Sunday, December 6, 2009

A Big Dog Now

It's been a very long time since Ziva's last blog posting at the end of June. Ziva spent part of the summer living with Megan and attending classes at the university in San Marcos and then moved to the PAWSitive Approach Program at the Travis County Jail. We returned from our travels at the beginning of September and were thrilled to meet a bigger, more mature but just as lovable pup.

Ziva celebrated her first birthday in the middle of October. She patiently endured wearing the birthday hat the boys made for her.

Ziva took her first boat ride at Aquarena Springs. She slept through the first half of the ride. Then she realized there was water! Her ears perked, her muscles tensed, her body practically quivered, but she never made a move. I have to admit that I breathed a big sigh of relief when we got off the boat. What a good dog!

Ziva is a regular attendee at the homeschool science team meetings. She even dressed up for the Halloween party. She went as the element carbon: black as coal, valuable as a diamond.

Recently Ziva and I made a presentation to a local 4-H group. I started the presentation with this happy photo of Ziva because so often people ask me if she ever gets to have fun. (Anyone who follows the photos on this blog might think she only has fun; I just never seem to have my hands free and a camera to get many working photos).

We were lucky to have a very playful guest dog recently. Livie rested up while Ziva was out and about training, and both were ready to rip when we got back home. Doesn't Ziva have nice teeth?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Summer Camp

The humans are off to Colorado for the summer. As much as Ziva would have loved the cool air and rushing river, her training would have suffered. So, Ziva will be attending college with Megan for the summer. Hopefully, Megan will have some time to update the blog and let us know about Ziva's activities.

Ziva didn't quite know what to do with herself as her toys and food were getting packed up.

Ziva is not too fond of our recent hot weather. After a day full of outings, she found the coolest place in the house - the shower floor.

Have a fun summer, Ziva and Megan!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Learning about Life

Ziva has been busy learning about life and still nothing seems to phase her. She and I took a posse of boys to a rock climbing wall. For about five minutes her eyes were glued to Marten as he scaled the wall (good practice for looking up!) but soon she conked out, enjoying the air conditioning and padded floor. Little did she realize that she was just resting up for a trip to the VERY NOISY arcade. She was far, far more calm and relaxed in the arcade than I was. I wanted to RUN! She has been attending fencing lessons. She must really wonder about some of the crazy things people do.

We took Ziva to the Austin Children's Museum where she was entertained by parachuting plastic piggies for about five minutes, until she fell asleep.

She was spayed in April. Despite a day of feeling miserable, she recovered very quickly - maybe too quickly. Two days after her surgery, with very fresh stitches in her abdomen, she was in the yard taking care of her business. The phone rang, I ran in to grab the phone and brought the phone out seconds later. Ziva was gone! She and the yellow lab next door broke a very small hole in the fence and Ziva with her fresh stitches slithered through. Ziva was quickly apprehended. She was unscathed (thank goodness), but it took me a while to recover.

Ziva has discovered water and loves to romp in the nearby creek. It is a great chance for us to practice recall with the whistle. When she can't be in the water, she likes to be in her water dish. She even likes to sleep with her head resting on the edge of the dish. One night, during dinner (the people dinner), we started to hear a bubbling noise - Ziva's snout slipped into the water and she was blowing bubbles. She was saved from drowning by our noisy laughing.

Ziva is proving herself to be a very calm, laid-back dog. This evening she had her nostrils thoroughly examined by a one-year-old. Although she was quickly rescued, I think she was rather enjoying the attention. She and little Leah continued to follow each other around all evening.

The care and training of Ziva and the other guide dog puppies is expensive. In an effort to raise funds to provide amazing dogs to people who need them, Guide Dogs of Texas has explored many methods of fundraising. Recently, a guide dog iPhone application (scratch the sleeping puppy's belly until his leg shakes, pet the dog until he licks your iPhone screen) has become available. Guide Dogs of Texas will receive $1 for every download. Here is a link for more information

Friday, February 27, 2009

Sleeping on the Job

If a guide dog is supposed to be quiet and unobtrusive in public, then Ziva is napping her way to an A+.

Ziva took a trip to the Texas State Capitol where she spent some time on the House Floor (literally!).  We were there to lobby on behalf of midwives who provide very safe and cost-efficient maternity care.  Ziva managed to slip in a few naps.

Price checking at Home Depot can be tedious but the time flies if you can doze.

There is nothing like a good book at the library to put a dog to sleep.

And after all that hard work, a puppy needs to come home and take a nap!

Ziva needed all that sleep so she would be available to help Ben with his science report.

With that teetering tower of library books, Ziva had to stay alert.

Ziva has mastered the art of catching naps when we are out and about, reserving her energy to dash around wildly for more than an hour squeaking her pink and green dinosaur while the boys tried to watch a Star Wars movie.  It's a wonder no one ripped out the squeaker.  They must really love her!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Puppy Love!

Ziva has been with us for three weeks now, and we have been out and about to more shopping establishments that we usually hit in six months. Ziva's "curriculum" includes lots of visits to stores and downtown so she can get used to all the sights and sounds. The boys (11-year-old Ben, 7-year-old Evan and 4-year-old Marten) have enjoyed the browsing time in the Target toy isle. Marten loves pushing all the buttons on the noisy toys. On our most recent visit, he found a toy dinosaur that growled loudly, chomped its jaws, and flapped its arms - only inches from Ziva's nose. Ziva cocked her head but was otherwise unimpressed.

Three days after Ziva arrived, Maddie (aka "Matilda the Hun") came for a three-week visit while her people went on vacation. Ziva and Maddie were the same size when Maddie arrived, but that is no longer the case! The dogs have had a blast playing and we are a tad bit curious to find out what is going to happen with all Ziva's energy when Maddie leaves.

Ziva is cuddly and loveable and clearly misses the puppy-pile-ups of her past. She can sleep through anything - our homeschool science co-op (photo at left), light-saber battles (Evan received light sabers for his birthday yesterday) and even the doorbell.

Ziva has charmed everyone with her good behavior when she has been out and about working. I'll have to appoint one of the boys as photographer so we can get some working photos. It is so much easier to snap photos while she is sleeping.