About Me

My photo
I am a male yellow Lab. My birth date is September 4th 2011. I am in training to be a guide dog for the blind. (guide dog school -Southeastern Guide Dogs) I'm my raiser's fifth guide dog puppy. She will keep me for (about) 1 year, then I will head off to harness training! Please feel free to follow my blog and keep up with: Brandon's Life... As a guide dog in training

My Furry Friends! (Feel free to join the pack!)

Saturday, January 30, 2010

White... SNOW!!

(Black/white picture of Toby's head with
snow in the background, you can also see
his leather collar & black leash)


SNOW, REAL SNOW!!
You may remember the post I did back in December 2009, how I only got "ice" snow, (all you could do was slip & slide!).

Well yesterday it snowed, yes SNOWED, no fake snow like before, real flaky white snow!

Today (Saturday) my raiser's plans had been canceled (as the weather was too bad), so she took me way out back to go sledding! Taking the camera with her too!
She got her sister to take some videos of her & I sledding together (yeah...), I mostly just pushed her down the hill, and then ran "somewhat" beside her! She did have to remind me that the sled is NOT for chewing on, though I think it tasted pretty good!

I was wearing a long red leash while out playing, so she didn't have to worry about me running away (we were in a fenced in area too), not that I would run away (...) my raiser just likes to be on the safe side!

Please note that I was NOT pulling my raiser at ANY times with any of my pawsome strength, (though it may look like I am pulling her down the hill, I'm definantly not!!).


After some fun sledding she let me play "fetch" (for me it's "go get it", don't worry I'm not learning to "fetch" like real dogs!). My raiser thought it was really funny to watch me catch a piece of snow she threw, and then me not be able to find it; I just thought it was plain fun!

Enjoy the many movies & pictures my raiser attached below, (You may notice that I'm wearing different collars in different pictures, the one's of me wearing my pawsome red leather collar were taken up at the house, the ones of me wearing a pink collar were taken down where we were sledding)

Did you get any snow? Feel free to comment away!

Have a pawsome snowy weekend:)


Toby The dog with a blog




(Picture of Toby eating snow, you can see his long red leash in front of him, and a happy face on him!)







(Picture taken from the side, you can see Toby's head & pink collar (yes pink...), Toby's looking straight ahead at my sister who's sledding)





(Picture of Toby & I, Toby's in a stand beside me, I'm laying down on a yellow sled, we're both looking at the camera)





(Picture of Toby eating snow, his red collar & black leash are also very visible in the picture)




video video
Above, (Toby following me down the hill; he is running beside the sled, which I am on, you also notice to the left side there is a "round metal thing" we sometimes use it as a "tunnel" to sled through)





video video
Above, (Toby "fetching" the snow I threw for him, he was really enjoying the "icy treat"!)




videoAbove, (Toby in a sit-stay on a blue sled, I am pulling the sled, while holding Toby's lead, we are going VERY slow. You may notice that Toby comes 1 sec before I called him... he didn't like the idea of sledding very much!)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

10 months!

*(Written by Toby's Raiser)*
Wow, Toby turned 10 months yesterday, really TEN MONTHS!
It's quite hard for me to believe, it seems like just last week I was carrying him in my arms, cuddling his little head in my lap.
He has grown so much since then!

At times he may do something "wrong" but he is my baby, my spoiled dog (well I wish, but alas he's not allowed on my bed, the chair or the drivers seat!).

Toby is really doing well with his training, he enjoys the harness and thinks it's wonderful that he gets to wear it in public!
I would like to include some words about Toby, so here goes -
10 words for 10 months

Toby (Kinda obvious!)
Energetic (For the days he makes 30 laps around the INSIDE of the house...)
Nosily adorable (For his cute nose always being their to cheer us up!)
Mainly the same (Though he's grown large & more obedient he really is the same dog)
Obedient (He really trys to please me with his obedience!)
Neatly Nice (He gets more compliments than I do when we are in town!)
aTtentive (At times he may "ignore" me, but for the most part he is an attentive dog)
Handsome (Many compliments from the public for this one)
Silly (Every dog has their "thing", Toby's includes being "silly")

Now to prove you just read the above "10 words for 10 months" you should be thinking something along the lines of "Where is the tenth word for the tenth month?".
Am I right?
If not then you did just go back and count the words, right!?

You wanna know why?

