So after 3 years we finally got to go see Simon again! We were headed down to a NASCAR race in Sonoma and planned into our trip a visit to see the boy. Unfortunately his breeder keepers were going out of town so the best way to visit was a trip to campus where Simon and his breeder "sisters", Vonnie and Belinda (retired), were going to stay while their parents went on a wedding anniversary trip.
Here are some interesting pics from campus... I would assume the first is for overhead clearance training and the second is the virtually silent electric cars that the dogs have to be able to do traffic work around. Emmy's partner, Tim, was telling us that Emmy (who was trained before GDB had these cars on campus) saved him from a car like this when he repeatedly told her forward and she refused. He then took a step forward and she pulled him back as the car came by!
It was nice to go to campus but we were sad to not get to see Simon in his home. It was great visiting with his family though especially his breeder keeper "dad" who showed us some of his tricks and told us all about how much Simon loves going to work every day at a machine shop with him. Simon obviously adores him and the feeling seems mutual!
Funny story about Simon... when I first contacted his breeder keepers after he was placed with them they asked me how I taught him to bring in the newspaper? They said he did it every morning for them like he had been trained!!! Obviously he had not been taught that but he (and daughter Claudi) love to carry things around when excited. I guess Simon now not only brings in the paper but also brings his "mom" her slippers every morning. What a good boy...
The sad part of our visit was that Simon has really aged. It is odd that some dogs age well and others do not. Simon got darker, slightly heavier, and his face is turning white. He is only 5 but looks older than that. Oh the joys of middle age:)
The SIMON we remember.
And SIMON now.
I promise it only looks like I'm choking him.
He is over 90 lbs. now. He was 78 lbs. at recall.
Here he is waiting for a command.
He was so happy to have the head collar off.
After seeing Simon and helping check him into the kennel we took a short tour. We stopped to see the puppies and were specifically looking for Vonnie(X Kentucky) puppies (since she lives with Simon). Most of the litter was in a pen of their own because they had been sick. Below is Rayanne (sp?).
The breeder keeper family says Vonnie LOVES the JollyBall so this puppy is really taking after her.Simon definitely recognized us but also seemed slightly confused, maybe because he was coming on to campus and knew his family was leaving. We were very, very happy to get to see him again and my sister, Kimberly, who raised him with me for the first 3 months before moving to CA, was happy to get to see him all grown up as she never got to see him after moving.