Friday, December 31, 2010
January: I turned 18!!! WOOT! Arwen turns 8 on January 2, 2010. Rocco was born on January 20, 2010 (though I didn't know I was getting him at that time). Got a shock when I was told that Freya was most likely on the January recall and that she would be going to the Oregon campus. I was really relieved when I found out that she wasn't on the January recall. Turned in all of my college applications to the US. Amici gets off the puppy truck.
February: I had to say good bye to my Darling Little Girl on February 20, 2010. Turned in my UK University applications. Belle had her last litter for GDB on February 2, 2010 and I started pressuring my dad to let me raise again in hopes that I would get the little yellow male, Epic. Kendrick gets off the puppy truck a week or so before Freya's turn in date.
March: Found out I was rejected from Princeton. Puppy sat Tomales, Townsend, Royalty, and Rockford all in one month. Finally convinced my dad to let me co-raise a puppy with Mary.
April: Decided to get a puppy earlier than planned because the puppy kennels were filled to the brim. Found out we were getting a 12 week old male yellow lab from the Atrus/Peach litter. Welcomed little (or should I say giant) Rocco into the family on April 10, 2010. Found out I was rejected from Northwestern. Was accepted to Ekerd, Wake Forest, and Sarah Lawrence. Wait listed at Colby.
May: Found out that Freya was due to graduate as a Guide on May 29, 2010. I honestly never thought I would see the day. Met her amazing new partner and handed off her harness. Freya meets her brother Rocco. Graduated from High School on May 22, 2010. Started as Student Director for the school play Seussical the Musical.
June: Rocco and I go to my mom's house for her birthday and we go to Huntington Gardens. I believe this is the month that Rocco finally stopped throwing up at night. Rocco is legal this month in the first week. Found out I was accepted to University of Aberdeen in Scotland. Townsend is Career Changed.
July: Rocco and I got to a Grizzles ball game for the 4th of July and Rocco proves himself as a wonderful puppy. We got stuck going right by the fire works as they started going off (we tried very hard to get to the car, but it didn't work). While I was freaking out (honestly don't know why GDB allows me to puppy raise because I hate loud noises), Rocco leads me to the side and looks at me as if to say, "Momma, they're just fireworks." We get ready for Fun Day. Lance is handed out at Fun Day and Rocco gets to meet his little brother.
August: Rocco takes a Ferry Ride to San Fransisco and meets his other older brother (besides Colorado) Harvard and his partner. Along with two other guides and their partners. Rocco and I have to deal with the fact that no one in our group will be able to take him so we start preparing ourselves to never see each other again. Find out he's being transferred to Visalia with his brother Rocky! Erin is happy.
September: Rocco is transferred on September 13, 2010. I head off for Scotland on September 17, 2010 and start my classes at University. Winston goes off for formal training and his raiser gets married.
October: Freya turns 2! Colorado goes off for formal training and Tomales is Career Changed. Colorado is Career Changed a week into training for elbow dysplasia and is in consideration for D4D. D4D decides not to take him and he comes home as a pet. I continue to get reports that Rocco is doing well with his new raiser. I get really homesick and almost consider going home.
November: Royalty goes off for breeder evals but is Career Changed soon after for hip dysplasia. First year in 18 years that I do not celebrate Thanksgiving. Have a realization about what I want to do with my life but decide not to leave Aberdeen because I realized I love it there.
December: Find out that Winston is going to graduate on December 11, 2010. I leave Aberdeen on the 10 so that I can make it to his graduation. I get to meet one of our newest puppies, Luther, and see Katlynn again. I get Rocco back for a month. I get to meet the other two new puppies Pauli and Danvers.
That's pretty much the entirety of my year. Hopefully 2011 will be just as wonderful and has the same amount of ups and downs. Otherwise it would be boring right? :)
Sunday, December 26, 2010
This is my first holiday season and I gotta say that I'm getting a whole bunch of holidays in one.
First, Momma and I went to our club's Christmas party. That was a whole bunch of fun. I got a new blue kong toy there. Momma says that they need a special colour just for me because I have already bitten off pieces of it. So, I'm not really allowed to chew on it because she doesn't want anything getting stuck in my tummy.
Then Momma had Auntie Lilly over to celebrate the Solstice. They exchanged their gifts and made yummy food (not that I was allowed to have any of it) and watched movies and just had a great time.
Now we're here in Arizona spending Christmas with my Momma's step-dad's side of the family. It's the Jewish side of Momma's family. While I didn't get to open my presents on Christmas day I did get a present from Santa who, by the way, you're not suppose to be scared of. I find this a little hard to believe really. I mean, he can fly and he sneaks into your house late at night, eats all of your cookies and drinks all of your milk, and just leaves you presents. What kind of guy is this? I don't really mind because he got me a cool rope toy, but still, it's something to think about. My buddy Kendrick absolutely LOVES Santa Clause. He got so excited when he saw him at the mall that he forgot his puppy training and jumped on him. Momma couldn't take me to meet Santa this year because of time restrictions, but hopefully I'll get to meet him someday and ask him why he leaves presents for good little pups.
