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Thursday, August 21, 2008

School Days

While many kids are still enjoying their last few days of summer, our homeschool has been in session for almost two weeks now. Dakota finds the school day pretty boring and spends his time taking naps, chewing on toys, and GROWING! Here he studies a chew toy while Charissa studies language.

"Isn't it time for recess yet?" he seems to be asking.

But pretty soon it's Dakota's turn...time for a walk! Here he's waiting for the command, "Out of the bus." That's his signal to get out of whatever vehicle we're in and get ready for the walk. Now, this is the part of the school day he loves!!
Then it's back home to do what puppies do best...sleep. What do you think he dreams about?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Birdbath blues...

Of course all birds love birdbaths. This Duck is no different! But constantly downing gallons of water when our backs are turned can play a bit of havoc with housetraining. Here's how Dakota looks when he gets caught. He's thinking, "Uh-oh...busted again!"

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

"He's a what?! No way..."

Yes, this is people's top response when they find out that little Dakota is a labradoodle, and a guide dog in training. Coming in a close 2nd is, "He looks just like a teddy bear come to life!" ...And 3rd, "I want one!" So maybe this would be a good time to note that if you're interested in labradoodles, you owe it to yourself to do some real homework. They're a complicated subject! Dakota's biased, but he recommends, his breeder's website, where you'll find a bunch of info & educational links.

The funny thing is that in just one week of training with Dakota, I've been asked to show my guide dog ID more times than I was asked in just about my whole time bringing up Willie! People just can't seem to believe that this cute little ball of fur could do such a big job! On my part, I've been pretty impressed with Duckie's confident, bright, happy-go-lucky approach to any and all new situations. Nothing seems to faze this guy.

Yesterday was our first trip to the mall. After getting stopped by security and creating a bit of a bottleneck at the entrance as everyone crowded around to get a look, it was off down the halls for a quick jaunt past the shops and a fun ride in the elevator. Dakota took everything in stride, smiling and wagging his tail at passersby as if he deserves all this attention. He's going to get a big head fast at this rate!

Friday, August 1, 2008

The Doodle Has Landed

That's one small step for giant leap for the Lord family!

On Wednesday, our family brought Dakota home from The Greenwood School, where friend and fellow puppy raiser Tracy Schagen has been kind enough to keep him for his first week. Thanks Tracy!!

Dakota will be our 2nd puppy to raise for Guide Dogs of Texas. Willie, our 1st, is now at the GDTX training center in San Antonio, starting on his advanced training. Here's Willie and me at the Capitol.

As you can see from the picture Willie was not a labradoodle! So this will be a big learning curve for us. I'm sure Dakota will be happy to show us the ropes. We're excited about the new experience and have been trying to do a lot of doodle research to get ready.

I'm happy to report that, after wearing poor Tracy and her family to shreds, Dakota seems ready to settle in here. Our first night he slept almost too well -- I kept waking up because it was so quiet, afraid something had happened to him in his sleep! Last night we all had a good night though. Dakota made it from 11 pm to 5 am without a whimper. After a quick trip outside to "go busy" (guide dog code for "potty") I had to break the sad news to him that no, I wasn't feeling playful yet. He resigned himself to another hour or so of shuteye and then I, too, was ready to face the day!

We have been enjoying our first training walks immensely. We're keeping things pretty short and simple at this point. Our main goal right now is to give Dakota a lot of positive experiences in many different surroundings. Guide dogs have to be confident in all sorts of situations...and if there's one thing this guy's got, it's confidence! That, and a cute face. He's winning friends and influencing people everywhere, I'm afraid.

I'll leave you with a picture of Dakota checking out the westerns at the library. We kind of thought that fit with his name. That's all for now folks!