Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas - Reflections 2009

Hi everyone! I know I've been kind of absent recently, but just been busy with the holidays, vacation, etc. I want to wish everyone a very happy new year and a wonderful Christmas holiday. AND I can't wait to open the present Dad just put under the tree for me! Enjoy our poem below.

Reflections from the Faubions – 2009

Christmas Eve, the bite from the cold stings the skin under a Colorado blue sky.
Eight inches of soft powder adorn the trees, bushes, lawns as back muscles sigh.
Shoveling paths for feet and paws to find that perfect spot in the snow . . .
Dancing and prancing as paws barely touch . . . "Bark, bark! Dad! It’s time to go!"

As '09 draws to a close, the Faubions of Colorado snuggle to stay warm,
Claudia has on her heater, Cuzzie, curled into a ball, Parka caresses the lamb skin pillow yarn,
Richard, with his own "bearskin" coat, wears short sleeves amid a fan for a cool refrain,
Temps in the teens, bright sunshine, flocked trees: it's a Budweiser postcard scene!

This is our home, a Colorado paradise with the Rockies majestically providing the background,
A sprawling Front Range with Denver at its hub, beckoning adventure, independence abounds,
Married in Pagosa, a place we called home for many years, since 2003 enjoying the Mile High,
A patchwork of cultures, citizens are friendly, courteous, yet self-indulgent, we say with a sigh.

Claudia, on 12/31, Baby Boom plus 3, an elder care advisor with A Place For Mom,
Now, 16 months on the job and 90+ move-ins this year, 2009 declared a resounding success,
My eBay business draws to a close as garage, basement and closets are converted to cash,
Refining my skills with David Rock’s "The Brain At Work", clearing my stage with pinnash!

Richard, on 3/2, Baby Boom plus 1, a Director of Development for Rocky Texas
Now, almost four years with FFB, raising money to find preventions, treatments, and cure us!
Teaming with chapter leaders in Houston, San Antonio/Austin, DFW and Denver cities,
Challenges are many as the economy recovers, but good news at last, treatment - restored sight!!

Cuzzie, in January, Baby Boom + 17, the Queen of the kingdom on Elmira Circle land,
I’ve got a cute little tail that curls up on my back that I wiggle and wave as I lead the band,
My soft fur keeps me warm as we wander outside, but my paws step quickly as I park and play,
My bunny and my pillow squeak as we play and tug as mom and dad try to take them away.

And bringing up the rear, Parka, just a young thing, on 12/6, 21, that’s three and a little more
I’m from Portland and Seattle and the Boring campus of Guide Dogs for the Blind, a Labrador,
Black from head to toe, with a slender-sleek face and torso that makes me the Parka Express,
Leading Dad wherever he chooses to go, as he barks commands and I respond in dutiful zest!

Mom, Richard’s that is, moved in August from 6252 to Quincy Place with comfort to spare,
Kicking and screaming that she did not want to go, but now has many friends for daily tet-a-tet.
On 11/21, Baby Boom plus 28, she sports a walker and now a motorized chair, her Cadillac,
As she zooms from place to place with great aplomb, especially the hair dresser weekly whack.

Thanksgiving brought a time of rest to all of the clan as Claudia and Richard flew to the beach,
Relaxing at a Villa del Arco resort in Cabo San Lucas for a week to renew, refresh, and teach,
Learning Spanish daily at a poolside class, muy bien, amigos, Feliz Navidad, time for a drink?
Ahhh, another margarita, Modello Negro, Corona por favor…this is the life, a soothing wink!

Cuzzie spent a week with Jenny, thanks so much for your cuddly care of our treasure,
Parka got a week off-work to play with the Lukacovic puppy clan to romp and endure,
A fun week like a regular Retriever, so it was a rest for all of us to regenerate and renew,
In preparation for 2010, a year that beckons just a few days away, how fast 2009 flew!

Last summer was truly a trip of discovery and adventure from Denver to Yellowstone
By car, with stops in Casper to dine with friends, a B&B overnight stay, a classic home,
We had lunch at Buffalo Bill’s hotel and bar, a Cody landmark, then to the East entrance,
The magic of Yellowstone, its bison, elk, deer, fowl, canyons, rivers, trees and fragrance!

Over Memorial Day, a guide dog reunion was held at the Hampton Inn on Arapahoe,
Kae and Melody from Boston, Larry and Oxford from San Diego with Megan in tow,
Megan and Allard from Houston and puppy raisers and their pups following them all,
Met to share about our challenges and funny stories and how quick the puppies recall.

These are but a few of the travels and excitement for the year for the Faubion clan,
As we move forward into 2010, we have already booked two weeks in Cabo again,
And we plan a trip to Glacier Lake in Montana and Canada too, to enjoy the beauty
Of what America has to offer as we celebrate 10 years as a couple, July 3, with gaity!

Warm regards and blessings to all for a wonderful holiday season and Happy New Year!

Claudia and Richard, Cuzzie and Parka

Thursday, October 15, 2009

La Tissue Bandido!

To all my tree-hugging pups,



Being born in San Rafael and raised in Seattle, my roots are definitely rooted in environmental concerns and ensuring that I help in protecting the use of trees and ensuring that we recycle at all times!



OK, are you getting the picture yet? I like paper in just about any form. I know you might think this is a little nasty, but when I find "used tissus" in a waste basket, I recycle them.



I will either eat most of it which is one form of recycling or bring it to Dad to show him what I've found! He usually gets mad at me and takes it out of my mouth, with some trouble, since I don't let go of it very easily.



Dad found the evidence one day of a big chunk that I took ou of some coffee filters that I found sittiing on a desk. I wonder why those were sitting there, so I thought I would recycle them.



Dad really got made at me when he left his desk to go get some coffee and I saw a piece of tissue paper on his desk that was wrapped around a delicious-looking danish. It even had cream cheese in it. Well, to get to that paper, I had to EAT the danish first and when Dad came back with his coffee, there was the tissue paper on the floor that I was licking and he got real MAD!



Gosh, he tied me down under the desk and was furious! I wonder why? It was just a donut. Right?



I felt bad, but it was good. I never get good stuff like that to eat! Dad finally gave me a hug and said that he should not have put it there for me to consider eating.



Yes, I'm the Tissue Bandit! So they really keep an eye on waste baskets to try and keep me from checking them out and stealing the conttents for a snack.



Love to all, Miss Parka, La Tissue Bandido

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Old Man and His Dog - a great story!

Dad and I read this with our Window Eyes and it was so good that Dad and I cried. I think you will enjoy it. Pleasse share with your friends!