(This is Erin guys. The first video is one of Rocco meeting the singing Jingle Bell Puppy we have. He was infatuated with the thing. He thought it was great fun. The second and third video is Rocco trying to open his present from Santa. He was very good. That bag was on the floor for hours and he didn't try to get the rope inside until I told him it was "OK". In the first of him trying to get his present he looks at me like, "I'm not suppose to pick up the paper, but I can't get it out without touching the paper." So, I moved the rope out a little and he decided that he would just lay down and play with it instead of pulling it out of the bag so I eventually just took it out for him. The last is him playing with his new rope toy.)
Saturday, December 25, 2010
Anyway, I enjoyed this version of, "Twas the Night Before Christmas" and I hope you will too.
Santa Visits GDB
Twas the Night Before Christmas and the kennels were still,
With most dogs now asleep having eaten their fill.
The Labradors sprawled out, quite snug in their beds,
While visions of ANYTHING edible danced in their heads.
The Goldens and Shepherds curled up on the floor,
Some twitched in their sleep some even did snore.
The dog food was stacked in the feed room with care,
In hopes that a trainer soon would be there.
On the window ledge, one of the kennel cats did lay,
Surveying the lawn at the end of his day.
Something was different that little cat knew.
Tonight something would happen, it had to be true.
For that day as the workers left to go home,
They wish "Merry Christmas!" before starting to roam.
The dogs had noticed it too during this past week's walks,
The trainers seemed just that much happier and eager to talk.
In the mall where they worked through the maze of people and stores,
There were decoration and music and distractions galore!
Most dogs pranced along without worry or fear,
But some barked at the man on the sleigh and those fake looking reindeer.
The cat was almost asleep too when he first heard the sound,
A whoosh through the air and a jingle around.
It reminded him of a dog's collar when the animal shook,
But this sound kept growing. He'd better go look.
From the ceiling their came a faint sort of thunk,
As the kennel cat climbed the highest pile of junk.
Once before people had worked on the roof,
And came down through the trap door to a chorus of "Woooof!"
But the dogs still were quiet, all sleeping so sound,
As this man dressed in red made his way right on down.
He patted the cat as he climbed past his spot,
Then made his way right to the trainers' coffee pot.
A Shepherd sat up, not fully awake,
Then a Golden followed her with a mighty loud shake.
That did it! All the dogs sprang to life with loud noise,
In spite of the din, the old man kept his poise.
He filled the pot and it started to brew,
Then he pulled up a chair and took in the view.
Dogs all around him, so carefully bred,
He knew their jobs well, the blind people they led.
Some had stopped barking and looked at him now,
While others delighted in their own deafening howl.
Laying a finger in front of his lips,
The jolly old man silenced the excitable yips.
"You all may not know me, but I'm Santa Clause,"
The old man smiled and took a short pause,
While he filled up his mug with hot liquid and cream,
"I've always wanted to stop here. It's been one of my dreams."
The cat had climbed down and was exploring Santa's sack,
"Yes, little kitty, that's an empty pack."
Santa smiled as he drank and looked at those eyes,
Deep brown ones and gold ones held wide in surprise.
Some of these dogs he'd seen just last year,
In their puppy homes, cute and full of holiday cheer.
He'd seen the effect of the pup on the tree,
But now they were here at the school, just waiting to be.
"I didn't bring you presents or bones just to chew.
I'll tell you something better, what you're going to do."
"You all will work hard and the trainers will share,
Both praise and correction, gentle and fair."
"You'll go lots of places and face big, scary things.
You'll ride buses and subways and hear fire sirens ring."
"Cars will drive at you but you will stand strong,
Not moving into danger, not moving towards wrong."
"And then just when you think that this trainer's the best,
The kindest, and funniest person, toss away the rest,"
"That trainer will begin to ignore you and give you away,
Handing your leash over despite your dismay."
"Now the person who pets and feeds you will be
A blind person. That's a person who can't see."
"This man or woman may see just a tad,
But their view's missing parts or their focus is bad."
"So you, well trained dogs, will act as their eyes,
You will work as a team and discover the size"
"Of this great world we live in, because you will go
A million new places with this person, you know."
Santa sipped at his coffee and looked over the brood,
Knowing what he had to say next might sound kind of rude.
"Not all of you will make it and become canine guides,
Your time here isn't wasted though. You won't be cast aside."
"Some of you will be drug dogs and some will find bombs,
Some will become pets in a home with a dad and a mom."
"All of these things are important. People wait on long lists,
To receive such good dogs as you, the school folks insist."
The last drop of coffee had gone into his cup,
As Santa turned, smiling at each wide eyed pup.
"The best gift of all is to give something back.
That's why there's nothing for you inside of my pack."
Draining his mug, Santa went to each pen,
And petted and scratched each dog again and again.
"Now next year, and many more after that,
You all will give gifts where ever you're at."
"You might lick the hand that's had a bad day,
Or notice a car and step out of the way."
"You might help catch a crook or discover some loot,
Or just bring some joy to a tired old man in a funny red suit."
"Your master will love you and treat you with care,
In return, your training and trust will always be there."
After the last dog had been petted and soothed,
Santa put away the coffee pot and made ready to move.
Up the ladder he rose to the door high above,
With a smile and a wave as he slipped on his gloves.
