Hawk's Schedule

8/4 Lake Mills
8/12 CCSDA Training

April 30, 2008

Ice Cream

It was a quiet day for Buddy, no work on the house today.

On the evening walk we passed Leinie on our way to the park. Then we met a few of Buddy's friends, Kane and Sable, and worked on calm greetings. No playing until our work was finished. Leaving the park we greeted Maddie, Izzy, and Windsor.

We continued our walk on the streets of Oregon after first stopping by the tennis courts and skateboard park. We passed a few people and dogs, but most of the walk was walking on a loose leash and HALTing at intersections.

On our way back home we allowed Buddy some free time - running by the creek. Returning through the park we met the Rottweiler, Victoria, and after a greeting we walked with her. We had her owner walk Buddy until they turned back for a second loop.

Before Buddy received his nourishment, we stopped at Baskin Robbins for their 31 cent ice cream. There were a lot of people waiting and most were interested in Buddy. He received a few head rubs and gave a few kisses. It was good practice and a good opportunity to be seen. One lady's daughter worked at the school for the blind. One family asked if Buddy was the dog that goes to Janesville Craig. The firemen were interested in his training.

A dog is one of the remaining reasons why some people can be persuaded to go for a walk. - O.A. Battista

April 29, 2008


Buddy met the carpet installers this morning. They didn't greet him with any enthusiasm, so he went back to bed. A friendly neighbor stopped by and Buddy wouldn't leave her alone. He would sit calmly for a few seconds then he couldn't control himself.

The weather was quite pleasant this evening, so we took a longer walk through the park. Buddy was even allowed to play with his friends for awhile. It has been almost two weeks without dog interaction - he was ecstatic. He came home very tired, but he couldn't eat because we were going to a restaurant. There was a thirty minute wait, so Buddy also got some shopping done.

As I mentioned before, Buddy was exhausted. He laid quietly all during dinner at BWW. BWW is quite a test with all the noise, waitresses moving about, and the shrieking children. After dessert, finally, home to eat.

Our dogs will love and admire the meanest of us, and feed our colossal vanity with their uncritical homage. - Agnes Repplier

April 27, 2008

Crate Move

Last night we moved Buddy's "sleeping" crate. Initially because we have to install carpeting on Tuesday and secondly because it would break up his routine. We also removed his "eating" crate. Adaptability is one of his strengths; the switch didn't bother him at all. He will sleep or eat anywhere.

I am not sure why but recently I have noticed people avoiding us when we are walking. Have they heard that Buddy is sick? Have our greetings been too energetic? Do they not want to bother the guide dog?

Twice this morning dogs and their owners crossed the street as they approached us. They have also stepped off the sidewalk and stopped as we pass by. It's frustrating because we seek out these opportunities to work on greetings with Buddy. We explain that they should act normal and we need to get Buddy to behave in any setting - avoidance is not a valid strategy for a guide dog.

We have been working with Buddy on behaving when seeing and greeting dogs. When he gets too excited, we stop and turn away until he is calm. Then repeat. This approach works well for dogs that are leashed. Unleashed dogs are much more difficult and require a completely different approach.

A dog can express more with his tail in seconds than his owner can express with his tongue in hours. - Author Unknown

Now and Then

Today was Buddy's second Brewer game. His first was eleven months ago. We received tickets through my dad's employer and a pre-game lunch and prizes were included. So many of the same people were there as last year.

Now: He drew a lot of attention from the other fans.
Then: Everyone wanted to see and hold the cute puppy.

Now: One person asked if Buddy was the same dog as last year.
Then: While leaving the parking lot, one person jumped out of her car to see the puppy.

Now: A few people stopped to ask questions about guide dogs.
Then: We must have discussed OccuPaws and guide dogs with a hundred people.

Now: Buddy gets bored walking around.
Then: He got tired walking to the picnic area.

