A Walk in the Park

Casey and Waffle happily enjoying a rest on the cool grass

Today Lisa and I took the girls for a relaxing walk in the park. It was pretty hot so we stuck to the shade as much as possible. We all enjoyed ourselves especially when we just hung out in the cool shade for awhile. Casey and Waffle are so cute together. I can’t help but remember when Banta was the grown-up dog and Casey was the little one.

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Father’s Day Tie

Bill testing out his new tie

Apex sent Bill a doggy Father’s Day gift. It didn’t make it in time for Father’s Day but we got it today. His handler is so thoughtful. I tried to take a video of Bill opening his gift but I didn’t operate the camera right and missed the whole thing. Can’t wait for Bill to wear his Apex tie to church on Sunday. Everyone will get to see it because we “get” to speak too.

Bill actually wearing his Apex tie with Casey and Waffle

Banta’s Book – conclusion

Once Banta started her formal training as a guide dog she moved along quickly. On May 16th Mark was introduced to Banta who had all the traits he wished for in his third guide except her smaller size. We got to meet Mark and see Banta at their graduation on May 28th. It took her a couple of seconds to realize who we were and then she exploded with excitement to see us.

We knew Banta needed just the right kind of handler and Mark is that person. He said, “I think GDB did a perfect job matching Banta and I. As soon as they handed me her leash I fell in love with her, she is a great little girl.” Mark calls her Little Bit and Reina which is Spanish for queen.

[photo: Mark and Banta on the GDB campus with rocks, a willow tree and calla lilies in the background – Banta has turned to the side a little and looking up at Mark]

Banta’s Book – Businesslike

Businesslike: efficient, practical, capable

The first time someone called Banta a calm dog I was shocked. Then I realized that she indeed had grown into being a calm and businesslike puppy. When out socializing she was so great to work with. She quickly learned what was expected of her and handled everything like a pro. It is amazing what a year of maturing can do.

[photo 1: close-up of Banta laying alertly in our dinning room, photo 2: close-up of Banta as Bill scratches her neck before graduation at GDB, photo 3: Banta standing on the landing looking straight ahead, photo 4: close-up of Banta puppy in training collar with it brass plate with contact information for Guide Dogs for the Blind and Banta’s tattoo#]

Banta’s Book – Bullheaded

Bullheaded: obstinately opinionated

As a puppy Banta was a challenge. She would sometimes do things just because she could, in kind of a rebellious way. For example on walks she would pick-up something off the sidewalk not because she really wanted it but because you had prevented her from doing something else she wanted to do and it was her way of showing her independence. One thing you didn’t want to get into with Banta was a battle and trying to get something out of her mouth was one of the worst battles. As she matured Banta chose not to be so bullheaded about things and it was rare for her to pick-up something off the ground.

[these photos where taken by photographer Lisa Thompson in a studio setting with a white background – Banta is 5 months old – photo 1: Banta with brown reindeer antlers, with a silver jingle bell tied on with green ribbon, on her head – Banta is looking at the floor with her ears pulled back and down, photo 2: front view of Banta sitting in her puppy jacket – she has a very focused look in her eyes, photo 3: Banta laying on her side with a red Santa hat draped across her head with the white fur ball on the top in her mouth]

Banta’s Book – Bright

Bright: animated; lively; cheerful

Banta has such a bright and cheerful attitude to life. Her big spirit can fill up not just a room but a whole house. She is a bit of an oxymoron because she doesn’t require lots and lots of sustained exercise like 5 mile walks. But she vibrates at a fairly high frequency. She does things with all her heart and spirit. She enjoys life and gives it all she has.

[photo 1: close-up of Banta with her head turned to the side – her mouth is open with her tongue hanging out, photo 2: close-up of Banta with her tongue curling up to lick her nose, photo 3: Banta on her back with her legs in the air and her body and head twisting in opposite directions, photo 4: close-up of Banta laying on the floor of our family room with her mouth open reaching for a sterilized bone]