Wil In Tampa

May 2nd, 2005

Wil and Max left for Tampa, Florida on 4/4/05 for two JAWS courses at Freedom Scientific (which is really in St. Petersburg). Titan moped around the house for two days missing Max. Wil said that Max missed Titan as well. We talked on the Ventrillo server at night and tried to get the dogs to respond to each other. One of Wil’s classmates got a picture of Max smiling in the ‘JAWS for Windows’ class.
Max smiles in JAWS for Windows class in St. Petersburg, FL on 4/6/05.
Thursday, Wil’s parents and I left for our visit over the long weekend. Titan travels very well. We stayed somewhere between Jacksonville and Lake City for the night. The Best Western clerk tried to charge Jessie $10 for the dog; and I went into activist mode. Needless to say, the charge was reversed quickly and we settled in for the night. Titan wasn’t too crazy about his parking arrangements. I took him out repeatedly only to go back to the room without any lifting or squatting (Titan, that is). The little devil would only park for his grandma. We ate breakfast at a Bob Evans in Lake City and made it to Clearwater before Wil got out of class.

The boys were so happy to see each other that Max wanted to leave Wil behind to see his brother. Wil won a JAWS cookie jar in class that makes the sound from the Jaws movie. You know the one – ‘just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water…-Dodum Dodum Dodum!’ Both dogs were fascinated with it. We have it filled with peppermints and are conditioning the dogs to respond to the sound. It will be like cats coming to the kitchen at the sound of a can opener. Anyway, the boys enjoyed their play time together in the room. The Days Inn where Wil stayed was very accomodating and super nice. Titan and Max tug on basketball woobie with rope arms and legs in Days Inn room in Clearwater, FL on 4/9/05.The picture above shows the boys as they tugged on an innocent woobie in the room. They also rested together laying the same way on the floor like little hams for the camera. They look like peaceful little lambs in this picture.Max and Titan lay the same way on the floor resting in the Days Inn room on 4/10/05.

We ate at some really nice restaurants including Antonio’s Italian, Sam Seltzer’s Steak House, Bob Evans (a few times), and good old Waffle House in Clearwater. On Saturday night, Wil and I and the boys met up with eight other people who worked for Freedom Scientific at a Karaoke bar called Mugs and Jugs. All ten of us were blind (no sighties that night) and we had six dog guides between us. They had good food, great beer, and awesome root beer shooters. Wil and I drank like college kids at a frat party and I sang my own words to the karaoke tunes. We had a blast!! At one point, Brother Max became possessed by an imp, stood up, and snatched my napkin out of my lap. The awesome worker that he is, he remains full of puppy life. I swear that he is my Mississippi reincarnated. God bless his soul at the Rainbow Bridge. Mugs and Jugs is the first totally non-smoking bar that we have been to. It was clean and the people treated us as if we weren’t any different from the sighties. Florida has an indoor clean air policy.

On Monday, Jessie drove us all to the Gulf coast. We stopped at Key Stone Park where we were able to walk down to the water’s edge. Both boys really wanted to play in the waves. Titan has been to the beach at Hunting Island, SC when he first came home with me. We took Mississippi’s ashes to the ocean as he really loved the water. Titan and Max look longingly at the waves at Gulf coast of Florida on 4/11/05.Titan and Max look happy in this picture as they check out the beautiful Gulf water. We went to the Marina at John’s Pass where Wil got his seafood fix at the Friendly Fisherman. I, of course, ate chicken fingers since I am allergic to all seafood. We walked the boardwalk; and it is a REAL boardwalk. The boards are uneven in their flatness and spacing. It was a good challenge for both dogs as I’m sure the boards felt weird to their paws. Wil, Denise, Max, and Titan enjoy the fresh air on boardwalk at John's Pass, FL on 4/11/05.
Here are pictures of the boys smiling pretty for Grandma; and of Wil, Max, titan, and myself on the boardwalk. Titan and Max smile at Grandma at the Friendly Fisherman on 4/11/05. I would love to take a week and stay on the Gulf Coast and do nothing but eat, sleep, walk the beach, and play (not just on the sand).

Shirley, Jessie, and I left early Tuesday morning to return home. It was a great trip. Wil and Max came home on Saturday, April 16th. The boys were so glad to see each other at the airport that they wanted to spar and play when they greeted each other. It was the first month I took clomid; and we tried really hard to kill the rabbit while in Florida. We are using clomid again this month. Since the rabbit is still hopping, we will keep humping; and sooner or later it will die and there will be a baby.

Meet Titan & Max

May 1st, 2005

Leader Dogs Titan and Max pose for Lions club picture in the backyard on 9/28/04.
This blog is about half-brothers, Titan and Max. Titan was born on September 14, 2000 to Whistler and Jackson. He was one of five in Whistler’s first litter. Titan is Whistler’s first Leader Dog graduate followed by his brother, Dustin, who lives with his partner in Mexico. Sister, Morgan was pulled as a breeder and has had two or three litters for Leader Dogs. Jacob and Genna live the life of luxury as faithful pets. Max came along two litters later on December 27, 2002 with Drummer as daddy. Mary and Mark Woloweic host Whistler as breeding stock for Leader Dogs. Max’s litter, known as the Christmas litter, gave Leader Dogs nine great puppies. Eight are Leader Dog graduates while Austin, who had cancer at an early age, is companion to a little boy in Michigan. Mary left voice mails of the Christmas litter whining for Whistler to feed them. It is awesome having a sound byte of Max as a puppy.
Titan lived with puppy raisers, Diane and Jim Prieskorn with Jason and Laurie in Livonia, Michigan until he entered the Leader Dog program on October 4, 2001. He was quickly picked up by trainer, Sue Horne, and matched with me on February 13, 2002. Titan was named by Jason after the ‘Remember the Titans’ movie. Diane and family usually raised German Shepherds; but Jason had requested a Golden Retriever so he could assist in his raising before completing high school. Titan is a vocal Golden Retriever speaking the woo woo language and carrying woobies (toys) around in his mouth.
Max spent his first year with experienced puppy raisers, Dave and Lori Johnson, in Blair, Nebraska where Dave has operated a veterinary clinic there for twenty-five years. Max is named after Dave’s mother, Maxine, who had always supported him in his veterinary career. Max entered the Leader Dog program on March 4, 2004 where he was picked up by trainer, Art Fleming for formal dog guide training. Max was issued to Wil on July 7, 2004. Dave and Lori taught Max to ‘smile’. He actually pulls his lips back, wrinkles up his nose, and shows his teeth on command. All dog lovers recognize his smile while non-animal people think he looks mean. Wil and I enjoy the different reactions to Max’s smile.
Max and Titan met for the first time on July 17, 2004 while Wil was still in training at Leader Dogs for the Blind. In Rochester, Michigan. Since e arrived home on July 29th, Max has fit into our household as if he had been here forever. He and Titan love each other and get along extremely well. I feel sure that it is a rarity to have sibling dog guides in the same household. We know that we are truly blessed with two Whistler babies in our lives.