Sunday, January 25, 2009

Oh no, the Gentle Leader!

Good morning again,

Life in Colorado has been so much fun, until now. I have been able to sniff and smell along routes which usually results in a yank or two from Dad to hop up, but that's his job! But now, the gentle leader has been brought out and who came up with that name anyway?

Yes, Dad has had a few problems working me through restaurants. Well, I'm a growing teenager and I love to EAT! So, when I smaell or see scraps on the floor, I'm diving for them!

Our first major incident was a couple weeks ago when Mom, Grandma, Dad and I went to Outback Steakhouse. As we walked in from a snowy scene outside, all the people standing in the waiting line for wanting to pet me, love me, saying nice things about me, you know, the normal stuff that we guide dogs get! Dont' get me wrong, I don't mind it at all. In fact, I love it. But it does tend to distract me from my job.

Once we got our name called, Dad told me to follow the waitress to our table. I did for at least two seconds then promptly ran Dad's right leg into a wooden pillar of a booth whene some people were eating. I saw some scraps on the floor and knew it was my turn to snatch some food. Oooops, Dad was not too happy with me.

When we got to the table, I found a few scraps under the table. Well, I'm a Lab and I was hungry! Even though Dad had just fed me about 30 minutes earlier, I was still hunger. I'm still a teenager, so I'm not really worrying about my girlish figure, at least not yet!

Dad attended on Friday a breakfast meeting with clients and a lunch meeting with a nice guy named Charlie. But I was anything but well mannered as I sought out food and other people to sniff and get to knw to see if they wanted to share some of their food!

Dad was really exasperated with me. I could hear it in his voice. PARKA, lay down, REST!

Dad called Becki, my puppy raiser, to find out what she knew about my paper-eating habits and how unruly I was when going into restaurants. She confirmed that I LOVE to eat and when given the chance, would pick up and try and eat just about anything, especially paper.

Dad called Kae Ann in Boston, a real Rowdy Girl, to see what her experiences had been with Miss Melody. She mentioned that she had to use the gentle leader and high collar at times to keep her under control. Uh Oh.

Dad got the idea and pulled out the gentle leader and, of course, put it on wrong and had the leash attached to a ring in front of my eyes. I did not want to tell him that this was not correct, but then I did not like that strap across my snout anyway. I kept rubbing my nose on Dad's leg to try to rub it off. Kae told Dad how to properly loop it from the heck collar and finally it was on snug. Dog gone it!

Now Dad has control of my head and I am at his mercy. Well, maybe that's stretching it a little bit too far, at least, he has better control of my head. I guess that's what was needed, but I feel more like a slave. Where is that Abraham Lincoln guy when I need him? Wait a minute, I heard President Obama is trying to do a lot of things like Lincoln did, maybe he will "free the slave dogs?"

Oh, even better, the Obamas are looking for a dog for the White House! Maybe I could be the FIRST DOG? then maybe I would not have to wear this gentle leader? Hmmmmmm, gentle leader, why don't I just try to be a gentle leader of the pack?

Oh well, I love Dad and he takes such good care of me. I guess I will just have to straighten up my act. I promise to be GOOD, will that work? Please, no gentle leader!

Help my fellow caninces. Do you have to put up with this type of in-canine treatment?

Love, licks and hugs. A despondent Parka!

Parka honored by Deaver-Phoenix

Good morning fellow canines!

My Dad shared with me last week that we were honored at our graduation from GDB on December 14 by the Deave-Phoenix Foundation. Dad thought it was a Denver-Phoenix group, since he has worked in both areas with his previous Lab, Zane. But it was not.

GDB is a great group to be proud of since they worked so hard to train me, they placed me with the wonderful Limberg family, especially Becki, and they groomed me into a full fledged guide dog rady for prime time. This is an expensive training process as I went through college in about 8 months, which is longer than most. I had some issues to work out and finnaly became the "demo dog" at the graduation prior to mine.

Thank you folks att he Deaver-Phoenix Foundation in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. I don't know where that it, but Dad said it is a beautiful sunny place. I'm in Colorado no and we have had some really sunny days too!

Thanks for supporting Guide Dogs for the Blind. They are a first-class organization!

Much love and licks, Parka

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Rest, Relaxation, & Let the Fur Fly!



Well, it's been a busy few weeks here in southern California but now that things have settled down a bit I thought I'd catch up with you.Christmas was good and I got a Nylabone that I'm sharing with Sayer. It's almost destroyed already but I know I'll get another one if I just ask. I did have a bit of excitement on Christmas eve when some guy tried sneaknig into the house about midnight. I gave him a dirty look, a couple of sniffs and a licking and that scared him off.

