Busy Dave... no, not the command busy...

Dave has been a pretty busy pup! These past couple weeks have been, in a way, life changing for him.

We had a very good Thanksgiving. Dave usually hangs out in my room, with a baby gate up so he can still watch the groups of people come and go while we eat dinner. Our friends are great about not feeding our dogs table food, but it's a tight squeeze sometimes depending on how many people come! Once the humans are full and on the verge of exploding, Dave comes out, goes busy outside and gets to have playtime with whoever (meaning everybody) will play with his toys.
(Dave poses with a Thanksgiving headband on)
My mom's grandma lives in an assisted living facility about 1 1/2 hours away from us. We happened to be in her area for a doctors appointment and so we stopped in to see her. I'm always amazed at how much impact a dog can have on people either in hospitals, nursing homes or in rehab facilities. Dave made the residents day so much brighter with just his sweet and happy face! Dave even met a manager of the assisted living facility whose name happens to be Dave as well.
(Dave, Meagan, her siblings and their great-grandmother pose for a picture)
Dave is always making us laugh with his silly antics!
(Dave lays on his back, feet in the air with his favorite no-stuffing fox by his head)

Our puppy group had a meeting at a local park. The park had a nice walkway and perfect sitting area for a meeting. This was a milestone meeting for Dave... he got to try the harness on for the first time!
(prior to the meeting, Meagan and Dave sit beside the trail and smile for the camera)
(Sue, our Area Coordinator, shows Dave the harness to let Dave smell it)
(Sue helps Meagan put the harness over Dave's head and get it clip on. I think Dave was more interested in licking Sue!)
(Dave lays quietly beside Meagan while wearing the harness)
(mmmm.... Dave looks so handsome in leather!)
(The pups work on some down stays for obedience)

(Leslie and Bentley work with Meagan and Dave on dog distractions... They are improving on the recalls Jen Garrity! :)
Christmas is coming quickly (just 10 days away people!) so we got the decorations out and put our tree(s) up. Once Christmas is over, the house always looks so empty and boring!
(Dave wears a green, red and gold wreath around his neck while sitting in front of our fully decorated tree)
We attended the annual Christmas Boat Parade. Our friend has a dock and the boats go in their canal. It was really fun this year! Dave did great... even with the had-no-idea-it-was-coming, pee-your-pants-it-was-so-loud, firework that went off on the dock next to us! I think Dave attracts the loud, unexpected noises.
(Dave and Meagan on the dock while a beautifully decorated boat passes behind)
(Dave watches one of the 33 boats that passes during the parade)

 Now for some, exciting, tear jerking news we received in the mail.

(Dave's In For Training notice for January 14th arrived in the mail this past Saturday)
We are excited that Dave is ready for college. He is so smart and loves to get his blue coat on to "go with me" and work. His favorite command (other then take-a-break for his meals) is "find the door" with a crisp and upbeat "switch" at the switch doors. Dave also really LOVES stairs. Like really loves them. I think it's like kids who don't have stairs of their own, so they love to go to peoples houses just to climb their stairs. I'm anxious to see what Dave thinks of escalators!
The big question I get is "Will you raise again?". Well, that is a question I've answered 4 times before and said "We're going to take a break for a while" and that breaks only ends up being about a month long. I'm not saying no, or yes. Let's just say, I'm keeping a tight grip on my puppy manual for a while longer :)


Veteran's Day Parade

After our the soccer game today, we attended the Veteran's Day Parade in AB. It's a small-town so it's a really small (2 mile) parade. But somehow, everybody gets excited about it no matter how dinky it is! It's probably the only thing that the community gets together for.

(Dave smiles at the camera while an antique red car drives by behind him)
These biker-happy people were VERY excited about seeing Dave. Someone yelled out (over the loud hum of cycles) "Paw for Patriot's?"  "Yes 'sir" I answered and we exchanged a thumbs up
(Dave watches as the bikers ride by.. he wasn't fazed a bit by the loud hum!)
So in return, a lady took a picture of Dave and I from her bike... can you see her?
(Dave stands close to me while a biker takes a picture with her iPhone)
(Dave watches as a small float rides by)
 The pirate floats are always rambunctious, wild and very noisy. At one point, their float was playing the song "Who let the dogs out". We can always count on the pirates to throw plenty of beads. After someone threw some beads and yelled "for the dog" I slid them over Dave's head and the ladies went nuts. They thought it was the cutest thing. And then the bead collecting started.
Here is a video my dad took of Dave getting some beads... Dave got more than I did!