Now: We let dad walk Buddy so he could experience a different handler and to share the attention.
Then: We kept him close to protect him so he wouldn't get stepped on.

Now: We couldn't hear the fireworks.
Then: Buddy barely budged with the loud booms.

Now: We didn't bring our camera.
Then: Others were taking pictures with the puppy. The Brewer photographer took our picture.

Now: Buddy sat in accessible seating which is recommended for a 70 pound dog.
Then: He spent half the game sleeping at our feet and the rest sleeping in our lap.

Buddy received a surprise when we left for our walk this evening. A cat was sitting in his front yard looking like she owned the place. Buddy wanted to protect his territory and he attempted to chase and received a correction. Great opportunity to work on getting him to LEAVE IT. One correction was all it took. He maintained focus on the cat as we walked, until she bolted, but never tried to pursue after the initial rush.

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

April 26, 2008

Feeling Better

Buddy was feeling better today. No coughing and plenty of energy. We have maintained his walk routine throughout his illness. We even took an extra afternoon walk today and he raced through the field and stream. Definitely feeling better.

However, because he still may be contagious, he had to miss the OccuPaws get together at Fuddruckers. We brought back the smells of his old friends (Dale, Reggie, Weilly, Bella, Lilly, Ozzie, and Dually) and a new puppy smell (Moby).

After five hours in the crate, at home all alone for the first time in a long time, Buddy did good. We didn't hear any barking when we snuck into the house. And he wasn't overly excited to see us. He should do fine when his rotations start next week.

No quote today just some Puppy Rules.

April 25, 2008


We received the word recently that the puppies will be starting a rotation. Every puppy will be taken away from the raiser and introduced to a foreign location and new raiser. This may sound difficult for the Buddy, but it will probably be more difficult for us.

It will be good for the puppies to be exposed to different situations and different handlers. I think it will allow the raisers to gauge the strengths and weaknesses of their charge. It will also remind the puppy raiser that the puppy is not their dog.

Buddy was supposed to start his rotation tomorrow, however he has come down with a very minor case of "kennel cough" - a doggie cold. We took him to our new veterinarian this afternoon and confirmed that it was a virus, which is untreatable, vs a bacterial infection. Either way we don't want to expose any other dogs to the illness, so until his symptoms disappear he has been quarantined.

“We long for an affection altogether ignorant of our faults. Heaven has accorded this to us in the uncritical canine attachment.” - George Eliot

April 24, 2008

Spilt Coffee

Buddy went to work this morning. He attended a staff meeting with Lisa and he behaved well. The only incident was that he contributed to spilling a cup of coffee. The coffee cup was located on the floor and he was called over to the person. He was sitting for the greeting, but raised his front paw which came down on the cup. Plenty of blame to go around.

Since it was raining this evening, I tried to get Buddy to use the treadmill to get his exercise. At one mile per hour he eventually got used to it. However, as the speed increased, he didn't want anything to do with it. So we had to brave the elements. We will try the treadmill again tomorrow.

Our walk in the evening was very scary. Buddy was apprehensive toward three common items that he often sees in the daylight. But at night they morph into scary monsters. The gas tank at the construction site, the garbage bin in the park, and the electrical box in the yard all drew caution and warning barks.

We walked over to all the items and "made friends" with each object to calm his fears.

“Talking to dogs is one of the few acts of faith still made nowadays.” - Paul Jennings

April 23, 2008

Road Trip 2

Buddy has been starting his days with a walk and a little breakfast. Then he gets to spend fifteen minutes working on the thigh bone. He is a very happy dog the last couple mornings.

This afternoon we walked through the park. Before finishing our flyer drops we stopped to play. Not with other dogs, but we did spend some time running and playing in the stream. It seems that Buddy loves the water now. Quite a change from last year, we can't get him out this year.

We dropped off the "Jog for Guide Dogs" flyers at the other veterinarian in town and the custard shop. Since we were there, I might as well have some frozen custard and Buddy can practice lying down looking bored. As we placed our order a few boys walked over and saw his cape and whispered that they couldn't bother him.

