[nagdu] Things our dogs carry

Kaye Kipp kkipp123 at gmail.com
Wed Aug 12 14:18:11 UTC 2015

Back in 1981, I was living in Palo Alto, Ca.  I had about a mile and a half
walk to work.  Well, this one day, I got to work and someone told me to
check my dog.  I checked, and she had a cooked chicken breast between her
front paws.  It was like she was saving it for her coffee break.  She wasn't
eating it.  I had no idea where she got it.  She must have picked it up on
the way to work and carried it all the way.  


-----Original Message-----
From: nagdu [mailto:nagdu-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Dan Weiner via
Sent: Wednesday, August 12, 2015 4:13 AM
To: 'NAGDU Mailing List, the National Association of Guide Dog Users'
Cc: Dan Weiner
Subject: [nagdu] Things our dogs carry

What a wonderful story, Sherry.
Now this story isn't quite as fetching, (drum roll) but it was funny.
Well picture the scene, Monterey California, 1997.
Dan was a student at a college which was about 2 minutes walk from his
bachelor pad.
Just turn right out of the apartment, cross an admittedly busy street, walk
about 100 yards and go right up the stairs, well five flights of five stairs
each and you were there.
So, therefore, Dan, who always has had a tendency of being late for things,
(yes, I know it's not a good habit), rushes out to a morning class. Being a
bachelor, or just perhaps because I'm a slob--lol I didn't always pick up my
laundry from the floor until I was good and ready to do laundry. You see
where this is going, right?

I get to the stairs I mentioned. A fellow student comes up to me chortling.
"Oh, Dan, your dog thinks you need a maid".
"What", I asked dumbfounded.
"ha, ha, ha, that's so funny" said the chortler.  Dan asks "Let me in to the
joke I could use a laugh."
"Check your pup's mouth" says the laughing student helpfully.
Ahaaa, I checked  Evan, dog number 2's mouth and there was  indeed a pair of
my underwear. Amazing how he carried it without me noticing.

As far ssas balls, which I think is the original thread or am I mistaken?
Well, I have all sorts of toys for my dogs and like that they can pick up a
toy at home and chew on it when they want to or even bring it to me for a
game of fetch, rather a game of me throw and doggie gets excited and looks
for it and sometimes forgets about me entirely--lol and mostly brings it
back for another round.
Only thing is I try to make sure it's not small enough that the pup could
inadvertently swallow it.

Well whatever your dog carries or doesn't carry, I wish you a wonderful day,

Dan the man and Parker the big puppy

-----Original Message-----
From: nagdu [mailto:nagdu-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Sherry Gomes via
Sent: Wednesday, August 12, 2015 4:51 AM
To: 'NAGDU Mailing List,the National Association of Guide Dog Users'
Cc: Sherry Gomes
Subject: Re: [nagdu] Arbitrary restrictions on playing with future guide

I agree with you all the way Raven, and I think it very much has to do with
the dog. For years, I followed GDB's guidelines on toys, no balls, no soft
squeakies. Then I got my first golden in 1990. She was obsessed with balls.
She'd find them wherever we went. Not when she was working, but if we went
to a friend's house, and a ball was in a deep dark corner, she'd find it.
Eventually, I got her a big rubber ball. It was solid rubber, as big as her
mouth was wide pretty much, and she couldn't swallow or chew it. She was so
happy. She played with those things outside work hours and I really did a
great thing letting her have one. At the time, I lived in  San Diego working
at Nordstrom. One day I took a cab to work. We got to the store, I walked
through the mall, to my store, to the elevator, across the shopping area
down a hall and set of stairs to my office. My coworkers started laughing
and my boss told me to check my dog's mouth. And there was her big red ball.
She'd carried it all the way from home, and it never distracted her or made
her lose focus.

I haven't had a dog like balls in the same way since. But I've given all my
dogs since that one soft toys and they've all loved them and not chewed them
up much. I monitor them with the toys of course. Petunia likes to carry them
around or likes me to toss them down the hallway so she can go get them and
bring them back to me. I should try a ball with her maybe. It's hard for me
to play tug due to physical things, so letting her fetch toys and do a
little running in the yard with them is fun for us both.


-----Original Message-----
From: nagdu [mailto:nagdu-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Raven Tolliver
via nagdu
Sent: Tuesday, August 11, 2015 8:21 PM
To: nagdu <nagdu at nfbnet.org>
Cc: Raven Tolliver <ravend729 at gmail.com>
Subject: [nagdu] Arbitrary restrictions on playing with future guide dogs

As some of you know, I recently started working at LDB. One of the aspects
of my job is handing puppies over to puppy-raisers, explaining to them basic
dos and don'ts of raising, and going through the 16-page contract they have
to sign.

One of the things we tell them not to do is play fetch with the dogs.
Also, many of you know that the schools advise both raisers and clients
against giving the dogs soft toys, such as stuffed animals, squeaky toys, or
rope toys--anything they can tear apart easily.

I recently sat down with the director of training and asked him why they set
these guidelines. He explained that LDB doesn't want to stimulate a dog's
prey-drive. They don't want the dogs to be excited by moving objects or
moving animals because it could translate into lunging after balls, animals,
etc in harness.

I think this is ridiculous. I haven't raised a pup myself, so maybe there's
something to it. But since I've brought my golden home, we play fetch with
balls and frisbees, tug with stuffed animals or squeaky toys, and whenever
the Golden Guy is in his kennel at work, I give him a stuffed golden
retriever as a comfort object, though he probably doesn't need it. My
coworkers were surprised that my dog will not chew the stuffed toy apart and
rip the stuffing out of it.
Also, I played fetch with him out in the hallways tonight, and the kennel
care staff asked very sarcastically, "Wow, playing fetch doesn't ruin his
work?" And we then had a long discussion about how the no-fetch advice is
extremely unrealistic. They even told me that the trainers will play fetch
with the dogs in the runs sometimes, and that there are many a tennis ball
in the training trucks while dogs wait their turns to be with their

I understand all dogs are not the same. Some dogs will chew toys up if you
let them, or if they're under stress. But you should monitor your dog with
toys no matter what. Some dogs just have the prey-drive engrained in them
and will go after moving objects and small animals regardless. But I don't
think the ways we play with them mitigates or increases these behaviors.
Retrievers were originally trained to fetch, and shepherds were trained to
lead and chase. They can differentiate very well between what they do with
toys out of harness, and what their job is when in-harness. Given, dogs have
their distractions, but again, I don't think playtime has anything to do
with it, unless play is used as a reward during work.
Even then, the reward is offered after a cue is given, so if used properly,
this kind of play would improve a dog's work, not ruin it.

Does anyone else find that the advice against fetch and soft toys is
nonsense? Or Is it legit in your experience?
Founder of 1AM Editing & Research

You are valuable because of your potential, not because of what you have or
what you do.

Naturally-reared guide dogs

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