I've been super-busy this week (befitting Kelda the Superdog)! But I wanted to share with you my (ahem) column that appeared in the Chaffee County Times last month. Remember when Gamay and I swapped homes? This is what came of it. Ms. Bensman is my ghost writer (because she has fingers and I don't). She took the pictures, too. Words in brackets [ ] are extra comments from me, Kelda.
CCI PUPPIES SWAP THEIR RAISERS
(by Kelda - Guest Columnist)
Hi! I'm Kelda. I'm a CCI puppy like Gamay. I met Gamay at the birthday party in Colorado Springs. I live in the Springs, but I stayed with Mary Lee for a week while Gamay stayed with my puppy raisers.
In the city, we puppies swap around our raisers quite a bit because we live close to each other. Since Gamay doesn't get in on all the fun, we swapped our puppy raisers for a week.
Gamay and I are almost the same age (one year, at the time of writing) and we are both being turned in on the same day (August 22) at the same place (Oceanside, California). That's were we go for advanced training ("college").
Here are more ways that Gamay and I are alike: We wear the same clothes; we don't like our Gentle Leaders; we like to walk ahead of our handlers instead of beside them [oops]; we are both Labs (although I am yellow - almost white - and she is black); we are both writers; we both get really excited to meet other people and dogs; we are both party animals.
When Mary Lee picked me up at my house and left Gamay with my puppy raisers, we went shopping. We shopped til I dropped! Mary Lee said I did really well in the stores. Except the office supply store; I barfed in the office supply store. Mary Lee had given me a chance to "hurry" before we went in, but she never told me to barf. So I did it in the store. [You'll notice there are no pictures of this.]
She was really nice about it. She knelt on the floor with plastic bags and paper towels scattered about, and let me do what I had to do. Then she wiped it all up. It's kinda hard to be inconspicuous about something like that. But she said she would prefer that people watch me barf than hurry in a store! [For those of you who may not know, "hurry" does not mean, "Get a move on." It's a substitute for saying, "Go to the bathroom right now." "Hurry" is one of the commands we learn. When we're real service dogs we may not be able to run outside any old time we need to. We need to do our business when it is convenient for our person.]
She called me "perfect puppy" in the restaurant! I just lay down on the floor without even being told to, and stayed there until we left.
Lots of people talked to Mary Lee about me. "How is she doing?" they asked. She said, "I don't know. I've only had her a couple of hours!" Then she explained all about the puppy exchange. By the end of the day, she was just telling them I was doing great!
We went to the pet supply store and Mary Lee bought a dog chew ring for me to play with on the way home! Well, she got it for Gamay, but she let me play with it while I was here. She also bought a hard rubber bone, but as soon as I started eating it, she took it away. She's kinda picky about puppies eating toys.
When we got back to Buena Vista, I scarfed down dinner! Then I had fun sniffing all around the yard and the house. I went right in my (Gamay's) crate when Mary Lee told me to. I knew just where I was supposed to sleep.
We went on a hike on Sunday and played ball, but it got kinda hot.
One time, I was lying on Gamay's pillow in the living room, playing with the new dog chew ring. I rolled on my back and gave it a toss, and it landed right in the water dish! I couldn't do that again if I tried! I drank as much water as I could so that I could get it out, but I couldn't.
I loved playing with the firewood that was on the deck. I picked out the biggest ones.
Mary Lee calls me "Sweetie" when I'm not trying to bite her! [I wouldn't bite her! It's just that when my tail moves fast, my mouth moves, too. I think the puppy college teachers aren't gonna like that.] She's kinda picky about that, too!
By the time you read this, Gamay will be home.
If you want to know more about Gamay, go to www.maryleebensman.com. I had a terrific time in Buena Vista. Everybody is friendly, the firewood sticks taste good, and Gamay has a really cool basketball!