ICAN's awesome 2016 calendar is out!
Well here we are, another month flown by. Everyone has been so busy. I know there's a lot to do to get things wrapped up for the winter. Things have been hectic on our end trying to make sure we have all the details planned out for our upcoming December graduation. There are so many things to do just with the decorations. Sorry that this month's blog is rather short – I've been so busy training and rolling in the leaves that I haven't had nearly enough time to write!
Here are some photos of the decorations we made for last December's graduation!
Also! If you haven't been to one of ICAN's graduations, you MUST do so! It is a wonderful dog event and besides, you'll get to see my buddies Moravia and JJ graduate! You can go HERE to learn more about December 10th graduation and also register to attend!
I've been helping in the glitter department – with the cleanup. I roll on the floor and try to pick up as much of it as I can with my body, and yes, I lick it too. The girls don't like me licking it but I assure you it's not something I would do on a regular basis. The stuff has absolutely no taste!
This is ICAN's Legacy Wall where photos of all our graduate dogs are placed. Some day MY PHOTO will be on the wall!
Today, I got to with my Aunt Shirl. We went to deliver a cake and balloons who recently lost one of her dogs. I wanted to make her feel better. When we got there, we were greeted by a great big Lab dog. I was so excited! Someone to play with. Woo-hoo! The lady invited us in, and we gave her the balloons and the cake which she just adored. Then the real fun began. The nice lady let her dog and I play. I think we got a little rougher than Aunt Shirl was used to seeing because she looked a little horrified at us wrestling around. Oops… I was just getting ready to settle down some when the lady sat on the floor with me and played with me too! I had a wonderful time and the lady seemed like she enjoyed my company as well. I'm glad I could help cheer her up!
After we left, Aunt Shirl and her volunteer decided to go get something to eat. I could tell that Aunt Shirl was a bit hesitant on where she should take me, unsure if I was going to act wild at the restaurant as well. I showed her I do know how to act appropriately and that I was just over excited having a new dog friend to play with. I went right under our booth and laid down and didn't try to come out until they were ready to leave. I was so good that the couple sitting next to us didn't even know I was there until I crawled out from under the booth. Woohoo!
We had some ICAN furlough volunteers today in our gym and I got paired with a really tall man. I think he was there to learn how to treat shorter dogs like me because when he treated me, I am to almost stand on my tippy toes to reach the kibble! My handler would have to remind him to come down to my level more. The man got better over the course of the group. He learned how to properly walk me, and how to correct my walking if I wasn't staying in position. He learned to give me a few cues, and what those cues were to look like.
I think he was just starting to feel comfortable with me when – and I repeat, it was not intentional – the Zoomies hit me. I'm not really sure what happened. We were walking around the gym, and with him it's a nice fast walk being he has such long legs, and they called up into the middle of the gym to demonstrate how to stay calm while other dogs are playing. We all know I am working very hard on this, but it is one of my worst downfalls at the moment. The man stood frozen and I don't think he was sure what to do. Mindy came up and took the leash from him and I had to stop. She always interrupts when I have a good Zoom going on. Sigh… The man said he was kind of glad that I did what I did and that let him know that he had to be more aware of how the dog he has is acting and not just assuming we are already fully trained. So with that, I'll let you in on a little secret, I really did that on purpose, wink wink.
Liz came and took bunches of photos of us one day. From left to right, Heather & Moravia, Leslie & Tuck and Melinda and my buddy JJ.
Today, the Chapel had a group of professional Ball Room dancers come and show us how they dance and even let some of the girls participate. I thought I was going to get to dance, but no. Hunter, Jaeger, and I got put under the church pews to watch from there. I'm not trying to complain, but when you set us in the very last row, and expect us to watch from below, I don't think you understand how many sets of feet we are trying to look through to watch the show. I about fell asleep the first half. I really couldn't see anything with the view I had and the music was much like elevator music without the cool flip in your belly when it stops. I had almost dozed off when the crowd started clapping and I just had to see what was going on. All I heard was something about a fox trotting. I like Fox, and figured if I played my cards right, I might get to dance with it, or at least chase it for a bit. Mindy let me sit on the pew next to her – much better view up there – and I watched and watched but I never did see Fox come out. I should have stayed on the floor where I am sure I would have been able to see him.
