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!


  1. Wow, Karen, you certainly had a busy day with your pup. Big Al went to Best Buy and Petsmart yesterday. He sat (I use the word sat loosely here) on Santa's lap for a picture, and got to meet lots of people and other dogs. He is a funny guy who seems to enjoy both, but is more wiggly and excited when he greets humans, than dogs. Perhaps he knows the humans may give "cookies", while other dogs will only attempts to take his away!

  2. What a lot of great experiences and exposures in one day, Karen. You are doing a wonderful job as a first time puppy raiser. Loved the 'Puppy Bribes' jars.