And all the dogs' ears were pricked as he disappeared out of sigh,
"Merry Christmas to all, and to all a Good Night!"
~I have no idea who wrote this but it wasn't me. Wish that I could say that I did.
Rocco and I are in Arizona right now. We're not having what you would call a traditional Christmas by any means. We're in a hotel with no tree or stockings, but that's alright...I guess. It sure doesn't feel like Christmas in this hot of weather, but I get to spend it with Rocco so I'm pretty darn happy. He got to open his present before we got here so he could play with it in the hotel room. Santa brought him, early because he knew that we were coming here, a very, very large rope toy. Rocco absolutely loves it.
With that I leave you with:
Rocco and I hope you have the very best holidays out there no matter what you celebrate. Chanukah, Kwanza, Christmas, Solstice, or anything else that I don't know about, I hope it's a very happy time of the year for you all and that you get, or got, to spend it with friends and family.
Happy Holidays from Erin and Rocco (and Arwen, Rosie, Mia, and Lucy too!)
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Anyway, this here are my 11 things at 11 months...
11 of My Best Traits and Commands:
1. Every time someone tells me to sit I sit. I'm really good at that.
2. I'm pretty good at "down", but not as good as sit. But I'm still pretty amazing at that.
3. My "puppy push ups" are still very, very good. Momma makes me practice them at least 4 times on our daily 2 mile walk. I don't understand why though because I am so very good at them.
4. I'm such a cuddle bug. Momma really likes to get down on the floor so I'll cuddle with her. Hey! I might be 11 months old now but I'm never too old to sit in my Momma's lap and let her love on me.
5. I finally grew into my tail. At least that's what Momma says. She says that I no longer have a skinny little tail that just whips behind me. Now it's a nice poofy tail.
6. I walk really nicely now while I'm working.
7. I play really well with Rosie. Momma said she was worried about me being too rough with the little thing, but of course I realise that I'm not suppose to play rough with a little baby.
8. I settle down really quickly. When Momma tells me "that's enough" I stop playing.
9. I wait for my food until Arwen and Rosie have their bowls in front of them and they start eating. It's really hard sometimes, but Arwen is the "old girl" and she gets to start her meal first.
10. I don't chase the cats anymore. Do you guys remember when I used to want to chase the cats all the time. Well, I don't do it anymore! I'm very proud of myself.
11. And the most important thing is that I've been a really good boy all year. Are you listening Santa? A very, very good boy all year.
11 Commands and Traits I have to Work on:
1. The "Stay" command. I just want to go where ever my person goes. Momma says I can't do that though. I have to wait until she comes back and tells me that it's "OK" for me to move.
2. Momma says that I have to learn to stop when she does. I just like to keep going, but I'm apparently not suppose to do that.
3. I need to work on walking with a loose leash while we're just taking out walks. I walk great when I'm in jacket and I'm working, but when it's just a for fun walk I tend ot pull really hard. I just want to have fun though and see what's out there.
4. I need to learn to not play so rough with other dogs. I know to be calm and behave with Rosie, but she's just a baby. Apparently I'm not suppose to be rough with other dogs my size as well.
5. Just because Rosie is carrying around something does not mean it's a dog toy. This is a rule I have to learn. Rosie likes shoes...and she was carrying around one of Momma's flip flops. Of course I thought it was a dog toy so I start chewing on it. This, I have since learned, is a "no no."
6. Just because someone is on the floor does not mean they want to play...I have to learn this.
7. Auntie Arwen does not like having my teeth on her nose.
8. I should "do my business" even if Rosie is trying to get me to play with her. Momma doesn't liked suddenly being pulled across the yard early in the morning.
9. Momma likes cuddling...she does not, however, like it when I sit on her face.
10. Not everyone wants to be licked over and over and over and over and...well you get the point.
11. I should wait until the person says "Hi" to me first instead of going up to them and shoving my head under their hand.
11 of My Favourite Things:
1. My sterile Marrow bone. I love it so much!
2. Playing "tug". Oh gosh! I could play that all day.
3. Running around in the yard with Rosie (or Toledo). Unfortunately it's been raining.
4. I love it when I get my "Good Boy" treats when I'm good around other dogs.
5. I love seeing all of my friends at puppy meetings. Momma and I are going to the Christmas party tonight.
6. I love laying on my bed at Momma's house and than having her sit down with me to watch TV.
7. I love all my doggie brothers and sisters...though sometimes they don't love me playing with them.
8. I'm a lab so of course I love my food.
9. I love the fact that I'm getting to go to Arizona with my Momma and Grandma and SG(stands for step grandpa) Jesse.
10. Sometimes Momma needs to read out loud to stay focused so she reads to me. I don't really understand the books sometimes, but I love that she reads to me.
11. Momma likes to dance with me. Sometimes she put on music really loud and then dance all over the room with me. It's great fun!
So there we go! I turned 11 months old yesterday! Happy 11 months to my brother Rocky and my sisters Romy, Regina, and Reann. Oh! Momma got a letter and a cool Christmas gift from my sister Freya. She can't wait to tell you all about it! :D
I will leave on the note that again Santa...if you're reading this, I have been really, really good all year. I mean really good. And all the bad things I have done...well I've tried to stop doing them...so I think that maybe...a nylabone ring would be a fun thing to find in my stocking this year. :D Please and thank you!
