern! It's like a jackolantern only better cause its name isn't Jack and it looks like a dog. We actually haven't named it yet, but, I'm thinking Carlo sounds pretty good... as in Carlolantern!

We also went to a harvest festival where my pal said that I was a total kid magnet. Every kid there wanted to come over and pet me. It was great! All of the kids smelled like yummy treats... and they had gooey good smellin' stuff all over their hands... so, being the helpful dog that I am, I helped them clean their hands!

The trick-or-treaters are now about to arrive, so I've gotta get going. Hope you all have a Happy Halloween with lots & lots of treats and dogolanterns!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Stinky Stuff and Showers (by: Carlo)

Earlier this week my pal came home and told me she had a shower at work. I didn't understand why the heck she would need to shower at work since she takes a shower every morning before going to work. But, I thought that maybe she did something extra fun that day to make herself really stinky. I know from experience, that the best days are the days I roll in stinky stuff!

I told my pal all of this and she rolled her eyes and said, "No, Carlo, unlike you, I do not like to roll in stank!"

"Then why the heck would you take another shower at work?!" I asked.

"Follow me, Carlo," she said, "I'll show you!"

So, she led me out to her car, where she proceeded to unload a bunch of boxes and bags. I didn't really find it all that interesting... until I saw IT. A soft stuffed froggie toy was hanging from one of the bags! I LOVE soft stuffed toys almost as much as rolling in stank!

My pal noticed my interest, and said, "Check out what this toy does, Carlo!" and she pushed the belly of the froggie. You'll never believe it, but the nicest music started playing! My pal said the music was called a lullaby.

"Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy!" I shouted as I tried to put the stuffed froggie in my mouth, "What else did you bring me?"

My pal pushed my nose away from the froggie, but before she could answer my question, I had already stuck my head in another bag... and saw... a STUFFED DOGGIE TOY!

Smiling, my pal pulled my head out of that bag before I could grab the stuffed doggie and then told me that these toys weren't for me.

"Huh?" I asked, dumbfounded, "but I thought ALL stuffed squishy toys were for me!"

She then told me that these toys were for the soon to arrive baby boy. She went on to explain that the stuffed toys were just a few of the wonderful baby shower gifts that she had received at work. She said that she had the best co-workers in the world and they had given her a really nice baby shower. Excitedly, she showed me other things she had received... like a diaper genie.

Noticing that I was looking a little bummed that the toys weren't for me, she said softly, "Carlo, I'm sure that the baby wouldn't mind playing with his toys with you some day when he is big enough... but, we have to wait awhile before you can do that. And, when you do play with him and the toys, you have to be careful to keep these toys in really nice shape... that means no getting them dirty... and definitely, NO PULLING STUFFING OUT OF THEM."

I pondered what she said for a few minutes, and then gave her a big lick on the cheek. "Ok!" I said, "I'll wait for baby boy! I can't wait to play with him and the toys!" Then, I got distracted and said, "Hey, what are you supposed to do with this diaper genie thingy anyways?!"

My pal explained what the diaper genie was used for. "Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy!" I shouted, "Forget the soft stuffed toys... I really can't wait to play with the diaper genie... stinky stuff here I come!"

Sunday, October 18, 2009

My Baby Boy! (by: Carlo)

Today my pal was putting away a bunch of itsy bitsy miniature clothing. I'd never seen such small clothing before! I looked inquisically at the mini clothes and wondered what they heck they were for...

The clothing was so tiny that I started worrying that my pal was planning on replacing all of her socks with the tiny clothes. I LOVE socks... and couldn't imagine a house without socks laying all around for me to carry from one room to the next. But, the clothing was so itsy bitsy, I also couldn't imagine it fitting anything but perhaps my pal's feet!

My pal noticed my fretting and when I told her my worries about a house with no socks, she started laughing.

"These clothes aren't for my feet, Carlo", she said with a giggle. Then she sat me down and explained to me that the clothing was going to be for a new addition to our family!

"You mean we're going to get another CCI puppy?!" I asked in excitement. The mini clothing still puzzled me... but, I thought, that maybe they were some type of new assistance puppy in training capes.

"No," my pal laughed, "we're not getting another CCI puppy... or, at least not for a little while," she said, as she winked. "We're going to be getting a different kind of puppy... a human puppy... a baby boy!"

I sat back on my haunches in stunned silence. "A BABY BOY!!!" I then shouted as I pounced on her and licked her face. I've visited lots of little boys while doing my therapy work at Shriners Hospital for Children and I've loved them all... but, I've never had my VERY OWN BABY BOY! "When, when, when?!" I asked as I danced in circles around her.

