Category Archives: puppy raisers

Doggy Diaries – Human vet visit

Today was my first time going to the doctor on my own since going blind. I’ve only been a few times, twice for physicals and once for a mole removal, but those times either B drove me or a friend went. The first time I had a physical, a friend actually stayed in the room until the doctor came in, helping me change into the paper gowns and such.

The second time I had a physical, my friend stayed in the lobby and I used my cane when they called me back. Today I went with Jayden and took paratransit. I was like 6 months overdo for my physical. Oops!

I was a little nervous about how it was all going to work with paratransit. Since I schedule a return trip, it’s a little nervous making when you can’t be positive how long you’ll be at a place. When I used to work in the lab way back when, I’d have patients take paratransit there. We were a walk in lab, so you never knew how long it was going to take. You can do a will call, so you don’t schedule your return trip; you call when you’re done. I would have patients waiting for two or more hours for their return ride, because they have to fit you in since you don’t schedule a return. No way in heck I’m ever gonna do that.

When I made my appointment, I told them I’d never done paratransit there and was there any way I might be able to guestimate how long I’d need. We decided to schedule me for the doc’s first appointment of the day. The physical is a thirty minute appointment, but she recommended leaving a little leeway time in case things ran late.

I had an 8:50 appointment, and decided to schedule my return at 10:15. So to get picked up, my window was 7:50 to 8:20 and my return was from 10:15 to 10:45.

I was dreading being up and ready to go by 7:50. I was picked up at about 8am and got a little nervous when we encountered traffic and still had to pick up one more passenger. I wanted to have plenty of time to get in and use the restroom and stuff. We got there about 8:30, perfect.

Jayden had never been there before, so I asked the driver if we were right in front of the door and we were. I remembered that it’s a somewhat long sidewalk to the door and told Jayden to find the door once we stepped off the van. I love it when you can feel them sight in on what you ask. As soon as I said the words, we were off. He lines me up perfectly to reach out and grasp the handle. Wow.

I knew the counter was right to the left once we walk in, and the receptionist had actually seen me get there and had come out to sign me in. I asked if I had time to use the restroom and she asked if I knew where it was. I said I did and directed Jayden to find the door. I felt him sight in on the door into the office and I saaid “go right, find the door” and then I felt him sight in on the restroom. Wow.

When I was done I said to find the chair and he took me right to one. I already knew he was good at that lol.

The receptionist called through the window that she had a sheet for me to fill out.

“I…can’t…”

“Oh! I knew that,” nervous laughter.

I laughed back, “No problem, do you need my Medicare card?” She did, so I had Jayden find the counter. “People ask me if I need light, things like that, all the time,” I said, “I even seriously thought about borrowing a book from my sighted boyfriend.”

I’ve noticed that when people do that kind of thing, it helps if I tell them it happens all the time. Jayden found the chair again and then we were called back.

He did great while I was weighed and measured and when the vitals were taken. Then we went into the exam room and he stayed by my feet. Suddenly I had to pee again. Carin, remember mafia guy bladder? Yeah. Crap. It’s my appointment time, but there’s no way I’m gonna be able to manage the doc prodding my abdomen. I began cursing the one cup of coffee I’d had in the morning along with my glass of milk. There was no waiting.

Now, before Jayden, this would have been a pain, to stik my head out and get some help. Instead, I walked out with Jayden and ran into the doc, asking if her if I had time to use the restroom, saying I was sorry with the bad timing. Jayden got me back out to the restroom and back into the exam room no problem, and quick. Would have taken forever with my cane.

When the doc came in she asked who the great dog was, but didn’t try and pet him. In fact, no one did. They all said how beautiful he was but everyone knew the rules.

The doc always does the interviewing part before the xam part and Jayden lay quietly at my feet. About a week ago, I had asked Carin what she does with Trixie while at the doc, because I honestly didn’t know. Do I have him lay beside the table and hold his leash? Carin said she just loops the leash around the chair leg and I figured that would work just fine. I don’t think it’s even necessary to tie Jayden to anything anymore, but it helps just as a precaution.

I warned the doc and the nurse that Jayden would probably give them the evil eye, as he did with my massage therapist when I first started seeing him. It’s like Jayden is saying, what the hell are you doing to my mom? He indeed was giving them the evil eye, which they thought was really cute, but once he realized that I was ok, he took a nap.

Everyone raved about how good he was. I can’t tell you how awesome the whole experience was, being at a place I knew and knowing I could show Jayden where to go. He understood “counter” and “door” and “chair” no problem.

When my doc said what a good dog he was, I made sure to say it was all in the raising. I told her his raiser was a teenager and he had been her first dog. My doc said, “she did a great job!” Yes, yes she did.

We’ll have another doctor adventure some time soon, as I need to see a specialist. It’ll be a place I’ve never been, but my doc’s medical assistant called around to find the most accessible location for me. I’m sure it’ll go off just fine. Everything’s ok, it’s an auto immune thing and now that I have Medicare, I can actually see a specialist.

My vitals and everything were good, I just need to get my labs done, which will be another adventure. I’ve got to find the best place to go. I’ll be cabbing that trip for reasons explained above. My doc was majorly excited about my weight loss. I told her I’ve lost 20 pounds. (I was glad to see that I hadn’t gained any weight even with Thanksgiving and my inactivity. Looks like my metabolism knows how to act now, and I’ve got enough muscle to keep the fat at bay.) My doc was curious and looked up what I weighed when I first started seeing her in 2004. Since then, I’ve lost a total of forty-six pounds! She reminded me that I was drinking back then, and she was happy to find out I’m still sober.

Oh yeah, I was freaking out a little bit after the second bathroom break, thinking that my doc had to be in there by at least 9:30 so I’d have time to use the restroom again before my early window time of 10:15. Damn mafia guy bladder. Sorry if TMI. 😉

I heard the van arrive right at 10:15 and made my way out to it. The driver took me home right away and no one else was on board, so the return trip went off without a hitch.

Oh wait, need to tell you about the lady on the way there. So another passenger gets on and of course she comments on how beautiful my dog is. Then she coughed and said, “sorry, he looked at me.” Alrighty then. She said, “he must have thought I was barking.” I forced a giggle. Then she asks if I’m training the dog. I explain that no, he’s my eyes. She asked how long they train. I explained about the puppy raising and then the guide work training. I can’t remember how I said I hadn’t always been blind, but she said, “it’ll be nice when there’s no blindness in the world.”