(Dave watching a red pirate float go by... while wearing a few beads of course!)

(A pirate getting ready to slip some MORE beads over Dave's head :)

(Dave and I standing and showing off my few and Dave's  many beads)

There is always a cannon float for a restaurant called "Beanies". Unfortunately, they only fire the cannon 2-3 times for the parade (just to show you how short it is :) so over the music, and people cheering, you don't really hear it until it's right in front of you. Of course, Beanie the cannon stopped right in front of us and lo and behold, fired. Twice. And Dave? Didn't move a muscle. Whoop whoop!
Dave then proceeded to crash when we got home... talk about exposure overload! Crowds, cheering, yelling, clapping, loud music, smokey smells (from the cannon), motorcyles, marching band, children, beads and candy being tossed around, police sirens, army tanks and trucks... it was a good day.


Seafood Festival

(Dave and I sitting beside our booth)
This past weekend was the Ruskin Seafood Festival. (you can also call it the Tomato Festival and the Manatee Arts Festival... all three are exactly the same :)

Our Puppy Group always has a booth at these festivals to educate the public about Guide Dogs. Specifically Southeastern Guide Dogs.

(Dave sits nicely while I hold his leash and a really nice, very curious man pets Dave. The guy had some great questions about the school and the guide dog process. You don't raise 5 guide dogs and not learn a thing or two :o)
(Dave lays down nicely while watching people wander by. He did great at not getting too excited about people... but he really liked the greyhounds at the greyhound rescue booth :)

As well as seafood, there are animals, health and wellness screenings, homemade goods, art, jewelry, and contests.... like this one...
(Dave sitting in front of a hot pink smart car. The smart car fits only two people -or a person and a dog- and is the perfect size for a semi truck tire to squash it. I would freak out about driving it on the highway!)
Raffle to win a pink smart car, a golf cart, or $25,0000. I'm not so much a pink girl, but hey it's a car right?
Can you just see Dave and I riding around in it? Nope. Me neither. But hey, it's a car. And I haven't won it yet. The car or the cash.

Here is Dave with the ponies. Poor Ponies. I'm sure they would much rather be frolicking in a large grassy field somewhere, but they were hear to entertain kids. And Dave. Although he wasn't so much entertained as you can see in the picture.
(Dave sitting in front of the ponies waiting to be ridden by small children... Dave is looking over his shoulder at me with a very bored expression on his face)
Here is Dave with a pig. The pig is almost the same size as Dave which tickled me pink :)

(Dave and the pig, which is in a gated area, are standing almost side-by-side. Dave like the smell of the pig)

And there is no such thing as a seafood festival without some pirates!

(Dave with 6 pirates -wenches- they told me they took a picture the day before with a chocolate lab... these handsome boys sure have a way with the ladies :)

Dave's Halloween

Our family doesn't celebrate Halloween.   -What no candy?!?-
We used to. My mom loved dressing us three kids up in coodinating costumes. Like one year, when it was just Collin and I, we were "Mary had a little lamb" -Collin was the lamb- but my lamb kept running away leaving a trail of cotton balls that fell from his outfit (my mom glued every one of those cotton balls on his outfit by hand) so I then became "Little Bo-Peep lost her sheep".
One year (once Kaitlyn was in the picture :), the three of use were "The three blind mice". If our scanner worked I would post that picture. It was probably my favorite.
Another I can remember just because the face mask was so very irritating cute, I was "Cat in the Hat" and Collin and Kaitlyn were "thing one and thing two".
Waaaay back when I was an only child, I was a bird. But we won't go there.

Anyway. One year, my then 3 year old sister, freaked out about a house that was decked out with flashing lights, bloody walls, zombies, ghosts, you name it. She even refused to go near the house. We had to cross the street and go clear around it. So the next year when mom asked if we wanted to go, we all said no. That was when the special treats, candle light and movie night developed.
This year we got some candy at the store and played Uno in almost complete darkness. Who needs all that candy anyway right? :)

But something that is still fun to do is carve pumpkins :) I don't know why I didn't think of this with my previous guide dog puppies, but this year, Dave had his own pumpkin.

(Dave in front of the pumpkin patch)

(Dave's pumpkin in between Dave's legs. The pumpkin is spray painted Southeastern Guide Dog coat blue and the school's symbol scraped into it revealing the pumpkin's orange color. The school's symbol is the profile of a guide dog's head with the blind person's hand holding the dog's harness.)

