Sunday, December 30, 2007

My first birthday!

I am one year old today!!

Yesterday we took a fun trip to a park in Leichhart. At the end of the park is Cafe Bones. At Cafe Bones, I mingled with lots of nice doggies and I got a birthday Pupaccino!!! Yummy!! It was a super fun day.

Today, we went to Bronte Beach and walked over to Bondi and back. It was a super fun birthday walk.

Friday, December 28, 2007

My first Christmas

Christmas was SOOOO fun!! Some of my favourite relatives came to stay with us. It has been beautiful summer weather and we played a lot of frisbee!! I LOVE playing frisbee!!I got my own stocking that hung on the fireplace next to Bella's. I will take it with me when I move in with my future best friend. We have recently been told that I will be going into the training headquarters soon. I am being called in early because I have a very gentle temperament. My temperament is so gentle that it has been decided that I will go on to befriend a young person, rather than an adult. I am very excited. I LOVE young people!!

Bella told me all about Santa. I feel like I have tried really hard to be a good girl but I still wasn't sure that Santa was going to leave something for me. It was really exciting to look in my stocking on Christmas morning!! I got a new teeth-cleaning bone!! I got a lot of other presents for Christmas too. I think that Bella and I got more presents than everyone else.

Monday, December 10, 2007

The fur situation

Over the last few months I have been shedding a lot. After it has left my body, my fur tends to collect together making beautiful balls of fur that look like pretty little tumble weeds blowing through our house. Well, that is what Mommy told me they look like. I have never seen a tumble weed. Thank goodness we have a really good vacuum!!

Also, I keep getting really muddy at the park. It has been very warm lately and thanks to the rain, there are tons of nice, cool puddles. During play time at the park, I just love plopping my body into dirty puddles to cool off. Unfortunately, my fur turns black from the dirty puddles. I have to bathe in the back yard before I am allowed back inside the house.

We had some fun glittery stuff around the house for a few days. Bella and I really loved it.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

It takes a village

Last Friday was the National Assistance Dogs Australia Day. Puppies and volunteers were out in force all around Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. There were also booths in Tasmania and South Australia! Hopefully we were able to raise more awareness about Assistance Dogs. I hope that a lot more people learned about Assistance Dogs because it really takes the whole community to support us in order for our continued success. It is not just financially that we need support. We need the community to be able to accept our place in public. All of us puppies hope to be able to help someone with mobility impairments in their home AND out in the rest of the world. "Assistance Dogs are currently making a dramatic difference in the quality of life for individuals with physical disabilities. Not only do they assist them physically, but also these special dogs relieve loneliness and social isolation, helping their owners integrate more with their local communities. This increase in independence allows them to get on with their lives, often attending college, getting employment or just mixing more." Even as puppies we need to practice good behaviour in public so that when we become a working dog, we are habituated to public places. This is difficult without the support of everyone in the community.

Over the weekend we dealt with some people who have chosen not to support us. Cafe Treahorne in Katoomba does not allow me or even a fully certified, working service dog into their restaurant. If a blind person or a disabled person wants to eat at their restaurant with their service dog, they are required to eat out in the cold, at the outside tables.

It reminded me to feel thankful about the wonderful support I have received here in the Inner West where I live, as well as in all of the other parts of Sydney where I have visited. My family and I have also received a lot of support from most of our friends. Thank you!!

We stayed in Wentworth Falls for the weekend. A big thanks to The Parkhouse at Yester Grange for welcoming me in the accomodation. It was rainy for a lot of the weekend so I got quite muddy when I was out playing in the yard. It was super fun!!!

Monday, November 26, 2007


Let's see, what have I been doing? I entered a photo contest at QBE where my daddy works. I entered because I wanted to thank QBE for giving my organization a signed and framed Sydney Swans jersey to auction at the annual ADA dinner. I got an honorable mention in the photo contest. Last week I did a few demonstrations. At the demonstrations, we teach people about Assistance Dogs. Everyone knows about Guide Dogs but not very many people know about Assistance Dogs. Here is a picture of me with a few of the ladies at the Killara Lawn Bowling Club where I did the demo last Tuesday. On Wednesday I did a demo at the Bexley Community Center and on Friday I went on a corporate walk in the city with employees of Genworth Financial. Here is a picture of me with two of the Genworth employees. We had a big Thanksgiving dinner at our house last Thursday. There were about 30 people and I didn't jump up on anyone. It has taken me a long time to learn not to jump up to say hello to people but I have finally learned!!!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Sunday, November 04, 2007


Hi. I am Willow. I am a shiny, 10 -week old black lab. I have a gentle temperament and I am very happy and confident. I enjoy chewing on toys and helping with vacuuming and sweeping. Currently, I am working on becoming potty-trained.

I spent the weekend with Quinta and her family. Today, I am moving into my new home with my puppy-raisers. I fit in really well with Quinta and her family and I know that I will adjust quickly to my new home as well.

If you want to sponsor me and keep up with my progress, please contact the Assistance Dogs Australia office.HERE is a photo album of me with pictures from this weekend.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Halloween Puppy School

I had class last night. It was Halloween so I wore Bella's pumpkin costume. Below is a picture of me in the pumpkin hat, watching and listening to my teacher, Carol.After the other puppies arrived costume-less, I undressed. We had a fun play-time before class. I took a dip in the little pool.
Ursula went in the pool after me. Lockey, who is already into his advanced training, hung out with us during play time. There were only three of us during class - Ubu, Ursula and me.

Monday, October 29, 2007

From Bondi to Bronte

Yesterday we hopped on a bus to Bondi Beach. We went to Iceburgs and then walked along the path from Bondi to Bronte. It was super fun. I got some off-lead play time at Tamarama. On our way home, we transferred to a different bus at railway square, near the UTS tower building.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

My first time on a boat!

I had a busy day! Since I have been moving past my defiance issues, I didn't have to miss out on any of the weekend fun. We had company visiting from Spain so we all went to pose for pictures in front of the Harbour Bridge, the Opera House and stuff like that.The Opera House is in Circular Quay. That is where we got on a ferry to go to north to Manly Beach. When we first sat down on the ferry, I had my tail in the walking aisle. I quickly moved to a better UNDER position and waited there the entire boat ride. Manly Beach was fun. I got to put my arms up on the ledge and watch what was happening on the beach. Then we sat and ate fish n' chips in the plaza area. I didn't get to eat any. There were lots of seagulls fighting for pieces of food. I think birds are super exciting but I didn't try to chase them. I was fairly distracted by them at first but then I was able to focus back on my parents and totally ignore the birds. Eventually, I got play time near the warf. After play time, we went to have some drinks at a restaurant near the ferry. All weekend we had to explain to various managers why it was OK that I was there because they we kept going to places that I haven't been been before.