A Visit to Jane Phillips Elementary

27 Oct

Hi, Friends –

I want dad to help me write a blog post all about the schools we’ve been visiting, but he says he wants to get some pictures taken first so we can show AND tell. That’s fine because I’m a little tired, but I’m also excited. I got to go to another school and meet another wonderful group of people. Today we went to Jane Phillips Elementary right here in town. We were asked to come in and talk to the book club because they had just finished a story of a dog who works for their person just like I work for Dad. The dog in the story had a different job, but we like to let people know that we come in all shapes, sizes, and breeds. You don’t just have to be a sight dog to be a secret service dog!

It was a great afternoon. We talked all about disability, and how sometimes you don’t always see what makes everyone different on the inside by looking at the outside. Then we talked about service dogs and how they can be just as different as their people. We shared some tips on understanding working dogs and how to help everyone be safe and happy.

After we presented the kids all got to meet me; each one of them gave me pets and treats! They were super nice and they had great questions and stories to share. As a special treat, the people all shared milkshakes while I got even more pets!

I sure hope we get to go back soon!

Casper’s Summer Barklog

29 Sep

Hi Friends –

It sure has been awhile since I’ve been able to get any time to write to you. You know we’d love to do it more, but Dad is cautious not to let me bore you with the mundane of the Dane. There have been so many little things that happen that we just don’t think fit into a blog post that would hold anyone’s interest. I’m just going to give you some highlights of our summer while we have a few free minutes. If I leave something or someone out, it’s not personal. Dad is giving me two pages, or less, so I have to think fast. He says we can chat more in the comments later, so if you have questions or comments, as always let ’em fly!

We’ve seen our one year anniversary of living in Oklahoma. I can say that I wasn’t entirely sure what zoomies on the plains would be like, but being here has been pretty great for all of us.

I really can’t believe Summer is over and Autumn is here. We had some really fun outings this summer. I would have to say that our trip to Branson, MO was the big one. We saw lots of friends and family, we had a busy weekend for sure, but why were we there again? Oh, that’s right – Mom & Dad got married! That’s a big deal,right? Yeah, I know it is. Dad is really happy that Mom chose him and his name. Really she chose me, and his basement monster, Pixie, but don’t tell him that; we have a good thing going here.

Another fun day was when we went to see my Papa Joe & Nana Mary. They are really Mom’s Dad and step-mom, but I know they love me like a Great-child. (Dad says that’s supposed to be grandchild – who’s post is this!?) Anyway! We went down to see them at their Eufaula Lake house. It’s always good to visit them; I hadn’t seen them since the wedding and it’s always too long in between visits. For me it’s too long in between visits to all my families, but I especially like their house because I like to go simmin’ in the lake. I didn’t get to go this time because the Canadian River empties into the lake and the water had extra yuck in it from the gates being opened. Papa Joe still took me for a boat ride though! That’s always fun, I like when my ears flap in the wind when we go fast! (Check out the pics below!) The weird part of the day was when we left Mom and the human puppies over-night. I understand, Dad had to work the next day, but I don’t like leaving them. We did drive all the way back to pick them up the next day, even after Papa and Nana offered to bring them all back. Dad says we went back because he didn’t want them to have to drive four hours round trip. I think Dad just misses Mom and is co-dependent or somethin’, but don’t tell him I said that, okay?

Back in August, Mom and Dad got a PM on Facebook from Wendy’s charge, Hunter, and his family. I was excited because I haven’t seen Wendy since the farm (Service Dog Project). We grew up together. Mom said they were coming through the area on their return from Colorado to Maine, and if it worked we might be able to have a play date. Of course I bugged Dad, like every day, to find out more. It turned out we would be able to take a trip to Kansas to see them. SUPER excited. But I played it cool.

Okay, maybe not THAT cool. We met at El Dorado State Park, if I remember correctly. (The park has a lake, we failed to go simmin’ in, by the way. – Just sayin’). It was super fun to be able to play together. I did get a little too excited to see her and she had to tell me to CHILL OUT. When I gave space for her to make sure Hunter was good she finally gave me a play bow and the race was on! I tell ya what, that chica is fast; she certainly left me tastin’ dust. I had to let her lap me a couple times and pick her up again on the corners. That was a really fun day. Mom & Dad really wish we lived closer so we could check in on them more. I’m happy Wendy picked Hunter, he’s a great kid. (Pictures of this below also!!!)

The youngest puppy has been taking horseback lessons at All-Star Therapy Group for quite a while now. It’s great, not only has she learned to ride and care for horses, but they help her with her ADHD. This group is fantastic! They help so many with disabilities, clearly they need their own post, and I’m sure we’ll make that happen. I just wanted to mention that they also have a Dane and we have finally been allowed to meet, and play together. His name is Barkley. He said he is about 7 human years old. He also says I still have a lot of puppy that I have to grow out of. I’m not sure what that means. He’s really laid back so I have to chill a bit with him. He doesn’t really like me to jump or play bitey face. It’s cool though, I’m just happy to have a new friend.

Oh, and since I’ve talked about them through this post, an update on the human puppies is in order. They are doing well, growing fast, and learning more and more every day. I keep them on task as best I can. I also have to remind Mom and Dad to not get too frustrated. We were all chatting last night before bed, and I had to remind them that training is a continuous process. I put it this way: I’m still Casper, but I’m not the same Casper I was at one year old when I chose to work for Dad. We receive compliments as individuals and a team that we are improving on so many things. Dad does a better job as a handler and just letting me dog. I do better at not rushing ahead, and I barely notice the little things like plastic grocery bags that used to spook me as a pup. He seemed to understand so I continued, would you expect me to have all the skills of a five year old service dog as a one year old? No, of course not, and every pup is different. We all have our own kinks, some we get over entirely, some we learn to manage. A pup is a pup, human or canine. Just because the girls speak your language doesn’t mean they don’t require the same work, or more, than I do as a service dog. It’s all training, all the time. Mom also said that middle school aged girls are more difficult than a dozen brand new Dane puppies at once, but that doesn’t mean the adventure isn’t worth it. All I know is that I sure love those puppies, even when they are acting like wild animals.


At the Lake:


Wind in our Ears


Little Puppy in the Setting Sun

Little Puppy in the Setting Sun


Me and my big puppy enjoying the boat ride

Me and my big puppy enjoying the boat ride


Wendy Woo:

Dad and Hunter. What a pair!

Dad and Hunter. What a pair!


Wendy Woo and Me

Wendy Woo and Me


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