“Yeah, someday…” I said, thinking about stem cell research but deciding not to bring that up. It’s a touchy subject.

“Oh no,” she said, “it’s promised. The heavenly father said so.”

What to say. Anything? Hmmm. That’s your belief, I’m not gonna disagree. But hmmm.

“Actually, my life has gotten awesome since I went blind,” I said. It has! She didn’t speak again. What do you say to something like that? I mean, the God I believe in has no control over what we consider to be tragedies. Or maybe he does. I don’t pretend to know God’s will. I wasn’t going to have a theological debate with her though.

After I got home, I’ve literally been on the phone the entire rest of the day. Except for when my battery died and I turned the phone off to get a quick charge. Then my doc’s office called back while I started this post, I tried scheduling the specialist but they have to wait for the records to arrive, another call came in, and now I’m finally finishing this post. This day literally flew by. Wow! It was a great day. I’ve been so absent from life since not knowing if I was sick, starting the novel, the weather turning cold so I cuddled with Jayden and read books and ate pie and now it looks like I’m back to my regularly scheduled program. Ries are scheduled for the gym next week. I need my routines back! =D

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Filed under accomplishment, doc, Doggy Diaries, faith, Jayden, puppy raisers, white cane, working dog, workouts, wow

Doggy Diaries – Windy noisy weird positions leave it thank you

Today was pretty much just a typical day, but I was especially grateful for Jayden. We didn’t do anything out of the ordinary, just laundry. After we put the loads in and came back home, I left just the security door closed to let some fresh air in. It’s still fairly warm in Arizona, even this morning.

Suddenly there was major racket outside. It sounded like some kind of big truck but I couldn’t tell what on earth it was doing. All I can say is it was loud, very loud. Jayden ran to the door and I put on a silly accent asking him what all the noise was about. I like to get silly when things are loud, to keep Jayden from getting afraid. The other day I stepped on some bubble wrap on the tile floor, giggling as I did so. Jayden just stood next to me, wanting to play with it. I was so glad he wasn’t afraid of the popping.

Anyway, back to today. So it was getting near time to switch to the dryer and the racket seemed to have faded in the distance. When we left to go back down to the laundry room, the wind had kicked up and there was no way I’d be able to hear a vehicle. I was glad to have Jayden’s eyes. We switched the loads and left; the racket from the truck was off in the distance.

When it was time to go get the laundry, I could tell whatever it was was really close. I was going to have to rely solely on Jayden to get us to the laundry safely as there was no way I’d hear danger. He was a champ, acting as though it were totally normal out. When we got to the laundry room, another resident was in there and I asked her what the racket was. It was a street sweeper of all things. Neither of us had ever seen one in the complex before. She said it was like a mini street sweeper. There was also a guy with a leaf blower. I had to laugh and commented how silly it was to be blowing debri when it was incredibly windy out. The lady laughed and said it looked as though the man with the blower and the mini street sweeper were working together. The man blew stuff into piles and the sweeper came and sucked it up. They were right outside the laundry room at this point and it was so loud we couldn’t talk. Luckily by the time I was ready to leave, the pair had gone off to blow/vacuum another area.

I had to laugh when I left because I could hear the wind blowing leaves and twigs around on the pavement. Obviously they weren’t able to get it all since the wind was probably just blowing the piles around.

I don’t think I would have ventured out with just my cane during all that noise. My clothes probably would ahve just stayed in the laundry room. Thank God for guide dogs.

The rest of the day has been pretty chill. I wanted to get my floors done since I’ll be working out tomorrow, but I’ve been fighting a migraine. Carol stopped by but I couldn’t hang out for long, feeling the migraine being too pesky to make a departure, even with the pain fighting Advil soldiers attacking it.

I’ve been crocheting, trying to get the puppy pool projects done. Think it’s taken long enough? Jayden was laying next to me on the couch and when it was almost feeding time, I reached over and burst out laughing.

I had my legs on the coffee table, Maddie’s blanket stretched across them as I worked. Jayden had his rear end on the couch, his front feet on the floor, and his head resting on my shins hahahahahhaa!!! I reached for my iPod to take video, but forgot I’ve been listening to a book in bed, so it was in the other room. Darnit!

Oh, almost forgot I wanted to write about yesterday, too. I washed out the Vittles Vault after getting rid of the last of the SD food and after it was dry, I poured the Blue Buffalo into it. I still had some in a rubbermaid on the counter. Jayden was sitting next to the food container, almost completely full of food, lid off. I had to turn my back to grab the rubbermaid and pour the food from it into the bin. I told Jayden ‘leave it’ and turned my back to grab the other container. Jayden just sat there, right next to the uncovered food bin. So he got a few pieces of kibble from it. What a good boy! That’s all in the raising, folks. Thank you, puppy raisers!

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Filed under crochet, desert life, Doggy Diaries, gratitude, Jayden, jayden quirks, laundry, NaBloPoMo 2010, num num food, puppy raisers, weather, working dog

Doggy Diaries – Love for Puppy Raisers

I’ve only dedicated one other post to puppy raisers and today I was thinking about them and decided to write another post about the group as a whole now that I have Jayden.

Yet again I’m kind of at a loss for words about how to start a post about these amazing people. These people who take a little bundle of fur and instantly love it. These people who shape our dogs into the amazing dogs we have, turning them into amazing companions, and then give them away. Give them away…after loving them so unconditionally and spending every waking moment with them, they give them away. Wow.

I think about all the things Jayden is subjected to. He has to live in a house with three cats. He doesn’t have a yard. He has to put up with B and me screaming at our games. He sleeps through thunder storms. He’s cool only working once a day because of this heat. Since he was exposed to malls when he was young, he doesn’t mind being stuck in them. He’s content to sleep at my feet or on the couch, but only in his designated spot. He lets me touch him all over, even his feet, so I can keep an eye on him. He deals with noisy traffic. He ignores other animals. Even lizards, which he didn’t grow up with. He ignores other people when they try and tell him what to do. He waits patiently for his food. He lays down patiently for two hours at the gym. He holds his bladder for insane amounts of time sometimes haha. He does his business when I ask him to so I know we’ll be ok when we leave.

