Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Fun Fun Fun!

Splash Day! Guide dog puppies sure work hard, but they know how to play too. Every year GDTx hosts a fun day for the raisers, their puppies, and any well behaved pet dogs that care to join the romp. The location is a training/boarding facility in Bulverde called K9 Country Club, and there's tons of fenced in room to roam...sandy play areas...and a giant pond for swimming and splashing! The humans enjoyed hamburgers and hot dogs, while the dogs just enjoyed goofing off.
We walked into the enclosure, I let Alfie off leash, and who was the first to greet me? DAKOTA!! Besides being our last puppy to raise for GDTx, he is now a diabetic alert dog and possibly one of the sweetest personalities in the world. After loving on me for a while he ran off to play, but came back to say hello again every few minutes. What a guy! He was soaked to the skin and covered with sand but I didn't care one little bit! I enjoyed catching up with Ben and the family...they all seem to be doing well. They had a JDRF gala to attend that night, so they didn't stay too long, because obviously Dakota would have to be groomed beforehand.
Here's a little video of Ben introducing Alfie to the water...you'll catch a glimpse of Dakota and some other dogs running around in the foreground. Please ignore my goofy laugh, I'm just excited to see "my" puppy again!

While several dogs swam nonstop, Alfie seemed to think it best to stay in the shallows. He enjoyed running in to grab toys, but then would run right out again.

Alfie trots through the shallows on the edge of the pond, while German Shepherd, Twist, looks on
C'mon, Twist, let's get our feet wet!

Alfie trots past a yellow lab with a tennis ball in his mouth; the lab is turning to chase him
Catch me if you can!

Alfie sniffs noses with a beautiful large Weimeraner who towers over him; the Weimeraner is wearing neat red boots to protect his paws
Hi there tall guy! Alfie gets to know Russel.

Alfie wading chest-deep into the water; his hind end is still sticking out of the water while he stretches his neck out to try and reach something
So, is it worth swimming out to get that ball or not? (Verdict: Not!)

Alfie and a very sandy black lab are chasing yellow lab Piper around the playground.  Piper has a ball in her mouth, her ears are flying, and she seems to be smiling.
Fun in the sand...

Bob holds a stick up proudly in his mouth as he walks near one of the tables.
Oooh, Bob found a stick!

Alfie, back to the camera, has the stick in his mouth now and Bob is grasping crazily to get it back, his eyes wide in a really funny expression
...But Alfie won't let him keep it without a challenge...

Side view of Bob and Alfie tugging on opposite ends of the stick
Now for a game of tug!

Alfie has the stick now and holds it just out of Bob's reach as he tries to get it back.
Uh-oh, better get it back, Bob!

Alfie at the edge of the water, trying to reach a tennis ball floating nearby
Trying to get the tennis ball without slipping in.

Alfie and yellow lab Piper are both tugging at a stick; Alfie's putting his left paw on Piper's eye to push her away!
Alfie's not really known for playing fair...sorry, Piper!!

Yet another game of stick tug-o-war, but this time the big stick has broken off in the black lab's mouth and Alfie's somehow ended up with the lion's share.
I think Celia's getting the short end of the stick.

Yellow lab Bob sitting, looking at the camera with cute sad puppy eyes!
Adorable Bob...he's all worn out and ready to go home!

Back view of Bob; he's sitting a little funny, to where his tail is in the shape of a backwards question mark!
Look at his tail! Cute...
When it was time to leave, Alfie was STILL very frisky and energetic. He's the energizer puppy! Anyway, as we headed to the car we had to cross this enclosure where a bunch of agility equipment was set up, so I thought I'd see how he liked it. He loved this thing where you run up a narrow ramp and cross a bridge that was about my shoulder height...any of you with agility experience know what that's called? The reason the he looks a bit put out is because I'm stopping his fun to take a picture!

Alfie, still wet from the pond, standing alertly on some kind of agility catwalk at my shoulder height.

I'm on top of the world!!

In other news, no puppy swap...yet! We were supposed to get one of the puppies from the Dominguez unit (Pawsitive Approach jail program), but sadly due to some sort of incident the jail had to go on lockdown. Let me clarify that this didn't have anything to do with our dogs or their handlers in the program! But security protocol must be observed for everyone's safety, so we're postponing the swap until things are back to normal.
And, speaking of the Pawsitive Approach program, Alfie and I had a bit of a surprise yesterday when we were called by the local news (KVUE) and asked to do an interview! They were doing a nice little piece on the Pawsitive Approach program here at the Travis County Jail, and also wanted to talk to a "traditional" puppy raiser. So Alfie and I got to be on the news for 5 seconds or so...he was ignoring the camera as usual so you couldn't see his face too well, alas! But he enjoyed meeting the reporter and cameraman, so we can add that to his list of training experiences I guess.
Alfie smiling cutely as he sits in some greenery
I'm a working dog, not a movie star!


Katrin said...

Sounds like you had a great time! That agility obstacle is called a "dog walk"

Alphini's Puppy Raiser said...

Thanks Katrin! :) I had a feeling you could help me out with that. I get it...like a catwalk, only for dogs! :)

Katrin said...

In USDAA (an agility org) there also use to be an obstacle, I can't quite remember the name now, but it had 4 ramps that went to a raise square platform. 1 ramp going to each side of the square. Once the dog went up an up ramp to the platform then the handler had to tell the dog which down ramp to take and that was very hard to do at speed from a distance! They no longer use that obstacle for various reasons but it was fun when I started agility.

L^2 said...

Looks like it was a very fun day!

Sarah and Vance said...

Looks like a ton of fun, congrats on the future news article! Those are always fun to do :)

Sierra Rose said...

What a fun splash doggie party!!! I got so excited just looking at those fun photos!!
And great to have your spot on TV!!
Fantastic times.

Hugs and snaggle-tooth kisses,
Sierra Rose

Becky said...

Such fun - love how much fun they are all having!

Toby- The dog with a blog said...

Alfie, you are as cute as ever in those pictures!
Looks like the dogs had bunches of fun!

Natalie said...

Ah! the pictures are great - one you can see Bob's blood teeth eww lol.. He lost all the rest of them that day by the way haha. Thats so exciting about the news! Try and record it for us!

Ruby's Raiser said...

What a great party, looks like a blast! So happy to hear the news did a spot on the Pawsitive Approach program and wonderful that you two had the chance to be a part of it!

Mimi and CC Cabana said...

Oh Alfie, Cabana would have been right there on the edges of the water with you! Alfie looks so cute when he's wet--his legs are so skinny!