August 28, 2009

California Fun Days ’09

Posted in Guide Dogs for the Blind tagged , , , , , at 9:42 pm by smilinshell11

It was my first time down at the California Campus and I’ve decided I’m moving down there. 🙂 Okay, not really but I loved it down there. I was able to meet Taelor and Pilaf and Elizabeth and Peyton! It’s always wonderful to meet the people (and the dogs) that you have read so much about. I also picked up a tee-shirt from Cabana’s club. I was amazed at how many people were there and how many more puppies were passed out than at the Oregon Fun Days. Here are a bunch of pictures I took. Let’s start at the entrance:


Looking to your left once entering.


Vender Booths which were actually in the back right hand corner of the campus.


Time to enter the place where all the fun happens!


First stop is the newly rennovated kennels.



Their outside playground.


This dog LOVED having his picture taken.


Then we move on to grooming and food prep.



Next up we have the Vet’s Office. They have nice reception area and a couple of exam rooms though the most interesting part is where they do the operations.


At the back is where the whelping kennel is at. We weren’t allowed to go in there, but they did have a live feed of some LITTLE puppies. They are kind of hard to see because they are yellow, but so small and cute.


Next up, we have some 8 week old puppies out playing and hanging out in their kennels.




At this point I almost took a puppy home 🙂

Once outside, we talked to one of the head trainers where we saw the back of one of the training vans they would take down town. It’s fully equipped with air conditioning so while the dogs are waiting for their turn, they don’t get hot.


Finally was the littermate meetings!  I was able to meet ALL of Topekas’ siblings. Too bad Topeka wasn’t there or it would have been a total sibling reunion. I have no idea what order they are in but we have Tallulah, Tara, Toledo, Trevor, Trishna, Tropic, and Tulsa.


I found it kind of interesting that almost all her siblings were in haltis. Also, a little hint for next year and littermate pictures.  Try and line them up fron left to right by name order. That way when going back through pictures, you know who is who!

Next up we have a couple of more Donatas’ siblings. There is Dexter in Blue (M), Dot in Yellow (F), and Dubai in Pink (F).


I also got to meet Donata’s mom, Petal. She’s a beautiful Golden.


As you can see, we had a wonderful time and can’t wait to go next year! 🙂

San Francisco

Posted in Mr. Charming, Restaurants, Travel tagged , , , , , , , , , at 7:38 pm by smilinshell11

I left my heart in San Francisco. 😦 I loved it down there and can’t wait to visit again.  We flew in Thursday evening (after a flight delay because of thunder/lightening at Sea-Tac).  Friday morning we headed out to Alcatraz.  I’ve always wanted to go for some reason (I think it was after my Gangester Tour in Chicago).  It’s a lot smaller than I was expecting for some reason.  You have to visit “The Rock” if you ever go to San Francisco I will say that much. 

When we got back, we had lunch and walked around Pier 39 and then to Ghirardelli Square.  That night we had dinner reservations at Kokkari which has some amazing Greek food. 

Saturday morning we headed out to Guide Dogs for the Blind in San Rafael (about 1/2 an hour north of San Francisco) for Puppy Fun Day (next post). 🙂  After that, we headed down to Mountain View which is where Mr. Charming grew up to see his old elementary school and house.  We ended up playing mini-golf and a little Skee Ball at an arcade before heading back. 

Sunday morning we woke up and rented bikes to bike across the Golden Gate Bridge.  It was a beautiful bike ride and not too busy.  We then headed to ride the cable car (another must do in San Francisco). As we were going up and over the hills I keep thinking, “Rice-A-Roni, The San Francisco Treat” *Ding* *Ding* 🙂 We then to drive down Lombard Street (we had walked down it earlier that weekend).  I can’t image living on that hill, but it was fun to drive down!  We then headed to the park where the opening from Full House was filmed.  We then had to head to the airport for our flight home. 

Random side note, but while we were down there we had a Nissan Altima Hybrid.  It was the first time either of us had been in one or drove it and I have to say we were rather impressed.  I think that might have to go on our short list next time we are looking for cars (though it’s currently not available in WA state).

