Friday, April 23, 2010

Bob's a freak..*Sorry, now has an Alt Tag

Lol. Here's a weird picture I took of him the other day - I walk in the room and this is what I find.. Does anyone else find it as freaky as I do?

Bob laying in his crate, his right front leg is bent in a very funny angle where his elbow is pointing in towards his left leg and then his paw is resting towards his left also. It just looks freaky.
Promise that leg isn't broken by the way..
Ok - back to studying! 

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

5 Months, Training walk, and Finals!

So Bob is 5 months old today!! Yay Bob!

Just so you know, this is going to be a somewhat long post because its going to be the last for a while. I have finals and won't be posting much for a week or three lol. Wish me luck!

Oh, I have started taking my smaller camera places with me so I can get pictures of Bob working, the pics aren't the greatest of quality but they work :)

Ok - First off will be the 5 things at 5 months! 

1. He and Egypt are starting to get along very nicely - we can take them both out in public and not even have to worry about either of them messing with each other - well, him messing with her really. lol.

A picture of Bob and Egypt laying down next to Darrell's leg, they are both working. Their heads are touching and their bodies opposite of each other.
They heart each other :) 

2. His training is coming along great - I can confidently say he knows seats, doorways, steps (up and down) and how to target the passenger front door on the 'bus'. By bus I mean any vehicle we plan on getting into. He also knows all the basic commands that any good puppy should know.

A picture of Bob at my feet, he's in his puppy jacket and looking up at me
Umm.. I'm hungry - can we go home yet?

3. His canines still haven't fallen out! But his other front teeth have and they are growing in all white and shiny ;)

close up of Bob's teeth, all his front teeth are now big and white - his canines are still tiny and not as white. all of his big front teeth are about the same size as his tiny canines
I'll eat your face!
4. He makes this really funny noise when he yawns - not every time but at least his first 5 yawns of the day. Sometimes its a huge full out yawn noise, other times its just a little "ou-ah" type noise.

Ok, having issues uploading the video - will get soon promise :) 

5. He's very enthusiastic about his work - I actually have to work on him not pulling when I ask him to find something - But I'll talk more about his work in a minute ;)

Close up of Bob's face, which is half in sunlight, one of his eyes got a lot of light and you can see the color really well, its a pretty dark brown.
Ok, I know he's not working here but that face just shows
you how attentive he can be ;) 

Bob's Training Walk!

Friday, Michelle, one of my friends and I went over to one of our malls to have a training walk with Bob. Well, I had never really been to this mall so it took a bit of searching to find Michelle. We knew we had to meet her upstairs in the food court so when we saw a staircase and a big walkway going into the mall above us we used it..

Bob and I inside of an outdoor elevator, I'm reaching for the button and Bob is sniffing something on the ground
We actually took this elevator first, then realized we hadn't
gone up far enough. 

Bob showing me the outdoor staircase, you can't really see his face because the picture is taken from the side and the railing is in the way but you can tell what he's doing
Bob, find the step!
Well turns out that staircase and walkway only feeds one area of the upstairs part so had to find our way back down... Here's where it turns fun. lol. We couldn't find an actual staircase to take us downstairs and didn't want to trudge back the way we came so we went ahead and took the escalator, however we did it a little different because Bob isn't allowed to use escalators. So guess who got to carry him and guess who ran down the stairs to take a picture haha.

Me carrying Bob down an escalator, I've got him under my right arm and holding him steady with my right. He looks really big compared to me.
Oh yeah - I can carry all 32 pounds of him!

Once we get to the bottom of the escalator we are approached by a security guard who wanted to make sure Bob was a service dog. Understandable question seeing as I was still holding him haha. The guy also told us that pictures weren't allowed to be taken in the mall (I guess because of merchandising and knockoffs and stuff but really? thats dumb) So we actually don't have that many more pictures to show.. Sorry :(

Anyways, after we met up with Michelle we sat and chatted for a bit, she had a funny story about how a customer of a PETSMART got mad at her because one of the puppies she had was barking... in a PETSMART. Haha. Ok, anyways, Michelle taught us how to find the 'girls' or ladies room (once Bob has that down he'll start learning the 'boys' or men's room).