These are all things his raiser taught him. Would he have been so patient if she hadn’t taken him with her to high school when he was just a young guy? Would he be ok with all the cheering in the apartment if she hadn’t taken him to softball games? Would he be so chill around the cats if he hadn’t grown up with one? Would he be so gentle wih children if he hadn’t been raised with them?

I’m so grateful he started doing all these things when he was so young. Just like humans, he soaked everything up during his young months. If he hadn’t learned to be patient while his raiser was in class, would he lay so calmly for me at the gym?

He never ever counter surfs. He never goes after the cat food. He predicts what I want with obedience so much that I have to constantly switch it up haha. He stays on his bed all night.

All that, all of it, was in his raising. He never knew any different.

Puppy raisers have the joy of having their dogs with them all the time. But they run into more barriers than we do as guide dog handlers. They get the questions like why do you need a service dog? They are the ones who are huge ambassadors for all service dogs. They answer all the tough questions. They do the fundraising. They sit at tables in Macy’s and educate the public. They help us before we even walk with their dog for the first time. All those people they educate are fewer people who will interrupt us when we’re working.

They have puppy meetings they must attend. They have to pass a screening and wait not so patiently to find out if they can raise. They wait with baited breath for the puppy truck to arrive. A year later, they wait to return their puppy to the truck and they may never see their dog again.

They do this all for no pay.

They adhere to strict rules set in place by whichever school they raise for. They do it all so we as people who are blind or visually impaired, can have a better quality of life. They don’t worry about the fact that we have a disability. They don’t think about whether we’re capable enough to love and care for their pup. They are simply amazing people.

To me, Jayden will always be his raiser’s dog. He’s mine for right now, but he will always be hers. That sweet girl who decided to raise puppy’s and received Jayden as her first charge, after proving that she was fit as a raiser. She loved him and made him the amazing dog he is today and he became my first guide dog. He will always be hers. In my heart, we’re sharing custody hehe.

We don’t communicate often. She’s on her second puppy now. She’s attending college now. I hope we always stay in touch, though. She never knew how much she would affect my life. A girl I spent two hours with at graduation, has completely changed my life by raising such an amazing dog.

I can’t speak enough words about puppy raisers. Each and every one of you are amazing. Whether you’re raising your first or you’re fifteenth, you are amazing. How can I ever thank you all for the amazing thing you are doing?

So on a day where you’re frustrated, or on the days approaching your dog’s recall, think about how grateful we are. We may not all say it enough, but I can’t think of another handler from a school who doesn’t love you just as much as I do.

Thank you, puppy raisers!

(I wonder how many times I wrote ‘amazing’ haha!)

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Filed under Doggy Diaries, gratitude, Jayden, misty eyes, puppy raisers, working dog

Doggy Diaries – Happy 2nd birthday, Jayden Bailey!

My amazing guide dog is two today! I remember the day he was given to me and they told me his birthday, July 15, 2008. I did the math in my head. I went blind April 24,2008. I’m not sure how long dogs are pregnant, but I’m pretty sure Jayden was in the womb, already conceived, just for me, the day I went blind.

How could I have possibly known that day in the hospital as I watched everything turn gray, staring at B to memorize his face, terrified of what was coming, that in less than two years I would have such an amazing companion, friend, cuddle buddy, play pal and set of eyes, all wrapped up in soft yellow fur?

There are so many blessings I have received since losing my sight. Incredible new friends, new experiences, a whole new way of looking at the world.

Because of Jayden, I have this blog. Because of my decision to apply for a guide dog, I have this space on the web filled with all these amazing people.

I won’t try naming all of you, but I wouldn’t have all of you if it weren’t for my blindness, if it weren’t for Jayden.

Because of Jayden I got on a plane all by myself to fly off to guide dog school for three weeks. Something I swore I’d never do when I was newly blind. An experience that has prepared me for so much in the way of independence.

Because of Jayden I started doing my own laundry, started going for walks, started working out in preparation. Because of Jayden I’ve lost those twenty pounds and chose to live healthier.

When B isn’t home he knows I’m well taken care of, because of Jayden. I think back to when B first went back to work after I went blind and how scared I was. I wouldn’t leave the house without a person.

Now, because of Jayden, the world has opened up. I am no longer afraid. I am never alone!

Because of Jayden I can talk to myself whenever I want and play it off as talking to him. 🙂

I can have full conversations with him. He helps me make decisions even though he doesn’t respond. I ask him what he thinks and he might wag his tail or lick my face and suddenly I know the right thing to do.

I love reaching over at night to find him laying on his back next to my bed. I love it when I stroke his belly while he’s fast asleep and he makes his little happy grunt. I love it when he’s excited either because I’m being silly or because the harness has just come on, and he makes this delighted squeal. He does that when I’m not moving fast enough to go out the door too. 😉

I love how excited he gets about the frozen Kong, jumping up and down until I say sit and it’s all business. For awhile he would immediately go into a down, doing the puppy push ups and I thought it was really cute, but I’ve started discouraging that, because I need for him to sit stay or down stay at times and not pop up and down haha.

As I write this, he is laying on the floor with my foot under him and his head resting on my leg. I wish I could describe the position. If he were heavier, it might just break my ankle lol!

I love how he brings me his Kong when he’s done with it. He is learning to “go get it” when he’s done, if he comes to me without it.

I love the sense of security he brings even in situations that bring about uncertainty.

I love how he can be fast asleep, but hear the treat pouch at night and know I’m filling his Kong, and know he is going to get a kibble for waiting patiently.

There is so much I could write about Jayden and how much he has improved my life, but really all you’d need to do is click his name to read all about him.

Happy birthday, my JayBay, my Mellow Yellow, my goober head, my goof ball. I love you more than words can say!

Thank you to his puppy raiser and her family. You did such an incredible job with this dog. He never ever ever goes after anything in the house except his toys. He takes no energy for me in the way of house behavior and obedience. He is all that I wanted and so much more, and that is just about all due to his upbringing.

Thank you to the GDB staff and trainers for making such a perfect match. Thank you for giving him such incredible guide skills. Thank you for watching the breeding stock so closely to make such amazing dogs.

Thank you to my instructors at school. Without your knowledge and patience, I never would have been as successful a handler. I don’t know how you crammed so much information into my brain in just three weeks. =D

Thank you to volunteers and puppy sitters and breeder custodians, and those who have made and continue to make donations for our wonderful guides to be possible.