I tried to figure out what ten words to list for this post, when Toby turned 8 months I used the letters in "Guide Dog", which equaled 8 words.
I didn't want to do just random words, so I thought about using "Ten Months", then noticed that it was only 9 letters.
I decided that 9 letters will have to do.
So the tenth word is "invisible" (you may have figured it out by now!), while in public if Toby is under a table, in a rest room, or in a store many people never noticed Toby. 'Til he walked right in front of them.
I had 1 person that was sitting behind us in a class room, and not once for the whole hour did they realize a dog was under the table!
At our house "invisible" is something we NEVER see!

I hope you enjoyed the "ten words", I enjoy figuring them out!
Toby had his 10 month pictures taken today (so really they would be 10 month & ONE day pictures!).

All the below pictures (besides Toby & the car) were taken with my awesomely cool gorillapod, it is quite helpful when I can't find a person to go with me and take pictures!
Please enjoy all the pictures!

And I would like to wish Toby and all of his siblings (Rocky, Duchess, Cassidy & Spike) a HAPPY TEN MONTHS!!


Toby's Raiser
"The Human that has a dog with a blog"



For the following pictures Toby is in harness, and the background is the sky & trees, both of us are sitting in the grass)




(Close up black/white picture of Toby & I sitting, I am looking at the camera while Toby is "gazing" off)







(Black/white picture of Toby & I, Toby's in a sit, and I am crouching beside him, both of us are gazing off to the right)






(Black/white picture of Toby "kissing" my chin, he is in a stand, while I am crouching in front of him, I am peaking at the camera, and he is looking at me)











(Black/white picture of Toby & I, he is in a stand looking at me, while I am crouching down looking straight at him)







(Black/white picture of Toby & I; Toby's in a stand, I am crouching down beside him and we are both "smiling" at the camera)









(COLOR! Picture of Toby & I, Toby is in a stand beside me, I am kneeling down, we are both looking at the camera)




These last 2 pictures are of Toby with the NEW car.

Yes the NEW CAR, we just got a lime green Honda Element today!





(Close up of Toby's front legs & face, he is beside the front right tire of the green element, he is gazing to the right)








(Toby in a stand in the front of the green element, he is staring at the camera)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Doggy Fun!!

I was quite surprised when my raiser woke up this morning and told me we were going to PUPPY CLASS!!
It may not be a big surprise to you guys, but this is my THIRD puppy class in the last 3 weeks - that's 1 puppy class a week!

Our Area Coordinator is trying new & different places to do obedience with, so this time all of us dogs met in a tennis court! (after puppy class our raisers took off our coats/collars/leads and let us all play with each other; we sure had a blast!)

We worked on so many different commands.
For 5 minutes of the class we did a short "puppy trade" where all the raisers traded dogs.
My raiser got a cute little black male Lab (Sparky), and I went to Sparky's raiser.
This didn't go over well with me, I went crazy trying to get back to my raiser. (I have some "issues" with leaving my raiser, but our area coordinator is working with us on that.)
The Area Coordinator is now talking about doing puppy swaps for me every other week (between puppy classes) , which means I would be going to someone else's house for a WHOLE WEEK, and it would be more than once!


We had extra long leashes (lunge lines for horses) for us doggies to work on "come" from afar.


Some other dogs got "side tracked" when they were called, but me? NO. My raiser called me and I went STRAIGHT to her!
(it may sound like I'm so obedient, but my raiser says she is going to let me try the same thing with a different person next time; she some how thinks I will come to her, no matter the distance, but bets that if another raiser tried it I would still go straight over to her (my raiser).


At today's puppy class we also started a "new" command. (though my trainer has already taught me this).


"Place" is a command the raiser's don't have to teach us dogs, but it would be nice for us to learn. "Place" means our raiser's give us a blanket/bed, and when the place command is said we are to stay on that blanket/bed, it is to be our "place".
We can take 3 feet off of our "place" and we still won't be disobeying, as long as some part of us is on our "place".
My raiser has already taught me this command, but I know it as "bed". She did get permission to keep using the same command, so she doesn't have to confuse me with a different one.


I got to do puppy class in harness, and was very proud of it. We weren't going to be bringing the harness back home with us, but since another raiser had already left, my raiser was given the harness for another week (til' next puppy class).
Enjoy the pictures of my puppy class, and don't forget I LOVE hearing from my readers!



Toby
The dog with a blog






(Close up of only Toby - he is "smiling" and has 1 front foot in the air)





(Picture of Toby & I; Toby is in a stand-stay beside me)













(Picture of Toby & 3 of his siblings playing together, left to right- Toby, Duchess (in red collar), Rocky (you can see 1 foot & a tail), and Spike.




