Thursday, December 25, 2014

The new face of confidence

Going through her exercises at the monthly puppy meeting, Sparkle now shows a new resoluteness and confidence.

The new face of confidence

Even though Sparkle is still a sometimes-silly pup, it struck me at Tuesday's meeting that she is developing emotionally as well as physically. Watching her calmly waiting to go through her maneuvers during the puppy-circle training session, I could see right before me the Seeing Eye dog  taking shape.

She's consistently performing the sit, down commands (the so-called puppy push-ups), where the pups perform three sets of sitting, then lying down, then sitting again.  And her footwork on the leash is getting surer and surer. 

I did have to separate her from a friendly German shepherd pup during the business meeting. She just wanted to play and play. So I moved two seats over, and she promptly fell asleep at my feet.

This morning, I took Sparkle and Porter (our former Seeing Eye pup) on their usual brisk 50-minute walk around the neighborhood, despite the rainy weather. One thing about those Labs and goldens: The rain just rolls right off their backs. 

George Carter
About this blog
George Carter, The Inquirer's weekend national/foreign editor, has always counted dogs among his closest companions. According to family lore, he learned to walk by clinging to the side of a saintly patient mutt named Spanker. In turn, one of his earliest hazy memories is of tossing treats to the family dogs gathered expectantly on the porch of their Maryland farmhouse. It was only natural then, that when George saw a newspaper ad looking for families to raise puppies for the Seeing Eye of Morristown, N.J., he bit at the chance. From the start, it has been a family project, with teenage daughter Betsy as the official puppy-raiser. First there was Porter, a big-hearted yellow Lab born on Memorial Day 2004. A few years later, the Carters raised Velma, a gorgeous Lab/golden cross. Just a couple weeks ago, Velma's 7-week-old daughter Sparkle arrived as the latest family charge. George, Betsy and mom Cathy are thrilled that Sparkle is from Velma's very first litter. You can reach George Carter at 215-854-2411 or by clicking here. Reach George at gcarter@phillynews.com.

George Carter
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