I am just so in love with my dog. Happy birthday again, my amazing Jayden!!!

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Filed under accomplishment, Adjustment to blindness, birthday, Doggy Diaries, fellowship, GDB, gratitude, Jayden, jayden quirks, misty eyes, puppy raisers, working dog

Doggy Diaries – What to write when your dog is perfect

Yep, Jayden is perfect. There’s nothing else to say on the matter. There have been no issues, nothing worrying me that I need advice about, nothing but perfect work. I honestly don’t remember the last time he made a mistake. Actually, he blew a curb at Walgreen’s once, but that’s it. He gets really excited about going to Walgreen’s, and this was a different one. Also we were with Kevin and Jayden adores Kevin. It was so cute when Kevin came over. I have Jayden sit and calmly greet our guests but after I released him from the sit and told Kevin he could pet Jayden, Jayden started jumping straight in the air. Not jumping on Kevin at all, just bouncing straight up and down haha! Kevin got such a kick out of it. So when we got to Walgreen’s, Jayden was just really happy and blew the up curb. I was expecting the curb, so no biggie.

When we were in line there, Kevin told me Jayden was licking the lady in front of us. I told him no but the lady was like, “that’s ok, I just lost my dog on Monday.” Awww…I’ve heard about people telling you stuff like that when you have a guide dog. It was sad.

Jayden looks forward to when Dave comes because it always means an adventure. Tuesdays we’re meeting really early now to try and beat the heat. I’ve been in a fatigue for the last two weeks, but I can pushed through it for an hour for Jayden. We went to the historic neighborhood because there’s these bushes on one corner that I wanted to practice with. Don had showed me what to do if Jayden runs me off the sidewalk trying to get around a bush like that. Rather than a full on rework, he says to push into Jayden, patting my leg and saying careful as we continue to walk. When the dogs are being trained, that’s what the instructors do. They are taught to let the bush brush them so as not to run us off sidewalks and risk a turned ankle. There were lot’s of obstacles aside from those because since it’s spring, everything is growing. Jayden had to get me around overhead obstacles and stuff hanging into the sidewalk, and he did great.

Next weekend he’ll be attending his first party as my date to Georgie’s graduation party. That’s gonna be so fun!

Jayden and I now play games of hide and seek, which Jayden loves. I can actually successfully hide from him and I silently giggle as I hear him walking around trying to fine me. It’s so fun! He also is so cute when it comes to getting a stuffed kong. He sits and before I have to say it, he lays down. It’s almost instant. Then I say ok and he jumps to a sit and then melts into a down again. It’s sooo cute, the puppy pushups. We showed kevin one day and also showed him hide and seek. Kevin said he sits there not moving until I call him and tell him come, then he takes off like a shot hehe! I’ve definitely found creative ways to play and do obedience since the heat is already here.

Laundry is not an issue at all anymore. He’s perfect and he knows when he sees the laundry cart, what we’re doing. He’s more careful since I’m dragging the cart behind us. I had a neighbor say hi on Friday, dragging the cart home and she said, ‘your dog is doing so awesome!” That made me happy, because when we first got home, the neighbors would be like, “he looks confused…” Haha yep, he knows his stuff around here now.

His most favorite place is Gamma’s, since now he get’s some banana there. Also, he’s figured out that ice comes out of the freezer door and he’ll watch when Gamma is getting ice, because once a cube dropped and he went nuts. So he gets banana and ice at Gamma’s and she just loves him.

He’s perfect on our walks, perfect doing laundry, perfect going to Gamma’s and Saavi, there’s just nothing else to say on his work.

He’s perfect around the house, never gets in to anything. He loves laying by the door and even puts up with Timmy whining to get out. He gets so excited about food and he loves to drop on the floor for a belly rub and romp. We do a lot of random playing throughout the day and a lot of cuddling. He’s so patient with me when I’m not feeling well.

The bonding is only getting more intense. He loves to nibble at my fingers and it’s soooo gentle. His tail is always wagging and he’s getting more vocal now. No barking, just sounds when he’s content or wants to play or is happy cuddling.

I don’t know what else to say about Jayden. His puppy raiser did an outstanding job. Seriously. I mean it just has to come down to the raising. I have no problems at all. He lets me touch him everywhere, which I do often to check for any problems and to check his body mass. I touch his paws and his ears and his mouth, and he never has a problem with it. I remember the raiser telling me they made sure he was cool with that. Thank you raiser!

Anyway, it had been awhile since a diaries post so I thought I’d better write one. I know there hasn’t been much about Jayden and me here with the series, so thought I’d better update. I might write one about me later, who knows. =D

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Filed under Doggy Diaries, Gamma, gratitude, Jayden, jayden quirks, laundry, num num food, puppy raisers, spoons, Timmy, transitioning, weather, working dog

Pooch Ponderings – I met my vet today

Mom says I have to tell you about my vet visit because she needs to get out of her own head and if she writes it like a human, she’ll get too serious and start crying again.

I got sooo sick, like, icky sick. Like, both ends sick. It started yesterday afternoon when I went on the tile floor and stunk the house up. Mom cleaned it up and seemed a little worried. That morning I didn’t really want to eat. She had to urge me to and finally I gave in. But after I stank up the house I wanted to eat. Then later I did it again. She took me outside and more came out. And I just didn’t feel good. But I still played a little and wagged my tail.

We did our normal night thing but mom didn’t put me in my kennel and I was all confused. She took me out again and then she let me go in my kennel. Then after everything was quiet and the humans and cats were sleeping, I stank up my kennel. Mom heard it and got up and took me outside and the guy human took my fleece out. Then I threw up and I felt sooo much better I was wiggling and wagging everywhere. Mom stayed up for a bit with me and then she had me lay on a towel right by her bed, not in my kennel.

A couple hours later I had to stink up the house again so I got up and ran to the tile. Mom heard and came out and took me out and cleaned up. She stayed up after that and that gurgling thing made it’s noise and gave her the dark stuff.

She got on the white thing and asked people if she should feed me. Don’t worry, I thought, I wasn’t hungry anyway. Then she was on the phone cancelling our ride and then the guy got up and they both touched me but I was on the floor and didn’t want to move. He left and mom was on the phone a lot, first talking to someone about me and then calling around asking for rides. She started crying when she wasn’t reaching anyone and finally called a cab.

