Thursday, December 8, 2011

My Birthday Surprise

I had to go to school with Dad. Everyone there made a big fuss over me because it was my birthday and it was also the last day of school.

Dad still hadn't given me my surprise and I didn't have any clue what we were going to do. We left the school and went to a store where dad bought me a red dress to wear. We then drove a long time to the mall where we had the Halloween costume party. Dad got me dressed in my new red dress and my puppy jacket and we went in. We bumped into Liz and Athens and we walked together to the middle of the mall. When we got there, we saw the rest of the puppy group. I was excited, but not as excited as when Brenda and her girls showed up.

Silly Claws

All of the puppies got into line and we finally got to a big table. The people working there were happy to see us. I still didn't know what was going on so I just waited. Pretty soon, I found out what all of the fuss was about. We were going to see Santa. I loved Santa, I tried my best to lick his beard off and he just laughed and said that it wasn't going to come off.

Then we all lined up for pictures with Santa. Onessa and Orleans got to sit on Santa's lap because they are just babies. Since I'm the only black dog in the group, I got to sit right in the middle between Santa's boots and all of the yellow dogs. It was funny trying to get all of us to be good at one time. Everyone was laughing and that made me happy.

After we got our picture taken, I decided that I was going to make Santa remember me. I got up and ran off when I wasn't suppose to. I didn't think it was too bad since I ran to Dad, but he wasn't to thrilled with me for doing that. Later on, when it was my turn to have a picture by myself, I think I made up for being bad and was even invited to sit on Santa's lap. Now, I'm on the nice list AND the naughty list, he is sure to remember me now.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Its My Birthday

Hey Everyone,
I'm a year old today. I didn't even remember until Dad told me happy birthday. He told me that he had something special planned for me today but so far it has only been a bath. I don't think baths are very special, but I sure do smell good.

Mom let me have complete run of the house, and since I'm not a puppy anymore, I was very good. Mom said that she was very impressed with how well I behaved. That is until Dad got home. I was so excited to see him that I picked up one of Cruiser's toys and took it to dad to play.

Dad seemed really happy that I got into the bathtub all by myself and he didn't have to lift me. He told me the whole time I was in the tub that I was a very good girl and I had to look pretty for tonight. I don't know what he has planned but I'm sure it will be fun.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Road Trip

I'm sad. I didn't get to go to Guide Dog College to see my sister Julimae. It seems that the airline that Mom, Dad and Mitch took doesn't like puppies in training. THEY don't think that I'm a real service dog. I'll show them, I'll graduate at the top of my class and I will go everywhere with my partner.

Mom knew that I was sad about missing the trip so she took me to the store and I got to pick out a special gift for my sister. Mom even let me chew it a little so that Julimae would know it was from me.

I did get to go to Brenda's house again and we had fun. I got to play with her girls and I had a couple of little girls climbed all over me. I had a lot of fun but I am happy that I'm back home now.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Really Big News

I'm going to Oregon to see my sister Julimae graduate as a guide dog!!

Who really needs phase 8 anyway?

I'm very proud of my big sister.

AND...Happy Birthday Mom.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Bath Time

It was bath night tonight and Dad washed me with Cruiser's pearl white coconut scented shampoo. I am now a gray lab that smells just wonderful.


Training Update: There are a lot now. Julimae and Antigua are in phase 7, Snickers is in phase 1. Keiko is in phase 0 and Lacole is in breeder evals.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Fire House

We had a pretty exciting puppy meeting this week. We went to Eagle Mountain's fire house. We got to meet some of the fire fighters, see the trucks and we all got our own fire helmets. One of the fire fighters put on his equipment and played with all of us. I thought he sounded really funny. He was wearing a mask and it made a funny wooshing sound. He tried to talk while we played and he sounded like the bad guy from Star Wars. He was wearing a helmet just like mine so he was OK with me.

After we were all worn out from playing, we went outside and heard the siren from the big truck. I thought the lights were pretty cool but I liked the horn a lot better.

We even tried to take a group picture. I'll let you decide how THAT turned out.
Silvana trying to hide her face during the group picture

Training update: Julimae and Antigua are in phase 6. Snickers is in phase 0, and Lacole and Keiko went back today.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Snow

Yesterday I couldn't sleep and I felt that since I couldn't sleep neither could Dad. I started to pace in my kennel and chew my toys really loud until Dad woke. He got out of bed and looked outside and told me that he had a surprise for me. I didn't know what it would be but I followed him downstairs and instead of going out the front door, he took me to the back door and let me out. It was SNOWING! I haven't seen snow in a long time but I knew what to do. I tore out across the back lawn at full speed and tried to catch every snowflake I could. I stayed out for a long time before I realized that snow wasn't sticking on the ground but that I was covered. That was when I decided that it was time to come in and share the snow with the cat by shaking it all off on him.

Training update: Juliemae is in phase 5 and Antigua skipped phase 4 and went right to 5.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Guide Cows for the Blind

WOW!!! What a fun morning. Today I learned about something called Halloween. Halloween is where you get dressed in a costume and people tell you how cute you are. Not to brag, but we usually get that everyday as we are out doing our jobs. Today we had everyone in the mall making comments about us and wanting to come over and meet us.

It all started a week ago when Dad and I went to the store and he picked out a costume for me. He wanted a lizard costume but they didn't have one. I didn't really know what to think about it when he put it on me. My costume was white with black spots and it had horns, floppy ears, a long tail and something that went under my belly. Dad said I was udderly adorable but I didn't know what he was talking about. I was uncomfortable in it and it fit kind of funny on me and it just made me look miserable. The days passed and I never saw it again. I thought I was finished with it until this morning when Dad asked if I was ready to go to the puppy meeting. I'm always ready for that. Dad got my jacket and my leash and then picked up my costume...oh noooo. What's going on Dad?

