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Six Month Interview

It was on this day, two years ago, that the world welcomed eight new yellow packages of puppy goodness.

And our hearts melted at the sight of them.

Remember this? We spent the next eight weeks watching them on the Eukanuba Livestream as the tiny critters opened their eyes and ears to brand new experiences. Then in a blink, they were off to their puppy raisers for socialization and training for the next eighteen months.

This past May, our Extraordinary E’s – Emma, Everett, Ella, Elmo, Euka II, Emily, Ethan, and Eliza – returned to Canine Companions for Independence to enter the Advanced Training program to learn the ways of being highly trained Assistance Dogs.

Euka II ready for
Advanced Training at CCI

When we were nearing the end of our volunteer puppy adventures with Miss Euka, I sat her down for a James Lipton-esque interview. Using those familiar ten interview questions offered up by Mr. Lipton, we got a inside view of our little polar bear celebrity.

Of course we know that Miss Euka needs to focus on her education and so is not available for a follow-up interview on today, her second birthday. There’ll be time for all that later after training has been completed and her destiny determined.

No worries, y’all. Holly has stepped up and said she’d be glad to talk about herself with you instead. You see, she has a birthday coming as well.

The Hero litter, born on March 18 this year, will be six months old on Thursday.

So lessee here … in dog years, the Heros are something around seven years old.


What’s that, you say? How do I figure this? Oh sure, it’s a total WAG, not gonna lie. But here’s what I’m using as my resource. This is from the post The Seven Year Myth.

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There’s a plethora of opinions and resources out there on calculating dog age.  Here’s an article from the Mental Floss website that puts the logic back into my argument. From their story on Fuzzy Math: How do “dog years” work? . . . 

The folks at The Dog Guide suggest that when we think about “dog years,” we have to consider the breed and calculate accordingly. Across the board, they say, you can consider the first year of a dog’s life as equivalent to 15 or so human years. By that time, dogs and humans are approaching their adult size and have reached sexual maturity. On their 2nd birthday, you should add about 3-8 more years to your dogs “human age,” depending on size, and value each dog year as being worth 4-5 human years from that point on.

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What is that for our hooman kids, do you think? Seven years old is first grade or something, right? Primary school, anyway.

So how about some interview questions designed for the young mind. Nothing scandalous that James Lipton would dare to delve into (what’s your favorite curse word), but instead a more whimsical look into the psyche of the delicate creature that is Miss Holly.

When I say delicate, that’s not really what I mean, of course. I don’t have a sarcasm font here.

And we’ll have to toss aside certain other queries that could otherwise be made of a seven year old child. A six month old puppy would be limited in her response to “what’s your favorite season” … um, Summer? Or favorite color … anything not grey?

With that in mind, here’s what we got out of the pup today.

Holly’s Six Month Interview


Food Lady:     Alrighty, kiddo. Let’s get started. That’s right, just sit right there and get comfy. Ok, we know your name is Holly VII, given to you by Canine Companions for Independence. But now that you’ve been living at Sword House for the past four months, have you picked up any nicknames?
Holly:             You mean like, Kiddo? You call everybody that. I think it’s the same reason you call us all Dog. It’s because you forget our names sometimes, isn’t it? But you also call me Holly Polly and Halle Berry.  I like those. There’s the times you call me that other thing, too. 
FL:  What other thing?
H:    Holy-[bleep]-what-is-in-your-mouth-now-spit-it-out-drop-it-drop-it-drop-it-oh-that-is-not-good-why-would-you-even-put-that-in-your-mouth.There’s Hawaiian volcanoes with fewer vowels, you know.
FL:  Right. We’ll cover this more offline, Holly Polly. Ok, next question. Ready? How would you describe yourself?
H:    I love to run! I’m a runner! I need to exercise my legs a lot because when my brains get tired, they leak all the way into my feet. I have to run to get my brains back in my head. And afterwards, I like sleeping in the middle of the room so I can wake up real fast if something interesting is gonna happen. Oh! And eat! Three meals a day! Food is the best stuff ever, I just can’t get it in my belly fast enough. Love, love, love to eat. It could be anything, too. I’m not picky. Bodine says that makes me a cheap date. Food Lady? What’s a cheap date?
Harvest & Holly at five months

FL:  Don’t listen to the cat. We’ve talked about that. And what? You have to run to get your brains back into your head?

H:    Don’t you?