(Close-up of Dave's pumpkin)

We did go to Walmart and show Dave the gross rubber masks, let him sniff the fake hair, and even showed him a couple full out costumes. Did he care? Nope.


Home Depot

My family and I went to Home Depot to price privacy fencing. Dave of course tagged along.

It's not even Halloween and the Christmas decorations are out. Almost in full force. Trees, lights, garlands, lawn ornaments (yes the blow up, looks like a snow globe kind!), and even jack-in-the-box sock monkeys with Santa hats on...

The video above is of Dave watching me crank a jack-in-the-box. "jack" pops out and Dave jumps!

We priced wood fencing
(Dave sitting in front of stacked wood fence panels)

And also vinyl fencing...

(Dave sitting in front of stacked vinyl fencing)

And looked at wood because it smelled good...

(Dave decided to lay down in front of the rows and rows of plywood panels)

The paint isle is our very favorite!

(Dave sat nicely for a picture in front of all the paint samples)

We even found Dave's favorite color... Sorcerers Hat.

(I'm holding a bold blue paint sample which is in the shape of Mickey Mouse's head and the color of Dave's working coat! The guy behind the paint counter said he could could color match Dave's coat for us if we wanted :)

Tomorrow, Dave and I are going shopping for a special project. We'll be sure to do a post as soon as we're done!


Just hanging'

It's been nice just hanging around the house this weekend.

We celebrated Collin's 14th birthday (help!) Dave of course, was a huge help opening presents :)
(Dave helping Collin open his present)
Dad, Collin, Kaitlyn, Dave and I attended Southeastern Guide Dogs Walk-A-Thon kick-off party. The theme was Hawaiian and Southeastern even hired someone who sang and played a steel drum...
(Southeastern Guide Dog's sign stating when the up coming walk-a-thon is... March 3rd!)
(The sign showing where to pick up your walk-a-thon kick-of party t-shirts and dog bandannas)
(The many people, and dogs!, who showed up... the party was held under the gazebo)
(Dave and I beside the man playing the steel drum)
 The walk-a-thon kick-off party was also a great time to catch up with out of state friends... many Area Coodinators were in town for the annual AC meeting. As well as many familiar faces, we also saw Ellen Cox... she raised Eve's brother and is now raising Austin, Eve's nephew! Austin is a white lab, isn't he adorable?

(Austin sits nicely and looks up at the camera)
(Dave in front of Southeastern Guide Dog's stone)
 Dave went to his second soccer game. He loved watching the kids... and eating grass.
(Dave looks off in the distance while Collin's soccer game goes on behind Dave)
(Dave and I pose, sitting on a blanket, for a photo op :)
Dave will be turning 10 months in a little less then a week! He seems to have grown up so fast.


Bye Bent-man, hello Dave!

Something we have done while Bentley was here is hum the old "Batman" theme song... you know "nah nah nah nah nah nah nah nah nah nah nah nah nah nah nah nah BATMAN!" but instead of saying "Batman", we would say "nah nah nah nah nah nah nah nah nah nah nah nah nah nah nah nah BENT-MAN!"... so here, check this out, but as you listen think "Bent-man"...

Bentley accompanied us to the Library (helped me pick out pride and prejudice... oh yes!) and our first soccer game of the season!
(Bentley sitting in front of the library shelves which are half full of books)
Bentley did very well at the soccer game. He sat and watched the ball being kicked back and fourth. A couple times the ball came close and once, Bentley almost joined the game, but he settled nicely and watched from the blanket.(the team's tied 3-3... it was a tough game!) The weather was perfect... we're almost in plain donuts and apple cider weather! (I posted that for someone special... you know who you are! :)

(Meagan and Bentley sit on a blanket while watching the soccer game)

(Bentley watches the soccer game)
Today was a puppy meeting at The Big Top Flea Market. The weather was pretty near perfect while in the shade. Today was also the end of puppy camp for Bentley and Dave! Saying good bye to Bentley was a little sad. He was a sweet and happy-go-lucky guy....

(I took a picture of Dave and myself while at the flea market... I'm smiling while I hold Dave's blocky head in my lap)
But it sure is good to have my little man back :)




(Bentley standing in the kiddie pool looking up adoringly at Kaitlyn)


(Bentley and Sadie in the kiddie pool)


(Bentley sleeping all twisted in his crate)


(Bentley sleeping in the passenger well of the car with his head up by the gear shift)
Ben Ben
(Bentley laying down with a rubber heart-shaped toy in between his paws)
Bentley is his name... so don't wear it out.