Gee, Brain, what are we going to do tonight? asks Pinky
The same thing we do every night, says the Brain. Try to take over the world.
–Pinky and The Brain cartoon series 1995-1998
So, what do you what to do today? asks the Husband.
The same thing we did yesterday, is my reply. I want to see stuff we don’t see in Ohio.
Again? he asks. Could you be more specific?
Alrighty then. What do you want to do today? says me.
I don’t know, he says.
Well, I say. I kinda win then, don’t I?
This Day Two of our California adventures. We don’t have a solid itinerary for the week because I enjoy the leisurely pace of just checking things out as we drive about. You know, seeing things not on the brochures and maps. And because I suck at planning.
While the Husband is pulling himself together and wondering if he should wear his good shoes or the tennies, I’m giving Facebook a quick check. And what’s this?
Ah, my love, I say. We got us a change in plans.
We had plans? he asks
Not sure if that was sincere or sarcasm, I wave off the comment and tell him what I found out while in the etherworld.
The focal point of this California trip was to check off a bucket list goal of visiting the Santa Rosa campus of Canine Companions for Independence. Since becoming volunteer puppy raisers in 2008, this organization has become a huge part of our daily lives. I have had a CCI puppy by my side every day for the past four years, at work, home and play. The Santa Rosa campus is the headquarters of CCI. It’s also where the breeding program is managed.
We had this visit on the agenda for Tuesday (see, I can too plan.), but I find out that a fellow puppy raiser, who is also a breeder/caretaker, is dropping off her dog’s litter at CCI this morning. Ah, serendipity at its finest.
Wendy and Dave raised the lovely Sabina for CCI, who was later selected as one of the “best of the best” for CCI’s breeding program. Sabina’s “C” litter of pups will be arriving in Santa Rosa for their health check before they go out to their puppy raisers. I send a quick note to Wendy across the wifi as a heads up that we’ll be crashing their puppy party this morning.
As a bonus feature, Wendy is also a dog blogger. She shares her adventures at Aspiring Service Dog Chronicles. Check it out; she’s got some great stuff out there from the view of a Breeder/Caretaker.
Ok, now check your glucose levels before scrolling down, folk. Sweet puppy photos coming up.
|Into the puppy limo with y’all for a ride to the playground.|
|A refreshment break at the watering hole while Clifford looks on.|
|Working those big brown eyes.|
|Lovin’ that crinkly nose.|
|And back in the puppy limo to head off for their health check.|
I owe a debt of gratitude to Wendy and Dave for allowing us to share their puppy turn-in morning with them. Thanks so much, you two. Not just for making our week a memorable one, but for taking on the Breeder/Caretaker role as well. You guys are amazing.
CCI’s Santa Rosa campus is a gorgeous affair. If you find yourself in the area, they do give tours to the public during the week. We were able to snag the special Puppy Raiser tour and talked with a few of the professional trainers on the work they do with the pups we turn in for advanced training.
And to see stuff like this.
Yep, that’s the campus cat turning on a light switch. That’s how good these trainers are. Ponder that one for a minute. I’ve been trying to get Bodine to sit for a treat. Without biting my finger. And it’s not going well.
We come across a map of the US just about filled with colorful pushpins. Ooh what’s this? I ask. Well, it represents the dogs that are placed with someone. Each color represents one of the four types of assistance dogs that CCI trains (Service Dog, Skilled Companion Dog, Facility Dog, Hearing Dog). I snagged a close up shot of the Ohio/Pennsylvania area. The lovely Inga has a pushpin in there as a Skilled Companion Dog; the thought gives us a warm and fuzzy feeling of pride and awe. We helped make that pushpin, I think. And while it doesn’t sound weird at all to me, I decide it best to keep it within my inside voice.
And the ridiculously photogenic Micron has a place in Santa Rosa, too. Here he is, in all his furry splendor, on the wall in the great room. Now this was a personal thrill to come across, I gotta say.
So here we are, on Day Two of the Great California Adventure and I’ve knocked off Number Nine on the Bucket List. More California stuff coming up in the upcoming posts.
MONDAY DOG SIGHTINGS: 8 adorable puppies and gobs of CCI dogs.