Saturday, February 25, 2012

Balsa' Matriculation Photos

Balsa looks so grown up - not like a puppy anymore

 I love this close up of Balsa, it's the best photo ever taken of her - those eyes show so much wisdom

                          Here is our family photo, and we are all smiling !!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Oceanside - CCI Turn in and Matriculation

Well after a long day of driving on Wednesday,  (through a snow storm and lots of rain), we finally made it to Oceanside, California.  Bright and early on Thursday morning after a quick breakfast, mom, dad, and I drove over to the CCI campus to take a tour.  It's a very beautiful campus... very clean and inviting.  It you are ever in Oceanside on the first Thursday of any month, feel free to stop by.  They give free tours, no appointment required.  You will be very impressed by the facilities.
Here is a picture of me by the main entrance sign.  Even though I am a big girl, I look so small next to the sign.  But if you look close, you can see me in front of the sign sitting in among the wonderful smelling flowers.
 Mom really liked this area of the campus.  It was dedicated to the CCI service dogs who died.  Their owners purchased tile squares with the dog's names on them as a remembrance.  There was a lovely fountain and a small reflection pond with benches.  It was a very peaceful place to spend a few moments.
 Here is the door to my dorm room, see my name.  I have 2 roommates.  Most puppies only have 1.  Looks like we are going to have some serious all night PJ parties !!  Dad noticed that I am the youngest of the three.  You can tell by our ID numbers.  The larger the number, the later in the year you were born.  At matriculation, I met Fluffy, (one of my roomies).  A real nice gal.
 That evening Dad declared that today was "Balsa Day".  He said it means all restrictions were off for the rest of the day.  We went to the park across the street from the motel and played catch, I got extra treats to eat.  And I even got to sleep on the bed with mom and dad.  A very strict no, no for CCI rules.  Mom said that this will probably be the one bad habit I will remember forever.  Dad said "so what - it's Balsa Day"  I was so exhausted that evening.  I slept right in the middle between mom and dad all night.  It felt so good and comforting.  Mom kept waking up and petting me every couple of hours all night long.
 The next morning after breakfast the three of us went down to the ocean.  I had never been to the ocean.  I was so excited.
 We walked out on the pier.  I wasn't scared at all.  I got to look down between the boards on the pier and see the ocean.  WOW.  I think I like California.  There are so many new sights and smells here.
 Later that morning we went over to the venue for the graduation and matriculation.  There were so many people there and so much energy and excitement in the room it was scary for me.  But dad let me put my head on his lap and he would comfort me.  He's a good dad that way.  He kept telling me what a good girl I was and petting me.  I am sure going to miss giving him my ear nibbles.
When we lined up for our professional photos, I got to see my litter mate, (my sister Brisbane).  She looks just like our mother.  She was raised in Las Vegas.  And she is a lot smaller than me.  I gave her a kiss on the muzzle for good luck and told her that I would catch up with her in the puppy playground in the next couple of days.  After the ceremony we drove back to CCI and mom and dad said their goodbyes.  Mom was so sad, I think dad was a little sad too.  As I was walking down the hall, I tried so hard not to look back, but just as I was turning the corner I took a quick peek back at mom.  She was crying real hard and that broke my heart.  But I remember the 4 rules that she told me:
1.)  remember my commands, (I'll need them the rest of my life)
2.) remember my manners, (no one likes a bad mannered puppy)
3.) remember I was born for a special job, (I'm a CCI puppy, born for this purpose)
4.) always remember that mom loves me, and she will always be my mom

This will be the last posting from me for a long, long time.  They told me that I am not allowed to use the computer anymore.  But mom has promised that if she gets any pictures or reports from me she will post them to let everyone know how I am doing.  Wish me luck, as I head out on this next chapter of my journey.


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

California Here I Come (sing it to "Leaving on a Jet Plane"

All my bags are packed, I'm ready to go.  I'm standing here beside the door. The dawn is breaking, it's early morn. Dad's in the car, he's honking the horn.  Already mom's so lonesome, she could cry.  So kiss me quick and smile for me, tell me that your proud of me.  Tell me that I'll pass the class with ease.  Oh mom - I hate to leave.            There's so many times, I let you down, so many times I played around.  I tell you now - I was just being a goofy pup.  Every place I go, I'll think of you.  Every face I see, I'll see you.  Every ball I catch, I'll think of you and dad.   So pat me on the head and tell me that your proud of me.  Tell me that you'll remember me.  Tell me that our bond won't ever break.  Cause I'm leaving for CCI, going off to help someone.  Going out to show them I can pull the wheelchair.      Now the time has come to leave you.  One more time, let me kiss you.  Then close your eyes and I'll be on my way.  Dream about the days to come, when I wear the blue cape.  About the days that I will help someone.                  So kiss me and smile for me, tell  me that your proud of me.  Tell that you won't forget me.  Tell me that our bond won't ever break.  Cause I'm leaving for CCI, and I won't ever be back again.  Oh mom, I have to go.