We got to the mall and got out of the car. Dad put my costume on and then put my jacket on over top and it seemed to fit a little better but I still felt a little embarrassed by it. Once we got into the mall we saw Rio and Athens and they were dressed too and my embarrassment went away. Kind of. As we were waiting for the other puppies to arrive we started to attract attention. I heard someone say "look at the cute little guide cow". I suddenly felt a lot better because they still recognize that I will someday be a guide.

We started our walk through the mall and traffic came to a standstill. EVERYONE came out into the hallway and watch the progression of cute guide dogs dressed for Halloween. There was Rio, the ruff biker; Mozart who is a little devil; the beautiful fairy Lacole; the hot dog Athens and me... the guide cow.

Rio
Mozart
Lacole

Athens

Silvana
 Training Update: Julimae is in Phase 4. Antigua is in Phase 3. Snickers is in Phase 0 and Jacinda has been career changed and placed in a nice home.
The big new is that Clyde is in class and will graduate next week.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Welcome New Puppies

We have two new puppies in our club! They are from California, the same place where I was born, and they are sisters. Their names are Orleans and Onessa and they are golden/lab crosses. I haven't met them yet but, just like ALL guide dog puppies, they sure are cute.
Onessa


Orleans

Training update: Julimae and Jacinda are in phase 2. Antigua is in phase 1 and Clyde is in phase 8. Way to go Clyde!


Sunday, October 2, 2011

Internal Clock

I'm really good at telling time. I always know when it is breakfast time or dinner time.


Training update: Julimae, Jacinda, Antigua are in phase 0...still. I wish they could come home. Clyde Phase 6. Kyle will have a different career. Sorry Kyle.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Things I learned at School

I've been really busy with school and I have learned a lot already. I have learned that I can fit under a desk quite easily but that I can't see everyone. I've caught on very quickly that the halls are crowded and people don't watch where they are walking. I learned that not everyone with a beard in high school is a teacher. The first settlement was Jamestown and the formula to calculate the weight of air at any given altitude.

I was also in school when I found out that Mom has special needs. At least that is what the woman from the student government said about her. I tried to figure out what Mom's special need was and the best that I can figure is that Mom's special need is for a Math tutor. I try to help her by nudging her leg when she forgets that she needs to use the slope intercept form but I don't think she understands what I'm trying to tell her. Mom seems to be catching on to things now though.

I have to go now; I have a paper to write and some very important guide dog stuff to do.

Training update: Julimae and Jacinda are still in phase 0. Clyde is in phase 5 and Kyle is in phase 8. Antigua will be training as a guide now.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Vacation

I've been away on vacation for the last week. At least that is what Dad called it. It sure didn't feel like a vacation though because I did more work than ever. I spent a week with Lacole's family while she stayed at my house.  I got to go to work with Brenda, went on a lot of outings and even went to a football game. It was a really busy week for me. I got to play with Brenda's girls, the neighbor kids and her big dog Maybel too. Brenda said that I was a very good girl at her office. There was even a day when she left me alone with her lunch sitting on her desk. And as far as Brenda knows; I didn't eat any of her lunch. Of course I'm not going to tell if I did or not.

Around the house I wasn't so good though. I got pretty carried away when Maybel and I were playing. I really like Maybel and it was good to play with her. We played a game of follow the leader, at a very high speed, through the house. There was one time when Maybel caught up to me and I didn't know what to do so I just jumped. I jumped so high that I ended up in the kitchen sink. I didn't know how I was going to get down so I just waited for someone to save me. Everyone thought it was pretty funny but I knew I shouldn't have done that. I felt so bad about it that I put myself in timeout inside of the X-pen.

After the week was over, I went with Brenda to a puppy meeting and Dad and Mitch were there waiting for me. I got pretty excited and I wagged so hard that I may have given myself a concussion. The puppy meeting was fun too. We met in the park and Jill sang a couple of songs for us. She really did a great job. Kris even offered me a potato chip but I knew I shouldn't take it. I was right about that too because it ended up being a test to see if I would behave.

After we got home I just crashed and Dad had to carry me to my kennel. It was a pretty fun week.

Training update: Julimae phase 0, Jacinda phase 0, Kyle phase 8, Clyde is in phase 4 and Antigua is still being evaluated as a breeder.

Friday, September 2, 2011

First Day of School

I had my first day at school yesterday and it was fun. I went with Mitch to the high school and got to go to all of his classes and meet all of his friends. During drama, I got to go way up on the cat walk and look out over the stage. The catwalk has to be at least 20 feet off of the ground and it felt funny on my feet.  Julimae  liked to go up there with Mitch too. There have been two dogs but no cats up there and I didn't think it was right that it was called a catwalk. Ms Morrey agreed and it is now officially called the West Lake Dogwalk.

After I got home, it was Dad's turn to take me to the College. We went into a computer lab and got to learn about creating websites. I wasn't very interested so I just helped my self to a bone out of my bag and chewed all throughout class. Dad said that next time we need to bring a rope or something quiet. After the class, the Professor asked dad what it was that I did for him. He told the professor that I make him happy and then explained about my training.

As we were on our way home we got into an accident on the freeway. I was sitting on the floor where I was suppose to be and I wasn't hurt. Dad had to wait around for the Troopers and fill out a report. I took this as an opportunity to climb into his seat and take a nap. The Trooper and I became fast friends even though he woke me from my nap. I must have been asleep when they cleaned up afterward because I don't recall seeing any car sized oops bags.