The Old Man and the Dog by Catherine Moore

"Watch out! You nearly broad sided that car!" My father yelled at me. "Can't you do anything right?" Those words hurt worse than blows. I turned my head toward the elderly man in the seat beside me, daring me to challenge him. A lump rose in my throat as I averted my eyes. I wasn't prepared for another battle. "I saw the car, Dad. Please don't yell at me when I'm driving." My voice was measured and steady, sounding far calmer than I really felt.Dad glared at me, then turned away and settled back. At home I left Dad in front of the television and went outside to collect my though ts. Dark, heavy clouds hung in the air with a promise of rain. The rumble of distant thunder seemed to echo my inner turmoil. What could I do about him?Dad had been a lumberjack in Washington and Oregon . He had enjoyed being outdoors and had reveled in pitting his strength against the forces of nature. He had entered grueling lumberjack competitions, and had placed often. The shelves in his house were filled with trophies that attested to his prowess. The years marched on relentlessly. The first time he couldn't lift a heavy log, he joked about it; but later that same day I saw him outside alone, straining to lift it. He became irrit able whenever anyone teased him about his advancing age, or when he couldn't do something he had done as a younger man. Four days after his sixty-seventh birthday, he had a heart attack. An ambulance sped him to the hospital while a paramedic administered CPR to keep blood and oxygen flowing. At the hospital, Dad was rushed into an operating room. He was lucky; he survived. But something inside Dad died. His zest for life was gone. He obstinately refused to follow doctor's orders. Suggestions and offers of help were turned aside with sarcasm and insults. The number of visitors thinned, then finally stopped altogether. Dad was left alone. My husband, Dick, and I asked Dad to come live with us on our small farm. We hoped the fresh air and rustic atmosphere would help him adjust. Within a week after he moved in, I regretted the invitation. It seemed nothing was satisfactory. He criticized everything I did. I became frustrated and moody. Soon I was taking my pent-up anger out on Dick. We began to bicker and argue. Alarmed, Dick sought out our pastor and explained the situation. The clergyman set up weekly counseling appointments for us. At the close of each session he prayed, asking God to soothe Dad's troubled mind. But the months wore on and God was silent. Something had to be done and it was up to me to do it. The next day I sat down with the phone book and methodically called each of the mental health clinics listed in the Yellow Pages. I explained my problem to each of t he sympathetic voices that answ ered. In vain. Just when I was giving up hope, one of the voices suddenly exclaimed, "I just read something that might help you! Let me go get the article." I listened as she read. The article described a remarkable study done at a nursing home. All of the patients were under treatment for chronic depression. Yet their attitudes had improved dramatically when they were given responsibility for a dog. I drove to the animal shelter that afternoon. After I filled out a questionnaire, a uniformed officer led me to the kennels. The odor of disinfectant stung my nostrils as I moved down the row of pens. Each contained five to seven dogs. Long-haired dogs, curly-haired dogs, black dogs, spotted dogs all jumped up, trying to reach me. I studied each one but rejected one after the other for various reasons: too big, too small, too much hair. As I neared the last pen a dog in t he shadows of the far corner struggled to his feet, walked to the front of the run and sat down. It was a pointer, one of the dog world's aristocrats. But this was a caricature of the breed. Years had etched his face and muzzle with shades of gray. His hipbones jutted out in lopsided triangles. But it was his eyes that caught and held my attention. Calm and clear, they beheld me unwaveringly. I pointed to the dog. "Can you tell me about him?" The officer looked, then shook his head in puzzlement."He's a funny one. Appeared out of nowhere and sat in front of the gate. We brought him in, figuring someone would be right down to claim him. That was two weeks ago and we've heard nothing. His time is up tomorrow." He gestured helplessly. As the words sank in I turned to the man in horror. "You mean you're going to kill him?""Ma'am," he said gently, "that's our policy. We don't have room for every unclaimed dog." I looked at the pointer again The calm brown eyes awaited my decision. "I'll take him," I said.I drove home with the dog on the front seat beside me. When I reached the house I honked the horn twice. I was helping my prize out of the car when Dad shuffled onto the front porch. "Ta-da! Look what I got for you, Dad!" I said excitedly.Dad looked, then wrinkled his face in disgust. "If I had wanted a dog I would have gotten one. And I would have picked out a better specimen than that bag of bones. Keep it! I don't want it" Dad waved his arm scornfully and turned back toward the house. Anger rose inside me It squeezed together my throat muscles and pounded into my temples."You'd better get used to him, Dad. He's staying!" Dad ignored me. "Did you hear me, Dad?" I screamed. At those words Dad whirled angrily, his hands clenched at his sides, his eyes narrowed and blazing with hate. We stood glaring at each other like duelists, when suddenly the pointer pulled free from my grasp. He wobbled toward my dad and sat down in front of him. Then slowly, carefully, he raised his paw.Dad's lower jaw trembled as he stared at the uplifted paw. Confusion replaced the anger in his eyes. The pointer waited patiently. Then Dad was on his knees hugging the animal. It was the beginning of a warm and intimate friendship. Dad named the pointer Cheyenne . Together he and Cheyenne explored the community. They spent long hours walking down dusty lanes. They spent reflective moments on the banks of streams, angling for tasty trout. They even started to attend Sunday services together, Dad sitting in a pew and Cheyenne lying quietly at his feet. Dad and Cheyenne were inseparable throughout the next three years. Dad's bitterness faded, and he and Cheyenne made many friends. Then late one night I was startled to feel Cheyenne 's cold nose burrowing through our bed covers. He had never before come into our bedroom at night. I woke Dick, put on my robe and ran into my father's room. Dad lay in his bed, his face serene. But his spirit had left quietly sometime during the night. Two days later my shock and grief deepened when I discovered Cheyenne lying dead beside Dad's bed. I wrapped his still form in the rag rug he had slept on. As Dick and I buried him near a favorite fishing hole, I silently thanked the dog for the help he had given me in restoring Dad's peace of mind. The morning of Dad's funeral dawned overcast and dreary. This day looks like the way I feel, I thought, as I walked down the aisle to the pews reserved for family. I was surprised to see the many friends Dad and Cheyenne had made filling the church. The pastor began his eulogy. It was a tribute to both Dad and the dog who had changed his life And then the pastor turned to Hebrews 13:2. "Be not forgetful to entertain strangers." "I've often thanked God for sending that angel," he said. For me, the past dropped into place, completing a puzzle that I had not seen before: the sympathetic voice that had just read the right article... Cheyenne's unexpected appearance at the animal shelter. .his calm acceptance and complete devotion to my father. . and the proximity of their deaths. And suddenly I understood. I knew that God had answered my prayers after all. Life is too short for drama & petty things, so laugh hard, love truly and forgive quickly. Live While You Are Alive.Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity. Forgive now those who made you cry. You might not get a second time. And if you don't send this to at least 4 people - who cares?But do share this with someone. Lost time can never be found.No virus found in this incoming message.Checked by AVG Free Edition. Version: 7.5.516 / Virus Database: 269.17.13/1211 - Release Date: 1/6/2008 11:57 AMNo virus found in this incoming message.Checked by AVG Free Edition. Version: 7.5.516 / Virus Database: 269.17.13/1213 - Release Date: 1/7/2008 9:14 AM----------------------------------------------------------Lengthy but worth the time...we can all relate.The Old Man and the Dog by Catherine Moore "Watch out! You nearly broad sided that car!" My father yelled at me. "Can't you do anything right?" Those words hurt worse than blows. I turned my head toward the elderly man in the seat beside me, daring me to challenge him. A lump rose in my throat as I averted my eyes. I wasn't prepared for another battle. "I saw the car, Dad. Please don't yell at me when I'm driving." My voice was measured and steady, sounding far calmer than I really felt.Dad glared at me, then turned away and settled back. At home I left Dad in front of the television and went outside to collect my though ts. Dark, heavy clouds hung in the air with a promise of rain. The rumble of distant thunder seemed to echo my inner turmoil. What could I do about him?Dad had been a lumberjack in Washington and Oregon . He had enjoyed being outdoors and had reveled in pitting his strength against the forces of nature. He had entered grueling lumberjack competitions, and had placed often. The shelves in his house were filled with trophies that attested to his prowess. The years marched on relentlessly. The first time he couldn't lift a heavy log, he joked about it; but later that same day I saw him outside alone, straining to lift it. He became irrit able whenever anyone teased him about his advancing age, or when he couldn't do something he had done as a younger man. Four days after his sixty-seventh birthday, he had a heart attack. An ambulance sped him to the hospital while a paramedic administered CPR to keep blood and oxygen flowing. At the hospital, Dad was rushed into an operating room. He was lucky; he survived. But something inside Dad died. His zest for life was gone. He obstinately refused to follow doctor's orders. Suggestions and offers of help were turned aside with sarcasm and insults. The number of visitors thinned, then finally stopped altogether. Dad was left alone. My husband, Dick, and I asked Dad to come live with us on our small farm. We hoped the fresh air and rustic atmosphere would help him adjust. Within a week after he moved in, I regretted the invitation. It seemed nothing was satisfactory. He criticized everything I did. I became frustrated and moody. Soon I was taking my pent-up anger out on Dick. We began to bicker and argue. Alarmed, Dick sought out our pastor and explained the situation. The clergyman set up weekly counseling appointments for us. At the close of each session he prayed, asking God to soothe Dad's troubled mind. But the months wore on and God was silent. Something had to be done and it was up to me to do it. The next day I sat down with the phone book and methodically called each of the mental health clinics listed in the Yellow Pages. I explained my problem to each of t he sympathetic voices that answ ered. In vain. Just when I was giving up hope, one of the voices suddenly exclaimed, "I just read something that might help you! Let me go get the article." I listened as she read. The article described a remarkable study done at a nursing home. All of the patients were under treatment for chronic depression. Yet their attitudes had improved dramatically when they were given responsibility for a dog. I drove to the animal shelter that afternoon. After I filled out a questionnaire, a uniformed officer led me to the kennels. The odor of disinfectant stung my nostrils as I moved down the row of pens. Each contained five to seven dogs. Long-haired dogs, curly-haired dogs, black dogs, spotted dogs all jumped up, trying to reach me. I studied each one but rejected one after the other for various reasons: too big, too small, too much hair. As I neared the last pen a dog in t he shadows of the far corner struggled to his feet, walked to the front of the run and sat down. It was a pointer, one of the dog world's aristocrats. But this was a caricature of the breed. Years had etched his face and muzzle with shades of gray. His hipbones jutted out in lopsided triangles. But it was his eyes that caught and held my attention. Calm and clear, they beheld me unwaveringly. I pointed to the dog. "Can you tell me about him?" The officer looked, then shook his head in puzzlement."He's a funny one. Appeared out of nowhere and sat in front of the gate. We brought him in, figuring someone would be right down to claim him. That was two weeks ago and we've heard nothing. His time is up tomorrow." He gestured helplessly. As the words sank in I turned to the man in horror. "You mean you're going to kill him?""Ma'am," he said gently, "that's our policy. We don't have room for every unclaimed dog." I looked at the pointer again The calm brown eyes awaited my decision. "I'll take him," I said.I drove home with the dog on the front seat beside me. When I reached the house I honked the horn twice. I was helping my prize out of the car when Dad shuffled onto the front porch. "Ta-da! Look what I got for you, Dad!" I said excitedly.Dad looked, then wrinkled his face in disgust. "If I had wanted a dog I would have gotten one. And I would have picked out a better specimen than that bag of bones. Keep it! I don't want it" Dad waved his arm scornfully and turned back toward the house. Anger rose inside me It squeezed together my throat muscles and pounded into my temples."You'd better get used to him, Dad. He's staying!" Dad ignored me. "Did you hear me, Dad?" I screamed. At those words Dad whirled angrily, his hands clenched at his sides, his eyes narrowed and blazing with hate. We stood glaring at each other like duelists, when suddenly the pointer pulled free from my grasp. He wobbled toward my dad and sat down in front of him. Then slowly, carefully, he raised his paw.Dad's lower jaw trembled as he stared at the uplifted paw. Confusion replaced the anger in his eyes. The pointer waited patiently. Then Dad was on his knees hugging the animal. It was the beginning of a warm and intimate friendship. Dad named the pointer Cheyenne . Together he and Cheyenne explored the community. They spent long hours walking down dusty lanes. They spent reflective moments on the banks of streams, angling for tasty trout. They even started to attend Sunday services together, Dad sitting in a pew and Cheyenne lying quietly at his feet. Dad and Cheyenne were inseparable throughout the next three years. Dad's bitterness faded, and he and Cheyenne made many friends. Then late one night I was startled to feel Cheyenne 's cold nose burrowing through our bed covers. He had never before come into our bedroom at night. I woke Dick, put on my robe and ran into my father's room. Dad lay in his bed, his face serene. But his spirit had left quietly sometime during the night. Two days later my shock and grief deepened when I discovered Cheyenne lying dead beside Dad's bed. I wrapped his still form in the rag rug he had slept on. As Dick and I buried him near a favorite fishing hole, I silently thanked the dog for the help he had given me in restoring Dad's peace of mind. The morning of Dad's funeral dawned overcast and dreary. This day looks like the way I feel, I thought, as I walked down the aisle to the pews reserved for family. I was surprised to see the many friends Dad and Cheyenne had made filling the church. The pastor began his eulogy. It was a tribute to both Dad and the dog who had changed his life And then the pastor turned to Hebrews 13:2. "Be not forgetful to entertain strangers." "I've often thanked God for sending that angel," he said. For me, the past dropped into place, completing a puzzle that I had not seen before: the sympathetic voice that had just read the right article... Cheyenne's unexpected appearance at the animal shelter. .his calm acceptance and complete devotion to my father. . and the proximity of their deaths. And suddenly I understood. I knew that God had answered my prayers after all. Life is too short for drama & petty things, so laugh hard, love truly and forgive quickly. Live While You Are Alive.Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity. Forgive now those who made you cry. You might not get a second time. And if you don't send this to at least 4 people - who cares?But do share this with someone. Lost time can never be found.
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Monday, September 7, 2009