Saturday, December 18, 2010
Last Monday (December 13) I drove to meet Rocco and his new raiser in between our two towns. We were stopping for lunch together to talk about Rocco and what he needs now as a puppy in training. She and I drove up at more or less the same time and then it was time to see my boy. She got him out and he didn't recognize me at first, but he was very excited to see me when he realised who I was. He was just the perfect puppy during lunch. No one noticed that he was there and we had a wonderful lunch together and we talked about what he needed. But it's not much. He's such a good boy.
Now, one last thing I would like to say about the pick up day. They had told me that he had grown, but they didn't tell me he was a moose! I mean, he's HUGE! He's got a nice, stocky, lab frame with his big, square head. And to think! He's only 11 months old! He's just gonna be a BIG boy. He's also very, very handsome. Unfortunately he knows that he's good looking and he takes advantage of this. :D Thankfully he still acts like my little boy and cuddles with me whenever he gets the chance.
For the past week we've just been having so much fun. He really is just a perfect puppy. He's confident and loves to work and is good at it. :) I think I might have another graduate on my hands here. But I'm not going to count my chickens before they hatch and will continue to act as I always do about the recall date and formal training; I am paranoid about the puppies passing their medicals. So, we'll see. For now though, he's just a wonderful, wonderful boy.
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Monday, December 13, 2010
Such a happy boy.
Trying to play with all of his friends.
At the beginning of every graduation they show a little puppy just ready to go home to its raiser family. This little one is PUMA. We're thinking he's an Alonzo puppy. Alonzo was raised in the other puppy raising group here in town.
Then the ceremony started. Winston was one of the last puppies, but we finally got there. :)
Katlynn walking her boy across stage.
Katlynn handing the harness off to Winston's new partner.
He gave me a nice look at the camera.
A look back at his Mom.
You can tell he's really happy with his partner.
Winston just started posing for the camera didn't he?
So, I really like this picture because Winston is looking all grown up and alert and his partner is just smiling!Quite possibly though, my favourite picture of the day.
Time for Katlynn's speech.
She didn't cry at all during her speech.
You can see our Winston looking all alert and ready for work.
At the end of the ceremony we are allowed to go back and have refreshments and talk to the graduates again. So, that's what we did. We all went back and congratulated Katlynn and Winston's new partner. They seem like they're just the perfect match. Guide Dogs did it again. Then Katlynn had to leave.
Winston saying good bye to his Mom.
I'm not going to lie. I cried a little, but not during the graduation. I cried when Katlynn and I said good bye. You see, Winston and Freya were best friends. Ever since Katlynn and I and Freya and Winston shared a room together at Fun Day in '09 the two dogs were inseparable. Katlynn and I also became pretty good friends. So, with Winston graduating and Katlynn now living in Utah and Freya graduating and me now living in Scotland...well, I guess I just realised that we're all growing up and we aren't the same people who started puppy raising together. So yes, I did tear up just a bit when I realised that it would be a long, long time before I see Katlynn again...if our path cross again at all.
Sunday, December 5, 2010
First, I'm leaving for home this Friday! YAY! I don't know when I'll get to see Rocco, but I'm hoping it be soon after I touch down in California on Friday evening.
Secondly, Rocco is huge. Now, I knew he would be getting bigger but the pictures I posted of him on his 10 Month Day did not do Rocco's size justice. Now this might be because I am used to Little Freya. Rocco weighed more when I left him at 8 months old than Freya did when I left her in the kennels at Guide Dogs on her recall day. So, I'm not really surprised he's big...but still. I didn't give him permission to grow at all. :)
Thing I can't wait about Rocco #...I can't remember what number I'm on: The way he loves to lean on me when I'm working at my desk.
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Holiday Giveaway!!!! done by Mr. Rudy who is a Guide Dog in training, but not with GDB. He's with Southeastern Guide Dogs (correct me if I'm wrong Rudy). Rudy is a handsome guy who just a bit younger than my Rocco. So go check out his blog with instructions on how to win his Holiday Giveaway! And, why not become a follower as well? He is pretty darn cute. It closes on the 15th so you better hurry!
Next let's go with the New Year's Puppy Swap. This is a very cool and wonderful idea thought up by (well, I don't know if she's the first person ever to think of this but it's the first I've heard about it) Brittany on Through Labs' Eyes. Basically, you get paired up with another blogger and you two send each other gifts for the humans and the people. I think it's a wonderful idea to get to know a blogging friend better. So, if you're interesting in making a new friend (both human and dog wise) then head over to her blog to check it out. :)
And now, I have to get on with the bad news. So, my leader has this great way of telling us of the dog's progress once they are in formal training. If they're going strong she'll send us the phase report and nothing will be beside the name. But, if something has happened she'll put a sad face next to the names. So, when I got an email yesterday that said "Royalty Update :-(" I knew something was wrong. In my naivety I thought, aw, she's been cut from breeding so there won't be any Royalty puppies. So, I was already a little down. Then I read through the whole message and got not only a little down, but very sad. Royalty was a puppy who came ready to be a Guide...or a Breeder. She's the perfect puppy and always has been. I can't ever think of a more well mannered puppy. It only seems right that Royalty, the dog who never had any real issues, would be CC'd for hip dysplasia. That's right, Royalty was Career Changed. This is the second dog in a row for my group to be dropped for some sort of dysplasia. Now, you might be thinking, "Erin, you weren't this sad when Collie was CC'd." Not true. I was, but in a different way. Collie was a dog you had to work with as most goldens are. Royalty came ready to work. There's a bit of a difference. But I'm just as sad because both of them liked to work and liked to be around their people and won't have the chance to work because of a medical reason. It's all very sad. But she'll make someone a wonderful pet!