Quick Julimae update; She and Jacinda are in phase 0. Kyle is in phase 8 and Clyde is in stage 2.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Goodbye Julimae

Today was a very sad day for me. My sister Julimae had to leave for Guide Dog College. We got up really early and had to drive to the puppy truck. When we got there we got to meet a whole lot of other dogs that were also going to college. There was Jacinda, Antigua and Keiko from our group that was going with Julimae. And there were also a lot of Julimae’s litter mates that were going back as well. I got to meet Jorinda, Joe, Joliet, and June. I’m glad that Julimae will be with dogs that she knows. Maybe they can study together.
I love my big sister and everything that she did for me and everything that she taught me.
She would take me on a walk around the backyard.

She taught me that the toys belong to her but it was OK if I played with them.


She taught me that car rides can be fun.

She taught me that it is ok to sleep during school because Mitch is really smart and does all of the work.

She taught me that there are just times where you had to dress up.

She taught me that there were times when you just had to humor old people.

She taught me that it is NOT impossible to be pretty all of the time.

And even though she was young like me once…

Eventually you grow up and leave for College.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

College

I was given some good and bad news this week. The WHOLE family is going back to college. I will get to go to three different schools this year. I will be attending high school with Mitch, who will be taking additional college courses as well. I'll be going to UVU with Mom. Dad will be going to something he calls 13th grade at a place called SLCC and he will take me when he can. Dad says that I will be going to school so much that I can someday be the Vale-dog-torian. Dad made me type that because he thinks he is funny.

We also heard that Julimae will be going back to Guide Dog College in Oregon. I think she is really smart and will do a fine job but I'm going to miss her. I only have another week to play with her and Dad has already planned extra time for us. I love my big sister and she has taught me a lot. She taught me how to show off my toys, how to follow another dog while at the same time sharing a rope, and how to race to the jolly ball. I'm really going to miss her but I'll still have my brother Cruiser to play with in the back yard.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

My Reward

I’ve been a very good girl recently and Mom and Dad felt it was a good time to surprise me with a nice reward. They loaded me and Julimae into the car for what appeared to be a normal outing. We went into the store and wandered around and then Dad took me to the pet aisle. Mom and Dad unloaded ALL of the beds and let me pick one for my very own. We attracted quite the crowd and everyone was wondering which bed I would pick. I quickly narrowed it down to two, but there was only one that was just right for me.
Silvana taking it easy on her bed while we drive home

Monday, July 18, 2011

Movies

I got to spend the whole weekend with Mitch at his Dad’s house. I got to meet Mitch’s nephew Ollie and Petey, that’s Mitch’s other dog. I liked Ollie; he walked me a lot. On the last day, Mom, Dad and Julimae came and picked up me and Mitch and we went to a movie. I’ve never been to a movie before and I was excited to see the show. First we had to get our tickets and snacks. I was walking with Dad and we had to go through a maze. When we got to the end, I thought we would get a reward but instead, Dad had to hand over a lot of money. It didn’t seem like a very fun game to me. Then we went into the theater, found our seats and waited for the movie. The movie started and scared me awake. I spent the next half hour watching the movie until I got tired and fell asleep again. My favorite part of the movie was when Dad spilled popcorn on my head. I was a good girl and didn’t eat any of it, that got me a lot of pets and love from Dad and that made me happy.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

People I meet

I meet a lot of people while I am out doing my job. Most are perfectly fine and look at me and smile, especially the kids. I’ve also had a couple of experiences that I would sooner forget about. Experiences like the woman I scared while we were shopping and the little boy that kicked me while I was sitting and being good.

Most of the time, the kids spot me first and tell their parents. It is kind of funny because everywhere we go we always hear, “Mom; there’s a dog. Mom, Mom, Mommmmmie; there’s a dog” or “doggie, doggie, doggie”. A lot of the kids ask their parents why I’m in the store. Most parents take the time to explain that I’m learning to be a guide dog. I don’t know if the kids understand what that means. I wish that more parents would take the time to explain to their kids what I’m training to do. The best experience I had was on my very first outing to the grocery store. There was a woman with a boy and she kneeled next to her son and pointed at me and told him that I was training to be a guide. She told him that I will be someone’s eyes. The boy smiled at me and I wagged at both of them to tell the mom thanks. Most of the time I hear ‘don’t pet her because she is working’, which is fine, but it leaves the kids a little confused about me.

We also had some strange encounters. There was one Mom that tried to convince her kids that Julimae and I weren’t dogs. I walk like a dog, bark like a dog (although I don’t do that anymore) and I wag like a dog. I’m pretty sure I’m a dog. Her son thought so too because he told his Mom that he was pretty sure we were dogs. There was also the time that we took the train with Mom and Julimae and some man said to Mom, “What’s wrong with you?” There was also the time at the grocery store when a woman stopped Mom to tell her she thought I was cute. She talked to Mom for a long time and she said that there were guide lizards. Dad tried to save her by saying that it was probably an emotional support companion but the woman insisted that the lizard was a working guide. I can’t imagine what a lizard would look like in a harness. But through the course of the conversation, we learned that guide lizards and guide ponies are acceptable to JetBlue airlines.

The fun thing about having a blog are the emails that I get and checking to see who reads about me. I’m big in Turkey and Canada. I’ve even had an email from a celebrity. I can’t say who it is but it came from Russia with love.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Baseball

We went to a Salt Lake Bees baseball game and we had so much fun. It started with a ride to the train. When we got to the train station we were met by Amanda and Rio. Rio and I are the same age but he is really big now. We rode to the ballpark stop and we all got off the train together. People thought it was really neat that we were there and being so good. We had to walk a couple of blocks to the ballpark and people driving by slowed down to look at us. Everyone was really impressed with how we lead our people across the street at the proper time. Once we got across the street, we saw Hannah, Kris and Roscoe waiting for us. Brenda and Lacole were there too and together we bought our tickets and went into the stadium. There were a lot of people and a lot of stairs but I handled it like a pro. Dad and I lead the rest of the group through the people and into the outfield area where we saw Megan, Snickers and Tartan waiting for us. We had great seats on the grass under the scoreboard. I liked sitting out there on the grass and it was fun to play with the other dogs but we were in public so we had to behave and show what good dogs we really are.

