Vacation Wrap-Up

Yara and I have made it home safe and sound. We’re both wiped out; in fact, Yara is already asleep. She didn’t even lift her head when I called her for dinner and earlier I gave her a new raw meaty bone to gnaw on and she just took it and fell back to sleep. I think she might perk up tomorrow, though, since it’s back to our normal routine and she’s always eager for work. That makes one of us. I’m dreading the return to work tomorrow.

Anyway, since my daily posts over my vacation were pretty lacking due to my supreme exhaustion each night I went through and edited the original posts (here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here) with more fun details and pictures for those of you who care about every small tidbit that I could recall. I also thought I’d go through some of the finer points (read: random) of my most awesome ten days and show off some more of the many, many photos we took just to wrap things up. Especially since there wasn’t much of interest to report for today since it mostly consisted of riding the train back to Albany.

Yara and Felix

Perhaps you remember how much fun Yara and Felix had last year. Interestingly, they really didn’t have much interaction this visit. Yara did spend a good deal of time supervising the cats, especially when one was in my lap. But we mostly had her with the puppies in the kitchen so her stalking was a bit limited. She did try and play with Felix a few times, though. But the night we took that photo she wasn’t so nice to him and tried to bite him and got herself swatted in the face by a kitty claw. Better luck next visit, Yara.


One of my favorite things about German shepherd puppies is how they sometimes look like teddy bears. I think this photo shows Nerys looking particularly teddy-bear-esque. She really is a cutey. Which is good for her given she’s possibly the worst biter of a puppy I’ve ever encountered. Also, she spent the entire ride to her Windsor walk hitting me with her paws. I kept shoving them off the seat and she’d put them back and/or smack my legs or hands with them. And when I ignored her, she’d bite me. Oh, well.


Scarlet has one thing in common with both of the guide dogs I’ve worked with thus far: she’s very good with her plush toys and she loves squeaky toys. She also tends to use that bed as more of a pillow, which is one thing I’ve never understood about either of my guides. Anyway, the puppy was very aware of this lone toy left in the front room and EVERY single time she was out there (en route to “get busy”) she’d try and make a grab for it. Yara actually succeeded in sneaking it into the kitchen at one point, but thankfully the puppy was in her crate so no damage was done. Phew.


So, my friend Sarah has a pop-up crate, which I told Raechel about since she and James take their foster puppies to a convention each year and, well, long story short they bought themselves one and got one for me, too. I haven’t had any need for it since, though, so it’s been collecting dust at their house. But I set it up for Yara to use over our stay and she seemed to think it was homey enough. It was slightly bent when I popped it open but a few shoves straightened it out. And, then, of course, Yara bent it all over again by leaning on it funny in her sleep . . . Okay, well, I thought it was pretty funny. It did straight out again rather easily. And now we have a portable crate for when we go places, too!

I leave you with this very cute video I took of Otis going through his “sit-down-rollover” routine with Raechel. Like all of her dogs, Raechel’s trained them when they were puppies, but Otis never quite got that all those commands were separate and he tends to run through his gamut of tricks if there is a treat available. Enjoy:


  1. Another good use of a pop-up crate is in a guide/service dog disaster kit! It’s easy to evacuate with, and it would give the dog a safe place in a chaotic evacuation/shelter environment.

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