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!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Splash Dogs (by: Gerrit)

Yesterday my puppy raiser and I went to a Splash Dog competition. This is a competition where dogs go diving into the water and they get judged on how far they fly through the air! It was AWESOME! I'd love say that's a photo of me above as I fly effortlessly through the air. But, it's not. My paws were planted firmly on the ground, which is where they belong! The last time I tried going into a pool was last summer and it was sorta scary! So, I was totally happy just to watch... and boy oh boy did I see a lot!

There were dogs who sorta toppled in the water...

And other dogs who flew through the air just like underdog!...

Some dogs caught their toys mid-air...

And, others got an "A" for effort...

Some dogs flew so far and high, they even had time to check out the crowd of onlookers...

But, my favorite were the dogs who demonstrated why the competition was called "Splash Dogs"...

The whole thing was super duper cool! There were so many dogs competing of all different shapes, sizes, and ages. No dog was too small or too old to compete. And, the neatest thing was that there was even a cancer survivor that competed! The dog had lots its leg a year ago to cancer... but, competed just like it had 4 legs!!!

My puppy raiser was soooo proud of me for being a good boy around all those crazy diving dogs. And, let me tell ya'... those dogs were CRAZZZZZZY! They all were so excited about diving, that they whined, barked, jumped, and ran in circles as they waited for their turn to compete! I think the whole thing was sorta shocking to me which was why I was so good... :-) I didn't even budge from my spot when that crazy dog in the last photo splashed so much that I got doused with water!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

I LOVE Carmel (by: Carlo)

It's a good thing my pal is so dog-like when it comes to forgiving! She quickly forgave me for the lipstick incident. She told me she was just thankful I was ok. But, between you and me... I think the lipstick artwork (which is still on the white rug) is kinda growing on her! My pal and her guy showed their appreciation for my artistic side by taking me, Lucky, and Gerrit to a place called Carmel this weekend!

None of us dogs had ever been to Carmel before. And, it was the best place EVER! It was the most dog-friendly place I have ever been to in my whole life. Almost every shop in the town had a dog bowl of water to quench your doggie thirst. And, some shops even allowed dogs to come inside... and that's ALL dogs... not just assistance dogs in training and service dogs!

The best part of Carmel though was the beach. Dogs are not only allowed at the Carmel City Beach, they are welcomed... and able to play off leash! When my pal took us all off our leashes, and we felt the squishiness of sand between our paws, and smelled the salty ocean air, and saw all the other dogs romping on the strand and swimming in the water... well, it was exuberance overload! I stood still and soaked it all in for a minute... and then I was off... and I ran, and ran, and ran. I vaguely thought I heard my pal's voice calling, "Carlo, get back here!". But, then again, what I heard may have just been the crashing of the ocean waves. I could hear Gerrit running right behind me... and a little bit behind him, I could hear Lucky. And, again, I thought I heard, "Carlo, Gerrit, and Lucky... come back here right now!". But, then again, what I heard may just have been the wind rushing past my flapping ears. I ran up to some other dogs and started playing with them. And, then Gerrit and Lucky caught up and joined our play fest. It was absolute... bliss!

But, then he came. My pal's guy. He came running up and said under his breath, "Boy, are you guys in trouble!" He grabbed hold of my collar and Gerrit's collar, as Lucky trotted happily behind us, and just shook his head. "She's REALLY mad at you guys"...

And, he was right! My pal was pretty mad that we took off and didn't listen to her. But, we explained that we thought we were hearing the ocean waves and wind. She just said, "Uh huh... " and gave us all a time out while she and her guy ate their picnic lunch. But, like I said before, my pal is very dog-like when it comes to forgiving! Thank goodness for that! She let us all off leash again, reminded us that we better not run off, and then played with us all by the water. It was soooooo much fun! We played, and played, and played! After we played, we took a break back on our claimed slab of rock, where we basked in the sun. And, then we played again. And, this pattern of activities continued for the whole day.

