Thursday, April 28, 2011

Cowboy in the house!

My bovine friends came back yesterday. They have been gone since last fall, but now that it's all green again, it was time for the grazers to return. The coolest thing was that I had a "Real" cowboy on the grounds. He was pretty impressive the way he cut the bull out of the herd so they could take him back.

Here's a pic of him work'n.

Here's a pic of my canine "cowboy" hat, I look pretty good huh!!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Process

Dear Readers,

There's been a bit of a side conversation going on in the Comments, so I thought I might make a post about The Process so all of my dear readers would be up-to-date about what will soon happen in my life.

Puppies wear yellow capes with blue trim. They live with their volunteer puppy raisers for about 16 months. The VPR is responsible for giving that puppy a happy, healthy upbringing, teaching 30 commands, and socializing.

CCI assigns the turn-in date for that puppy, based upon things like the puppy's age and the amount of dogs they have ready for turn-in at certain times of the year. Turn-in happens four times a year, and coincides with actual graduation ceremonies in Ohio (August, November, February, May).

At the graduation ceremony, these turn-in puppies wear a special cape and ribbon, signifying that they are about to go off to college. Two things happen at the actual ceremony itself: the pups that are being turned in are called to the stage with their VPRs, they are introduced, and a slideshow of their journeys is shown to the crowd. Then the actual graduate teams are highlighted, and the VPRs that have graduating dogs get to go onto stage with the pup they raised and hand the leash over to the new handler--the graduate human.

Turn-In Attire!

After the ceremony, the graduate humans leave with their graduated dogs, and it may be that the VPR will never hear from, or see their puppy ever again. Other graduates do stay in touch with the VPR, but the choice is the graduate's.

Also after the ceremony, the VPRs with turn-in dogs take their pup to the CCI kennel and leave them there for Canine College--typically 6 months (sometimes 9) of what we call Advanced Training. During this time, the pups are constantly evaluated and may be released at any time. VPRs receive only a monthly progress report on how their pup is doing during this time. If they "make it", the pups will then go into what we call a Team Training, where potential human graduates are invited. Team Training takes two weeks. On the third day, what we call "a match" is made, and the human is assigned their forever companion. The rest of the time in Team Training is spent on bonding and forging the relationship, as well as teaching the human how to correctly "operate" the dog. Team Training ends with a graduation ceremony.

Graduate dogs wear blue capes with yellow trim. Only about 40% of all of the dogs that CCI breeds, raises and trains "make it" to graduation. Dogs that don't are offered to their puppy raisers, or their friends and family for adoption. If that VPR doesn't have a place for that puppy, then you can imagine that there is a long line of people who would love a "Released Dog" from CCI. In case you are wondering, SWMBO's sister has already sent in the application to adopt me (I am not sure what that says about their confidence level in me, but that is another post).

So, in August, I will be "turned-in" and off to Advanced Training. If I make it far enough, I will also go through Team Training and potentially be placed with a human. If I am, you will then be invited to come and see me graduate with my new human! If I don't "make it" then I will go to a very loving home as a wonderful pet. I hope that explains it better! Send me your questions!


Ansel III

Saturday, April 23, 2011

I Came, I Saw, I Conquered

SWMBO and I spent some quality time together today--a three-hour hike on the Flint Hills Nature Trail. It felt great being able to stretch my legs after two weeks of quarantine. It was cool cause the trail was kind of damp and mushy, and we got to see signs of lots of wildlife!

Looks like raccoon to me!


You have to look really closely here between the two patches of green. I'm not sure what made actually looks a bit like a dirt bike track!

Look for the two patches of white...think this is (was) a turkey egg. Maybe that raccoon got it.


Wanted to give you an idea as to how big the deer are!

Some of our beautiful scenery today.

I came, I saw, I conquered...and then I fell asleep in the car!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Chapter meeting in Kansas City

We had our monthly get together last night. Always good to see my buds and get some quality practice time in!

We are going to be in the Washunga Day parade in Council Grove, so we thought it would be a good idea to work on our drill skilzs!

Nice unison turns and downs

Then we worked on other skills

TBG caught me trying to smooch Aunt Linda!

You can see Winslow giving Sally some training advice

Winslow showing us pups how to walk ourselves....showoff!!

Who doesn't love a cute puppy face? Putnam is such a people person.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Human-Animal Bond Fair at K-State

Ok, so please bear with me here. I'm dog tired today and it's all I can do to type out my story.

