Sunday, September 21, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

She's fetching, but rather coy about it

Sparkle the Seeing Eye pup loves to play fetch, but strictly on her own terms. She's a real tease.

She's fetching, but rather coy about it

The weather has been rather unpredictable the last week. Snowy and icy one day, then colder, warmer and rainy the next, partly sunny, then sunny. We've been out on our walks in all of it (except on Saturday, when freezing rain was falling on top of snow and it was too icy to walk safely). 

Sparkle does fine in all weather conditions, her thick retriever coat repelling the rain. I took her out the other day when it was still rather mucky and gave her an extended fetching session in the backyard. 

I have to admit she is not the world's best retriever -- nowhere near it.  Porter was the same way. These dogs were obviously not bred to retrieve waterfowl from frigid lakes, and they know it.  My Seeing Eye pups love to get hold of the item (in this case a black rubber tire) and worry it and shake it and run around the yard with it. Giving it to me is another matter. Sparkle is a rather cute tease.

 Lately she's been trotting to the very back of the yard and loitering there with the tire, daring me to either come take it from her or waiting a long while before she reluctantly yields to my calls, her tail wagging a mile a minute, and brings it over.  OK, I know she's laughing at me.

George Carter
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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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