Sayer's Graduation - the rest of the story!

Sayer goes "upside down" when he hears the Johnpeer's voices at GDB!

Happy Labor Day all you working dawgs!

Yes, it's Labor Day in Colorado and I'm so glad that I have a JOB! You know, I work hard for what I get paid in kibble and I believe that I don't need any of that stinking health care insurance, but Dad always wants the best for me. I'm working, though, and not "under-employed" like some dogs I know.

Zane, are you still laying around in California getting a sun tan? Yes, I heard that you have become a therapy dog, but what I want to know is, is the therapy for you or for the Johnpeers?!

I know you have a good sense of humor because Dad said that you do, so I hope you are doing well and I look forward to meeting you someday SOON!

Thanks for sharing this story about your step brother and mine, Sayer. He really looks like a cool dude and I bet he really loves Kathy the way he did you and the Johnpeers.

Thanks for sharing this story from Sayer after his graduation as a "working dog." I can just hear Dolly singing "9 to 5" in the background. I know that Claudia & Richard will enjoy this story of success! Take is away Zane . . .

"Hey Mom and Dad, there's been lots of activity around here recently, mostly pertaining to Sayer and his graduation from Guide Dog School in San Rafael. Here's a brief summary of what I've overheard.

"A couple of weeks ago, Gary got a call that Sayer had been placed with person at the guide dog school and that the person was a retrain student, meaning Sayer would be their second dog.

"He wasn't told about any of the particulars, such as age, gender, residence, etc., just that he was "placed." The suspense, excitement, and anticipation about who it would be was killing everybody!

"About that time there was a "fun day" at the guide dog school in San Rafael and some of the people from Gary's puppy group went to join in with the festivities. It seems that Olga, that nice French lady you met once, was in the gift shop (perhaps it was a store; not sure) and somehow the name "Sayer" got mentioned.

"A bystander, who turned out to be the person who Sayer had been placed with, overheard Olga and they struck up a conversation. Olga was knowingly breaking the rules a bit because puppy raisers are not supposed to have any contact with the dogs once they are in training.

"But Olga's a bit like Gary and saw no problem bending the rules just a little bit. She called Gary upon her return to Orange County and "spilled the beans" about who Sayer was placed with.

"As you know by now, the person is a nice lady in her mid-50's who was a retrain student. Her name is Kathy Hazard and she lives right there in Novato. Olga got to see Sayer and she said he looked magnificent.

"A couple days later, Gary and Vicki got the official letter that Sayer was going to graduate and were asked if they were going to be able to go to the graduation. I got worried because I knew I couldn't go along. I've not been left alone overnight since I was retired.

"They let Jed, their new GDB pup, spend the night with Robert and Susan (Brando's owners) and I got to spend the night with my best friend across the street . . . you remember Logan, that Golden Retriever I play with all the time.

"They left for San Rafael last Friday evening for a very quick and tiring trip up to the school. They didn't get there till 2:00 AM Saturday morning and were up early to go see Sayer for the first time since he was recalled and to attend the Saturday graduation ceremony.

"They said Sayer went crazy when he first heard their voice. He was upside down and so excited that for a while he really didn't look like a dignified Guide Dog at all! But neither Kathy nor the Johnpeers were concerned as they figured Sayer would go berserk for a little while and he did!

"Gary said that Sayer's eager reaction to them was, in itself, justification for the tiring trip. Poor Kathy got left in the background during all the excitement of the re-union but she understood.

"Gary says that she is just as appreciative of getting Sayer as you were of getting me.

"Gary, Vicki, Kim, and Katie got to hand over the leash to Kathy and Gary got to say a few words at the ceremony....no he didn't cry or choke up this time!

"They all had to get back to Orange County by Sunday morning because Vicki started school on Monday and Kim and Brandon had Sunday School to teach. They visited for as long as they could and got to know Kathy a bit better. They got to meet her son and daughter-in-law who live close to Kathy. His name is Matt and her's is Heather.

"Perhaps best of all for Kathy, is that Matt and Heather adopted Dean, her 10-yr-old guide dog that had to be retired. It was hard for Kathy to officially retire Dean but she is so happy that he's close to home and she can see him often. Matt and Heather have a pretty neat dog now and everyone is happy.

"They are a good family and Gary says Sayer is in good hands, even though he would have been glad to have Sayer return to live with me . . . but then he always says that, doesn't he?

"Everybody is going through new adjustments now: Kathy with Sayer; Dean with Matt and Heather; Gary & Vickie without Sayer; ME without Sayer; me with Jed . . . goodness!

"Gotta go as this short note has again turned in to a small novel. Give Claudia and Grandma a big hug from me. Say hi to Cuzzie, too. I still miss you so much. I'm fine and I love it here as I get to sleep in Gary & Vickie's bed EVERY night!

Dear Sweet Lovable Zane"

Well, I guess that says it all . . . except, Happy Labor Day, everyone!

Love,

Miss Parka


Sunday, September 6, 2009

Hey Bro! Sayer graduates!


Good morning dudes,

I am a proud sister-in-law! Dad's first guide's step-brother, Sayer, has graduated from GDB!

Zane and I know what it takes to do that and it is such a great accomplishment.

Congrats, Sayer and especially to Gary and the gang and all the love they shared to make him such a great guide dog!

Congrats to Kathy Wheeler for graduating as well. I know she must be a special lady!

Gary, thanks for sharing so many pictures of your trip to San Rafael. I graduated in Spring, but I'm sure that San Rafael is a nice place. I know that Dad really liked his time there when he got Zane.

Here's what Gary shared about their whirlwind trip to San Rafael to see Sayer graduate from Guide Dog school and to meet Kathy Wheeler who got him.

"We met Kathy and her son and daughter-in-law and they were very gracious and so appreciative of getting Sayer. It's her second guide dog and you can tell she is a dog lover and that Sayer is in good hands. He sure looked handsome and we were so proud of him."

Well, it's nice to have some new members of the growing Zane Train family. Congrats Sayer!

Best wishes and thanks Gary and the Johnpeers,

Miss Parka

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Pictures of "The Little Jedi"


Well, here he is! Everyone thinks he's so cute . . .
Gary put me in the front seat on the way home from picking up Jed . . . I wasn't too sure about what was happening.

He smells OK . . . we'll see . . .

I think the rest of the family thinks we should keep him.





He can "Sit!" Oh, big deal!

Let's hope he grows a little and I can play with him . . .

Zane

It's not Jeb - It's Jed!


Hey guys . . . here's a good one!

Katie was reading over some paperwork for that new guide dog puppy Gary and Vicki just got . . . you remember . . . the one they said was named "Jeb".

I always did think that "Jeb" was a strange name for a dog but I kept my mouth shut to be polite.
Katie asked Gary, "What's his name supposed to be?"

Gary said, "Jeb."

Katie looked closer at the paperwork and said, "Guess what? It's "Jed", not "Jeb".

Gary is embarrassed because he sent out emails to everybody telling them the name was Jeb. So now everybody here is trying to remember to call the little guy by his proper name. Gary now calls him "Jed, the Little Jedi."
Gosh, you'd think that two grown people could get a dog's name straight. Now I'm worried that my name might be wrong, too! Guess I better go check my paperwork. I sure hope my name isn't "Shane" or something.
PS: I'm starting to like the little guy . . . he's kinda cute but pretty dumb right now. He only knows how to sit.
Love,
Zane

What I did on my summer Vacation by Zane Johnpeer

Hey Dad!


We just went on our annual trek to the High Sierra where we spent a week in an old cabin in a place called Mono Hot Springs. Here's a brief review of what we did.


Gary decided that this year they could pack a week's supply of food and supplies into their SMALL Honda Civic (bad decision I think) for the trip to the mountains. Seems like Vicki likes to pack everything except the kitchen sink so there was barely enough room for me to sit down in the back seat!


