Friday, July 16, 2010

Em-Bark-Adero- Guide Dogs Galore!

Guide Dog's Em-Bark-Adero event was great! I got to meet lots of puppies, guide dogs, volunteers, alumni, and I got the chance to talk to people about puppy raising. The traffic getting into the city was pretty bad, and we had the hardest time figuring out the new electronic parking meters, but we eventually got there. By this time, I was SO excited. It was sort of like a mini Fun Day— and there were 7 1/2 week old puppies!!!
We got to the Epic Roasthouse, and it was already crowded. It seemed like most of the people were Guide Dog alumni or volunteers. Don and I walked around all the dogs- it was really good practice for him. For some reason, he is barely distracted by GDB dogs. Probably because most of them weren't interested in him... Don and I mingled with the crowd, looking for someone to explain the puppy raising program to. Later on, people started coming in. I talked to this one lady, who asked me when I would get to sell Don to a blind person (???) So, I spent quite awhile explain the whole program to her, and how Guide Dogs gives clients their dogs free of charge :)
Don and I said hello to Primrose (14 1/2 mo.) and Pantene (5 mo) who are in our puppy club. Both are such sweet girls!
Then, I got to see Mars again! When I was dropping Don off at the kennels the other day, I saw 8 wk old Mars and his new raiser. He is such a cutie- look at that sweet little face and big black nose :) Above, Pantene says hi to Mars while Don and Primrose look on.
Then it was Don's turn to meet baby Mars. Don was a very good boy- no play bowing or pulling!
This handsome boy is Quebec (don't you love his name?). He's only 7 months old, and almost bigger than Don! His feet are giant and he's got this really cute pink spot under his nose.
The restaurant was located right by the bay bridge, next to the water. My brother took this nice photo of Don by the bridge.
Don and I enjoyed talking to a very nice lady and her guide dog, Donna. Don got to meet Donna :) It was so cool watching Donna guide her partner through the VERY crowded event. It was fun talking to her about her guides and the training she does with them on a daily basis.
Here is a close up of Donna- out of harness. She's a really pretty girl!
Every half hour they had a clicker training/guidework demo. This was really neat to watch! Above is the guide dog in formal training they were working with. She did a great job stopping at the fences and walking in a perfect straight line. It was amazing how she'd follow a line, then detour around and object and go right back to the line she was walking on.
My leader was the lucky one who got to hang out with the puppies :) I think they were the highlight of the event- everyone wanted their picture taken with one. They were "J" puppies- I can only remember two names, Jaguar and Jeanette.
This is Sherman, the only golden in our club. He is 3/4 golden and his parents were CCI's Alijah and GDB's Brazil. I just found out he is Butler's brother (if you follow the Raising Miracles blog). He looks nothing like Butler.
Above is one of the puppies who were playing in the x-pen. She was really tired by the end of the day- and fell asleep in my leader's arms.
"J" puppy meets golden retriever Jingle. CUTE!
Next, I said hi to Ricki from Growing Up Guide Pup. I love her pink gentle leader :) I had never followed the series before, but she was handing out cards about the videos. I watched one the other day and it was great!! I couldn't believe what I had been missing!
I'm not sure who this guide dog is (possibly Bamboo) but I love this picture with the little kid saying hello.
The next training demo showed how Guide Dogs uses clicker training. The trainer was showing the dog how to "Find the Chair". I couldn't believe it- after only a couple times he had the command down! And he hadn't even been introduced to it before! It was really cool- the dog would race to the chair and tap it with his noise. It was funny because all the working Guide Dogs started perking their ears up and even drooling. Even Don seemed interested- I think he'll do well with the clicker :)
Above, Quebec watches the clicker training demo.
Afterwards, we met an amazing guide dog and his amazing partner- golden retriever Will and "M". You may have seen them at a Guide Dogs event before as he is on the speakers bureau. They are such a great pair- and you can just tell that they love each other so much!
Don said hello to Will and "M". Will's harness was taken off and he got to greet everyone. He is one of the happiest dogs I have ever seen. He's pretty old- 8 years. His partner talked about how Will loves to guide, and that when he retires he will join his family and other retired guide dog, Fantom.
When Will's partner said "harness" will walked right into his harness, his tail went down, and he went right to work. He also knew how to "scoot his but" and sat right behind his partner.
It was so amazing to see the special bond between the two of them. Above, Will jumps up and gives his partner a big hug, with a happy smile on his face.

This is what makes puppy raising so worthwhile!

A post about Nerice's graduation and a playdate with Silky and Primrose to come!


  1. What a great experience! Great pictures, Will and Quebec are my favorites :)

  2. Wooow what an event!!! Sounds like you guys had a blast!!!

  3. That looks like such a fun event! I wish sometimes I lived closer to campus (either one of them for that matter). After CA Fun Days last year, I told my husband we needed to move down there so I could play with the puppies all day and he could become a Master Trainer. :)

  4. That looks like it was so much fun! I wish I lived closer because I would have loved to go, but I didn't want to drive over 3 hours for it. :)

    What group do you belong to and do you guys have a website? I love looking at other websites. :)

  5. Hey, I've met Donna and her partner before, too! They are really nice. You sure met a lot of people AND remembered their names--that's my downfall. I think we might have met Sherman recently, too--we were on campus early last week. Or it might have been another 3/4 golden--I suppose there's more than one of those! That looks like a great event. Too funny about the lady asking you when you were going to sell Don!!

  6. Erin, I'm with the Mt. Tam Guide Dogs Puppy Club. I've been working on our website this week! I got carried away the other day finding siblings for all the pups in my club :) I'll post the link when its finished- just need to get some more photos of the dogs.

  7. It looks like your day in SF was fun. I wanted to tell you we ran into Donner's raisers. They weren't sure if they were going to make it to Fun Day. I asked them how he was doing and they said he is well behaved on outing but is full of energy at home. I think they said he likes to grab socks and run off with them. I was hoping he was there so I could sneak a photo but he wasn't with them.

  8. That's so funny- Don is sounds JUST like him! He's always been like that too, a total gentleman on outings but high-energy in the house. We've had a lot of trouble with stealing socks, too!

    Thanks for the info!! :)


Katrina and I love to hear from our readers!