NEW to the BLOG ! Check out the BLOG Archives on the Right.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Where do I begin ?

It has been a magical time of the year but it came with some highs and lows on the Farmstead.  I got to experience my first Christmas and Santa must have thought I was more nice then naughty.  I met some uncles, aunts, cousins and other family members who I have not met before along with taking my first BIG road trip.

The week before Christmas I was a Bell Ringer with my Mom and sister Aunna.  We were at the Hy-Vee store close to our house.  Lucky we got to ring the bell inside but it was pretty nice here so if we had to be outside it wouldn't have been that bad.  Mom brought music to play and toys for me to play with when it wasn't my turn to ring the bell.  Lots of people stopped and talked to us and I think we got lots of coins in our kettle.  Another family came after us.

Mom went shopping several times during the week.  Some I went along with and some she called "Power Shopping Trips" and I had to stay at home.  I think I helped Mom wrap gifts but she didn't think so.  I thought the packages on the floor were new play toys but I was wrong.  Mom had to wrap several of them twice and this time they stayed up on the table.

On Thursday before Christmas Mom told me we were taking a long trip to North Platte out in western Nebraska.  My Great-Grandma Keuter who was 101 & 1/2 passed away.  I went to my first funeral and I would like to tell you some of the stories they told about her during the funeral.  Grandma was born on the 4th of July.  When she was born out on a farm they used oil to light the house, wood to heat the house, had no indoor plumbing/electricity and horses.  During WWII she was involved in the Sutherland Group that volunteered at the North Platte Canteen.  Mom told me this was a group of people who provided food for the troops when they stopped in North Platte.  I remember watching a story about it on Public TV.   Mom said she can remember when she was a young girl going to the farm and getting to watch them milk the cows till Grandpa passed away and Grandma moved to town.  Mom said they would always buy city milk before going to the farm because they didn't like the fresh cow milk. 

Mom and I drove to North Platte the day before.  Let me tell you that story.  We were about a third of the way there when Mom got a phone call saying some luggage was left in Omaha and we needed to turn around and drive about 30 miles back to York, Nebraska and wait till someone brought the luggage.  Mom and I visited the Walmart store in York for about an hour and a half and bought a few more Christmas gifts, went and filled up the Ford with gas and messed around then went to McDonald's for some coffee.  Finally about 2+ hours later the luggage arrived and we were back on the road.  I am happy to announce I NEVER got car sick !!  We stayed at a local hotel - another first for me.  I also got to visit with some family I have never got to meet before along with their dog. 

Friday morning before the funeral Mom and my aunt Allison went to Walmart.  I have now been in three different Walmarts in three different cities in three days.    Mom said I did a wonderful job at down/stay during the funeral and a pretty good job at the luncheon afterwards.   After the funeral Mom and I drove back.   Again I am proud to say "No car sickness".

Saturday it was Christmas Eve.  Dad took Ruthie and I out to do the chores and mess around.  Later in the afternoon Dad and Mom went to visit my Grandma in Wahoo.  We didn't get to go along but I was kind of glad.  Ruthie and I needed our rest so that we could stay up and maybe see Santa come down the chimney.  Sad to report he is a sly guy and I never did get to see him.  When Mom and Dad got back home Dad watched TV while Mom made the dishes for Christmas.   I learned that night that getting up on the kitchen counter and licking the cream cheese Mom had out was not the thing to do !! 

CHRISTMAS DAY - It started out with Ruthie and I checking our stockings.  Santa did fill them however Mom said we would have to wait till later in the day to get them down.  Mom and Dad worked out on the treadmill and bike - said they were working off dinner before they had it - don't understand that but then they are human and I am a puppy.  Later in the afternoon some family arrived but not the usual gang.  Mom told me this one was the first one that Dad's father was not here.  He passed away suddenly this spring and his Mom was at the nursing home.  Because of the funeral Mom's family had to rearrange their plans and were not here either so it was a small Schense Christmas. 