Bob and I standing outside the women's bathroom, he's standing up facing me and I'm trying to situate his leash.
He was sitting 2 seconds before the picture was taken - swear!

Once we found that we had to go inside and find the stall, specifically the handicapped stall so there is enough room for dog and person. Once I found that I was to find the toilet, sit on it and then flush it (its all about routine). Bob wasn't phased by the flushing which was really good, especially since it was one of those super sucker type flushing ones haha.

Me sitting on the handicapped toilet with feet dangling and Bob sitting in front of me watching. I am fully clothed by the way lol.
Ok Bob - now find me some toilet paper :) 

Once I was done with my potty break I had to ask bob to find the 'counter' in the bathroom - or mainly the sink area. However, counter will be used for things like the sinks as well as check out counters in stores, and they must have people behind them! Once I washed my hands I had to take Bob over the hand drier and run it. This one he was a little bit afraid of but recovered nicely - it was one of those air jets where they just use high powered air instead of air plus heat... so it made a lot of noise lol.

We found the trashcan once we were out of the bathroom - I had a random piece of trash, can't remember from where haha. Oh, I almost forgot - we also got to find the elevator and the button (the button will be used for elevators as well as cross walks) so yeah, I think thats about it lol. Anyways, all of those finds are pretty much the basis of all the finds Bob will do.  I think I got all of them in there haha. So yeah, once we were done all of us headed out to Michelle's 'bus' and got in so she could drive us over to ours haha. Bob then had one last little shot from the Vet's office and after a while attended my first ever Cardio Kickboxing class with me. That was interesting but fun lol. He was on tie-down over in a corner the whole time and did very well.. Hopefully thats because he's a good dog and not because of that shot haha.

Me sitting next to plush mountain in the disney store, Bob is sitting next to me looking towards the camera
Bob at the Disney store - working on distractions.
Stuffed animals = pretty big distractions - he kept trying to grab the purple
elephant that is sitting behind him.

Ok, on to finals! 

Basically - I have finals coming up and a ton of stuff to do so don't expect a new update until May 7th - which is my last final. If I happen to take any cute pictures or anything I might be able to squeeze them in but I won't really be able to write any extensive posts.. just so you know and so you don't miss us :)

P.S. Here is a picture of Darrell heading out to the car all by himself - the power of forgetting your I.D. and wanting a drink to go with dinner huh? lol. 
Picture of the back of Darrell and Egypt, they are walking towards the entrance of Chili's
Yay Darrell! 

Friday, April 16, 2010

Dogs in the Garden

Last night Darrell, I and the dogs took a trip to the Olive Garden. We were invited there by a fellow UTSA student / Service Dog trainer. There were originally supposed to be six of us there however 2 couldn't make it so it wound up being four. There was Dana (the SD trainer) and her friend (Rebecca), they both actually use service dogs so they both had one, and Darrell and I with ours. It was very interesting to see another side of the service dog world (apart from just Guide Dogs).

Dana's dog Storm is a Malinois and she is trained for Mobility Assistance, Medical Assistance and Medic Alert. Rebecca, who is from out of state handles a huge Doberman, his name is Rex and he is trained as a Dog Guide, Mobility assistant and Hearing Alert.

We sat there talking and telling stories for quite a while, poor Rebecca has had some major issues with some airports lately; hope the flight home is ok! Bob did amazingly while under the table, he tried to get up a few times towards the end of dinner but settled back down very nicely. He didn't even try to get in the faces of the 2 new dogs he has never met before. I was very impressed with him I didn't even need to stand on his leash - he was just good ;)

When we were done with our stories and finally made it outside to relieve the dogs we sat (stood really) out there talking (in the nasty drizzle) for at least another 30-45 minutes. When we finally took pictures the dogs were pretty tired out and spacey (well at least Bob was). But we made it home, they ate and were happy and both slept very well through the night lol. I only have the pictures that Dana emailed me at the moment because I took my small camera to dinner and just can't find my card reader lol. (Me and my camera issues :/ )