I am not sure if any of you have seem any of my Halloween photos or not. Talk about embarrassing. I did get out of being a Pipi Longstocking. Thank goodness, I was terrified of having a bunch of socks hanging off of my fur. Instead, I was dressed like a cheerleader. I had red and white striped leg warmers on all four of my legs. I also had a red and white striped skirt on with red spanks on under it. I had a headband with red and white pom poms on it. I looked like a frilly red candy cane! More on this costume in a bit…
I am still working on my Level 2's. I can do back, nudge, push, spin, flip, lap, and front. I am still hesitant on this retrieve thing. I do not like lifting a dumbbell in my mouth for any reason. I think I mentioned what I thought Heather was really up to last time we talked, and I still believe she had ulterior motives. I am improving with holding this dumbbell, but it's on my time and I pick how long we are going to do this for. I am not trying to bulk up my lovely neck. They even have Pierson in on it. He bites it and holds it no problem. Little show off. I wonder what they are paying him to make me look bad. He's a boy, he can afford to have a thick neck…
Speaking of Pierson, when he came back from furlough, someone must have seen the little monster in action. They put a jingle name tag on him so we can hear him coming. It's the best idea ever. This gives all us dogs' time to hide our beloved toys and animals, including Bunny. Jingle, jingle…really means: warning, warning, here comes Pierson, run and hide!
I'm not sure who has gotten to Mindy, but someone obviously has. When we go out to play now, it seems she is slipping in work every single time. No play without work. I love to work but this is something new. If I want to go fetch the ball, I have to "come" to her every time. She makes me perform a few cues here and there before she plays tug or throws the ball. When I am playing with another dog, I have to come to her, get a treat, and then be released back into play. I do have a great new bright neon squeaky football that goes along with this so I am enjoying it. I wonder if this extra work time is considered overtime. Hmm…
This is a photo of Eli that they took of him when he was part of a children's presentation. He loves children!
Hunter and Eli got to dress up with me for Halloween. They got to be football players to go with my cheerleading outfit. Eli was dressed as #3 of the Seahawks, and Hunter was #7 of the Steelers. We all go to get our pictures done together. I hope you all get to see them. Eli took pictures with us prior to Halloween due to him leaving on furlough. I went to the preservation center all dressed up to show the kids. They all laughed and giggled at my skirt and pet me. It was great to see them smile and get petted at the same time.
Eli also has this photo hanging in his crate. He is with his furlough volunteer, Steve, trying to help with directions because they got lost. Eli suggested he get one of those GPS things humans talk about!
Hunter and I took JJ with us over to the baby dorm and got out pictures done together and we took turns taking pictures with the babies. They were so cute. They had on their costumes too. JJ and Hunter got to do a costume change while they were there also. So not only was Hunter a football player, but he was also a Pumpkin! JJ was a squirrel and then changed into a bunch of grapes! Everyone seemed to enjoy it. I also had to make an appearance at the visitation room, over at the rec department. Mindy of course had me posing for selfies so she could attach them to her emails. I have never been so worn out with all this dressing up. Plus, do you know what it's like to have someone have to take your bloomers off in front of a yard full of people so you can pee? The things I have to endure around here!
Hunter sure likes to party! This is his favorite crate photo of him and his sponsors!!
Like every first Monday of the month, I appeared on Channel 13 news with Nicole. Sean again appeared with me. We demonstrated tough, nudge, visit, and leave its. A touch is where one puts their hand out and says touch and we tough it with our nose. This is a way to redirect our attention and is sometimes used to get us to move into a certain spot. Nudge is where we nudge ones arm or leg to get their attention. If we are trained to be diabetic alert dogs, we do this when we smell that our person's blood sugar is getting too low or too high. Sometimes we use this as a way of stopping certain behaviors our person may be doing, like rocking. A visit is where we lay our head in ones lap or in ones' hand and just remain there until we are released. A leave-it is for things that we are not supposed to have. Ever. Not to touch or pick up. They are usually, but not always, something that I would really like to get a hold of, like popcorn… Next month, we are going to bring one of our senior graduating dogs on the air with me to show you some of the more advanced skills that we learn as service dogs.
ICAN has been taking many photos of us service dogs, our handlers, and our clients and pieced them together in a wonderful looking calendar for 2016. It shows pictures of me, of course, but also so many different parts of the process of becoming an ICAN service dog. From working, to the pairing with the client. Here are just some of the many photos in it!
My new cousins, Mimi, Ogie & Aron Pup, Hannah
Veteran Nick and his service dog, Festus. Festus is one of my great, great Uncles!
You can find the calendar on the ICAN website, HERE.
Well my beloved humans this has been a very short chat, I know, but I must get busy with my day. I am hoping to spend more time with you next month, and will have so much more to tell you about. Team training is coming up, along with graduation. Until then, enjoy the changing colors of the leaves and the last bit of nice weather we may have. And to all of your family and friends, have a most wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. Stay safe and keep your furs warm!