Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Sorry to be so tardy getting back to you all! I've had a great summer! Some people wonder what happens to CCI dogs when they flunk out - er, don't make it through all the training. Are we flops? No way! We just change careers. That's not flopping. Only fish flop (out of water).
I wouldn't have made a good service dog. They have to be able to handle anything (!) that happens, and I get a little nervous sometimes. But I'm fine right here. I love Grandma and I love the way she spoils me. She keeps me busy, too.
There's a children's hospital (UCSF, it's called) that just got a facility dog named Nilani! Grandma's previous dog, Trevin, was such a good hospital visitor that they said, "We need a dog here all the time!" A facility dog is a service dog who, instead of working for a person, works for a place. Facility dogs are great with children!
Well, Grandma and I went to a party for one of the hospital bigwigs. I'll never be a Facility Dog, but I still want to help carry on what Trevin has started. Everybody said I was lovely and well-behaved.
And I LOVE being in two (count 'em, two) Paws to Read programs! If you have children or grandchildren, see if your library has Paws to Read.
The children are so happy to read books to me out loud, and I like to listen. Happily, Grandma also gives me some treats now and then.
At the Pleasanton library, I have a whole set of equipment!
I also have a job with the Tony LaRussa Animal Rescue Foundation. Mr. LaRussa used to manage the Oakland As baseball team, and now he manages the St. Louis Cardinals. His foundation put on a program called "Dog Days of Summer."
Let's see, that's my green bandana. I have such a wardrobe!
I've helped at Camp Arroyo, a summer camp for disabled children in Livermore, California. Grandma is the Camp Coordinator (for the Valley Humane Society visiting therapy teams), so I'm the Co-Coordinator! How do you like that title? Here I am with some of the kids.
I even tried on somebody's sunglasses.
And here I am in a fashion show! (And my PR Dad calls me "Big Ugly." Ugly, indeed!) It was a benefit of the Auxiliary to the John Muir Medical Center. I modeled the scarf that they have for sale.
Grandma and I have done some entertaining this summer. Here's my friend Aunt Sandy. She gives the best paw massages.
Aunt Sandy is a police lieutenant, so I really have to behave around her! (Just kidding!)
Ahhh! I love sitting in the sun!
And then... there was the Pool Thing.
Grandma has a friend I call Auntie Joyce.
She gave a pool party for fifteen CCI Service Dogs. These graduate dogs had a chance to take time off from their work and just be their doggy selves. Some people would worry about fifteen dogs being together. But there were no fights, because these are all CCI trained. I'm a "change of career" pup, but I was invited as well. All the other dogs played in the pool as well as around it, but I had, um, never been swimming.
So after most of the dogs had gone home, Auntie Joyce got me on the float. Yikes!
I wasn't too sure about it at first...
...especially when Graduate Dog Georgina insisted on swimming across the float, right underneath me. It didn't help my confidence one bit! (See her? She's right under my tummy! Not fair!)
But after a while I felt a little better. A LITTLE better!
I'll try it again... maybe next year!
In the meantime, Mocha and I have other challenging things to do!