She smiled and said, "Well, it looks as if he will be arriving in December."

I ran over and grabbed my toy... my favorite toy... the toy that I won at Woofstock a few weeks ago. I proudly put the toy down on the mini clothing and exclaimed in excitement, "I can't wait to share my favorite toy with my VERY OWN BABY BOY!!!"

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Surfin Paws Dog Surfing Competition

SURF'S UP DUDE! Today was the Surfin Paws Dog Surfing Competition in Huntington Beach! It was the first annual dog surf contest to benefit the Orange County SPCA. I sure do wish we could have gone!

Those of you who know me well, know that there is absolutely NO WAY I would get on a surf board. That is just way too scary for me. But, I still wished we could have watched the competition. I would have kept my four paws where they belong... on dry land! And, I would have been the official greeter... greeting each and every dog as they surfed ashore! I would even have brought them a toy!

While we didn't get to go, we did have fun watching the video from the event...

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Woofstock (by: Carlo)

Today I traveled back in time to the 60s, put on a tie dye shirt, and wore flowers in my fur! Ok, ok... not really... but, I did go with my pal to an event where other people and dogs did dress up like it was the 60s! The event was called Woofstock and it was a benefit for an organization called PAWED (People for Animal Welfare in El Dorado County).

There were lots of people and dogs there... and like, I said, many were dressed up for the occasion in 60's attire. My pal and I didn't dress up... but, I did sport that cool bandanna my pal got for me when we went up to Tahoe a few weeks ago. Oh yeah, I was lookin' sharp!

There were all kinds of dog organizations at Woofstock. My buddy Hope was working with her human at the Lend a Heart table. Lend a Heart provides animal-assisted therapy to local facilities. At the Lend a Heart table, there was a game where if you rang a bell, you could win a prize. So, I rang the bell and won a toy! It's a plush bone... and I lOVE it! Since winning it, I've been carrying it ALL over the place.

And, guess what else? We ran into my buddy, Jake (aka "The Other Sandy")! If you don't remember, about a year ago I was in a stage production of Annie. I played the role of Sandy. Because there were so many performances, two dogs were selected to play the role... me and Jake! It was good seeing him again and we both agreed that we missed the ole' stage life!

We also chatted up the lady from Music Plus Dogs. This organization teaches the art and sport of musical canine freestyle. My pal and I have been wanting to learn this for awhile. It looks super duper fun! I can't wait to learn some boogie woogie moves! If you've never seen musical canine freestyle, you can check out one of the BEST musical canine freestyle teams EVER here:


Woofstock sure was loads of fun. I wonder if that's really what life was like in the 60s? Oh, and I almost forgot to tell you about one of the BESTEST things... I got a yogurt treat in a cup! It was sooooo good! I licked the whole thing clean and would have eaten the cup too, if my pal had let me! I LOVE the 60s!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Meet Me at the Corner (by: Carlo)

This week one of my readers wrote and told me about a really cool web site called MEET ME AT THE CORNER, Virtual Field Trips for Kids. The site has tons of educational kid-friendly videos. And, guess what? This week's video features CCI!

In the video, eight-year old, Katelyn, learns about the importance of service dogs for people with disabilities and interviews a puppy raiser for Canine Companions for Independence.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Art Bark Fest (by: Carlo)

Yesterday we went to a super cool event in Tahoe called Art Bark Fest! Art Bark Fest is an annual event at the Village at Squaw Valley. The event benefits the Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe & Squaw Rescue Dogs. Lots of artists come to show and sell their artwork... and all of their art features... DOGS!!! There are lots of special dog events too... and dogs are welcome to join in all of the fun. In other words, this is one cool event!

A bunch of my dog friends and their peeps (people) joined us. That's all of us dogs in the photo above! I'm sitting on the monster chair to the left... sporting my brand new sparkly blue bandanna! My pal got it for me at the event! It's blue with sparkly snowflakes on one side and it's purple on the other side. It sure was nice strutting around the event in my new bandanna. People told me I was lookin' very handsome!

There were all kinds of weird chairs at Squaw Valley. In addition to the monster chair, my buddy Hope and I found the chairs in the photo below. They looked sort of scary to me at first! And, I didn't much like sitting on any of them cause I ain't never sat in a chair like those before! But, once my pal explained to me that they were just made out of a bunch of skis... and to stop being such a big baby about it, I didn't mind so much.

