October 25, 2009


Posted in Blogs, Guide Dogs for the Blind at 7:01 pm by smilinshell11

This past weekend we had Jessa.  She is what is considered a soft or sensitive puppy.  She’s a really sweet dog, but has some issues that all the dogs we have puppy-sat before haven’t had.  It takes her 10-20 minutes in a new situation to “calm” down and finally be able to relax.  We usually are able to trust a dog enough to let them be downstairs not on tie down.  After two episodes of keep away and putting her paws on the counter in the kitchen, she has been on tie down the whole weekend.  I think she was trying to see what she could get away with.  I promise we did have some fun outings (pictures below) so it wasn’t too rough for her.  She’s great once she calms down but during her moments, it’s like someone gave her straight sugar for breakfast!  Here she is working hard:

 Jessa 1
I couldn’t help but laugh when she was spread out like this: P1040037
Saturday morning we met up with another club for a Pumpkin Patch/Corn Maze outing. We actually left Jessa with another leader while we took their dog Lipton through the Corn Maze because we thought it might stress her out too much. In the other club, is her sister Joyful so of course, I had to get a picture of the two at the Pumpkin Patch! Joyful & Jessa

With that, I’m debating about switching back over to Blogspot.  I originally had my blog there and am thinking about returning.  For some reason though, I’m having problems importing from WordPress to Blogspot.  I’m also thinking about separating to different blogs (one that isn’t about Guide Dogs and one that is).  I would just like to post recipes and random things which I’m not sure people would like to read about! 🙂  Any suggestions from my readers?  Hope you all have a great week!


October 24, 2009

Simmons Graduation

Posted in Guide Dogs for the Blind tagged at 9:39 pm by smilinshell11

I promise this is my last post of the evening 🙂 Once I’m in the mood, it’s hard to stop me!

Shortly after Loyola graduated, I got word that Simmons was in class! He seemed to be hanging out in Phase 8 for what seemed like a REALLY long time. He is now living in Canada with a younger guy who is very active (which is great for Simmons).  He has a special rain jacket and booties for the snow. How cool is that eh? 🙂 I wasn’t able to attend his graduation either and I haven’t seen any pictures of him in harness.  Hoepfully I’ll be able to upload one soon. 

My next post will be about Jessa who is the sister of lovely Ms. Janda

Construction, Robots, & Topeka

Posted in Guide Dogs for the Blind, House tagged , , , , , , , at 9:20 pm by smilinshell11

The middle of September we decided it was time to redo the floors.   Mr. Charming and I are not DIY people and our house has a lot of weird angles so we left the installation up to the professionals.  We put in wood called Duraplank throughout the bottom floor and Duraceramic tile in all the bathrooms and laundry room.  We didn’t replace the carpet upstairs or on the stairs because it really isn’t worn that much.  Needless to say, we love it!  The wood is a composite so the dogs can run every where and won’t scratch it. The tile is also warmer to walk on which is the biggest plus for me.   Here are a couple of pictures of the final product.

Formal Living Room:


Dining Room:


Family Room:




Downstairs Bathroom/Laundry Room:


Of course, when doing something on the house, there is always to be more to it than not. In this case, we ended up re-doing the tile around the fireplace in the living room (we have two fireplaces which I don’t know why, but we do!)  We actually saved a lot of money by paying the installers direct instead of through the place where we bought the materials. There is my little frugal tip for you! We had planned on doing the floors but the Friday before the install was to begin, we ended up getting our roof replaced (no, that was not planned). We had a leak in our bathroom that kept getting worse even after Mr. Charming had tried to fix it numerous times. Our house is at the point where we probably would have had to replace it in the next couple of years so we just bit the bullet and did it. Now that all the construction work is done, it feels like a brand new house!

I also got a robot named Eva (like how Wall-E says it!) She does an amazing job especially on the new floors.  She’s a little quirky, but I still love her. 🙂

After all of this, we got Topeka for a weekend while her raising family went to Hawaii.  I think she didn’t know what she was missing out on.  Here are a couple of pictures of her (she turned 1 year not too long ago).  The first one is at work:


I don’t understand how that can be comfortable.

Topeka in her jacket.

Topeka will be the next puppy heading back from our club. 😦

Welcome Marlin!

Posted in Guide Dogs for the Blind tagged , at 7:12 pm by smilinshell11

The middle/end of September we welcomed a new member to our club!  His name is Marlin and well, I think he is such an adorable little guy. 🙂  He is being raised by the family who raised Lomita.  Last Saturday we had him for the day and I think he was the youngest puppy we have ever puppy sat at 13 weeks old.  Here he is at 8 weeks: IMG_3730_(Medium)

How can you not love that face!!??!

Here is another picture of him at 13 weeks (last weekend): Marlin

I can’t wait to see him grow up 🙂

First Graduation-Loyola

Posted in Guide Dogs for the Blind at 6:52 pm by smilinshell11

This post is so far overdue!  It seems like this past month has gone by way too fast.  Loyola graduated over a month ago and here I am FINALLY posting.  I ended up not going to the graduation. We were in the middle of getting new floors installed and it would have been a 3 hour drive each way. Plus, I wasn’t sure how much I would even be able to see Loyola since I hadn’t helped raise her.  Thankfully, I was able to get some pictures from Anna (THANK YOU!) and Loyola’s raisers.  She was placed with a wonderful lady who is 89 years old. Yes, you read that right! 🙂  She has been in contact with the raising family since then about all the wonder things they are doing together.  Here are some pictures of the girl in her harness:


Loyola Working

I’m so proud of her for becoming a working guide! 🙂