Sunday, December 21, 2014

Poppy's First Therapy Job!

Poppy went to Calabasas High School today to help the students de-stress before final exams. She was invited by the Peer Support organization, which are students helping other students. What a great group of teenagers! Poppy had a great time. You know, studies have proven that people's heart rates go down when they pet a dog. ;)

Monday, December 15, 2014

Poppy Passed Her Test

After all her training with Guide Dogs of America it was easy for Poppy to pass the Therapy Dog's International competency test. Sha Newman signed off on her skills right on the spot. Poppy is now a licensed Therapy Dog <3

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Failure Never Felt So Good

Guide Dogs of America called with a sad tone in their voice. Poppy decided that she didn't want to be a guide dog after all. Sometimes the responsibility is just too heavy and the dogs stop wanting to put the harness on. After seven months of training Poppy gave it up. We didn't know if she would remember us.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Poppy's Brother Preston Graduates!

Well, Poppy didn't get matched up with anyone for the class of October 19th, 2014. But her brother Preston did graduate. Charlene and Carole did an amazing job of raising him. Congratulations!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Poppy's Doing it!

Dear Family,
Hi everyone!  I just wanted to give you an update from Guide Dog College.  I am still learning new things and we are going to more challenging and exciting places almost every day. 
We recently rode the Metro train and worked around downtown Pasadena.  There was a lot to look out for but it was fun. 
Some of my friends have decided to go home but I’ve decided to stay and learn even more. 
Hope you are all doing well!
Paws to you,

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Dear Poppy

Poppy right in the middle of the fray, as usual!

Dear Family,

Hi all!  My trainers tell me that I’ve completed my first set of tests wearing my harness.  I helped guide my trainer while they were wearing a blindfold and it was fun!
I know I still have a lot to learn and soon we will be taught how to guide on stairs, elevators and even escalators!
We have fun when we are not working too.  The kennel staff gives us toys and we get to run around in a big group.  It’s a blast!   
Take care.
Wiggles and wags,

Friday, June 20, 2014

We Got A Letter From POPPY!

Dear Family,

It’s me again from Guide Dog College.  I’ve learned right and left turns and how to cross the street safely.  Soon we will start walking is busier areas with more to watch out for.

It’s not all hard work though.  I get to play with my friends and chew on my favorite bones.

I hope you are doing well!

Wags & licks,

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A Postcard From Poppy

Dear Family,
How are you all doing?  I’m great!  I am learning how to walk with a special black & white harness on and boy do I look good! Next we will be learning how to make right and left turns.  
Hope you guys are well.  Take care.
Wags and kisses,

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Poppy Goes To College

We took Poppy to Guide Dogs of America today. She happily reunited with her litter mates, met her new roommate, Nickle and said good-bye with a wag and a smile.

I'm not going to lie, I cried the whole way home. We won't see Poppy again for at least 7 months until she graduates. But the gratitude I feel about being part of something so good is overwhelming.

Each of the 26 dogs who were turned in today were lovingly raised, just like Poppy, by regular people just like us. Supported by many more people who give their time and money and hours of effort to GDA. 

Poppy blessed our family with her sweet energetic joy. She's a smart and attentive girl. I think she is going to rise to the challenge and have an amazing experience.

Poppy and Nickle in the outdoor pen they will share for the next 6 months.

Poppy, Pizmo, Penny, Piper, Paisley, Preston & Panser

Dean and I say goodbye to Poppy

Buddy and Sally were Poppy's best teachers.
Off to formal training. Go get 'em Poppy!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

What Do Guide Dog Puppies Need To Learn?

Sha Newman is in the pink with her dogs Mason and Garmond, Dean Gilford and Poppy following

I don't know what we would do without Poppy's puppy class generously given by Sha Newman
Dean teaches poppy to stop at a curb
While other people are sleeping in on the weekends Sha Newman and her class of Guide Dog Puppy Raisers are up early and meeting with their dogs. This morning Sha called us together to meet on Sepulveda to practice stopping at curbs.

We crossed to Target to practice riding in the elevator.

Dean teaches Poppy to stay tight on the stairs
Going down stairs without pulling is an important skill. Poppy is great at this. We have stairs in our house so she knows to stay right by my side going down.
Dean Gilford  <3 and Poppy the adorable <3
"Stay." We put the dogs in a big circle and tell them to stay. Then walk all the way around the circle. If one dog breaks the stay it instantly becomes a wild romp for all the dogs.

Shopping carts can be intimidating to a puppy
Once afraid of the shopping cart, Poppy has no problem walking calmly beside it now. Sha makes sure to introduce puppies to anything that might freak them out so by the time they go in for their real Guide Dog training they are unflappable.
Dean and Poppy
Poppy loves her puppy class. 
Buddy and Poppy, so much love
Buddy has hugs waiting for Poppy when she gets home.