There were so many fun things about being at the park but there were two things that were my favorite; the train full of kids and Bumble. The train runs along a path in the outfield and kids get to ride it for free. The train was fun because the kids would get excited when they drove by us. Bumble is a really big bee and we got our picture taken with him. We also met some people that Dad works with and they were really nice to us.

We left the game a little bit early because Mom and Dad had to work the next day and we had to catch the train too. We waited a long time for the train and when it got to our stop, it was really full. Me and Dad had to stand and I thought that was really fun. I’m a pretty good train surfer. After a couple of stops, there was enough room for Dad to sit down and I thought that was a good time for a nap. Before I knew it we were back to our car and headed for home.

Hannah and Roscoe; Trielle and Snickers; Megan and Tartan; Bumble; Amanda and Rio; Mitch and my sister Julimae; Dad and Me

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Puppy Truck

The other day I got to go with Mitch and Mom to the puppy truck. I’ve never seen the puppy truck before because I came to Utah on an airplane. The truck had the biggest puppies that I had ever seen on the side of it. I’m glad they don’t live at my house because they would squash me when we play. The puppies that they took out of the truck were really small. It reminded me that I’m a big girl now. Everyone kept holding the puppies but I got to meet a couple of them. One lucky puppy got to eat right there in the parking lot. Me and Julimae and Breeze and Lacole watched him very carefully to make sure that he ate everything in the bowl. I offered to help but I was told that the puppy had everything under control. Julimae and I then said goodbye to everyone. We had to say a special goodbye to Breeze because she is going back to school to learn to be a guide. Julimae and I will miss Breeze but Dad says that we can keep track of her and Kyle on the list of friends that are in school.

We will get to see the new puppies at our meetings soon. Dad says that I have to be an example for the other pups and he would prefer it if I was a good example. I’ll see what I can do Dad. Welcome to Utah Hazelle and Stan. And a late welcome to Mozart, Athens, Roscoe and Tartan.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

6 Months Old

Hey everyone, big news today, I’m 6 months old today. Dad said that he had a surprise for me today and this morning I found out what it was. Dad woke me up really early and took me out to take care of business and then I ate. After that, Dad made me sit with him and he took my collar off and he gave me my big girl collar! We had to adjust it a few times but we got it to fit me. It is so great to be wearing my new collar; it has a really cool decoration that has my ID and Guide Dogs for the Blind on it! I feel so official now.
Silvana in her Big Girl collar

That wasn’t the only thing that we had planned for the day. Dad took me out of the house at 6:00 this morning and we went on a walk. Only we didn’t keep going around the park, we crossed the street and walked down the other side. As we were walking, I saw other people lined up on the sidewalk and we got in line too. I didn’t know what we were waiting for but the people in the line were really nice and kept smiling at me and telling me I was cute and asking Dad about me. We talked for awhile and then a big bus showed up and the people started to get on. It was our turn and dad told me to go but I was already going. I jumped up the steps and said hello to the driver and then picked out a seat for us. It was a long ride and I was able to take a nap. Before I knew it, Dad was waking me up telling me that it was time to get ready. When the bus stopped, we walked down the aisle and I heard people saying what a good girl I was. We then caught another bus and it took us to the train station. Not the train I rode on before but a much bigger train. It was nice but we had to wait a long time for it to start moving. Once it did, it rumbled and woke me up. Dad said that everything was fine and I went back to sleep.

Silvana on the train on her way to meet grandma and grandpa
We got off of the train in a place called Layton and Dad made a call to someone he was calling Mom. I thought Mom was going to come and get us but a different car came with an older lady in it. Dad opened the door and told me to get in. I didn’t know the lady but I thought she needed kisses so I gave her some. She laughed and told Dad to get this dog off of me. We drove to her house and I figured out that the woman was grandma that Julimae told me about. Then I got to meet grandpa, he really liked me and I liked him. Grandpa kept calling me buddy and chasing my paw with his foot. Both grandma and grandpa told me what a good looking dog I was and how well behaved I was. Dad told them that I was just tired and that was the reason I was being good. I was being good because Dad told me that I had to be good and I didn’t want to disappoint him. When we left, grandpa said that I would have to come back again and to bring Julimae with me.
Our girl at grandma and grandpa's house
On our way home I fell asleep and didn’t wake up until we were in Salt Lake again. Dad told me that we had one more stop and it would be a quick one. I didn’t know that it would be where Dad works during the day. I was pretty excited and I got to meet some people that Dad works with but I didn’t get a chance to try coffee. Dad is hoping that we can go out again and so am I.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Carnival and Puppy Evals

