This is a blog about a dog...a guide-dog-to-be. For the next 3 years we will follow Dakota through the trials and tribulations of becoming a guide dog for the blind.
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Monday, September 21, 2009
Art Appreciation for Dogs
Dakota's scent training for diabetic alert work began this past Thursday, and we're thrilled with his response. He's naturally curious and eager to please, and so far we're also impressed with his nose...keep up the good work, Duckie!
Switching gears a little...Dakota celebrated Austin's "free museum day" by going along with us Sunday to Austin's beautiful Blanton Museum of Art. The folks at the Blanton were very welcoming of him as a service dog and radioed ahead so that none of the docents would be taken by surprise when we walked in. We enjoyed the wide array of exhibits while Dakota sat politely and people-watched. He pretty much ignored the two-dimensional art, but the sculptures fascinated him. His favorite was a larger-than-life piece entitled, "Dying Gaul." The subject had apparently gotten the worst of a skirmish with Roman forces and was kind of lying on one side, arm outstretched, on a platform that put him just above Duckie level. Put yourself in Dakota's paws, though, and he was...obviously...trying to reach out and give a tummy rub! Dakota got quite excited and wanted to sniff and lick his hand...I had to discreetly walk away into the adjoining room! Overall, though, Dakota did just great, especially with all the crowds. I was pretty pleased with him.
This particular piece of "art" was not featured at the Blanton, but it's so quirky-Austin that I just had to get a picture. It's designed to encourage responsible dog ownership, as you can see! Apparently the pile of dirt in the background represents the amount of waste generated daily by Austin dogs...wow....
"Hey, I always have clean walks, it wasn't me!"
Have a good week, everyone, and wish Dakota luck as he continues his new training!
Beth Lord and her family are volunteer puppy raisers with the Guide Dogs of Texas. Dakota is their second guide dog puppy and first labradoodle. Willie, a yellow lab, graduated to advanced training in summer of '08 and is now a working guide in Austin, TX.