We got to the vet and I knew it was a vet because my raiser’s mom worked at a vet. I got all excited. A cat lived there! But then I got tired again and I lay down while mom talked to the lady.

We sat there for a little bit. I’m glad the person on that Bookface thing said to go there. It wasn’t a very long ride in the cab.

We went back and the vet came in and he started rubbing me and he pressed on my belly and I barfed up a lot, but it didn’t come up very easy. Mom was getting worried and then the vet was worried and he stuck some things up my bum while mom and the nice lady talked to me.

Then the vet said he wanted to take xrays because he was worried I got something stuck in me. He said he wasn’t worried about the stinking up the house if I wasn’t barfing but since I was and I did when he touched me, he was worried. Mom called Carol when the vet left and then she put her head on me and cried a lot. The nice lady came back to take me for my pictures and they took me away from mom. I’m not used to being away from her.

When I got back she was on the floor ready for me and I ran to her and then met Carol. They had gotten the yummy brown stuff that mom loves.

We waited awhile and the doc came and told mom he was taking my pictures to have someone look at them and then he came back and my pictures were all good. Duh, I take good pictures. Mom was very happy and the vet gave her stuff for me and she paid them and we came home.

Oh yeah, but before we came home, I got a shot and it hurt so I whimpered.

Mom tried giving me this mushy food stuff but I didn’t want it. I was laying by the door. So she put it in her hands and gave it to me. Ah, that was the life. So I ate that and then she stuck a pill in my throat. Blech.

Mom is so exhausted. It’s a good thing she can’t see herself, cuz she looks awful. She keeps telling me to just rest. She moves really slow until she hears me move and then she jumps up and takes me outside where I stink up the rocks.

Mom is all worried because she’s been out of sorts so she’s afraid she made me out of sorts. The doc told her I ate something that came out and upset me. Why did he have to tell on me?

I guess we’ll be resting the next few days while I eat my special food and take my pills. Mom said she’ll get caught up on the autism posts, she promises. She also has a lesson to write for her class.

I feel pretty icky. I’m on the couch by mom now. I think it’s ok to be away from the tile for now. Being sick sure is no fun and man, is it stinky.

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Filed under cats, coffeeholic, Doggy Diaries, Jayden, pooch ponderings, puppy raisers, sicky sick, vet visit

Doggy Diaries – No more blogging

I’ve decided to stop blogging. It’s just not fun anymore. There’s nothing to write about anyway. And I really don’t think anyone enjoys reading anymore. So This is the last post. For those of you have my email address, you know where to find me. I think I pretty much need to give up the computer entirely. I just spend too much time on it and it’s pulling me away from life. I think I’ll take a class in blind underwater basket weaving. Or maybe I’ll start a line of crochet dog collars. I think that would be a much better use of my time. I have just been sucked into technology a little too much. In fact I think I’ll donate the computer and all my tech gadgets to a shelter. Good bye technology! I think I’ll find a clay hut somewhere in Nevada. And grow my own food.

Hahahaha ok did I have you going at all, until it got rediculous? I used to be really good at April Fool’s jokes, but there’s not much I want to joke about anymore, if that makes sense. Not in an “I’m depressed” way or anything. Just pulling jokes like “I’m pregnant” or “B and I are breaking up” stuff like that, is just not stuff I want to joke about. I don’t even really want to joke about giving up technology, but it was just a whim and I couldn’t help it. So hope I didn’t jinx myself there.

Anyway, I looked back and I haven’t written a diaries post since Sunday. Whoa. Maybe that’s what gave me the idea to play a joke about stopping blogging. I don’t even really know why I haven’t written a post. Maybe nothing huge jumped out at me. Jayden and I are just settling in so nicely that it’s all becoming a well oiled routine.

He was a little off his game at Gamma’s on Sunday. I didn’t read my last post to know if I mentioned that. I think he was excited to see his friend Charlie next door. I let him out back to do his business and then let him off leash. Gamma said he was eating something in the corner, but he was probably just sniffing. When I called, he didn’t come. I called again and he didn’t come. So Gamma had to direct me to get to him and the leash went back on. Then Charlie came out and I didn’t have my hitch hiker’s grip on the leash, and Jayden slipped right out of my grip to run to the fence. He couldn’t get out, but again didn’t come when called. So I went and got him and took him back inside. He had also blown the curb at Walgreens, and the step at Gamma’s. When we got home, he guided me flawlessly to my door and B was relieved, because he was worried I’d gotten a broken dog. I had to laugh at that and say I wasn’t worried at all. He’s still a very young dog, and he’s going to have days like that.

He knew I wasn’t pleased, and made up for it on Monday when we went to Saavi. He was perfect. Nothing less than perfect. He took me right to the bus and found a chair, then when we got there, the bus couldn’t pull up right in front of the door. Last time that happened was when he blew the curb and ran me into a wall trying to go into a different door. Not Monday. He stopped at the curb and then took me right in the front door. I had decided to start having him target the counter first before heading back down the hall and I said counter and pointed in that direction and he went right to it. When was he taught “counter”? I didn’t do it. Then he knew to stop at the ladies room first, then he knew to take me right to the gym, and he proceeded to go right to his spot and wait for the mat, then he lay right down and was perfect while I worked out.

After the workout, we had some issue finding a seat in the lobby, only because people don’t really know how to communicate very well when it comes to a person being guided by a dog. I think most of the clients use canes, so it’s a little different. Finally we found a good seat and waited for the van and when my name was called, I said “outside” and he took me outside and boarded the van. When we got home he took me right to the door. So it was like he knew he hadn’t quite been great on Sunday haha!!

Tuesday Dave came over to work the route down to the store again. It’s slow progress, but it’s getting there. That afternoon, I had him on leash to take him outside for relieving and he stopped right by the door with his body in front of me, facing the kitchen. I reached out, and had he not done that, I would have smacked the wall that juts out from the door. He wasn’t even working! I think he really knows I’m blind now, especially since now that he’s free in the house, I run into him sometimes hahaha! I was just amazed that he put his body between me and that wall. Wow.

