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August 26, 2015

Maizies Month of August Blog

Here I am at Joni's house on a beautiful summer day!

Day 1

Today I was tricked into taking a bath. Now don't get me wrong, I love water. I just like it on my own terms. I can do without the cotton swabs in my ears, make everything sound muffled and far away, the shampoos you choose to lather us up with, and people peeking in and watching me get put through this. I mean, where's the privacy? I don't sneak up and look in your shower! Then you guys think and say we smell great. Wrong! Have you ever stopped and wondered why as soon as we can afterwards, we find something in the yard to roll in? Because we are not meant to smell like your breakfast. And if you just insist we do, why can't we get a bacon, sausage, or hash brown scent? Not all this fruit and oatmeal stuff. Humans…

Day 3

Hunter and Tuck passed their Level I assessments today. Great job guys! I have been training way harder and it won't be long before I can take mine as well. I already have most of the cues down. I can do sit, down, roll, jump, up, touch, shake, off, visit, den, hurry, dress, release, side, heel, my name, and lets go. I'm working very hard on my "leave its" and "drop". Sometimes it's hard to resist picking up a wrapper or food crumb. Then if I do get it, I have to drop it. Sometimes, easier said than done. But I am getting better, especially when it comes to leaving people alone and not jumping on them. I've learned to stay calm so I can get lots of love and attention. Now this "under" cue is giving me a bit of trouble. I can do it, but it's not my favorite. When's the last time you took a look at what's stuck under the table you're sitting at? Ugh, yeah, another one of those distasteful habits you humans have. How about you guys crawling under and staying there for a while!

Day 4

I can't help but to bring up my working on "drop" again. All day my handler, Mindy gives me toys, balls, and objects to get and then has me drop them. The squeaker football was the hardest to give up. I love squeaky toys! Overall, I did wonderful they say. Now the reason I'm telling you this is because when I went back to my room, there was this goofy looking brown, big eyed, half my size, blow up monkey hanging upside down off my crate. Smiling and staring at me. What is really going on? Turns out this monkey fellow is a "leave it" for some reason. I go lay in my crate to take a nap and Monkey just keeps staring and smiling. No matter how I lay or which end of the crate I go to he keeps steadily grinning at me. He's not scary, but very distracting. If he keeps watching me like this, I may have to turn him from a "leave it" to a "drop" it before morning! I'll let you know how this turns out…

Day 6

We had our If These Dogs Could Talk prison program this evening. This is where our handlers have guests from the community come in and they explain ICAN and all it entails to them. Some of us dogs get to demonstrate the skills we have acquired while in the program. The guests get to ask questions and our handlers answer and explain all they want to know. It was a great time! I was so excited to see Auntie Shirl and a few other friends from Avalon Jewelers whom were there! I had to sit close to Shirl so I could get all of her attention. She was telling a story about me jumping in her fish pond. I think she wants me to come back and swim again.

This is my most favorite thing in the whole wide world!

Day 7

I got to play with my sister Sandy this morning. When she first got here, everyone thought she was me. I know we are both cute and all, but how could you mistake someone else as my adorable movie star face? We chased each other, and she's just as fast as I am. I had a lot of fun seeing her, but she had to go back to her handler. They say I will see her again so that makes me happy. If she could have stayed, I wonder if I could have gotten her a job as being my stand-in double. With a little doggie make up and a few acting classes, I think she could pull it off!

Day 8

I got to go to the prison's visitation room today. There were lots of people and a couple little kids. When I walked in, all eyes were on me! I was instantly greeted by a sticky fingered little girl who gave me a big hug and lots of pats on the head. I wagged my tail and wiggled around trying my best to stay calm. It was hard not to lick her sticky little Cheetos fingers. Then I got to meet my handler's mom, aunt, and son – Alex. I like Alex, he has a furry face like me. I showed him all the neat things I could do and got my picture taken with all of them. I had a great time. And just between us, Alex did manage to sneak me a Fun-yun. Hope nobody smells it on my breath…

Day 10

I've been thinking about a conversation I heard during visitation yesterday and I'm debating if I should change my name. Not a big change, just the way it is pronounced. I'm not sure who this person they call Jay-Z is, but I guess he is a big celebrity. So, since I am also a big celebrity, maybe I should be called May-Z. My handler was against it, but it seemed Alex had a bit more knowledge about super stars than she did. What do you think?

