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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Happy Holidays!

Thinking of Dutch this holiday season. Wasn't he a cutie-pie?

MERRY CHRISTMAS
ONE AND ALL!

FLD Dutch, December 2012.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Works for young 'ens, too!

The morning after our annual cookie bake (this time held at our northern house), my kindergarten-aged grandniece Lisette said, "Marise took my toy and I was playing with it."

I glanced over her head. Lisette's younger sister Marise was happily choo-chooing our wooden train around the living room floor. I glanced back at Lisette, who was looking up at me with pleading blue eyes.

Mothers? I said to my sister and sister-in-law who sat at the kitchen table with their daughters. The grandnieces' parents had stepped out for a bit. Any advice?

My professional-counselor-and-mother-of-three-girls sister, after learning of the issue said, "Marise, how about you give the train back to Lisette since she was playing with it first. After two minutes, then you can play with it. Okay?"

No reply from the living room, just a faint choo-choo as the train left the station. Lisette's eyes were boring holes in my head. I guess it was up to me to come up with a solution.

I found Marise in my writing room, guiding the train around the dog crate. Hey Marise, I said, reaching for the train. Let's let Lisette play with this for a while, okay? I handed the train to Lisette; she and the toy left the room at warp speed. Marise barely had time to realize it was gone. Her face turned sour. 

But I had an idea.

REDIRECTION!

Works on puppies...

Marise, I have something just for you, I said, opening the closet door. On the top shelf was a basket of little stuffed animals. Here, would you like to play with this?

Marise's face sweetened as she took the basket. She reached in, pulled out a pink fuzzy animal and said, "A flamingo!" At least, that's what I thought she said, because after all, that's what it was.

Problem solved, for now. I dashed back into the kitchen where I was trying to finish baking the cookies I never got to the night before. A few moments later I heard little voices wafting in from the living room. I peeked. Huddled on the floor together were Marise and Lisette, taking a train trip with all the stuffed animals.

Success!

A young girl with blond hair dressed in a purple shirt is reaching for a door knob. A black lab is following her. In the background is another young girl dressed ina pink shirt and skirt. She has a green dog toy in her hands. They are in a room that has a dog crate to the left and the back of a wooden rocking chair to the right.
Lisette and Marise have fun with the dog toys, too. Gus loves hanging out with them.

  

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Puppy update!

Received this email from Leader Dogs for the Blind today! An update on Dutch!

Dutch has passed his vet physical and has been neutered. He has been doing well with his playmates and has been spending time with our dogcare and volunteer team members. One stated that he likes to roll around on his back & stretch and is very talkative. I have attached some pictures of Dutch spending time in the enrichment room with one of our volunteers. He is quite gorgeous; takes great pictures!  Hope you enjoy!
Dutch is also scheduled to start phase 1 training on Monday, Nov. 25th.

Thank you for your hard work, time, & dedication to raising Dutch for Leader Dogs for the Blind!
Have a great day!

They even sent along these photos...





Dogspeed, my golden boy!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Puppy-less puppy-fixes

I am Future Leader Dog puppy-less.

A woman with short brown hair wearing a red fleece jacket and blue jeans kneels on one knee next to a full-grown golden retriever who is standing and wearing a blue, white and red bandana that says, "Future Leader Dog."  The two are next to a black statue of a german shepherd dog. Behind them are glass doors with white letters that tell the hours of the kennel.
FLD Dutch and I pose at the entrance to the Leader Dogs for the Blind kennel on return day.

Side photo of a full-grown golden retriever. He is facing to the right and is wearing a red, white, and blue collar.
Dutch in the intake room.
 
Evenings around here are calmer now that FLD Dutch is on his way. He went back to Leader Dogs for the Blind on November 11 to begin his formal training. 


A close-up shot of a round metal tag that says "Leader Dogs" with the number 14157 beneath it. The tag is attached to a chain collar and it is resting on the golden fur of a golden retriever dog.
Dutch's new tag sporting his "dog" number.
When there is a puppy underfoot, I forget how easy it is to care for my older dogs. CC'd Gus is a professional couch potato. Except when he gets the rips.

Last night, when I went out to stoke the fire before bed, was the first time since Dutch left that Gus zoomed around the yard. Even old Gypsy got into the game a bit, barking and snarling as he kicked up leaves on tight turns around her.