Buddy got a bowl of water as we were sitting outside chatting with two families. I let the boys know that it was okay to greet him as long as he stayed sitting or lying down. We finished our walk with a second run through the stream which necessitated a bath this evening.

“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

April 22, 2008

Road Trip

On our morning and afternoon walks we continued our work on HEELing. We met other dogs when Buddy was calm, but didn't play with them. The afternoon walk turned into a road trip through Oregon. We had a goal to distribute registration forms for the Jog for Guide Dogs throughout the village.

We walked to the library and downtown to the tanning salon. We made a side trip to the pool before stopping at the grocery store and fast food restaurant. The worker at the bank needed to check with her boss, but should get "posted" tomorrow. We will hit the other side of town tomorrow.

The veterinarian's office was our finally stop before returning home. We spoke to the technician about bringing Buddy there and the possibility of receiving a discount similar to our current vet. She couldn't resist Buddy and agreed to give us and any other OccuPaws dog a discount.

After the two hour trek, Buddy was ready for dinner. However, we did make time to play a little fetch before returning home. Buddy ate and then rested the rest of the night, except for a few barking episodes. Neighbor dogs on both sides of us initiated the barking this evening.

“The one absolutely unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him, the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous, is his dog.” - George Graham Vest

April 21, 2008


Buddy had a dental experience today. No one likes to go to the dentist, but Buddy didn't seem to mind. It was probably because he wasn't the patient. He tagged along for Lisa's appointment. He laid down quietly by the chair and even fell asleep.

Unfortunately for Buddy, that was the highlight of his day. He was forced to walk through the park, around the athletic fields, and past the playgrounds without playing with any of the children or dogs. However, we did stop by the track meet on the way home. He barely responded to the starter's pistol.

This evening, Buddy did destroy the indestructible toy that we purchased a couple weeks ago. He watched me eagerly, yet calmly as I stitched it up. Ten minutes later it was torn to shreds.

“If you get to thinking you’re a person of some influence, try ordering somebody else’s dog around.” - Will Rogers

April 20, 2008

Scary Cat

Today we worked on HALTing at intersections and HEELing while walking next to me on a loose leash. Three walks for about 45 minutes each. Buddy will usually pause at each intersection without command. Maintaining a focus on me needs work. There are more dogs out in the nice weather, so we were able to work on dog distraction and calm meetings.

Buddy gets frustrated when we walk through the dog without playing with the other dogs. So we need to continue to visit the park and minimize his play time. Sticking to 30 minutes a week will be a challenge, because he enjoys it so much.
We will be rescheduling our walks for later in the day as it gets warmer. Buddy doesn't handle the heat well and loses focus. Walks in the dark also give us an opportunity to deal with "scary" objects. Common objects during the day are unrecognizable at night.

This evening as we passed a parked car, we both jumped when we were surprised by a loud hissing noise. Apparently we invaded the space of a cat and she let us know that we were not welcome. We spent a little time lingering around the area, not to antagonize the cat, but to deal with the "scary" cat. When Buddy was comfortable we continued.

“Getting a dog is like getting married. It teaches you to be less self-centered, to accept sudden, surprising outbursts of affection, and not to be upset by a few scratches on your car.”
- Will Stanton

April 19, 2008


Just a normal Saturday for Buddy. A walk through the park and to the library where we met a family of five leaving the library and Buddy received attention from the little boys. Breakfast followed by a little nap, then we stopped at a recreation store, hardware store and a pet store to stock up on dog food and check his weight. Three close encounters of the dog kind went well. He weighed in at 68 pounds today.

Afternoon, we made a stop at another hardware store for paint. Buddy was absolutely bored, but he did enjoy the cool cement floor while the paint was being shaken. The wait at the paint counter resulted in a few more interactions dog loving shoppers.