P.S. if you are more interested in service dogs in general or would like to ask Dana or Rebecca any questions, Dana runs a website called Service Dog World there are lots of discussions and pictures and stuff of service dogs so if you would like to join there is the link ;)

So here they are - hope you enjoy ;)

A picture of the four of us standing outside in the semi rain. All the dogs are sitting either next to us or in front slightly except for Rex - he is standing.
Here is the first group picture we tried - In order from the left thats
Rebecca with Rex - Me with Bob - Darrell with Egypt - Dana with Storm.
You can tell how tired was Bob at this point - he's all schlumpy. 

Pretty much same picture as above but this time the guy with the camera actually got all of our bodies in - our feet were cut out of the first one.
Same order just a better-ish picture - now you can see our feet lol. 

Picture of Storm and Rex in the back of Dana's car - she took the picture from the rear so the dogs are looking back towards her and Rex has his paws and face over the top of one of the kids' car seats. Rebecca is sitting front passenger and is in the process of turning around.
Here is a funny picture Dana sent me - Rex has climbed all the
way up into her kids' car seat! 

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Bluebonnets and Facebook Pics.

Ok so now on to the bluebonnets. For those of you who might not know, the bluebonnet is the state flower of Texas; so when they start to bloom (around now) EVERYONE has to take pictures in them. lol. Seriously, I don't think there is a family in Texas who doesn't have their kids in their Easter clothes sitting in a big patch of bluebonnets. People even stop on the side of the highway (where other cars are going 70 mph) to take pictures in the huge patches that grow on the side of the road. Well, since I don't have kids - just a dog why not go and join the fad myself with him. lol. However I wasn't about to stop on the side of a highway to get a good picture of him so I walked a trail thats right down the street.. The flowers aren't as consistent there but there are some nice cacti around so I was happy. It makes it more Texan that way lol. So, here are some of the pictures we took.

P.S. it was super humid that day so Bob (and myself) got hot and tired really fast thats why there aren't very many pictures.

Bob sitting sideways to me in some gravel and bluebonnets around
Not too many bluebonnets around here :/
Bob sitting in some new bluebonnets, there is a tree behind him and he's looking off to his front, which is away from the camera because I had him sitting sideways.
There were a few more here - look at me Bob!
Bob sitting in the same bluebonnets from before with a tree behind him, his mouth is open in a pant.
Good Boy - now shut your mouth lol. He was getting
a little hot at this point.
Bob walking beside me (I'm holding the camera) you can see how long, skinny and lanky he is from this picture
Lets head back to the car then :) 

Bob walking up to the passenger side door border
Found the car! 

Bob sitting on the floor of the front passenger seat, he is facing straight back and his head is facing me, he has his mouth open and tongue hanging out.
Lol. Bob was so tired he jumped in the car before I even
had a chance to take his jacket off. 

I think I like that last face for Bob's Painting lol.

As for the Facebook pictures - I noticed I don't have too many pictures of Bob working on the blog; all the ones of him working are taken on my phone - which I just upload to Facebook. So, if you would like to check out any of his 'working' pictures feel free to click his picture up in the top left corner of my blog. It will take you to the photo album I have on FB. Ignore all the other random pictures that don't pertain to Bob lol I think there is one in there of some cake I made last week (really yummy cake lol). Anyways, hope you enjoy - let me know if there is something wrong with the album. It should update every time I add new pictures to it. :)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Easter and Bluebonnets

So I'm finally updating. Sorry it has been so long - its just that time of the school year where if you procrastinated then there is just a bunch of stuff to do! Well, guess who procrastinated.. lol.

So, I'll start with our Easter weekend. My parents, little brother, Erin, Darrell and I all drove down to Darrell's parents house to celebrate Easter with them. They had a big party on Saturday where a bunch of family and friends get together and play games, eat and have fun!

Bob in the early morning grass. 
Bob walking towards me in the grass. Its really grey and overcast in the morning smudginess.
Hanging out after breakfast - still really cloudy and wet.
Bob hanging out on a slab of concrete - the concrete is wet all around him from his fur and paws. Its still grey-ish.