And now, a break from blogging I think.
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
That's right! He's due to graduate on December 11 which means that I get to go! YAY! This makes me very, very excited!
Now, for that little announcement I was going to make today. About a week before I flew over "across the pond" I figured out what I wanted to do later on in life after University. Now, before I tell you what it is that I really want to do when I grow up let me tell you that, no, it's not being a Guide Dog trainer up at GDB. That was something I was throwing around for a while. I would get to work with the dogs and the people and that would make me very, very happy. But then, I wouldn't get to raise the puppies anymore. That was the one kink I could think of, but it was a big one. Then, Freya's partner said to me, "Why don't you become a Mobility Instructor?" I was about to come back with a "Well, obviously because..." but I couldn't think of one. I honestly could not think of one single thing that I wouldn't love about the job. There's wonderful job stability because there really aren't a lot of them out there and I could most likely still raise puppies and I would get to work with the blind community. After thinking about it for a while and not finding anything I didn't like about the job description and growing to like the idea more and more I finally said, "I don't know." So, that's what I'm aspiring to be. A Orientation and Mobility Instructor and a Blind Rehabilitation Specialist.
Monday, November 29, 2010
A few things:
I'm probably going to see Rocco sooner than I thought because I'm going home sooner than I thought. I haven't talked with Rocco's new raiser about it yet, but if she's willing to give him up sooner, I'm willing to take him sooner. :)
This morning in my Oral Gaelic class my teacher said that there was a contest to name a Guide Dog and she won by naming the dog "Suilean" which means "eyes" in Gaelic. Cool huh?
I have something pretty cool to tell you guys, but I'm gonna wait until tomorrow on the last day of November. For now...
Thing I can't wait about Rocco #7: The way he runs around the yard trying to get Arwen to play with him. Maybe if Rosie is big enough she'll be able to play with him. :)
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Anyway, I don't remember now what I was going to post yesterday. I think it was something about the number of dogs I see tied outside of stores here compared to what I see in California, but that'll have to wait for another day. What I want to tell you now is this, Mary is going up to a leaders' conference up at GDB on Friday and guess who'll be there? Yes, the All Mighty and Powerful Jim will be there, but that's not who I'm talking about. I'm talking about Rocco! Yes, he's being raised by the co-leader in the group so he gets to go and Mary gets to see him! On Friday!!!!!! She's promised to send me pictures and tell me how's he's doing. So, I'll tell you guys how he's doing.
Thing I can't wait about Rocco #6: Our long walks together. I miss them so much that I feel incomplete without the leash in my hand. That, and I can't tell my left from my right without a puppy.
Friday, November 26, 2010
My Grandfather is getting on in years and is having trouble doing things around the house such as bending down to open cabinets and close them and grab things off the floor and all that stuff. He's also in need of a companion in the big house in which he lives all alone. My question to ALL of you who raise service dogs is if he qualifies with your organization. I know of CCI, but I know there are other organizations out there that help the elderly get around. So, if you are a part of that organization or know of another I would really appreciate an email telling about your organization and what would qualify a person for a dog from your organization and what your experience is with it and all that jazz. Possibly a link to your organizations website. Email me at dramaqueenEEA92@gmail.com
Any and all help would be greatly appreciated!
Thing I can't wait for about Rocco #5: His sad eyes. You look into them and you see an old soul come back to help a person in need.
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Thing I can't wait about Rocco #4: His soft fur. Even if it does get everywhere.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Anyway, tired and all so I'll leave you with this:
Thing I can't Wait for about Rocco #3: His cuddly nature. I love that he loves to cuddle me. :)
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Thing I can't wait to see about Rocco #2: I can't wait for his puppy kisses again. I know I complain about the fact that he has no control whatsoever over his tongue, but I really think it's an endearing quality about him. He'll have to be partnered with someone that doesn't mind Rocco Kisses because I don't think we can stop him from licking indefinitely.
Monday, November 22, 2010
And that is the other thing I'm waiting for. I'm waiting (not too patiently) to see my boy again. I can't wait to see how big he's actually gotten. For those of you who remember he was a BIG boy when he came home and even had to be put away from the other puppies because he and Rocky were about twice the size. I know Rocky's going to get a little bigger than Rocco, but however big Rocco gets he's already bigger than Freya ever was. :)
So, as a countdown until I get to see Rocco again, I'm going to put one thing that I can't wait to see again every time I post. For the rest of November this means that I'll have something to post everyday at least and you guys get to hear my inner most thoughts about Rocco.