On his return, Dutch bounced away just like all my other puppies. Now the wait begins.

Front shot of a golden retriever dog lying on a tile floor.
Leader Dog in-training Dutch relaxes while I finish up some paperwork. 

Luckily, I have other opportunities to get my puppy-fix.


PUPPIES!

My friends, Phyllis and Dick, home Leader Dog mom Amber. On November 2, Amber delivered her fourth litter - nine black puppies. I got to serve as "mid-wife" to the Lab/Golden mix pups.

Three boys and six girls. They are two weeks old now, eyes opening and they are pushing up on all fours.

A small black puppy is being held in a person's hand. The eyes are just opening and the tongue is just sticking out.
One Amber-puppy, just opening his eyes at two-weeks of age.


PRISON PUPPY-RAISING PROGRAM

Last August,  Leader Dogs for the Blind coordinated a puppy-raising program at the Chippewa Correctional Facility in Kincheloe, Michigan in the Upper Peninsula (UP). My puppy counselor, Tammy, will also be puppy counselor for the prison raisers. And I get to help!

The Chippewa puppy-raisers in August 2013 with their four puppies and FLD Dutch and FLD Harper.

We take monthly trips to the UP to help the prison-raisers and to take the puppies out on "furlough." There are now six puppies at Chippewa, so this can be a challenge. Fortunately, there are past and present puppy-raisers in the UP who have offered to help. While the prison puppies are exposed to many different distractions at Chippewa, there are a few things which they need to experience that they can't get in prison. For instance, traffic and a variety of people, like kids and women.

This week, Tammy and I are traveling to the prison with Deb, the Puppy Development supervisor at Leader Dogs. After our work at Chippewa, we head to the west side of the UP to the town of Baraga. A prison there wants to start a puppy-raising program too. I will be taking a Chippewa puppy with me to check them out.

Keep posted as I continue with updates on the Michigan prison-puppy raising program....and updates on Dutch's progress at Leader Dogs!


(An inside source told me that Dutch has passed his physicals!)

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Not just for puppies...

The 13th Assistance Dog Blog Carnival is being hosted this month by Brooke on her blog Ruled by Paws. The topic she chose is "Lessons."

Here is my post...


Positive training techniques. Reward the behavior you want. Ignore the behavior you don't want. Manage the behavior for which you don't have time to train.

These are things I've learned in raising five puppies for Leader Dogs for the Blind.

Sounds simple, and it is, for the most part. At least with Future Leader Dog (FLD) Dutch, the golden-retriever puppy I've been raising for the last year. He's due to return to Leader Dogs on November 11 to begin his formal guide dog training.

Training a husband is another matter.

For the six-hundredth and twenty-ninth time, or so it seemed, I picked up tiny wet bits of torn tissue from between Dutch's front paws. He looked up at me with forlorn eyes. Busted!

Lucky for him, he doesn't play keep away with what he steals from our bedroom trashcan. He just takes it into the living room, a four-legged fuzzy shredding machine.

I've puppy-proofed kitchen and bathroom trashcans by hiding them in cabinets beneath the sinks. The can in my writing room stands almost three feet tall, preventing the curious pup from sticking his snout inside.

But the bedroom trashcan? Ah, that's been a struggle to manage. No cabinet to hide it in. When I put it on my husband's dresser out of reach, it invariably finds its way back to the floor.

And I'm picking up tissue bits.

I suppose I should have bought a tall can, like the one in my office, but I never remembered to get one when I went to town.

So I tried blocking the bedroom door with a section of x-pen. Instead of stepping over it, my husband slid it out of the way. And neglected to slide it back on his way out.

And I picked up tissue bits.

I pleaded. "Please, can you keep the bedroom door blocked off?"

"Why don't we just shut the door?" he negotiated. "Great, that'll work!" I said.

And still I picked up tissue bits.

I nagged. "Shut the door behind you!!!"

Yep, more tissue bits.

As I tossed a treat to Dutch, who was lying on his mat chewing on an elk antler, it dawned on me. I was going about this the wrong way. I needed to find a way to reward my husband for shutting the door.

"Honey," I said one day when I noticed him shutting the door on his way out of the bedroom. "Come here." I planted a gigantic kiss on his handsome face.

"What was that for?" he asked.

"I'll give you a kiss every time you remember to shut the bedroom door."