We did do lots of other stuff besides just find crazy chairs. My buddies, Cara and Omeeka, competed in a splash dog contest. We also went shopping. My pal bought a doggie necklace that has a dog on one side and it says "Live, Laugh, Bark" on the other side. It's pretty cool... especially cause I helped pick it out! The lady that sold it to my pal gave me treats and loved my smile!

As if this event wasn't enough to make for a super cool day, after we left the event, we went hiking!!! All us dogs got to play off leash. We hiked along a creek... so, all of us dogs would all dive into the creek, and then run on dry land, then dive back into creek. It was the best and we were all covered in mud! You know you've had a good time when you're covered in mud from nose to paw!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Zoom Zoom Woof Woof (by: Carlo)

Since Gerrit, the clown, went off to college, life sure has been busy! I knew something was going on when my pal started putting all our stuff in boxes. Next thing you know... all our stuff is in a different house! We've been busy unpacking and getting used to the new digs. But, it hasn't been all work and no play (which is a good thing cause life without play wouldn't be any fun at all!).

We took a break this weekend from unpacking and my pal took me to an event called Zoom Zoom Woof Woof! The event featured two things... cars and dogs... specifically CCI dogs! The car show helped benefit CCI. It sure was a heck of a lot of fun! CCI dog training classes were being held and I even got to help out by being the "distraction". I got to walk around all the dogs in class while they were in down stays and sniff and mess with them. Talk about fun!!! To be honest, it sure was a lot more fun than when I was a pup in training and I had to do the down stays!

We also looked at a bunch of shiny cars, visited with lots of puppy raisers and dogs, and sat and watched the band for awhile...

It was a really fun outing! I'm sure that Gerrit would have loved doing it too. Speaking of Gerrit, we still haven't received his first progress report. But, we did receive his "Dear Family" letter. He said that his trainer is named Erin. And, he said that he gets to play in the yard every day and that it even has a pool with a slide. He didn't make any mention of doing any clown-like antics in college... but, I betcha a zoom zoom car he is the biggest class clown there!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Lots and Lots of Play! (by: Carlo)

Courtesy of one of Nick's puppy raisers, here are some videos of Gerrit and me playing at Dillon Beach before Gerrit headed off to college!

In this video, Gerrit and I are playin' with Hope. Gerrit is the one out in front, I'm the big one sort of lagging behind, and Hope is the one that looks nothin' like us...

This next video is of Gerrit and his bestest buddy, Nick. I was snoozing by this time...

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Sending the Clown off to College (by: Carlo)

Well, the little clown, Gerrit, is off to college. He already wrote about what happened before we took him to college, so I'll tell you all about what happened after!

After my pal turned in Gerrit, we (the puppy raisers and pet dogs) headed back to Dillon Beach. I gotta admit... I was relieved to be heading back. When we first got to CCI, I was a little worried that my pal was sending me off to college... AGAIN! College was ok and everything... but, it just wasn't for me... and I sure as heck didn't wanna have to go there again!

The reason we were going back to Dillon Beach is cause we were all going camping! When we got back to our camp site, the people ate dinner, played a game, and commiserated on having turned in puppies... while us pet dogs slept. I sure was tired! Between playing in the sand dunes, watching a bunch of photo shoots of Gerrit, and stressing out about thinking about going to college again, I was one tired doggie!

The people were tired too cause they didn't even play their game all that long. My pal and I retreated to our huge 6 person spacious tent. Even though we had lots of room to spread out, we cuddled next to each other. My pal was feeling REALLY sad because she was missing Gerrit. I've gotta admit... I was missing the little crazy clown too. But, I did what I do best and comforted my pal, and we soon both fell asleep to the sound of slight beach breezes rustling the tent.

The next day, we all went to the beach to play. It was so much fun! And, the perfect way to spend the day after sending the little clown off to college!

Off to College (by: Gerrit)

I did it!!! I'm off to college (aka Advanced Training)! And, boy oh boy what a send off it was!

First, as I already wrote about, we had a Big Dog party last week. Our party was so happening, it even made the news! Check it out: "College Next for Service Dogs". If you look really close, you'll see me... I'm the very first dog they show when they squeak the toy. The squeaking toy made me very happy!

As if that wasn't super duper cool enough, this Friday (before I went to college), my puppy raiser took me and Carlo to a place called Dillon Beach. A bunch of my doggie buddies and their puppy raisers were there too!

