Sunday, December 11, 2016

Happy Howl-idays! KELDA IS BACK!

The Marvelous, Magnificent, Kolossal Kelda is back with her annual report!  Here's my Christmas picture.  I have to admit I wasn't a fan of that old metal truck bed.  Or... maybe I'm just daydreaming of a white Christmas.  Where I live, a white Christmas is really a dream.  I don't live in Colorado any more!  But the photographer is a nice lady.  If you live near Grandma, contact her and she'll send you the link to the business.  (My PR mom thinks the round tail lights look like Christmas balls hanging from the sides of the truck.)

I'm sorry I don't do this blog more often, but the fact is that my grandma keeps me very busy - that and the little problem with the paws and the, um, keyboard.  But here's a fast chronological view of what I've been doing in 2016.  Ready?

Libraries are good!  My teacher friend, Miss Dodd, conducted a book signing and reading at the Orinda, California, Library.  I attended  and everyone got to pet me afterwards.  I visit several libraries!  I participate in Read Across America (on Dr. Seuss' birthday) in Miss Dodd's first-grade classroom every year, where Grandma and I read to the kids.

Here I am, listening attentively, as the kids from Murwood Elementary School read to me.  (I look serious here because it was such a good book.)

Here's something else I've done this year: I returned to take a few refresher classes in doggy dancing.  Here's a picture me getting ready, thinking about my moves!  (I recommend this exercise for all YOUR dogs.)

Back to books (I like them a lot):  The Girl Scouts had a reading project with therapy dogs.  I really enjoyed listening to their stories, and I LOVED the sign they made for us!

It's hard for Grandma to believe, but the month of May gave me birthday #8!  I don't look any older, do I?  Well, maybe my rose nose is a bit rosier.  My wonderful PR Mom and Dad always remember my birthday, along with Grandma.  I had my doggy friends over for a play date and to help me eat my delicious treats!

We're big on parties, anyhow.  I always get excited when my CCI doggy friends come over for a play date and enjoy the treats Grandma passes around!

Now here's a summertime photo. I am volunteering at Camp Erin, a bereavement camp for children who have lost a parent or sibling.  I was wearing a pair of goofy sunglasses, and when this girl saw me, she started to smile! It was a very wonderful experience to see all these children smile and laugh again.  

I had a rather sad day this summer. We said goodbye to Miss Trish, the children's librarian at the Walnut Creek Library. For several years we've helped with Children's Storytime there, with Grandma reading to the kids. She worked with Miss Trish on this project. But Miss Trish has moved back to Canada! She wanted to be closer to her grandchildren. That's okay with me, but I miss her!

Here I am being silly at Camp Arroyo.  I'm sure you remember that name!  It's a camp for special needs kids held every summer.  Grandma facilitates wonderful therapy dog teams to visit with the kids and bring joy to their faces.
Bryanna and I have been friends for several years, with Grandma often
handing over my leash so Bryanna could take me for a walk. She put her sombrero on me! Aren't I cute!
Do you remember Tony LaRussa's Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF)?  Mr. LaRussa also hosts birthday party for kids.  While enjoying birthday treats, the kids learn about humane awareness toward animals, as well as how to care for them.  Grandma and I go up on that little stage.  Then she educates the kids about therapy dogs, how to approach an unknown dog (by the way, that's not just a dog you don't know - it's also a dog who doesn't know YOU), and how to ask to pet.  It's really a great program - loads of fun for the kids, and also for me!

May I please have permission to brag now?  This year I was awarded my Therapy Dog Excellent (ThDX) distinction.   I completed over 200 hours of therapy work, which
qualified me to receive this award!
That's all for now. Grandma and I wish sincerely all of you - and your special furry friends -
We'll be spending Christmas in Carmel again. I'lll send a photo next time. Okay?

Monday, August 17, 2015

Kelda's Annual Report

Well, it feels that way - doesn't it to you?  It seems as if I'm a major corporation.  You have invested your interest in me for WOOF years, and now you get a yearly accounting of what I've been up to.  (And you don't have to vote for a board of directors.  Grandma's my director and that's the way she likes it.)

I hope you and your families (including the four-footed members of your families) have had a great twelve months!

Last year, almost at this time, Grandma and I were totally preoccupied with YET ANOTHER World Series won by the San Francisco Giants!  Yes! Let's hear it for baseball!  It has everything good in it - running around in a big yard, going after balls, chewing on bats... oh, wait.  I guess you're not really supposed to do that.  But it's a thought.

Here I am at Camp Arroyo.  Do you remember Camp Arroyo? It's a very special summer camp where groups bring disabled kids so they can spend time with each other.  (Some of these children have never met another child with a disability like theirs! Maybe that would be like a dog not knowing anyone but MEE-yows.  Not that being a dog is a disability.  MEE-yows... that's another question entirely.)  The kids get to do a lot of things together, too, like crafts, horseback riding, and even rock wall climbing.  I'm part of what they get to do.  They love me and the other therapy dogs who spend time with them. Grandma and I are coordinators for the pet therapy teams.  I do the charm part of the job, and she does the work.  