We had a GREAT day at K-State today. My fellow CCI buds from Kansas City came to my neck of the woods again to show off our "people" skills. Chloe, Raj and Lassiter were there along with the "big" dogs; Benita and Winslow. Putnam was not able to be here due to it being tax time. He called and said something about his human needing extra toes for counting purposes!

We met lots of people, got some good rubb'n and took in a few rays while everyone ate Call Hall ice cream. Sadly TBG's camera messed up and most of the pics came out blurry, so if anyone has good pics of today's event, please forward to me for posting.

Here are a couple of the least blurry pics.

Raj check'n out the danc'n Retriever!!

Here's a blury pic of the group after Deb's Jeb presentation.

A great day with my buddies, but now it's time to go back to napping. After being stagnate for 2 weeks due to the humans being sick, I'm outta shape!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Still Nothing To Say...

Darkness has descended upon my household...

...Still nothing to say; nothing to report.In lieu of my own ponderings, I invite you to read this AWESOME post from CCI:

Saturday....Saturday....Saturday. I dream of Saturday! It can't get here soon enough. Until then, I am your hanging-on-by-a-thread Ansel!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

The Plague Has Descended

Dear Generous Readers,

If you have been wondering why the lack of my loquacious, entertaining, and intellectually brilliant missives this week, it is because a plague of biblical proportions has descended upon the Sellers household. Suffice it to say that there has been a lack of stimulation and educational opportunity for me this week...unless you count watching SWMBO and TBG catnap (how disgusting! my hackles just shiver at the thought), drink orange juice, and moan and whine about their unfortunate circumstances. Trust me, you do NOT want to see any photos from my so-called "adventures" from the past seven days.

My only shining light in the distance is the Human-Animal Bond Fair at Kansas State University on Saturday. Please check out this link:

Ah, I hear SWMBO asking for me...she probably needs a wet nose and spurt of puppy breath in her face to help her over that last nasty coughing spell I heard. Duty calls!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Pancake Feed at Fort Riley, Kansas

WOW, what a day we had! There was an unbelievable turnout for the pancake feed. There were lots of kids and adults...did I mention a lot of kids? We got to meet so many people today and spent hours telling them who we are. We showed off some of our mad skills and even let those that wanted, give US commands instead of our human handlers!

As soon as we arrived this morning we were in full work mode.

Raj was ready for action!

Lassiter dove right in and started teaching.

As did Chloe.

Putnam quickly followed suit....Putnam buddy, where are you?

Ah ha, there he is, what a ladies man!!

Then Mike and Fancy arrived and stole the show. Fancy is a real service dog from CCI. Fancy got to show off all those "big dog" commands that we'll learn at Canine College one day. Us pups just watched in amazement while Fancy was working.

TBG just happened to be around taking pics when Chloe heard that she would be getting a little sister soon. I don't think she took the news well!

While I was outside greeting people I met one particular girl who asked a lot of questions about me. Well, I appreciated THAT, and she spent some time scratch'n and rub'n on me. Ahhh the good life I tell ya! Here's a shot of me and Carly (sorry if I spelled it wrong, my human did not take notes very well). Thanks for stopping by today!!

After 3 hours of non stop teach'n, we all pretty much looked like Put!!

We packed up our gear, said some goodbyes and then Raj and Putnam headed on back to Kansas City. Me, Chloe, Lassiter and Fancy went over to the Conference Center to take in a few more sights.

The "City" folks were interested in the Mules.

While I thought the deadly rattlesnake was pretty interesting. OK, so it was just a Rat snake, but it was still cool!

After all that action, we headed into Manhattan. The humans had lunch and us pups (and Fancy) took a much deserved siesta.

And as we were pulling into the garage, Deb woke me up out of my deep sleep. Yeah, so I was a little groggy........SO!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Call me.....Smokey the Fire Dog

I'm sure you remember my post awhile back about going to the fire station and being made honorary assistant fire chief right? Well, this evening I got to use my newfound skills!

It's burn season on the Prairie and I was right in the thick of things. Me, fire, drip torches and 4, I was in dog heaven! I managed to take a few pictures as the back fires were lit and the massive burns were started.

I was glad to lend a paw tonight and it was way more fun being at the burns instead of watching them from afar like last year when I was just a little pup! Sorry about the large pics, I borrowed TBG's phone...(don't tell him I had it).

Smokey signing off.