Wednesday was Saavi again and again it was perfect. It was funny because when the van took me home, I could tell the driver hadn’t stopped right by our walkway. I asked if we were in front of the sidewalk and the driver said, no, I didn’t want you to have to go over those parking curbs. To which I laughed and said we do it all the time, my dog stops for them. I took the driver’s arm until we reached our sidewalk because I couldn’t be sure where he had stopped the van.

Afternoons we’ve just been relaxing with a play session here and there. It’s been fairly nice out, so I can leave the screen door closed and he loves to lay there and look out. Play is getting a lot more fun now that he knows he’s ok to be a dog when we play. After our nightly play sessions, (I play with him about eight every night to get things moving for the nightly relieving) he’ll get tired and just lay down and I lay down with him for awhile and we cuddle. It’s sooo nice.

We still go out in the afternoons and get the mail, or I let him walk around on a long leash, or I’ll take him out and groom him. He sits right down in the sun and lets me groom him for quite awhile, which is good since he’s throwing his winter coat.

Now that he’s free in the house, he’s experimenting with the cats to see if he can play with them haha! I always supervise when I hear him going after Spinelli, because she hisses. But she doesn’t hide, she just jumps up somewhere out of his reach.
I’m still working on the last bit of dog proofing, though it might not even be necessary. Even with freedom he hasn’t gone after cat food. Today I’ll be elevating it though. Why tempt him? I received by pet placemats yesterday from Amazon. I’m not doing that thing where I get credit if you buy something I link to. I thought about it, but I worry about any kind of income affecting my benefits. But, I had to link to these, because they’re really cool. I was just gonna get normal plastic placemats to put the cat food up on the table, but I found these and they sounded cool. There weren’t any reviews yet; I was the first last night. So I took a chance. They are hard plastic, about the size of a small serving tray. They have rubber all around the edges, and the surface has raised bumps. One tray will hold two cat dishes or one large dog dish. I got four of them, and will probably only use three. I have Jayden’s water dish on one on the floor since I’m free watering him now. They are going to work great for containing any spilled food or water. I haven’t gotten the baby gate yet, but I’ll review that when I get it.

Aside from those, I want to get a covered trash can for the kitchen, though he hasn’t bothered the trash. Again, why have a temptation? No sense in getting him in trouble for doing something natural for a dog, if he ever decides to forget his manners.

Speaking of his manners, I heard from the mom of his primary raiser today yay! I had an email from her waiting when I got up and was so happy. I was really close to calling GDB and asking them to let the raisers know they could contact me haha. It was so awesome to be able to write her and tell her how awesome Jayden is and fill her in on all the amazing stuff he’s done. They did such an amazing job with him. He has adjusted so well to house freedom and I know that’s all in the raising. I got all the qualities I didn’t even know I wanted. I pointed her to the blog and told her feel free to go check in on how we’re doing. So hopefully they find some times to come read. They are a very busy family, and Jayden’s primary raiser is finishing up high school. She has over a 4.0 GPA, wow! And she’s already raising her second puppy. What an amazing woman she’s going to be. Well, she’s already a woman, but you get my drift. It’s such a joy to hear about really good young people. I’m so grateful to know that family; just another blessing Jayden has given me. It will be a joy to watch his primary raiser as she goes on her next adventure after high school, and her little sister will probably be the next in the family to be a great kid. They must have great parents. The mom is really awesome and I just liked them all so much. I’m so glad they got in touch.

I think that’s about it. Definitely need to write longer posts when I get in a slacking mode on the diaries haha! I think Jayden knows Thursdays are our day off because he’s been enjoying napping on the couch all morning. Back to work tomorrow love, don’t get to used to being lazy. =D

As for me, I’m doing pretty well. The allergies have been more manageable with the Neti Pot. I definitely recommend doing it in the shower if you can, because I think the added warmth of the water on my face after I do it really helps stuff drain. My workouts were great this week. Muscle memory has kicked in and I’m right where I was before I left. I went a little farther on the treadmil on Monday. 1.75 miles in thirty minutes. My energy levels have been much improved since getting back to my workouts, so that’s a huge relief. I can’t really say I’ve had a bad spoon day. *knock on wood*

I’ve been doing laundry on Thursdays, but I don’t have any quarters. Darnit. It’s such a bummer to not be able to do laundry today. Man, I’m so disappointed. 😉

It’s pretty nasty out today. It’s chilly with a sixty percent chance of rain. I think the rest of the day might be a crochet day. I haven’t gotten the yarn yet for the puppy pool winners. I asked Georgie today if she could take me to Michael’s sometime soon and she was like, yeah but I need to talk to you about something. Oh? Yeah, we’ll need to take the truck. Ok, that’s fine. I know Jayden is really good but I have leather seats and the truck is just better for dogs. Ok, that’s fine. Haha she was all nervous about telling me she didn’t want Jayden in her car. I’m totally fine with that though. In fact I like trucks because I feel safe in them. Then she said we’ll have to park far because the truck is big and she doesn’t like getting close to other cars. I said, man, exercise? We hate exercise. Haha! Both of us love our workouts. We also talked about my friend’s baby shower on the 25th. I was a little nervous about having Jayden around a lot of strangers. It’s one of those new coed showers, so there will be lots of people. We decided it’ll be best if I tell B I need him to go. He won’t be thrilled, but I’ll feel better having his eyes there for Jay and I’s first party. So I’ve gotta hustle on that blanket. Only two more rows and then two rows of edging, so I should have plenty of time. Especially once I put on the iPod and get to work. I’m nearing the end of ‘My Sister’s Keeper’. Goooooood booooooook. In fact I think I’ll edit, publish, take Jay outside, see if he wants to play, and then get out the book and crochet. Perfect sounding day to me!

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Filed under Amazon, cats, cool product, crochet, Doggy Diaries, Gamma, gratitude, guide dogs, Jayden, puppy raisers, Spinelli, transitioning, weather, working dog, workouts

Doggy Diaries – Freedom and basketball

First I have to describe Jayden at this moment because it’s too cute. He was next to me on the couch, taking his after breakfast snooze and I got up to refill my coffee. When I came back, he was flat on his back, all four paws up, with his head right about where I sit. So I picked up hes head and slid in and rubbed his belly and laughed as I felt his position. When I shifted to get comfy, he turne on his side a little and now has his head in my lap while he snores hahaha!!!

Ok, main post content. I need to ask Sadia how she inserts headings into her blog posts. Ok seriously to the post content now.

