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Thursday, April 26, 2012


Thursday, April 12, 2012
Phyllis and I, with FLD Autumn and Scout, visit all five second-grade classrooms at Surline Elementary in West Branch. 

FLD Scout poses near copies of the book, Training a Guide Dog, that Mrs. Matthews read with her class in preparation.

Phyllis, smart in her Lions' vest, talks to Mrs. Matthews' class about Leader Dogs for the Blind. Our FLDs are lying calmly--Scout is in a nice "down/stay" and keeps her eyes on me as I circle the group to take a picture.

Everything was fine until the end of our presentation in the third of five second-grade classrooms.

FLD Scout feels okay in the second class of second-graders. Here she lies near where the kids are gathered.

As long as our puppies stay calm, I said to the percolating little people in the third class on the schedule, you can file by and pet them. My OK released a deluge of squeals from the 23 kids who swarmed us like catfish in a feeding pond.

Scout had been sitting next to me, but faced with a tsunami of outstretched arms and tiny hands, she stood up, ducked her head behind me, and tried to melt into the wall.

Scout, heel, I said and eased her closer to the door, sacrificing Phyllis and FLD Autumn to the fray.

Autumn took it all in stride.

FLD Autumn thinks the kids in Mrs. Matthews' room are comfy.

Two classrooms (with more controlled greetings) later FLD Scout wasn't the only one who was relieved our speaking engagement was over.

FLD Autumn averts her gaze. She looks like she's thinking, "What is it about no eye-contact that they don't understand?"

Looks like I have some work to do, I said to Phyllis as we drove home.

Autumn conks out in the van on the drive home.  Scout sneaks up front to curl at Phyllis's feet on the passenger side.  "A tired puppy is a good puppy!"

....more to come!


  1. Leader Dogs always think kids are comfy :-) Looks like they took it all in stride and did a good job. Breezy is going to a nursing home on Sat. ... her first "engagement".

    1. Well, Autumn did better than Scout. And Scout did fine until the petting part, then she just didn't want anything to do with them. But we're working on it....And I'm sure Breezy with be a big hit at the nursing home!