Friday, May 15, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me!

It's official: I'm a big girl! No, I haven't put on weight. I haven't grown tall enough to play basketball. I haven't set a record for playing with MEE-YOWs.

I'm a year old!

Last year at this time (May 13) I was born in California. I have six brothers and sisters. Here's a picture (left) of Keilus - she lives in Maryland, where the crabs are.

If you have trouble telling us apart, there's a reason... we wear the same style of birthday hat.

I spent the beginning of the week with Auntie Phyllis.

She's not my real auntie (if she were, she'd have fuzzy ears and a tail). But she loves dogs so much, and takes care of them so well, that she's Auntie Phyllis to all of us.

She took me to the library (Zebrina was there, too) so kids could read to me. I wish somebody had taken pictures because not only did the children like me, but they also pasted five-pointed stickers on my face after they read each book! I always knew I had STAR quality!

On my birthday she took me to class, where my PRs met us. We CCI pups have class together every two weeks. Sometimes it's a field trip - maybe to a fire station or a retirement place - but most of the time, we practice what we're learning at home.

Here we are doing "cradle."

You lie down on your person's lap on the floor and let everything show. Not ladylike, but nobody minds. I don't like cradling much. That's why my dad has his hand on my chest to keep me where I should be.

My friend Augie would rather be bouncing around, too. He has the very best bounce I've ever seen.

But some pups just lie there and snooze - or smile. Here's Emmy!

This is my teacher, Megan, talking to Nara and her PR mom. We have a lot of little kids in class right now.

Everybody needs to learn to sit. This is Malin. It's harder to "sit - stay." We like "sit - get up - run around" better. But that isn't a command.

"Down" doesn't mean, "Get off the furniture"; it means we get all our feet and our tummies on the floor. This is a very good napping command.

Here's a harder one: "Stand." It gets boring. But you're not supposed to sit - you need to keep standing. I'm getting pretty good at this one.

"Roll" is good for tummy scratches.

We learn to walk beside our people in the right way - not too far ahead, not too far behind, not sniffing the floor as we go.

(This - well, this is what sometimes happens when the little guys come to class.)

"Jump" means to get on something above the floor - like maybe a table at the vet's office. I like "jump," but this counter is too slippery.

We even learn how to go through doorways with good
manners. This is cute little Rio.

This is "visit." You stick your face in your person's lap and look up adoringly. If you do it just right, you should get a treat - or at least an "Awwww."

We learn to take things in our mouths and then drop them when we're told. This is Sherwood. He's a CCI release dog. He's been a therapy dog for five years, and he knows all the commands perfectly! We all look up to him.

And here I am, starting to do a "lap." I think it should be half a lap, because only half of me should get up there. But then, that much of me takes up a person's whole lap. We learn this because maybe our person will be in a wheelchair and won't be able to bend over to give us attention. So we go where the best attention is. Very sensible.

After we did all our schoolwork (and there's more than this), we had birthday cake!

Auntie Phyllis made it out of people food that is all right for dogs to eat once in a while.

Mmmmm! My mom wanted to get a shot of me eating the cake, but she didn't move fast enough. Even the crumbs were good.

It was too rich for the little puppies, but we big dogs loved it!

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