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Monday, May 31, 2010

An Elmer and Eli Update

Hey Everyone! With the graduation and with my excitement that Rocco's tummy is doing better and he's not whining as much I've forgotten to tell you about Elmer and Eli.

Elmer had his surgery on May 24, 2010. Nancy e-mailed me and told me that it went great. I believe he's still recovering at UC Davis, but should be back at Guide Dogs soon. They're still looking for a home for him...

I'd really like to take him. If I could find an apartment near the campus where I'm going to school in the fall that allowed animals I would take him in a heart beat. I've actually been asking around to see if any of my counselors know of such a place. Since Scotland is mostly apartments there is a good chance that there is one out there that would allow animals. But by the time I find a place in my price range he'll probably already have a home.

I'm in contact with Eli's raiser and she says that he's gained back all his weight plus a pound. But that was a few weeks ago so I'm sure he's gained a few more pounds. :) YAY!

I'll keep you updated,
Raiser Erin

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Just a Normal Day

Hey all! Rocco and I had a very normal day today. Well, I little more than normal. I slept in until 6:20! Rocco didn't whine at all. Not even when I started to roll around and shoved pillows over my head in hopes that I could get back to sleep. Finally I admitted defeat and looked over at the kennel. Rocco was staring right at me. And he wasn't making peep! Woohoo! I think we've made a break through. Then we did our normal routine. I took him out to go potty, shoved a pepcidAC down his throat, started his breakfast, then I had to go do my business. I have the bladder of a squirrel. Then I fed the dogs breakfast and ate my own cereal. It took me forever to get going but eventually I got up and dressed for my morning walk. Rocco had his two mile walk and then Arwen had her two mile walk and then I collapsed back on the sofa. I just couldn't seem to wake up this morning. I knew I was going to have trouble today, but I didn't think it would be that much trouble. I showered and dressed about 2:00pm and finally got ready to go to the store as I had been planning all morning. Just as we were getting ready to leave at 3:15 I realized that I had forgotten that Rocco was still on 3 meals a day!!!! The poor puppy was sitting there waiting for his lunch 2 hours and 15 minutes later than normal. But he wasn't whining or anything. I still felt bad though. We finally made it to the store. He was a real stinker the entire time. He kept pulling and randomly he would slow down and would want to walk fast. Such a problem child. Then we did some basic obedience. He's doing a lot better on down now than he was even yesterday. And now after his second half of pepcidAC and dinner we're just sitting here watching TV. I made some new "cookies" I guess you could call them. They're called Chocolate Crack, and yes, I know that there is negative connotation to the word "crack" but in this case it refers to the fact that it's made with graham crackers. I got it from a book and I'm not about to change the name. Though there might be another reason for the word too. I've already had two big chunks and I want to go back for more. It's quite addicting. Rocco was the best kitchen helper ever. He just lied on the kitchen floor and watched me. He didn't even budge when an egg dropped. We also have some exciting news. Our vegetable garden is starting to produce vegetables. Tomorrow we're going to have to tie up the tomato plants and the bell pepper. The litter pepper is too heavy and the whole plant is on its side. :)

I'm not going to lie. I have cried a few times today. I keep thinking about our last good-bye and how she looked at me with her all knowing eyes and then looked up to her partner. Then I think about how they're travelling back to Alabama today. It's her first airplane trip and I'm hoping everything went smoothly. I'm thinking about sending them an email tomorrow just to make sure that all is well.

