Friday, December 31, 2010

Honey: The All in One Super Cleaner!

This is Jenny & today I took Honey on an adventure to Target and Publix. I quickly discovered that not only will Honey be the ultimate Guide Dog, but also a very good cleaning product. Upon entering my car, she decided to be a broom by rolling around on the floor to sweep up any loose bits of dirt. She then decided that she would also vaccum by attempting to eat every single scrap of leaf or paper on the floor. But she didn't even stop there! She went so far in her attempts to clean my car spotless that she became a duster by attracting every speck of dust to her fur, and a window/wall washer by licking every surface, including the gear shift which gave me a pleasant surprise when I shifted. Honey then attemted to redecorate by chewing my manual window crank, which was quickly put to a halt when I said "no!" and she decided her time would be better spent sitting on the floor like a good dog. We ran into Target very quickly, but so many people wanted to pet Honey. She was such a good girl walking, turning, and stopping whenever I told her to, but turned into a crazy dog whenever somebody tried to pet her. I was told that Honey was welcome at Target anytime! (I knew there was a reason I love Target!) We then went to Publix to get a few things for dinner, and I was told pets were not allowed in there. I explained that Honey was in training to be a "seeing-eye" dog, and was permitted to enter. My mom explained that I'm not supposed to say "seeing-eye" dog, but "Guide Dog". My bad. I shopped around while Honey again proved her worth as a cleaning product. This time she impersonated a mop by licking the Publix floors spotlessly clean in hopes of nabbing something tasty. She came home sufficiently tired after a good day of exposure. Hopefully she'll learn soon to stop eating things!

PS: Still working on getting a picture of her as a Hot Dog Dog...

Thursday, December 30, 2010

That Sick Feeling

Did you ever lose something important, say like your pocketbook or wallet? If so, do you remember that sick, sinking, let-me-off-this-rollercoaster feeling? Well, I felt that today. Honey and I had our typical morning routine followed by a quick trip to Walmart. While there, Scotty called and informed me his office was going to get out early today and he thought it would be a good time to bring Honey to work with him. Scotty ran home, grabbed Honey’s food so she could eat lunch at the office and we headed from Walmart to Scotty’s work. The entire afternoon I kept thinking “Oh no, where is Honey” only to remember Scotty had her with him. For the split second between my thought of Honey and the realization she was with Scotty I felt that sick feeling. And it kept happening all afternoon. I can only imagine how sick my stomach will feel when neither Scotty nor I have Honey. Hopefully the joy in my heart will overcome the sickness in my stomach

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Billy's Bitten Shirt

Billy really LOVES his sea turtle t-shirt. So much so that getting it off his skinny little body long enough to run it through the washer and dryer is a chore I dread. Guess who jumped up and bit a hole in the favorite t-shirt? Yup, Miss Honey. I thought there would be tears. Yelling. Screaming. Maybe even bloodshed. After all, it is Billy’s FAVORITE shirt. Billy corrected Honey stating “No, Sit” and then announced “I am going to put on a different shirt so Honey does not bite this one again. I wonder if Honey loves sea turtles and was trying to kiss my sea turtle.” And with that the sea turtle shirt made it in to the washer. Thanks Honey!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Double Duty Dryer sheets