I live in a pretty fun city. We have a big party, called Pony Express Days, every year that lasts a whole week. They have concerts and food and carnivals and food and cookouts and food and helicopter rides and food. This year they even had a rodeo and crunch car derby. We didn’t go but Dad explained them to me. He said that cowboys, who are men with big belt buckles, ride on huge overgrown cows. He told me that the crunch car derbies are where cars get into accidents on purpose. When I have an accident, it usually involves Mom or Dad taking out a poop bag. I can’t imagine that a person would make their car have an accident on purpose. Those must be some pretty big poop bags.
Dad took me on a walk to our park only this time we didn’t just walk around it on the sidewalk. He took me on the grass to the carnival and we walked around through the food booths and games but didn’t go by the rides. There were people all over the park and everyone was having a really good time. I was taken away with all of the noise and excitement but I still followed my commands and showed people I was a good girl. When we got away from the games we walked toward the most wonderful smell ever. Dad told me it was barbeque. I didn’t get to have any but I sure liked it there and I didn’t want to leave. Good thing for me that the Captain of the fire department came out and talked with Dad. It gave me a chance to soak up some more of those wonderful smells. The Captain invited us to visit the firehouse and Dad asked if we could bring all of the other puppies and the Captain said that we could. After we left the wonderful smell of the barbeque, we stopped and watched a boy sing a song. He wasn’t very good but I wagged when he was finished to make him feel like he had done a good job. When we got home, Dad told me what a good girl I was and took Julimae to the park for her turn.
The day after the carnival; Julimae and I had to go to puppy evals. I got to meet Barb. Barb was supposed to have given me to Mom, Dad and Mitch when I first got to Utah, but things change and I had to fly instead. Barb was very nice and greeted us as we came through the door. I was told to be on my very best behavior so I didn’t jump on her and give her kisses like I do when my family comes home. We waited and Jacinda, Antigua, Keiko and Mozart, who is new to our club, joined us. I was tired and fell asleep but I heard my name and woke up. They were talking about what a good girl I was and things where I needed to improve. After we were finished, we went on a walk and that was pretty fun. I got to play dance, dance revolution and sit with Dad in a racecar game in the arcade. We won both games, or at least I think we did, everyone was really happy after we stopped playing.  We then went on top of this big scary grate and walked on the curb near traffic and the train that I rode on the week before. Then we went up these stairs that scared me. I didn’t want to go but Dad said that it was OK and I went…Twice. Once I got up to the landing, I got to look over the side at everyone. I could see that Mom and Julimae were really proud of me.
Dad was really happy and he said that he had a special treat for me on Tuesday. That is the day I turn six months old. I don’t know what we have planned but I know I will have fun.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Public Transportation

Mom and Dad took me and Julimae on the train. Dad said that I handled it like a pro but I do have to say that the train did scare me just a little. We got to the lot and Julimae and I took care of our business and we headed to the train platform to buy Mom’s ticket. After we got Mom’s ticket, we went to the train and the doors opened with this strange high pitch noise. It kind of hurt my ears. Dad went up the stairs first and told me “let’s go” but the stairs were really steep and I was a little afraid of them. Once I got going I was fine. Dad and I found a nice seat for everyone. I wanted to relax during the ride but Julimae wanted to look around. As Julimae was looking around, she stepped on my ears a few times, which made it hard to sleep. At each stop, some people got on the train and some people got off the train. I wagged at everyone to tell them hi or goodbye. When we got to our stop, we got off and I got to see where Dad works at night. It looks just like it does on TV. Julimae had been there before but she wasn’t very excited about it because she doesn’t watch basketball like I do.
We then went to the Mall which made Mom and Julimae happy. While we were waiting to cross the street, we saw another guide dog puppy in training going into the mall. We caught up to them and found out that it was Paulson from the Park City group. I wagged and wagged and wanted to play but Dad told me “that’s enough” and I knew that I had to sit and be good. We then wandered around the mall for a little bit and Dad took us to the water deck and we played in the water for as long as we could before we had to leave.
Silvana at the Gateway


After we got on the train for the ride home, Julimae and I were just too tired to care what was going on around us and we took a nap until it was time to get off the train. I used Mom’s foot as a pillow and Julimae used me as a pillow. It was a pretty fun day.
Our tired girls sacked out on the train

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Nice Game

Dad taught me a new game and I’m really good at it. The game is called the nice game. Here is how it works; Dad says ‘nice’ and gives me a treat. There are some other things that happen too, but THAT, is my favorite part. Dad gets really excited when he tells me nice and that makes my brother Cruiser come downstairs and play the nice game with us.  Cruiser’s version of the game is different than my version. I have to go to my blanket, lie down in the middle and not chase the cat along the way. Cruiser just sits in front of Dad to get his treat. Dad says it is the best that he can expect from Cruiser.

Silvana playing the "nice game"

Monday, May 16, 2011

Goodbye Kyle

The first guide dog puppy I met here in Utah, other than my sister Julimae, was Kyle. Kyle came to my house the day after I came to Utah and we played and played for a long time that day.  Mom and Dad told me that Kyle had to go back for his formal training and that I wouldn’t get to see him anymore.  It made me sad to know that I wouldn’t get to see him or play with him anymore. But I also know that Kyle is going to be a great guide and will be happy being someone’s eyes.
Kyle giving Mitch a hug

Monday, May 9, 2011

Catching Up

Sorry I haven’t written in awhile, I was grounded from the computer because of my online shopping addiction. Speaking of which, I have $5000 worth of dog toys for sell. One or two are Guide Dog approved. Now that I can use the computer, I need to catch up with everything that has happened.
Mitch
Mitch got something called a drivers license the other day. The whole family was excited and to celebrate, Mitch took me on a ride to the school.  I am quite fond of Mitch and I like spending time with him. I hope he will take me to school next year.
Puppy Meeting at Dinosaur Museum
We went to a place called Thanksgiving Point for our puppy meeting. I really liked it there. They had these really big, tall things called dinosaurs. All that were left of the dinosaurs were the bones. They were kind of scary but they sure looked tasty. I tried to bring one home but it wouldn’t fit in the car.
Silvana at Thanksgiving Point
Puppy Trade
I had my first puppy trade. I got to go to Lacole’s house and play with her family. I got to play with Kate and Maddie and I got to go to work with Brenda and I just had a good time. Brenda and I had MANY discussions about why puppies shouldn't have Dr. Pepper. That still didn't stop me from trying to taste it. When I got home, I told Julimae all about how I got to taste Dr. Pepper. Julimae told me that Dad's Boss, Terri, let her lick her coffee cup and she was up all morning running in circles. I do that anyway but I bet I can go faster on coffee. Julimae said that Dad wasn't happy about Terri letting her lick the cup but Terri said that they were just sharing.