As the day started waning, we packed up all of our stuff, threw it all in the car, and then went for a walk around town. We found this REALLY cool place called The Cypress Inn. Dogs were totally welcome there! My pal and her guy ate dinner, while us dogs all took a nap. Gerrit was sleeping close to another table where there were some people from Canada. They LOVED Gerrit and gave him lots of attention. But, I was too tired to even care that he was getting all the attention... and I just snoozed.

After dinner, we walked to a place called Diggidy Dog. It was a dog boutique that had the BEST treats. My pal got a bunch for us. Here's a photo of us waiting in front of Diggidy Dog for our treats!

The drive home was long, and we slept the WHOLE way home. And, for the rest of the weekend, we were all still super tired. We've been napping and dreaming of that glorious dog-friendly placed called Carmel...

Roses are Red... and so are my Paws (by: Carlo)

A couple of nights ago I was sort of a naughty boy. I know you must be asking yourself how could I, Sweet Boy who can do no wrong, do anything naughty... but, well... it just sort of happened...

My pal and her guy went out for a bit last night. After they left, I headed into the bedroom to take a nap on my pillow, when I came across my pal's purse. It was laying there wide open on the floor... and, even though I knew I shouldn't, I just couldn't help but take a little peak inside. When I stuck my head in, the wafting scent of fruit hit my nose... yum! I fished around and pulled out a pack of gum. I was about to check out this fruity smorgasbord further, when something else in the purse caught my eye. It sort of looked like a little stick, but was shiny all over. Wow, I thought! I LOVE sticks! So, I pulled out the stick and decided that since I had found the ULTIMATE treasure, to retreat to the pillow in the family room for a gnaw fest.

As I began gnawing my treasure, I realized that it wasn't quite as crunchy as a regular stick. In fact, it was a little hard. I was about to give up... when, you wouldn't believe what happened! The stick came apart and the inside of the stick was red and gooey and smelled very nice! Now at the time I had no idea what this miracle stick was... but, I found out later from my pal that I had discovered... LIPSTICK!

I picked up that lipstick and chewed on it a bit. Then, I realized that if I moved it around, it would actually color stuff! So, I took it and drew on my legs and my paws. Oh, and I drew all over the rug too! It was amazing stuff! And, it didn't taste half bad either! So, after drawing for a while, I chomped and chomped until I ate the whole thing! I even ate the tube it came in cause while it was hard at first, I noticed that it softened nicely after a bunch of chewing. In fact, I was just about to make my last final gulp of the metal tube, when I heard keys rattle at the front door.

Now, if I had been a typical dog, I would have thought, “oh, oh... I better hide!”. But, I am Sweet Boy, who can do no wrong. So, I ran happily to the door to welcome my pal home and to show her what an artist I was!

My pal and her guy came into the house, patted us dogs on the head, took a few more steps into the house... and then my pal stopped dead in her tracks. “What the...?!” she exclaimed, as she pointed to the white rug, which now had a very pretty lipstick stained circle right in the middle. She ran over to us dogs, and said, “Are you guys ok???” I didn't realize it at the time, but she thought the red was blood... and that one of us had gotten badly hurt. She looked at Lucky first... and realized she was ok. Then she looked at me... and noticed red all over my legs, paws, and nose. “Wait a minute,” she said, “this isn't blood... what the heck is this?!!”

After a full investigation of the house, my pal and her guy put together what had transpired while they were out of the house. It was all very exciting sleuthing around the house finding the pieces of evidence. Even though I knew what happened, I felt just like a detective!

They picked up a phone and I thought they were going to call a museum to let them know about my masterpieces, but they called the emergency vet instead. I didn't get it... why would a vet want to see my art work? The vet told them that I needed to be carefully observed and that if I started getting sick, to bring me in immediately. Huh? Why should I get sick?

Throughout the night my pal kept waking up and checking on me. It was really nice getting the extra night time pats. And, the next day my pal even worked from home so that she could keep an eye on me. She was relieved to find that I didn't get sick at all!

The photo above is of my lipstick covered paw. This was taken a day after the "incident"... and, after my pal had really scrubbed my paws and legs. I was kind of bummed that my pal didn't take a photo the night I had reached into my inner creative self, cause you should have seen how pretty my paws and legs were then!