Thursday, March 31, 2011

Shirley gets a new coat

She was 5 months old last friday and at our meeting she turned in her starter coat for a big girl coat .Its really big on her but that's ok it makes her look even cuter.   But we did struggle with velco issues, her last coat you couldn't separate the velco this coat won't say closed ......... her velco is coming apart in the picture below

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

latest exposures

 Tabby walk ways                   car and sirens               rain thunder/lightning         
Cobble stones                       flashing lights                umbrella                             

 ferry river b                         city market                      walking tour
Hotel - Inn                             Horses /carriage             bridge/walkway
Large crowds                         cargo ships                     bus ride
Trolley ride                            Parking garage                street construction
Balcony                                  restaurants                     Fishing pier
Stairs and more stairs          statues                             

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

             our last day in Savannah, so we walked around town with Shirley one last time. On the way back home we decided to stop at St. Augustine and walk around the fort. Shirley seemed to enjoy this experience and we were able to take some nice photos stretch our legs .

Monday, March 28, 2011

 It is still really cold, but the rain has let up for now. We decided to walk around hours before the trolleys or shops open. Shirley has brought her A game and more, entering and exiting the hotel gracefully. For example, Shirley went back of the elevator avoiding other guests, and sitting nicely for the ones that insist on making a fuss over her because they miss their own pets back at home. It was funny to watch her at the  cross walk pedestrian boxes would start to talk and Shirley's reaction , when it  would say wait ,wait ,wait Shirley would sit right down ,then the signal would change and say walk –walk.
We walked the river front enjoying the experience even though the wind was blasting in our faces and Shirley’s ears flopped back.  To get back to the main streets of the city you can choose an infinite number of different stairs, cobblestone, brick or tabby walkways; Shirley was great on the stairs and could walk across the walk ways all day if we let her.
Walking along Shirley seemed to be amazed by all the horse and  carriages (Shirley loves horses) We decided to buy tickets for Old Town Trolleys (they allow guide dogs on the ride) and they had  enclosed trollies , let me just say SHIRLEY was perfect. It seemed that at times Shirley was getting more attention than the tour guide. There must have been a lot of Labrador lovers on board! We were planning to bring Shirley on a ghost tour, but the cold temperatures and the continuous downpour prevented us from a ghost adventure but check out this picture of Shirley.

this is about as haunted as gets

Sunday, March 27, 2011

road trip

If you have been  checking in lately you know I’ve been counting down until spring break which started 2:10 Thursday afternoon with only one last obligation  obedience class.  We are going to Savannah, Georgia right after class for a couple of days. I looked at Shirley and said road trip. But a thought popped up in the back of my head.  I realized that this would be the ultimate exposure for Shirley. Going to the local Publix, easy. Picking out different colors of yarn and fabric with my mom while older ladies are awing over her at Jo-Ann’s, also easy, the mall, warehouse stores, the local list goes on. But a trip! That is in a different ballpark. Shirley will have to be on her A-game , staying at hotel ,(we stayed at great place right on  River St. (note: Guide dogs welcome everywhere  but when you are calling for reservations and  add in the words in training ,you hear oh we don’t allow pets here, be prepared for a long conversation that the pup is not our pet  ;0 ). Stop one:  Petsmart to buy new toys to keep her occupied.

we walked miles in this Parking G

The signs finally started to read Georgia!…  but our spirits were dampened L as we arrived  it was pouring rain, thundering, lightening, and 40 degrees , and here we are with a pup that’s been in a car for the past 5 hours. So we must put our heads together and come up with  something ding ,ding  parking garage here  we come---- 8 flights up then 8 down  and tossed in a few flights of stairs and  we repeated going up and down until Shirley got tired and a had a work out and did BUSY! And that’s not so easy for a grass girl.
Later that evening the thunder/lightening let up, but it continued to rain. So, we grabbed the umbrella,  huddled under it, and started to explore. On a good note Shirley enjoyed it. I think it has only rained twice since she came to live with us. We slipped into a small place for dinner and Shirley curled up under the table like a pro. Back to the hotel to settle in for the night and the new surroundings didn’t bother her a bit.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Welcome to " Neighbors" Hood.

Welcome little YAZ
Little Yaz is the newest pup to the group

        Big Thanks to Ms. Michelle at Neighbors .If you are ever in Port Orange make sure you take the time to  stop by  Neighbors General store. Class was hosted  by MS Michele  in Port Orange .  We toured the Spruce Creek Fire station a big thanks to Fire fighter Pete.  We started by having a class with a warm up which consisted of group obedience drills in the parking lot .Then we toured the station.   The pups were  exposured to the trucks and a fire fighter in full gear. Then we moved to the parking lot for a photo op  and  the siren  demonstration. We were reminded that this was a full time working station and they were on call and could be called away at any time. After we finished there, Ms. Michelle  lead the group on a scenic walk and through a children’s park and back to the store.
Shirley meets fire fighter Pete, all the dogs take a turn.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Shirley has a sleepover

This is Sarge who is a great pup from group.

Our A.C. Mrs. Jocelyn asked if we’d arrange a play date with Sarge’s  raisers. See Sarge’s handlers live in a one story house and Sarge doesn’t get to climb stairs that much. His raisers said he didn’t like to, but he does.  They would be so proud of their boy.  All it took was Shirley running past him and flying up the stairs and he was ready to participate in the fun.  He was able to practice at my house then we took them both to a local business and practiced in outside stairwells, at this point he was a pro. We took a few long walks, a night walk and plenty of off leash play time . Sarge is welcome anytime  ! And it was good practice for  Shirley to have  another  non family dog around ,a lot of sit ,down and stay for her …


HEY I know you


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

getting ready for spring break!