You should have seen the soot fly as he scampered back up the chimney. Last I saw was a bunch of reindeer with a sleigh moving on to try to burglarize somebody elses house. I'm sure he won't try to come back. What a jerk.I just sent a couple pictures of an airplane ride we took last week. It sure is fun to get to go places again. We landed at a nearby airport called Cable airport and had lunch, then went to full up the airplane with gas and then flew back home.

Gary is back to teaching college classes again so I am in charge of the house a few hours in the morning till him and Sayer get home. Then I get to play hard for a while and boy does the fur fly! Vicki gets mad when she comes home and has to vacuum it all up but she doesn't really blame me because she knows I can't help it. It seems to me that with all that hair they could just add water and start growning another lab with it....what do you think? It would be a clone of me.I also sent a picture of me guarding their bed. The house rule here is that no dogs are supposed to be on the bed so I figured I'd be ready to chase any dogs away should they try to jump up. So far I've done pretty well and it sure is soft up there.

Gary has been planting lots of stuff in his back yard. So far he's brought in several heads of lettuce, and some broccoli. He has some zuccini, carrots, strawberries, okra, tomato, and beans growing but their not ready to pick. Besides that he's got some sunflowers, daffodils, iris, and other stuff I don't know growing. It's going to be about 83 degrees this weekend so he is excited to see his efforts multiply and grow. Say, has the snow melted there in Denver yet?Well, Sayer needs some attention so I'll sign off and go give him some. It's almost time for Vicki to come home and there isn't enough hair on the floor yet for her to vacuum up. I'll fix that problem for sure, even though Gary combed about a quart of black fur out of me this morning! He says I have about as much black hair as that Governor from Illinois that they impeached this morning.Would you send me some more pictures of Parka?

Maybe some frontal views and a few wide shots showing her entire side. Only please don't let Princess Coral know you're sending them....I think she gets jealous of me but I am handsome and I want to keep my black book up to date.Say hi to YOM and Grandma and of course Cuzzie and Parka.Till later,

Love, licks and belly rubs from Zane

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year! 2009 will be fine!

Good morning fellow canines and moody felines,

Happy New Year from Colorado! Yes, it's 2009 and I'm just fine. I'm two years old and looking pretty HOT, if I don't say so myself. Don't I look pretty sleek in that picture?

I have a really good buddy from Oregon as we shared licks during college as we got to know our new partners. I want to introduce Danville to you. He's a good looking LAB, what a hunk! And he's older than me, so we might want to go out on a date, the next time we meet!

Here is a happy message from Danville,

"Dear classmates and their partners,
Laurie and I wish you a very happy New Years. I know that Fellini, Georgene and Parka will bring in the New year when the clock struck midnight or at least I hope they did."

I hope that you all have a great New Years and it bring joy and happened to you all. Laurie wants me to tell his friends that he hopes that they have a great New Years and hope that they are doing well to.

Things are going well for Laurie and me these days. Laurie has been trying to do some clicker training this week with the light poles that have the signals that make sound when I push them to cross the street. Doesn't she know that I try to avoid these poles? But I get lots of kibble! Woo Hoo!

We had one thing go wrong last week for us and I will tell you about it. We were out for daily walk and Laurie asked me to stop at Starbucks in Lafayette. After we left there, we were walking up the street to go and it was after noon and I needed to go to the bathroom real BAD!

Well, I was so interested in p-mail that Laurie tripped over something on the side walk and she fall down on the ground. She messed up her ankle, but at least gave me a break and did not blame it on me. Laurie is such a great partner, don't you think?

After I went potty, Laurie had me rework the problem and I strutted my stuff after that. That has been the only thing that has gone wrong since we have been home from school.

On last Sunday, we went on a four mile hike with a BIG group that we hang out with and I enjoyed it and was walking fast since there was no curbs to worry about on this walk.

Please give a big hug and kiss to your partners from me and Laurie!"

Wow, Danville sounds like he is really on the move as they close out 2008. Dad and I went back and forth to work yesterday! What a great walk. We even went to the Vet's office and I got myself weighed. I weigh 54.9 pounds and have gained some weight.

Ny new year's resolution is to ask Dad to get me some Nutraslim instead of Science Diet. I've got to watch my girlish figure you know!

Lots of love, licks and belly rubs, Parka