I watched them play what Mom called "White Elephant" gift exchange - never did see an elephant - then they opened their gifts however Ruthie and I watched from behind the mud room gates.  Mom and Dad let us out after they opened gifts so we could open our stocking and I got soooooo excited I "peed my pants"  Mom brought in towels to clean it up and ended up stepping in it and said some words I am sure Santa would not approve of.  During dinner Mom started not to feel so well and stortly after dinner was cleaned up everyone left and Mom went to bed.  It was the bed or couch for her for the next two + days so it was lots of down time and naps for Ruthie and I. Mom read one of the books she got for Christmas and she told me to pass it along.  THUNDER DOG !  It is about a guide dog who assisted his master down the steps of the World Trade center during 9/11.

Today it is Saturday and New Year's Eve. Mom still is not feeling 100% yet but thinks she might take us walking this afternoon just to get out of the house.  Ruthie and I have been outside with Dad.  We filled the bird feeders for the birds to party tonight, scanned the farmstead then Dad did poo patrol.  Dad is reading the paper now and making his predictions for the football games.   I heard him say it will be three days of the best sport ever invented.  The HUSKERS are playing on Monday so GO BIG RED !!

Last but not least I have to tell you this day is also a special day for my parents.  It is their anniversary !!  I am soooo glad they met or I would not be here now.  Happy Anniversary to them.

                    IN LOVING MEMORY
Robert L. Schense                      Adela K. Keuter

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Met the Big Red Guy !

My week started with a LONG 3 hour trip to the commissary with Mom.  Groceries for the month along with Christmas dinner.   Mom said I did OK but the challenge was coming home.  The groceries filled up the back of the Ford so I had to ride in the front seat.  My pink pill was wearing off and both Mom and I thought I was going to make a deposit that no one wanted.  However, I did manage to control myself with the deposit happening on the front lawn when we got home. 

My next adventure was to the Groomers again with Ruthie.  Mom wanted us to smell and look nice for the Holidays plus we were going to go visit the Big Red guy Mom calls Santa.  Ruthie and I both got report cards from our Groomer.  Ruthie got an excellent one while I only got a good one.  Still need to improve on scratching.  I was just trying to shake and get treats but no one seemed to understand that. 

Ruthie and I were at the Groomers for three hours.  Mom picked us up and off to see the Big Red guy.  Mom had bought a Christmas collar for us so we would look festive.  We were lucky when we arrived that there were not too many people there to see him so we got to spend a lot of time with him.  There were some helpers jumping, whistling and making all kinds of noise while flashing lights at us while we were telling Santa what was on our Christmas list so I hope he heard.  Mom told me Santa knows puppy talk along with many different languages.  Mom said he also knows who has been naughty or nice so I better be on my best behavior till I see him again.  I might get to see him since my kennel I sleep in at night is in the hearth room and he comes down the chimney.  Not sure how that happens but if he can understand puppy talk he must be able to do a whole lot of other things. 

The next day after taking my pink pill Mom and I were off to the Downtown YMCA for their Senior Christmas Party.  Mom use to work there so they invite her back every year.   Ruthie use to go there all  the time with Mom so everyone was asking about her.  Ruthie was a little upset that she didn't get to go but understood this was a teaching moment for me.  It really ended up as a teaching moment when I took it upon myself to help myself to one of the Senior's dinners up on the table.  I heard Mom shriek from accross the room so I knew right away it was just dinner for the Seniors and not puppies too. My pink pill worked with no deposits made that day but just barely.

Mom and I went to Shadow Lake Mall and did some Christmas shopping.  Thank goodness this Mall is close to us and I did OK with my car sickness however we went to an indoor Mall about 45 minutes from our house the next day and I made a deposit on the way there and back.  Mom changed up my pink bill with an orange one thinking that would help but it didn't.  I did get extra for dinner since Mom said most of my breakfast was in the back of the Ford.

There were soooooooo many people at the Mall.  People stopped and talked to Mom and asked to pet me about every 10 steps we took.  Mom wasn't on a power shopping trip just there to pick up three books about a service dog named Tuesday so we enjoyed the time.  There were some young girls who really were excited to pet me so Mom stopped and while they were petting me she took our picture.  I told them I would include them in my blog this week and gave them my blog address. 

