Friday, October 10, 2008

young men in uniform

We had our first frost this morning. I was out walking with a dashing young Romeo on the beautifully sunny but cold (3C) trail where I used to take my constitutional with my last handsome escort. We used to run together there, but since his untimely death I have learned all about moderation and run at least as much on a treadmill as on the trail to keep from re-injuring myself. Seems I have a much harder time doing anything in moderation when I'm on that trail.

Romeo is about 85 lbs and a bit of a party boy. He will soon begin his real training for service dog work with Pacific Assistance Dogs. We're just 'puppy sitting' this weekend since his regular puppy-raising family is out of town for Thanksgiving. Tomorrow we plan to wow 'em in the nursing home (and wow my dad with a bucket of KFC) when we bring Romeo with us, all dressed up in his working togs, to visit. On Sunday he gets a day off as the noisy crowds descend on us instead for turkey and pumpkin pie.

A couple of weekends ago we puppysat 16 week old Tazo, shown here in uniform and armed with a flip flop or two. One day soon we may have a pup of our own to raise for a career in the service. More about pre-training here.

17 Comments:

Blogger Michelle said...

very cool!

10/10/08 2:03 PM  
Blogger Angela Rockett said...

Ah, there's something about a ma… ahem… dog in uniform…

Very cool, indeed, Andrea!

10/10/08 2:52 PM  
Blogger DONN COPPENS said...

Bittersweet.

That is sooooo cool. How can you not fall in love with them? I would never be able to give them back..
unles they chewed up my shoes..
and ((ahem)) I believe that in Canada we call flip-flops THONGS!

10/10/08 5:55 PM  
Blogger andrea said...

Michelle: The day or the dog? (They both are/were.)

Angela: I concur. And I agree, too.

Doonnnn: One must differentiate between these things or you might end up with a flip flop up your butt. (Or some undies stuck between your toes.)

10/10/08 10:10 PM  
Blogger WW said...

Handsome young lads they are, both. Golden labs are impossible not to love (all labs, but I had a golden growing up; it's all about attachment and loyalty).

Must feel good to have some canines around, huh?

11/10/08 7:43 AM  
Blogger WW said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

11/10/08 7:44 AM  
Blogger carla said...

What adorable dogs! I know a few people who foster German shepherd puppies for two years before they turn them over to Fidelco for their training. I'd have a terrible time parting with a dog after having it in my home for that long. It must be fun, though, to doggie-sit for a few days! Happy Thanksgiving to you!

11/10/08 9:02 AM  
Blogger andrea said...

WW: It does feel good! It feels normal, actually. :)

Carla: Giving them up is the hardest part (I fostered rescue dogs for a couple of years). I just remind myself that it's about the dogs and their new partners, not me. :(

11/10/08 2:58 PM  
Blogger Ellen said...

What a great match this program is for you. But any thought to a new permanent addition to your clan?

11/10/08 3:21 PM  
Blogger WW said...

I'm with Ellen, askin' -- are you thinking about a new family member?

You need to do that when you feel right about it...I'd love nothing more myself, but I live in an apartment, can't even have goldfish.

But you, Andrea...you seem so attachable to things, and that's beautiful...thinkin' bout it?

I figure it's not a question of if, but when...:-)

11/10/08 4:05 PM  
Blogger andrea said...

Ellen: Romeo has been such a gentleman today that I could take him permanently! Seriously, though, we will take on a pup to raise for training now and after that will look for a new permanent companion.

WW: You have me all worked out. I was always the kid who brought home the dead birds and stray cats. I even rescue spiders. I *so* love having a dog but since we're between dogs right now it seemed a good time to give back a little to the community by doing this service dog thing. In about a year or so I figure I'll be needing me another pooch of my own. I had to wait 31 long years for the first, so I know I can manage a few short months (and whoa is me -- they are so much shorter now!)

11/10/08 6:56 PM  
Blogger LDahl said...

Happy Thanksgiving!

11/10/08 10:34 PM  
Blogger Toni said...

First of all Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy the turkey.

That is so awesome fostering rescue dogs. You will know when the time is right for a new member. How is th birding coming along? I still need to send you that recipe for the birds.

12/10/08 5:27 AM  
Blogger WW said...

I knew it and it makes perfect sense.

On behalf of all arachnia and the Dead Birds Society, Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. :-)

12/10/08 7:42 AM  
Blogger andrea said...

Lilah: Thanks and good to see your smiling face.

Toni: Looking forward to it! I got a new feeder kit a few days ago, one with a roof and glass sides. Must cook turkey first though... :)

WW: And to you, too. (Dead Birds Society being appropriate for Thanksgiving and all...)

12/10/08 8:11 AM  
Blogger Hayden said...

I've wanted to train Jake as a hospital or nursing home visitor - suddenly, having reached the grand age of 2.5 he's developed calmness and a real love for laps, so maybe it's time.

13/10/08 10:13 AM  
Blogger San said...

Such handsome dogs. And the uniform is fetching.

I hope your visit to your dad was wonderful. I'll bet Romeo was a big hit with everyone, especially with his being a party boy and all. And the KFC must have pleased your dad enormously.

14/10/08 12:02 PM  

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