Tuesday, March 23, 2010

National Puppy Day

Today (March 23, 2010) is national puppy day! Didn't even know that until now... though everyday at my house is National Serena day so I don't think she cared that I forgot!! But anywho I think this blog has been getting around (I really hope anyway) so maybe I can try and get a few more puppy raisers for My Angel with Paws. You know you want to. You too could take your puppy everywhere and teach them awesome commands and most importantly help someone with disabilities. It is probably one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had and Serena has only been with me since November. The other day we met a man in a power chair at Barnes and Noble and it was so nice talking to him. He kept on saying "thank you so much for doing this, it is going to make someone so happy. She is such a good girl" I really just wanted to hug him. Seeing the joy Serena brings to people is one of the best things ever. Now people get upset if I don't have her with me. "Where is Serena?" "Is she okay?" "Bring her next time please!!" I had people stop shopping at the grocery store to watch Serena pick up her leash when I was done with self check out. A few of them clapped and some went "awwwwwww" It is just awesome! I really can't wait to see what the next year with her brings and how many more lives we can make just a little brighter.

Check out the website:

http://www.myangelwithpaws.org/

or become a fan on facebook (just search My Angel With Paws)!! If you can't puppy raise, donations are greatly appreciated since all the dogs (worth $10,000 when done with training) are given completely free to a person with disabilities. Every little bit helps (even donating fleece blankets to make fridge tug opening toys are greatly appreciated). I hope you all are enjoying this blog and please send it to as many people as you want :-)


Here is a video of Serena being cute as always to close out National Puppy Day:

Friday, March 19, 2010

Serena Gets the Paper

Serena has mastered getting the paper so this morning I decided to try and get a video of it. Apparently her mastery is a once a morning thing because I swear she did it perfectly before I went and got the camera! hahaha.

video

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Spring= happy puppy!

The weather finally got nice here in Chicago so Serena and I have been spending lots of time outside fixing up the garden and going to the beach!  She isn't very useful in the garden because she thinks when I rake somewhere she needs to help and comes over and digs a hole then takes off running around the yard doing crazy puppy laps.  Makes for an entertaining day of gardening though!

Serena's new tasks include fetching the paper in the morning!  I open the door and say "get the paper!"  She will run out and frolic to the end of the driveway, grab the paper, shake it, then run back.  When I have time I will take a video of it because it is oh so cute and you can tell she loves having a job!

The next thing Serena is going to have to learn is how to swim because I can't keep going into the water and getting her ball for her!
I think this picture perfectly describes Serena's personality:

Monday, March 15, 2010

Serena's first horse show (Reggie's too!)

This past weekend I took Reggie to his first horse show ever!  When I packed Reggie's stuff, I also packed Serena's barn crate!  On the trailer everything went and off we went down the road to the horse show.  You will notice the lack of service dog vest in these pics.  I kept it off the whole weekend to avoid having to talk to crazy horse show dog owners while attempting to get stuff done and focus on Reggie.  That didn't mean Serena got to be lax about her training...  


All the commotion, other dogs and people was a very good place to practice our training. She was very good about leaving the people alone and staying out of the horse's way but she wasn't very good about ignoring the other dogs.  In her defense, people were just letting their dogs run up to her then going "oh wow your dog is so well behaved, mine wants to play." They would proceed to have their dog jump all over and Serena was torn between listening to me or playing with the dog that was in her face.   She likes to sit still and then will randomly do "ATTACK PUPPY RAWR!" and pounce.  It is adorably cute but very very bad.  She got one big correction the first time and was very good about not doing "ATTACK PUPPY RAWR" the rest of the show.   Overall she tried very hard and by Sunday she was listening much better.

On the racetrack a lot of horses have pets that go with them everywhere.  I have decided that Serena is Reggie's pet.  When we got to the show and he saw her for the first time he sniffed her all over and was very happy to see her.  She was very happy to see his poo and grain leftovers.  Every morning she would curl up in his hay and sleep while I brushed him and braided his hair. They are very cute together!

She also was very useful has ribbon holder :-).

Since there is a lot of down time at horse shows we used Serena to keep us entertained.  I taught her to jump on tack trunks, put her paws up on trash cans and she even started carrying trash for people to the trash can (we have not yet mastered putting it into the can).  

Serena and Victor were playing with a random water bottle... she would jump up, run down the aisle and basically just do anything just to get the water bottle.  Silly puppy!


Many times people from my barn asked to see what Serena could do so she got to show off her mastered skills while being surrounded by lots of distractions.  It was a great experience for Serena and Reggie!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Playing in Lake Michigan in February

Serena loves the beach... but I think I have said that before. Here are more pictures and a video showing that just in case you forgot ;-)

Playing on the bluff on top of the beach:

It was so pretty outside!


Testing the water


Cute, wet puppy

OMG IT IS A STICK!

Jumping dog!


video

I really have a tolerant horse!

For awhile I have been letting Serena hold the end of the lead rope while I walk Reggie down the aisle. She loves doing that and Reggie tolerates her oh so well. Since we have been working on going and getting things and bringing them back I figured I would see if she could go get Reggie and bring him to me. This is hard for her because she knows what she is supposed to do but unlike an non living object it takes Reggie a second to start walking with her. So she pulls and shakes the lead rope and then gets distracted by other things. Reggie is so good and will just wait until she tugs some more. Eventually she brings him to me! I seriously love my horse for putting up with Serena and me.


video

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Puppy wake up call!

Yesterday I bought Serena a plastic bowl so she could learn to bring me her bowl when I feed her.  Her old bowl was metal and very hard to pick up and made a lot of noise on the floor when she ate.  I got her a plastic bowl with handles that she can pick up even when she flips it over.  So I started training yesterday night with "get your bowl" and she was very good and brought it to me.  This morning she woke up really early and my dad let her out of her crate.  I was awakened by a puppy leaping on my bed with her new bowl in her mouth and wagging her tail.  I was laughing so hard I couldn't tell her to get off the bed.  She had taken her bowl from downstairs all the way upstairs to my room which is probably the furthest away room from where she eats.  Apparently she wanted her breakfast!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Chicago Bulls Game

Last Wednesday I was given free tickets to go see a Bulls Game. I checked the United Center's website and it specifically said that Service Dogs and Service Dogs in training are welcome to come to the games. AWESOME! So off we went with Serena in the car. We got to the game a little late which worked out nicely because we didn't have to deal with the crowds walking into the game. The security guard didn't care at all when we walked in and we headed to our seats! We were on the upper level getting up there required Serena walking next to me, then ahead of me, then next to me again. She did great and listened so well.



We got a lot of "awwwww there is a dog" and "OMG THERE IS A DOG!" We found our seats which were in the middle of the row so we had to shuffle across people and of course the people right next to us were PETRIFIED of dogs. They screamed and jumped on the seats. Serena ignored them and we settled her under our chairs which required her to stay completely down under our seats. We stayed like this for the second quarter then went and got food after the half-time show. We ended up moving to the row above us where there was no one sitting that way Serena could sit and not be completely cramped and so that the people next to us would stop screaming every time Serena moved. She watched the rest of the game and we had a lot of people take pictures of her there. Leaving was a little crazy because the crowds were HUGE but Serena stayed right next to me and ignored all the people. Overall it was a great experience (the bulls won!!) and she made me so proud. Serena has come such a long way!



This video was taken when they were doing a noise meter thing on the big screen. Basically it was just to make the crowd get loud. The girl behind us was screeching, boys a few rows down were blowing a horn and they were dropping things from the ceiling. Serena just sat and watched :-)


video