A NEW adventure was the escalators.  I didn't know stairs could move but at the Mall they do.  The first time we went up the moving stairs wasn't to bad but coming down I had issues.  Kind of put the breaks on but Mom encouraged me and without to much more fuss we headed down.  I told Mom next time to use the elevator - I like them better.   

Winter here is kind of taking a break so on Saturday Dad took Ruthie and I out to help with the chores.  We helped Dad find the poo so he could poo flip.  I found some deer poo for a mid-morning snack.  We fed the livestock by filling the bird feeders.  There are four of them around the house.  We walked around the farmstead scanning then Dad played ball with us.   Today Mom said she might take us to the lake for a walk while Dad goes to see Grandma at the care center.   No swimming though.  Mom said the lake is covered with ice.  I will have to see what this is ?

      Seasons Greetings from Ruthie and I

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Happenings on the Farmstead

It's that WONDERFUL time of the year!  More snow and Christmas decorating.  Mom had to put me in the mud room several times while she was decorating because I was a little too curious about all the new stuff around the house.  On Tuesday a gentleman named Norm came and put lights on the house.  Ruthie and I had to stay inside because Mom didn't want us to get in Norm's way and cause a fall off the ladder.  He was a nice guy and when he was done played with us for a bit.
Mom helped my sister Aunna take an old chair to Goodwill this week and I got to go along.  However, when they loaded the chair in the back of the Ford the only room left was on the chair. Things didn't go so well on the way to Goodwill so you can guess what was deposited on the chair.  Mom did change up my pink pills for motion sickness later in the week and it is helping a little better.  My drooling is still really bad and Mom said she is going to buy a bib to tie around my neck.  Not sure what a bib is but hope I don't look too silly ?  We tried out the new meds and went to the Mall close to our house with things going a little better.  

All of the four legged family members in the house have found a cozy place to keep warm and take some good naps.  Under Mom's desk.  Ruthie and I take turns using each other as pillows.  It gets a little iffy though when Baby the cat is trying to join us because I just have this need to corner her and play.  Mom said I should leave her alone because she is a senior citizen cat and likes sleeping over playing.  Probably if I could understand cat talk I would understand those strange noises she makes !!  Maybe she only knows sign language because she is always swinging her paws at me and I know she isn't trying to shake.

Mom took me to her Groomers this week however it looked much different then the one Ruthie and I go to.  They have chairs not tables, they put capes around their necks instead of a leash and they don't have to get in a bath tub to get their hair washed.  Mom brought along a bone for me to chew while she was getting her grooming done and said I did a GOOD job at down/stay.  

Today Dad took us outside for about an hour and a half.  He showed me again how to shovel snow but mostly Ruthie and I just ran after the scoops of snow.  We went down to the tree line and Dad showed us deer tracks.   I asked if they were Santa's reindeer tracks.  He said it was too early.  I had a few appetizers - deer poo with snow before we headed back to the house.  Ruthie passed on it.  Just before we came in we filled up the bird feeders.  Another appetizer - seeds with snow. 

My pin pal Daisy wrote this week.  Mom was laughing because Daisy and her Mom had an issue with where to "Hurry up" when out shopping.  They must have been at a Mall and all of a sudden Daisy had to do her big business "Hurry up" and things were deposited right in front of Bed and Bath.  I guess Daisy thought she could clean it up herself but without having fingers to hold on to the poo bag all that happened was Daisy stepping in it.  I have not made this mistake yet but Mom said some of her other service puppies in training have.  Mom told me the story about Cali.  All of a sudden Cali arched her back while in Walmart and Mom knew what was coming so left her grocery cart and made a run for the door.  Well, right in the entry way a thing Mom called diarrhea happened on the floor grates so not only poo on the floor but it ran down the holes of the grates.  The greeter put a "Wet Sign" over it but Mom didn't have the right stuff to clean it up.  A poo bag wasn't going to do the trick.  The manager brought her a mop and pail.  First they had to pick up the grates and carry them outside then mop the floor.  The manager was a nice guy and even helped.  Mom said it is a funny story now but at the time is wasn't.  I told Mom I would try to never made a poo mistake inside.   Mom also told me Cali snuck away one time at Walmart while they were checking out groceries so Mom and the cashier had to go look for her.  She was eating a peach in the produce section not far from the check out lines.

