Hawk's Schedule

8/4 Lake Mills
8/12 CCSDA Training

March 31, 2008

Still A Puppy

Meeting the "real" guide dogs yesterday we saw how far Buddy has to go. We were also reminded that he is still a puppy this morning. After our 45 minute walk he came in the house and I dried him off. He raced upstairs and began running around the house like a terror. Quickly reminded him that he was not allowed to do that and he went to lie down.

I made a mental note that he is still a high energy puppy and needed some reckless abandon. So this evening, we walked to the park and let him tear around off leash. He splashed through puddles, chased birds, and simply ran for the pleasure of it. It really put a smile on my face to see him so happy and enjoying himself.

“One of the happiest sights in the world comes when a lost dog is reunited with a master he loves. You just haven’t seen joy till you have seen that.” -Eldon Roark

March 30, 2008

"Real" Dogs

The usual weekend activities started with a walk in the morning. After lunch we made our way to another hockey game. However, before the game we stopped at a pet store to weigh Buddy. His weight was about 65 pounds today which was confirmed at a second pet store visit later.

After that we stopped for a larger collar at Farm and Fleet and worked/walked the aisles. Then some wandering around the Best Buy store looking at televisions and picking up a new DVD player, so we can watch the Dog Whisperer.

At another pet store we met a "real" working dog, a golden retriever that had the day off and was out with the owner's daughter. Even though the "real" dog wasn't officially working, there was a big difference between him and Buddy. Buddy was all kisses and wiggles while the "real" dog was calm and laid back.

We met another "real" service dog in the mall before the hockey game and a third "real" guide dog at the hockey game. It is impressive how they react (or don't react) when they see Buddy. Buddy behaved better with the ones that were working. He must have seen their harness or sensed their energy :-)

Plenty of 'Meet and Greet's at the hockey games. We always get our share of kids and tonight there were quite a few interested adults. Hopefully Buddy isn't too tired with hockey, one more long weekend to go.

A dog is not "almost human" and I know of no greater insult to the canine race than to describe it as such. -John Holmes

March 29, 2008


Lesson: Don't be lazy and decide to skip Buddy's walk before going to bed, otherwise you will be woken up by crying at 5 o'clock in the morning and end up walking in the cold dark morning.

Buddy had a very long day today. Three walks before noon, one being the 5am emergency, and another trip to the post office and library. From 2 o'clock to 8 o'clock he walked around the Kohl Center and watched two hockey games. He did the customary meet and greets, very well behaved as usual.

One thing we shouldn't have probably done was play with his rope tug toy between the games. Not very guide dog like to be rolling around the floor, but the little boy and Buddy both enjoyed it. We couldn't leave the building between games, so it was such a long time for him to be "working".

If you can look at a dog and not feel vicarious excitement and affection, you must be a cat. -Author Unknown

March 28, 2008

Dog's Plea

Treat me kindly my beloved friend, for no heart in all the world is more grateful for kindness than the loving heart of me.

Do not break my spirit with a stick, for though I should lick your hand between blows, your patience and understanding will more quickly teach me the things you would have me learn.

Speak to me often, for your voice is the world's sweetest music, as you must know by the fierce wagging of my tail when your footstep falls upon my waiting ears.

Please take me inside when it is cold and wet for I am a domesticated animal, no longer accustomed to bitter elements. I ask no greater glory than the privilege of sitting at your feet beside the hearth.

Keep my pan filled with fresh water, for I cannot tell you when I suffer thirst. Feed me clean food that I may stay well, to romp and play and do your bidding, to walk by your side, and stand ready, willing and able to protect you with my life, should you be in danger.

And, my friend, when I am very old, and no longer enjoy good health, hearing and sight, do not make heroic efforts to keep me going. I am not having any fun. Please see that my trusting life is taken gently. I shall leave this earth knowing with the last breath I draw that my fate was always safest in your hands.

-Author Unknown

March 27, 2008

First Times

Today Buddy experienced two things for the first time: a hospital visit and spending time with a baby.

The visit to the hospital was shorter than planned. We got into the hospital and walked around without issue. However, the patient that we were visiting had already checked out. So the first trip to the hospital was an abbreviated visit.