But as long as I'm close to somebody, I'm happy. I was squeezed between Vicki's legs and the back of the front seat all the way. The nine hour ride was tiring because the last 20 miles were very bumpy due to a dirt road that is not well maintained. But I like the feel of the motion of the car and the vibration of the floorboards on my tender belly so I was OK with the whole ordeal.


At the cabin they rented (believe me, it was very "rustic" to say the least) their house rules were very relaxed and I got to lay around and rest a lot. I even got to lay on the picnic table to be petted and combed. In the evenings, when they were star-gazing I got to sit in Gary's lap! They wouldn't let me chase toys outside because of the rattlesnakes in the area.



One day they took me to the river where I thought it was going to watch Gary and Kate fish. But when I got there, they expected me to swim and, as you know, I don't really like swimming much, if at all. They coaxed me into the water to swim (twice), but I decided that was enough and wouldn't go in again any deeper than my knees. (You remember, Dad, when we went to the beach in CA - I barely got wet!)


Why does every body think that just because I'm a Lab that I love to swim? I'm a pure-bred guide dog/therapy dog, not Michael Phelps the Olympic swimmer!

Once we took a long hike to a remote glacial lake which was wonderful, but I had no intention of swimming there either and made that perfectly clear once I got there. Fortunately, it was a cool day for hiking and nobody got too overheated. Dad, you should have seen the beautiful flowers and big pine trees reflecting in the mirror-smooth lake water. It reminded me of the time we rode up to that lake in the mountains at the TNT Ranch when I was living with you.

Near the end of the vacation, we took a boat trip to Florence Lake. I was afraid they'd want me to swim again but they didn't even ask me to. They cooked hot-dogs and fished some more, then we rode the boat around the lake so Gary could take pictures of the rocks for his geology class lectures.


On the way, Vicki spotted a big bird that turned out to be a Bald Eagle. What an amazing and beautiful animal and it landed in a tree very close to the shore so we got some neat pictures.


Our trip home to Brea was long, too, but not as crowded in their small car because we had eaten much of the food they hauled in. I would have gladly eaten more but they kept me to my two-cup-a-day limit of kibble. I sat on the back seat with Vicki and just loved the return ride.


We're getting back into the daily routine (Gary calls it the daily "grind"). However, the next big event was our trip across town to pick up another Guide Dog puppy . . . yes, it's their 5th. I had been hoping they'd decide to stop raising these puppies so that I could remain top dog at the house, but Gary has promised me I'll always be top dog.


They are all excited to see the new puppy called "Jeb", but to me it's just another black fur ball with five toes on each leg and each leg attached to a black chunk of meat. He's almost 10-weeks-old and has a skinny tail (no where near as handsome as mine) and he pees and poops a LOT!


Maybe they'll get fed up with his bad manners and get rid of him, but I kind of doubt that. So far, I'm just pretending they never brought him home, but in a way I'm glad they did because when he grows up a bit, well, he might be someone I can play with . . . not sure.


I'm here for the long haul and I'm still top dog . . . Gary has promised me that and he doesn't lie.

Gotta go now and watch Gary clean up some more puppy pee off the floor!


I love you so much. Say Hi to Claudia and Grandma and give Parka a big hug for me.


Your Pal,

Zane





Saturday, July 11, 2009

Jellystone Park & the Teetons!


Howdy everybody,

Can you believe it? Dad and Mom finally took a vacation and took me along. I have to admit that I did a LOT of laying on the back floorboard, but they were kind to me. They gave me two pillows. One for my body to lay on and another one over the hump, kind of folded up where I could lay my head on it and get lots of scritches from Mom & Dad along the way. I was actually pretty comfortable!

We left on July 1st for Casper, WY, to spend the night in a cute bed and breakfast which was actually in a converted apartment in the basement of this cottage. I had a BIG kitchen to eat my food in and Mom took me on walks while Dad was soaking in the HOT tub. There was another dog there, but I kind of intimidated him so he stayed away from me.

We went to dinner with some friends to the Casper Petroleum Club and it was really swanky. The food was delicious...don't tell anyone that I scooped up some crumbs that hit the floor.

The next morning, we drove up the Wind River Canyon to Cody and then over to Jellystone Park. I heard Dad say that this place has two million acres. Thankfully we did not walk them all. We saw lots of canyons, hot springs, geysers. This picture at Old Faithful from the Lodge 2nd floor observation deck. Cool!

We stayed in a condo in West Yellowwstone, which gave me plenty of room to play tug with Dad with my Kong and Ring. I love that Dad likes to play tug and keeps telling me "he's gonna get my Kong or my Ring." I love it when he chases me, too!

Mom and Dad had their 9th anniversary lunch at the Old Faithful Lodge while I took a nap. There was a big rain storm that night, but we were safe inside the condo with the windows rattling. Dad said they had four TV channels to start with, but after the storm blew out the Idaho Falls feed, we were down to one channel. That meant more play time with me, I loved it!

On July 4th, we drove south past the Teeton Mountains. I know I spelled it wrong, but I got to tee-tee at the base of them! They were pretty awesome to behold. We drove along the upper Wind River and Shoshone River to Lander in central WY. They were all booked up with no place to stay, so we headed for Rawlins and ended up in Rock Springs for the night.

I got to see all sorts of fireworks that night. People got out of their cars and were shooting off fireworks all around us. Then the big show started at the Rock Springs fairgrounds and it was beautiful. Mom took lots of pictures with her new camera.

We got back to Denver in the afternoon and I was pooped. I just found my rug and pillow and took a long nap. Then it was time to play again!

What a great trip! Dad and Mom really needed the rest! (Mom didn't really get much - she drove 1628 miles in five days!)

Happy summer to everyone. Hope ya'll have great vacations and rest.

Lots of licks and tummy rubs!

Miss Parka

Sunday, June 21, 2009



Wow, Zane, great comeback, dude!

Yes, I'm so proud of my brother-in-law, Zane! Gary & the Johnpeer gang have been working with him to becaome a therapy dog. I think he was getting tired of being a guard dog on the beaches of southern California!

Congratulations, dude! You are so handsome. Could we be "kissing cousins?"

Here is the letter that Gary sent us regarding his graduation as a therapy dog:

"I would like to congratulate you and your Pet Partner for passing the Delta Society evaluation. It is wonderful to see a handler and their dog really working well together as a team. You were both obviously responsive to each other's cues. I've attached a list of facilities that the Animal Health Foundation has volunteers visiting or have expressed an interest in having volunteers visit.

You will receive an email from Delta Society with your registration number in a couple of weeks. I would appreciate your emailing me a copy of it for my records. I will then send you a vest for your Pet Partner and you can conduct visits. Your Delta Society ID card and tags will be sent directly to you a few weeks later.

Please email me a picture (jpeg) and a paragraph or two about your Pet Partner for his business cards. The front of the card will have your Pet Partner's picture - the back of the card has Breed and a short paragraph (baseball trading card size) about your dog - such as his favorite thing to do or some people have a motto. When I receive your Pet Partner's information, I can get started on having cards made so they will be ready when he gets his ID, etc.

Thanks so much for choosing our organization to become a part of - if you ever have questions or would like to tag along with another team, I also can mentor teams when visiting a new facility - please let me know.