Sometimes Dutch offers behaviors that have previously garnered him a treat. If I sit, will I get a treat? How about if I lie down? What about if I swing into heel position at your side, will that get me a treat? What about this? Or this?

My husband ran over to the bedroom door and quickly opened and shut it three times. He sauntered back to me with a wily grin. Yep, he got three kisses!

My strategy worked great, until my husband returned from a three-day out of town conference. He was like a nine-month old puppy that suddenly forgot everything he learned.

When I reminded him to shut the door, he replied, "Can we talk about higher value treats?"

A bearded man dressed in blue jeans and a red t-shirt is sitting on a green love seat. A 65 pound black lab is on his lap. His left hand is petting a brown brindle mutt who is sprawled out next to him. At his feet is a 65 pound golden retriever. A pair of shoes is on the green colored rug in front of him.
My sweet-heart and our pups. Cc'd Gus is on his lap and our old mutt, Gypsy is next to him. FLD Dutch is at his feet. No tissue bits to be found!


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, my blondie-boy!

Yes, FLD Dutch turns one-year-old today.

Luckily, I have him for a bit longer - his return to Leader Dogs for the Blind is scheduled for 11/11/13.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DUTCH!

A close shot of a black lab head (looking down) on the left next to a golden retriever looking  right at the camera. They are squeezed next to each other on the floor of the front passenger side  seat of a van.
Cc'd Gus still likes to ride on the passenger seat floor. It's a squeeze.

Here is Dutch, in the same spot in the van, when he first came home with us last November.

A big THANK YOU to Dutch's parents,

LD Mom Indy and LD Dad Alphie

and their host families.

Dutch has been lots of fun!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Gentleman Dutch

A very calm and well-behaved FLD Dutch joined a contingent of Red Hat ladies at a luncheon and musical performance in Saginaw yesterday.

Good boy, Dutch!

Eight ladies dressed in purple wearing fancy red hats pose with a golden retriever in front of them. The dog is 11 months old and is wearing a blue jacket stating that he is in training to be a Future Leader Dog.
FLD Dutch with the ladies.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day!

FLD Dutch attended a gourmet wine dinner at the Rose Valley Winery Saturday night. 

An eight-month-old golden retriever is lying down in the center of the photo looking at the camera. He is wearing a light blue training vest from Leader Dogs for the Blind. Behind him is a table with a black table cloth to the ground. A woman is seated on a while folding chair to his left and a man to his right, who is holding his leash.
FLD Dutch relaxes on his mat at the dinner under the big tent.

He might have been thinking it would be nice if his father, Alphie, could see him now.  What a big boy he has grown to be!

Wishing Leader Dog Dad Alphie
a very happy Father's Day!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day



this puppy, on Memorial Day


this puppy padded gently
at my side
among the tombstones
and flags that marked lost soldiers

this puppy sniffed softly
in tune
with reverent feeling
amidst the dead on a chill morning

this puppy sat proudly
not forgetting
and held still for a photo
when he never would before

this puppy gazed calmly
as peace
surrounded us and geese honked overhead
in salute for service


Sunday, May 12, 2013

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!

FLD Dutch wishes his mom, Indy, a very happy day!

Dear Mom,

I know you're probably worried about me, but I'm doing fine! I miss you, but most of the time I'm having too much fun to be sad about not seeing you. My puppy-raiser makes training a BLAST and she takes me all kinds of places. Just last week we went hunting for morel mushrooms (can you believe it?) And then we went to see our 2nd-graders and this time we walked with them to a greenhouse. I loved smelling all the flowers, but they wouldn't let me plant a marigold for you like the other kids did for their mothers.

Thank you for giving me such a good start in life, Mom. My raiser tells me all the time that I'm going to have a very important job to do one day. I'm trying real hard to make you proud!

love and licks, Dutch


FLD Dutch at work with his 2nd-graders.



Guster-buster rocket pup!

Cc'd Gus wants to make sure we wish his mom, Sienna, a very happy Mother's Day, too! As you can see, he is in his glory in our north woods, and still running to me like a shot.

Friday, May 10, 2013

FLD Dutch goes 'shroomin'

I was honored.

The "mushroom queens" invited FLD Dutch and me on a morel mushroom hunt.

Unless you live in Northern Michigan, you might not understand the significance of the honor. Morel hunters guard their sacred grounds with their lives.