This is the 2014 picnic at George Mark Children's House, a privately run home-away-from-home for very sick children.  I love this place.  Did you know that every child's room is decorated in a wonderful theme?  The people who work here are so nice, and they take good care of the kids - and of the parents as well.  Special events, like this annual summer picnic or a holiday party, are times for the families whose children spend some time at the house - and also the families whose children have passed away - to get together and reconnect.  They are always considered part of the George Mark family!  Grandma and I spend a lot of time here.  Here I am with Xavier, one of my friends.

Don't you wish you could do all the fun things I get to be involved in all year?  Here is Miss Kelda Jean at the ARF Golf Tournament.  My job was to greet all the golfers who participated in Tony LaRussa’s celebrity competition.  It was to raise money for a wonderful cause - the Animal Rescue Foundation.  Dontcha love the hat? (Excuse me a minute while I wag my tail enthusiastically.)

And here's another fundraiser, for - what else?  Canine Companions for Independence!   My friends and I helped with the publicity for Dog Fest at Oak Hill Park.  Let me make some introductions: Tatum, whose career job is having CCI puppies, is on the left; LaRussa - named after Mr. Tony LaRussa of ARF and the Arizona Diamondbacks baseball team - is in the middle; and Yours Truly is on the right.

Yes indeed, I am involved in a lot of fund-raising.  Grandma is very talented at doing that sort of thing.  I just wag the tail.

Oh, look - here's a reminder of some fun not long ago.  I went with my friend Marvin (he's in the hat; I'm in the Giants gear), his person Ada Beth, and Grandma to the Ramsgate Winery.  It's so nice to have friends.

When I was living in Colorado, we always hoped for a white Christmas.  That isn't going to happen in Southern California, but we have a wonderful day anyhow.  Grandma and I (with Aunt Lori, too) celebrated it at Carmel Beach.  It's great.  What do you do for Christmas?

And this was my Happy New Year card - because, after all, I AM a princess!

Then, this past spring, it was my birthday.  I am now seven years old!  That apparently makes me a Senior Citizen in the dog world, but I feel just like a pup.

I celebrated with my good friend, Alexa.  She loves to play K-9 Kannon!

Oh, finally, here's something you really need to see.  Grandma usually takes me to Pet Express to bathe me.  But lately she hasn't been able to drive - so I have a new friend named Loel.  She comes right to our house!  It makes me feel pretty special... and I smell even better than I feel.

That's my 2014-2015 report.  Love you!  Keep your tails wagging!

P.S.  Last week was graduation week at CCI training centers all over the United States!  I hope all the newly graduated teams will do very well!  For all you pups who have just started puppy college:  learn the best you can, have some fun, and wag your tails a lot.  If it turns out that you don't like your training, you're not failures - you just have great jobs elsewhere.  Like me!

Thursday, April 10, 2014


That's how it's turning out, right?  About once a year?  And there are some people (I don't know about dogs) who blog every single day.  Whew!  Blogging any day is hard work when you don't have fingers.

But I'm very glad to say hello to you, and I hope you're wagging your tail at me, if you have one.

I would have done this a little earlier, but I've been busy with March Madness.  I can't say anything about the winner because I wish a California team had won.  But we can't have everything.

So here's what else I've been up to since last time.  Last summer I was up to my ears, almost, in water.  It's not exactly my favorite sport.  But Grandma says I need to learn to handle myself well around swimming pools.  Maybe I'll save a life, or a bone, or something, one day.

So my friend Melissa Trisko started me out last summer.  You can tell just how thrilled I am.

I did well enough to have fun at Auntie Joyce's pool party for graduate CCI dogs, but Grandma decided I needed to wear my fashion-forward life vest.

Exercise is good for me, though. I definitely know that. I really like the new Zoom Room - I think a dog must have named that - where I get to learn agility with my buddy, La Russa.  (What do you mean, you can't tell us apart?  I have the beautiful Rose Nose!)

It's so much fun to learn what to do with all this equipment!

When the weather turned too cold for outdoor sports, Grandma and I went back to work indoors.  We did a classroom presentation at Mr. La Russa's ARF Foundation.  I'm talking about the person, not the dog.  I really get a kick out of being a teacher.

No, I didn't play in the snow for Christmas.  I live in California, silly!  Grandma and I actually went to Aunt Lori's in Carmel on Christmas, and we walked the beach in 75-degree weather.  But there was this photographer who knew about fake snow...

Here's the real California Christmas!

In February I said (sniff) goodbye to La Russa, who was going off to puppy college (CCI professional training) in Santa Rosa.  As you may remember, Grandma never misses an opportunity to dress me up, so we looked like this for the Valentine's Day matriculation ceremony!

I've met a couple of well-known people, too.  Cokie Roberts is a political commentator with ABC News.  I hear she is an Emmy winner (I don't exactly know what that is, but I hope it comes with dog treats) and an NPR contributor;  she has also just written a children's book called FOUNDING MOTHERS:  REMEMBERING THE LADIES.  She was the keynote speaker for the East Bay Women's Conference and, since I was on duty, we decided we should be seen together.  