The rest of the day was spent back at the apartment visiting. First getting reacquainted with the Dodds family. We found Buddy lying by Grampa's feet watching television. They both seemed content.

Later Buddy was entertained by a seven and four year old. After they left, baby Troy stopped over. This was Buddy's first long exposure to a baby. The new sounds and smells were intriguing, but eventually he relaxed and laid down on Troy's blanket by him.

Scratch a dog and you'll find a permanent job. - Franklin P. Jones

March 26, 2008

Snow Gone ...

Buddy went out to eat with us this evening. The challenge was a group of young boys that were making noise and moving around. Surprisingly they were ambivalent towards seeing a dog in the restaurant and Buddy was ambivalent to their presence.

Most of the snow has melted. Buddy has adjusted to this with only minor inconveniences the last few days. He has stopped searching for piles of snow and grass meets his need. However, he may get a surprise tomorrow morning.

"No Matter how little money and how few possessions, you own, having a dog makes you rich." - Louis Sabin

March 25, 2008


Buddy went for his two walks today. He doesn't get to be "uncorrectable" anymore (at the park or in the yard) because he thinks it's snack time. It's not acceptable to eat what other dogs leave behind. Coming home from the park he doesn't need any help finding his way home; he has learned that it's food time after walking.

Since the snow started disappearing, couple weeks, we have been working with Buddy on "halting" at intersections. He needs more work, but will almost stop without having to say anything.

One reason a dog can be such a comfort when you're feeling blue is that he doesn't try to find out why. -Author Unknown

March 24, 2008

Bored Mtg

The event today was a Village Board Meeting to discuss parking on our street. Buddy thought it was a "Bored" meeting. It started a half hour late and then continued for an hour. Buddy sat still and quiet for the whole time. The other attendees were very complimentary of his patience and behavior. They didn't know that he had just walked for two hours.

We also had workers in and out of the house all day. Buddy was well behaved with the stange people and strange sounds. Another two weeks and he should sleep through the noise.

"First you learn a new language, profanity; and second you learn not to discipline your dogs when you're mad, and that's most of the time when you're training dogs." - Lou Schultz, trainer of Alaskan Huskies

March 23, 2008

New Bed

We thought that our one night Easter trip would be a good opportunity to test the new collapsible crate. Buddy has been randomly getting fed in the collapsible crate and sleeping there occasionally. He had not spent an entire night in it though.

After setting it up and placing his blanket in the crate, Buddy found it a convenient location to rest before his evening walk. Bedtime went well with one small glitch. In the middle of the night I heard him move around in the crate which is normal. However, he put too much weight on the side and it tipped over. We learned a valuable lesson to place the crate in a location where it can't be tipped over.

The most difficult part was getting it to fit back in the package before we left. It wasn't as easy as it looked and no instructions. Eventually we were able to wrestle it back to it's original shape. So the crate has passed it's test and is ready for Denver. However, we always have a backup plan.

Children are for people who can't have dogs. -Author Unknown

March 22, 2008

Kids,Kids, Kids

Buddy spent the whole day with kids.

Our first stop was the Children's Museum in Appleton. He was tempted by the many different items on the floor: balls, food, blocks, etc. He received the usual attention from all the kids and parents.

Then a quick visit to the nursing home to see the other end of the age spectrum. He's always a big hit there.

Finally a visit to a children's play area with ten "bouncy inflatables". Plenty of distractions from the children running and yelling. By this time of day, he just wanted to rest. Without being around children much, Buddy seems tolerant and gentle with them.

"Nobody can fully understand the meaning of love unless he's owned a dog. A dog can show you more honest affection with a flick of his tail than a man can gather through a lifetime of handshakes." - Gene Hill (The Dog Man)

March 21, 2008


Buddy received a belated birthday gift today from Mother Nature: eight inches of snow. He enjoys playing in the snow, but more importantly this snowfall creates bigger snow piles. He has not gone potty on grass since November. Last night we went out before bed and he needed to find some snow. He climbed to the top of the largest snow bank to relieve himself.

The last two days he has been experiencing more foreign sounds within the house as remodeling has kicked in again. Hopefully this will help get him comfortable with strange noises and stop barking as often.

