Remembering Prince Noah

Warning, this is a long post and for those receiving this via email there is a video. Sorry so far I still haven’t found something that allows videos to play in the email version.

April 1, 2014 was a day I will never forget. It was the day my previous guide, my white golden Prince Noah was put to sleep. Today marks the first full year without him and thanks to my new best furry pal Luna it’s not as bad as it could have been.

I received Noah shortly after I moved to Ottawa from Canadian Guide dogs and boy was he *huge* I remember when I got him wondering how in the world this big dog would fit anywhere, but he did! He could curl up into the smallest ball that shocked me even at times.

I sadly didn’t get to write much about Prince Noah and his funny ways because I didn’t start writing until August 2012 so missed out on some great memories.

But I’m so glad I have ones like telling Noah not to dance and most certainly the very first time I decided to dance with him

A great shout Sister Choir story:
So one night we were doing a show and sometimes my lovely Noah sits between my feet and sometimes he lays down, either is fine with me since he’s a good boy. We had this one song called ‘Lay Down” hahahha, the first few lines of the song are of course “lay down” So before we started the song my Noah was sitting up and nice and proud in his black shirt and we began to sing, *snickers* “lay down, lay down, lay it all down” You guessed it, the command lay down and over 100 people singing it Noah let out a loud groan as to say “alright already, I’ll lay down” and he plopped on the ground. Talk about funny. All of us had a hard time trying not to laugh and sing at the same time!

Unlike my current stubborn mutt Luna who would just grumble and snort at me if I had the nerve to leave her at home the vindictive Prince Noah got his revenge! Oh yes, he would find things to run me into like *huge* snow piles or *big* cold puddles of water to make me walk through and he’d be wagging his tail the whole time!

i remember during training Tim our trainer and I trying really hard one lesson to get Noah to not jump over or walk around a puddle, but he was having none of it. He refused to get wet if he could help it, lol.

Here is how Prince Noah got the title of Prince:
This one happened when we were actually still in training. We were walking down a busy downtown street, loads of people, tables, chairs and all those lovely obstacles that jump out at you in downtown areas *chuckles* Noah and I get about halfway down the sidewalk when he slams on the breaks. I put my foot out to see what’s up and see nothing, hold my hand out, nothing. Reach down check my dog and he’s looking off to the side. I’m now like completely puzzled and tell him to hup hup. Noah says nope, not moving. He then shakes himself and then looks back off to the side..not happy with whatever it is and shakes himself again even harder, then looks back off to the side. By this time my instructor has reached me and is laughing his head off and tells me what Noah is looking at. We came across a store front that had a window that reflected your reflection back at you like a mirror. I couldn’t help but to laugh and during this Noah gives one last big shake, looks off to the side and is finally happy with his appearance and off we go, bouncing down the street as nothing is wrong, lol.

On March 14 our partnership abruptly came to an end and then I had no idea how I would recover. To this day I still wish I could have made it all better and i panic if Luna seems even slightly out of tune. That part will probably never change, the worrying and wondering what if or could I have.

April 1 will always be a day to remember and a day of celebration!

Prince Noah
may 13, 2009 to April 1, 2014

GDB home visit with Chuck

Well, last night I had my home visit with Chuck from Guide Dogs for the Blind and I think it went pretty good.

Meeting Chuck in person definitely erased the first impression I got of him which wasn’t in the best of circumstances dealing with a GDB grad, *smiles* It’s nice to see that Chuck is a person that definitely pays attention to detail when it comes to the matching process and explains things so that i wasn’t left wondering, “what the hell is he talking about/”

We went over a brief description of the 2 campuses, Oregon and California. Sorry, I still want to go to Cali! But I’ll take whichever campus has a match for me first.

He mentioned that GDB can have up to 137 puppies born in one month. *gasps* how in the world do you find a name for that many puppies? Like especially when you get to the letter x or z, *boggles*

Then he described to me the layout of the rooms and what’s in them. *wows* a flat screen tv, really in the rooms and a fridge? All I’ll need is my keurig machine and I’ll be set, *chuckles*

Then we came to the fun part, the walk and the Juno walk.

Chuck decided he would have me do a route that I haven’t done in like over a year, *cries*

Somehow, I managed not to kill myself, but I did have one scary moment. I thought that I timed a crossing wrong, but *whew* I didn’t die and Chuck didn’t yell at me, so guess all is right with the world and that car was just eager to get moving.
I did ask Chuck if he’d fail me if I managed to somehow throw my cane under a train, ha! He just laughed at me.