This is Dan Ashley, an award-winning news anchor on ABC-7.  He was the MC (or emcee, if you prefer) at the East Bay Women's Conference. In fact, this dog-lover has offered to be MC for our CCI chapter's upcoming  fundraiser, which is titled Dog Fest 2014.  Let's hear it for Dan!  WOOF!  WOOF!  (wag wag wag)

Now I'm keeping busy raising money and recruiting sponsors for Dog Fest.  

Here's a picture from my photo shoot.  How could they ever have done this project without me?  

This is a photo-shoot shot of Tatum (a breeder girl), La Russa (in advanced training), and yours truly.  We've had a good time doing this.  I wonder if there's an advertising career in my future?

And here are Grandma and Kelda Jean as we practice.  Dog Fest happens the end of May, so you still have plenty of time to get yourself and your four-footed friends up to walking speed.  Come join us!

I love everything I do and everybody I meet, but I love my Grandma best!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


So it's been HOW long since I added to this blog?  Over a year??  Um... hello there.  I hope you've been well.  If you were raising a puppy for CCI when you read my last update, that pup has grown up now.  I hope he or she is very happy.

Grandma and I keep quite busy, both working and enjoying ourselves.  We're also great sports fans, so we can now brag about the WORLD SERIES CHAMPION San Francisco Giants, as well as the ALMOST SUPER BOWL CHAMPION San Francisco 49ers.

Just in case you don't remember, here is the logo for our winning team.

I spent Christmas in Carmel with Grandma and our good friend, Aunt Lori.  Here I am in the beautiful park across from Carmel Plaza.  Carmel is very dog-friendly.  I find water bowls and treats greeting me at most of the stores.  There are even restaurants that welcome dogs to their outdoor dining spaces.

Now, here I am, getting packed and ready to go to the Super Bowl - in hopes of bringing back the Lombardi Trophy.  How exciting it would have been to have two major champion sports teams in the SF Bay area.  It would have been the sixth Super Bowl win for the 49ers!  Oh, well, we tried.

March 2 was the birthday of Dr. Seuss.  It was also Read Across America Day!  So there I was in Ms. Dodd's first grade classroom.  The children were all very polite (I know all about good manners!); they waited patiently to meet and pet me after Grandma read them some books that the teacher had selected.  This program takes place all over the U.S. on Dr. Seuss' birthday.  It's aimed at getting children involved and enthusiastic about reading.  I did my part.

And here I am with the Easter Bunny.  Only by the merest coincidence was I dressed like the Easter Bunny, too.  We took part in the brunch for the children in Orinda, California.  Grandma taught everybody how to approach a dog they don't know (and who doesn't know them), and she shared with them what therapy dogs do.  No, I didn't get to hunt eggs with the kids.  They ran around like crazy, and I had to watch politely.  Sigh.

A fashion note:  This (below) is a new one.

No, I didn't design it.  Really over the top, huh?  The tutu is so big I can hardly walk.  Grandma didn't make me wear it for very long, bless her.  For costumes like this I should get extra cookies!

Along the way, I managed to find time to celebrate my fifth birthday on May 13.  Can you believe it?  I got gifts, of course, and I wore the silly dunce hat that Grandma made my PR Dad wear when he came out for a visit back on my second birthday!  (That's the picture up on the top.)

My buddy La Russa (a CCI puppy in training) came over to help me celebrate.  He got one special cookie from the doggy store, but I didn't share my new toys with him (all right, call me selfish.  I prefer to think of myself as, um, forthright).  We did run about the yard chasing tennis balls and one another.  And I shared one of my dunce hats with him.  I thought that was nice of me.

On my actual birth date, I went to the Livermore Library for a Paws to Read session.  Grandma dressed me up - of course - and all the children made a fuss over me, which was certainly appropriate.

Here I am making my appearance for the children who stay at George Mark Children's House.  You may remember that this is a place where terminally ill or very sick children go for respite care, and their families can stay right there with them.  Once a year they have a huge picnic.  Miniature horses come to visit them; they can have their faces painted (the children, not the horses); there are clowns making balloon hats, and of course there are water balloons, and there is ME.  Everyone laughed and smiled and enjoyed themselves.  All the kids love it when I visit them.

Another of my favorite places is Camp Arroyo.  I'm with one of my special friends who comes to camp every year and always wants our picture taken together.  This is a special camp where special needs children can come and stay and just be themselves with whatever disability they may have.  Everybody is a special guest.  Grandma organizes visiting therapy teams twice a year - usually in August and November.  Everybody says how much fun it is.  They just love having us dogs come and visit - and we love visiting with them.

Finally, here's one of my favorite places to be - and, incidentally, Miss Kelda's new part-time job.  Grandma's good friend Kathleen has a big boat, and she invites me over to visit.  I enjoy dinner, watch the sunset, and - if I'm really good - get to help her navigate the boat.  I wonder if I need a special boat-driving license?

That brings everything up to date - but I don't want you to worry about my future.  I will post again - at least by Christmas!  Promise!