Thanks for bringing smiles to many people.

Jan Vincent, CPDT
Pet Partner Team Coordinator
Animal Health Foundation
Delta Society Evaluator
AKC CGC Evaluator 714.710.9114


Isn't that impressive? Good job, Zane. Dad and I are very proud of you! You are still the Zane Train, maybe now the Zane Therapy Train!

Lots of licks and love, Miss Parka

Texas Trip yee hah!

Howdy yall,

Well, I kept hearing that a lot so I'm telling ya'll the same thing! That means hello to you non-Texans.

Dad has been so busy, he has not had time to open the Zane Train blog so I can bring everyone up to date on my latest travels. On Thursday, June 11, we flew to Dallas with an unplanned layover in Amarillo. There were lots of thunder storms in Dallas. After a couple of hours that seemed like a day in the small Amarillo airport, we made it safely to Love Field.

We met up with one of our key chapter leaders, James Jennings, and I stayed at his house, while Aaron, Dad and James played 9 holes of golf. Dad said that he played very well and in fact, really like the #4 hybrid that he borrowed from James. (We just bought him one yesterday for Father's Day!)

Dad had a Friday morning conference call with Walmart and then we had lunch with a guy named Tom. Then Aaron and Dad left me at the hotel while they played some golf again. That evening we got to go to Aaron's new home and I got to play with Maya for a while. She's a nice Rottweiler!

We had a DFW Chapter meeting and VisionWalk celebration for the over $131,000 they raised at their May 16 walk. Aaron passed out the Flying Horse awards that Dad dreamed up. See Biscuit went to the top team and Eye O'Silver to the 2nd place team.

We flew to San Antonio in the afternoon and then had dinner in our Holiday Inn hotel room and Dad crashed pretty early from being so tired. Little did he know that I was snoring long before he was. It was almost 100 degrees in the Alamo city!

On Sunday afternoon, we went to Stone Oak Hospital where Aaron and Dad held the San Antonio/Austin chapter meeting and VisionWalk celebration for their great Walk on March 14 where they raised over $120,000! Aaron passed out the Flying Cow awards to the top fund raising teams, El Seemore and Moo Pigmentosa and Seymour Clearlee.

We went to the River Walk that evening for dinner on the river. Aaron and Dad were scooping up lots of chips and salsa and whenever Dad dropped a chip, I scooped it up! I did a great job of keeping Dad out of the river and showed him all the funky steps back to the car.

Dad said that I did extremely well on this trip and gives me an overall grade of A-. He also feels that I am 90% working together as a team. My only issue to be resolved is my desire to "dive" for food while walking through a restaurant. But those scraps are so tempting!

But I'm so cute, you just have to love me, right?

Love, Parka

Happy Dad's Day!


To all Dad's from their pups!


Good morning and Happy Father's Day!

Cuzzie just had a bath and isn't she cute?

Dad just gave me a nice grooming, aren't I HOT?

And Dad, doesn't he looked relaxed?

Breakfast brunch on the veranda...ah the good life.

I'm so happy here in Denver with my Dad, Richard. He takes such good care of me. I count on him to feed me 4 times a day. Can you believe that?

Yes, you know, I like to EAT. So Dad feeds me when we get up. I kind of help that process along by trying to wake Dad up usually starting about 4:00 AM, and then reminding him about every 30 minutes. Dad keeps telling me to REST, but I'm REST-less. I'm hungry! Dad finally gets up at 5:30 AM or so and feeds me soon after he takes his shower and gets dressed.

Then Dad feeds me again around 7:00-7:30 AM the balance of my one cup of food. He then feeds me again around 1:00 - 2:00 PM and finally the balance of my second cup around 5:00 PM. I just love him. He is thinking about my needs, which is LOTS of food.

Dad grooms me every week and takes really good care of me. We went to the Vet the other day just so he could check on my "girlish figure." I weighed in at 53 pounds, so he's keeping me lean and mean. I wish that he would fatten me up a little, don't you?

It was quite a honor yesterday as Mom, Dad and I did some shopping for Dad's new golf club, I heard them say a 4 Hybrid club. Dad also asked the sales person if they had a GPS system that would find lost golf balls. I guess that means he hits a lot of them into the woods and areas off the course. I wish he would take me so I could locate the balls for him.

Dad took us on a mountain hike a couple weeks ago and we had a great time! There were 3 other guide dogs there too and of course, I was doing the best job. I know because they did not worry about how we were doing. Dad and I were just trekking along. We hiked about five miles and I know Dad and I were pooped after those hikes.

I want to wish Dad's everywhere a very happy day or rest and relaxation and be thankful to your partner for all that HE does to make your life a wonderful one. HE knows how much we mean to him.

I know that Zane made Dad very happy and I know that Zane loved Dad and Dad loved him. I've seen him cry several times when just recalling their good old days. Zane, in fact, has become a therapy dog and I'll have to tell you more about that later

Dad, I wish you a wonderful Father's Day and thanks again for taking such good care of me as I take good care of you.

Love, Miss Parka


Monday, May 25, 2009

Rowdy Reunion Party - Part II


Good morning fellow partners and pups,


The BIG party is coming close to an end according to Dad. I know I'm pooped from having to work with all these guide dogs. We were really racing through downtown Denver yesterday trying to see who would take the lead down the 16th Street mall.



The morning started with breakfast at Gunther Tooties and Dad seemed to really enjoy his eggs, French toast and bacon. I kept hoping he was going to drop something on the floor, but he did not. Everyone else ate well and then we drove down the various Denver neighborhoods to show off the city.



We got down to the 16th Street mall where pedestrians, partners and their pups walk all around the street going all directions with only buses passing every now and then. There were lots of humans everywhere with the Denver Art Festival in full swing.



We stopped at Starbucks for some special drinks and all of us even got a cup of water as it was preety hot working in downtown with the temperature in the 70's.



We finally headed back to the van, but on the way, a LOUD clap of thunder and lightning scared all of us and Claudia said that everyone jumped about 3 feet since it hit only about a block away from us. Then it started to rain and I felt like I was back in Dallas where ir rained cats and dogs last weekend during the VisionWalk.



We dodged the drops and got back to the van and hopped in and headed back to the hotel. After dropping off the other partners, Dad got a haircut and Mom took me for a walk. That was fun leading her and showing her what I can do.



Everyone took a nap and then got together for dinner pizza and beer and then we watched a movie, Seven Pounds, which Dad said was a little strange, but somewhat entertaining.



Now, everyone is getting ready to head back to the airport for their return to their respective cities. What a great weekend we have had. Oh man, Dad left me home since the van was a little crowded, but I saw them all last night and said good night!

Everyone loaded up and headed to the airport and we dropped everyone at Southwest airlines where Larry would be first to leave at 10:30. We took one last picture at the airport and said our good-byes and hugs.

Dad said that he asked everyone to write or email their thoughts and experiences that we would post on my blog. That will be fun to see what Meli, Ox and Al thought!

I'm pooped! I[m getting back into my kennel cage and resting now. Good day everyone! Thanks for the rowdy party!

