Saturday, May 05, 2012

Otis leaves for college....

Good bye hugs and wishes to out to Otis. He was officially turned back to NEADS yesterday to begin his advance training. I have no doubt he will join the ranks of "service dog" and we anxiously await the reports of his training (as does Kelli and Rick) and look forward to seeing him as a trained and matched dog in the November graduation.

It's May????

What have we hear on this fine day in May??
Two little chicks!!! Actually they hatched out when we were away seeing Ginger, so sometime either the 25 or 26th of April. I wasn't so sure that we were even going to get chicks. Out two hens had gone broody about a month ago. Since silky hens are known for going broody at anytime, I thought they could be faking it.. but I was wrong.The babies are so cute, and goodness know what color they will be (or "what") they are.. but we are sure enjoying them. Especially Abbie who calls them "my babies"
We have had the most beautiful spring. The boys are anxious to get out on the new grass, but I don't like to open the pasture until June, if I can get away with it. That way we have "grass" until September. However, we do have a smaller grass area for early spring grazing, which they got to enjoy.
Back to the birdies... I don't know if we have two mothers and two babies, or one Mom and an Aunt. Either way, you can see that they are well guarded by both.
Abbie was brave enough to hop up on Silver and "ride" him in one evening when we were heading to the barn. He's such a gentle old horse and I feel so happy to see him carry my little grandbaby. By the smile on her face.. I think you can tell how she feels about horseback riding.

talk about a busy weekend

Why is it, some weekends, there just isn't much happening and others... it feels like we run and race to get it all in. It would be nice if there could be just a little bit to do each weekend, but I guess that's not the way it works. Norton has been such a good boy and such a fun dog to work with. We are really enjoying the time with him. Abbie thinks he's pretty cool.

One things on my training  list with these dogs, it taking them to the movies. There was a nice movie playing this weekend "The Lucky One".. so we called Rick and Kelli and along with Otis, we took the service dogs to the movies!!! Our local theatre is a restaurant as well, it's so nice to go, have a "sit down" meal and enjoy a show. Both dogs just snoozed under the table and at the end of the film, people who had been sitting next to us,never even knew the dogs were there until it was time to leave.
Sunday morning, I confess, we skipped out on church. Ed and Rick had signed up for a motorcycle ride called the "Patriot Ride". Where all proceeds go to help veterans. After having a week of rain, it was nice to see the sun and made it perfect (well, tad cold still) day for the ride. They said there were at least 400 bikes.

Kelli and I took Abbie, and the service dogs down to see the bikes and the start of the ride. Abbie thought the bikes were really neat, and wanted to have her picture taken "sittin on Papa's bike"...
We had a fun time showing off the service dogs as well. It was a perfect place to talk about the NEADS program, especially where they (NEADS) have a whole program of dogs for veterans. People were really interested in learning about that.

As usual, Norton got a lot of attention. He is just so "different looking" that people are attracted to him. As you can tell, he is more than happy to make a new friend.
But you can be sure, that Camille wasn't going to let all that go to just the service puppies. She was sure to make her presence known as well!!!
As we were checking out all the bikes, Abbie spotted a purple one (her newest favorite color). It happened to belong to a nice young gal who was more than happy to let Abbie try it out. Abbie was thrilled....
We watched the bikes roar out of the parking lot on to their ride. Abbie had been so good that a bit of time on the playground was in order. She was right in her glory.. seeing and sitting on the bikes, and then time on her favorite slide. Reminds one that sometimes just the simple things can be so much fun.

Norton had fun seaside... the wind blowing threw his curls... but we wanted to meet the bikes at the end of the ride, so we didn't spend much time at the beach. I promised both him and Abbie we would be back.
As it turned out, we really didn't have to rush. We arrived at the end of the ride long before the bikes. But there were plenty of folks to talk with -- again people interested int he service dogs.. Including Mr. Angus King.. the former Governor of Maine!!! He was more than happy to pose with the dogs and had all kinds of questions about them and the program. We were sure to tell him about the veteran's program they have, and he was quite impressed.

Abbie was so good, she enjoyed as much attention as the dogs......

And then you heard them.. even before you saw them. The low rumble of motorcycles... and it just seemed like there were more and more and more.

Here's biker Rick......
And my personal favorite biker!!! Ed said the ride was very good, organized and a nice route. He'll certainly be doing more rides this summer. I might even hop on back and go... but today, it was just fun to watch.
After the ride, we decided to go and get something to eat. We brought Abbie and two dogs into the restaurant and I have to say, I'm not sure who was better behaved. It was such a nice afternoon... until poor Rick. Guess his battery said enough.. and he needed a push to get his bike started again. He was pretty happy it didn't happen on the ride.. even though there were helping hands...
 We got home and I saw that a flight was coming in with soldiers that were heading out. I always like to do at least one "greeters" with the service dogs.. and since the time on this one was so good.. we packed up and headed out again.
There were 50 or so service men on the flight. It was a quick lay over, but you know how much they appreciate everyone's greetings. Norton, as usual, was a big hit. So, it certainly has been a Sunday of "veterans" if you will... but aren't we blessed that there are men and women who chose this profession for us... thank you to all of them