Two long walks through the snow today and an hour shoveling snow resulted in one exhausted dog.

"You do not own a dog, the dog owns you." - Unknown

March 20, 2008

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday to Buddy and all his brothers and sisters: Hooch, Reggie, Bella, and Dually (Heidi too), and Bella. They are all one year old today. Their puppy permit has officially expired.

Do you remember when they were this big?




On our walk this morning we met up with an eight week old yellow lab named Jersey. She was a feisty little girl this morning and even chased him away a few times. They both had a lot of fun.

This afternoon, we gave Buddy his birthday present: free reign to run and splash in the water and mud with his surrogate pack members (bath to follow). The yellow lab puppy was not so feisty this time, she only wanted to curl up by our feet and sleep.

“From the dog’s point of view, his master is an elongated and abnormally cunning dog.” -Mabel L. Robinson

March 19, 2008

Back Home

Buddy returned from his Spring Break needing a rest (as did we). However, the first thing we did yesterday was take him for a walk to reestablish his routine. After eating and resting, he proceeded to get out every one of his toys. I guess he was just making sure they were all there.

On his evening walk we stopped by the skateboard park to expose him to the activity and various sounds. Nothing eventful for the first day back, just settling in to our old routines.

The great pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him and not only will he not scold you, but he will make a fool of himself too. -Samuel Butler, Notebooks, 1912

March 17, 2008

Gone, but Never Forgotten

Remembering Barney on his Birthday

Barney with Bo (1993)

Gone, but Never Forgotten

They will not go quietly the pets who've shared our lives,
In subtle ways they let us know their spirit still survives.

Old habits still make us think we hear a scratching at the door,
or step back when we drop a tasty morsel on the floor.

Our feet still go around the place the food dish used to be,
And, sometimes, coming home at night, we miss them terribly.

And although time may bring new friends and a new food dish to fill,
That one place in our hearts belongs to them and always will.....

March 15, 2008

Spring Break

After walking Buddy through the park yesterday, he came home covered in mud and smelly water. So, today we were out the door for a long walk before the sun warmed things up. Our attempt to keep him clean. We will not be washing him every day. His trips to the park have ended until things dry up, with the exception of his birthday.

We travelled to Janesville in the afternoon to check Buddy's weight. Today the scale showed 61.5 pounds - less than last week. He couldn't have lost weight. We have weighed him on three different scales the last three weeks which is not a good practice for comparison. We have no idea how much Buddy really weighs. The puppy trainer indicated that he needs more bulk.

The actual reason for going to Janesville was to start Buddy's stay at the puppy trainer's home. His four day "Spring Break" experience will include living with two other dogs, two kids, training classes, and one-on-one training with a professional dog trainer. Like most vacations he should come back on Tuesday needing a rest.

The best way to get a puppy is to beg for a baby brother - and they'll settle for a puppy every time. -Winston Pendelton


:-) Dually has recovered from the complications with his surgery.

March 14, 2008


Buddy's favorite word is "Cookie".

I talk to him when I'm lonesome like; and I'm sure he understands. When he looks at me so attentively, and gently licks my hands; then he rubs his nose on my tailored clothes, but I never say naught thereat. For the good Lord knows I can buy more clothes, but never a friend like that. -W. Dayton Wedgefarth

March 13, 2008

Snow Gone

Buddy's afternoon was full of shopping. Hardware store, department store, and another hardware store. As usual we met an interested person - a potential puppy raiser. Her niece raises service puppies in Indiana, so we explained the program and provided her with OccuPaws literature. Since Lisa had a service dog, the attendant at one of the hardware stores thought she was in need of assistance, so he was very helpful.

With the warmer weather there are more distractions out and about so we walked to a restaurant for our dinner. We passed kids on bikes, families playing basketball, and the most distracting little girls' screams.

On the way home we noted that one of us is really going to miss the snow. Buddy has grown accustomed to climbing on the snow piles to go potty. Coming home after dinner, he kept searching for the appropriate snow pile. He doesn't like the dirty ones or the icy ones or the short ones or the ones his feet sink into. He was crying because he needed to go potty , but couldn't find the right snow bank. He will need to adjust quickly to the snow being gone.