Then we stopped at another pet store and bought Buddy a special treat. I think it was a smoked thigh bone, doesn't that sound yummy. Our final stop of the day was Buddy's favorite spot, the grocery store. He did meet a lot of nice people and was even offered a piece of meatloaf from the deli. He declined because he didn't want to spoil his appetite. A few of the workers gave Buddy the attention that he rarely gets :-)

Upon arriving home, Buddy got to sample his thigh bone while we unpacked groceries. We took his customary before dinner walk to the park. He usually doesn't like the water, however probably because of the warmth today, every puddle was refreshing. Therefore, a quick hose down was necessary before dinner.

“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

April 18, 2008


Buddy has had a vacation the last couple days. Other than the annoyance of the work crews, he has been resting. He has been doing well not reacting to all the strange sounds and movement in/out of the house. Today while the painter was working, Buddy was crated and accepted it without issue. He has not missed his nightly walks, even in the rain tonight.

We summarized our visit with Guide Dogs for the Blind, but didn't list the specific changes that we will be implementing. Marlene has mentioned many of these things. We just needed a reminder.

1. Limiting playtime with other dogs (30 minutes per week)
2. Don't reward improper behavior - withhold until he is calm
3. Work on HEEL, using a wall to force him into the proper position
4. Spend more time getting him comfortable with strange objects
5. Feeding twice a day
6. Loose leash - let him make a decision, don't correct the behavior before it happens

“Thorns may hurt you, men desert you, sunlight turn to fog; but you’re never friendless ever, if you have a dog.”
- Douglas Mallock

April 16, 2008

Play Time

It was a long week out in Denver. I didn't wake up until 2:00 pm this afternoon. Thankfully Lisa was fully functional today and could take care of Buddy.

Once we made sure that Buddy was feeling better - no more limping, we took a walk through the park and down by the creek. He walked well on leash and as we passed other dogs, we practiced what we learned last week about approaching dogs (1 hr).

As we approached the creek, I let him off leash and he tore around like a Tasmanian devil. He bounded into the creek for a refreshing romp through the water before returning to the park to meet up with his friends.

After calm greetings, Buddy was so happy to be able to play with other dogs. He especially likes to play with a growly boxer and a yellow lab puppy. He and the boxer endlessly tug and chase. He and the puppy wrestle until she lets Buddy know that she's had enough and she chases him away. We used up our allotment of play time for the next three weeks today (1.5 hrs).

Note: Buddy has not been biting his leash since we returned.

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

April 15, 2008


Last day in Denver was a recovery and travel day. We didn't get to bed until 2:00 am, so unfortunately we did not make it to the tour of the mint. After breakfast, Buddy slept and we packed.

Buddy took a shuttle from the hotel to the light rail station. Upon boarding the train, somehow Buddy's cape broke. I thought we had lost the hardware and the train was already moving. Upon further review, the strap was just torn off from the cape. We were able to repair it using a pin that we had received at the hockey game last night.

The train took us downtown where we caught a bus to the airport. Buddy did not like this style bus - it was a tour bus, not a normal mass transit bus. The seats were very close together and he couldn't get comfortable. He tried to jump on the seats, before settling in. This happened a few times while being transported in a confining situation. This is an issue that needs to be resolved. He also recently started to bite his leash while walking - maybe experiencing some stress.

The plane ride to Milwaukee went smoothly without incident. Even a crying baby didn't bother him.. We brought a few biscuits for Buddy and he had some ice cubes from the stewardess. When we received snacks and beverages so did he. Somewhere over Nebraska, Lisa and Buddy fell asleep.

At home, Buddy used some of his pent up energy to destroy a few of his toys that I had repaired before we left. Buddy definitely needs some play time, so we will make a point to visit his friends at the park tomorrow.

