Friday, December 12, 2008

Funny Faces

Mason- wabbit !!! On a romp after a day's work :)

Mason always knew he was "King of the Mountain" :) Watch out, Mason! I am still taller and I am on the ground :)

This reminds me of those t-shirts with the dog's nose all distorted due to camera angle... Isn't he cute :)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Busy Days!

These are busy days and I realized that I hadn't posted any updates about Mason in awhile. So while I was sitting at my desk, catching up on paper work, I took a quick snap of the puppy at my feet. Mason enjoys being close while I work and I enjoy having a snuggly pup at my feet. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, everyone!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Another Milestone Reached

It is hard to tell from this photo, but if you look closely you will see Mason is now in full harness! The handle is now attached to the body piece of the harness. Mason has made the transition very smoothly and is doing well!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Shearing of the Sheep

Mason was clipped this, week! Here he is with his "Before" shot. He looks very expectant, I think. At this point, all we had clipped were his ears and his part of his head. Check out all of that fur on the table!!
He is watching us very closely :)

And here is the "After" shot! He looks so cute and Happy!!! I can read his expressions now! He has a very cute little grin. He is also extra bouncy and snuggly without his extra fur.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Kennel Life

An important part of advanced training is life in the kennel. Mason loves being here in the kennel. He has lots of furry friends and a Kennel Manager who does a great job of caring for him. Here is Mason enjoying the sounds and smells of fall as I was able to open my office window today!

He is due for a grooming so check in next week for a slightly less fuzzy Mason!

Friday, October 10, 2008

A Chilly Morning

One morning this week when it was quite chilly outside, Mason and I went for an early walk. He enjoyed the coolness and the new route. Here he is finding the bus. I like his little tongue hanging out :) Can you tell that he is a little wet? We had to walk through some sprinklers! Mason tried to bite at the water as it landed on his head, but he walked through the sprinklers like a trooper. Brrrr!!!! Chilly and wet... felt like fall :)

Friday, October 3, 2008

Around Town

My name is Sarah and I am also an Instructor at GDTX. I have the privelege of working with Mason now that he is in Advanced Training. Here he is posing with some of the fall decorations we worked around at the mall. Mason gets lots of attention when we are working. Everyone thinks he is BEAUTIFUL and well-behaved. :)

Happy Fall Ya'll!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Daily Life

Mason in the training van with some of his pals- Willie and Echo
Mason finding a seat-- He loves this game!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Mason's Graduation

Hi, my name is Jamie Landy and I work for Guide Dogs of Texas as an Apprentice Guide Dog Mobility Instructor. It is my pleasure to inform you that Mr. Mason has come into Advanced Training to be a Guide Dog. Now that Mason is playing with the big boys our first course of action was to assign him a Boarder. This is a very important thing for me seeing as I can't take weekends, holidays, work trips or even get through a class with a client unless I have a Boarder for the pups.
The picture on the left is of Mason coming into advanced training with his puppy raisers Wes and Mary Reimer and Mason's new boarder Carol Deil (to the far right)
Down Below are some pictures of Mason enjoying his new boarder's house.

When you graduate to big boy school it's time to turn in your blue puppy jacket and upgrade to a brown leather harness.

Well thats all for now folks. When I get more pictures I will post more blogs!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

PuppyPlay Day 2008

On May 10th Guide Dogs of Texas had it's second annual Puppy Play Day at the K9 Country Club north of San Antonio. A good time was had by all - pups and people. It was a hot day, so the pups spent a lot of time in the pool.
Mason seems to be trying to coax Oliver into the water. "Come in. The water's fine."
When Mason gets wet he looks skinny. I was going to say he looks like a drowned rat, but, truthfully, I've never actually seen a drowned rat. Have you? Anyway, he looks a lot better dry than wet.
Two on a toy. Mason wants to make it three.
The puppies didn't spend all of their time in the pool. They ran around the rest of the grounds, including this playground. When I downloaded this picture I noted that Mason wasn't actually playing in the playground. Oops!

This lab found a nice, shady place to rest.

Unfortunately the combination of the heat, lots of time in the pool and all the running around had a negative consequence. Mason and some of the other puppies tore the pads on his paws. We had one sore puppy for a few days. He wouldn't even walk outside. So we put ointment and socks on his feet and carried him in and out. He looked like a sheep.
Mason played so hard one day
His feet were sore as heck.
He had to go outside and pee,
But was a nervous wreck.

We put socks on his feet
Carried him in and out.
That helped him do his business
And he didn't have to pout.