Yesterday since B was home, I took Jayden off tie down and leash for most of the day. At one point he tried to go into the cat’s room so I gently told him no and put him back on tie down, since I was on the phone and B had stepped out. When I got off the phone, I stuck a brick behind the door to the room, so it was open just enough for the cats to get in, but making it hard if Jayden tried it. I don’t have the baby gate yet, so that works, but I don’t want the cats to shut themselves in accidentally, so it’s only a temporary solution until I get the baby gate. The cat food is also still on the floor in the kitchen so anytime I heard Jayden in there, I went to check. He hasn’t gone for it at all, thank you puppy raisers.

Jayden was loving being free. When he heard a noise, he was able to go to the door and look out. After a little bit, I was on the phone again and B had just gotten home. I went and sat in the kitchen to talk on the phone, and Jayden kept moving into the area where the cat food is and I didn’t want to take any chances, so I put him back on a long leash and looped it around the chair leg. There he could get to the door to look out, and that’s pretty much what he did while I was on the phone.

When I was done with the phone, I took Jayden off leash and he was free the entire rest of the day. Mostly he wanted to be where I was so he was either on the couch snoozing or on the floor at my feet chewing his Nylabone. But it was great, because he chose that. It wasn’t me telling him where to be. All day he’d hear a car or a dog outside and go running to the door and B would tell me what he was doing. He’d lose interest and get back on the couch. It was soooo great letting him choose what to do. And he didn’t go after anything. Not a cat, not the food, not shoes, nothing. Thank you again puppy raisers. Once I get the last of the doggy proofing stuff, I think we’ll be good to go. I’ll probably still use the tie down or the crate if I’m gonna shower or something, and definitely still crate him at night for awhile. But it’s just so much more relaxing knowing he can be where he wants. Not sure if I’ll do it as much when B isn’t home, so we’ll see about that.

Jayden is also just fine about sudden exclamations, swearing, clapping, and all the other things that go along with sports hahaha! Last night West Virginia played Kentucky for a spot in the Final Four. WVU is B’s alma mater, and I fell in love with West Virginia when we visited two Christmases ago. So in my NCAA bracket that I did, not knowing a thing about basketball, I have WVU going all the way because they’re the only team I care about. As it stands now, if they do, I’ll win the pool. B and I were both hoping they would win last night, but we really didn’t expect it. Kentucky is a 1 seed, WVU a 2 seed, though a lot of people thought they should have been a 1. West Virginia took an early lead and never surrendered it. They won!!! For the last two minutes of the game, my heart was pounding and I was chatting with Erik and B was chatting with an old frat buddy and we hardly talked to each other hahahaha! After they won, I was finally able to calm my heart. It’s the first time WVU made the Final Four since 1957. Wow.

So, they’ll play again Saturday for the chance to go to the championship game next Monday.

I was a little worried about how Jayden would react to B watching sports, but he just sleeps or chews through it hahahaha! Again, thank you puppy raisers.

Oh, I saw a really cool update on Facebook last night. It read, “Inside every guide dog beats the heart of a puppy raiser”. Isn’t that cool?

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Filed under cats, coffeeholic, Doggy Diaries, gratitude, Jayden, jayden quirks, plugs, puppy raisers, sports, transitioning

Doggy Diaries – Jayden at Gamma’s

Today we got to the Sunday routine of going to Gamma’s. We’ve been home a week now, can you believe it? It was so good to get back to Gamma’s, especially since it’s been a pretty slow week while I’ve been recovering.

I got us all ready to go and called Gamma. She had asked if she could come out and greet us like she always does, but I had gotten to thinking about it, and since I needed to work him on some funky terrain, I wanted to tell her to stay inside and keep the door closed. So when I called, my Uncle answered.

Hello?

Oh, you’re not Grandma.

Haha nope.

Are you the big bad wolf?

Haha yes I am.

So explained to him what I was gonna tell Gamma. He had done her taxes today and that’s why he was there.

When we left the apartment, I worked Jayden down the walkway and he took me to the black and stopped. Kibble. I told him left and told B to tell me when to stop. He told me when and I said “halt” and told Jayden “right”. He took me to the parking curb and it’s kind of funky because B’s parking spot is covered, so there’s a pole and the parking curb doesn’t go all the way to the car. Jay got me around it all though, and hopped into the car. It took him a while to get comfortable, in fact by the time he was comfortable, we were 5 minutes away lol.

When we got to Gamma’s, I got us out of the car and put on the harness handle. There’s a dog next door, and he was mildly distracted until I told him forward and then immediately did a moving left. There’s a raised sidewalk there and he ran it, so I brought him back and reworked it. Then it’s only about three feet to steps that are perpendicular to the walkway. He ran the first step so I reworked that. There is a railing type thing right there on the right so I just grabbed that and told him forward, find the door. He took me right to her door and we went inside.

He was excited, but calmly so as he met Gamma and my Uncle. Gamma was sitting in her chair and when I took him to her, he put his head on her leg like, hi, I’ll be gentle with you. They were both totally impressed by him. I took his harness off but he still said hi calmly, and Gamma and my Uncle waited for permission to pet him, and then only calmly pet him. Gamma told me to give him a tour lol. So I just walked around with him on leash.

My Uncle was gonna go get us lunch so he called in the order and I showed them the obedience routing. When the food got there, I settled him in next to my chair and gave him his Nylabone. They were yet again impressed.

We talked awhile and I shoed them our ID card and told my Uncle about the flights. He’s a pilot so he found it funny when I told him about the flight attendent clearing that row for us, and when I told him the air compressor on the little plane, it wasn’t odd to him. So that eased my mind lol.

After lunch, we took Jayden out back. Gamma has a huge fenced in backyard and nothing is back there. Not even weeds. She has a yard guy come. She has no landscaping anywhere lol. So I took his leash off and he went exploring.

There’s a big hound dog next door. His name is Charlie. He always watches Gamma take her trash out. As if to say, if anything happens, I’ll bark, don’t worry. She talks to him and he just cocks his head. Well Jayden thought he was great. He went right to the fense and there was this awful whining and I freaked out. My Uncle assured me they were just saying hi through the fence and it was the other dog whining. Then they took off at a run, racing each other on either side of the fence haha! Jayden would have enough and go sniffing and Charlie would just wait until Jayden went back. He peed and my Uncle was like, now this yard is his haha!!