“I have sometimes thought of the final cause of dogs having such short lives and I am quite satisfied it is in compassion to the human race; for if we suffer so much in losing a dog after an acquaintance of ten or twelve years, what would it be if they were to live double that time?”
- Sir Walter Scott


Morning Walk:
- fed Buddy last night without an evening walk, therefore up early(6:00 am), we were just too tired to take him out

Trip Downtown: bus, bus
- bus rides are old hat for Buddy, he actually pauses at the bus stops now

Sightseeing: shuttle, walk, shuttle, walk, shuttle, walk
- crowded shuttle during lunch hour, Buddy made a few friends,
- we also walked along the Cherry Creek

Stanley Cup Playoff Game:
- Buddy's last hockey game of the year
- he was intrigued by the inflatable floating beer can
- WILD WIN in overtime, overtime meant that we missed our usual bus

Back to Hotel: train, train, bus, bus (1:20 am)
- crowded train and many friends on the bus/train.
- Buddy/We met so many nice people on the RTD this week (and a few questionable ones)

Buddy was limping at times today, so we didn't walk much. We prescribed aspirin twice a day. In preparation for the flight tomorrow, we split his food up into two feedings, one before the game and one at home.

Anybody who doesn't know what soap tastes like never washed a dog. - Franklin P. Jones

April 13, 2008


Just two shuttle rides for Buddy today. However, they took us to and from Bear Creek Lake Park for a couple hours of hiking.

Since it was Sunday the park was busy with cars, bicycles, boats, horses, and hikers. Buddy's first reaction to the dozens of horses we saw was to bark at them, which has been a common response to unfamiliar objects recently. For example, man in electric wheelchair, homeless man pushing a cart, and the horses. With repeated meetings with horses, he relaxed as they passed. Then I think he just wanted to play with the "big dogs".

The hundred bikes that passed us were only an issue when they sneaked up on us stealth-like and surprised us. Once Buddy almost jumped out of his fur because they loudly shifted gears just as they passed us.

From various observation points on Mount Carbon we could see the Denver skyline and Red Rocks amphitheater. After our three hour hike up to the top of Mount Carbon (elev 5,779 feet), we need some rest before an early dinner. Buddy won't have to wait until late to eat this evening.

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

April 12, 2008

Puppy Truck

Our day started with two bus rides and a mile walk to get to Littleton. The occasion was the annual regional meeting and workshop for Guide Dogs for the Blind. Our hosts were the Eye-Paws puppy raisers in Denver.

In the morning, we learned some tips to help Buddy walk on a loose leash and tips for greeting other dogs. The sessions were beneficial, but the conversations with other puppy raisers was invaluable. The camaraderie of the group was infectious and we realized how much we miss having regular interactions with our OccuPaws team.

The ultimate test for any puppy - lunch. The dog distractions (at least 100 dogs) were combined with food and children moving quickly. Buddy was tempted often, but the greatest temptation was his neighbor. He wanted to play with a puppy sitting next to us. Actually, he only wanted the puppy's toy and was willing to do whatever it took to get it. Other than this brief lapse he was well behaved.

After lunch, anticipation and excitement filled the room as the puppy truck rolled in from California with eleven new puppies and the introduction ceremony began. Eleven puppy raisers met their new charges for the first time. The highlight of our day was being given the honor of walking the last puppy into the room to meet his raiser. After the ceremony, pride and sadness replaced the excitement as the dogs that have passed through basic training were loaded in the truck for the return trip to California and formal harness training.

Buddy was allowed to greet a few of the newbies before we said farewell to our new friends in Colorado. As the new raisers received some initial training, we walked back to the train station for a ride downtown to the hockey game. Buddy seemed happy to finally get some rest. He spent most of the game curled up in a ball sleeping and trying to stay warm.

We returned home via two bus rides where Buddy received pets from many of the passengers. He's warming up to the idea of this mass transit stuff. However, this vacation stuff is wearing him out.