Dillon Beach had these HUGE sand dunes that were so much fun to play in. We rolled... and frolicked... and ran... and pounced! It was the best! Here is a photo of me, Nick, and Idelle posing in front of the sand dunes...

And, here's a photo of us wearing our shades under the sun umbrella. Yeah, we're gonna make quite the cool crew in doggie college!...

Late in the afternoon, we all headed over to CCI. And, guess what? We got to play there too! By the time my puppy raiser took my official matriculation photo (which is the photo at the top of this blog entry), I had played so much that my tongue was just about hangin' on the floor. You know you've had a good time when that happens!

My puppy raiser then took me to the "turn in room". My puppy raiser was told that my kennel mate is going to be a pup named Storm. I was really hoping that my kennel mate would be Nick, my bestest buddy in the whole world. But, I've met Storm before... and loves to play! Cool!!!

Before the CCI trainers took me to my room to get settled in, my puppy raiser gave me a big hug and told me to be a good boy. She also told me that know matter what happens, to always be my happy clown-like self. No problem there! That's easy to do!!! Well, I gotta go... I gotta clown around with Storm!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

PARRRRTTTTYYY!!! (by: Gerrit)

Friday night was our Big Dog Party!!! It was a party for all of us Big Dogs that are heading off to doggie college NEXT FRIDAY!

There were lots and lots of people and dogs at the party... cause everyone in our chapter of CCI was invited. There was even a guy there from the news filming us!

The part that I didn't get is that even though it was a party... us Big Dogs still had to have class! First we had distraction training. We all had to stay in a down position while the trainer tried to distract us with all kinds of cool looking and sounding toys. Talk about tough! Then, we had to go to all of these stations and do different commands. Each station had written commands posted on the fence. Our puppy raisers had to read all of the commands and then give us the commands... and we had to do 'em all. So, for example, a station might have been something like: Jump, Off, Heel, Jump, Off, Down, Side, Let's Go on Right. There were a ton of stations and it was sort of tough. But, because I'm a Big Dog, I knew all of the commands and my puppy raiser said I did really well!

When we were done with class, the real party started! Each of us Big Dogs got special treats... and the puppy raisers all ate ice cream. The puppy raisers talked and talked and talked. It was nice laying on the grass while the puppy raisers talked... but, I was really wishin' they would finish talking and eating ice cream so the real REAL party could start!

Finally, the puppy raisers were done with all of their gabbin' and eatin'... and we got to PLAY! What a parrrtty! Oh boy oh boy was it fun! As soon as I was released, I ran around looking for a toy to play with. When I couldn't find one, I grabbed the nearest thing I could find... a CCI cape! I grabbed it and ran... tempting all of the other dogs to chase me! They chased me... but, didn't try to take the cape away from me cause well... we're not supposed to play with our CCI capes. Oops! Soon, I found a errrr... more appropriate toy... a ball! So, I dropped the cape, grabbed the ball and took off running!

I finished the party off by drinking about a gallon of water. I would have had more, but my puppy raiser yelled, "Gerrit, stop tanking!". It was the best party EVER! I can't wait to go to doggie college! I hope we all get to party there!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Nick's Photo Shoot (by: Gerrit)

The other day my bestest buddy in the whole world, Nick, came over to our house! We got to play outside for a bit, and then my puppy raiser brought Nick into her photo studio to do a photo shoot of him.

My puppy raiser wouldn't let Lucky, Carlo, and Me into the photo studio to watch. She told us we had to stay out cause the room was too small... especially for us 3 clowns who would want to just goof around. Like we would do that... ;-)

So, we were good dogs, and stayed outside the room. Well, Lucky was a good dog. Carlo and I did our best to mess with Nick from outside the room. Hee hee! First, I peeked into the room...

Then, I grabbed a toy and Carlo and I both peeked into the room...

And, finally, we took a step in and dropped a toy on the floor for Nick...

Staying outside the photo studio sure did turn out to be fun! I can't wait for our next victim... I mean model... to come over!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

My Stepping Stone (by: Gerrit)

This weekend we made my stepping stone! My puppy raiser has made a stepping stone for all of the CCI dogs she has raised [Side note by Lucky: Ummmm... aren't you forgetting someone?]. Oh yeah! AND she has made one for Lucky.