So Mary had a little lamb
And boy did he look odd
But he soon was feeling well
And walking on the sod.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Before and After Grooming

This week we took Mason to Doggie Dooz to have a professional grooming and clipping. Our thanks go to Jeff and Kelli Wright for the complimentary grooming. We appreciate it and we can tell Mason does too. He was going through his third (and final) coat change so had lots of hair to deal with. He has a soft, wooly coat a lot like a lamb. The cut was just in time for the hot, summer weather.


Kelli said that Mason did well during the grooming after some initual nervousness. Considering that the noise of clippers freaked him out when I got my haircut a few months ago that was good to hear.
"Don't I look handsome?!" (he said modestly as he posed so nicely.)

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


We combined our walks recently with working on "Finds." Mason knows Find the Seat, Door, Steps, Curb, Elevator, Button and Bus (vehicle). He is working on more finds like:
Trash can
Counter (in a store)
Boys* (Mens room)
Girls* (Ladies room)
Stall (the handicap stall)
Pot (urinal)

When Mason finds somethine we must use it. We've ridden lots of elevators, thrown lots of trash away and used the rest rooms often. Once he has found the steps he has to put his front paws on the first step and stop. This gives the person time to find the step. Then I say "Let's go" and Mason proceeds up the steps.


When going down the steps Mason has to sit very close to the step. Then the same procedure is followed.





Wes worked with Mason to find the mens room, stall and urinal. No, Wes isn't pretending he is blind; he just had cataract surgery and his eyes were dialated that day. He is doing well and is amazed at how bright colors are after the surgery. Mason learned to find the trash can quite easily. As with the rest rooms he uses his eyes and nose. This made it much easier for him to learn.
Stay tuned later this week for before and after photos of Mason when he got his first professional grooming and haircut.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Puppy Swap

"My, how Mason has changed. Wait, that's not Mason. That's a different dog. Have you swapped Mason?" We've had many questions over the last few weeks about our latest puppy. As part of the puppy raising program we swap puppies for about 4 weeks. This gives the puppies a new environment and new exposures. We have enjoyed having Oliver, a golden retriever, with us. He is a joy to work with. He is very mellow and generally obedient; a very sweet personality.
Oliver is being raised by Phil and Sharon Schermerhour in Austin. He goes to work with Sharon at a verterinarian's office. They have many pets at home to keep him company. It's very different at our home with no pets.
Maybe that's why Oliver whined the first few days, especially when put into his crate. We found this sign at a store in the mall. Oliver must have gotten the message because there was no more whining from him.
It was obvious that Phil and Sharon had spent a lot of time working with Oliver. He knew the commands appropriate for his age. Sometimes he needed some reminders to put his front paws on a step going up and wait for a command to continue. But with a little reminder he did just as he was supposed to do. It was nice having Oliver . We'll miss his calm, mellow presence. It will also be nice to have Mason back, at least for another few months. We just received word that he may go back to Guide Dogs of Texas on July 7th to get more intensive training. But we won't think about that just yet.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Casino Night 2008

Guide Dogs of Texas had a very successful, well attended Casino Night last month. Lots of people, especially the GDTx staff, worked very hard to make it successful. Even Mason pitched in by visiting businesses and soliciting their support.
Due to the generousity of many community partners there were many items for the raffles, door prizes and silent auction tables.GDTx staffer Henri Schmidt sold some of her beautiful glass designs.
I was pretty busy at times so Mason was ably cared for by a young lady named Jamie, and here assistant, Cody. Maybe she'll be a guide dog trainer some day. Cody's mom, also Jamie, already is a trainer and his grandfather has a guide dog trained by GDTx.
There were several puppy raisers with their pups and clients with their dogs. All the pups and dogs got along fine. There were only a few barks from an excited puppy.

Pictured below are Casino Night sponsors and puppy raisers, Michelle and Mike Dolan, from Scrapbook 911. Our sponsors certainly made a big difference in making the night financially successful.
Sarah Jane is a potential client who had to give up here first guide dog due to allergies. She has had time with Mason twice now and has had no reaction to him. Sandy Merrill and the training staff are happy with that result, a main reason for getting a labradoodle.
There are several criteria for making a match, so it is still too early to know if Mason will guide Sarah Jane. If not, maybe Trixie, the second labradoodle, will work for her. Mason and Trixie enjoyed seeing each other. "Wow, someone who looks like me!"
Several of us made a weekend out it and stayed at the Marriott the Saturday night of Casino Night. We brought a crate for Mason but it wasn't his giant one. Maybe he didn't sleep as well in the smaller crate. What do you think?
He did wake up more when he saw Tobie. They had a nice romp on the tennis court before it was time to go home, and start preparing for next year's Casino Night!