Meghann my two legged sister stopped over this week.  She was looking for some of her Christmas decorations she thought she had here but we couldn't find them.  She is another GREAT belly rubber.  Ruthie and I would not leave her alone.  Mom made a nice dinner for everyone before Meghann left.

Last but not least - I received a package in the mail.  Was soooo excited because I thought it might be a gift from Santa but Mom says Santa gifts don't come from the Fed-X guy but delivered on Christmas Eve while we are all sleeping.  Dad and I opened the box and it was my Science Diet Food.  I guess they think I am growing up because instead of it being puppy food it is Lamb and Rice.

 Thank You Science Diet for your continuous donations to KSDS Inc.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Let it SNOW !

Boy, I can say things were really boring around the farmstead most of the week.  No shopping trips - No trips to the grocery store - No walks at the lake - Nothing just "Hurry up" trips outside and naps.  Then yesterday some white stuff fell from the sky which Ruthie told me was SNOW and it covered everything !  I LOVE it !  It is cold and wet on my feet but cool to eat.

Dad keeps throwing snowballs for us but Ruthie and I can never find them.  Someone needs to give him snowball making lessons because they look great in the air but never stay together when they hit the ground.  We look and look till Dad throws another one.  Mom said she is glad I have a black nose and dark eyes or I would get lost in the snow.  Maybe I need a bell on my collar.  One thing I do have along with Ruthie is night vision !

My Mom's running partner - Jane - who has been living in Italy with her husband for the last 3 months was home for about two weeks so they ran together at the lake as much as possible.  Mom said I couldn't come with them because they wanted to run and catch up on things and not have to focus on a puppy who doesn't always cooperate.  I said I would but again Mom just doesn't seem to understand puppy talk.  I wonder if she understands Dog talk ?  I will have to ask Ruthie.

Mom had a cold this week and drank some hot stuff from a cup I think called Theraflu.  It always seemed to make her fall asleep after that so Ruthie and I did the same.  Lots of naps this week.  One sunny morning Ruthie and I found a warm spot in the sun along with the furnace vent and took a long and cozy nap. 

On Saturday it was the annual Christmas cookie baking day at my Grandma's House and I got to go along.  Now this was the first time I had heard anything about another Holiday coming so again I asked Ruthie what this was all about.  She told me I would really like this one because a BIG guy dressed all in red will bring us some cool new toys in a stocking.  I told Ruthie I saw one of them at Halloween but she said this one is different and you will see lots of them when you are out shopping with Mom.  Ruthie told me she would help me with my Christmas List for the Big Red guy since Mom has that issue with understanding puppy talk.

While at my Grandma's house I assisted in cleaning up anything that fell on the floor.  Sometimes it was dangerous work because when everyone was focusing on baking cookies they were not focusing on the puppy cleaning machine on the floor. 

My sister Aunna showed me a fake red guy and his wife so I asked Mom to take a picture.  Aunna told me I need to make sure I stop and see a real one at the Mall so I can give him my Christmas list or I won't get anything in my stocking.

When Mom and I came home from cookie baking Mom started taking out things she called Christmas decorations.  They are all over the house now with more to come today.  I don't understand why they bring a tree inside and decorate it ?  Why not just leave it outside and do it ?  Seems like that would be much easier but then I don't know much about this Christmas thing yet.  Mom said we need the tree inside because the red guy she calls Santa won't leave gifts unless it is there ? Mom dug out a Christmas video last night and today she said I can watch it.  I am excited since this will be my first movie to watch.  I plan to ask Ruthie to watch with me. 