Anywaysssssss... today was all about ME and MY stepping stone! It was lots of fun making my stepping stone! Carlo laid on his bed and watched as I put my paw in the cement. Lucky stayed in the house and hid. She likes her stepping stone now that it's done, but she wasn't a big fan of making it. I think she didn't like it cause the cement felt funny. It was cold and really squishy between my paw pads. My puppy raiser made me stick my paw in the cement a few times cause we kept messing up. Every time we messed up, she wiped the cement off my paw and we'd start all over. I didn't mind so much cause heck... I love attention... any kind of attention!

After we did my paw print, we carefully designed my stepping stone with green and blue glass chips... and a heart! My puppy raiser said the heart was cause she loves me, the blue was cause I'm a boy, and the green was cause that was my color when I was a puppy. When us CCI pups are first born, we are assigned a color. The color is based on the order in which we were born. My color was neon green... which means that I was the 4th puppy born! This helps the breeder caretaker keep track of all of the pups in a litter. Of course I didn't really need a color to distinguish me cause I've got my special wish spot between my eyes! But, I do think I look pretty dang cute in green. Here's a photo of me wearing my neon green collar when I was a puppy...

The grand finale of my stepping stone was when my puppy raiser wrote my name in big letters on it. The stepping stone is out in the garage right now drying. I can't wait until it's all dry and we can put it out in the backyard with all of the other doggie stepping stones! I feel like I've just made the Hollywood walk of fame!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Summer Camp (by: Gerrit)

Geesh, I go to "summer camp" and while I'm gone Carlo totally hogs the blog and just writes about his fun times! He doesn't even write about ME! It sure is a good thing I'm back. I wouldn't want you all to forget about me and how cute and fun I am. Here are some photos of ME and the fun times I had while at "camp" (aka staying with another puppy raiser).

Here I am kayaking. I'm such the adventurer extraordinaire!

And, here I am swimming in the hopes of some day beating Michael Phelps. I betcha he can't swim and hold a ball in his mouth at the same time!

And, finally here I am being the poster child (errr... I mean dog) for the Fourth of July! I sure do look good in red, white, and blue. Dang, I make a good model!

While at "camp" I decided that if I don't make it as an assistance dog, I'm going to be an adventurer seeking Olympic swimmer model! But, my puppy raiser took one look at the photo of me on top of this blog entry and said she sees clown written all over my future!

P.S. All photos are courtesy of Rachel Rosenthal. Thanks for a great time at "summer camp"!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Hounds and Rebounds (by: Carlo)

Yesterday was Hounds and Rebounds night at the Monarchs Game. That means that since I'm a hound, I got to go on a special outing with my pal to watch a basketball game!!! We went with my hound buddy, Hope, and her person.

The fun started on the drive there. I kept floating some stinky biscuits. Every time it happened, my pal gasped and rolled down all the windows. She immediately blamed it on me. What's up with that?! It could have been Hope (or not... hee hee!).

Once we got to the arena, my pal made Hope and me pose for some obligatory photos. Ugh.

To be honest, the photo taking session wasn't all that bad. From where we were taking photos, there was a lot of interesting stuff going on. There were lots of dogs... all getting ready to watch the game. And, check this out... there was even a little tiny dog whose hair was painted purple (I'm not kidding!)! And, it was wearing a gold cape AND gold booties (again, I'm not kidding!)! I sure felt sorry for the little thing... but, the weird thing is that the dog didn't even seem to mind... it actually seemed proud of its funky get up.

We finally got into the arena and walked up a TON of stairs to get to our seats. All of us hounds and our peeps were in the nosebleed section. But, it wasn't all that bad. We could still could still see all the activity down on the court below. During halftime, we saw dogs playing some kind of game on the court where they raced each other over hurtles to get a ball. Those dogs were really fast... I didn't see why the dogs would be in such a rush to get a ball. I personally believe in the idea of taking your time. It ain't like the ball is going anywhere. But, the dogs racing each other were kinda ball crazy. There was one dog sitting behind us in the stands who got so excited with the halftime show, that it barked non-stop. Hope and I were trying to snooze, but that little dog kept going on and on and on. ANNOYING!

The drive back home was pretty uneventful. To be honest, I was pretty zonked. I was even too tired to float any more biscuits... that made my pal VERY happy.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

4th of July Fun (by: Carlo)

Gerrit is staying at another puppy raiser's house right now cause we were supposed to go on a road trip for the 4th of July and my pal only wanted to take two dogs (and Lucky and I were the lucky two!). Unfortunately, the road trip plans fell through. BUT, this weekend still turned out to be a blast cause without Gerrit around, I finally got to go places for a change! 'Bout time!

