Archive for March 2011

Vote for me to get a Tug Marathon!?!!

What’s with the Title of this Quinn you might ask? I’m inspired as you
might note from some of the below tales but first the scoop on the
Title. I’ve basically been observing the internet advertising trends and
told Dad I want in on the payoff. We currently have 1123 folks who have
clicked “Like” on our 2020 Vision Quest facebook page. So Dad says if it
gets to 1154 by April 1 that he will ensure I get a five minute tug
session every hour from noon until midnight and that this is no April
Fool’s prank! So help me get this by sending people (and yourselves) to
our facebook page and giving us a Like. It takes less than thirty folks
to get me the Marathon and I’ll write a blog post that weekend WITH
pictures!

So what has me in a Marathon mood you might ask? Well despite the chilly
temperatures Dad started our solo running officially today. He donned
his Patriot Fleece (despite that whole lock-out mess) and we set off. It
was a good initial run and I never worked up a pant – though truth be
told we dogs pant for heat release not because we run short of breath.
Heat wasn’t a concern so I coasted while Dad on the other hand…well
let’s just say I worked him hard! We did well and there will be many
more daily runs ahead, some shorter and some longer. Why might you ask?

Last year we were the first team, well Guide dog and blind lug, to
undertake the Lowell “Irish Feet are Running” 5 mile road race. This
year with the encouragement of Brent Bell and a couple of UNH classes we
have a different notion. Dad says I have to reinforce the notion of
responsibility with this sharing. The Boston Marathon is on Patriot Day
(of course!) in April. All the official runners will get underway and
make history and shortly after a veritable army of ‘bandits’ will also
run the route. Now some folks don’t like Bandits vastly because an
irresponsible bandit is a problem. They use resources intended for the
runners and worse, some might be in the way of official runners. We are
undertaking several steps to run half of the Boston marathon with
responsibility. We will make a personal donation to the appropriate
organization who provides the race support. We will depart only after
the qualified runners have past and we will do our best to decline any
of those consumable resources for the other runners. There’s more but
I’m just the Guide here so you better watch for Dad’s more official
reports coming soon on that 2020visionquest.org blog they keep. There
are blind runners at Boston but none who use a Guide Dog that we know
about so I may very well be the first and if all goes well…perhaps
next year…you get the idea!

Meanwhile, I took Dad into Boston yesterday. Actually our friend Chad
drove us into Boston but I took over from there. We had an appointment
at Mass General Hospital Genetics in the hopes of figuring out what’s
wrong with Dad. They hope to confirm Mitochondrial Disease but I could
tell them it’s insufficient Tug with Quinn! At the hospital we showcased
the Disappearing Dog trick to rave reviews and a request for an encore.
Basically when Dad sits in waiting room style seating he wants me to get
under the chair to keep me safe from others sitting beside us or walking
in front. He has me sit in front of him and then says “Disappear” which
is my trigger to lay down and back up quickly and thus seemingly vanish.
Folks think it is amazing and I happily did a repeat…with Charlee Bear
rewards of course!
So last note of this quick update. Many folks very kindly gave us help
during the day. Unfortunately many do this by taking action without
asking. It is amazing how often this ‘help’ can be less than ideal. In
the ideal they would ask “Is there a way I could help you” or something
similar. The intent is still appreciated though the results sometimes a
little challenging. One trick of note is when Dad cannot use me, say in
a crowded Doctor exam room, and they want him to sit. They verbally note
a table for him in front and then he reaches forward to find it with his
hand before sitting on it. Unfortunately if it’s just beyond the edge of
his reach, he is fully extended forward when they often grab his arm and
pull him further. Imagine the edge of your reach and balance and then
getting a tug – not pretty! Much easier to let me put my nose on it or
to have them tap it…all of which we could do if they would ask before
doing! This Quinn public service announcement brought to you by the
sponsor a Tug Marathon Society!

International Dog of Adventure and …more

March comes in like a Labrador and goes out like a …? I’ll welcome your suggestions for this but in the meanwhile what a fine February and start to March for us. That shoulder hitch is vastly a thing of the past and I’m feeling Mighty once more. I spent a healthy Valentine’s day with some adventure as I made a snowshoe trip, none for me thanks, with Tracy, Sharon and of course Dad up the famed Pack Monadnock. I wasn’t working as Dad was using the packed snowshoe trail, a pair of hiking poles and Tracy with ringing bells to guide his way. I learned quickly my place was to walk behind Dad and keep enough distance to be safe from the snowshoes. Still this was all the fun of a winter hike with no work!! It brought out the play in me and while Dad didn’t ledt me join his next day’s serious summit attempt of Mt Lafayette in sub zero temperatures (ahhhh the warmth of the homestead instead!), I definitely loved the experience enough that we eventually made a repeat trip up the lonesome lake trail on Cannon Mountain with Tracy, Kevin and of course Dad. Wearing my warm coat from Jennifer I admit to perhaps tearing about in the euphoric appreciation of the great outdoors as you can see here
in my short video clip!!
Quinn Loves Winter Hiking

Hiking aside I attended a great comedy night with a touch of Burlesque to help NHAB raise some money. Many of my favorite humans were there so it was fun for a slightly stepped up night out from our usual. We met Robbie and Brent there as well as Mary, Ken, Kathy, Doreen and a host of other friends. I wasn’t allowed to dress to my dapper best but folks have been suggesting that my more distinguished moments can capture the essence of me quite well. To illustrate this I thought I’d share what we love to call my “International Dog of Adventure” pose from the wedding back in October. Kevin and Heather Green did a pretty amazing job capturing not only the wedding but my more regal presence. I like my tug shaken not stirred please!

In other news, we’ve made it to a few more schools including a UNH class which gave me some campus time. A Scout presentation, Lion’s club presentation with another on March 31 so perhaps March goes out like a Lion??? and perhaps our most important work as I helped Tracy give some family support as we spent time at a Rhode Island Hospital for her Brother-in-law. Things still aren’t settled there but I did my best and think the hospitals have newfound appreciation for my talents. Either way the family support is always an important thing in life!

Speaking of those talents, Dad wrote a 2020 blog article on “Dog Gone Service Animals” which talks about the new ADA definitions becoming official on March 15 of this year. Fear not though my job security
remains high and to that end I think the arrival of spring should be just close enough to get our longer walks back in the swing. If only we could manage some of these challenging water build-ups from the melting! Not sure if Dad will let me run with him this year in the Irish race not too far ahead but I heard a rumor we might do half of the Boston Marathon route! There’s a culture of support in the race for the educated and courteous bandit but we’ll have to do a little more research. For now though let’s get the walking going full force and the running will come!

Be well, wag often and always remember to give your loved ones the greeting they deserve every time you reunite!
the Mighty Quinn