Here is the slide show from Francisco:   Click Here

August 27, 2009

Hanging Out

Posted in Guide Dogs for the Blind tagged , at 9:24 pm by smilinshell11

Loyola is still hangin’ in Phase 10 and Simmons in Phase 8.  They must really like college I’ve decided. 🙂

I still need to update about San Francisco and Fun Days in California.  I have both posts typed up, but my Flickr account is almost to the limit and I was too lazy tonight to re-size my pictures.  I promise I’ll get to them posted soon.

August 24, 2009

Oregon Fun Days ’09

Posted in Guide Dogs for the Blind tagged , , , , , at 9:31 pm by smilinshell11

There is a reason they call it Fun Days!  I was able to meet Anna and Avani which was super fun! I had a few people ask me what the Oregon Campus looks like because they have never been so I tried to get some picture this year.  It’s apparently a smaller campus, but more spread out than California so it feels bigger. First off we have the famous wall.

The play area between kennels:
Inside the kennels:
The area they bathe the dogs. Don’t mind the cat (I think his name is Chester) 🙂

I was also happy to see Loyola’s name up on the board.  I am not sure why  they have her as a male though.  I miss that girl.


Here are two other pictures from the day. Here is Donata on the left sporting her lei and Topeka on the right. P1030525

Finally we have some of Donatas’ sisters! From L to R: Damara, Dotty, Donata Sisters

And just for Poppy, your brothers Pacifico on the left and Pronto on the right.PP

Ohhh and Mr. Charming and I made it on the Oregon Campus Fun Day pictures with Donata. We are pretty much famous now. 🙂

Hot Dog

Posted in Guide Dogs for the Blind at 7:09 pm by smilinshell11

The week we had Donata, Seattle had a heat wave (as in mid 70’s at night to 100+ during the day).  I normally like hot weather, but with no air conditioning at home, it got a little bit unbearable.  We were so thankful to at least have a portable A/C unit for our bedroom so we could sleep some what.  We felt that Donata would be way too hot in her crate so we put her on tie down with her bed.  It was so hot for her that she just slept on the floor next to our bed.  She had her own fan, cold water, and ice cubs whenever she wanted.  Here she is sleeping in front of the fan:  P1030497

Thankfully at work with me, she was in the A/C.  During potty breaks we would run as fast as we could to the grass to not burn her paws and try to relieve quickly to get back inside.  For those of you who live where it’s always hot,  how do you keep your dogs cool?  We didn’t have a little kids pool and she’s not a big fan of sprinklers or the hose.

 Here are couple of pictures at work.  The first one with her Nylabones.

This one I just had to laugh. I think she had farted or something.
This is what happens when I dont’ play with her at work:  She puts her head in the corner.


We did go to the gym where we did Step Class on Tuesday P1030501

and Centergy (Yoga/Pilates) on Thursday.P1030517 

She did wonderful both times and now has quite the following at the gym. 🙂  Everyone was amazed how she laid there the whole time even with the loud music and people moving all around her.  Some people didn’t even know she was there till the end of class!  I took some advice when I asked about taking a dog to the gym before and hooked her leash to a crate full of weights.  Since the floor was wood, I brought in a little towel for her to lay on and a bone to munch on (even though she fell asleep really quickly).

She will be visiting us again soon so more on our adventures later! 🙂


Posted in Guide Dogs for the Blind tagged at 2:43 pm by smilinshell11

Lomita was a transfer to our club when she was around 6 months old.  We actually never puppy-sat her, but she was recalled at the Oregon Fun Days to be a potential breeder (her brother had also been recalled in June as a potential breeder).  On Tuesday at our meeting, we got the news that she had been career changed for cataracts in both eyes. 😦  Her raising family will be adopting her this week and will also be getting a new little puppy sometime next week! 