One thing/tradition that their family does is playing with the Cascarones (or confetti eggs)! It's a spanish tradition where you get empty egg shells, color them and fill them with confetti. Once you have about a million of them you take and smash them all over everyone else's heads and rub all the confetti in their hair! lol. I heard about this when I first moved to San Antonio and did this with his family last year but this year was special; my family has never done it before (or heard of it) so it was fun to explain it to them and run around trying to get them with the eggs.

Now you may be wondering where to get a million eggs filled with confetti.. well down here people save them up over the entire year and sell them at flea markets and stores. They save all their egg shells and make the cascarones throughout the year, they spray paint them to make the coloring process quicker. Well, this year Darrell's mom made a bunch of Eggs for breakfast on Saturday morning and saved the shells so Erin, my mom and I could make our first cascarones ever! Apparently they would do this for Darrell and his siblings when they were little - keep them busy for a while haha. Well we got to decorate and fill our own dozen eggs. After they were dried they only lasted a few minutes lol but it was still fun. Bob didn't get to participate in this little ritual.. 1. I was afraid he would get stepped on/ run over and crushed lol. 2. There was way too much confetti and egg shells flying around and I didn't want him to try and eat all of it.

First you start with dried out egg shells... 
Egg carton full of empty egg shells, the tops have been carefully broken away to make a 1 inch hole

a green easter bucket full of confetti

 and some markers..
close up of a pack of markers
You color and fill with confetti 
picture of a few of the eggs in the carton, they are colored and filled up with confetti

 and then glue some tissue paper to the bottom to keep the confetti from falling out
Close up of Erin's hands, she is cutting out some squares from streamer paper

Let Dry. Go eat!

After we all ate we had some fun with the 'adult's' pinata - all the kids already did theirs so it was our turn!

Darrell's mom helping him over to the pinata..
Darrell's mom leading him over to the pinata; which is a bunny sitting inside of a basket

Just missed it! Probably because he was blind-folded.
Hey! it had to be fair didn't it?!?! 
Darrell in the last stage of his swing, the pinata is about 4 feet above his head
Mom needed help finding it too..
Darrell's mom helping my mom find the pinata

Get ready to swing! 
Mom in pre swing

Darrell was one of the only guys that tried it. 
Most hung out over by the BBQ pits - thats my dad and brother in the blue!
Picture of some of the guys hanging out around the barbeque pits, its Darrell's brother in law, Darrell, Dad and little bro

Once the pinata was dead we (well mainly all the girls) gathered around to play a game. Its kind of like musical chairs but not really haha. One of the ladies had brought 2 big duffel bags full of random articles of clothing. The rules were like this; we would pass around a big plastic Easter egg while music was playing and when it stopped the person holding the egg had to wear a piece of clothing from the bags (the person on their left would go and pick it out of the bags and weren't allowed to look at what they were getting). After the game was over we would see who had the most things and strut our stuff around.. You didn't get anything for winning but it was still a lot of fun to see everyone in random things.

Darrell's sister got some funny head gear.
Darrell's sisters sitting in the circle, one got a big green curly afro wig, the other got a jester's hat.
So did his mom :) 
His mom and dad sitting in the circle, she has a shower cap on and a pair of fake glasses with a banana nose attached.

I got a mask with broken feathers lol - the front one kept falling in my face!
Me with the broken mardi gras mask on

After that we had fun with the cascarones!

Darrell hitched a ride with his brother
(P.S. that's a tent in the background - wind was too much for it lol)
Darrell hanging onto his brother's shoulder, he has a bright pink egg in his hand and is smiling

Confetti gets everywhere and some of 
those egg shells hurt! But its always fun :) 
Picture of me with confetti in my hair, you can see Darrell's mom in the background with more confetti in her hair and Darrell is behind her with it all over his shirt
Darrell getting my little brother.
Darrell reaching out to get my brother, little bro stopped and dropped his head for Darrell, he's really tall so makes it easier to reach him haha
Sometimes it can get intense! lol. 
 Picture of one of Darrell's mom's friends getting jumped by two little kids - one boy is in mid jump so is up in the air
P.S. - the eggs we made were definitely the best! 