I did a few recalls with him, and he came right to me every time, earning jackpot kibble. As soon as I said ok, he was off again. He ended up leaving a deposit which my Uncle cleaned up. Just like the play padock at school, even though there’s no grass lol.

After the last time I called him, he was done. He walked towards the door. How perfect that he only wants like 15 minutes of play time. I have to wonder if that’s more miracle work from his raiser.

After that my Uncle left and Gamma and I had coffee and apple turnovers yum. B came back and it was time to tackle leaving.

Going down, the railing is on my left, and I refuse steps unless I can hang on. So I was wondering how I’d do this. I ended up heeling Jayden, keeping him on my left side, but holding the leash with my right hand so I could hang on with my left. Worked like a charm. I got myself down the two steps, grabbed his harness, told him forward and he stopped at the little down step. Yay! Kibble. Then he got me to B’s car.

We got home, and I worked him from the car to the front door without issue. I think it helped that B went in before us. He stopped at my little dippy landmark thing though, kibble.

It was dinner time when we came in so I fed him and he’s been pretty tuckered out since. I hope to be able to run him at Gamma’s again, but I’ll be more worried if someone isn’t there with us. He might leave a deposit again. It was comforting having good eyes to watch him. Gamma’s eyes aren’t a whole lot better than mine, but she’ll never admit it.

So, it was a really fun day, Jayden has a new friend, and I’m sure he thinks Gamma’s is as fun as I did when I was a kid. Fun!

Oh yeah, and my Uncle wants dibs on Jayden when it’s retirement time hahaha!!! B said, we can’t keep him when he retires? I said, well we might not be allowed if we live in an apartment. But it’s like ten or twelve years down the road anyway. Technically, realistically, it’s seven to ten years away, but I’m being optimistic hehe!

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Filed under Doggy Diaries, dogs, family, Gamma, guide dogs, Jayden, puppy raisers, transitioning, working dog

Doggy School – Graduation and now we’re official

Alrighty, this will be my last post from school. Wow what a day haha!

Everything followed the normal routine this morning, breakfast and then a meeting to talk about graduation and that day’s schedule and such. Then we played “Juno says” like Simon says where we were given commands and if it didn’t start with Juno says and we gave the command we were out, or if the dog didn’t do the command. Well I was out pretty quick when she said give your dogs a treat, because I’m so used to the instructors saying give your dog a treat. So we sat and listened to the rest and the Canadian won hehe.

Then we went and got ready. I had brushed Jay’s teeth the day before so this mroning I groomed him and then go into my dress.

Don’t wear a dress to guide dog graduation especially when you’re a new guide dog handler and especially not a knee length wrap dress. I was so self concious. Anyway lunch was served and it was grilled cheese and tomato soup but I didn’t want to dribble the soup so I didn’t eat much and I was a bundle of nerves. Then they gave me a cookie and it was hard with powdered sugar and when I tried to break off a piece the whole cookie exploaded in my lap as it hit the plate on the table. Ugh. So the nurse helped me dab off all the powdered sugar later and I managed to keep it all from Jayden.

So then I’m back in my room and there’s a knowck at my foor and they’re asking if I want to meet the raisers. Of course, and Jay is going nuts. Oh, are they here now? Yes tey’re right here. No wonder Jay was going nuts. But he wasn’t going too nuts. Just slightly nuts. So he was still behaving haha.

They had said just give the leash to the raiser and let them love him so that’s what I did and they came in the room. The main rasier, her mom and sister and best friend. We chatted for awhile and Jayden was a goof and the little sister did obedience with him and it was so cute. He’d come check in with me every once in awhile like, is this ok mom? It was awesome!

Then it was time for pictures so I harnessed him up and he guided me to the room and the raiser family got emotional. I’m sure it was so cool for them to see him work. Especially since he was their first puppy.

So we gtook pictures, first just me and Jay then all of us. Then we waited in the day room. We talked some more, then they took him into the audience and I was guided to my chair on the outdoor stage.

Holy cow, was it icky being guided by a human. I’d forgotten. It was so akward. Yuck.

So everyone was announced one by one and brought to the mic and then the raiser gave us our dog back. By the time it was my turn I was so tired and dizzy that I don’t even remember what I said lol. And people actually cheered my name from the crowd haha! Some of Jay’s people from the puppy club came and at the time I didn’t know it, but Mimi and Cabana were there, and Leslie with Article and Cate, from my email list. Awesome!!!

After it was done my raiser guided me to the dining hall where it was chaos. Dogs and humans and more dogs and more humans. Jay was so excited to see all his other people and dog friends that he kept pulling on the leash. No trying to work through that. He kept gagging himself and I was getting worried and people were saying hi and introducing themselves and I’m telling Jay to sit and he would and then he’d hop up again and finally I was just sort of stern lol. Yikes. I don’t remember how long we all visited or how many dogs I met and then my raisers were there taking pictures and then they had to leave because they knew they had to say goodby again and they had to get it done. So they hugged me and we cried and they hugged me again and we cried and then Leslie helped me to my room and then I shut the door and it was over.

I cried and cried and cried because it was over and we were a team and I felt bad for him because he kept walking around the room and sniffing and I thought he’d be mad at me because his people left but then he licked my face and it was fine.

I got into my sweats, made coffee and called B then I packed some more and then had dinner. By this point there were only five students there. Some left today, some went out. I ate and it didn’t settle and we talked and then I was heading back and I talked to the Canadian a bit and then I came in and called Gamma and now I’m writing this and now I’ll publish and pack up the computer. Phew!

How’s that for a busy day? I’m sure there’s tons of typos, but oh well. I’m tired lol.

And I know I’ve said before how much I love puppy raisers but until meeting them in the flesh, I couldn’t have any idea how much I loe them. Wow. What an emotionally charged experience for them. And they say goodbye once and then actually come back and have to do it again. I love them, and I love Jay’s raisers. Wow!

Oh and I have bags of gifts for Jay from his raisers and Mimi and I haven’t even gone through them because I had to pack them and I’ll look when I get back. Phew!

Ok, enough outta me. I’ll post next from home!!! If you don’t hear from me tomorrow, it’s because I’ve passed out lol! Homeword bound!!!!

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Filed under Doggy Diaries, doggy school, Jayden, puppy raisers