Day 11

JJ came back from furlough today. I was excited to see him. I have missed him. He likes to run as much as I do, and can usually keep up, which many can't. I am hoping he can help me with this issue I keep having with Hunter taking Bunny. JJ was looking at my pictures from Dog Art and is hoping he is here next time we paint. Thanks to you all and everyone involved, ICAN raised over $5,000! Way to go!

Day 13

Remember when I told you about Monkey? Well all this time he's been steadily staring and watching me. There was nothing I could do to him because he is a "leave it". Ehhh… Well today I made a new best friend, Pierson. Pierson is a five month old gray speckled, black lab. He just happened to be walking by and peeking in my room. All of a sudden he lunged forward into my room, jumps up grabbing monkey by his arm and under the bed he went. The next time I saw monkey, he was being pulled out from under the bed, flat as a pancake and was being put in the trash bin. I couldn't believe it, this Pierson puppy is my hero! I'm going to reward him with one of my bones!

I am one gorgeous wet dog!

Day 14

Did you know they make balls that are edible? Green ones, yellow ones, orange and red ones, yep, they sure do. I think most of you already knew this and have just been hiding this from us canines because when I got ahold of one earlier, all the handlers around were trying to get me to give it to them. I think they wanted to eat it themselves. I understand why they would want to eat it because it was firm and juicy and very yummy, but there were so many of them out there in the plants, that there was no reason to be greedy and want the one I had. I ran around with it, tossed it around, chewed on in, all the while the handlers are talking in foreign languages. Sounded something like they were saying "TOMATOES"?? Whatever those are!

Day 15

Today is Maizie Monday! I love being able to come to the WTHR's studio every month and show everyone what I've learned and promote ICAN. This particular Monday I brought Sean, our Director of Training with me. It's a good thing I don't get nervous or camera shy because Sean was nervous enough for both of us. I helped him out a lot by just being myself. Cute as a button, and showing America all he asked me to do. I showed everyone I could "leave it", "heel", "roll", and I did it all beautifully I might add. I also got to see my buddy Nicole. That was the best part of it all! I just love seeing Nicole!

Day 16

I've been working daily on my light leash walking alongside a wheelchair. I can walk in both a "side", and a ''heel'' while maintaining the proper position. So when we had group today and we were asked to maneuver around an obstacle course that they had made up with chairs, I ACED it! I stayed right with the wheelchair, at every turn and pivot right on time, every time. The group was very impressed with my performance. All my hard work is showing!

Day 17

Today was a big day for me! I took a mock test for my Level I assessment. This test includes all the cues I've been taught, my light leash walk skills, and other behaviors like my confidence level, any resource guarding issues, and things like that. I felt pretty comfortable doing the assessment, even though my handler seemed to be a nervous wreck. I'm not sure why because all she is doing is watching?? Handler Lara says I passed with flying colors! I did not pass anything colorful flying around, but I get to take the real assessment next week. Wish me luck!

Day 18

I didn't realize it but we have video visitation on our TV here. I noticed Mindy was talking and looking at someone on the screen. I thought this would be a great opportunity for me to practice some of my TV poses. I would get very close to the camera and turn this way and that, trying to decide which my best side was. Mindy kept trying to push me aside and hog the screen. Luckily her friend was more interested in seeing me, the superstar, and I got to continue my modeling. The girl smiled and laughed so I had to be doing a fantastic job. Our time was up, and she blew me a kiss. Add one more to my list of fans!

Day 19

It never fails, I went outside for a walk and when I came back Hunter done struck again. Bunny was gone! I couldn't get out to go look for him on my own, so I waited in the doorway for help. Pierson came by, but after the damage he did to Monkey, I wasn't sure if I could trust him with Bunny so I continued to wait. Then here came JJ. Perfect… so I thought. I asked him to help and he agreed. Quick as can be he ran into Hunter's room, looked in the crate, and brought me Bu-u-u – Elephant? What? Then ran off. Hmm… This isn't such a loss, Hunter still has Bunny, but I now have his Elephant. It will be interesting to see how he likes this. The sad part of all this is I think JJ needs glasses. How does one confuse a little brown and white bunny for a big grey and red elephant? Wow. Poor guy…

Day 20

We had a facility challenge going on today. Every person who ran and completed a 3 mile run earned points for their dorm. At the end of the season, the dorm with the most points wins some sort of pizza party. Sounds yummy. Johari and I ran with our handlers. I had so much fun. I got to run and run and run. I had to walk some of it because Mindy couldn't keep up with me! I think that's because she only has 2 legs instead of 4. We did fantastic, we had 25 participants from our dorm run, and complete all 3 miles. Way to go ICAN!