A perfect Fl. spring day , and one clean pup, Shirley new favorite way to get clean and by far the easiest .

Monday, March 21, 2011

welcome to the firehouse

                                   Subs that is. Today we went to Firehouse Subs because today was a very rapid paced day. Shirley perked right up every time the bell on the door would ring and  they yelled welcome to ...but stayed put.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Nails Filed

                   Shirley did the guy thing yestereday Homedepot, then a full day of yard work. So today we needed to pick up a bag of dog food and some new toys for spring break ,which will start in 4 days.So while in Petsmart my mom said  lets see if they have an opening and we will get Shirley's nails done ( a girl thing) .She wasn't sure what to make of it , but true to Shirley style , she didn't put up to much of a fuss and took it in stride. If nothing else it was another exposure we can add to her list, this little peanut of a dog yapped away at her and she could of cared less.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Spring equals landscaping and Home Depot

           Not like anyone at my house needs an excuse to go to Home Depot . Shirley received so much attention at Home Depot that I’m sure this is going to be one of her favorite places to go to. It’s funny that the bigger she gets the more attention she receives. When people stop  and  ask about her ,you can see that  it takes every ounce of control she has to sit to be greeted . She didn’t shy from the forklift loading the pallets of mulch and bags of rocks on to the truck; she is ready to get her paws dirty.

Friday, March 18, 2011


                                 We did errands  and some heavier traffic exposure, unintended but Fridays are like a mad house in our area . Then we went home and enjoyed the great weather just hanging out on the patio ,had a great BBQ dinner ,and backyard free time I love this time of the year before it gets Too Hot anything under 85 is a cool day for Florida.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Shirley O'Grady


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

She did it Wednesday

             Today at  homedepot we took advantage of a well placed patio display. I put her in a down stay and we sat and watched forklifts go by, people, carts, and not to far away a gentleman was doing a drill and saw demonstration .   At  the  post office she did a sit then down on first command.

not so much Tuesday !

        OK the  results are in the treat is nowhere near everlasting .But the blue rubber part is like a self healing material so that is still intact . But let's see if it holds her interest now that the treat is about gone.

Monday, March 14, 2011

everlasting Monday

             I had Shirley in the pet store and they had a display of these everlasting treat balls (key word) ; We are always on the lookout for the words everlasting and indestructible ! I will let you know tomorrow .

Sunday, March 13, 2011


The time change is messing up our schedule .  But we enjoyed the day and spent most of it outdoors. We went to the park spent time just having fun.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Oh, Shirley!

                              To borrow a metaphor for the madness from a co- raiser------- Ms.Hyde and Dr Jekyll  showed up to training class today. WOW! Shirley just wasn't having any part of it! Say sit she'd stand and visa versa.  But after class I received some great tips from CO- AC Mr Carl I must get her to concentrate solely on me.   Shirley knows her commands now we just have to get her to implement them everywhere and practice we will .And before class we were talking to co raiser Bob and he used the analogy the dogs do this at the obedience class because they think of the other dogs as family and get all excited.   An interesting note is that AC Jocelyn asked for us and  Shirley to make an arrangement for her first play date at our home for some puppy one to one stairs exposure . After class the little stinker was just fine; in the AT&T store we were able to stand in line, and get our new phones (not the quickest transaction). Then we went out to lunch,  and she was calm to greet people with her best  SEGD paw forward.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Shirley takes on Costco

                 At Costco everything is large  ,the doors ,the shopping cart , The massive display of TVs ,who says dogs don't watch TV .We lingered in electronics ,then grabbed a slice of pizza and figured that's a good start.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

the search for new phones

Will have to wait ,the Walll-to-wall  carpet and all its smells proved to be a little to much for the Super Sniffer.    We will try a different location later.        

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Just one of the regulars .

                   Well Shirley has her regular outings and is becoming a regular at Publix and the post office ,oh and I can't forget Joann's that she will soon become their unofficial mascot . ;)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

training with everyday items

       I am practicing a new training procedure with Shirley. Basically, I am walking Shirley and carrying a few plastic bags filled with house products back and forth to the car. The point of this is to make sure Shirley does not jump up on me when I am carrying groceries.

Monday, March 7, 2011

                                 Today I started the countdown to spring break. Shirley has been just great this week. She is not pulling as much on the leash, and is responding to corrections.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Walkathon! Read All About It!

       Southeastern Guide dog's 25th walkathon at Rossi Waterfront Park, Bradenton Riverwalk  was yesterday. So we had to get an early start, because it's about a two hour drive, and we wanted to get there for Opening Ceremonies.
     Shirley did great on the way there; she just seems to like car rides no matter how long or short the distance is. We arrived at the scene with time to spare, so we decided to mingle and talk to other puppy guide dog raisers and host breeders looking for their offspring and puppy raisers looking for littermates we met so many nice people .
      After exploring the area around us, the walkathon was about to start, and Shirley would now have to step up to the plate. So,  we headed to the start line and waited for the singal. BAM! Shirley and I take off, and just after the walk started so did the steel drums. Shirley was not so sure about that, and put on the breaks. We stepped off to the side and just listened; after a few minutes she  built up her confinence  and we were off again! Shirley got in a whole list of exposers: dogs and more dogs ,loud speakers,live music ,old and young ,wagons and stollers babies and  toddlers. We finised and then we went to Anna Maria island for the afternoon before heading home. Shirley loves the feeling of sand between her toes .

We also took some great pictures of our experience here, which can be seen on yesterday's post.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Last Vet Visit

     Thank you  Celebration Veterinary Hospital  for being a partner with southeastern guide dogs and taking good care of Shirley .  Today was shirley's last puppy visit she weighted 36.4 Lb. and received the all looks ok stamp :) She is so good when we go to vet ,and she loves all the attention she gets.