What I Can't Wait for #1: To see his goofy, big, black nose again and to feel press at the back of my neck when I get on the floor and play with him.
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Saturday, November 20, 2010
My 10 Best Traits and Commands: (though my new mom says that I'm amazing at everything)
1. I'm told that I'm great at the "sit" command.
2. I'm absolutely fantastic at doing my "down". Hey, any excuse to lie down right?
3. I always "do my business" when I'm told to and I haven't had an accident.
4. New Mom says that my "wait" is great!
5. I do really, really well when my people go out to eat at a restaurant (even though I'm never invited to join in at the table and eat).
6. I still love people.
7. I've been told that I have the most handsome face ever. I'm not sure if that's true because my brother Rocky is also a very handsome dog.
8. I've been told I'm a sweetie, but I'm still a tough guy. I'm not sissy.
9. Nothing phases me. I'm perfectly fine sleeping at work even though my people work at a diesel truck centre.
10. I don't chew on peoples' shoes. Not that I ever did. But, I feel that this will be important for me when I go on to my future career of a Guide Dog.
My 10 things I need to work on:
1. Keeping my tongue in my mouth. I've been trying, but I just like to taste things.
2. I've gone back to being a little noisy in my crate and I need to start being more quiet. The crate is just so boring! But I know that I have to be quiet.
3. I need to come every time I'm called. I hear people saying that I'm going through my "teenage phase" which means even though I had the best recall Momma and Mother Mary had seen in a baby, I've started to rebel. Hey! I mean, why should I come every time I'm called anyway?
4. New Mom says I have to be more calm. I'm just an energetic boy...but I'm trying.
5. I'm told that I'm not suppose to eat bark and branches, but I live in the country! There's just so many different types of trees to taste. Sometimes I can't help myself.
6. I'm working on my dog distractions while I'm out walking and working. I just want to play and sometimes I forget that I have to be focused.
7. My loose leash walking. I'm pulling a little too much, but I'm just eager to work and please. I know I need to go at the pace of my person, but I forget sometimes.
8. I have to be not so distracted when John drives the ATV.
9. I get a little too rough when playing with my doggie friends and have to be reminded sometimes to play nice.
10. Stop bothering the flies. I've been told this many times, Momma even took a video of me trying to catch a fly and I have to admit I'm a bit obsessed. They're just so...annoying.
My 10 favourite things ever:
1. Playing with my doggie brother Toledo who is a Career Change. He made it all the way to class before his CC, so he shows me the ropes and tells me how to behave. But he's also a great playmate.
2. I love swimming with Toledo. Swimming in the pool is the most fun thing ever!
3. I chew on the bone that Momma left with me all the time.
4. Licking (but as I said before I'm learning when it's appropriate and when it's too much)
5. Running. Oh Running around with my doggie brothers and sisters is so much fun.
6. Puppy Meetings! I love going out the work and it's even more fun when you get to go out and work with your friends. Especially when one of those is your brother.
7. Food. Hey, I'm a lab and a teenage boy.
8. Sleeping. Again, I'm a teenage boy so I love me some sleep.
9. Working. I really do love to work. I just love to please my people.
10. Snuggling. I still like to snuggle with people and dogs.
That's pretty much all from me right now. I'm doing very well in my training and I'm having loads of fun! I do miss Momma though. But! New Mom told me she's coming home for Christmas and that I get to spend her break with her!!!! I'm very excited. Momma says that she's gonna take me to meet Santa Clause when she's here. She told me that if I was a very good puppy Santa would bring me a toy for Christmas so I've been trying to be on my best behavior at all times. I hope Santa over looks the very few times I wasn't on my best. I'm hear my big half-sister went off yesterday for her Breeder evals. I wish her the very best of luck. I also heard that my friend Winston is in phase 8 and is just waiting for a person to come along! I know there's a graduation today so maybe we'll hear from GDB about Winston soon. I hope so.
Friday, November 19, 2010
Hmmm...Erin want to scream into a pillow but scared she'll alarm her flatmates.
I'll post more about it when I'm in a calmer mood and can think more clearly. For now all I will say is that I'm still not convinced I wasn't adopted.
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Very pretty. :) Perhaps I won't make as many the next time I'm able to make cookies. Though I think the next puppies we have leaving will also leave while I'm here in Scotland. So, oh well. :) Anyway, Royalty unfortunately didn't get to enjoy her cookies. Why you ask? Because she went back into season again on Tuesday. That girl has been in season 3 times since being in the group from 4 months old on. I hope this means that she's meant to procreate. Mary said that it might put a snag in the cogs of our plans for me to start a Royalty puppy over the summer. But I don't think so. Not with the way that she keeps going into Season. :)
Anyway, Good Luck Royalty!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Oh! I am starting to get my application together for a puppy this summer. I'm really excited. Props to anyone who can guess what I'm asking for. When the time comes closer there will of course be a contest with possible prizes. :) But for now, I'm just getting started.
In other news tonight is Royalty's last puppy meeting before heading off for college. It's getting so close.