Day 21

Music, singing, dancing, a cookout, and church services. What a day! We had lots of volunteers and most of the prison attending these events. I was on my best behavior and got so much attention! I even got to sit in my own chair to watch the band. Many people tried to give me BBQ rib bones and my mouth was watering, but they turned out to be a "leave it" too. Why do you make all our "leave its" smell so good? It would be easier to "leave it" if it didn't smell so great. Just something for you humans to think about after all, you are "supposed" to be the smarter of the two!

They call me Maizie, the great diver!

Day 22

Happy 1st birthday, Hunter, Cojack, Oakley, Senator, Jewels, and Jasper!!! We had a birthday party for Hunter. He had a marshmallow cake shaped like a bone, and I also gave him a small bone shaped marshmallow and mixed high value treat. Tuck, Johari, Journey, Bandit, Montauk, Justice, Lily, Jambo, JJ, Senna, and Hannah were all there too! We sang him happy birthday with our handlers, then we all got a piece of Hunter's cake and played tag. I like birthday parties, I can't wait for mine!

Day 23

Guess who is a now a Level II? ME!! I passed my Level I assessment today. I'm a big pup now!! I did a great job from what I hear from the ones who did my testing. Now I get to start learning more fun things like back, bed, front, flip, get/give, nudge, push, settle, spin, stay, tug, etc. I'm excited to get started!!

Day 24

Group today was about desensitizing sounds, objects, and anything that we as dogs may have an issue with. One of the stations was using a hula-hoop to desensitize one to go into their easy walk. I go into my easy walk with no problem, so instead Mindy wanted to see if I would walk through the hoop. Why? I had no clue. But I did it with no hesitation. Maybe I shouldn't have been so eager to play along. The next thing I know, she has me jumping through this hula-hoop with everyone laughing. How embarrassing. I'm not sure where this is written in my contract, but I bet Lassie didn't have to put up with this kind of abuse…

The last week of August

Good morning! I apologize for taking so long to get back to you all. All of our schedules have been very full. I'm sure you understand and have been busy with school starting, tending to your gardens, and all that fun stuff. I had passed my Level I's last time we talked. I have been working hard on my Level II's. I can already do "back", "lap", and "bed". I've also been working on "crawl", "spin", and "give & get". Along with my cues, I have been continuously practicing my "calm greetings". I've done so well that Mindy took the "Please Ignore Maizie" sign off of our door. Our new sign says "To pet Maizie, make sure she stays calm, no jumping or licking." I love being able to get attention in the doorway again! My butt still wiggles when I get really excited, but I keep all four of my paws on the floor.

My best buddy Hunter is out on furlough right now. I miss him. His handler, Alisha, let me go in his crate and take his elephant. Wait 'til he gets back and sees it's gone, hehehe. While he's been gone, Sean brought us all new toys. I got a white hippo and an orange fox. Mindy put the fox in my crate and the hippo on her bed. When I saw this, I pulled hippo down and dragged him into my crate. Before the day was over, hippo was back on the bed. Hmm… Mindy might be trying to keep hippo for herself. She's too big to play with toys!

I have a new friend named Oliver. He looks just like my neighbor, Tuck. Apparently they are brothers. Oliver likes to chase me and play with my squeaky toy. It's like I have a big fluffy marshmallow after me LOL, he is so much fun to play with! Today, my Auntie, Sonya, sang to me like she does every morning. She's been doing this since I was just a little puppy. It's my favorite song too, "A-Maizie Grace"!

I also got to spend a few days with my best friend, Joni! It was so much fun and I swam and swam and swam. ICAN's photographer, Liz Kaye, had to take a bunch of photos of me so I was busy modeling!

Joni – my most favorite friend in the whole wide wide wide world!

The mornings are getting a little chilly, and I notice the grass is wet with dew. I'm not a great fan of getting my feet cold and wet first thing in the morning. I tip-toe into the grass to do my morning business, and this makes everyone laugh. I don't see the humor in it. How would they walk if they were barefoot and had to step into the middle of the yard? Might be a bit chilly and make you tip toe too, LOL!

Well, I have a big weekend ahead of me, and will have all the details for you when I return. Right now, with everyone's hectic schedules, look for me on a monthly basis rather than each week. I haven't, and won't forget you! I'm just doing and experiencing a lot of new things that I will be able to share with you! See you the end of September!

Time for a dry down – Joni does it just perfectly!

OH, and one more thing! I will be doing Monday Maizie's on Monday, September 14th – just a couple days from now! I can't wait to see my friend Nicole again!!!!

Love, wiggles and sloppy wet kisses,

Maizie