After another run in the snow last night everyone went to bed.
Mom and Dad didn't even have to ask me to get in my kennel.  I was already out for the night.

I need to get going - Dad is taking us down to the road to get the Sunday paper and said he would teach me how to shovel snow or at least run after it when he is shoveling.  I LOVE this thing called Snow !!

                         Happy Holidays !

Sunday, November 27, 2011

First Thanksgiving

This week was all about Food, Family and Football !  Maybe not in that order but certainly a lot of each one of them.  Ruthie explained a few things to me about Thanksgiving and a thing they call a Turkey !  I have seen them running through our farmstead but Ruthie said they will not look like that when they come in the house.

Our week started out with grocery shopping at Hy-Vee.  Mom had already gone to the Commissary on base the week before so this was just a last minute trip to pick up a few things.  However, whenever I go grocery shopping with Mom it takes twice as long to shop because so many people want to stop and talk.  Mom sometimes lets them pet me if I am behaving myself in a good sit/stay.  We take it in stride because it is always a good chance to explain about Guide/Service puppies and dogs. 
Football was on the TV most of the week.  I watched some with Mom, Dad and Ruthie.  One night Mom felt sorry for us stuck in the hearth room with Dad and football so she got on the floor and gave us some really nice belly rubs.  Mom took turns between Ruthie and I.  Dad asked for a belly rub but Mom said he would have to get on the floor and he didn't want to do that. 

Wednesday night my two legged sisters Aunna and Meghann came over.  Pre-Thanksgiving activities.  Mom had already set the table before they arrived so when they were here they could help with cooking.  Well, Aunna found it more exciting to play with me and Meghann was on her computer.  She developed and hosts a web site and Mom says she lives on her computer and phone now. 

Finally the BIG day came.  Mom and Dad were up early so Dad could do his Schense Tradition - Getting the turkey and duck ready.  This is a very serious job for him and he takes over the kitchen till the birds are in the oven.  I found out what Ruthie meant when the birds would not look like the ones I am use to seeing.  I bet it was HOT in the oven and then they ate them ?  Glad I am a dog !

Things were a little touch and go for the day though for me.  I''ll explain.  Dad took Ruthie and I out after he got the birds in the oven to run off some energy before the guests arrived and I found a bar of soap out on the Farmstead while Dad was poo flipping.  He puts out soap around the trees to scare off the deer.  Well, it doesn't scare off puppies and into my mouth it went.  Dad saw me when I came out from  around the tree and tried to catch me but I was too quick for him.  Finally I came around the corner of the garage with bubbles coming out of my month and no soap left.  Dad was not a happy camper and Ruthie told me I would regret what I just did.  Ruthie and Dad remembered when Ruthie was a Service Puppy and ate soap.   The mud room ended up full of stuff later in the day that comes out the business end of puppies.  Mom and Dad watched me closely all day but I guess I have a better stomach for soap and things never escalated to Code Red !

Ruthie and I had to stay behind bars in the mud room while everyone ate Thanksgiving dinner but Mom let us out during dessert time for a "Teaching Moment" for me.  Ruthie and I were put on a down/stay under the table.  Boy I have never seen sooooo much food and messes to clean up in the kitchen.  Before everyone left another Schense Tradition happened.  Everyone got out their Tupperware and took leftovers.  I also learned that birds have bones.  I wonder if I have bones ?

My sister Meghann brought a friend with her for dinner and he was a NICE guy.  His name was Pete.  He took Ruthie and I outside several times during the day to "Hurry up" and play a little ball.  I hope he comes again.  I like him.

The rest of the day was football along with most of the weekend.  Friday was the last HUSKER football game and we got to watch with Dad.  He was a happy camper because we were ahead during the whole game.  Again, an early game so Dad had the rest of the day and evening to watch more football.  Little Red had to stay in the garage since the wind was blowing and blowing ! 