Cold weather + heating our home + petting Honey = Major Static electricity shocks.
If you are curious, as was I, here is the answer...
“Simply put, static electricity is caused by the buildup of electrons on an object. When an object comes into contact with another object of a different charge, electrons are transferred from one material and relocated to the other. The moving of the electron causes the static shock you experience. On your pet, the hair follicles repel each other when positive charges build up on the coat. Low humidity environments (such as a home heated in the winter) can create an optimum environment
for static electricity in your pets’ coat, leading to tangles and unintentional shocks when you touch your pet.”
Well I am glad I got to the bottom of that one. To solve the problem of shocking Honey 1000+ times a day, Scotty thought it would be a great idea to rub Honey down with a dryer sheet. It really did lessen the amount of shocks and, as an added bonus, Honey’s fur smelled “April Fresh”.
Being obsessive, I started to worry about the potential harm to Honey if she licked herself while covered in (hazardous?) chemicals contained in the dryer sheets. Google research time (not that I put too much faith in what I find there, but it was late and our vet’s office was closed for the night). Of course, I found lots of conflicting answers from regular ‘helpful’ folks, experts, and even vets ranging from 10 reasons NOT to use dryer sheets on your dog to 10 reasons why dryer sheet rub downs for your dog is the only solution to static shocks while petting. No clear cut answers there although I did find many other useful tips – bathe Honey and then apply dog specific conditioner, buy a whole house humidifier , boil 5 gallons of water per 1000 square feet of living space per day, do not pet Honey while the house is being heated, apply generous amounts of lotion to my hands before petting Honey (although I would worry about those chemicals too!), mist Honey with water before petting… you see where this is going, don’t you?
Raising a future guide dog is much like raising children… ask the same question to 100 different people and you will get 100 different answers. My mom, the go to answer lady for child raising (she raised 8 of us – and yes I can name them all and I know their birthdays!) was useless to me, so I called the vet first thing this morning. He did not see a problem with the dryer sheet solution if used in moderation during those days when the outside air is particularly dry. He did feel a better solution would be to add humidity to the air via a humidifier or boiling water on the stove. I do not want to calculate the cost of the water (yes, we pay for water usage) and electricity to boil 25 gallons of water a day – if it is even possible to boil that much water per day. Needless to say, I am waiting for a visit from the HVAC company to see how much the whole home humidifier is going to set me back!
Any puppy raisers or dog lovers who have a tried and true, non-toxic, less costly method of lessing static shocks, please share your wisdom with me.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Emily, Honey and Photopad

This is what happens when Emily gets bored and teaches herself how to work new programs:

Honey as a Honey bee
(note the Honey pot!)
Honey as an Angel

Honey as Toto
(note the Ruby Red Slippers)
Honey as a ballerina
Honey as Superman
Honey as Harry Potter
Honey and Scotty as Bonnie and Clyde


Sweet dreams for Honey

Honey as a Ladybug
Queen Honey
I am not sure which is my favorite...I laughed at each of them. I sure will miss fun times with Emily when she heads out tomorrow!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Honey Masters the "Sit" Command.. Sort of.

Here's a short video of Honey I threw together. I used the new Flip Mino I got for Christmas (Thanks Mom & Scotty!). She has the "sit" command down - mostly!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Too Much Laughter...

This is what happens when I stay up all night…
1. I decided with everyone home for Christmas it would be a great time to take a family photo.
2. I could not get everyone dressed and settled in front of the tree so I skip that idea, after all we tried to take a family photo at Thanksgiving with this lovely result.
3. I then thought ‘How about taking a nice picture of Honey to send to her sponsor?”
4. Honey was busy with her new bone. 5. I decide it would be so much cuter if Honey were wearing a Santa hat.
Attempt #1 – Not even close, Emily snapped too soon Attempt #2 - Too little Honey, too much me Attempt #3 – floating hat and blending in with Jennys pants. At this point Honey notices the hat and thinks it is another new chew toy. 6. I decide the Christmas tree would be a better back drop.
7. Honey attempts to eat the tree.
Attempt #4 – Too soon again... although we decide the dangle the hat above Honeys head method may be easier than the put the hat on Honeys head methodWe are all laughing too much that we decide this is going to be the last attempt...
Attempt #5 – Maybe we (Emily) can photo shop Jennys arm and my leg out of the picture? Photo shop results thanks to Emily...

8. I decide Honeys face is cuter in this picture...
9. I ask Emily to photo shop the Santa hat on Honey with this result

I cannot imagine another Christmas without a SEGD puppy under our tree.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Honey Is Not A Good Elf

Tyring to get anything done around the house has become more challenging since Honey's arrival. Trying to wrap Christmas presents while Honey is around is impossible! Hopefully Santa did not forget to bring something special for Honey's stocking! Merry Christmas to all!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Emily, Honey and Hives