*chuckles* he thinks I was kidding. I really would have, but then I wouldn’t have a way home, *sighs*

Anyways, on to the Juno part!

o Juno took me for a walk down the street and he was a good boy until he confused me.

*scratches head*

What the hell is up with the way GDB holds their leashes? I think that’s the strangest way I’ve ever seen. You just put the leash between your index finger and thumb and it just hangs there. I can so see myself getting beat up by instructors for not holding the leash that way or having my thumb in the right spot!

I’m so not use to holding the leash that way that somewhere along the way I stopped holding part of the darn thing and it was just flopping around, *grumbles and curses* Who came up with this method?

Anyways, on to walking again. so we’re cruising along and Juno decides to get distracted, *sighs* distractions while I’m trying to wrap my head around this leash thing. anyways, right distracted dog, new command for me to learn, *cheers*

Time out!

What, what’s that?

Oh, well, that’s a neat little command you don’t say anything just do a few leash hand switching and stand there. Eventually you’re dog will settle down. *whew* one would hope so. If not, well then guess you’ll be standing there a while. Wish I knew about this technique with Noah and squirrels, hahahahha!

Sorry Noah!

Oh yeah, must remember to food treat Juno he starts to get cranky, *whoops*

So after I put Juno in time out, he decides to be a good boy, off we go again, but damn he goes and gets distracted again. This time Juno needs a leash correction.

*whew* he didn’t yelp so I didn’t manage to correct him too hard, but I got his attention and off we go. U-turn back home.

All went well, Juno and I survived and once again Chuck didn’t yell at me, *smiles*

However, he did have to go and put a concern in my head, *sighs* figures. Nothing can ever go really smooth eh?

Well, GDB makes contacts with other schools that you went too and I DO NOT have a good relationship or respect for the Seeing Eye since my last dog from them. This concerns me cause I’d hate for this one bad incident with the Seeing Eye to damage my chances of getting a dog from GDB. The Seeing Eye screwed up and tried to place blame on me to keep the story very very short and I’d hate to pay for that years after the fact.

Other than that huge stressful issue I believe the visit went well and now I wait to see what happens. Will update again when I know something.

Welcome to April

Well, this year just keeps getting better and better.

Sadly On April 1, 2014 at 2:10PM my awesome guide dog Noah was put to sleep. The hard was that I received a call the day before to let me know that although he definitely was sick, he was doing ok, not great, but ok. Then the next day, April 1st he had to be put to sleep.

James and I had just finished joking about Noah and I was remembering the first day I got my boy. I took the call pretty hard even though I knew the call would come sometime before he reached his 5th birthday. However much I knew it was coming, I still didn’t want that call.

my awesome Prince Noah you will live in my heart always. I miss you terribly. Rest in peace my golden boy!

Now, lets switch gears to a lighter note.

I am now registered for my summer courses at Carleton University. I’ll be taking Childhood in the Global Context from May to June and then July to August I’ll be taking a course in Canadian Studies. Ha, I keep forgetting the name of that course.

I’ve had a chance to communicate via email with my May to June instructor, and she seems pretty nice. Although I’m nervous as hell I’m looking forward to class starting. Now my july to August instructor is MIA and have no idea what to expect.

It’s challenging now learning Carleton since I’m learning it with a cane, but if it wasn’t for learning parts with Noah and already being comfortable about getting around I’d probably hesitate more and nervous about getting lost around there, lol. I mean Carleton is like a small city. So much to learn and so many ways to get turned around. But OMG, I’ll be sooooo glad when I have that dog by my side again!

I still wish I could start this year overhand change the events of some things, but onward I go to see what else is in store.

Am I getting another dog?

As I mentioned in a previous post it’s not easy retiring a dog at the best of times. A little over a week ago I had no choice put to retire Noah because I found out he had cancer. It was quite a blow and a shock. I took it extremely hard and blamed myself and wondered if I could have done anything different to prevent this. No, I’m still not over the shock, but I’m also not beating myself up. That’s a little progress.

Well, the purpose of this post is to address the question I keep getting asked, “am I getting another dog?”