Stephanie, her mom Fran, her sister Yevette and her daughter Lilly, (and Yevette's friend Jay) didn't even ask me to wear a burlap bag over my head as we drove to their secret spot deep in the Huron National Forest.

That, my friends, is an honor.

Lilly gave us all handmade name tags as we grabbed our onion bags to head out into the woods. My tag read, "Morel Adams." Another honor--I guess she thinks I take a lot of photographs!

A 7-months-old golden retriever puppy is in the foreground sniffing a log in the early spring woods--the forest floor is covered with dried out leaves and the trees are barely greening with leaves. There are three people in the background.
FLD Dutch sniffs out some fungi on an old log. Those aren't morels!

The evening was warm, the woods dry, the morels small and elusive. Stephanie said, "We just need a bit of rain for them to really pop."

A short-haired woman in the center of the picture is holding up a thumb-sized morel mushroom. She is holding a red mesh onion bag with her mushrooms in it. She is wearing a grey tshirt and blue jeans. A woman on the left side of the photo is wearing a pink long sleeved tshirt and blue jeans, with a light blue sweatshirt tied around her waist and a blue bandana on her head. She also holds a red mesh bag with morels in it. An 11-year-old girl is to the right of the photo. She has blond hair and is wearing a pint short-sleeved shirt and blue jeans. The background is a spring hardwood forest with light colored leaves on the ground.
Stephanie holds up a nice morel. Her mom, Fran is on the left with her onion bag, and Lilly is to the right. Lilly is an eagle-eyed morel hunter!

After three or four hours, the veteran crew had a fairly good take. This rookie found three.

A closeup shot of two small brown morel mushrooms peeking up beneath some green grass, leaves and twigs.
My first two were a pair!

A close up of a brown morel mushroom that had popped up among a bunch of dry, light brown leaves on the forest floor.
This one stuck out like a sore thumb! (sorry)
A brown morel mushroom held in my left hand to demonstrate its size. The mushroom is about as long as my longest finger.
Here's some perspective for you on its size.














I admit I became distracted.

A six-petaled yellow flower on a long stalk, with about six stamen coming out from the middle of it. It is bending forward just a bit. Everything else in the photo is out of focus. To the right at the bottom is a green spottled leaf and to the left a small branch with some leaves sprouting off the end.
A yellow trout lily.

A three petaled white trillium flower bows to the camera, with the background of green leaves and a tree trunk out of focus.
Trillium!

Wildflowers bloomed. Natural springs bubbled. The setting sun cast long shadows through the hazy-budding trees.

Shot from above, a golden retriever puppy leans over a green moss-covered bank to drink water from a natural spring. The spring has leaves floating in it and his lapping is creating small rings across the water. Trees are reflected in the water.
FLD Dutch laps a drink in a natural spring.

I said, The rate of reinforcement isn't high enough.

My comment would have been funnier amongst a group of dog trainers.

If the morels were as copious as the deer droppings that Dutch sniffed out, I might not have lost focus. 

Deer-doo hunter* FLD Dutch looks at the camera. "What?" he seems to be saying.


*Dont' worry, FLD Dutch got lots of practice with "leave it" during our hunt and his ingestion of said morsels was very limited.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Yes, he can.

Down to the wire, even after an extended deadline for submissions to the 11th Assistance Dog Blog Carnival (ADBC). This edition is being hosted by Frida Writes. If you don't have a clue what the ADBC is, visit the ADBC home page to find out, and to catch up on past carnivals.

This post is my submission for the 11th ADBC, the theme of which is Resources and Tools.


We settled at our place behind one of the long tables in the conference room at Leader Dogs for the Blind. Or rather, we tried to settle. My back and/or hip screamed at me in a knot for some unknown reason, and FLD Dutch was up to his new tricks.

I had placed his "mat" next to my chair on the right side, to give a bit of distance between Dutch and Cheri's petite Chocolate Lab puppy on my left, and asked him to settle. He slid into a down, and rested his chin on his front left paw.

For one second.

He popped up. I ignored him.

He lay back down, chin to the floor. I dropped a piece of kibble next to his snout, which he snarfed up like a great white shark.

He looked up at me. BARK! I flinched.

Quiet, I whispered. His head dropped. I waited. He looked back at me but put his head back down when a treat was not forthcoming.