I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive. -Gilda Radner

March 11, 2008


I wasn't going to be writing anything this evening. We were just having a quiet night at home. Tossing a few toys for Buddy to fetch and then watching television while he chewed on some of his toys.

Then all of a sudden Buddy bolts out of the room with the door from the entertainment center following him. It was attached to the ring on his collar, he panicked, and ripped the door completely off. They narrowly missed the glass hutch. About ten yards from where they started the door unlodged from his collar and fell to the floor. Buddy kept on going.

First, we needed to make sure Buddy was alright, which he was. Secondly and quickly, we needed to make sure that this episode wouldn't traumatize him, so we immediately returned to the site with Buddy, offering encouragement (not comfort). He came in a little fearful, but was calm. Shortly after his return we were playing and I would toss the toy right next to the entertainment center where he retrieved it without hesitation.

Did you ever notice when you blow in a dog's face he gets mad at you? But when you take him in a car he sticks his head out the window. -Steve Bluestone

March 10, 2008


Throughout the day on Saturday, we walked around the other booths to work the crowd (and work Buddy in the crowd). We must have added 100 people to Buddy's list of 'meet and greet's. Everyone from security, Lions, custodial staff, restaurant staff, to young children. We even met some of the teenagers that Dually and Heidi go to school with. The people ranged in age from 14 months to 80 years old.

He was exposed to wheelchairs, strollers, walkers, and drink carts as we walked through the convention center and casino. I thought the biggest test for Buddy would be the casino. He did well walking over grates on the floor and being distracted by the crowd, lights, buzzers, and yelling. We even stopped to play a slot machine. Buddy just sat down by my feet. He is a lucky charm, not at the casino though - no financial jackpot.

Nothing in the casino seemed to phase him. The biggest distraction turned out to be Dale. We exited the dining room a little before Dale/Nikki and waited by the elevator. Buddy must have a short memory because when he saw Dale walking toward us, it was the most excited he had been all day.

Right after that we met the nicest family with four or five young children who loved the dogs. Since the dogs were providing kisses, one boy had to return the favor and give everyone of us a kiss and hug - personal jackpot. Buddy is a lucky charm. Training a guide dog puppy opens up a whole new world, break down barriers, and provides new opportunities.

My goal in life is to be as good of a person my dog already thinks I am. -Author Unknown

March 9, 2008

Big Week

Buddy's leash broke yesterday. We got up early (5:30), so I didn't think we would see any other dogs and I didn't put he pinch collar on. Well there was another dog and we ended up breaking the leash while giving a correction. We had to invert the leash through the handle for the walk back home.

It's not as bad as it sounds. The leash was very old (Bo's) and cheap, the metal just fatigues over time. Last I week wrote about the subtle corrections, well your corrections are a lot more subtle with the pinch collar than the flat collar.

A trip to the pet store was needed today to replace the leash and a good opportunity to check Buddy's weight. Nikki thought he looked good yesterday, maybe 2-3 pounds light. He weighed in at 62.5 pounds today, about 2-3 pounds short of our goal. That's two and a half pounds more than last Saturday - a big week for Buddy.

We were looking for a soft sided crate that we could use for Buddy to sleep in when we are in Denver. Nikki purchased one for OccuPaws and Buddy had to try it out. It looks like it's comfortable :-)

To his dog, every man is Napoleon; hence the constant popularity of dogs. -Aldous Huxley

March 8, 2008

Day with Dale

Buddy spent the day with Dale at Ho Chunk Casino and Convention Center. We attended the District D1 Convention of the Wisconsin Lions being held at the casino. For those of you that don't know Dale, he is the first guide dog trained by OccuPaws.

We met up with Dale at 8 o'clock with the usual exchange of sniffs and playful bites. After preparations were completed, the welcoming committee (Buddy and Dale) was used to attract Lions, Lionesses, and Leos (young Lions) to the booth. Dale and Buddy received pats on the head, belly rubs in exchange for their kisses and handshakes while Nikki and the rest of the group explained our mission and answered questions.

After lunch Buddy was very tired, until we were introduced to Weilly's younger brother, "Chump", who Doug was babysitting. Puppies always draw the most attention and Chump received his share from the Lions and from Buddy. The two of them were quite the sight, wrestling and nipping each other to the delight of onlookers.