(Picture of Toby finishing up his "come" command, with a "heel", he is on my left side, and I am petting him)




(Picture of Toby (left) & Spike (right) doing down stay beside each other, with both raisers holding them)



(Toby & Spike doing a "sit-stay" beside each other, with us raisers holding them)






(Toby & I in the corner of the Tennis court, Toby is in a down-stay)



(Toby inside a restaurant in a "down-stay", looking at the camera)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Harness pictures and cool contests!

(Black/white picture of Toby in stand-stay
while wearing guide dog harness, this photo
is also the new header picture for Toby's blog)




My raiser FINALLY took me outside to get some pawsomely cool pictures of me wearing the guide dog harness.
She had me in a stand-stay for some, and a sit-stay for others.
(notice she has changed the header for my blog - it is now a black/white picture of me in a stand-stay wearing a guide dog harness).

I am enjoying getting the experience of wearing a guide dog harness out in town.

I am also proud of it; as I'm my raiser's first puppy to get to wear a harness in town!
(her others dogs weren't different, the school is just having to many dogs returning to the school with harness issues, so we need to work more with the harness).

* Note from raiser: Toby is only allowed to wear the harness in public if it is worn over his puppy in training coat so that the public is aware he's not a full-fledged working guide dog.

I also wanted to tell you about the PAWSOME contests my raiser is entering me in!!(Remember - to enter any of the following contests you do need to have a blog)

Mango is having his annual "Mango Minster" this month, so make sure to stop by his blog if you have a doggy, or "cat dog" you would like to enter!

Tucker's contest is a "sit-stay" competition, as long as you dogs can sit for a photo, you can enter his contest, check out the rules, and enter away!

Niamh's contest sounds quite interesting, to enter you need a picture of you (dog) and your owner doing training together, read more about it here.


Biggie's contest sounds very fun, my raiser mentioned something about piling up dog toys/treats on me and getting a picture... Check out the details here.

Enjoy the pawsome pictures of me in harness, and I hope you enter the contests/ or even better vote for me! (only a couple contests are readers choice - others are picked by the blog author).


Have a great weekend, and don't forget to comment on how awesome I look in the guide dog harness! (no pride issues there...)


Toby
The dog with a blog







(Close up of Toby's chest/face, he is in a sit-stay, while in guide dog harness)






(Back view picture of Toby wearing harness, you can also see his full shadow to his left side)















(Picture of Toby in a sit-stay while wearing guide dog harness, you can see some trees in the back ground behind him)






(Toby in a sit-stay while in guide dog harness, the only background you see is grass)

Monday, January 18, 2010

Mall Walk + Harness= FUN!!

My raiser took me to a "Mall walk" last Saturday for my puppy meeting. We met up with our group once inside the mall.
Our area coordinator had made up a "mall bingo" for us to play.
We all broke up into groups of 2 (1 puppy with 1 older dog), the puppy I was with just so happened to be named Bingo!
She is a female black lab born in September, and is very cute!

Some of the items on the bingo sheet were
"Meet a fish at Bass Pro Shop"
"Read a book at a Bookstore"
"Meet a Toddler"
"Smell the scents at Perfumania"
"Listen to music at FYE"
"Tell someone about Puppy Raising"
"Visit the Men's Room"
"Visit 2 areas in the Sun and Ski Store"
And LOTS more!!
We got bingo pretty quickly, but decided to keep walking through out the mall to visit more things.
My siblings & I were also being started with a guide dog harness on Saturday. Our group had 2 for using but since 3 of us older dogs showed up we had to take turns.
Rocky (my brother) was kind enough to share "his" harness at about half way.

After my raiser got me used to the harness (with out the handle), she added the handle on for me to try.
(none of our raisers are allowed to mess with and/or hold the harness handle - it is only used for getting us dogs used to it sitting on our backs as the trainers down at the guide dog school will work with the harness handle when we return back to school).

I got many compliments on how "handsome" I looked in harness, and I was really enjoying all the attention!
There were many stairs through out the mall, and my raiser had me "find" almost all of them! (Find is used as "Find the stairs" which means we need to wait at the stairs, then, when told, we have to sit before going down/up the stairs).
We visited many places in the mall, including; a ski store, a Disney store, a Perfume stand, a Lego store, a music store (where my raiser even let me listen to music!), and even Bass Pro Shop were my raiser held my 2 front feet up so I could see the fish swimming around!

Once we returned back to our meeting spot all of our raisers reported the dogs behaviors back to the area coordinator.
Before leaving my raiser was given the harness to bring home for the week. She can let me wear it out to town as long as I wear the puppy coat underneath it (letting everyone know I am a guide dog IN TRAINING).
She hopes to take me outside in the yard to get some good harness pictures.

Enjoy the mall walk pictures!