FL:  I think that’s just a puppy thing. Speaking of .. I wanted to talk to you about your face time with a food bowl. This three meals a day thing is just for Little Puppies, you know. Your mealtimes are going to be upgraded to Big Puppy times later this week.
H:    Serious? Four meals? 
FL:  Um, no. But let’s add that topic to the Talk-Later list. Let’s move onto the next question for now, ok? Holly, my love, describe a perfect day.
H:    Duh. I just did. Four meals. Wait, no. Five. Five meals would be perfection plus infinity.
FL:  Don’t say Duh. It’s rude. But really, what else do you like to do? Besides eat all day and burn those calories by running around like your tail’s on fire, I mean.
H:    You know what else is fun? When Micron brings the newspaper in and he’s all [lowers voice] Lookit everybody, I’m a “working” dog and everything. And then I grab the newspaper from him and I run circles around the sofa with it and Micron drops to the floor with a huff-y sound and Jager jumps on the sofa and starts barking and I laugh and laugh and run circles until I get dizzy. Or until you yell at me to stop. Ha! That’s good times.
FL:  Good times. Copy that. Next question … what is your greatest talent as a six month old puppy? Please don’t say eating, running or sleeping. Pick something else, please.
H:    Eating isn’t a talent, Food Lady. Duh … um, duh dee dum dum la lee la. That’s a song. I just made it up. See, that’s talent. My power of eating is a gift. Anyhow, I’m real good at learning stuff. Right? You said so. I can do Visit and Lap now. And I can Shake paws like a boss. You said that, too.
FL:  That is true, Holly. You’re picking up the CCI commands like you knew them already. Good job, little girl. Now, think about this next one a second. What is your favorite joke?
H:    I don’t have to think!  I got one. Knock knock.
FL:  Who’s there?
H:    Orange you glad I didn’t say banana?
FL:  A food joke. Nice. And so efficient, condensing a knock-knock joke into a three-liner. Add a couple more lines and maybe it will actually make sense. Ok, last question, Holly. If you could say anything to your half-sisters and brothers, the Extraordinary E’s, what would it be?
H:    Thanks for saving all the good looks for me, you guys.
FL: Try again.
H:    All the brains? What? You’re making that meanie face again.
FL:  Stop it. Really, kiddo. Seriously. The E’s are doing wonderfully and I know you wish them good luck as we all do. Now, what did I tell you to say to them today?
H:    Ok, ok. I’ll be all seriously and for real. Happy Second Birthday to the Extraordinary E’s! Rock the world, my sisters and brothers!
FL:  Good job, Holly. Thank you.

H:    You’re welcome. Are we done here? It’s hungry o’clock.

Wordless Wednesday: Some dogs want to see their name in lights

Some dogs, with aspirations of celebrity-dom, want to see their name in lights. Other dogs have a different value system.

From Canine Companions for Independence’s Facebook page …

It’s National Dog Day and to celebrate, we are launching the#kibblenamegame! Harpo is calling out some of her siblings from theEukanuba #HeroLitter Hala, Hoagy, Holly and Hudson. Post videos/photos of your dogs and call out their four-legged friends.TAG #ccicanine #NDD

What’s this now, Harpo? A challenge, you say?

Game On, sister, says Holly.

I accept your challenge, she says. And will add my weekly birthday shot to it. 

And…, Holly continues. I will stamp my own style to the event by attempting the splits, puppy style, while Food Lady is fussing around with her stoopid camera. I’m betting this morning’s breakfast that she doesn’t even notice.

Later, as Holly is crunching her breakfast, I recall the Kibble Name Game we did with Euka before she returned to CCI for her Advanced Training. Gotcha a link below for that photo and more.

But here’s even another version of just how good these CCI puppies are.

Here’s our Miss Euka at her Matriculation Party we had at P&G Pet Care back in May.  Euka poses with a section of her face cake.

Not a drop of icing on her nose. Good Leave It, you awesome dog.

Yowza, says Euka. I even
look good in frosting.

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For an earlier collection of Kibble Name Challenges, be sure to click to our link to a slideshow of The Kibble Name Game here at Raising a Super Dog.

Wordless Wednesday: Holly at Thirteen Weeks

Posted on

We interrupt a period of puppy goofiness, to bring you Holly and her Serious Face.

This is her being serious.

Thirteen weeks old now. She’s growing into those ears quite nicely, isn’t she?

Now she needs to schedule a growth spurt to catch up with that foot long tail of hers.

Roller Coaster

Posted on

It wasn’t to the level of a double dog dare, as no canines were involved in this challenge of machismo vs. tough, yet still delicately feminine character.