I dropped a piece of kibble. SHARK ATTACK.

Pretty much it went like this for Dutch and me most of the morning--the first of three days of on-campus "Puppy Counselor Training" at Leader Dogs. It was a good thing I only fed him half of his breakfast.

I was part of a team of over 40 volunteer puppy counselors that act as liaisons between the 450 volunteer puppy raisers and Leader Dogs for the Blind. Our responsibilities are to assist the raisers in the training of their puppies and to organize monthly outings to practice specific skills.

This was our yearly training intensive to become better counselors. Deb Donnelly, the new Puppy Development Supervisor that Leader Dogs hired just over a year ago, is a Karen Pryor Academy certified clicker trainer, and she brings the same positive reinforcement techniques to her people training. Deb had asked us for specific issues that she could address during our three days. I was ready--I couldn't get Dutch to settle and suspected that my reinforcement timing was off.

After lunch another counselor, who happened to be puppy-less, offered to take Dutch. My back needed the break.

Dutch played his same tricks with her as I watched from across the room.

A golden retriever puppy in a blue vest is lying on a brown carpet behind a black chair and a white table, looking up at a red-haired woman who is holding his leash. She is wearing an orange and yellow print shirt with black pants.
FLD Dutch looks up for a reward.
Now the golden retriever is lying down facing the camera, with his nose to the floor. In this picture you can see two other women sitting behind Dutch's handler.
Here Dutch has turned around and is in his typical "settle" position--just before he vocalizes...

At last, Dutch was about to become the class demo. Deb talked to us about products to help calm anxious puppies. Thundershirts. Rescue Remedy. Lavender oils. As she spoke she nonchalantly meandered over to Dutch and lightly spritzed lavender over his back. He leapt up, snorting, and jumped away from his mat. He cautiously sniffed the mat, but backed up to the end of his leash.

Eventually, he slid down. Not on the mat.

Deb moved a chair to the center of the room and asked to take Dutch. She picked up his mat, walked him to the chair and sat down. She never said a word to him, just held his leash and placed the mat next to her chair. She continued her lecture.

Meanwhile, Dutch barked and whined and pulled and sat down, lied down, jumped up, and walked from one end of his leash to the other. Deb continued to calmly hold the other end of his leash, ignoring him, but very aware of his antics.

At one point, Dutch seemed to "give it up" and lied down on his mat. Shortly after, Deb dropped a bit of kibble near his belly, so he had to curl around to get it. He looked up at her, but she was focused on the rest of us.

He fussed. She ignored.

He lied down again. She waited. As she reached behind to her treat bag, Dutch's head whipped up in anticipation. She drew her hand away and held it open to show him there was nothing there. He dropped his head to the floor.

The 7-month-old golder retriever puppy, in a blue vest, is lying on a mat on brown carpet, looking up and back at a woman seated in a chair. She is dressed in blue jeans and a blue shirt. She is holding his leash with her right hand, and reaching toward the dog with her left hand. Her head is bent down looking at the dog.
FLD Dutch anticipates the treat from Deb.

She waited. He sighed. Another piece of kibble dropped out of the sky between his belly and his rear legs. He shifted position. She waited and eventually rewarded in the same manner. Finally, Dutch rolled over onto his side and fell asleep.

FLD Dutch has rolled over onto his side and is gazing across the room at me. Deb is relaxed and explaining lots of great things to us.

Deb only used about four treats during the entire session. "Of course, he is very tired," she said. Without saying a word about my behavior, Deb made it obvious that a couple of things I did, and didn't do, contributed to Dutch's superstitious bark and the difficulty in adding duration to his settle.

By the end of the second day of counselor training, more than one person asked me if I had a new puppy. Dutch was a different dog, no doubt. And I was learning to wait for the reward-able moment, and to place the reward where it would encourage the behavior I wanted.

I am grateful to have Deb as a resource, not only for guiding the training of my Future Leader Dog, but also when I need help in advising the puppy raisers in my group. Thank you Deb, for all you do!


Friday, May 3, 2013

Take time to...

A closeup shot of the face of a Golden Retriever puppy looking down and sniffing a yellow crocus. His snout is a little bit crinkled and there are dew drops on his black nose.
FLD Dutch smells the first blooming crocus daffodil in our front yard...