Yesterday we drove to this place that had all kinds of 4th of July festivities going on! There was live music and food and firetrucks. There was even a parade with kids and dogs. We watched the parade for a bit and then joined in! It was such a fun outing!

At night, we all stayed in and didn't go out to watch fireworks. Lucky was kinda scared... [sidenote by Lucky: I was not scared!]. Errrr.... she was kinda... concerned... about the fireworks. And, she kept whining and panting and pacing all over the house. After we went to bed, she wouldn't even stay on her bed. So, what's a dog gonna do, but take the opportunity of her not being on her alpha bed? While she was pacing around, I quietly grabbed the alpha bed spot (which is on the side right next to my pal!).

The only problem was that not long after I had curled up in sleepy bliss, Lucky came back and practically sat on my head as she whined at my pal to get up and check out what was going on outside. My pal didn't go outside. Instead, she groggily told Lucky everything was ok and to go back to bed. But, then she saw that I was meekly laying on Lucky's bed and Lucky's fat butt was sitting on me... [sidenote by Lucky: My butt is not fat!]. So, my pal sighed, grabbed the other dog bed (my bed), which was at the foot of the bed and pulled it right next to the alpha bed. Lucky immediately jumped on it and and fell asleep.

The next morning, my pal looked over and noticed that Lucky was no longer on the dog bed, which she had moved the night before. She got out of her bed, looked around, and then noticed that Lucky was hiding under her bed... probably cause she was so scared the night before [sidenote by Lucky: Carlo, I'm warning you!]. Errrrrrrr.... so, my pal called Lucky to come out from under the bed. Lucky started crawling, but when she was only half way out, she stood up and got stuck cause her butt is kinda fat... [sidenote by Lucky: That's it Carlo! You are so going to get it!]. And, my pal had to rescue her and help her get unstuck. Ummmmm... I gotta run... hope you all had a happy 4th!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Ruling the Roost (by: Lucky)

My gawd clown boy (aka Gerrit) sure does know how to hog this blog! He's not the only one who had fun this weekend. We all escaped from the heat and went to the river! And, as you can see... regardless of whether Gerrit becomes an assistance dog... or a clown... or the next American Idol (yes, he still has those dreams sometimes), I will ALWAYS rule the roost.

Clowin' Around at the Fair (by: Gerrit)

Puppy class this weekend was held at the fair! It was my very first time at a fair and boy oh boy was it ever fun!

The fair is FULL of smells... hot dogs, cotton candy, goats, pigs, dogs, big kids, and little kids. All I wanted to do was put my nose on the ground and just snort it all in. But, an assistance dog isn't supposed to do that. Sigh. So, I had to resort to sticking my nose up in the air where I could smell the scents that wafted through the thick summer air. Geesh, was that ever heavenly!

One of my favorite parts of the fair were the goats. Not only did they smell good, but they were kinda fun to look at. They kinda looked like dogs... but, kinda not. Some were little, like this one...

But, other goats were big... bigger than me! I liked the little ones better. The big ones were kinda scary. One goat stood up on it's hind legs and that freaked me out a bit... I hid behind my puppy raiser.

While at the fair I got to pretend that I was a REAL clown by sticking my head through a clown drawing! That was pretty cool! And, I got some dang good treats for sticking my head through that thing. I told my puppy raiser that when I grow up, if I don't make it as an assistance dog, that I want to be a CLOWN! She laughed, and said that I already am one...

(P.S. Photos from the fair are courtesy Jill Quan.)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Hide the Puppy! (by: Gerrit)

Today my puppy raiser and I played the funnest game ever! It was called Hide the Puppy... and the puppy was ME!

My puppy raiser was doing laundry (how boring is that?!). I was just about to take a snooze until she was done, when I noticed that the blanket from the bed fell part way onto the floor. Cool! A hiding place! I crawled under the blanket and was very very still. I heard my puppy raiser come back into the bedroom and she said, "Hmmmm... I wonder where Gerrit could be?"

Hearing her say my name made me so happy! As hard as I tried to be super duper still, I just couldn't control my tail... it started to thump in excitement! But, my puppy raiser had no idea where the thumping was coming from! Or, at least she acted like she didn't...

She looked in the closet and said, "Hmmmm... no puppy in here!".

She opened the toilet lid, and said, "Hmmmm... no puppy in here... which is a good thing!". Hee hee, that one made me laugh!

I heard footsteps getting nearer, and then total silence. My tail was wagging so fast by now I'm not quite sure how I managed to stay under that blanket! All of a sudden, I saw my puppy raiser peek under the blanket as she exlaimed, "Boo! I found you!"