There is only one smartest dog in the world, and every boy (or puppy raiser) has it. - Louis Sabin

April 11, 2008


Buddy had a late night, so we kinda slept in. After a potty break at 6 am, we all stayed in bed until 9 o'clock. A quick walk with a beautiful view of the snow peaked mountains before we went to breakfast. Buddy was still tired so he went back to bed for a nap.

He napped while we created a transit plan to get us to the mountains to hike. Two bus rides later we were at the trail head. The trail head had a sign posted that mountain lions had been spotted in the area and rattlesnakes, but we saw no sign of either. However, we did see a large herd of deer cross over the trail (OK, not such a big deal to see deer--we just hoped there was no mountain lion chasing them--as they say, where there is prey, there are predators!)

We reached the summit of our "mountain" after an hour and half and let Buddy play in the snow while we rested. He needed some "crazy" time to burn off some energy. He has been using his brain so much of the time these past few days, it was good to seem him have that burst of all-out fun. He still has a lot of puppy in him.

However, I have been impressed by Buddy's adaptability and resiliency. He has had late night meals and missed his usual naps. He has been sitting quietly in more restaurants the last three days than our average month. The vehicles that we ride in make constant stops and he is used to getting up/out when the car stops. None of this seems to phase him. Well, maybe the late meals do, because he races back to room to eat.

The dog was created specially for children. He is the god of frolic. - Henry Ward Beecher

April 10, 2008

Mile High Law

We awoke to two inches of snow. Buddy was the only one in the city that was happy to see it.

Another hockey day started with a bus and train ride into Denver. We walked around in the snow and took the shuttle to a few spots. We verified that Buddy will be able to attend the tour of the mint on Tuesday.

After the snow stopped and the weather cleared, our adventure took us to the thirteenth step of the state capitol which is exactly a mile above sea level. However, the highpoint of the day, pun intended, was climbing up the 99 steps to the top of the Colorado State Capital building. Quite a view of the city and mountains in the background.

Buddy even attended a portion of a legislative meeting that was in session. How many dogs can say they attended a legislative session?

Our late lunch and Buddy got to see a Boston massacre. The first hockey game saw a complete annihilation of North Dakota by Boston College. A quick dinner and Buddy got to sit through three and a half periods of hockey. After the game someone asked who Buddy was rooting for. I told her that "he was hoping for a rout so we could leave early or at least finish in regulation".

Finally two buses and a short walk to the hotel. We let him lead us back to our room: turned at the stairs around the corner, up the stairs, another turn, through the front door. Perfect until he saw luggage in the middle of the hall and he started barking at it (@ midnight). Settled down and quickly to our room because that's where the food is.

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

April 9, 2008

Quick Learner

Just noticed on our walk this evening that Buddy is "difficult" to walk in new locations. His nose is to the ground constantly searching. He has also shown his ability to adapt to these new surroundings and this sniffing must help him learn about his surroundings. He walks much better on routes that we have previously walked.

After less than eight hours he knows the steps that we walk down to get to the hotel and he knows the road to the hotel from the other direction. It is true that we have walked a lot today. Maybe it just feels that way because of the altitude or our lack of sleep. He also knows the path to our hotel room.

This ability should serve him well as a guide dog. He should be able to quickly learn new routes. We don't see this trait as often at home because we walk the same routes.

Long Day

We woke Buddy up at 3:00 this morning. He didn't want to leave his crate and neither did we. Then thirteen hours of travel ... Automobile, Shuttle, Airplane, Train, Bus, Bus, Train, Shuttle, and Paws. Buddy is now very comfortable travelling and bored by the whole process.

Travelling with a dog is very hectic, but the time seemed to go by a lot faster. We got through security about 2 hours before take-off after a potty break. Then one hour before we figured we should try one more time. We rushed out of the airport, searching for grass, and then raced back through security for the second time. Our front rows seats on the plane provided more legroom, but not enough for feet and Buddy.