Discovery Academy
We had a really fun puppy meeting at Discovery Academy. Discovery Academy is a therapeutic boarding school, whatever that means. I just know that it was full of kids that wanted to play with me and pet me and love on me. It was so much fun; I loved every minute of it. I had so many belly rubs and kisses and hugs to last a lifetime. What a great way to celebrate my 5 month birthday.
After the meeting, I got to go with Dad and help pick out something special for Mom because it was mother’s day. It was a big deal and I took my time, I wanted everyone to be proud of what I picked out, Mom especially. There were people all around watching me work. I finally decided on a nice rose bush and nudged it with my nose to tell Dad that I had made my decision. Dad agreed with me and we put it in the cart. I walked with my head held high as we went to pay for Mom’s gift. Everyone was also really impressed with how well behaved I was in the store too.
Silvana and student from Discovery Academy

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Julimae's Birthday

Today is Julimae's birthday. She is a year old today. Best of all, her birthday falls on International Guide Dog Day. I love my big sister.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Mall

Mom and Dad had to take Mom’s car to the mechanic and I went with them. When we got there, Dad got me out of the car and got me dressed. As we were leaving to get in Dad’s car, someone called me a cute boy, I didn’t like that so I didn’t wag at him.
After we left the mechanic, we went to something called a mall. The mall is just a big place with a lot of different types of stores inside. Mom said that girls like the mall and that we should go there a lot. Dad just grumbled at the thought of that. Good thing for Dad that the stores the mall weren’t open. We just wandered around the mall looking into the windows at the dark stores. It was really neat; every store was selling dogs that looked exactly like me. The other dogs had the same green jacket and the exact same tags as mine. The only difference I could see was that the words on their jackets and tags were spelled backwards. I was very nice to all of the other dogs in the mall and I wagged at every one of them. As we walked, more and more people started coming in and opening their stores. There was one girl there that had a train. Mom and Dad thought it would be neat to put me in the train and take my picture. The girl said it would be OK and opened the door for me. I was kind of bummed that I couldn’t ride the train but I did get to ride in the elevator.
Silvana on the train

Mom wanted to keep looking around mall after the stores opened, so Dad and I went and sat on the bench and waited for Mom to finish. It was so nice and quiet there that I went to sleep.  After Mom was finished, we decided to do one more lap and go home. That’s when Mom was distracted by a place that takes your picture. Mom talked to the lady there for a long time and even won something from the store. Mom said that we would go back and she would get a picture of both of her girls. Dad thought it would be a good idea to keep me outside of the store while we waited because there were a lot of people. I think it is because he likes to show me off but he calls it training. While we were waiting for Mom to finish at the picture place, a couple of little kids started to come at me and they had sticky donut hands. Dad was quick and told their Mom that I was working and she moved the kids away from me. Thank you Dad for not letting them pet me.   


Going to work with Mom

On Friday, I got to go to work with Mommy for the first time. Now I know why Julimae likes to go to work with Mommy. She works in a place that does something called Physical Therapy but it just sounded like they were having people do funny things like something called a “dead bug”. I really liked the people there and new ones came and went all day long! I wagged at everyone to let them know they were welcome and to show them what a good girl I was. My favorite person was a little boy named Ben. He is special. He is 6 but he was sick a few years ago and now he is learning how to walk and do lots of other things again. He was very sad when he came on Friday. He was crying and trying to tell his Mommy he didn’t want to do therapy cause he was tired. So Steve, the therapist, came and told me that Ben needed some puppy therapy. I felt so important! I went and met him and gave him a kiss on his hand and that made him smile. Then he bent over and wanted me to give him a kiss on his face. I know I am not supposed to but Mommy said it was ok because it really makes Ben happy. He laughed when I kissed him. Then he was happy to go do his therapy. He came to see me again before he left and I kissed him on the ear just to make him laugh again. I think they should do puppy therapy for all of their people.
I hope I get to go back again soon. 

Monday, April 11, 2011

Silvana's Busy Week

Wow! Sorry I haven’t written anything in a while I’ve just been so busy. I knew my life would change after I had my final set of shots but I didn’t know it would change this much. It was a very busy week. Dad and I went to a different grocery store and they had a dog and cat aisle. Dad let me pick out a new toy for me and Julimae. I was so proud of my new toy that I carried it through the store right up until we saw Lauren. Lauren, who works at the store, is part of our puppy group and is Clyde’s mom. I took this opportunity to throw a fit about my Halti and started rolling on the floor trying to get it off my nose. Dad wasn’t too happy so we just went and paid for our stuff. The cashier wasn’t very happy about the soggy toy that Dad gave her but she still said I was cute.

Riding in Dad's car

The next night was really exciting. We went and watched my big brother’s play. Cruiser was a shining star up on stage. I still don’t know why it was called Guys and Dogs; Cruiser was the only dog on stage. I have to admit though that I slept through most of it. Mom and Dad woke me up whenever Cruiser was on stage so I could see him though.

Cruiser with Ashley and Kyle at Guys and Dogs

Then we went to a craft store the next night and just wandered around for about an hour. I liked it in there too. No one bothered me but they all looked at me and Julimae and said how pretty we were. I got tired at the end and tried to go to sleep every time we stopped to look at something.

The next night, Dad had to work at a Jazz game so I just stayed at home waiting for him to get home. He came home really late and told me good night and then fed me the next morning and got me ready to go to work with Mom. I’ll write more about that later. It is a story all by itself.



Monday, April 4, 2011

Pinch Me...

I must be dreaming!
Dad and Mitch took me to the store yesterday and it was the neatest thing. A whole store that sold nothing but food! Have I mentioned that I love food? In case you didn't know, I LOVE FOOD! Dad and Mitch just let me wander around with them as they shopped. I made sure to be on my best behavior because I want to go back a lot.