I leaped out in a single bound, jumped in her lap, and gave her a big wet kiss on the cheek! Then, I ran off to find a few toys that I could bring to her! I love LOVE LOVE LOVE playing games!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Doggies in the Box, Yoga, and More! (by: Gerrit)

Wow, what a weekend this was!!! Not only did I get to do my usual fun stuff like shopping with my puppy raiser, training at a dog park, and playing with Lucky and Carlo, but I also saw a bunch of doggies in the box AND did yoga!!!

The other night my puppy raiser was watching the box in the family room. She calls the box a tv. It has images on it and makes a bunch of noise. I don't really get why my puppy raiser is interested it, but I don't ask cause every time she watches the box, it means she snuggles with me on the floor! Well, the other night, as we were snuggling on the floor, you won't believe what I saw in the box! A bunch of DOGS playing at a DOG PARK! I watched intently and my tail started wagging. Finally, I decided the whole thing needed further investigation, so I jumped up... ran over to the box... and put my nose right in front of the box. I heard my puppy raiser laugh in the background and she said, "You're too close, you're not going to see anything". She was right about that because all the dogs in the box were blurry and no longer looked like dogs. So, I ran around behind the box to see if I could see the dogs there. But, I didn't see anything... except a bunch of dust. After I left my nose print in the dust, I gave up, and went back to snuggle with my puppy raiser. But, from now on I'm going to keep a closer eye on the box... just in case I see more doggies in there!

This morning my puppy raiser did something that she called yoga. She rolled out a mat on the floor and then did a bunch of stretches and funny poses. It was GREAT! First of all, never one to miss the opportunity to jump on a comfy bed, I layed down on the mat as soon as she layed it out. But, she shoved me off. Then, she did this one stretch where she layed flat on the map and lifted her legs in the air. So, I cuddled up next to her and put my head on her stomach. Then, Carlo got into the act by putting his paws on her legs every time her legs came down. She sighed and said, "Ugh, you guys are making this so difficult! ". But, she laughed as she said it. And, she let us stay for a few minutes, until she started doing some other stretch and shoved us away.

After she was done doing yoga, she started telling us a little bit about it. She said that there is one pose that is actually called "Downward-Facing Dog"! I like that pose! My favorite yoga pose though is laying on my back with my paws straight up in the air. Not sure what you call that pose... but it sure is a comfy way to sleep! In fact, I did that pose on the yoga mat and quickly fell asleep... where I dreamed of finding the doggies in the box.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

My Favorite Things About Baseball (by: Gerrit)

Today my buddy Nick and I got to go to a ball game!!! Here are a few of my favorite things about baseball:

1) There are peanut shells... EVERYWHERE! And, if you're really lucky (like me) you will have a klutzy puppy raiser who accidentally spills a whole bunch of them on the ground, right in front of your face! Score!!! The bummer thing is that I got corrected every time I tried to grab one while she was cleaning up the mess. Geesh! Can't a dog have any fun?!

2) There are lots of fun kids... EVERWHERE! And, if you're really lucky (like me) you will have one sitting right behind you that giggles and laughs every time you lick her toes!

3) If you are sitting in the seating area, and there is another CCI puppy sitting in the row behind you... you can stick your nose under the seat and kiss each other!

4) If you are sitting in the lawn area, you can stretch and roll, and hog the blanket that your puppy raiser is trying to sit on!

5) Balls flying through the sky. Need I say more?!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Making my Puppy Raiser Proud (by: Gerrit)

Yesterday I went to a CCI Graduation with my puppy raiser, my buddies (Skipper and Nick), and their puppy raisers. It was Skipper's matriculation day... that means it was the day that he headed off to Advanced Training (aka "Doggie College"). It really hit me yesterday that I only have a few months left until I go Doggie College. In fact, both Nick and I will be joining Skipper at the very next CCI Graduation in August!!!

You would think that since my time is almost up with my puppy raiser, that she would wanna put a photo of ME on this blog entry. But, that photo above is just some other pup at the graduation ceremony. Personally, I voted for this photo of my cute tummy to be the "main photo" of this entry...

But, my puppy raiser said, "I don't think so!". Geesh, I don't even get to pick the photos... whose blog is this anyways?! [Side note by Carlo: Errrr... actually, Gerrit, it is MY blog! And, even though I was NOT at Graduation, I personally think that this blog entry... like every blog entry... should feature a photo montage of ME.].