I may have touched on this topic in one of my Thanksgivingish blogs but now that Emily is home for Christmas I feel horrible. I am thrilled that she is here but she is so allergic to dogs that she
1. Breaks out in hives each time Honey licks her (which, being a 4 month old puppy, Honey does A LOT) and
2. Gets all stuffy, congested and sneezey (I know it is not a word, but you know what I mean)
Last time Emily came home we took bets on how long she would be home before she started to complain about her allergy to Honey. I believe Scotty won with a time of less than 5 minutes. That was it, one complaint and a lot of hand washing and Bendryl. So far no complaints, yet it must be so difficult especially since she loves Honey and wants to pet, play and help train her. Never having suffered from allergies I can only compare what Emily must be feeling to a bad head cold. I would not want to make a what-should-be-a-6-hour-drive-but-due-to-traffic-is-really-a-7 ½-hour-drive to feel miserable. But Emily does it. Why? Maybe because Honey is so irresistible. Maybe because Emily loves her family. Maybe because Emily is loved by her family. Maybe because it is Christmas. Maybe because she was raised by a great mom (I had to put that one in there!). I think it is because Emily is one of those rare people who will suffer in silence to bring joy and happiness to others. I am proud she is my daughter and happy she is home even if for just a quick visit!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Honey Gets The Boot

EDITED VERSION OF ORIGINAL POST - Due to legal reasons, below please find my edited post...
I would not have failed in my Blog 365 project had I not been so angry and unable to write before I headed out to attend my husbands Christmas party. My son was getting his braces off FINALLY (yay Michael – his teeth look great!) so naturally we took Honey with us. The orthodontist is in a pediatric and adult dentistry group. Honey has been to the office numerous times.Dr. Oakes, Michael and Honey in the dental office on a previous visit

This visit though no one was smiling - not even Michael with his perfectly straight teeth…. Honey (and I) got the boot!
The dental office has a large main waiting area, complete with video games, and a smaller “Adult Only” waiting area. Honey and I went to the adult only waiting area and were there for approximately 35 minutes without a problem. Honey had been to the vet for her last shots earlier in the morning and was dead to the world on the floor next to me – well, I was sitting on the couch and Honey was on the floor. I was the only human in the adult waiting room and I see Dr. S, the business owner, talking to his staff and pointing at me and Honey. He did not look happy. He came storming into the room and in his evil and mean bellowing voice demands (using profane language) Honey get out of his medical office. Dr. S would not listen to anything I said or consider looking at a copy of the law I was trying to hand him. He treated me like a criminal and was rude and unprofessional.

The civil liberties denying Dr. S - photo courtsey of his website.
I was emotionally spent and could not blog while I was still fuming from the unwarranted treatment from Dr. Snod, and then I had to put on a happy face to attend Scotty’s Christmas party. It was just what I needed! It was a fun filled great evening. It was worth the Blog 365 Project fail to get my mind off the ugliness of the afternoon. My sympathy goes out to all those individuals who use service animals and encounter, in my opinion, ignorant mean people.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Too Tired

Scotty is not feeling well, I am exhausted and Honey is finally tuckered out and sound asleep. Time for bed!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

All I Want For Christmas...

After some last minute Christmas shopping, gift wrapping and trying to finish up waiting orders, I settled in at my computer to check my mail and my facebook. I saw on fb Honey’s sister, Mako, lost her first two teeth. I rushed over to check Honey’s mouth.
It’s official…Honey can now bark out ‘All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth’!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Blindfold Walk... Almost

Today was puppy meeting day and Becky, our Area Coordinator, arranged for us to meet her blind friend, Steve, and his guide dog, Bianca. Steve talked to us about the differences between using a cane and trusting a dog (let me tell you now, I would opt for the dog if I were ever in that situation!), how he and Bianca were matched, about his retired dog, Andie, and some commands the pups do not learn but he feels they should know as a working guide dog. (Steve obtained Bianca through Seeing Eye Dogs in NJ – not SEGD.) Steve was very interesting, helpful and inspiring. It was great to see how much independence a guide dog brings to individuals like Steve and made us feel like this whole journey is worth the effort (not that we were doubting it, though!).
Steve took Tina, our obedience trainer, on a blindfold walk first, followed by Scotty second and Pat third. Bianca was not thrilled to be handled by different people and certainly less thrilled to be leading people no where. Bianca led Scotty to a set of stairs and Scotty tripped over the curb. Thank goodness there was a brick wall to stop Scotty’s fall or else he would have cracked his head wide open. Scotty will post about his experience in the next few days.
I, unfortunately, did not get to walk with Bianca since she does not enjoy other handlers and I am much shorter than Steve which made the harness placement awkward. Hopefully some time in the future there will be another opportunity.
Honey got to spend some time with her brother, Moose. Pat is raising Moose – appropriately named for the Moose Lodge in Florida. The pups mostly just wanted to jump on each other (with Honey taking the more dominant top position) but since they were in jacket there was no play time until the end of the meeting. That being said, it did not stop either of them from continuing to try to jump and play. Moose on the left, Honey on the right

We gave Becky, Tina and Pat little ‘puppy bribe’ jars for their dogs. I took this picture before I added a red ribbon around the rim of the jar. I think they turned out pretty darn cute. At least Becky, Pat and Tina said they liked them. I am sure their pups will enjoy the contents!

