May 30, 2011

132 - New Friends

This picture is taken inside the Blue Jays shop at the Rogers Centre. The main focus of the picture is a large, probably 6 foot tall, statue of Ace, the Blue Jays Mascot. Ace is a Blue Jay who wears a white Jays jersey and blue and white running shoes. Black lab puppy Romero is lying down on Ace's right, and his friend Rafiki is sitting on Ace's left. Rafiki is a slightly younger black lab puppy with brindle markings. Both dogs are wearing their green future dog guide jackets. Behind the dogs and Ace are several tables and shelves covered in Blue Jays merchandise, and various racks of Jays shirts and jerseys.
Romero poses with friends "Ace" and Rafiki before the game

Our Seat: Section 524A, Row 4, Seat 106

Our Record: 5-3

Memorable Moments:
- Taking Romero's friend Rafiki to his first baseball game
- Red and white hats for Memorial Day (even though it isn't Memorial Day in Canada)
- Only one Blue Jay home run (Jayson Nix), but lots and lots of Blue Jay hits
- 11 batters batted in the bottom of the 4th inning (scoring 7 runs - most in one inning this season)

I knew going in that we'd see history - either Jojo Reyes would get his first win as a Blue Jay, or else he'd break the record for most consecutive starts without a win. Thankfully, it was the former! And a complete game for him at that! I have been a fan of Jojo since he joined the team, so it was great to be part of the crowd cheering for him and also to see his teammates congratulating him after the game.

May 29, 2011

131 - Walk For Dog Guides

Black lab Romero is sitting on the stone pathway out front of the Dog Guides training facility. He is wearing his green future dog guide jacket and a red and black training leash. He is looking very proper, sitting up straight and facing the camera, with his eyes like little black marbles. Above him, hanging from the overhang of the red brick building is a large white banner advertising the Purina Walk for Dog Guides.
Romero didn't get to participate in the Walk for Dog Guides this year (still recovering from his neuter) but he did get to pose with the sign once all the excitement died down.

May 28, 2011

130 - Lucky Pennies

Black lab puppy Romero is lying on the floor of my bedroom at the end of my bed. He is on the left side of the picture, wearing his Blue Jays collar, and looking slightly up and off to the side. His left ear is sticking out of the side, while his right one hangs down beside his head. Next to Romero are 4 jars full of coins. The first is a big white bucket with DONATIONS written across the front. The lid is resting against the bucket. It has a whole cut in the centre, and PENNIES FOR PUPPIES written around it. Next is a big blue Maxwell coffee can. Finally, a big peanut butter jar filled with pennies, and a smaller jam jar filled with silver coins.
A successful penny and bottle drive left us with several jars full of coins. Off to the bank tomorrow!

Thanks to everyone who donated, and thanks also to yellow lab Expo who joined me for the event since Romero is still resting up from his surgery (I figured if I couldn't take a dog named after a baseball player I'd take one named after a former baseball team).

May 27, 2011

129 - Penny Drive Prep

Black lab Romero is lying on the floor of the bedroom next to a big white bucket with a lid and a handle. The lid has a round hole cut in the centre, and around that is written Pennies for Puppies. A large label on the front of the bucket says DONATIONS Thanks for your support! Below that is a panoramic picture of eight black and chocolate labrador puppies wearing brightly coloured bandanas. The bucket is also decorated with red heart stickers (the same ones that come with Heartguard medication). Romero is facing the camera and leaning slightly away from the bucket with his front legs stretched out in front of him. He is wearing his blue and gray Blue Jays collar. His sleepy brown eyes are partially hidden in shadows. His floppy velvet ears are hanging down on either side of his head.
We're nearly ready for our penny and bottle drive tomorrow ... here, Romero poses with our newly-decorated penny bucket.

May 26, 2011

128 - Recovery

This is a close-up of black lab Romero's head resting on my leg as we cuddle on the floor together. We are sitting on a cream-coloured carpet and he is lying on his side with his head resting on my left knee. I am wearing beige corduroy pants and a red sweatshirt. My left hand is reaching down and rubbing Romero's head. Romero's brown eyes are slightly open, he looks quite relaxed.
I'm making sure Romero gets lots of rest and TLC as he recovers from his neuter.

May 25, 2011

127 - Boxes of Bottles

I will be conducting a bottle and penny drive in my neighbourhood this weekend for Romero's sponsorship (and am continuing to collect bottles and change throughout the year ... let me know if you have any to donate!). 
Black lab puppy Romero is posing in front of a pile of empty bottles which are waiting to be returned to the Beer Store. This picture is taken in the garage, where the cement floor is covered with streaks of paint. Romero is in the foreground, attached to a red leash and looking up into the camera. His silly left ear is sticking straight out to the side as usual. Behind him are two boxes containing 24 beer bottles, several smaller boxes of beer bottles, and about twelve loose wine bottles.
Here, Romero is posing with the bottles that we have collected so far ... this is what about $11 in returns looks like!