Hopefully tomorrow will be easier,
~Raiser Erin and Rocco

Freya's Graduation Part 2

Alright, as promised. Here are some pictures and my story of Freya's graduation
The day before Graduation was a little stressful for me. Well, not stressful, but I was definitely jittery. I couldn't calm down. At least we had a hotel room so I didn't have to worry about getting up early and all that. I'm glad I decided to do that! Traffic was horrible. My puppy group was later than they thought they would be and my dad and step-mom almost didn't make it in time. Anyway, the hotel was a good idea. Lilly and I spent our time on computers and watching TV and generally relaxing. I'm glad I got a chance to sort of relax because I was a nervous wreck. :) I was able to gather my thoughts completely and play with Rocco. I think Rocco liked the hotel room as well.
Here he is playing on a tie down next to my bed. He's such a good boy.
He didn't like the idea that Lilly and I were across the room and he had to stay on his tie down.
Here he is looking cute. He's saying "Momma, please let me on the bed!"
Anyway, we had a lot of fun. We even got a chance to go out to eat. We found this wonderful hole in the wall Chinese restaurant. It was fantastic and Rocco did amazing. After eating and playing it was time for bed. We all slept well and Rocco didn't whine at all. Then we took our showers and enjoyed our continental breakfast. Well, Lilly and I enjoyed it. Rocco had kibble in the morning. He's on all ProPlan now and his tummy is doing great! We packed up a checked out and headed to GDB. When we got there we went to the gift shop. It's only open during Fun Day and Graduation now, so I wanted to get a toy for Rocco. He chose a rubber ring. After that we headed to, you guessed it, the kennels to check out the cutie pie puppies. There is a great litter of "P" Golden Retrievers! I wanted one so bad! But I knew I had my trouble child. :) Speaking of which, after we saw the puppies we checked Rocco into the kennels. Mary was going to check him out when they got there and I didn't want to worry about him while I was spending time with Freya. It was finally time.
One last picture before I went to check in.

I grabbed the presents. The stripped one was her partners. It was a picture book of Freya. The polka dot bag was Freya's. In it was a dental dino, rope toy, extra large kong, and the ring I got her for her first birthday.

It was time. I sat in the Day Room bouncing my legs. I couldn't keep still. I was finally able to check in and got my name tag. While I was waiting to be reunited with my girl I met a few other people who were there for their first graduation. I will especially remember Memphis' raiser. Memphis was her first puppy just like Freya was mine. We talked about how proud we are of our girls and how sad we were that we couldn't have them back. We talked about how the dogs that make it are always the ones we want back. :) Right before we were all paired back up with our pups one of the graduates played a beautiful piece by Bach on her guitar. She's a classically trained guitarist. Then it was time for us to get our pups. "Dexter's raiers." "Poppy's." They even brought in Memphis and Celine. All dogs were brought in and everyone was happy until I was left. The class supervisor asked if there was anyone who didn't have their dog yet. I raised my hand and told him mine was Freya. Then I went back to looking at the floor as he went to get her. Then I heard a giant shake and the tinkling of dog tags. I looked up and Freya was dragging her partner towards me. Who says she's a Guide Dog? :) I got down on the floor after introducing myself to her partner and let her jump all over me and lick all my make up off. I'm so glad she recognized me. After we had said hello in the Day Room her partner led me back to their room and we got to talk for a long time. He told me how wonderful Freya was and what a good job I had done with her. I could tell her really adored her.

He took her off leash which they are not really suppose to do, but he said that she's so wonderful that the 3rd day he had her she was off leash in the room and was no longer on tie-down while they were asleep. He praised me for the great work that I did on her house manners. He said that she would stand in front of the door while he was in the bathroom and just stare at the door. I also got to get down on the floor in the room and play with her.

Freya on her back for a belly rub. I missed her tummy.

Freya standing and watching the bathroom door before we were led out.

Freya and her partner. He was telling her to sit and boy did she listen. She was so obedient and calm that it was hard to believe she was the same dog.

Freya and I on the floor. She was circling me like she used to do when she wanted me to play.

She's playing with her ring. She recognized it right away when she saw it. Her partner loved it. Though we didn't show her the rope toy. He said that there were a few times that he thought he should go to the nurse to see if his shoulder was still in place. But he was laughing and smiling when he said this. :)
It was like old times again. Me on the floor holding on to her ring.

After we talked and played we went to get our picture taken. We went back to the room and he let me walk her to and from the picture. It was nice to see her with her harness on and working. We talked some more about her training. He loves the fact that she's "military sharp." He said that she would make 90 degree turns to get him around cars on no sidewalk areas. He said that other dogs would take their people 5 ft into the street, but not Freya. He also loves that she's clean and doesn't roll around when they're relieving and she gets bored. Yes, I hear that some dogs in this class did that. He also likes that she doesn't drink a lot of water. It's true. She takes two or three laps and is done. I got so much praise that I thought I was the puppy in training for a second. I really like him and her together. Now get this...Both of our fathers' name is Don. Freya was my first puppy and is his first Guide Dog. He became legally blind in September 2008, Freya was born October 2008. Freya was returned February 20, 2010 and he was excepted into the program around February 21, 2010. I think they really were made for each other.

