Tuesday, June 22, 2010

[My] graduation with Don, New Friends, and Hiking!

Don walked across the stage with me to graduate from middle school- after all, he was a student too. It was sort of a last minute idea, but I thought it would be a great experience with Don with all the people and noises, and he was a big part of the school year for me, and many others. Don was great- though he didn't want to go up on stage at first. (I later realized the steps were really hot- poor guy).

Here is Don and I walking up to the stage. I love how he trots when he walks :)
Don loves the principal- here he is up on stage, getting some love. He got a bit excited. After the graduation, Don said bye to all his friends. I'll probably have Don for the start of high school, and I'm hoping he'll get to go there with me. Don and I are really enjoying summer! I'll be blogging more often- and Don will be going LOTS of places. Don is doing well with his training, though we are still working on his stays and dog distractions. Some days I see great progress- he will walk right past a dog! hurray! but then other days, he will try to play with them.

We had a family reunion for my grandfather's birthday, and Don soaked up all the extra attention. He loved playing with my younger cousin, and enjoyed having a playmate his size. We all went hiking to a lighthouse with great views of the Golden Gate. My cousin was ecstatic when I let him walk Don a ways.

Here is Don at the start of the walk, full of energy and ready to go!
It was a short, downhill hike, but the views were spectacular. Above is Don with the Golden Gate and SF Bay in the background.
There were lots of harbor seals up on the rocks. They are so much fun to watch- but sort of hard to see without binoculars.
We had to cross a suspension bridge (which was so old that only 2 people could go at a time- kind of scary) but Don could not care less. He confidently crossed the swaying bridge, then explored the lighthouse with my family and I.
Then, my younger cousin walked Don for a bit. Don was quite confused and kept looking at me like "what am I supposed to do with such a small handler?" My cousin did a great job handling such a big dog. Both cousin and dog had a fun time. Above, my brother gives my cousin a hand in getting Don in the "let's go" position.
Here is the big, happy boy with my cousin.
On the way home, we stopped at the Marine Mammal Center where I volunteer. We looked at the elephant seals and california sea lions. I'm so glad I get to help care for these fascinating animals.
The busy weekend has made Don very tired. Every night, Don comes into my room and chews his Nylabone before going to bed in his crate. But the other night, he was SO tired. I found him like this- sound asleep on his back. I leave you with a picture of Don's "happy ears". His ears go back like this 1) before any meal 2) when he is meeting someone new, or 3) BELLY RUBS!

(above: Don sitting after his bath, which he was not too happy about) Don and I are looking forward to the puppy meeting this weekend- a GDB trainer is coming to speak!! For those of you who wanted a picture of Samuel, I will talk to his breeder keeper this weekend. I'm sure she'd be happy to give me a photo or two.


  1. cool that Don went through ceremonies with you!
    Our first pup Luxor, graduated High School with our daughter, went across the podium and the principle gave Luxor the medal from around his neck, it was a cool moment!

  2. Congratulations on your graduation! Don looks like he's growing up & really doing well. LOVE the happy ears!!

  3. Congratulations! Middle School to High School was one of the most exciting times of my life. I hope you're excited too. I'm still wishing that I had Freya up until my graduation and she could walk across stage with me, but you know how that stuff goes. And Rocco was scared of clapping then. :) Summers are my favourite times to work with the puppies. You see so much improvement from the beginning of summer to the end because you have so much time to work on their specific problem areas. Don's a very handsome boy. I can't wait to read more about your adventures together this summer.

  4. Is Don a dog or a moose?! He looks so big in the photos! That's so great that he got to walk your graduation with you. What a great memory to keep forever. And how awesome to volunteer at the Marine Mammal Center! I look forward to hearing about your summer adventures!

  5. WOW - that's a lot of adventures! YAY that Don got to walk across the stage with you! That is great!

  6. Aww, that is awesome - love the pictures!

    Just stopped by to let you know... You have made it in the top ten in Rudy's giveaway - congrats, stop by his blog to learn more!

    Rudy's Raiser


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