Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Reality of Relieving a Dog

Yesterday was a gorgeous day, especially after the rain the day before. The air was clean and clear, the sun was out, and Melanie and I walked up streets I hadn't walked in years. It was lovely as we walked down Forest Avenue heading towards home; however, right in the middle of the sidewalk, Melani just had to relieve (#2). Of course, I had a bag with me and picked it up, but there were no trash cans for 4 or 5 blocks. It was quite interesting to feel lik a very composed and thoughtful person who cleaned up after their dog and one who would just love to throw that stupid bag in the curb. However, I carried on, swinging my bag of pooh, until, finally, I came upon a trash can and got rid of it. It's one thing to pick i up and get rid of it and another to carry it around with you. I can't be the only one who's dealt with this situation anI would love to hear from anyone who has an idea to deal with it responsibly. I did pack an extra cloth bag today to use as a decoy, but there may be something better, I hope?

Friday, November 5, 2010

Walking & Walking With Melanie

We took a nice walk down to the Coast Guard Pier on a cool, overcast day. There were a few divers getting ready to get in the water and Melanie and I just walked along the pier looking out over the water. There were many distractions for Melanie, lots of dogs and oblivious canine owners. On Cannery Row, a man was getting out of a truck with a mean-sounding dog barking like crazy and another dog of his that came running up loose to Melanie. I yelled at him to control his dog and he just grumbled to me, "Why don't you just walk your dog?" Obviously, a pretty ignorant person. I guess I'll have to get used to some of that type of response; fortunately, most of the attention is positive. I think I now have a new name for my blog: GUIDE DOG REALITY!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Melanie at Lovers Point

This morning, Melanie and I walked to City Hall in PG and got her tag, which the City of PG requires of all dogs, including service dogs. Then, we stopped at the bakery again (a good thing we're walking a lot) and I picked up a little something to eat near the ocean. I actually got a little lost after taking a wrong turn and we ended up walking by part of the PG Golf Course. I just kept heading toward the ocean until we came to Ocean Avenue and walked quite a way to Lovers Point park. Melanie was just wonderful, we had to walk part of the way on the road (a sidewalkless route) an she stopped at all the cars parked along the way and brought me righ to the park. I sat on a bench with Melanie at my feet. I think Lovers Point is the perfect place to take this little loving dog.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Cinnamon Bun & Trip to the Vet

Melanie was raring to go this morning, so we walked on the rec trail and stopped at a shop that just makes different varieties of cinnamon buns. We sat in the nearby plaza looking out at the ocean while I ate my warm bun. Melanie lay at my feet and life was good.

Later in the afternoon, we walked to our vet to introduce him to Melanie and give him the paperwork GDB copied for our local vet. He weighed her and she still weighs a perfect 50 lbs. He proclaimed her perfectly healthy and said he didn't get many service dogs at his hospital. So, it was a good experience for him to be involved with this type of dog. So, now if she gets sick (a terrible thought), at least all her records are there.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Monday & Tuesday with Melanie

Monday, we took two nice walks since Melanie had so much energy. First, we visited the Blind & Visually Impaired Center to meet some fellow board members and staff. Of course, they just fell in love with her sweet disposition and petite body. Even though they knew better, it was hard to keep their hands from rubbing and patting her. After we left, we took our first walk on the recreation trail heading toward home which runs along the ocean. Melanie loved it, her ears perked up and her nose sniffing. Later that afternoon, we took another smaller walk through PG on a different route so she could get a good feel of the town and the way home.

Today, Tuesday, we took a nice long walk on the recreation trail, stopping at a Starbuck's on the way. She did so well, even when I was getting a little confused exiting the coffee shop, instructing her to go forward even when there was a chair right in our way. She managed to get by it and looked at me like I was crazy. There were many dog distractions along the way and a couple of times I did some obedience training on the sidewalk to focus her attention, then we went back to "work". Although to me, walking with Melanie isn't work, it's just fun! When we got home, I made an appointment with our local vet to set up her profile and give him the paperwork GDB copied for that purpose. It seems I also need to get her licensed in PG as well, so I'll do that this week.

P.S. I'm thinking of a new name for our blog, so stay tuned.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Our First Walk in PG

The weather was beautiful all day Sunday in PG and Melanie and I took our first walk through town. We stopped and picked up a few items at the bakery and took the long way home. She did perfectly, like she lived here all her life. Later, I let her run loose in the back yard to play with her toys and she was so happy and running all around. She's learning to figure out the best place to relieve on the little sidewalk area beside our house and she's doing great. I couldn't be happier.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Graduation and Going Home

Graduation was a rainy, but beautiful day. We had to have the ceremony inside instead of the outside stage. But it all worked out. Prior to the graduation, the puppy raiser was brought to my room, whom Melanie hadn't seen in 6 months. She had lived with her puppy raiser for 14 months. Of course. Melanie was estatic to see her and I handed her the leash so they could reunite, with Melanie giving her kisses and wagging her tail. It was a very touching moment and I was thrilled to meet the woman who helped nurture her loving spirit and socialized her to our busy, noisy world. She had a bag of presents for Melanie and me: a book of Melanie's baby photos, a big nyla bone (her favorite), a GDB blanket, a Christmas stocking made by a friend/volunteer with Melanie's name on it. I was thrilled to see a couple of our BVIC folks at the graduation. There were a couple of speeches by the Administration and the students sat at the front of the staging area with their puppy raiser sitting opposite with the dog and holding the leash. When each student was introduced, the puppy raiser came and stood next to the student and handed the leash back to the student. Each of the students gave a short thank you and the puppy raiser spoke. Most of the puppy raisers were very emotional about having to give up their loving puppies but all knew that it was for a very special reason and were also happy to have been a part of it. The puppy raiser and student shared addresses and phone nos. and will keep in touch as the new team bonds and grows.

After graduation, all were invited to mingle with refreshments or take a tour of the campus. As we had a long ride home, we decided to leave pretty quickly. The ride was very smooth and comfortable as my husband had rented a brand-new Cadillac to take home that very special little girl. She lay on the back floor on her rug with her nyla bone and slept pretty much the whole way home. I was concerned that we might have to stop and relieve her but she slept like a baby. When we got home, I took her to the back yard to relieve and she did so that meant I was relieved (Hooray). I fed her and let her settle down near the kitchen/dining room entrance and she was so excited and seemed to know this was home. The most surprising thing to me is that my little cat, Minime, came out right away to investigate and when I knelt down she gave me her little kis and rubbed me all over. After 3 weeks I thought she might at least be mad at me, but no, she was happy to see me! She was really curious about Melanie, and kept walking around the kitchen area, stopping, and staring at her. I think they are going to be great friends. However, our other cat, Butterfly, stayed in the closet in her bed and when I reached in to pet her she just hissed at me and hasn't come out of the closet, except to use the box, but she ate her meals in her bed. I think she's planning something. All in all, the first day home was a big success.