She is a wonderful dog and I know she’ll make a wonderful pet.  It’s hard (as some of you know) to have a dog that has really matured while in training only to have them career changed for health issues that weren’t known until they were recalled. 😦

Here she is at the truck in June: 4661_760906345528_10707299_43614724_652146_n


Posted in Technology tagged , at 9:16 am by smilinshell11

I forgot to mention earlier (well much earlier), that I got a new phone!  I ended up going with the LG enV Touch. It’s a great phone and a whole lot better than the Motorola Krzr I had before. Plus, I have internet so I can be “cool” updating my facebook status and looking important. I’m enjoying the QWERTY keyboard and have become much better at texting.  Granted it’s not as “cool” as the new phone Mr. Charming will be getting, but whatever. 🙂

August 23, 2009


Posted in Travel, Uncategorized tagged , , , , , at 9:13 pm by smilinshell11

The middle of July, we headed up to Anchorage, Alaska to visit some good friends of ours.  We had a wonderful time hanging out with them and their three adorable girls. Mr. Charming and I had been to the southern part of Alaska on our honeymoon (we took a cruise), but had never been as far north as Anchorage.  Here are some pictures from our trip. First up we have the one and only moose we saw: P1030370

On top of Flattop Mountain over looking Anchorage:

Along the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail looking toward Anchorage: P1030404
It’s a beautiful mostly flat (except the last huge hill to Kincaid Park) bike ride along the coast. My butt hurt the next day after biking 22 miles!

This picture was taken at a small lake near their house: P1030417

One of the days we headed down to Seward. This picture was taken going about 60 mph from inside the car: P1030434

Now you know what to do in case of a bear attack!


The next two pictures are of Exit Glacier. It was a beautiful blue color which was hard to capture on camera. P1030444


One of the days, we decided to head down to Seward.  By the time we got there, the weather was pretty cold and rainy.  Apparently it’s beautiful when the weather is nice, but this is all I saw in Seward: P1030466

 I have to admit, it was kind of weird that it never got completely dark while we were there.  Alaska is a beautiful state and if you ever have the chance to visit, do it! 🙂 

Viva Las Vegas

Posted in Travel, Uncategorized tagged , , , , , at 8:24 pm by smilinshell11

Over the 4th of July weekend, Mr. Charming and I decided to head down to Las Vegas for an extended weekend getaway.  He hadn’t been back since his 2 year traveling stint for work.  The first two nights we stayed out in Henderson at the Homewood Suites where he had stayed.  It was funny because he requested the same room!  Most of the same people work there so it was nice for him to catch up and say hi to everyone.

Thursday we got up and went to Ambiance Relaxation Spa to get massages as an early anniversary gift. We had been there before and well, it was wonderful! After that, we headed out to the other side of Las Vegas to see a bunch of his old co-workers and their new building.

Friday we headed to the strip for 2 nights at the MGM Grand (part of our Michael Buble package). The night before I had been flipping through a magazine on the coffee table at the hotel and saw that Jeff Dunham was at Caesar’s Palace. We ended up getting some of the last tickets to Friday nights show!  If you don’t know who Jeff Dunham is, he’s a ventriloquist and stand-up comedian. Some of his characters include Achmed the Dead Terrorist, Walter, and Peanut. Needless to say I don’t remember the last time I laughed that hard. Here is a clip of Achmed:

After the show we headed out to Hank’s.  We of course got a martini (what they are known for) and Banana Fosters (the best dessert EVER). Come to find out, they had taken it off their menu! After talking with the waitress, she went and talked to the Chef to see if he could make us one and he did! He then came out and talked to us which was really fun.

Saturday we headed out to some friend’s house for a 4th of July BBQ.  That night was the Michael Buble Concert.  I just have one word: AMAZING!  His band was wonderful and the way he sounds on his CD’s is exactly how he sounds in concert. He puts on a wonderful concert and our seats were the first row up from the floor. I didn’t bring my camera because I thought it wouldn’t be allowed so the only videos/pictures are from my phone which are okay.

I actually took no pictures the whole weekend. :/ I guess I have been there too much! It was a great weekend get away! 🙂

August 22, 2009

Let it begin…

Posted in Uncategorized at 5:03 pm by smilinshell11

I realize I have so many things to update about and pictures to post over the post 2 months it might take me a little while.   Life has been crazy around here and we have been gone almost every weekend since the beginning of July.  The nice part is I flipped the calendar over to September and it’s basically empty!  Here is a sneak preview of the posts to come:

– Las Vegas


-Puppy-Sitting Donata

-Fun Days (Oregon)

-Fun Days (California)/San Francisco

All right, I better get to it! 🙂

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