We came home to feed Honey lunch and she slept most of the afternoon.

One pooped out pup - check out her back legs sticking straight up!

After dinner we went to the mall to see Jenny at work and to let Honey ride the glass elevator – one of the things Steve mentioned was that Bianca was a little nervous about the first few times they rode one – Honey handled it like a pro! Then it was off for a quick run through Marshalls, and again, Honey did great!
She was filthy from the dusty floors but was so tired she fell asleep almost as soon as we got home.
Can’t say I don’t blame her – I am exhausted too!

Friday, December 17, 2010

4th Grade Christmas Party

Today was Billy’s school Christmas party and Honey made her first official classroom visit. Needless to say the kids were a little excited although I am not sure if it was due to the Christmas party itself, no class work, lots of snacks, the ability to move about the class room freely, the music, numerous parents milling around or Honey’s visit. Bringing a pup into a class room full of kids eating snack food is a challenge but Honey did great. She tried to snag a stray pencil but otherwise paid little attention to the tidbits on the floor – A first for Honey! Miss Edwards explained to the students why we are raising Honey, a little about guide dogs and the rules about greeting and petting Honey. The kids were excited and formed a line to pet her. Again, Honey did great! I think it may be due to the fact that she was chewing on the shag carpet, but she did not jump up at all and minimally tried to mouth a child or two. Then came the outdoor game time and Honey did well with ignoring the kids running around BUT she just wanted to eat grass. And she did not just want a simple taste of grass, she wanted to eat every blade of grass on the entire playground.
She did pose pretty for a picture though.
I was thrilled when it was time to go inside. In the midst of all the activity, Honey fell asleep! It was a great day for everyone.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

From High School to Homeless Helper

What could be more fun than picking up your teenager early from school? Answer: Picking him up while training the cutest puppy! Today was exam day for my High School son. He was not required to stay in school after his morning exam since his afternoon exam was study hall. I set out to get some of the million things I had to get done today before I needed to pick Michael up at 11:30. I was so engrossed with trying to make Billy’s teachers gift, that before I knew it Michael was calling to be picked up.
Gift for Billy's Teacher - well, it is really for her dog, Koda

Of course, I made one for Honey too only hers is made from a plastic jar I found in our recycling bin. A glass treat jar would not last long in our home! Now, if I only had Rebecca's dog treat recipe!

Going into a High School with Honey is the equivalent of standing outside while it rains $100 bills – no one could contain themselves. Everyone had to come see Honey, pet her, comment about their dog at home, take a picture with her, call a friend over to take a picture with her, say ‘how cute’, ask her name, ask questions about raising Honey and otherwise admire the adorable puppy. Tonight Honey was going to help Billy’s Boy Scout Troop restock the pantry shelves at Graceworks Ministries (a mission to help the needy in our county). Billy’s Pack raised over 200 pounds of food! The meeting time was changed and it made it impossible for Honey to help out. We are hopeful Honey will not be a stranger to the good folks at Graceworks for much longer!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


How come every time we are alone with Honey she is the perfect angel but when a visitor comes she is a devil? Today my sister Amy came to pick up some embroidery work I did for her. Honey was sleeping when Amy arrived. As soon as Amy walked in the house, Honey woke up and insisted on jumping all over my sister - well attempted to jump all over her. I had to pull Honey back and then she would not sit. She just kept jumping. And jumping. And jumping. My sister wisely asked 'Why did you sign up for this?' I and that moment I was thinking the same thing. Hopefully it is just because Honey is a puppy and she will one day understand that jumping is not a good thing. Hopefully one day will come soon!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Kennel Time

I spent way too many hours at the dentist today which meant poor Honey spent way too many hours in her kennel today. No time to blog - time to train and play with Honey.

Monday, December 13, 2010

You Can Tell From the Start

No school for the kids due to snow gave Honey lots of opportunity to play today. Honey is still having difficulty learning not to jump up on people (we call it being overly friendly!). We figured out why today.