We also had a "golden egg" hunt - where everyone would contribute a certain amount of money (we did 2 dollars each) and that would all go into the "golden egg". All the people that were participating went on a hay ride while the egg was being hidden and once we got back the search was on! Bob helped me with this but wasn't a very good money finder... it was fun though because he got to run around a bit and sniff the rest of the yard he has never been to. In the end Erin found the egg, it was tied up in a tree with a rope that was used for the pinata.

Darrell helped his brother get the truck for the 'hay' ride - if 
you click and enlarge it you can see him in the back :) 
Darrell's Dad's truck with the trailer attached, Darrell is sitting in the bed of the truck leaning over the side a bit.

After that it all started getting dark and we had one last game (well the people that still had energy that is). Darrell and I participated in a 3 legged race, we were against each other of course; its a competition after all. Darrell was paired up with his brother and I was with his sister in law(Vanessa). We played in teams (6 people each) so we weren't sure of our individual success agains each other but I'm pretty sure we would have beaten the boys if it had been one on one ;). After our race all the people still there headed out and Erin, Vannessa and I played HORSE at the basketball hoop.

I know there wasn't much to do with Bob in there but overall it was a really fun day; Bob did get some practice in with leave it though so good day for him too :)

This turned out really long so I'll save the Bluebonnets for the next post ;)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Painting they pyramids.

I think I will do a painting.. I won't really start right now because school is trying to kill me. I have just been wanting to for a while so I thought I would post a few pictures and have ya'll help me decide which one to do. I still can't make any 'real' blog updates because I still can't find my camera cord... However I think it is under the big pile of clothes on the couch.. I keep adding to it and slowly taking away from it (doing like 10 minutes of laundry a day lol) So, I plan on finishing the laundry today (will do as soon as I get back from running, which I will do as soon as I finish this post - I must write it so I don't turn myself into a liar haha). I'm pretty sure I will find it under that pile... better find it haha.

Ok so on to the Painting. I would like to do 2 paintings, one of Bob and one of Egypt, I will do Egypt's first though because I told Darrell I would a long time ago! So, here are a few I had in mind - If there is one you like please leave a comment 'voting' for that one.

I can't wait to paint again - Last one I did was a good-bye present for my roommate when she graduated and moved to Austin (Miss you Mary!!) That was about 2 years ago, so - help me pick a good one!

Picture 1
Picture of Egypt sitting on some grass looking into the camera, the sun is on her

Picture 2
 Egypt on the same grass, she is laying down and looking straight up into the air, she is probably air sniffing here, the sun is shining on her

Picture 3
Egypt laying down inside facing the camera, her tongue is sticking out and she looks like she is smiling.

Picture 4
Egypt standing on the wooden porch of the river house, she has one paw up in a walking motion and her tongue is sticking out and she is smiling a bit. Her head is also cocked to the side.

P.s. The backgrounds will be modified in these so don't worry about that when you are voting! 

Thursday, April 8, 2010

I swear I'm going to update soon... I just have to find my camera cord. Haha.

On a note - We went to Olive Garden yesterday and of course Egypt got plenty of looks and stares but we were in a booth and Bob and I were against the wall. Well while we were walking out little (getting bigger!!) Bob came shuffling out from under the table and I hear "Oh my gosh I didn't even know he was under there!"

Yay Bob! lol.

Here's a picture from the phone - We went to Brake Check today - We were there for like 2 hours and Bob did very well!