Of course all good things must end eventually. My time with Freya as my dog once again was over and we were escorted to the Day Room and he was escorted to the stage. She kept looking for him while he was gone and we were alone. But I think she realized what was going on and rested her head on my lap. I looked down at her and started to rub her ears. She looked back up at me with her lovely eyes. Then it was our turn. Her name was called and I walked her out on stage. And it's ok that she was looking for him while she was with me because Mary told me that she was looking for me when she was sitting with him. I think both of us didn't want to leave the other, but we knew we had to.

There we are walking on stage. Freya in harness...I was all smiles.

I passed her off to her partner and he gave his little speech about how glad he was that he was able to be a part of GDB's family. Then I gave a supposedly great speech about how happy I was that Freya was graduating. Thank you to everyone who told me it was funny and great. I thought that if I made people laugh I wouldn't cry. It worked. I didn't cry while I was on stage and when we went back to the cafeteria for the reception. Freya was so happy to see all of her friends again. When she and Winston saw each other they went crazy. I told her partner that they were best friends and were very happy to see each other again. He took of her harness so she could be a dog and play with all the people and dogs who had come to see her. She was happy to see my dad and Marion. She was really happy to see Candie. Before we walked on stage Candie came in to say Hey to Freya. Freya got all wiggly like she used to when I would drop her off with Candie in the mornings. We had to remind her that she wasn't going with her after the ceremony. She did a lot of things that she used to do that I love. She still jumps straight up in the air. We went out to the fenced court yard that each room has and as soon as she was off leash she jumped straight up. Her partner asked if she had always bounced like a rabbit and I had to answer yes.

After the reception it was outside for pictures.

Me and my two babies. I have a lot of pictures of me and Freya with her looking that way.Her and her new partner. He really loves her! And she really loves him!
There they are outside. Don't they make a great pair?

He's putting on her harness. She immediately stopped playing with the other dogs when she saw the harness. He loves how she's always ready to work.

My little Momma's Boy and my Darling Baby Girl.

Freya was so calm. I was so proud of her!
Here they are both looking up at me.
Neither one is looking at me, but I thought it was a cute picture.

Miss Freya a Guide Dog? Who would have thunk it?!
I loved seeing her again. As my facebook status states I miss her terribly and my heart is aching for her. I didn't cry until I said my final good-bye. I had already given her one last pat and her partner one last hug, but we saw them again as they were leaving. He said good bye and thank you one last time. I looked down at her and said "See ya Shortbread." And that's about the point when I lost it. I turned away, but everyone had already seen me. I'm still holding hope that I'll see her again, but I know the chances are slim. He does want to keep in touch and says that he'll send me pictures of all of their travels. Since he works for the army he has to travel all over. They're going to Texas in two weeks and then a month after that they're going to Pennsylvania. He told me that she was going to help him do his job better. I get asked a lot how I could ever give my dog up and this is how I do it. I just made this man's life easier and gave him a best friend. His wife loves her too and was quick to assure me that she was going to be well taken care of and she was going to be so spoiled. I told her I knew she was going to the right place and I was happy that she had found her person. And I am. I want her back, but she's doing what she loves to do and he needs her more than I do. So my new answer when someone asks me how I could ever give up my puppy is that I have a love of dogs and humans that stretches beyond myself. I love the fact that I'm helping someone find their Independence again and find it for the first time. It's a wonderful feeling when you have someone tell you that their life is now easier because of you.
Good Luck Guide Dog Freya! I love you so much and I know that you're going to make me proud! And Please, don't run you're partner into anything else. :)
Congrats also to:
Celine (FBL)and her Raisers. She is now a working guide in Richlands, Virginia.
Memphis (FBL)and her Raiser. She is now a working guide in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Lawson (MBL)and his Raisers. He is now a working guide in Rochester, New Hampshire.
Dexter (MBGLDX) and his Raisers. He is now a working guide in Lemoore, California. (Dexter is Freya's half brother, he's another Dylan pup)
Poppy (FYL) and her Raisers. She is now a working guide in Arvada, Colorado. (Poppy is Winston's half sister. She's a Jenkins pup. Check out her blog Poppy's Poop Scoop to get her raiser's view on Graduation)
Loyal (MBL) and his Raisers. He is now a working guide in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Annabelle (FYL) and her Raisers. She is now a working guide in Amsterdam, New York. She and her partner received in home training and wasn't present at Graduation.
Capri (FBL) and her raisers. She is now a working guide in Springfield, Virginia. (She is Freya's half sister. She's another Dylan pup)
Bekah (FBL) and her raisers. She is now a working guide in El Cajon, California. (Her and her partner finished their training and returned home before Graduation)
Seiko (FYL) and her raisers. She is now a working guide in Ashland, New Hampshire. She and her partner received in home training and they were not present at graduation. (She is Amici's half sister. She is another Cabby pup)
Collin (MYL) and his raisers. He is now a working Guide in Lahaina, Hawaii. He and his partner received in home training and they were not present at graduation. (He is Winston's half brother. He is another Jenkins pup.)
Curt (MYL) and his raisers. He is now a part of GDB's breeding stock. (He is Townsend and Tomales' half brother. He is another Bingham pup)
Tamryn (FBL) and her raisers. She is now a part of GDB's breeding stock.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Freya's Graduation Part 1