The SEGD website posts a picture of each of the litters (taken sometime while they are at SEGD but the pictures are not posted until after the pups leave for their puppy raisers home - and now I know why!). Look closely at the following pictures from the SEGD website...

Picture # 1 - A litter of 8 puppies - See how nicely they are in the basket, looking at the camera?
Picture # 2 - A litter of 12 puppies squished in the basket but still looking at the camera
Picture # 3 -Another litter of 8 puppies looking at the camera

Picture # 4 - A litter of 9 born on the same day as Honey - Most looking at the camera and those that are not, at least they are giving a great profile.

Then comes this..... The Heather and Bob litter - Honeys litter. How many pictures do you think they attempted before giving up and deciding this was the best they could get?
Notice two of the dogs are actually doing the right thing - hanging out in the basket looking at the camera... I know neither of them can be Honey. Then there is the one in front trying to escape and the one to the right also trying to make a break for it. The rest of the pups are not facing the camera and if you look to the left of the basket - one of the pups has made it out of the basket and is running away. If that pup were black I would swear it was Honey!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Cold Weather Dog

We received just a little more than a 'coating the mulch’ snowfall - but not much more than that. Billy is taking the stick away from Honey - not beating her with it

Honey loves the snow. It was a while before she actually tired herself out and was ready to sit for a picture or two. As usual, she had no interest in the camera so we have below: Side shot #1

A slight turn towards the camera as photo #2

And then ....

Finally, photograph of Honey looking at the camera. Too bad I can read her expression. Yes Honey, I am happy now. You can go back to playing in the snow!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Toothbrushing or sanctioned biting?

After the nail clipping fiasco Thursday evening I put off the rest of Honey’s grooming routine until today. We have been brushing her teeth weekly since she arrived. We were instructed to brush her teeth using one of these little finger toothbrushes.

The instructions: ‘Place finger in the finger toothbrush. Apply the toothpaste to the finger toothbrush. Gently brush teeth and gums using short, back and forth strokes’. It really makes me wonder… what crazy person thought it was a good idea to put a rubber barrier on your finger, smear it with dog loving pasty toothpaste and then stick it in your dogs mouth and expect not to be bitten? Honey does really well when I massage her gums but as soon as I attempt the short, back and forth strokes as directed, Honey just bites away. Mind you, the barrier does provide protection from the razor sharp puppy teeth slicing open my finger but I feel really dumb saying ‘Good Girl, Honey’ while she is biting my finger toothbrush covered finger.
Is this not just sanctioned biting?

Look at those pearly whites!
Disclaimer: No dogs (or humans) were injured during the production of this photograph

Friday, December 10, 2010

I made a Boo-Boo, Literally

Christmas brings so much embroidery work, so many vinyl orders and a lot of design work. I have been working hard and just wanted to go to bed early so I could get up and start fresh the next morning. Scotty was working on designs and watching the Titans get beaten (again!) so I kind of felt guilty trying to crawl into bed at 9:00. My mind needed a break from work, so I decided to tire out Honey. We played for a while and then the brilliant idea to get a head start on Fridays tasks popped into my head. Friday is grooming day for Honey (she has to look great for her Friday Photo!). I decided I should clip her nails. Well, instead of clipping them uneventfully as in times previous, this time I made a boo-boo, literally. I cut the quick! Honey did not even whimper as blood flowed from her cut way too short nail. We did not have a styptic pencil so I tried the homemade cornstarch ‘stop the hemorrhaging’ method. Trying to dip a playful puppy’s bleeding paw in a vat of cornstarch is nearly impossible! By the time the bleeding stopped poor Honey was black and white fur ball. Good thing she loves to get bathed.

Lessons learned:
1. Always have a styptic pencil handy when cutting Honey’s nails
2. Never cut Honey’s nails in my bedroom, on white carpet or when I am tired
3. Always assume weird things like cornstarch will be added to ‘Honey’s List of Inappropriate Things to Eat’ list
4. Accept now how much Honey has become a part of our family and how sending her In-For-Training will be much more difficult than I previously imagined.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Dog treat as a toy?

