Monday, May 21, 2007

Puppy Play Day

On May 12th Guide Dogs of Texas had a Puppy Play Day at the K9 Country Club north of San Antonio. It was attended by 25 dogs. Some were guide dog puppies and some were personal pets. Everyone, including 35 people, had a good time. Let's look at the canines first.

Frankie is getting into the spirit of the day. He's a real party animal!

Did someone call a yellow lab meeting? These pups must have gotten the memo - All Dogs in the Pool. Some liked swimming - some didn't.

Bear sports his lei, while Siku keeps a watch on all the pups to make sure they are playing by the rules.

Mason and Jade find a way to cool off.

These two labs won the synchronized dancing contest.

"Who me? Digging in the sand? It must be a case of mistaken identity. You know that all yellow labs look alike, don't you?"

Bromley and Mason were the smallest puppies and enjoyed each other's company. Mason also played with the big pups but found them a bit too much at times.

Ignacio is Jade's puppy raiser. Jade is getting lots of practice with her dog distraction since she is with other puppies at Dominguez Jail. Ignacio is doing a good job with her.

Wes and Mason dressed for the occasion.

Hi Henri.

There was food for the people, but the dogs had to wait for their dinner time.

Phil to Ron, "How about the Spurs?!"

The Lord family and Willie all having a good time.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Spring has Sprung

Spring has come to Texas and summer will not be far behind. We've had lots of activities. Mason has been busy, lots of posing for pictures too as you will see.
We had lunch at Smokey Bones, one of the supporters of our Casino night. David Neathery is the Board Chairman. Michelle Pelletier is the Puppy Raising Program Manager - our "Boss!" Jaimie Landy is a Trainer. Ernie Landy is the Volunteer Coordinator. Below the table are Mikey, guide dog extraordiaire, and Mason, guide dog puppy. We had good food and the dogs had a good nap.

We went with several friends to see the wildflowers in the Texas Hill Country in early May. There were still some bluebonnets left and lots of yellow, purple and red flowers. Then we went to the Wildseed Farms near Fredericksburg.

As you can see Mason is becoming a good poser (or at least puts up with it).
Ready for the long ride home.

We took Mason to visit Wes' brother in the hospital. It cheered him up to see Mason's antics. He is back home and doing well.
In our next blog we'll show you photos from a Puppy Play Day. - 25 dogs and 35 people.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Casino Night for Guide Dogs of Texas

We had a Casino Night to raise funds for Guide Dogs of Texas in mid-April. A good time was had by all and we made money (always a plus). As a nonprofit organization GDTx fundraising and friend raising are and important focus so we can help the visually impaired.

The Casino Night had several people and dogs in attendance. Some were working guide dogs and some were guide dog puppies in training. Mason was one of those puppies. As the youngest puppy he was a hit and did a good job as an ambassador.

Wes and Mason stand in front of a table that was sponsored by Grumpy's Mexican Cafe. Various businesses sponsored the tables.

Lou Ann and Ernie stand in front of the silent auction table while their guide dogs take a break. In the background Mike and Michelle Dolan, sponsors from Scrapbook 911, check out the auction items. Notice the signed Tony Parker jersey on the table. Go Spurs!

Johnson, a guide dog puppy being raised by the Dolans, keeps watch for Michelle as Mike gambles.

Ed, Ernie and Lou Ann have some food while their dogs have a rest. Guide dogs are trained not to beg for food at the table. They have, however, been known to ask for a treat now and then.

This guide dog is checking out the music.

It was an exciting night, especially for a young pup. Mason takes a snooz under a blackjack table.

Before casino night we visited many businesses with Jade asking if they wanted to be involved with the casino night. After the event we returned with Mason and a photo of the two thanking those who participated.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

More Mason's Tales

This is a continuation of catching up on Mason's Tales - learning to be a guide dog.

"Big sister" Jade tells Mason some tricks of the trade. Here she tells Mason about going "busy" outside. Mason wants to know what "busy" is and learns it simply means eliminating waste. Mason is taken out often and told to "Go busy" as he goes. He eventually catches on. Thanks for the help, Jade.

Mason returns the favor by giving Jade a dental exam.

Mason learns to eat dry food from a dish. He likes to lie down as he eats. He soon learns to keep most of the food in the bowl as he eats.

Mason and Jade proudly pose in their vests. They will have a big outing today.

But first it's pre-trip nap time. "Gee, I wonder where we're going?"

On Mary's birthday we all went to Sea World. Though it was barely April it was a hot day. We didn't stay very long since we have a season pass. We'll be back. We got to see the dolphins, horses and donkeys. The Clydesdales are very interested in the puppies and vice versa.
On the way home we stop at Dairy Queen and have a post-trip nap.

Mason has so much to learn, including how to ride in a vehicle. He tries to ride on the seat but is shown back down to the floor where he belongs. He prefers being on the seat so he can see out. We know that it won't be too long before he will be able to see out the windows from the floor. The puppies grow up fast.

Until Mason learned to go busy outside he was banned to the den and kitchen. We set up barriers to enforce this ban. Mason lets us know how he feels about being seperated from fellow guide dog puppy, Jade, or from his new people, Wes and Mary.

The pups wait at the back window letting us know they want to come in from the enclosed patio where they've been playing. If they had just turned around they would have seen that the back door was wide open. Jade eventually figured it out and led Mason into the house. Mason enjoyed his "Big Sister" but it was now time for Jade to move to another stage of training. We'll get to see Jade from time to time as she continues her training to become a guide dog. It will be fun to see her make progress towards that goal.

Sunday, May 6, 2007


Mason, a labradoodle puppy, is being raised to be a guide dog for the Guide Dogs of Texas. He's our third guide dog puppy. The first one, Heidi, is a golden/lab female cross and was raised for Southeastern Guide Dogs. She is now a guide dog for a man near Miami, FL. Our second puppy, Jade, is a yellow lab and is continuing her training with the Guide Dogs of Texas.

We live in Cibolo, Texas, northeast of San Antonio. Mason came to live with us. 6 weeks ago. We wanted to start blogging as soon as we got him, but we've never blogged before and we were a little busy. We had Jade and Mason for a few weeks. It was wild. So, we'll start where we are and add some pictures to catch up.

Mary with Mason at 7 weeks. A breeder in Austin gave us a choice of three puppies. Michelle, the Puppy Raising Program Manager for Guide Dogs of Texas, did a temperament test on the puppies. One was too "soft" to be a guide dog. One had too much prey drive. Mason was just right.

Mary explaining to Jade that she's going to be a "big sister" and will need to be on her best behaviour. Mason arrives on our 29th anniversary.

Jade and Mason played hard and needed some time outs. That's when they sang the blues.
Mason took his first mall walk when he was 9 weeks old. He worked hard at keeping up with his "big sister," Jade. We gave him a rest in a field of bluebonnets.
Well, that's the start of Mason's blog. We'll catch up with more photos next time.