In between half times and games Dad took us out to play and do our business.  Mom took down the fall decorations around the house and once when Dad took us outside Mom came outside too and took down the outside fall decorations.  Dad got out the tractor and filled it up with pumpkins and other stuff.  I was trying to be a helper bee and escorted him down to the tree line to dump the pumpkins.  Mom said it was the deer's Thanksgiving dinner however I think they started a little early because I could see bite marks on some of them. 

Happy Thanksgiving from our Family to Your Family !

PS - Please check out my new Pen Pal - Daisy. 
She is also a KSDS Serive Puppy in Training

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Ready Set Go !

Boy what a week !!!  It all started with breakfast on Sunday then Ruthie and I going to the Groomers.  Ruthie had gone many times but this was my first one.  Just before we left the house Mom checked her email and there was a request from Channel 42 to come and do an interview at our house.  Perfect timing since we were off to the groomers and would look our best.  I didn't know Mom would receive a report card from the groomers on me.  It said I was a little hyper and somewhat difficult to groom. We all agreed since this was my first trip we would overlook my short comings but Mom plans to take me about every other month so I can adjust and be on perfect behavior when I go back to KSDS.  Ruthie was an angel of course.

We arrived back home around 3:30 and the TV crew showed up at 4:00.  Before they arrived Mom lectured us about minding our manners and not talking out of turn.  I put my vest on but Ruthie didn't have to and I thought that was unfair.  She was going to get to play around when they were here and I was going to have to work.  However, the cameraman asked my Mom to throw toys for us to retrieve and asked Ruthie and I to play together while they interviewed my Mom. I guess Mom figured they would not understand puppy talk so no one asked me any questions.  Mom was going to take pictures but put down her camera and could not find it till after they left so no pictures to share.  We all sat down in front of the TV that night and watched.  Turned out pretty cool !
Later in the week was our BIG day of travel and adventure.  It started out with a 5 mile walk with MaeMae so that I would be worn out as my Mom said.  Back home Mom gave me my pink pill before she started to get dressed to go so that hopefully my tummy wouldn't have issues.  Around 9:30 Mom loaded us up in the Ford and off to St. Cecilia School to do four presentations about Guide/Service puppies.   When we arrived  Mom made sure our business ends were taken care of with two pink baggies to show for it then we headed into the school.  We were surprised that Channel 6 news was there to do a story about us.  It aired on the 4:00 and 6:00 news cast.  Everyone was so nice to us and I think all of the kids must have attended KSDS obedience classes and passed with honors because everyone was so well behaved.   We even had one class sing "Thank you" to us.

Just a few things about the presentation though.  I was nervous to start with but soon relaxed just like Ruthie told me I would.  Ruthie was so relaxed that Mom had to stop during one of her presentations because Ruthie was snoring so LOUD !  During one of the question and answer sessions one of the kids asked my Mom "Does Avalon go with you to communion ?"   I heard my Mom telling my Dad the story later and she said it would have only been a question from a presentation at a Catholic school. 

One thing I REALLY want to tell you about this week is - NO ACCIDENTS at all.  I did not have a mistake in the house or get sick in the car !!  I am starting to alert my parents that I need to go out but I still refuse to ring the bells unless Mom puts a treat right next to it.  I am not a pavlog dog - I am a KSDS dog.  Mom is allowing me to stay out in the house more and is surprised when she finds me in my kennel sleeping ?  Don't know why because that is my bedroom. 

This Saturday was HUSKER football but again it was an early game.  Ruthie and I spent some time before the game outside with Dad.  He sat us down to ask for assistance in poo finding and flipping since it had been a few days and Mom has not been very good at poo flag marking lately.   Most of the game we spent in the mud room because Mom and Dad watched the game in the basement on the big screen.  I could hear Dad coaching from the basement and it wasn't a good day in Huskerland. 

My Mom told me to pass on two GREAT books to read about service dogs.  One is Until Tuesday and the other is A Big Little Life.  She was telling us about the dogs in the books and all of a sudden started crying when she remembered Baily their family golden who was a WONDERFUL foster Mommy to four of the service puppies they raised.  

In Loving Memory of Bailey Marie Schense