Toby
The dog with a blog





(Picture of mall security riding on a segway in front of the dogs - for an exposure)





(Black/white picture of my sister Duchess wearing guide dog harness)













(Picture of Toby "listening" to music from headphones provided by the music store)






(Black/white picture of my brother Rocky wearing guide dog harness)












(Picture of Bingo sitting, looking very adorable!)







(Picture of Toby doing a "sit stay" beside a large Lego statue)



(Picture of Toby sitting beside a large Mini mouse stuffed doll, trying to ignore it- notice he isn't doing a very good job at it...)






(Toby & I beside a train which gives rides to people in the mall)











(Bingo sitting in a fire truck for little kids)







(Toby doing "find the stairs" while wearing harness)














(Close up of Toby trotting through the mall - while wearing harness)






(Picture of Toby & I with a big "Elk" behind us at Bass Pro Shop)










(Me holding Toby's front legs up so he can see the fish at Bass Pro Shop)





(Toby & I both sitting down taking a break)









(Toby sprawled out on the ground with both back legs out and in harness)






Saturday, January 16, 2010

An icy update, continued...

For this post, it may be more like an "icy adventure".

You may remember my last post (when I went ice skating), and when you read it you either thought it was a cool/interesting post, or you thought I was mean leaving a cliffhanger like I did...

"And I won't even start the story of what happened on our way home from the ice rink,

Lets just say the policeman & paramedics were quite nice..."

So right about now you guys are all probably wondering what happened, right??

Here is the story of my "ice adventure" (it wasn't icy outside, but the name sounds cool!).

On the way home from ice skating we hit a car- who had hit a car in front of him, another car in front of him, and a car hit us from behind. (speed limit was 55).

We were on the "side" of the road for more than an hour, as to police had to get information, and such.

No one was hurt in the accident, but there were some achy necks & sore backs...

All the cars were towed away, which means we were left without a way to get home.

The area coordinator for our guide dog group happened to be in the area, and she was kind enough to take us home!

Our car ended up being totaled, as the car behind us hit our trailer hitch- which drove that into the back of our car, (not to metion their was some front damage!).

I'm not really enjoying "car shopping", it's not near as fun as it may sound!

As you may tell in the pictures, the bumper of the car we hit is still attached to the front of our car!

Hope you guys all followed the story.

I heard that I will be going to a "mall walk" for guide dog training today, it sure sounds fun!

Toby

The dog with a blog


(The front end of our Orange Element, you can see the other cars bumper on our car, and some damage to the front)




(close up on the side of the Element).


(2 pictures of the trailer hitch INSIDE the car, pushing up the spare tire!).

Sunday, January 10, 2010

An Icy update...

Toby and his siblings siting on ice-

(left to right) Cassie, Rocky, Spike, and Toby
(Toby's other sister Duchess had already left)


Hey guys,
Saturday I was taken to an ice skating rink... for puppy class!!
We arrived about 30 minutes early, so we just wandered around watching the ice skaters, and meeting new people.
Once everybody arrived, we headed outside (yes it was COLD!!), and started obedience.
We did some "right rights", "left lefts", "sits", "stays", "stands" and lots more!
After all of our trainers/raisers were frozen we headed back inside.

We then worked on "down under" (going under the benches inside), my trainer told me I did very well.
When I thought we were done, my trainer took me into a room called "The Puddle", which I than found out pretty quickly was a small ice rink... and all of us dogs were taken on it.
For the first little bit I wasn't to sure about the ice, but soon I was comfortably on it, and so were all the other dogs:)
We had 10+ dogs & puppies on the ice, we had fun!

My trainer even got someone on ice skates to take me for a "ride", she could skate fast!

Before leaving we decided to get a group picture - but the only ones my trainer has are blurry :(
However; she did manage to get pictures of me & my 3 siblings (one had already left), without the trainers/raisers in the pictures!
And I won't even start the story of what happened on our way home from the ice rink,
Lets just say the policeman & paramedics were quite nice...
Enjoy the pictures,


Toby
The dog with a blog





(Toby sitting on ice, beside person on ice skates)






(Toby & his 2 siblings on ice,
Rocky laying down, Spike standing up licking Toby's face, & Toby sitting)





(Toby running after person on ice skates)





(Toby & me on ice, both standing)












(Picture of random dogs on ice, Toby's face in right bottom corner)





(Toby jumping onto ice)












(Close up of Toby running happily on ice)





(Close up of Toby's cute face, while he is doing a "down under")











(Toby sitting beside bench- getting ready to do "down under")





(Toby laying down under bench, staring off at a cute little puppy that's not in the picture!)










(Black & white picture of a little girl petting Toby, while he is in a sit stay)