Plateau, 4E14, is a yellow labrador retriever, co-raised by Judy and Dave for Phoenix Guide Dog Raisers / Guide Dogs for the Blind, San Rafael, CA.
Plateau lived with us in Gilbert, AZ from Sept. 26, 2005 until Oct. 23, 2005, during the time she was "in season". What a joy to share our home and time with Plateau. Plateau is a high stepping, happy, ear nibbling, busy, little lab. She rakes her food/water bowl to the back of her extra large porta-kennel. When I crawl inside to retrieve her bowl, she roots and snoots into my ears. She loves baths in a small one foot high plastic pool. During her bath, she places her neck across my thigh and calmly cooperates. She loves massages and is apparently very healthy. We worked on ignoring food distractions. We required her to sit, watch our expressions and wait until we said "Ohh Kay" before she ate from her food bowl. Before Plateau returns to Guide Dogs for the Blind for formal training Judy and Dave will work hard on consistant, effectual short and long range recalls. She tends to be on the vocal side, which I find very useful in a guide dog. Plateau can very effectually communicate to the handler that she wants or needs something. Plateau stops barking or whinning immediately if you say, "Plateau, That is Enuff!" Appropriate use of a "gentle leader" and clearly communicating to her directly, helps her focus more on her handler, ignoring other things going on around her. More kennel time while she is "in season" seems to be calming her. Some of that calming is hormonal changes. She is an eye contact dog and loves to do what you clearly indicate you need her to do in exchange for small expressions of genuine approval. She is an excellent reliever on command.
When she comes out of her kennel, just tell her "Plaah Toe, Sittt!" and she sits. This makes it easy to attach her leash. Without a sit command she might jump and buck like a bareback bronc. She does not jump onto the handler. Sometimes she just bucks off that imaginary cowboy. Plateau loves life and lives it to the fullest.
Plateau is very responsive to the basic commands she has been taught by her raisers Judy and Dave.
Pictures of Plateau
Oct. 07, 2005
Plateau, shaded by patio. She is illuminated by camera flash to compensate for bright, hot, sunny background.
Oct. 12, 2005
Plateau and "in season" mate, Flagstaff, in our gathering room
Oct. 12, 2005
Plateau, in cooler rays of Arizona evening sunlight
join Plateau to provide hope to a person with little or no sight
Robert M. Thomas
Arizona State University