The Vortex at King’s Island
Yeah, no problem.

The brother-in-law and I were standing before the Vortex on the first family trip to King’s Island since the ride debuted. Vortex, which is Latin for You Don’t Need Your Spleen Anyway, boasted a claim as the tallest roller coaster in the world with the highest drop.

Not so bad, right? I mean, once you tackle that feat with a hearty scream, you’ll find yourself back in manageable territory of the usual twists and turns expected of a roller coaster.

Oh, but not so for the Vortex. No, this marvel of engineering psychopathy also was also the first thrill ride of its ilk to offer up six inversions.

Inversions?, you ask.

Inversions, I repeat. Upside down, ya’ll. A full loop. Six brain rattling times. 

I believe the max speed of this ride is somewhere around highway speeds of fifty five miles per hour. Vomiting is not an option since even your overpriced amusement park lunch has no idea of which way is out after the second loop.

So here we stand, the BIL and I, watching otherwise normal folk screaming in a tone that could be interpreted as either a wonderful thrill or a curse to their mothers for ever looking at their dad that way, depending on the observer’s point of view*. Neither one of us has the guts to back off now, so off we go to stand in line with the other adrenaline seekers.

The ride lasts a mere two minutes in normal time and about a full life cycle in we’re-all-gonna-die time. It was all up-up-up-up to get to that highest drop thing and then the world as we know it goes upside down. Six times. Real fast.

Afterwards as I step out of the car, the ride attendant reaches out to grab my arm as my knees betray me. The BIL is but a flash in my peripheral vision as he hot steps it to the men’s room.

Wow, what a ride.

So it’s not surprising when a roller coaster is used as a metaphor for life, now is it?  The thrill of anticipation of what is around the next bend, as well as the ups and downs that stress us out to be replaced by pure happiness and relief. And always, the hope that the next drop won’t be as bad as the last one.

As it is with volunteer puppy raising.

Euka is now at the regional training center for Canine Companions for Independence to begin her Advanced Training in the ways of an assistance dog.  We gave her a kiss and hug good-bye on Friday. Asked her to do her best to make us proud. To keep safe the love we gave her over these last months because she’ll want to share it later.

And as our roller coaster car slows to return to the station, we’re reminded of the ride we’ve been on with Miss Euka.

Eighteen months have passed, can you believe it, and we’ve shared over one hundred stories over that time here at Raising a Super Dog.

Let’s remember the journey …

Getting settled in Ohio

In A California Blonde in Ohio we welcome home the delicate flower that is Euka puppy.

Micron: Ow-ow-ow! Holy dog! Really? Ow!
Euka II:  Rawr! nom nom nom

And it begins.

The Ohio E’s have a play session after arriving from California in Furry Blurries.

Euka meets our family in Changes in Latitude, including an obligatory introduction to Bodine, the benevolent overlord of Sword House.

And Micron’s puppy lovin’ patience is put to the test in Adaptation.

Training 

Euka explores Work/Life balance while training to be an assistance dog. With the Ohio’s E’s, she finds Time to Ramp it Up with Nothing to Fear.

A group training and socialization event is recapped in Well, Hello Deer.

With Micron as her mentor, we introduced the Speak command to Euka, giving it one heck of a try in Silence is Yellow.

A little R&R

What do you get when you put three dogs plus three hoomans in one car for a twelve hour trip? A test of wills — and patience, that’s what. But hey, we survived to tell the stories. The dramatic tales of our Odyssean-style  trip to the southern Outer Banks is shared at Save Yourselves and Attack of the Ten Foot Sea Spider.

Euka does her diva thing in Base Tan.  And something fish is happening at Floundering in the Rain.

Celebrating holidays

Seems each holiday inspires another photo shoot that doesn’t quite match the vision I had in my head. Four Point Mutt was the first of these valiant attempts.

Euka channels her inner polar bear in blizzard-like conditions.

Later, Miss Euka offers an open invitation to be her Valentine.

And we get a long anticipated visit by the Euka Bunny and her goldengoober sidekick.

We’ll give you a fer instance of one of those hairpin curves on this roller coaster ride that we didn’t see coming at Then This (ugh) Happened.

Meeting famous folk

We were thrilled to meet Temple Grandin during her visit to Cincinnati, Ohio. Euka got a leisurely belly rub while I learned about Temple’s view of dog harnesses.

Euka was at my side, then at The Bloggess’s, when we met one of my favorite authors, Jenny Lawson.