Monday, November 15, 2010
Now, you people might be thinking, "Erin, you'd get attached to every dog. Stop talking nonsense." While it is true that I would love any dog that was placed with me for a year there is something special about both Rocco and Freya that I can't quite put my finger on. There are some puppies in my group who I absolutely love. I love all dogs. But if those dogs were CC'd I would offer up for community placement first and then place them with another family. It's not because I don't love them, it's because I know I would love a different dog more and a different dog would fit me better. Unfortunately this wasn't the case with my first two pups. I'm hoping for my third I get a dog that I can't really bond with as a team which sounds weird, but it's kind of what I'm hoping for. :)
Anyway, what this all boils down to is that I miss my Baby Boy and I can't wait to see him again.
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Now, I have found a number of interesting explanations of the name "Rocco." All of them made me laugh a little because none of them really describe Rocco at all. But, that doesn't matter, there was hope when he was named. :) Without further adieu...
(I don't think I ever posted this picture, but over Fun Day Rocco dicided to get into the shower with me and got water Freckles for his troubles)
Saturday, November 13, 2010
You won't be seeing Royalty show up on the phase reports for a while as she is going in for Breeder Evaluation. I have high hopes for her as a Breeder. She's such a nice dog. Even the All Knowing Jim says that she's just a wonderful pup. I'm hoping this is a sign of good things to come. Because I have a plan!
Step 1 of my plan is for Royalty to become a breeder. Step 2 is for her to be bred almost immediately. Step 3 is for Royalty to have her puppies about 8 weeks before I come home for Summer Vacation. Step 4 is for me to start a Royalty puppy over the summer. I like this plan and I think it has potential. Now the only problem is for me to be able to get GDB to cooperate with me. But I think that's possible too. :)
Anyway, that's the news for today. Tuesday is Royalty's last puppy meeting and then she's heading to GDB on Friday the 19th. Time sure flies.
Friday, November 12, 2010
For those of you who don't know how the naming system at GDB works here is a crash course. Each litter that is born recieves a "Litter Letter" (try saying that 10 times fast) and each puppy's name begins with this letter. For Freya her litter was an "F" litter and Rocco was an "R" litter. You get the idea? GDB also does NOT reuse names that are "active". An "active" name is, basically, one that is in use. This means that it is the name of a Working Guide or a Puppy in Training. Once a dog is Retired or Career Changed from the program the name goes back into cirrculation. For those of you who read Mimi and Cabana's blog you know that Cabana was CC'd. That names is currently being used again for a PIT but it would not had happened if Cabana was a Guide or still a PIT. Understand? Good! Let's get on with it then!
Meaning: 1)From Norse mythology "Freyja". Freyja is the Norse Goddess of Love, Beauty, Fetility, Gold, Witchcraft, Love, and Death. She rules over the heavenly afterlife field Folkvangr and recieves half of the souls of people lost in battle.
Nicknames: Frey, Frey-Frey, Rey, Missy (but this is unique for my Freya, it's not a nickname for the name Freya)
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Can you believe how fast time is going?!
I can't. That's for sure. What prompted this was an email from J. about when I would be back in Fresno and when would I like to pick Rocco up. I thought about it and if everything goes the way I want it to I should be back in the States in a month! A MONTH! That's it, first half of first year done. What is this? I mean, I only just started. So weird...
But you know what that means don't you? I get to see my boy in about a Month! I'm so happy I could dance! In fact I think I will. *Sings Carnival tune while dancing around the room*
I get to see my baby boy soon.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
So, I was going to do a Mostly Wordless Wednesday, but blogger is being weird and not letting me upload a video. So, I'm gonna tell you about the video instead.
It's of Rocco and Toledo swimming. If you remember my Transfer Post you'll remember that Rocco really didn't understand how to get into the pool to swim. But he does now! I'm so happy that Rocco finally figured out how to get in because he really is a water dog. He loves it so much. Anyway, I'm glad to see he's fitting in very nicely with his new family. :)
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
I haven't written much as of late because things have been relatively quiet. The boy Rocco was a lot quicker to learn that I was the head four-legged in the house than Miss Freya was so I have had very little need to complain. But I would like to tell you of the injustice that has recently been brought upon my life.
First off, my girl has gone away for school. This has never happened before. I mean, sure, she would go away during the day for school but sure enough everyday she would come home and give me a big hug. It's been almost 2 months now and she hasn't come home from school. What is this? A conspiracy towards all dogs to be taken away from their people? I just don't understand it. My boy went away too for a while, but at least I had my girl. Now I don't have either one of them and I'm stuck with the old people. Don't they realize that I'm not a senior just yet? I'm a young 8-year-old for goodness sake! Dad tells me that my girl is away at "COL-LEGE". I've hear about this "COL-LEGE." It's suppose to be a lot of fun. I like to have fun! Why didn't she take me? I'm the life of the party at any social gathering. What's worse is that the boy is gone too which means she must have taken him.
Now if that weren't fair enough the old people have brought a new puppy into the house. It's this itty, bitty, furry thing that they call "Rosie." That little pipsqueak shouldn't even qualify as a dog. And she barks at birds. Probably because they could fly her away to their nests if they had any interest in her. But I'm sure they realize that then they would be stuck with the barking. And you know what the worst part of this is? I don't even get a break from this one. Sure I was jealous some time when Dad and Erin would take Freya and Rocco places that I couldn't, but at least I got a break from the fur ball of energy. And, at the end of the day, I was the one sleeping on the bed and they were the one sleeping on the floor. So I knew who was most important in the household. But I'm with this one all day and all night and my girl is probably off at COL-LEGE with Rocco and now he's getting to sleep on her bed.