Silvana watching Mitch pick out something tasty

We got a lot of stares as we walked around doing our shopping. I heard kids asking why there was a dog in the store and some of the parents trying to explain it to them. A few kids tried to come pet me, I couldn't figure out why their dad didn't have THEM on a leash, I was better behaved than any of those kids. I heard one Mom explain to her son that I was a different kind of dog, one that you don't pet. I really liked what she said about me, she said that when I get big, I'm going to be someone's eyes. That made me feel special and I walked with my head held a little higher after that... it was that or the head collar. Dad thinks its the head collar but I know it was the compliment. There was also one girl that commented on how cute I was. She was strange, she stood there with her hands held to her face just shaking. I thought she was going to scream. But she didn't.

When we got back to the car, Dad took off my jacket and told me how proud he was of me. I got a feeling I'll be going back again.


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

My First Outing

I got to go out in public today! It was soooo much fun. First I had to get dressed so Dad selected an adorable green jacket for me to wear. Then we all got into the car and went to Coffee Creations, it is kind of a tradition because Mom knows the owner and all of the other guide dog puppies went there on their first outing. The ride to the shop was really neat because I got to ride with Julimae in the back of the car. Once we got to the shop I got to see Kyle, Rio and Snickers again. We were all wearing the same jacket and we all looked really good. We went in and I got to meet Cindy. I really loved the smell of the shop but I didn't like the slick floors, I fell down a few times because my paws slipped. Everyone thought that was funny. We then posed for pictures, but we just wanted to play once we were all together in a group so the pictures aren't that great.
Silvana and Cindy at the Coffee Shop

Next we all went to the puppy meeting and I got to meet more guide dog puppies. There was Clyde, Breeze, Keiko and Paris who is a career change dog. Mom ran the meeting and she wanted to work on toy and food distractions. This was really mean because I just love food and it was all over the place and I was expected to just walk past the food. Dad wasn't paying attention and I almost got a cracker but dad reminded me that I shouldn't pick up things that are on the ground and I dropped it. All of the other puppies were really good at ignoring the toys and food. They even sat down while they were surrounded by food and they all just left it on the ground like they should have. After puppy class, we brought Keiko home to stay with us and Julimae went to Keiko's house. Mom and Dad told me it was good for guide dogs to spend time at the home of the other puppies. I hope I get to go somewhere soon.
Waiting for Puppy Class to Start

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Jolly Ball

Julimae, Cruiser and I went outside to play. It was the funnest time EVER! I started playing by jumping on Cruiser but didn't realize that he was using the bathroom so he got a little grouchy. Then I chased Julimae around the yard. Julimae taught me a new game, its called Jolly Ball. Here's how it works; Julimae swings the ball around by the rope and I get hit in the head. I didn't really like it too much but Julimae thought it was great. I changed the rules to the game a little later. The new way of playing Jolly Ball is to have Julimae carry the jolly ball and I bite her ears and see how long I can hang on. She didn't like that too much so we just played tug, even Cruiser joined in during the tug game.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Look Out World!

I'm legal!!!
I had my last set of shots today and I'm ready to take on the world.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Brother's Big Night

Tonight is opening night for Guys and Dogs at the high school. My brother cruiser has been practicing a lot and Mitch says that he is really good. Dad says that if he doesn't hit his mark, he can just make his own.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

More Updates

My sister Julimae was fixed; Dad was kind of bummed that she didn’t come home looking like a satellitehead. Dad was planning on cancelling dish network and just hooking Julimae to the TV. He said that we could have picked up The Disney Channel because Julimae could have talked to Pluto.

I found something that I like almost as much as barking. I really like watching basketball. I just love the whistles and squeaking of shoes on the court. Dad works for the Utah Jazz so the only games I get to see are when the Jazz are out of town and Dad is home. It looks like I won’t get to see too many more games this year though because the Jazz aren’t playing very good this year. That’s ok though, I will get to spend more time with both Mom and Dad.

I should start to have more adventures soon and be able to write more soon. I will be legal soon and will get to go out in public starting on the 28th. The whole family has been trying to teach me how to walk on the leash and how to behave when I walk around our circle. I get really excited when I see our neighbors and sometimes I forget what I’ve been taught. I’m really trying though and I’m going to try my best to make my family proud.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Updates

Dad wasn’t kidding, not only did he take me to the doggie doctor, he took Julimae too. The doctor was really nice and called us both cute. I got to sit on the tall table while the doctor listened to my heart. I didn’t really like it when she gave me the shots but I was tough and pretended like it didn’t bother me. I wish I could say the same about Julimae; she got eye drops and acted like a drama queen.  

Speaking of drama; my big brother Cruiser is going to be in a play at the high school. He is playing the role of Cruiser the dog in the play Guys and Dogs. Best of all, I will get my last shots in time to go out in public and see my brother’s performance.

We also found out that I’m on breeder watch. Mom, Dad and Mitch are really excited about the news. I think I will be a good mommy. Dad says if I have puppies that they would be his and Mom’s grand monsters.  

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Silvana's sad day

Dad had to leave last night and go to a doctor for a sleep study and left me with Mom and Mitch. I got to sleep in Mitch’s room with my big sister Julimae. When Dad returned this morning, I had to be a really good girl while Dad washed the glue and tape out of his hair. Well, he calls it hair; I actually have more hair on my belly than he has on his head. I put the pictures so you know what I mean. Dad says that if I post the pictures that he will take me to the doggie doctor for something called shots. I hope they do an eating study instead. I think he is just trying to scare me so I’m going to post the pictures anyway.


