Monday, November 28, 2011

A Homecoming Week to Remember

black Lab GDB puppy in cowboy hat and shadesby Olivia Mesches, GDB puppy raiser

I am a Junior at Modesto High School in California. Our student body has a long history of displaying extreme spirit and pride during Homecoming Week.

My 10-month-old Guide Dog Puppy in Training, Gaston, was no exception. Gaston dressed up for every spirit day (or, rather, I dressed him up...often to his embarrassment) including Western Day, Neon Day, Explorer Day, Pirate Day, and of course, Spirit Day!

He wore each costume proudly. Occasionally, though, he'd heave a heavy sigh, his sad puppy eyes staring deeply into people's souls as if to say "Look what this crazy lady did to me! Please take this costume off me and have her committed!" Needless to say, Gaston attracted more "ooos" and "awwws" during Homecoming Week than at any other time!

black Lab in red tutu shaking paws with a female friendLuckily, Gaston goes to school with me every day and has grown accustomed to such fame, so he has learned not to let it go to his head. However I am quite sure that, had there been a place for dogs on the Homecoming Royalty ballot, Gaston definitely would have won.

I convinced myself that dressing my dog up was really benefitting him in addition to being fun for me and everyone else who encountered him. (I know one dog who won't be having any sensitivity issues once it comes time for him to put on the big boy harness.)

There were a few costumes, however, that made my male friends cringe...such as the hot pink sweater he wore for Neon Day or the red tutu he wore on Spirit Day. But I assured them that Gaston is very secure in his masculinity (after all, there is an entire song dedicated to this fact in Beauty and the Beast). If you were to ask him, I definitely think Gaston preferred being a cowboy or a pirate.

black Lab in red tutuGaston and I finished off this fun and crazy week at a rally. He had the privilege of sitting in the front row seat and had plenty of eyes on him. Unfortunately, he slept through most of the activities including the school band's performance (even though they were set up right behind us). The resounding din of a gym full of hyped-up high school students right before school let out for the weekend wasn't enough to rouse him. He did get up lazily to help escort me across the gym, providing for the majority of the cheering and cuteness factor.

Gaston was such a good sport and he really made Fall Homecoming special and memorable for a lot of people, myself included.

Olivia with Gaston in tutu

Olivia and Gaston


  1. What a fun story! So heartwarming to hear of the adventures our raisers have with our fine dogs. Good job Olivia and what a little heartbreaker he is! GO GET 'EM GASTON!

  2. Love the pics! My puppy-in-training Nigel dressed up for homecoming week too, such a fun week! Good luck to Gaston :)