Our little diva had a chance at fleeting fame at Working Like a …well, not really

Wow, what a ride!

Thanks so much for being with us on our journey with Euka over these months. Dunno about you, but I’m struggling to find myself prepared to see this ride pull into the station.

But you know what?  Euka’s ready.  She’s getting in line for the next adventurous set of twists and turns. What’s next?, you ask. Well, that’s the exciting part. Nobody knows yet where this ride will lead her to and so we, as mere spectators now, can’t wait to find out.

These links I’ve offered up are but a few. Hey, I wasn’t kidding when I said we have a bunch of stories here on the dog blog. Browse at your pleasure. To make it a bit easier to filter to the Euka goodness, click her name in the Word Cloud in the right hand panel. And just scroll along, page by puppy page.

A time capsule of adventures.

Did you have a favorite story I missed linking here? Drop a note in the comments to share your memory.

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*Speaking of point of view, here’s a YouTube video of the two minute ride from the front car of the Vortex.

Wordless Wednesday: Hero Litter at Five Weeks

Bring it on, World.
[photo courtesy of Chris Kittredge Photography]

The Canine Companions for Independence Hero Litter is now five weeks old. We’re continuing to spotlight this litter on our Wordless Wednesday posts.

Click here to see the newest Week Five photos courtesy of Chris Kittredge Photography.

Now that the Hero puppies have hit their five week milestone, our time to watch their acts of derring do on the Eukanuba Puppy Cam livestream in down to about three weeks. We don’t have the actual date to share with you yet, but we’re expecting these furries to be delivered to their puppy raisers near their eight week birthday on May 18.

Names were selected and announced this week for each pup in the Hero Litter. From the Eukanuba Puppy Cam livestream page:

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Holly
Purple Collar – named by Eukanuba’s Facebook followers

Harvest
Light Pink Collar – named by Eukanuba’s Facebook followers

Hudson
Neon Pink Collar – named by Eukanuba’s Facebook followers; Named in honor of Canine Companions’ CEO Corey Hudson who will be retiring this year after 24 years of service.

Harpo
Orange Collar

Harbor
Green Collar

Hoagy
Turquoise Collar – named in honor of Eukanuba. The term “Eukanuba” originated in the 1940’s by late jazz musician Hoagy Carmichael meaning “The Best!”

Hala
Brown Collar. Pronounced like jalapeño. Just named through Canine Companions online puppy naming challenge contest; described by voters as sweet, unique and joyful.
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Don’t know about you, but here at Raising a Super Dog, we’ve been watching Holly girl. And we’ve got good reason to.  Stay tuned for more about this exciting little fur-covered news item.

Wanna watch seven puppies will grow up right before your eyes? Link: http://www.ustream.tv/eukanuba

Wordless Wednesday: Hero Litter at Four Weeks

A wet willy. ‘Cept you’re not supposed to like it.
(photo courtesy of Chris Kittredge Photography)

The Canine Companions for Independence Hero Litter is now four weeks old. We’re continuing to spotlight this litter on our Wordless Wednesday posts.

Click here to see the Week Four photos courtesy of Chris Kittredge Photography.

Now that the Hero puppies have hit their four week milestone, this means we’re at the halfway mark with only four weeks left to watch them on the Eukanuba Puppy Cam livestream.

It’s been a big week for these furries, what with their new playground area full of sensory experiences and their introduction to solid food with the Eukanuba weaning diet.

Wanna watch seven puppies will grow up right before your eyes? Link: http://www.ustream.tv/eukanuba

Somebody call James Lipton

Even my back side is my good side.
Can’t go wrong here.

What’s with the index cards, Food Lady? asks Euka. Aren’t you supposed to be writing about me on my website? It is Sunday, you know. Oh hey, here’s my best side. Take a picture. Heh, who am I kidding. All my sides are my best side.

Ah, Euka, glad you’re here, I say, setting down my pen. I was just about to call you. You are correct, my love. It’s indeed your turn for this week’s Story Sunday on the dog blog. Which, I need to remind you again, isn’t just your website, Princess Golden Hair. You need to share the glory with the other four leggers that live here.

Not, says Euka. Fair. 

Anyway, kiddo, I say. I’ve been thinking about how you’re starting dog college next month and since you’ve been kind of a celebrity …

Kind of? Euka tosses her ears back. Hello? I’ve been on television!

