Sunday, February 14, 2016

Sparkle's casual Friday

A morning walk, rompy playtime in the backyard, then a quick errand to the store: All part of Sparkle's education.

Sparkle's casual Friday


Friday was a routine kind of winter day, but I kept Sparkle engaged. After our usual morning neighborhood walk, I took Sparkle and Porter out in the backyard and threw the tire around for them. They were quite rompy, and thoroughly enjoyed some rough-housing over the toy. Colder weather does bring out their wolfish exuberance!

Later, I made a quick run with Sparkle to the local home-improvement store. I snapped on her green vest, and we headed straight for the lawn-power-tool aisle, where I picked out a replacement bump knob for the weed trimmer. (I'd snapped the plastic tabs last fall trying to hastily straighten out a tangled cutting cord.) I'm always fiddling with these darn trimmers, but that's another matter...

Sparkle waited quite patiently while I found the part, but she did knock over a small trash can at the cash register trying to say hi to the clerk.  

It wasn't any big outing, but taking the pup along on routine errands is a fundamental part of training. After all, a guide dog is involved in getting her new owner just about everywhere, no matter how ordinary the destination. 

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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

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