We had a pretty great day with Honey today. She had her bath this morning, went out to busy each time today and did well with training this morning and this evening. As a reward she had her first dog treat today. Had I known how funny her reaction was going to be, I would have been prepared with the video camera. She picked it up, played with it, jumped around it, flipped it over, threw it around and did everything else you could imagine but eat it. I do not understand. She will swallow rocks, sticks and berries whole. But she played with her dog treat for 15 minutes. It was only when I tired to take it away that she gobbled it up - and gave herself the hiccups in the process. She has now spent the past hour sniffing around for any remnants of dog treat she may have left behind. Hopefully soon she will learn to eat treats and play with rocks.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Target or Walmart??

Christmas shopping with Honey means I make many brief trips to the stores. Today, Honey and I set a record for the longest time in a store and the least accomplished. It was a series of mistakes as follows:
Mistake #1 - For the first time ever, Honey would not stay in a ‘sit, down’ in the car. I had to pull over to correct that one. Arrived at Target so Honey could eat mulch instead of ‘busy’ but I figured maybe she did not have to go since she just went 20 minutes before. Being ever so diligent, I tried to have her busy on the sidewalk to no avail.
We proceed into Target on a mission to pick up two things – wrapping paper and an electric skillet. Well, someone at Target HQ should have thought better than to put little Target wreath-looking bulls-eye logo stickers every 10 inches on the floor. I assume this was done to direct me to the holiday display in the way back of the store. What it really did was drive Honey (and thereby me) crazy! She had to jump attack every one of those stickers. I had to put her in a sit each time. It took 15 minutes to get past the entrance.
Mistake #2 - Not leaving at this point.
Mistake #3 – I decided to cut through the carpeted clothing area for two reasons; 1 – no stickers and 2 – Honey was slipping all over the tile. Hanging clothing and clothing tags helps Honey to stop scavenging and keep her head up but also places the clothing and clothing tags at Honeys mouth level and this is not good. Another 15 minutes to get through clothing section (and I did not even stop to look at anything).
Mistake #4 - I foolishly decide that I can continue through the store with Honey, after all I am here to pick up only two items.
I snag a cart and realize I made Mistake #5. Honey usually walks very well with a cart but today she wanted to lick the wheels as there was some gooey gunk stuck to it. Needless to say I ditch the goo laden cart. I found myself juggling an armful of wrapping paper rolls and a dog trying to eat squished M&M’s off the floor. Clearly this is not working the way I planned so I put the wrapping paper back and head for the exit.
Mistake #6 – Honey decides she has to ‘busy’ right there, right then – in the middle of Target. A ‘Clean up on Aisle 7’ announcement would have been nice, even nicer would have been if someone else actually came to clean, but it was up to me, and I did it.
After an hour and 20 minutes we were back home with no wrapping paper and no electric skillet.
Honey has been the perfect angel since. Maybe we will stick to shopping at Walmart!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Concerts, Snowballs and Honey

Today was Billy’s big day. After months of early Friday morning practices, the 3rd, 4th and 5th grade Elementary School Christmas Choir Concert was this evening and Honey was going to be there to see Billy in all his singing glory. Luckily the concert was held in the cafeteria since as soon as we put Honey’s bag on the table and took our seats Honey decided to empty her bowels (Yes, of course, she already busied outside before going in). Always trying to look on the bright side, it did keep a lot of the younger kids from rushing to pet Honey. The concert was very brief, the kids were adorable and the singing was actually quite good. What Billy did not tell me in advance was at the end of the '7 Feet of Snow' song, the entire choir was going to throw Styrofoam ‘snowballs’ at the audience. There were so many balls Honey did not know what to do. All the little kids around us jumped up and removed the balls before Honey could figure out in which direction to run to get one. I would post some pictures but they are all still stuck in my camera and probably quite blurry. I found it difficult to be an attentive puppy raiser, decent photographer and proud mom all at one time. Normally Scotty would have helped with either Honey or the photography but, as things turn out a little too frequently around here, tonight we also had one child playing in the Middle School Band concert. Divide and conquer – and I won Honey this time!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Overcoming Fear of Dogs