We have talked before about being stared at or causing double takes. Well nothing compares to the airport. You don't notice it as much until you follow Buddy from a distance and watch/listen to people when they think that they can't be observed. Never anything negative, mostly surprise, or positive comments on his behavior. Of course he received plenty of pats on the head and belly rubs today.

We were excited for Buddy's first airplane trip. Buddy just thought it was a big car. The people seated behind us were more excited, it was the first time they had flown - with a dog.

All the bells and tones on the plane didn't bother him, he never barked once. But he did just bark now, because our room is located near the hotel entrance and there were some doors slamming and people talking outside.

Hoping for a quiet night and EARLY BEDTIME.

Labradors [are] lousy watchdogs. They usually bark when there is a stranger about, but it is an expression of unmitigated joy at the chance to meet somebody new, not a warning. - Norman Strung

Denver Eye-Paws

We have made plans to meet some members of the
Denver Eye-Paws Puppy Raising Club. We will share tales of our experiences and training tips as we walk and talk with people that share our passion. And Buddy will get to spend some time with other puppies.

Their first "Puppy Truck" of the year comes this Saturday. The new puppies are brought to Denver and the older dogs are taken back to campus for their formal guide training. There will be plenty of distractions. Their group is affiliated with Guide Dogs for the Blind in San Rafael, CA.

“We give dogs time we can spare, space we can spare and love we can spare. And in return, dogs give us their all. It’s the best deal man has ever made.” - M.Facklam

April 8, 2008

Last Vet Visit

Last minute plans were completed for Buddy's mile high adventure. We were not sure, but we thought that he had to get a health certificate from the veterinarian to be allowed to fly. The visit to the vet was uneventful - for us.

It should have been for Buddy also, however, they wanted a urine sample and he wouldn't or couldn't cooperate. They took him in the back to do an ultrasound. Lesson: Never let your dog out of your sight. Because they decided that they needed a urine sample, so apparently three people held him down while they extracted urine with a syringe. Totally Unnecessary!!

Needles to say Buddy wanted nothing to do with the vet after that experience. This was not the first time that they performed a procedure without explaining it or getting our consent. It was the last straw for us also.

“A man’s soul can be judged by the way he treats his dog.” - Charles Doran

April 7, 2008


Just got back from taking Buddy for walk before bed. We rarely walk Buddy at night, so since I got home late from work this was a good opportunity to explore the darkness. The darkness and shadowy figures have caused Buddy some concern recently and since tomorrow was trash day, we had potentially frightening objects around every corner.

The best reason not to walk your dog at night is that you can't see what is on the ground. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Buddy pick something up off the ground and immediately told him to drop it, which he did without pause. My surprise turned to astonishment when I saw that it was a piece of pizza, discarded by one of the high schoolers. If you know Buddy or any Labrador, then you know that food is the Holy Grail.

Good Dog!!

Old Men

Two walks before breakfast with a trip to the grocery store and drug store after his evening walk.

On the walk this morning we met one of Buddy's friends. An older gentleman who has been taking care of his daughter's dog, Larry, the last two weeks. They were always happy to see Buddy or at least one of them was. The dog was not socialized much, so he was apprehensive. The owner always picked him up around other dogs. We tried to keep Buddy calm and every day Larry got more comfortable with Buddy.

Well today the man was walking without his dog; Larry returned home this weekend. The man was happy to see Buddy. I could tell he missed having Larry around. Hopefully we will see him tomorrow.

There is an older clerk at the drug store who is also a fan of Buddy. He always asks if Buddy can have a treat. We always say okay as long as Buddy stays calm. So today the clerk had some beef jerky. We usually give Buddy a pea sized piece. The clerk gave him a little piece (actually half a stick) and later allowed Buddy to finish it off.

Then after a while, he must have thought Buddy looked hungry, so the clerk got a cookie. Lisa told Buddy to be gentle and the man decided to really test him and placed the cookie in his mouth. After thoroughly searching his hands, Buddy thought the cookie disappeared. He eventually found it and both man and dog were happy.