I didn’t realize how much this question bugged me until Noah. I think it bugs me more this time because Noah had to retire due to illness. But I’ve seen that since Noah that although people mean well, some people just don’t think before asking this question.

I had one person ask me 1 minute, yes I said 1 minute after I handed Noah over to the vet tech from Canadian Guide Dogs I had to fight really hard not to snap at or hit the person that asked. I just handed off my dog and you saw me hand him over and how upset I am, why ask, “so are you getting another dog?”

Now over the last week I’ve been asked this question over and over, but the timing of the question wasn’t as thoughtless, but still hard to take. Also, the ones that have asked over the past week remember to ask about how “I’m” doing before falling right in with that dreaded question.

So, to answer the question, “am I getting another dog” the answer is yes. Sadly though I’m having to also pick a backup school just in case Canadian Guide Dogs doesn’t have a match for me before I throw my cane under a train or the next winter.

In doing research I didn’t realize how many schools use “guidedogs” as their domaine name. Talk about confusing.

I have started the guide dog journey already and one huge reason is Canadian Guide Dogs where I’d love to get my next pup is a small school and they are seasonal. Come December or the first huge snow they close up shop until Spring. So I needed to start things rolling just in case I get lucky and another match comes up before then. The other is even with bigger schools there’s the application process which can take a while. By the time there’s a match for me I’ll emotionally be ready to give the new dog my attention. I can only do this part in stops and starts since I start crying all over again, *sighs*

There are several schools I’m looking at, the top one being Guide Dogs for the Blind and much to my surprise I actually already have my phone interview on Wednesday afternoon. I’m also thinking of Guide Dog Foundation The biggest reason I’m looking at these 2 schools is that they have a short class time and I won’t have to miss too much school. I know more from GDB than I do GDF and so far I’m able to learn more about GDB, so yeah, looking like it may end up the backup school.

so, I’ve answered your question of “am I getting a new dog?” I’ll keep you up to date on how things are going. Unlike with Noah I can blog about this process and what I think and feel and shhhhh, don’t tell the new dog, but compare him or her to Noah.

I know, I know, not suppose to do that, but well, you know.

Thanks again to everyone that have been supportive during this time. I greatly appreciate it and Noah if someone reads this to you, I love and miss you!

Love always Prince Noah

Retiring a dog is the hardest thing to do in the best of circumstances. But having to say bye to one due to illness, cancer at that is so much harder for me.

This morning I got my final visit with my awesome Prince Noah and it tore my heart into a thousand pieces. It made it even harder cause he was so excited to be home and play with his toys, cover the floor in water and act like the nut he is. But he definitely was still not Noah. Andrew, the trainer that brought him by said even just looking at him you can tell something was wrong.

Noah has been one hell of a guide dog that I received shortly after moving to Ottawa and it will just not be the same without him.

Not quite 3 years and I already had to let him go. Neither of us agreed to this deal.

When I reminded him of our agreement of lasting until he was 11, he rewarded me by beating me with his tail, *sniffs* what a dog.

I then told him he had to tell Canadian Guide Dogs to hurry and find me another dog just as good as he was and he snorted at me…Guess he didn’t like that idea?

My Shout Sister dancing Noah I will love you always and wish we didn’t have to say good-bye. But now this chapter in our life has come to an end and I send you on your way with loads of love and dog food.

as for me I guess it’s time to start on a new dog journey as I curse this blasted cane!

May and Prince Noah one last time

The hardest day of my life

Dear Noah.

Today was the hardest day in my life pal. Telling you good-bye and knowing that it could be for good. Taking you to the vet and hearing that it is a strong chance you have cancer ripped my heart in so many pieces. Knowing that there’s nothing I could have done to prevent it so the vet says, still makes me feel like shit. Even though i was upset and crying you still were more concerned about me you silly furry mutt and kept giving me your paw and giving me kisses.

It’s very strange this time being home and you’re not here with me. I can’t tell myself this time it’s because you’re off with your puppy raisers and will be home soon. I can hope that the vet was wrong and the school will find something that’s not life threatening and that you’ll be that tough dog you are and get back home soon and wondering what all the fuss was about.

I had to let your other favourite home know what was happening and that was a call I never dreamed I’d have to make. They are sending you well wishes too Noah and send you all their love.