Billy had a friend over today. Nameless Friend was TERRIFIED of Honey. How did we determine he was terrified? Well, every time Honey merely began to look in Nameless Friends direction, the child would scream – at the top of his lungs, for a really long time. Given the commotion, Honey would then look in his direction. Nameless Friend would then jump up, run around, continue screaming, and yell to us to make Honey stop looking at him. Having explained more than several times that Honey could not get near Nameless Friend because she was tethered to me and I was going to stay in the kitchen, my patience began to wear thin. I know, I could have put Honey in her crate in my bedroom, but she was being good and I did not feel that in her (albeit temporary) home she should be banished for looking at a screaming banshee. I told Nameless Friend that he would have to go home if he could not contain himself and stop screaming. It worked. He wanted to play so much that he overcame his fear of Honey immediately. Nameless Friend stopped screaming and running, he and Billy had a great time playing together and Honey eventually settled down and went to sleep. If only all fears could be overcome with a ‘get over it or go home’ threat.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

A Quiet 'Snow' Day at Home

I put snow in quotes since what Tennesseans consider snow is a little different than most people. Honey had no problem being out in the cold, and I have to say I liked it too since Honey quickly ‘busied’ and was anxious to come back inside. We decorated our Christmas tree but I think we are going to need to redecorate it soon. Honey is attracted to the tree, the lights and ornaments like a moth to light. Hopefully by tomorrow she will forget how tasty the tree is and will be happy just to admire its beauty.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Secret Power of Dogs

Today was puppy training meeting day. We met at the Books A Million book store which was quite a drive from our home. We reviewed puppy CPR, ear cleaning, tooth brushing and poisonous items and foods for puppies (onions, chocolate, raisins, poinsettia plants, etc.). I am not sure if it was due to the fact there were 3 puppies in training in the book store or it is a shopping weekend during the Christmas season, but we were stopped by (almost too) many curious people. Yes, puppies are cute and cuddly. Yes, puppies are wonderful when giving kisses. Yes, puppies bring smiles to almost all who pet them. Becoming more apparent is the special secret power of dogs.

Honey came with us to Vanderbilt Hospital yesterday. Scotty and I were late and being slowed down even more by Honey – stopping to teach Honey how to sit at each door, giving her ‘busy’ times, a water break and trying to manage the ‘don’t pull me and don’t make me drag you’ attitude Honey was displaying. We finally found the elevator and waited for a young woman in a wheelchair to enter. One look at her legs and I understood her need for a wheelchair. Her left arm was permanently bent at the elbow forcing her disfigured hand to rest on her left shoulder. She said she saw us and hoped we would be on the same elevator as she wanted to pet Honey. Then she said the most amazing thing to us ‘Today is my lucky day. Thank you for letting me pet your dog’. It was her lucky day because she was able to pet Honey? Then it hit me. Here I was complaining about how I was being slowed down by Honey while this woman was thankful to have been slowed down enough to be able to pet Honey. It is no secret that petting a dog can make someone smile or brighten their day. We see that each time we are out with Honey. A brief chance encounter on a hospital elevator revealed to me the secret power of dogs – the ability to introduce me to a stranger, who in turn reminded me of how truly lucky I am and how thankful I should be for all the gifts I have been given but take for granted.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Show Me The Honey….I mean Money

I took Honey to the vet this morning as she needed to get her first puppy flu shot. Since the vet is conveniently located next to TJ Maxx and HomeGoods, Honey and I made a quick run through the stores but bought nothing. I planned on stopping by Financial Peace Plaza this afternoon to pick up the new Jon Acuff book (Jon is a funny Christian author ( for some excerpts of his newest book) and blogger ( Since some of my friends have asked why I did not get a picture of Dave and Honey when I was there several weeks ago, I was on a two fold mission. Get an autographed copy of Jon’s new book and get a photo of Dave and Honey. Dave was hosting a Jon Acuff book signing and a cash prize raffle. Scotty and I both entered the raffle - Scotty won!!!!

In the delirium that followed the big win, Scotty, the entire time holding our camera, posed for pictures taken by a sweet member of Dave’s team, filled out some tax forms, and then posed for another picture with Dave. Since Honey had been inside for a while, Scotty took her out to busy. Well, where ever Honey goes, so does her travel bag (which incidentally also doubles as my huge guide dog blue purse nowadays). You see the problem here, right? Scotty, outside with his cash winnings in his pocket, holding Honeys bag containing my wallet and me with nothing but a ‘Hey Jon, I don’t have any money to buy your book right now’ look on my face. If I were not running late for an appointment in Nashville I would have found Scotty, secured my wallet, bought Jon’s book, had it signed and been able to say mission accomplished for the day. Luckily, Jon was very generous and said as long as I brought Honey back with me for a visit he would sign a book for me.

