Friday, April 23, 2010

helping out

Every morning, it seems like my Mom is buzzing around the house. She has so much to do!!! Taking care of all of "us"... doing house chores, like laundry, dishes... the kitties...

so.. I decided that I would give her some help. I like to collect all the food bowls and bring them to her. That way I can be SURE that she won't forget the most important thing....

Here you go, Mom, it's time for breakfast!!!!
love, Chester....

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

city training....

Hi Everyone... it's me, filling you in on "what" Mom and I have been up to lately. Last week, we met with Kelly and Freedom (and their Moms) and took a road trip to NEADS. Mom was excited to meet up with Dave and show him "where we are in training", we hadn't seen Dave in quite a while. It was a beautiful spring day and the trees and gardens outside of the NEADS building were beautiful. Course, never have seen "spring" before, I'm not sure what it's all about... but that's OK.

After chatting with Dave for a bit, we all loaded into the car and headed into the city for some "street training". Now here's where this gets interesting, you see.. my Mom is not a "city gal". As you know, we live on a farm and that is where my Mom is comfortable... this business of being in the city.. well, let's say we had to keep her calm. We started on a street corner, just to get used to the noise and the like.. as you can see, I was just more interested in what Mom had to offer than the cars and such buzzing around us. (Maybe I should have brought treats to give to Mom). Actually she looks pretty calm here, but I know her better than that!!!!

From there we went into a parking garage. I was fine here too, but I have to admit it was pretty loud, and windy and cold there. I might have had a little trouble paying attention here. Dave was great and gave us all kinds of tips to try.. but the trouble is, we don't have anything like this to practice with at home!!!!

After the parking garage, we went to this big hospital. There were ALL kinds of things to "work" with there. Here Kathleen and Kelly are practicing the word "under". Mom and I need to do alot more with this "command". I'll go under but she needs to do alot of coaxing.. and I really should just go when she says. It's just a matter of "practice" and we both have to do it. "under" is an important word, and I dare say it will be used alot when I get to my real job.

THEN came the elevators!!! For me.. no problem.. it's like anything else that you ride on. I just have to step in and sit .. and enjoy the ride. But "poor Mom"... she HATES elevators!!! She doesn't like the tight spot, nor the feeling you get when you ride in one. But she was "very brave" on got in and rode with the rest of us. I am beginning to think all of this "service dog" training will end up being good for Mom!!!! In case you didn't notice, this particular elevator is "glass", so you can really see what is going on around you.

By now the day was getting on, and I have to admit, I was starting to get pretty tired. I am, after all, just seven months old and I do run out of steam. Aside from all the "things" we were training with, there were a "ton" of people that we watching us and talking with us. I like people, but after awhile, even that gets tiring. Mom wanted to get this photo of me with the glass elevators in the background. But I think I look tired in this photo.

Here's Mom and me... posing for a picture of this wonderful, busy day.

and then it was back to NEADS, to load up and head for home. Mom has a whole list of things that we need to be working on, and we have plans to go back next month for more time with Dave. Mom finds that very helpful.

As for me, well... this is pretty much what I looked like on the ride home.....yup, this service dog thing is a lot of work.... but FUN!!!!

and until we "chat" again... I am yours...


PS we got "word" from Deb the other day.. she has been "matched" with a hearing dog named "Rusty" and they will become a team within the next month. We are so excited for Deb and hope that we can see them at graduation!!! Congratulations Deb!!!!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

a special training day...

Hi everyone.. meet my new friend... Deb. Today was a very special day, because Mom, Camille and I all went to a "fund raiser" that was for Deb... and why??? Because very soon, Deb is going to have her very own service dog.. from NEADS of course.

Deb's dog will be a hearing dog, and she is working hard to raise the funds needed for her dog. She"s getting close and today's event will make her that much closer. Not only were we at the event, but so were Kathleen and Kelly and Teena and Freedom. Everyone liked seeing us... "future service dogs".. we got lots of attention and our Moms were busy answering questions and telling people what it's like to be a puppy raiser... (which is great by the way)

We felt like the guests of honor... look at the wonderful doggie baskets that Deb made for us. They were filled with treats and toys!! If that is what you get for attending an event.. I think Mom should take me to a lot of them!!!!

Deb decided to have a 'silent auction" and she had so many nice things that were donated for "her auction". It was a good idea and there were a lot of good bids, I think she did pretty well.

There was also a "live band".. which is neat because none of us (service puppies) had ever been around a "live band". Personally, I found it very interesting and sat with Mom for a long time listening and watching the people play. It didn't bother me at all.

Camille likes to come with us whenever she can. Of course she can't go to all the places that I can go, but Mom brings her with us if it's OK. Mom calls Camille a "service dog supporter" and she really is. I like it when she can be with us.

After an already busy day at the fundraiser, Mom took me to one more place to do some training... it's called LL Beans (I guess it's kind of famous). We had fun there, played on the stairs, went up and down some ramps .. rode in an elevator.. got a lot of attention from the staff and customers. Even though I was getting tired, I still had fun and we didn't stay too long.

So, we'll be tracking Deb and can't wait to attend her graduation with her new partner. You all can track Deb as well on the NEADS website and if anyone would like to make a donation... you can do that as well.

another fun and busy day... and I am yours.... Chester


My Mom has shown me a lot of all of this "service dog" training stuff!!!! But the truth is, I just love everything... and I am great with this little "thing"... our baby, Abbie. She loves me too, and whenever I can, I like to steal sometime and have her just to myself.

Once in a while I do manage to sneak in a kiss (even though Mom really doesn't like that)

and I love it when she laughs at me... it makes me act all the sillier!!!!

Babies!!!! you gotta love em!!!!!

Friday, April 9, 2010

catching up

Hello everyone, here I am getting "Mom" to up date my blog and tell you all what I have been up to. Life is so busy these days, that the time flies by. I had another "graduation" this past Monday... from puppy level 2. And now I am going on to do the canine good citizenship class. Mom is excited about this class, because her friend Mary is the teacher and Mom and I will be working together in the class. We'll keep you posted on our progress.

I had to go and the vet this past week - on April 1st as a matter of fact. It was time for my operation and even though it wasn't much fun, I know it's something that "big" dogs have to do. My vet, Dr. Spahn took very good care of me, and when I got home, Mom said that I needed some days of rest. I really didn't like being in my "house" so much or wearing this silly cone thing... but it was just a couple of days and I was feeling back to my old self. Glad that is behind me, and we don't have to think about that anymore!!!!

I got to go to a birthday party!!! It was a surprise birthday party for our friend Deb. I had great fun and got lots of attention.. there were a lot of people there - and food - but I was a good boy. Mom got to talk alot about me and NEADS and we found out that someone there knew a NEADS dog and handler team... that was pretty cool.

On Easter we went to church...that's no big deal, we go to church all the time. I like church, everyone there looks for me and asks how my week has gone. I pretty much just sleep under the pew, I like the soft music they play there. On Easter there were more people than usual and some were surprised to see me ... but that's OK....

Then, on Monday after Easter, I went with Mom (and Camille) to have the oil changed in the truck.We had to sit in the waiting room and be very good and quiet. Fine, but a bit boring......

And then puppy school again. Here Sadie and I sit and wait for our turn at graduation. Do I look a little tired... I am, puppy class wears me out.

I know that most of the pictures in this blog show me working... but believe me, I have lots of "down/play" time... Mom makes sure of that. She even stays late at puppy school so I can have play time with my pals... some where in this golden bundle is Josie... my dear golden friend...

Next week, we have another visit at NEADS... and some special trips coming up.. so come on back and check in...

until then, I am yours................Chester.