Love to all, Miss Parka

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Rowdy Partners Reunion - Part 1


Good morning pups,

Phewwww, I am pooped. Dad has had me working like a crazy dog! And there has been so many new dogs in my life! What a whirlwind weekend this has been. Oh yes, some of you may not know that this Memorial Day weekend is what Dad calls the Rowdy Partners and Pups weekend.

For those of you who have not heard, Dad's classmates from around the country have descended onto Denver and have been having such a great time renewing relationships and just having fun.

Thursday, Kae & Larry first came in on the bus from the airport and we met them at the Hampton Inn. Kae hadMiss Melody (Meli as Kae calls her a lot) and Larry had Oxford leading him into the hotel. They are such good looking Golden Lab Retrievers, Melody is sleek like me and Oxford is such a BIG hunk, 95 pounds of fire-breathing love.

Dad and I had prepared some baskets of goodies for them and stocked their refrigerators in their room with a few beverages as well. Megan arrived with Allard a couple hours later and we all got together for some Mexcian food at El Parral that evening. It was so great to meet GDB guide dogs. It was almost like I was back at Guide Dog School in Boring, except all these good-looking dudes came from San Rafael.

On Friday, we all got up early and prepared for our hike at Williams Park adjacent to Dinosuar Hogsback. Steve of Blind Outdoor Adventures led the 4 of us along a "two-butt" path up and down through rolling hills and brisk running streams of water. We had to move to the side many times to allow runners or bikers to pass as this was a very active trail. The wild flowers were everywhere in bloom, the birds were chirping their songs of the Spring and the prior night's rain provided a fragrant smell for all to smell. I did not show Dad some of the rocks or logs that we crossed, but I kept working myself around them and Dad walked over them!

Meli and Oxford were really good at marking the rocks and steering their handlers aruond the rocks in the path. It was truly an interesting path. After about a 1.5 mile walk in, we stopped to rest and have some wine, cheese, trail mix and water before retracing our steps back to starting point. It took us about 3 hours to complete the trek which was a totally fun experience.

We had lunch on the deck outside the Platte River Pub. We had great burgers and beer, well I should say I was hoovering for dropped napkins and pieces of food! Most of us were so pooped we just layed down and rested while our partners ate their tummies full.

Everyone tooks naps to recover and rest before a great BarBQ dinner at Brother's BBQ in the evening. We needed to rest and recuperate before the big meeting on Saturday.

At 8:30 on Saturday, people began arriving for the Rowdy Partners and Pups meeting at the Hampton Inn. Additional GDB partners joined us for this great meeting. I met Elway, Yelllow Lab, and Vicki; O'Connor and his handler, Chris and Roanne and her handler, Veronica. And to add to all the fun there were three different puppy raiser clubs from the area!

The puppy raisers that joined us were Have Paws Will Travel, Liberty on Leashes and Dogs with Vision. They brought several puppies to share their stories and demonstrate their "got to bed" and "layover" routines. We had some retired guides as well and some career-changed dogs to be part of our party. There were 17 people in all in attendance and 14 dogs. Wow! what a party!

Lots of pictures were taken and lots of stories were shared. Several people expressed interest in a GDB alumni chapter in Colorado which Dad will coordinate and get them moving.

We all had lunch at El Parral next door and got a chance to fellowship some more. This was just like college, having all my buddies around to rest while our handlers enjoyed their food and fellowship. We did do an obstacle course around the parking lot and took a big group picture which I can't wait to share with all of you!

After some more naps, everybody came over to our house for food, fun and fellowship and frolicking and rolling on the floor giving each other lots of kisses! After a brief 30 minute rain, we took off around Arapahoe Lakes and enjoyed the fragrant smells and goose poop along the route. We sat on a bench near the lake and waterfall, while Kae took our picture. So many great shots to share. Dad and all his rowdy partners shared stories about lots of funny things we have done. There was lots of laughter!

So today we have breakfast together at Gunther Tootie's and then head to downtown Denver to stroll along the beautiful 16th Street pedestrian mall, check out the Denver Arts Festival and who knows what else.

That's all for now. I'm heading back to my kennel cage to get some rest before we head out!

Lots of love to Class 680 and all those pups that are rocking their partner's world! Parka

Monday, April 13, 2009

Television Career? Colorado & Company



Good morning, fellow k-9's,



On March 19, the 3 of us went to 9News in dowtown Denver to
promote our upcoming events in the Denver area. Dad included a
picture of us after the TV spot on Colorado & Company. You can
go the 9news.com and you might find the segment on-line.

I felt pretty proud of my good-looking, sleek, fashionable self as they
seemed to be so enamored with me. I thought Carmen was a lot
better looking than me, but I am a pretty HOT sumber. I could see
myself on the BIG screen TV that they had in the room and that camera
man just kept focusing on me as Dad and Carmen talked!

In the picture are Carmen Swick, VP, Fundraising and Event Chair for the Blind Tast of the Rockies & Auction which will beheld on June 4 in a corporate jet hanger for the jet-set! Dad is there with me and Mark McIntosh who is the host of the show. Carmen knows him so she got us on for a 5-minute spot. Is this how Marilyn Monroe got her start?

In face, they wanted to do a teaser spot prior to our coming on, so they sat Dad down in a chair with me in front of him and we just made magic to draw in the 100,000+ viewers in Denver. Wow, I'm a star!

I was not nervous at all and I was a perfect, young lady. Everyone just oohed and ahhed as I did my thing!

Love to all and I know you are jealous! Miss Parka





Saturday, April 11, 2009

Parka Express - Adventures update!

Good morning & Happy Easter!



I'm sorry that I have been a little out of communication. You know, Dad has been using that "gentle leader" on me a LOT! Well, it kinda keeps my muzzle wrapped pretty tight, so I've not wanted to do a lot ot talking. I've been busy keeping my mouth shut and doing my job. I still sneak in a little "hoover time" as we walk, but it is much more difficult for me and Dad is really trying to break me of that habit. What can I say, I'm just a hungry girl!



I was sick last week and had to go see the Vet for an upset tummy and lots of other things, that are too messy to talk about. Dad first put me on "chicken & rice, very bland," but was that a nice change in diet. I've been eating a lot of lamb & rice, but it was nice to scale down and eat chicken. Then after seeing the Vet, she gave us some canned food that she claimed was high in fiber. I'm not sure about that, but it was high in ymmy-ness!



My weight was down to 52.5 pounds! I feel more like a racing dog now...sleek and fast! Well, that's why Dad calls me the Parka Express! Dad feeds me 4-5 times per day. It sure seems like I'm getting a LOT of food, but I know it's only 2 heaping cups per day, but I sure do love eating several times per day!



We had a great adventure to San Antonio & Houston, Texas in mid March. What a trip! Dad really packs in a lot of things to do on a trip and we spent a lot of time with a really nice guy named Aaron. Dad said that he is the Event Manager for the Rocky Texas region. We stayed at his house in early February and I really enjoyed their house dog.



Mar. 13: landed in San Antonio, took a cab to Marriott near the River Walk. This was a very nice hotel and I found a good place to potty in the court yard! Aaron, Kristin, Antonea, Dad and I went to dinner on the River Walk and they had yummy Mexican food while I behaved under the table.