My puppy raiser just reminded me that it isn't always about ME (or Carlo!) and to stop moaning about the photo and write about the graduation! So... the graduation was super duper fun! I got to play a whole bunch in the CCI dog park. It was a blast! In fact, I played so hard, that I also tanked on a bunch on water... and had to pee a bunch the remainder of the day!

My puppy raiser told me throughout the day that when I go to Doggie College, I'm NOT going to be able to play all day. While there will be play time, there will also be a lot of hard work, where I will need to learn all of the advanced commands in preparation of becoming an actual assistance dog!

The hard work part didn't sound all that much fun to me at all. But, when we went to the graduation ceremony, I realized why it is important for all of us pups to work hard in Doggie College. There was this one graduate who received a dog named Playa. He was one of the class speakers and he gave such a wonderful heartwarming speech. While listening to him, it became clear how us CCI dogs can provide so much help and love to others. And, it became clear how important it is for PEOPLE to volunteer for organizations like CCI... organizations that really make a difference in the lives of others. There was not a dry eye in the audience! And, Playa's person received a HUGE and well-deserved standing ovation when he was done!

All of us dogs were laying on the floor during the graduation ceremony...

That's Skipper in the foreground, wearing his fancy blue matriculation cape, and that's me next to him, and Nick next to me. While we couldn't really see what was going on, we could hear every word that was being said... and, those words made us feel so special and so happy that we may some day have the opportunity to help someone in need. So, I wish the very best to my buddy Skipper... and my other buddies, Enso and Dupre, who also headed off to Doggie College yesterday. I hope they all do well and make their puppy raisers proud! And, even though Doggie College won't be all play, I can't wait to join them in just a few months!

I told all of this to my puppy raiser after we got home late last night. She hugged me and told me that she loved me very very much... and that no matter what happens, I will always make her proud. Hmmm... since she was feeling so sentimental, I thought I would try getting something I really wanted. I snuggled up next to her, rested my head in her lap, and asked, "Does that mean that MY tummy photo gets to be the featured photo?"

She gave me "the look" and responded, "I love you... but no!"

Geesh! Oh, well... it was worth a try... ;-)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Super Sonic... and Stank Boy (by: Gerrit)

Today, after a little training session, my buddy Nick and I got to play! And, where was Carlo? Stank boy was in the DOG HOUSE... meaning he was in TROUBBBLLLLEE!!! I'll tell you about Carlo in a minute... but, first I've gotta tell you about ME and how much fun I had!

Nick and I played like crazy. We chased this really cool toy all over a big grassy field. Of course, Nick had a hard time keepin' up with me cause I'm super sonic fast...

As, hard as he tried, Nick just couldn't catch me... ha ha!

He finally stopped chasing me and told me that he was going to do the stealth approach instead... this is where he just stood there, waited for me to do all the work of getting the toy, and he just waited for me to return. Nick may call it the stealth approach... but, I call it the lazy butt approach!

But, enough gloating about me and how super sonic fast I am. I bet you all can't wait to hear how Carlo got in trouble! Well, this morning, at about 5:30am, my puppy raiser woke up and decided she would let us all out in case we needed to go to the bathroom. We all went out and Carlo (as always) was the last to return. She let Carlo back in and groggily returned to bed... happy that it was Sunday and she could sleep in. When, all of a sudden she smelled (in her words) the stankiest stinkiest stuff EVER! She thought it was a skunk that had sprayed outside so she covered her head with a blanket. But, the smell remained... and, it not only remained... it seemed to get worse!

Finally she turned on a light, looked around the room... and noticed Carlo was sittin' there with this white goopy stuff all over his nose. What the heck?! she cried. As she took him into the bathroom, to wipe off his nose... she realized that the stench was emanating from him!!!

So, rather than getting to sleep in, she spent the next few hours giving stank boy a number of baths. And, she tried airing out the house... which, she wasn't all that successful with cause after we got back from my playdate with Nick, the house still stank!

She's still not sure what Carlo got into. She's been saying that it smells like a cross between a skunk and coyote urine (although there's no way a coyote could get in the backyard). I didn't want her to get mad at me, but personally, I thought Carlo was smellin' kind of nice today. But, like I said, I sure as heck didn't tell her that!!! Cause in her opinion... Sweet Boy was smellin' anything but sweet today! In fact, she said that Carlo ain't no Sweet Boy... he's a STANK BOY! Ha ha... I just love it when Carlo gets in TROUBBBBLLLEEE!