The first opportunity that Buddy had to perform in front of the "boss", he did excellent. After a very long day, we packed up and headed home. Buddy ate his dinner, rested, took a short walk, and went to bed.

... and got into the garbage again looking for more chicken bones. This time I caught him in the act, so hopefully the correction was sufficient.

Happiness is a warm puppy. - Charles M. Schulz

March 7, 2008


Our training on walks may be a little confusing to Buddy. With all the ice that we have, I will occasionally slip on the ice and regain my balance after flailing my arms about. Well, when that happens I end up pulling the leash and pinching Buddy. He receives a correction for no good reason and he looks up startled as if to ask "What did I do this time?"

Through these episodes and making him walk behind me as we walk around puddles of water or ice patches, Buddy has been trained to walk around puddles and ice. I am not sure that this is good for a guide dog. He will avoid the hazard and lead the blind person right through it.

I wonder what goes through his mind when he sees us peeing in his water bowl. -Penny Ward Moser

March 5, 2008


The broasted chicken from the grocery store was just too irresistible for Buddy. The morning after he found we had eaten our share, he found the bones in the garbage and devoured them. Our initial concern was the bones splintering and causing problems or digestive issues. Fortunately he seems fine.

This is the second time in a week that we have found evidence of Buddy patrolling the garbage. We are not sure how he got into the pantry. The sliding door is usually closed, but can't be locked. So he probably had to push it open.

The most affectionate creature in the world is a wet dog. -Ambrose Bierce

March 4, 2008

Flat Collar

Yesterday, Buddy went to the grocery store with only the flat collar. As we have mentioned before he gets really bored in the grocery store. This time he managed to stay alert because we picked up some chicken from the deli before we started shopping. That held his interest; occasionally his nose would be working overtime as he tried to figure out why the smell was always in front of him.

The collar was sufficient in stores and on walks unless we passed or spotted other dogs. I tried to loop the leash to simulate a choke chain, but that wasn't enough. The experiment identified our/his area of improvement.

This evening on our walk, we reinstituted the pinch collar. We walked with a pack of familiar dogs for about one and a half hours and worked on remaining calm and projecting calm submissive energy. After reading Cesar Millan's book ("Be the Pack Leader"), I think that Buddy might have been "attacked" so often because of the energy he was projecting.

Properly trained, a man can be dog's best friend. ~Corey Ford

March 2, 2008


Buddy is on vacation for a few days - from his pinch collar. He will continue his normal routine of walks and outings, but I have been working him without the pinch collar.

There are two reasons for this. The first is that Buddy has gained weight and we think the pinch collar is too small so we are ordering some additional links to lengthen the collar. The real reason is that Buddy should be able to respond to subtle corrections and voice commands.

Since the weather was so nice today we ended up taking three nice walks and Buddy did well on only the flat buckle collar. We will see how he responds on some outings the next few days. He also spent some time chasing his plastic ball and snow balls through the yard as I cleared the ice away.

If you get to thinking you're a person of some influence, try ordering somebody else's dog around. ~Will Rogers

March 1, 2008

Another Dog

We got a late start this morning - recovering from a cold. Out for a long walk this morning and a short walk before our outings this afternoon.

First we stopped at the pet store to pick up a bag of biscuits and weigh Buddy for the monthly progress report. He has gained three pounds since two weeks ago (60 pounds now). It's also a good opportunity to work on human/canine distractions and socialization. Buddy met a little chihuahua and we let them frolic for ten minutes. The kids with the chihuahua thought that they were "best friends that just met." Buddy was very clam and gentle with the little dog.

After some gift shopping, we headed to the mall for more human distractions. Walking the mall, Buddy seems really bored. Kids yelling and screaming don't even phase him. I thought the biggest distraction would be the food court with its mine field of tempting treats. However, today we met not one but two other service dogs. Initially when Buddy saw the dog(s) he sprang to attention and I considered avoidance to be the plan. I didn't want to distract the other dogs, however, I relented and walked Buddy past the dog. The "real" service dog didn't even flinch and Buddy walked past without incident with a lot of verbal coaching.