Mar. 14: We got started at 5:45 a.m. to attend the San Antonio VisionWalk and I led Dad through the darkness while we set up for the BIG event that morning in Breckenridge Park. A river ran throught he park and Dad and I walked around the area and I chased a couple of ducks away from our path. Over 200 people attended a very cold and rainy morning, in fact, we built a fire in a fire pit under the pavilion. We raised over $120,000 to fund research this day. What a fun time.



We flew to Houston that afternoon and had dinner at Bonnie's with the Houston chapter board. 25 people attended this dinner, board meeting that Dad set up. Once again, I behaved, while everyone else ate!



Mar. 15: We checked out the park where the Houston Walk will be held in the Fall, then went to a meeting at the Houston Lighthouse where 120 people attended to hear the program set up by Dad and Aaron. Wow, I'm getting tired just relating this story.



Mar. 16-17: We met lots of people that Dad used to know when he lived in Houston and even made a presentation to the Harrisburg Rotary Club, where Dad was president in the mid 90's. I was proud of Dad as he made his presentation to the 60 Rotarians in attendance! I was strutting my stuff.



OK, it's time for my grade update for this trip. If you recall, my overall grade was "B-" before:



Following commands and acting when asked to do so: A- (was B+ last time)

Riding in vehicles and staying calm when asked: A (was A last time)

Hoovering in normal harness and leash: C (was D- last time)

Hoovering with gentle leader: A- (was B+ last time)

Recall of paths taken in hotels: B+ (was C+ last time)

Advising Dad of curbs, obstacles, people: B+ (was B+ last time) (still forget curbs sometimes, and run Dad into people when I should shlow down, got to work on that!)

Synchronization and working as a team: 80% of the team (was 75% last time)



Overall Grade for this trip: B (was B- last time)



Dad uses the gentle leader most of the time with me. I wish I did not have such a hunger drive, but you know, I'm just a hungry girl. There are so many things that look appealing along the path. Dad did walk to work with me without the leader, but I kept hoovering and lunging for food a little bit too much and lost my freedom again.



I'll try to be more communicative in the future and I want to wish everyone a Happy Easter. In fact, I hope I get to play with Cuzzie's squeaking bunny this weekend! I love taking that toy away from her. I've been giving her a lot of kisses lately, so I'm starting to like that little bundle of excitment!



Lots of hugs, licks and kisses to Becki, Ashley & Caitlin up in Washington!



Love to all, Miss Parka

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Long time, no see!

Dad,

Sorry for not writing as often as I should, but life here has been pretty laid-back and I've been trying to catch up on some sleep. I'm on guard duty for a few hours a day and I must rest alot so I'll be ready, just in case someone tries to break in. So far, so good. My only problem is that nobody has clearly identified what I should do if there ever is a break in.....perhaps I'm expected to just lick them to death; I'm not really sure... but I keep my 50-caliber hollow-pointed tongue wet, warm, ready, locked and loaded, just in case. Whenever Sayer comes home with Gary, well, I sure get a chance to play hard and that tires me out some more. I love Sayer so much but sadly, I heard Gary tell Vicki that come March 22 he'll likely be sent away to San Rafael for advanced training. Gary has been getting emails from GDB asking about some of his missing paper work, like the paper that proves he's neutered. Gosh, all any body has to do is look and they'll know he's missing some pretty important parts. But Gary found the paper work and is going to email it to them tomorrow. He was also told Sayer needs more Rabies shots before I'm sent back and so he is scheduling that too. I'm beginning to wonder what kind of place it really is up there in San Rafael. I mean do they all run around with rabies or something? Dad, guess what? I'm going to get another job pretty soon. Gary and the others have been checking into the requirements for me to become a Delta Society dog, which is a type of therapy dog. I know I've always been considered a member of high society but this will make it formal, and they'll even get a photo ID of me as proof! Once I'm trained for this program, I'll get to go to hospitals and retirement homes to let people pet me, which I love so much. It'll be good therapy for me to get out and around some more, and they say it's good therapy also for those that will get to pet me. Sounds like a pretty good program, don't you think? Well, I hear the ice maker grinding some ice so I better go check out what's going on. I wouldn't want to miss my nightly ice cube. Say Hi to all, especially Claudia and Grandma and of course that little rug-rat Cuzzie. I miss you all so much.

Love and wet slobbery kisses from dear sweet loveable Zane.

Monday, February 23, 2009

I'm 3 years old, can you believe it?

Hey Dad!

It was a pretty good day on my 3rd birthday. Wow, I'm getting old and Gary even found 3 gray hairs on my head. He said that's a whole lot less than you have though. For my birthday party last night, I got some chocolate cake (which THEY ate), and I got a new toy made of 2-inch PVC (but Sayer thought it was his and took it away), and I got my first taste of real musshy canned dog food but only after Homer stole 2/3 of it. But I was left with a lot of love and hugs from everybody and best of all, amongst all the confusion, I could have sworn I heard your voice! Strange. Yea, I miss you too but we're getting along both fine aren't we? Love you forever, Dear sweet loveable Zane! PS: Say Hi to all, including Claudia, Grandma, Parka, and that rug-rat Cuzzie.

Comments: Hope you enjoyed your chocolate cake! Love, Dad

Yeah to Zane - he will make a wonderful therapy dog. Thanks to doing this with him . . . he has SO much to give!Love you all, ClaudiaClaudia Faubion clearingfor@comcast.net <mailto:clearingfor@comcast.net> ________________________________From: Gary Johnpeer [mailto:gjohnpeer@yahoo.com] Sent: Monday, February 23, 2009 9:04 AMTo: Richard Faubion; Claudia Faubion; Vicki Johnpeer; Kim Johnpeer; Katie JohnpeerSubject: ZaneHey y'all Got this note from Jan. She was the AKC evaluator who tested Zane for the "canine good citizen" test on Saturday. She frowns on collar corrections and prefers to use hand/voice signals instead, techniques that are somewhat different than the GDB training we've received but nonetheless, her procedures probably do work too. We could tell she is a real dog lover and she gave Zane a thorough test. Jan and her helpers obviously knew he was a well behaved dog and he passed the evaluation without any collar corrections anyway. He sure made us proud, that's for sure! So his first hurdle to becomming a "Pet Partner" (therapy dog), is done. Now we need to schedule him for some more testing and evaluations and that's pending. Gary/Dad--- On Sun, 2/22/09, Jan <fourpawsu@cox.net> wrote:From: Jan <fourpawsu@cox.net>Subject: ZaneTo: "gary Johnpeer" <gjohnpeer@yahoo.com>Date: Sunday, February 22, 2009, 9:42 PM Hi GaryThe next step in the Delta Evaluation process is for you to schedule an evaluation with Pam Becker therapyk9s@cox.net Zane is a wonderful dog and is very soft in nature. He really looks to you for support. Let me know if I can do anything to help you prepare for the Delta Evaluations. Since dogs communicate with body language, I like to be able to cue them both verbally and with hand & body language. This does help them when they are in new and unusual (for them) environments in comprehending what you want them to do. It also helps instill a higher degree of self confidence therefore the dog is more relaxed and at ease.I'm sure Zane will be a wonderful Pet Partner.