Speaking of doggie doctors, Mitch got a letter yesterday from Guide Dogs for the Blind and it said that Julimae needed to be fixed. I don’t know what that means, I’ve play with Julimae and she doesn’t look broken to me. Everyone tried to explain it to me but I didn’t understand. The only thing I know is that Julimae won’t get to me a momma. I guess we won’t get to see her in jeans. It made me sad because Julimae would have been a great momma.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

My first two weeks in my new home

Hey everyone, sorry I haven’t been writing very much. Since I haven’t had all of my shots I don’t get to go anywhere so I’ve just been staying home. I like it here with my new family and all of my new friends and I’m really feeling loved by everyone.

The thing I like best about Utah is outside. When we go outside I never know what to expect. We have had some nice sunny days, we have had rain, snow and windy days. Windy days are my favorite because the wind blows leaves around and I like to try to catch them. I know now that I shouldn’t pick things off of the ground but it is still fun to try to catch them. I also like to try to catch snowflakes as they fall. Sometimes on the sunny days, the girls from across the street will come over and see me and play with me. I like that. But the thing I like best about going outside are the tasty rocks.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Rawrrr: I'm a monster

Mom and Dad call me their little monster because I go and I go and I eat and I go and I chew and I go and I go and I go and I have SOOOO MUCH ENERGY! Sometimes I go hours and hours without stopping to take a break. Sometimes when I really get going, I do things that are funny so they call me Silly Monster. Other times, like when I’m chewing and trying to bite on Dad’s arm, he calls me Jaws. He said that I remind him of a movie poster with the picture of the shark’s open mouth. I don’t know what he means so I just wag at him; it is something that Mom taught me, like when she just smiles and nods at Dad.

It snowed here last night and Dad took me out so I could see the snow and play in it. I thought it was really neat and I didn’t want to come in so we stayed out in the snow and had a really good time. After a while I started to get cold and was caked in snow. When we came in Dad announced that we had a new monster in the house; The Adorable Snowman. Mom just wagged at him and went to bed.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Commands

There are commands that every aspiring guide dog will have to learn. Most are really easy, when Mom, Dad or Mitch say “do your business”, I need to make a mess on the pavement. When they say “let’s go” I need to walk beside them. But there is one command that was talked about by the puppies in San Rafael. I thought it was just a rumor that was used to scare puppies into behaving. I am very sorry to say that it is NOT a rumor; it is of course, the dreaded “that’s enough” command. It is a hard command because it means sooo many different things. Don’t chew the tie down. Don’t chew the leash. Don’t chew Dad’s arm. Don’t unravel the berber carpet.  I really don’t know how I’m going to keep them straight but I’ll try my best.

This morning Dad came home and we watched Mitch and Julimae go to school. I wish I could go to school too but that will come later when I’m a little bigger. For now I’m just happy chewing the cat…I know…that’s enough.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Note to self

Mom and Dad really get excited when I potty outside. I'm going to have to do that more often.

Making New Friends

I met so many people yesterday that I’m having a hard time remembering everyone’s name. Mom’s friend Amber came over and she brought Owen with her. Owen is like a tiny little version of Mitch. And then Amanda came over and brought Kyle with her. Kyle is a guide dog pup too! I really liked playing with Kyle; I’ll have to see if I can play at meetings. Dad told me that I have to be on my best behavior at meetings but I’m going to see what I can get away with. After everyone left I was really tired and just had to go to sleep until dinner time. Awwww…dinner time. I love food.
Silvana completely wiped out. This is a very rare sight.

First Morning in Utah

Hi, Silvana again. I got up reallllly early this morning and had Scott take me outside. Once I was up, I didn’t want to go back to sleep, I wanted to play. Jeanette and Scott, who I’ve decided to call Mom and Dad, wanted to sleep some more so I decided to test them and threw a fit. I cried and barked and carried on for what seemed like a day but was probably only about an hour but Mom and Dad just let me go on crying and didn’t give in to me. I finally gave up and slept.
After the whole house got up and got fed, I got to play with Cruiser. I like him; he is just a little bit bigger than I am but he cheats when he plays, he throws his butt against me trying to knock me over. Cruiser also likes to tease the girls in the house. He gets to play with squeaky toys and will stay just far enough away that we can’t get him and squeaks and squeaks and squeaks.
I like my big sister Julimae, it is good to have another guide dog in the house, and she can teach me what I need to do in order to be a good guide. Scott, um Dad, tries to explain things to me and he told me that Julimae is on breeder watch. I don’t think I really understand what that means but Dad says that if Julimae looks good in jeans that she can be a momma. I hope she gets to be a momma, I think she would be really good at it. We still don’t know if I’m in breeder watch or not because my papers aren’t here yet but  even if I’m not in breeder watch I hope I look good in jeans too.

Moving to Utah

 Hi everyone, its me again, Silvana. I’m in Utah with my new family! I didn’t get to ride in the same kennel with my sister Scarlet because she picks on me so I had to fly all by myself. Everyone at Delta was really nice because they thought we were really cute. One woman wanted to keep us but I barked and scared her away so that I could go with my new family. I was so happy to meet Scott and Jeanette and something strange started happening to my tail, it started shaking and wouldn’t stop. It just kept going back and forth, back and forth. Scott picked me up and everyone started taking my picture and telling me how cute I was.
We finally got to my new home and I got to meet Mitch. Funniest thing, my tail started to go nuts again while Mitch was holding me. After we all ate, I got to meet the rest of the family. There was my new big brother whose name is Cruiser and my new big sister Julimae who is a guide dog just like me! They also had this thing called a cat. His name is Rocky and he makes the funniest hissing sound when I smell his bum.

The Early Weeks

Hi, I’m Silvana, and I’m a different kind of dog, I’m going to be a guide dog when I get big. I was born on December 7, 2010 at the Guide Dog campus in San Rafael, California. I have one brother and four sisters. My dad is Dylan and my mom is Cuesta. I get to stay with Scott, Jeanette and Mitch in Utah. I’m really excited to be going because I get ride on a plane with my sister Scarlet and another puppy named Rio.