I tripped over one of your rope toys and started crying all over again. Oh my Noah I’m so so sorry I failed you and how I wish you were home. Please know I love you pal and can you make a surprised recovery? Shout Sister Choir all send their love too and the healing song to both of us.

You’re already greatly missed!!

I LOVE YOU NOAH
May

No dancing Noah

I created a monster when it comes to Noah and dancing with Shout Sister Choir

On Saturday October 19th was our first performance of this season and I was so afraid that I wouldn’t be able to go since I’ve been horribly sick since my weekend in Petawawa for Thanksgiving. It was a short performance for us so I didn’t have my bf and family there this time, but our next show we open for the Nylons which is in November, but more about that another time.

So, our show on Saturday. For those of you who already know about the Shout Sister Choir dancing dog you know that since we joined the choir Noah and I have danced at just about every show. If you haven’t seen it yet, well shame on you and go watch now

Well, when this season started I discovered that Noah and I no longer have our dancing song, *cries* and we’d have to find a new one. I relayed this to my lovely golden boy that we would not be dancing for this show since we don’t have our song anymore, the stage we were on was a little small and to top it off I wasn’t feeling well and didn’t have the energy needed o sing and dance with him.

Well, guess what happens?

We get through all of our songs and the audience loves us of course and they ask for an encore. Well, in fact they ask for 2 more songs, but sadly we only had one more, lol. By this time I already have Noah up and sitting next to me since at first people weren’t asking for that encore and we were getting ready to go….oops, nope encore time! Get Noah to settle down again and sit nicely next to me like he’s done before and he’ll eventually lay back down for the song.

Not this time!

Shortly after we begin the song, the first line my lovely puppy who “was” sitting nicely at my feet has decided, “nope, screw you mom, we’re dancing.” I find myself with a armful of golden retriever who demands that we dance.

I of course am totally not prepared for this and neither is the group since, “hello” not the dancing song and everyone near me including myself can’t sing because we’re laughing, the audience is laughing and clapping.

“oo, clapping” Noah thinks, lets dance even more mom.

No Noah, no dancing, get down. I tell the furry pain in the butt.

“What’s that mom, dance you say?”

*growls, grumbles*
So here I am trying to sing and get Noah to “stop” dancing, but every time I tell the silly mutt stop dancing,

“what, dance you say” is his response.

Finally I get him to sit down, not settle, just sit and I go back to singing. We get to part of the song where I actually don’t have to sing and guess what?

Yep, you guessed it, I yet again have an armful of dog who demands that we’re dancing. The audience loves it and the more they clap the more he says, “dance mommy, dance? Oh, how about I join in and sing too, is that ok?”

*snort, snort, dance, dance*

*grumbles*

Is this darn song over yet? No, no, yes, *whew*

So it’s now the end of the song, Audience is happy and clapping wildly and my great golden boy is proud of himself is now sitting nice and quiet back at my feet. Can I strangle him now? I have learned my lesson, no more telling Noah “no” dancing.

“What’s that mom, dance and kill you, you say?”

*growls, grumbles, damn dog*

Oo, time for a snow fight?

Well, this morning got to throw and kick snow around at Noah and Lacey and they both had a super time. Later this afternoon we’re going to let them both run around the backyard and play until they hopefully fall over.

Lacey even got to play with Missy outside for a bit in the snow. She listened to James very well and came when he called her. That’s awesome! Hopefully things will go well when we try this later.

But, but I must have my chance at throwing snow at James

The cold and I don’t get along that well, but I can’t pass up this opportunity. It’s a chance in a lifetime!

Cat

My first choir performance

OMG, last night was so totally awesome. I had my first choir performance with Shout Sister Choir. I was so extremely nervous and thought I’d totally freeze and forget the words to the songs and all that. We did one hell of a job and I can’t wait for the next one.

Noah who is the shout Sister dog even played his part. For our last song I danced with him and definitely got the audience attention. So much so that we had to sing our last song after all, ha! There is a video of this performance and as soon as I have it trust me it will end up here as well.

Are you also someone that loves to sing and looking for a group? Do you think that “hey I love to sing, but i sound horrible?” That’s ok, Shout Sister Choir welcomes everyone. Here’s one of my favorite songs from last nights performance to give you a taste of what we sound like.

[audio:Almost Home.mp3]

Pretty awesome eh? Make you want to be a part? Then quick go to Shout Sister Choir and find out where the closeest chapter is to you.