Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thanksgiving Weekend: Honey Edition

I was introduced to this precious little face over Thanksgiving weekend.




What a cutie! (I am talking about my mother, of course ;)

Despite the fact that I broke out in hives every time I touched her, I couldn't resist hanging around the adorable pup. She has the "sit" command down about 80% of the time. The other 20% she is overly excited to be around someone that she forgets you're giving her a command and proceeds to jump all over you. It becomes an issue when you're trying to rake leaves and Honey has been running around in the dirt for 30 minutes. Honey + Mud + Jeans = Danger.



We took her to the Habitrot on Thanksgiving and she behaved very nicely. She ate up all the attention from everyone and their mother that wanted to pet her. Two girls that came up to pet her told me that they raised a dog for the blind last year. How neat!



What a ham. I can't wait to see how big she is at Christmas!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Friday Photo 11/19/10

This was the best of the gazillion shots I took on Friday. Hopefully Honey will learn to face the camera in future pictures!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Puppy Training at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel

Honey being distracted in the Gaylord Opryland Hotel

We had our first puppy training meeting with Honey at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel. This was the first weekend the hotel has been open since the May floods. It is amazing what $285 MILLION can buy! But I digress... Tina, the Nashville obedience trainer, met us, Pat with Moose, and Lindsee with Diva to help us train the pups.

Honey walking on the left!!

We wanted to address the few issues we noticed with Honey. First, she loves to eat her leash. When we try to take her out for a walk, she jerks her head around and somehow manages to get the leash in her mouth but then she will walk fine for us so is it really a problem? Well, yes and no. While she is still a pup it is not considered a problem but one we should address now since it may become a habit - and one that would make her ineligible to be a guide dog. We noticed Pat and Lindsee (both raising their 5th dogs have metal and leather leashes for their dogs).

Secondly, Honey loves to eat just about everything outside. This is very common in Labs but scavenging behaviors should also be addressed now to prevent problems in the future. Jerking her leash while delivering a stern 'No' should help. Now, I have been doing that since she arrived but not quite as forceful as Tina did. Honey paid attention to Tina. Here's to a week of forcefulness...

On the silver lining side, Honey does not bark. I think I have heard her bark 2 or 3 times now and that is huge! Guide dogs should not bark just to bark. As a matter of fact, no noise is one of the first few commands the pups should learn. Moose barked at everything so we are feeling quite blessed that Honey is doing well in the 'no noise' department.

Also, three times Honey did 'busy busy' on command and therefore did not 'busy' while in the Gaylord. 'Busy busy' on command somewhat mastered!

Commands we learned during training included the sit, stay and down. Honey has mastered sit, and 90% of times stay (depending on distractions!) but we have not been working on down. I definitely give her an E for effort but this new skill is something we will be working on this week.

We are now off to Walmart in search of a chain link metal leash and maybe a new toy or two...

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Everything Takes So Long

Over the past several days we have taken Honey to:
  • The food court at the mall (she did great - slept under the table)

  • Wallmart (peed on the floor in the middle of the store)

  • High School (tried to jump on everyone)

  • Elementary School (was taught her name in Spanish during Spanish Club)

  • Orthodontist (loved Dr. Oakes)

  • The bus stop each morning (watches the kids play basketball and does not try to eat the ball)


  • Publix

  • and today she will be exposed to seven 4th graders during a DI meeting at our home

I thought travelling with children was a challenge but getting Honey ready for an exposure is much more time consuming and challenging. Hopefully in time we (humans and animals both) will become better with our exposures. Things that slow us down include:

  • Everyone loves a puppy so we have to stop frequently to answer questions or allow petting

  • 'Busy' time before and after each stop takes A LOT of time since Honey is just learning to relieve on command

  • Honey is just learning to accept her collar and being lead on leash. She is either trying to pull us somewhere or stopping to smell or eat something

Yesterdays mail brought a picture of Honey at 6 weeks standing in a harness. It is our hope that one day she will grow up to fit in harness to provide independence for a blind individual.

Friday, November 5, 2010


Well, after much anticipation, Honey has arrived in Franklin! We found out several things in the past few days…

1. Her parents are Heather and Bob (not to be confused with my friends and neighbors, Heather and Bob)
2. She is being sponsored by a family from Ft. Myers, Florida (we will find out more details in the next few weeks about her name selection)
3. Puppies, unlike babies, like to eat almost everything – even non-food items like table legs, moulding, leaves and rocks
4. Contrary to what we have been told, puppies will still urinate even while you are picking them up to go out
5. Puppies like to bite faces when you are least expecting it
6. While on our first exposure to Publix I was stopped a million times – not an exaggeration – mostly by people wanting to pet Honey. Six people asked for how long I have been blind!
7. We are already dreading the day we have to send Honey In-For-Training
8. Training a puppy to potty outside leaves very little time for blogging

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Hot Dog Puppy #2

This is Jenny again. Puppy (whose name is Honey) will be here soon! Unfortunately I won't be able to see her until Thanksgiving Break, but here's hoping this is what she'll look like when I come home....