A second photo of the Golden Retriever puppy sniffing the same flower, but now the flower is missing a petal! There is some blue flowers in the background.
...and take a little taste! I don't think he likes it.


Tuesday, April 30, 2013

11th Assistance Dog Blog Carnival--call for submissions

Just found out that the deadline for the 11th ADBC has been extended until May 4. That's good for me, because I hope to have a post up before then!

In the meantime, if you are a blogger and are interested in participating, check out Sharon Wachsler's blog to learn more about how to submit a post. Wachsler is the founder of the ADBC.

This edition of the ADBC is hosted by Frida Writes. The theme she selected is Resources and Tools.

Stay tuned.....


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Inadvertencies

Four days ago, I left my back door on cross-country skis. A freak spring storm dropped four inches of sleet-sugar snow and I was not going to miss an opportunity. The trails through our 13 acres led me to the Rifle River Recreation Area and thousands more acres of wilderness.

I took cc'd (career-changed) Gus along. 

Gus approaches like he wants to herd me back onto my skis. I had taken them off so I could shoot a photo.

As young, strong and exuberant as Gus is, after an hour and a half I decided to turn toward home--no way was I going to be able to carry his 70 pounds back if he crapped out on me. Never mind what would happen if I crapped out on him!

It was a good choice. The last half-mile was a put-your-head-down-and-slide-one-ski-ahead-of-the-other slog back to the house. But we lived to tell about our wonderful last ski of the 2012/2013 winter.

Today
Yesterday's rain (and today's sun) is making the snow sigh like the wicked witch of the west, "I'm melting, melting! Oh what a life!"

I headed out my back door again, this time clad in hiking boots, not skis, this time with all three dogs. What a joyous, muddy, snowmelt mess! Water ran downhill like miniature waterfalls and filled the hollows into pools.

Dutch's pawprint in the last of the snow along the trail.
"Come on, keep up!" Dutch seemed to say as he looks back at me at the beginning of our hike.

Grousehaven Lake was still frozen over, but open water kissed the shoreline around Grebe Lake. I thought to take some pictures from the iced-in fishing dock on Grebe, which was accessible by a long pier.

The fishing dock on Grebe Lake.

Gypsy and Gus raced ahead. Dutch followed, attached to my waist by a long green lead.

KER PLUNK!

Just a few yards onto the pier, Dutch stepped off into open water; it was deep enough that he went all the way under. His head broke the surface like Shamu-the-whale, his front paws slapped the water like the fins of a circus seal. I guided him toward shore with the lead. He didn't have to swim much before his back paws touched bottom--he bounded onto dry land and shook himself silly.


"What happened?"

 SHAKE, RATTLE AND ROLL!







Dutch's first swim!



Toward the end of our hike, Dutch looks back at me. What do you suppose he is thinking?



Monday, April 1, 2013

Golden Deceiver

Dutch rears up onto Gus's back and snatches a muzzle full of Labby-neck. Gus ducks and bucks. The golden fur-ball flips, upended; an oversized dog pillow breaks his landing.

Gus postures in play, waiting for the next move, but Dutch lies motionless on his side. His eyes are half-closed.

Gus straightens up and looks over at us as if uncertain what to do. In a blink, Dutch launches a renewed attack, catching the older dog by surprise.

Possum Retriever!

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Close encounter with Easter bunnies

A few days before Easter, Andy and I took FLD Dutch to our favorite mid-week breakfast place, the New Sunrise Cafe in Lupton, MI.

As we entered, Dutch caught sight of an Easter display in the corner--two stuffed Easter bunnies and a basket of plastic eggs filled with candy.

Awhooooo, whooooo, whooooo! he crooned, pulling to sniff this new wonder. The breakfast club regulars seated in the back of the restaurant giggled.

I made like a tree to wait him out. When he stopped pulling he got a nice treat for dropping into a "sit." Good boy, Dutch!

I let him get close enough to stretch his nose, but then he slapped his big front paw and knocked one bunny out. A few steps back and another "sit" earned him a second treat.

That's enough. Time for Andy and me to eat. Aside from one WOOF! FLD Dutch settled nicely under our table, and later heeled to the restroom with me without the need of a single "leave it."

Before we left, I thought it might be fun to take a photo of Dutch with the bunnies. I was right! Check out the three shots I snapped before finally getting a HAPPY EASTER pose...





HAPPY EASTER!