Sunday, November 30, 2008

New Locomotive - Miss Parka

Good morning friends & family,

On Saturday, November 29, I flew from Denver to Portland to return to guide dog school in Boring, OR to find a new locomotive. I arrived around 11AM, PST, and after we gathered up Asia and Sid, Hillary took us to the campus. We found out right away that we would be meeting our new guides that afternoon. How exciting!

At about 3 PM, I was introduced to my new locomotive for the famous Zane Train. Her name is Parka, a sleek, yet sturdy black lab who stands 20 1/2 inches tall, weighs in at 52.7 pounds, loves to lay her head on my thigh as I type and comes with a lot of energy and enthusiasm. She is about two years old and ready to rumble!

We got to know one another right away. I laid on the floor and she jumped all over me. She likes to sit up a little and put her paws on my head and shoulders, lick my ears and kinda be a little wrestler.

I brought some Zane toys to play with her. She enjoyed playing with the Big Kong and rubber ring for tug-of-war. I found her to be very aggressive making her a spunky, little chick. I like that!

Once I put her on tie-down, I got out the Nyla-bone for her to chew on. I found that she liked playing tug of war with that. She likes attention!

As we slept last night, she was the perfect partner, just sleeping away, chewing on her bone as she went to sleep and then just rested through the night. I never heard a peep out of her.

When I got up around 2 PM, she wanted a little reassurance and stroking which I provided from bed. She then just laid back down and went back to sleep.

I got up about 4:30 AM, made some coffee, went to the exercise room to do about 50 rowing strokes and Parka sat beside me. We watched some ESPN news to see what happened in the Oklahoma game. Then we came back to the room to update the Zane Train blog.

Right now, I'm calling it Zane Train II "Parka" - this will be the new iteration of the Zane Train.
Zane started out this blog, last December, as I wrote a daily journal of my journey into the world of having a guide dog. Zane's voice took over after we got back home to Colorado. He has quite a fan club!

I talked with Zane on the phone in Brea, CA yesterday where he is at his new home with the Johnpeers. Katie told me that Zane was looking all around the house as I called out to him and said "Where's my buddy?" He still remembers my voice. Isn't that amazing!? Well, of course, he is a very bright fellow.

My new locomotive is Parka. She is a lot shorter and lighter than I expected so today will be a great test to see how she will work out as a guide. She has a lot of spunk and I can tell will like to walk fast. That's good, and it will be interesting to see how she handles. I will try a standard harness to see how we work together. I went to the off-set harness because I kept stepping on Zane's paws. Ouch!

It's just about time to feed her. She will be getting 3 cups per day of Lamb & Rice. Cuzzie is at home finishing off the rest of Zane's lamb & rice. She enjoys getting some of the great fuel as an upgrade to her less expensive kibble mix. Watch out Cuzzie, there will be another GAL in the house soon!

Stay tuned for more updates as I get to know Parka better. She looks like a great dog and I look forward to getting to know her better.

Lots of love to all,
Richard

5 comments:

Lisa and Ellie said...

Welcome Parka! I'm sure you'll be a great guide and can't wait to hear all about your adventures!

Megan, Fullerton and Spanky said...

Sounds like you are already off to a great start with Parka. And Parka welcome to the blogging world. Can't wait to hear about your adventures.

Emily, Suede, Burgess, and Tahoe said...

That's great you've already met your new guide! I hope Parka works out well for you and everything goes smoothly. Welcome Parka!

Brittany said...

I am so excited that you have been paired with Parka!! She was in my kennel during my internship at the OR campus! What a wonderfull spunky little girl she was and is!

Welcome little Parka, it will be great to hear about your adventures!

Becky said...

So happy for you! I love the Oregon campus and sounds like you are doing well and look forward to hearing about your adventures.