They say I'm a grumpy old woman now. Is there any wonder as to WHY?
Monday, November 8, 2010
What I do have for you guys are some more pictures I drew of Rocco. I started the first one yesterday while waiting for a committee meeting to start and finished it at lunch today while I was waiting for a friend to meet me at the Hub so that we could discuss the poem we were suppose to talk about today in our tutorial (which I have to say we nailed seeing as we started it two hours before we had to talk about it).
There have been more pictures besides these two but I figure that since I had nothing to post today I would post the pictures that make me very happy that I'm seeing my boy in a little over a month. Can you believe it!? I really can't wait and I think that's why I draw him. In some way I can have him here with me. :) All of the pictures I've drawn, the good and the bad, are now posted to my wall with blue tack so that it feels less drab in here and more like home. :)
Sunday, November 7, 2010
For those of you who have ever owned a Golden Retriever you know that they get particularly attached to one person. I am Arwen's person. There's no getting around it. She loves everyone, but at the end of the day I'm definitely her person. I know my family would disagree to this but that's just because they're jealous that the pretty girl chose me. I mean, I've been walking, feeding, watering, bathing, and everything else her since she was 2. She is know 8. She's been sleeping with me since she was 8 weeks old (Arwen was by far the easiest puppy we've ever house trained). so for basically 8 years we've been inseparable until this point. She was never what I would call a "grumpy" dog even with the PITs. But she is now. I only assume that this is because her girl is gone and she just doesn't care anymore. I'm sure my dad and step-mom are talking her for a walk everyday, but she's a fast walker, much like myself, and to be truely exercised she needs to be walked at that pace. I don't know.
What are your feelings on this? Do you think she just misses me and is grumpy because I'm gone or am I being to conceited?
Saturday, November 6, 2010
This is something I've recently discovered. How did I discover this? Well, here's a great story. I told myself that I was going to take my bone shaped poop bag holder (a must have for every puppy raiser) off of my purse before I came here to Scotland. Well, that didn't happen. So I ended up running through the London airport (some issues there, but don't get me started) with blue poop bags streaming behind me. I've taken the poop bags out of the dispenser, but I've left it on my bag. Why? I'm not too sure. It just feels like that's where it's suppose to be. I am also wearing my dog tags every day or taking them with me in some form or another. I tremble with rage at the people who don't pick up after their dogs when they go on the sidewalk. I must suppress the urge to laugh at someone as they're saying, "sit, sit, sit, sit, sit". Really? Do they think that kind of repetition will get the dog to sit the first time? No, silly person. They're just going to think it's ok to wait a minute or so until you get kind of annoyed then they'll sit.
It's a fact. I'm a puppy raiser through and through and I'm going out of my mind without a puppy. I'm thinking about trying to find a place that allows animals for next semester so I can raise one here. I just don't think I can go from January till June without a dog.
Friday, November 5, 2010
"Right guys. We're getting one of everything right?"
"Oh those look like fun!"
I absolutely love that if you look closely you'll notice that her eye is huge.
"They should have doggie rows. I don't have any leg room."
"Please don't make me do it, it's so cramped." Note: Freya does actually enjoy going on planes I just love how this picture looks like she doesn't really want to go on it.
And who can blame her? Look at how little doggie room they have for her. Oh, and I suppose Mr.L was deprived of some leg room as well.
"Fine. If I am to be deprived of leg room then I'll just curl up and look forlorn about it. Perhaps the attendants will give me a pillow."
These steps looks so high for Freya's short little legs.
Thursday, November 4, 2010
This is the picture I was trying to recreate in sketch form. It's one of my most favourtie pictures of Rocco. He was about 5 1/2 months here.
And now, here is the sketch:
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Anyway, for those of you who aren't my friend on facebook you haven't seen this picture yet. I think it's a cute picture of Miss Freya. You see, she now thinks that she's a lap dog and when Mr. L sits down to watch TV in the evenings Freya usually joins him in his lap. :)
Monday, November 1, 2010
That's Colorado on the right who came home yesterday. Colorado was, as you might recall, CC'd for elbow dysplasia and returned home yesterday. I know he's not staying with his raisers, but they are going to get to keep him for a while while the family they have for him is getting ready for him to come live with them. (That was a nighmarish jumble of pronouns). And that's Lance of the Left. He's looking so grown up. :)
Friday, October 29, 2010
That being said I'm actually not too sure when I'll be going back. If you guys are looking at my Phase Tracker you will notice that our boy Winston is in Phase 8!!!!!!! YAY!!!!! So, we're going to have a graduation coming up rather soon. I'm hoping that it's the December 11th graduation. Why? Because I would totally come home a week early to go to his graduation. :) I'll let you know as soon as I know when he's in class and due to graduate. If his person comes along sooner then "Yipee!" but again, I'm hoping his person comes for the December graduation. :)