May 22, 2011

124 - Covered In Confetti

Black lab puppy Romero is lying on his side on the ground amid the blue plastic seats in the 500 level at the Rogers Centre. His head is lifted off of the floor, looking up into the camera. He is wearing his Blue Jays collar, red leash, and slightly dirty green Future Dog Guide jacket. His jacket and shiny black fur are sprinkled with small white paper circles, which have been punched out of All Star game voting ballots.
Our Seat: Section 519, Row 8, Seat 102

Our Record: 4-3

Memorable Moments:
- Second game in a row, and third in four days!
- A family affair ... all 6 of us (including Romero) attended the game today
- Punching our All-Star Game ballots ... those are the white dots all over Romero in the photo
- Two Blue Jay home runs
- An exciting bases-loaded bottom of the ninth, though unfortunately nothing to show for it

May 21, 2011

123 - Baseball With A Side Of Bagpipes

Black lab puppy Romero is intently watching a bagpiper playing outside the Rogers Centre. Romero is in the bottom left corner of the picture, wearing his Blue Jays collar, black leash, and green Future Dog Guide jacket. He is facing away from the camera, looking across a wide dirt path to the male piper, who is dressed in full scottish attire including a green jacket and kilt. On the right side of the photo there is a shadow of a photographer who is capturing a shot of Romero. Directly behind the bagpiper is a small white canopy tent set up as a first aid station, with a couple people sitting on chairs inside. Behind that, a big white bus is parked on the road that goes around the stadium. A few people are walking along the sidewalk in front of the road. Across the street is a larger white tent that is set up as a temporary theatre, and behind that four tall apartment buildings can be seen against the clear blue sky.
Our Seat: Section 525, Row 14, Seat 101

Our Record: 4-2

Memorable Moments:
- No guests today, just my pup and I enjoying an afternoon game
- Our first interleague game (it would be more exciting if the pitchers hit)
- A slow start for the Jays, but a come-from-behind win in the end
- 2 more homeruns from the major league HR leader Jose Bautista!
- And for good measure, another from Junel Escobar too
- Some post-game entertainment outside the park, including the bagpiper above

May 19, 2011

121 - The Roof Is Open!

Black lab puppy Romero, wearing his Blue Jays collar and green Future Dog Guide jacket, is sitting in the second row of the upper deck at a Blue Jays game. Romero is looking back towards the camera, and behind him is a view of the Rogers centre with the roof open (also directly behind Romero is a fan with blue hair watching the game very intently). Our seats are on the first base side of home plate, so the picture looks over to the third baseline side of the stadium, including the Blue Jays dugout down below. The game is in progress, so you can see the umpire and the catcher's leg's near home plate (the catcher is partially blocked by the blue railing in front of our seats). The blue stadium seats appear less than half-full, with more fans in the lower levels than the 500 level. A few tall buildings can be seen beyond the open dome, though not the CN tower, which is on the opposite side from this photo.
Our Seat: Section 518, Row 2, Seat 3

Our Record: 3-2

Memorable Moments:
- Romero's first "outdoor" baseball game, and my first this year
- The third game in a row that we've attended with Tampa Bay as the opponent
- Watching Aaron 'Pingu' Hill converse with the umpires before and during the game ... I think Aaron wants to be an umpire when he grows up
- Juan Rivera's "I got it" hand motions to the pitcher whenever he was taking a ball to first base
- Wade Davis' rather hilarious move to check on baserunners - maybe they couldn't steal because they were laughing too hard?
- A win ... putting both Romero (the dog at least) and the Jays back over .500
- The great games from Ricky Romero and JP Arencibia made all the more special after reading THIS

May 18, 2011

May 12, 2011

114 - Introducing The Halti

Black lab puppy Romero is sitting in our upstairs hallway, with an open white door behind him and the wooden bannister of our stairs on the right of the picture. The photo centres on Romero's head. He is wearing a halti - a head halter made of thin black fabric that circles around Romero's muzzle and clips together behind his head. A safety strap attaches to the halti under Romero's chip loops down and clips to Romero's blue and gray Blue Jays collar. Romero is looking directly into the camera with his big brown eyes. His mouth is slightly open in a half smile. This photo highlights the long black whiskers on his muzzle and chin. There is a small bead of water dripping from Romero's wet nose.
No, it's not a muzzle! The halti is a head collar, like a horse's halter. It's important for future dog guides like Romero to be comfortable with the halti on, as he may wear it when he is a working dog.

May 11, 2011

113 - McHappy Day

black lab puppy Romero is sitting on the greenish tile floor in the entrance to a McDonalds restaurant. He is wearing his green Future Dog Guide jacket, a green leash, and a bright blue bandana with yellow suns and a McDonalds M on it. Romero is in full working mode - sitting nicely and staring seriously into the camera. Behind Romero is a large window covering most of the wall, an through it you can see people sitting at tables enjoying their dinner. In the top pane of the window is a small white poster with a picture of a cute yellow lab in a green jacket, advertising for McHappy day.
Today was McHappy Day at McDonalds restaurants, with $1 from the purchase of certain items going to charity. In Oakville, these donations went to Dog Guides. Romero spent dinner time at our nearest restaurant greeting the diners and gladly accepting donations in exchange for some puppy love.

May 7, 2011

109 - Gang's (Almost) All Here

Four dogs are lined up in my messy bedroom. From left to right - Dallas, a black lab wearing a red collar is lying with her back half out of the photo, facing slightly away from the camera. She looks rather un-enthusiastic, not thrilled about posing for a picture. Next is 6 month old black lab puppy Romero, catching up to Dallas in size. He is wearing a blue collar, lying in the centre of the photo, facing towards the camera but sort of staring off into space. His big, expressive ears are held forward, framing his face. Third is visiting collie Tanner. His long soft fur is mostly tan and white, with a few black highlights around his eyes and ears. He is lying right against Romero, staring into the camera, and has his mouth open in a smile. Next to Tanner's paw is a black and red rubber ring toy. Last but not least is big yellow lab Baloo, who is standing slightly behind Tanner. Baloo too is looking directly into the camera, but with a curious look on his face. Behind the dogs are Romero's open wire crate and a big carboard box full of stuff for an upcoming garage sale.
With most of our human family away for the weekend, the canine kids are all hanging out together. Missing is camera-shy silky terrier Noel.