50 for 50 #38 – Osaka Japanese Resturant

Karen and Osaka in front of the Osaka Restaurant

Today to celebrate my 50th year we drove to Provo and ate at Osaka on Center Street. We use to live less than a mile away but what this place reminds me of most is when I did Christmas windows out of candy for Provo City Arts Council. I did my window in Osaka all but the very first year that I did a window. Mary was always so nice to work with and she always wanted to keep my window up until after Valentines day. By then they were pretty faded and certainly ready to take down. She actually still has the focal point from one of the windows in her lobby. The year our theme was Christmas Around the World I made a life-size Japanese woman in a Kimono covered with sliced jelly belly candy. She has gotten a bit dusty over the years but for the most part she is still in pretty good shape.

Each year we did a window, Mary would give us a gift certificate to her restaurant. And I still had some money left on the last one she gave me. Also one of my fellow puppy raisers has a dog about the same age as Yakira whose name is Osaka. When Karen got Osaka off the truck and thought it would be fun to take our pups to Osaka and have lunch. Well it has almost been a year and we finally got it done. I forgot to take my camera today but I took a couple of shots of Karen and Osaka in front of Osaka with her camera. I’m sure she will share the photo with me then I can post it here. Zodiac was a good boy and resisted playing with Osaka under the table until it was about time to leave.

Yakira ended up having to stay home. She has been given no car travel until Monday as part of dealing with her anxiety during the trip to Denver last week. I’ll have to find a photo of the candy windows I did at Osaka and post them here also. Today is another one of those lovely fall days with blue skies and nice temperatures.


The Revolving Puppy Door

Yakira and Zodiac

There have been lots of coming and going of puppies in the last few weeks and more to come in the next few weeks. Zodiac has been on puppy sits two weekends in May because we went to Wood Badge. He also had two weekends in June. The first because he was too young to go with us to Casey’s graduation.

Parker at Rockaway Beach

Next my friend Lisa had a family reunion to go to. Her dog Parker needed to come to our house to be puppy sat because he had some anxiety issues and was most familiar with us and our house. Parker and Lisa went with us to Casey’s graduation. So Zodiac went to Karen’s and Parker came here. Instead of Parker going to Karen’s. Osaka, Karen’s dog was in season and her house isn’t approved for an in season female. Another puppy sitter could take Osaka for about a week but then had committed to puppy sit someone else dog. Yakira was still on house arrest from being in season herself and they don’t like us to have three puppies in training in the same household. So that meant that Zodiac had to go off again. That meant that we had Yakira and Parker for a few days.


A few days later Parker went home and Yakira was cleared to socialize again, so Osaka came here and Yakira went to Karen’s and Zodiac came back home. Osaka was a good girl but she is a lab golden cross (mostly golden retriever) and she has that soft golden coat. Soon after we got her I noticed that she had mats behind her ears. She had been at another puppy sitters before we had her and they have a swimming pool. Osaka must have gotten the mats while there, maybe from getting wet in the swimming pool. Well I didn’t have a clue how to get the mats out. I tried but with no success. So Karen came back to our house toward the end of that week and brought some golden retriever type grooming tools. Plus she worked for quiet some time getting the mats out from behind Osaka’s ears. Goldens certainly need more grooming than labs. Well Karen was nice and let us keep Yakira for the weekend. We stretched the three puppy rule but it was fun to have her home. All three dogs got along very well together.

Finally we got Yakira back home early this week. We have had Zodiac for about two months and he had only gotten to go out and socialize with Yakira a couple of times. By the time he earned his jacket, Yakira was in season. Then she swapped with Osaka. I’ve really had to think hard to keep track of which dog I’m talking too. A couple of times I just couldn’t come up with the right name in a timely manner.

This next week we are headed off to Martin’s Cove for a short pioneer trek. We had originally planned to take the dogs with us but it is so hot that we decided it would be better not to have them there.  We will be home less than 48 hours before I head off for Girls Camp all the following week. Bill is helping out the first day so two more puppy sits are in the works. My friend Lisa’s dog Parker went back to Oregon for formal harness training yesterday so she will thankfully be available to puppy sit both dogs. Summer is crazy with puppy raisers going every which direction. She will take Yakira and Zodiac while we are in Martin’s Cove and then while Bill is helping us get up to Girls Camp. Then she will take Zodiac while I’m gone the rest of the week. That way Bill won’t have to come home from work in the middle of the day and a puppy won’t have to spend the whole day in the kennel.

That should take care of our puppy swapping around for a while. We want to take a trip to Colorado toward the end of the summer to visit Banta. But I think we should be able to take both puppies with us on that trip.

50 for 50 #7 – Walking Dogs for “Ski for Light”

One of the working dogs I walked for Ski for Light

I forgot that I had walking dogs for Ski for Light on my list of 50 for 50, so I actually got two things done this week. I’m sure being ahead will come in handy in the next few weeks. When ever Ski for Light comes to Utah I jump at the chance to walk the guide dogs while their handlers go cross country skiing at Soldier Hollow. When I’m there I can’t help but remember the first time I helped. It opened my mind so much to what working guide dogs were really like. We were raising our first puppy, Apex, at the time and I had it in my head that Apex need perfect behavior in every to make it as a guide dog. Then I saw that these dogs weren’t perfect in every way. Many of them went after stuff on the ground just like Apex did when we were on walks. It was one of those Ah ha moments.

We were short-handed two of the three days that I walked dogs. The last day we were really short and my friend Tricia got to walk a Golden Retriever to help get the dogs done. That day Jeanne gave me several dogs that needed long walks so I really got my exercise in.

On Friday Karen, another puppy raiser, and I took our puppies in training (Osaka and Yakira) down to Provo to meet two of the women we know from GDB Lounge (a yahoo group). They really enjoyed meeting the puppies but their guide dogs weren’t so sure about two energetic and forward little puppies. It was a very fun but tiring week.

Swap with Osaka

Yakira – photo by Karen Fuller

On Tuesday Yakira went on a puppy swap and Osaka came to our house. Karen brought Osaka here and the girls had a grand time playing before she took Yakira home with her. Osaka is a lab golden cross who is mostly golden and has that soft long golden coat. She is a couple of weeks older than Yakira. I could tell before Karen left that Osaka was going to be easy to integrate into our home. It just felt like she was already at home here. And she was easy especially after having Sinclair here who was a good pup in many ways but a challenge most of the time. Today we met Karen and her mother at The Old Spaghetti Factory. We enjoyed a good meal and lots of fun conversation before we swapped puppies back. It is good to have Yakira home but we enjoyed having Osaka here too. She can come back to our house anytime.