Right. I say. But only because we hooked up the laptop to the plasma screen. Still, it was pretty awesome to watch you over those first eight weeks of your little, furry life. I remember watching from your first day in the world -you and your extraordinary E littermates- when you all were livestreamed by Eukanuba.* You critters worked it hard to build your fan base over those two months in California. 

Then we welcomed your little polar bear self at our place here in Ohio (The Heart of America!) and we’ve been telling your stories to your fierce and loyal followers for the last year and a half.  All our adventures together and now … just a sec. Darn it, hold on. I have something in my eye.

I pause to dab at my eyes. Blow my nose. And now, Euka, we have only five weeks left. [sniffle] So I was thinking, let’s do an interview before you leave here to start dog college.

An interview? asks Euka. You mean when we talk about me and nothing else? I’m in. You may start.

Childhood Star, Euka II, in her early days.
Really early. This was the day she opened her eyes.
[photo courtesy of Chris Kittredge Photography]

Sure. I say. Let’s do this all fancy like. We’ll pretend that you’re … I mean since you’re such a big deal we’ll go at this like a James Lipton interview

Who? asks Euka.

He interviews movie stars, I say.

Oh, she says. Him. Well, carry on.

Ok, we’ll do his ten question thingy, I say. Maybe a couple of slight modifications to fit your unique circumstance of being a puppy on her way to Advanced Training at Canine Companions for Independence. Ready?

Interview with Euka II, child star and puppy-in-training for Canine Companions for Independence

1. What is your favorite word?

Easy! It’s Euka. No really. Don’t even roll your eyes. I love my name.

Because whenever I hear it I’m pretty sure something cool will be happening next. Like a Let’s Go or we’re going outside or there’s a cookie coming my way or you’re going to give me a job to do.

And I like that you’re not talking to Micron. For once.

2. What is your least favorite word?  

Same word. But I don’t like it when you use Don’t as my middle name. That’s a fun suck. You need to know that.

Look into my eyes. Good. Now say
my name. That’s it. Now you may
give me a cookie.

3. What turns you on?

Long walks in the rain. I can rock the wash & wear look. Right? Unlike [cough] somebody else I know. By the way, Food Lady, did you mean for your hair to look like that on purpose today?

What? What’d I say?

4. What turns you off?

When Bodine the Cat breaks protocol and nips me after only two licks. He supposed to allow three licks to his face. He’s kinda a jerk sometimes.

5. What sound or noise do you love?

Keep the easy ones comin’, Food Lady.

Nothing better than the sound of kibble hitting a metal food pan. It’s like, oh I dunno, like the sound of a bell ringing. I could listen to that all day, every day.

Just hearing it makes my tummy all rumbly.

6. What sound or noise do you hate?

I like my dinner bell. Yours, not so much. You know what I mean, right? What do you call it again?

You know, it’s that thing on the ceiling that beeps when dinner’s ready. It’s awful loud.

So anyway, I’m thinking you might want to order pizza tonight or something.

7. What is your favorite curse word?

Hahahaha. I like that word you say when Bodine the Cat trips you on the stairs because he says his food bowl is getting low and you haven’t noticed and if another day like this goes by Bodine says he’ll fade away into nothing and then he’ll never pick up any cute chicks because skeletons don’t get any action and even worse he says he won’t have enough energy to get that little bird that’s been making fun of him through the kitchen window because that little sucker has it coming if just somebody would leave the back door open for a minute he could take care of that bit of business.

Bodine, Benevolent Overlord of Sword House
He’s on the dining room table because I won’t let
him lick his nethers on the kitchen counter.

But anyway you told me I couldn’t say that word or I’d have to sleep in the litterbox room.

8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

I like my job as a puppy and I think I’m really good at it. But since I’m going to dog college next month, I think I’ll major in something like Skilled Companion Dog or Service Dog. Maybe Facility Dog because you get to work with a lot of different people. I heard that for a career as a Hearing Dog  you get to go to California for a Masters Degree. That sounds pretty awesome too.

But if none of that works out, maybe Quality Control at a farm where they grow bacon.

9. What profession would you not like to do?

Marine Biologist. Because sharks ain’t right. I mean, just look at ’em crossways and they’re all ima gonna eat you.

10. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?

“Well done, my little polar bear. You made a difference. Your room is ready at the bacon farm”

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*Eukanuba Ustream of the Canine Companions Hero Litter. Five more weeks to watch Euka’s brothers and sisters of the CCI H Litter. These furries share the same mom, Taya. Catch ’em while you still can.
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