(our apologies to John Denver for the liberties we took with his song)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Look what Dad and I got for Mom -  do you know what it is?  It's a crying hankie stamped with my CCI Matriculation date on it, so that mom will always remember me and this important date.  Dad and I have been talking about how upset mom has been about my leaving for college and how she's going to be crying when I leave home.  So we bought her one to use during the ceremony.  Pretty cool - huh.  Here is a picture of it.

Just wanted to share it with everyone.  Until next time -  remember your commands, and "don't lick".

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


Last Saturday mom and dad took me into the vet for my BIG final checkup, (the one from nose to tail).  All the girls at the vet's office gave me big hugs and said they were going to miss seeing me each month.  The first thing was my weigh in, I have lost 2 1/2 lbs this month, ( I am down to 75.3 lbs. - the diet is working !!).  I have never had so many places checked, prodded, poked, looked at, rubbed over and lights shined on before in my whole life.  But the vet said my teeth looked good, my ears, heart, eyes, lungs, EVERYTHING was very good.  He said that I was one of his best patients he every had and he was going to miss me.  He signed off on all the papers for mom and dad and wished me good luck on my next journey.  The girls all gave me more hugs out in the office and told me I was such a "sweetie".  This Saturday will be my last puppy class before we leave for Oceanside, California next week.  Every couple of days, mom keeps telling me to remember the 4 most important rules:
1.)  Always remember my commands - they are so important for the rest of my life
2.)  Always remember my manners - people don't like ill mannered doggies
3.)  Always remember I have a very important mission ahead as a CCI dog for someone special - I was born for this important mission
4.)  Always remember that she will always love me no matter what, and she will always be my mom - she always gets teary eyed and starts to cry when she tells me this rule, and it makes me a little sad to see her start to cry.

Well - only 13 more days till we hit the road and start out for California.  I will try to post some photos of our trip and let you know what the college looks like before mom and dad have to say their goodbyes at the dorm rooms.  I know mom's gonna' have a rough time, but I'll sneak in a couple of good licks to cheer her up, and then she'll say what she always says  "don't lick !!"...  and dad will laugh.

Until next post, don't lick and keep your tails wagging high and proudly.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Look what mom got in the mail !!  A packet from CCI !  And it had all my paperwork for turn in for my professional advanced training in February.  It's official !  I have been accepted into CCI college.  Mom has alot of papers to fill out, I have to get a complete check up from the vet and all my original vet files, and lots of other forms that mom has to have filled out and back to CCI not later than February 8th.  Boy is she going to be busy getting me ready. 

I went to the vet on December 27th, for my annual shots, annual checkup, and monthly weigh in.  I now weigh 77.8 lbs.  The vet said that for a "pet", I was a good weight, but for a service dog I need to lose a few pounds before turn in date.  So he told mom to cut my food portions by 1/4th.  Can you imagine THAT !!  1/4 LESS FOOD !!   Boy am I ever hungry, ALL THE TIME.  I went from 4 cups of food to 3 cups of food per day.  Did I mention that I am HUNGRY !!  But I must admit I am already starting to look very slim already.  Those boy dogs at college will be wolf whistling at me when I walk by, (what ever that means - that what mom says).  By the way - did I tell you that I am always HUNGRY !!  Mom told dad that if they cut their food by 1/4 they would be hungry all the time also.   Boy, the things a dog has to do for the betterment of mankind.

Well, our household is now counting down the days.  We are driving to California and mom sometimes gets a little teary eyed about the upcoming turn in.  I just look her in the eyes for a few moments and then when she least suspects it - I give her a quick lick.  I know I'm not supposed to lick, but I can't help myself.

Until next post, wag those tails, watch where you step, and don't lick! 

Monday, December 26, 2011


I just want to wish everyone a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS.  And remind you to keep those tails wagging, (and don't lick - that's what mom always says to me !).   Anyways until next post, hope your holidays are merry and bright.