Monthly Archives: September 2011

Good Times, Bad Times, Fun Times, Sad Times

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This was taken on her first day at my house. Age 7 weeks.

I just received the good news that this little ball of fur has completed her training at The Seeing Eye and is ready for her “town walk”. It’s always great to see the dogs in action, guiding their handler through crowded streets, holding them back from traffic and in general, just doing their job.  What a change from a playful little pup!

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What kid doesn't love the snow?

When the puppies go back to the Seeing Eye for training, yes, it’s hard to let go. You worry if they will make it, how they will adjust, will they miss those special little things you did for them. (I had a habit of giving a good night biscuit). It’s very much like when your child goes off to school or camp or the military. I always wondered if she was eating, how was she sleeping, would she be a good learner.  It’s not easy-you think about them frequently.  But, when you hear a blind person talk about the difference a guide dog makes, the independence that is achieved, you want to do it all over again.

She and my grandson were fast friends

One thing I never considered though, was the effect of the pups leaving on my grandson.  He was a year old when Ginger came to me and they were inseparable whenever he was at my house.  The only other thing he cared to play with when he visited was my iPhone.  When Ginger left to go back for training, my grandson was a little over 2.  He was so devastated he didn’t mention her name for a year.  When my last pup came-and she came only a month after Ginger returned to the Seeing Eye-he would never call her by name.  Only “puppy”.  Ginger returned to me a little over a year after she left.  She had completed training but was never ‘matched’ to the right person.  I hope I never forget the look on my grandson’s face when he came to visit and Ginger was there in her same old spot,  Pure joy.  Suddenly, everything was right with his world.  Ginger was Ginger and he started calling puppy by her name.

The “A” Team:

Fast Friends

I am still caught off guard when my grandson says things like “Ginger is sad” and when I ask why, he tells me “because she misses (the puppy)”.  My heart breaks.  It’s hard enough for us adults, I can’t imagine what he must feel or think.  But, I hope one day he will understand.  Fortunately, kids are resilient, and, while he may not understand for a while, I know eventually he will.  And, he will share in the pride and joy when a dog we raise fulfills her purpose in helping another person  have a better life.  And he will know he had a part in it.

Ginger on her town walk

P.S.  I am not using puppy’s name due to the fact she is at the Seeing Eye in training and hopefully she will be matched.  However, I wouldn’t want a student who might happen across this blog to form any preconceptions in case they are matched with her.

A few pics of her growing up:

@ 16 weeks with her sibs. She's in the middle.

Enjoying the summer afternoon

At the Jerzy shore

Chicago

I guess Ginger was right-I’m not so hot keeping up with this blog. I’m probably not going to do much better either.

My corner of the world got a little larger last weekend when I went to Chicago. I LOVE Chicago! There’s always something to do or see. Millennium Park is usually a must see for me but, unfortunately, not this weekend.

I used my iPhone 4 a lot. We all know those DSLRs can be quite heavy! I’m wondering if I should invest in an in between camera…..Hmmm…that’s a decision for another day.

Every morning, I trekked to Starbucks. I think I’m hooked now on the whole Starbucks experience. Kind of nice-like a little community. I took this on the way there one morning. It is arguably one of my best iPhone shots. (btw, these are all iPhone shots).

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It was taken with Camera+ app and then I applied the HDR filter.
This gentleman seemed to be the official greeter for the local Starbucks. He knew everybody and everyone knew him. He was there every morning.

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The Lincoln Park zoo is a favorite of mine, along with the nature museum, butterfly pavilion and conservatory. I had an hour or 2 to kill and dashed in for a quick visit.
First, the conservatory:

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Inside:

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The fruit of the sausage tree: (who knew?)

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On to the zoo: ( remember, it’s all happening at the zoo)

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Water fountain just inside the gate:

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I think it’s so cool that it’s made with elephants. If that is ever for sale, I definitely want it. 🙂

It was really hot that afternoon so I got lucky. The polar bear was swimming around to keep cool. What a beautiful animal! He looked so cuddly too, tho I know better. Haha. The kids just loved him.

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I rushed through one or 2 more exhibits but, sadly, it was time to go.

Still Flying

bc197a (3 of 4) by victry1
bc197a (3 of 4), a photo by victry1 on Flickr.

I did this for the Be Creative Challenge 197 over at Elements Village.com. I found the challenges to be the best way to learn to do stuff. We follow various tutorials but use our own images and ideas. Another words, it’s not just canned. If you want to learn or improve your skills, please come on over. You do not need to have the latest version of Elements.