This was a great exposure outing for Honey. The slick tile floor had Honey sliding all over the place and as she tried to sit her front paws kept fading away so she ended up scooting backwards across the floor – the whole time in a sit. Honey tried to eat Dave’s Christmas tree, looked lovingly at Martha’s sweet treats (but did not get any), somewhat stayed in a sit while kids clamored to pet her and did not make any noise.

Today was definitely a win for Honey and a win for Scotty!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda

Well today was one of those days. I volunteered to help at Billy's elementary school today for the Jingle Bell walk. I debated for what seemed like an eternity on whether to bring Honey or not. My thought process went something like this...
  • The Jingle Bell walk would be a great exposure for Honey. There is going to be over 800 kids there running and walking around the school.
  • Wow, there is going to be over 800 kids running and walking around the school. That may be too overwhelming for such a young pup.
  • This is a great exposure because it is being held outside and I really do not have to worry about 'busy' spots.
  • Wow, this is being held outside in the freezing cold. Do I really want to take my gloves off to pick up a busy while grossing out 800 kids who for some reason cannot recall ever pooping in a diaper?
  • I am assigned to hand out rubber jingle bell bracelets as well as hot chocolate. I can do this and keep Honey in a sit or better yet, a sit, down, stay.
  • Wow, how am I going to hand out jingle bell bracelets and hot chocolate without Honey, the 'wonder dog who eats everything', causing me to drop or spill something?
  • This is a great learning opportunity for Honey to practice not jumping up on EVERY person who might glance in her direction.
  • Wow, it is cold and muddy out there. What if Honey tries to jump on EVERY person who glances in her direction?
  • There will be plenty of distractions - kids running and playing, music being broadcast over a loud speaker, people in costumes and parents cheering on kids.
  • Wow, there will be plenty of distractions. What if Honey cannot handle this? What if I cannot handle Honey?
  • We agreed to raise Honey to the best of our abilities and to expose her to different sights, sounds and adventures. How could I not take Honey with me?
  • Wow, there are going to be so many different sights, sounds and maybe too much adventure (for me!).

Then I stared thinking....maybe it is time I test how well Honey handles being crated during the day. And for this one time, I can just be Billy’s mom and not the mom that has the 'blind dog'. It is only for an hour. Yes, Honey will be fine at home, I will enjoy seeing Billy and his schoolmates running around without repeatedly saying 'sit' and Honey will be coming with us to Billy’s dental appointment this afternoon and a basketball game in the evening. I even got so desperate that I convinced myself that Honey will enjoy the Chorus concert next week so much more if she is not at the school today. I did mention that I was desperate, didn't I?

Ultimately, I decided not to bring Honey with me. And guess what? After being at the Jingle Bell walk for 2 minutes, I got that horrible COULDA, SHOULDA and WOULDA feeling.

There were lots of kids running, playing and laughing, there was music blasting, the weather was cold (but not windy so it was not too bad), there were jingle bells jingling, hot chocolate pouring and sipping BUT there were so many parent volunteers that I actually took a break and walked a lap with Billy. Coulda, Shoulda, Woulda. Well there is always next years Jingle Bell walk!

Basketball Anyone?

We're going to attempt taking Honey to a middle school basketball game tonight. Wanted to expose her to a school sporting event before the season's over. She's done really well at other social events. But, may have to bailout if the noise and level of activity is too overwhelming - for me that is :) We'll let you know if she enjoyed it!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

If Emily can do it, so can I... kind of

As you can see, my children are better Honey bloggers than I. Things have been hectic between Thanksgiving, a trip to the farm, back to school activities for the kids and now Christmas decorating. Well, not really decorating. I have been too busy to even accomplish decorating (although the decorations are out of the attic and piled up in the front hall!). But back to Miss Honey and Emily.

Emily is attempting a 365 project. I never heard of one before but always being up for a challenge I am going to attempt my own 365 project. While Emily is committing to taking a photograph each day for 1 year, I am going to try my best to blog about Honey each day for a year. I cannot promise pictures (heck, I have not even posted last Friday's picture yet), but I will attempt to blog about at least one thing that Honey did each day.

Wish me luck!

Home For Thanksgiving

I went home for Thanksgiving and was severly disappointed when Honey did not greet me looking like this:

She was still cute though. (See Emily's pictures below.)

Next time I'm home, I will get a picture of her in a hot dog bun!!!