“Old age means realizing you will never owned all the dogs you wanted to.” - Joe Gores

April 5, 2008


After watching the Dog Whisperer last night, we learned a new technique from Cesar Millan . Every day after watching his program we try out new techniques and tips on Buddy. He has been trying to distract us, so we can't watch the show.

This morning on our trip to and from the library, we worked on getting Buddy to heel. He is usually pretty good, but Cesar used a technique to show the dog what the desired behavior was. So this morning when Buddy was out in front of me, I would say "Heel", and step in front of him. Physically letting him know where he should be.

He was a little confused at first. We used it again this evening and it seems to be helping. Or maybe he was just tired. Not sure if the temperature, 65 degrees today, or the two and a half hour walk and playtime this morning was affecting Buddy, but he is exhausted.

“Women and cats will do as they please and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.” - Robert A. Heinlein

April 4, 2008

Clean and Calm

For the most part it was a repeat of yesterday: hardware store, outdoor/recreation store, and paint store. We did learn one thing today. Apparently I'm not the only one who doesn't like to accompany Lisa when she shops for clothes. Buddy doesn't either.

We have been able to keep Buddy clean and calm on his walks. On his walk tonight, we let him play with the other dogs. We thought we could keep him away from the large puddle in the park and stay clean. However, he is a follower and true to his nature he followed the other labradors into the puddle for a swim and drink. His energy level also provoked the other dogs to chase him which he loves.

“I’d be happy to have my biography be the stories of my dogs. To me, to live without dogs would mean accepting a form of blindness.” - Thomas McGuane

April 3, 2008


Buddy was out and about today. First stop was the hair salon where he was forced to sit and watch a shampoo and haircut. He was a little unsettled by the raining hair. However, once he determined that it wasn't tasty, it didn't matter unless it fell on him. He stayed put throughout the session, even when a brush was dropped near him.

A visit to the hardware store and recreational store with a few meet and greets. Returned home to get a little rest before his walk and then his favorite time of the day, dinner time.

The highlight of the evening was repairing Buddy's toys. His full complement has been restored, hopefully for a day or two.

“Men cannot think like dogs.... [There exists] a sharp difference in the mental capacity of humans and canines. For example, a human who is given an intricate problem will spend all day trying to solve it, but a canine will have the sense to give up and do something else instead.” - Corey Ford

April 1, 2008

Right or Left

It was such a nice day today that we walked a lot today. It wasn't all pleasure as we stopped at the store on one of his walks to pick up some milk.

Our most recent household debate is whether Buddy knows his Right from his Left. We use the commands at intersections and when making turns indoors. I think he understands, but she thinks that he is reacting to subtle cues or movement of the leash.

My most convincing argument is when we were walking downtown and I got my Right and Left mixed up. I wanted to go left, but said right and Buddy bumped into me. He had a puzzled look on his face as if to say "What are you doing? You said 'right'." Much to my chagrin, this has happened more than once.

“For me a house or an apartment becomes a home when you add one set of four legs, a happy tail, and that indescribable measure of love that we call a dog.” -Roger Caras


Of course we walked today. The afternoon walk took us to the library with a stop at the voting booth. On the way home we travelled the mean streets of downtown Oregon to work traffic and crossing streets. Buddy also stopped by the skateboard park for some different faces and noises.

After dinner, we did some grooming and cradling before swapping out his old collar which was getting a little tight. Toy time commenced and he made a few holes in his new "indestructible" toy before relaxing.

He alerted us when he spotted a bug crawling across the basement floor. We keep Buddy around because he has a very important skill, bug patrol. He always sees them before we do. Lisa sleeps easier knowing that Buddy is protecting us.

“Dogs have a way of finding the people who need them, filling an emptiness we don’t even know we have.” -Thom Jones