Side view of Bob, he's inside my legs and he's laying down with his head up looking out the window.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Bling Bling and a Baby

Bob got some new jewelry about a week ago. Jewelry you might ask.. how and why would a guide dog puppy want or need jewelry? Well this jewelry came in the form of a brand new collar! Not any collar however, this is a very special one lol. This one has a plate on it stamped with Guide Dogs of Texas' information. Now, GDTx didn't give me this collar, I ordered it all on my own.. You might ask your self why though.. why Natalie when GDTx gave you 2 perfectly good collars to use did you order one just because it has a plate on it? Well the answer is simple... well not really but with my logic it is. Well I'll get to the answer as soon as I give a little back ground info on our little Mr. Bob. I'll do it with a little story shall I?
I like stories :) 
Bob standing sideways to me in some grass, he's looking up like he's expecting a treat or something

So there we were sitting in class one day when Bob decides he wants to stand up and shake his head all about - apparently he had had enough of laying down.. Well, in the process of shaking his head his tags went jingle jangle jingle and made such a commotion I knew something must be done to stop this.. You see Bob has 3 tags, one plastic, 2 metal and they are just so noisy! So after getting him back in a down stay I turned google on and began researching tag silencers.. Well I found some that looked somewhat promising but after seeing that shipping and handling would bring this crafty little piece of Velcro-ed cloth to about 15-16 dollars.. I can make one for much less. So I got to looking to see if they had any at Petco or Petsmart, no luck. I wasn't too bummed however because I didn't like the idea silencing his noise completely, I just wanted to turn the volume down a bit. So I looked into those rubber tag silencers that just go around the perimeter of the tag and wouldn't you know it.. they don't make them in Oval or Texas shaped.. dang! So with some more research I happened upon a website They make custom collars for not a bad price.. at least not a bad price compared to what I was almost willing to pay for a wrap around tag silencer.
Close up of Bob's head and neck with the collar, the brass colored plate shows nicely on the black collar. all of GDTx's information is on the plate and there is a rivet on each side holding it onto the collar.

So, through their website I ordered a K9 comfort collar - 1 inch black leather. Which looks almost like the one I was given, just a stronger leather and it has the plate on it. My final price was $20.30. A little steep for a collar in my opinion (I could have gone with a cheaper one but wasn't sure about the quality of the leather..) But I can always turn around and recycle it on my next dog if I like or I can give it to the new owner whenever he/she will get Bob. I ordered a pretty generous sized one (Bob is currently in the first hole) so he has plenty of room to grow. Ok, so basically now Bob has a collar with one of his tags turned into a plate (the one with GDTx's info on it) and two hanging down (the plastic and the oval one) which make a subtle noise so Darrell and I (when he's behind the couch/in the dining area) know where he is without his tags screaming at us (or my class mates) at all times. I think it was a pretty good purchase all in all.. Plus its extra safety incase he ever gets lost and the others fall or get broken off. Darrell wants to order a Mahogany colored one to match Egypt's harness, she could stand with losing a tag or two lol :)

And now about the baby.
Here's a pretty ladybug - good transition huh?
Close up of a peach tree branch we found a lady bug in. It has two big white spots on its face that make it look like eyes.

Bob met a baby the other day and was a perfect little gentleman. Not much of a story here however, the baby is Darrell's brother's godson and is 1 year old. He is 'growing up' with dogs so wasn't afraid of Bob or Egypt. They both behaved very well around him. Bob wanted to sniff him of course but wasn't allowed to get up and chase after him.. just get some air wafts with the baby's million passings. So, here are some pictures, sorry they are hard to see.. they were taken with my phone... 

Here Bob is laying down stretching his neck 
out for his first real sniff of 'baby'. 
Bob stretching out to sniff the baby, all you can see is the baby from the neck down, he's holding a DVD cover in his hand

Here the little guy went walking past 
and Bob didn't even flinch..
You can see most of Bob's face on the right side of the picture, he has the side of his head pressed to the floor, baby legs can be seen heading out of the picture on the left.
Bob was over playing with the mommy while baby
held on to his leash lol.. then started chewing on it.. yeah
Picture of the baby with his toys surrounding him, he is holding the handle section of Bob's leash.
Both dogs behaving very nicely around 
stomping baby feet. 
You can kind of see both dogs in the picture, Bob's upper body and Egypts front paws and nose, the baby is walking next to his mother in the top left corner, one leg is lifted in the air next to Egypt's face

Also, Bob did an amazing job ignoring (after being told of course) all the fun, noise making baby toys that were laying around. Yay!