Hey All! I'm particularly tired today. It probably has to do with the fact that I had to drive 4 hours back home and that my emotions ran high most of the day. So right now is just going to be a quick post and tomorrow I will post pictures and stories and what really happened. Right now all I'm going to say is that it happened and it's started to sink in. It was a lovely ceremony and I'm more sure than ever that Freya and her new partner were made for each other. You can tell he really adores her and she really loves him. I'm so pleased with the match GDB made and so pleased that he wants to keep in touch. I would also like to say that I didn't cry during the speech or when I spent an hour with her partner. I did cry, however, as we were saying good-bye for the last time. I'm going to miss her.

More to come tomorrow!
~Raiser Erin


Ok, so it hasn't quite sunken in yet. I still can't believe that Freya is graduating today and that she's going to Alabama. That's so far away. I know I wouldn't be here to visit her anyway come September (I'm going to Scotland for college), but I still would have liked to visit her when I came home for the holidays. It's too weird to think that the little ball of energy actually made it as a real Guide. It's also hard to imagine her in a harness. I used to say to her "Real Guide Dog Freya! Don't distract the real Guide Dog!" whenever we happened to cross paths with a real working Guide. She was very dog distracted and it took all her will to not leap across to play with the dog in the harness. I really can't say that anymore because she is the real working Guide in the harness. I remember the first time I took her to church (I'm not very religious, but I realized she had never been in a church. She had gone to Buddhist meetings with my mom and step-dad, but never to a church. I figured there was more of a chance of her going to a Christian than a Buddhist so I took her when she was over a year old) there was a real Guide Dog. Napoleon and his partner came in late and sat down in their normal place which happened to be right behind us. Freya immediately turned around to look at the new comer. For a while the two of them starred at each other. I'm sure both were thinking "Hey, what are you doing here!?" It was pretty funny. It's hard for me to think that she's going to be that dog now.

Friday, May 28, 2010


Hey all! Raiser Erin again. I'm sitting here in my hotel room trying to figure out exactly what I want to say tomorrow at graduation. I have finally come to the realization that I have no idea what I want to say. Not only that, but I don't know what there is to say. No matter what I say or do I'll end up crying on stage, so...I don't know...maybe I should just let it come to me. But if I let it come to me then what happens if I sound like I'm rambling or if I just don't know when to shut up? ARGH!!!! I wish I had the gift of gab. That way I would know what I should say. I'm so afraid I'm going to end up putting my foot in my mouth. I think it's just the nerves and jitters talking though.

I'm so excited for tomorrow. I can't wait to see my little Shortbread again. Yes, I call Freya "Shortbread" because she's sweet and short. :) I got word that Ken was there tonight with Belle and when they saw each other those two dogs were all wiggles. Apparently Freya got a little too excited and Belle gave her a scolding. :) Belle is such a good mother.

I'll probably leave you all with one more message before we take off in the morning. For now though, I think it's time to sleep. I got up early this morning and will probably get little sleep tonight so I might as well get a head start.

Peaceful sleep,
Raiser Erin and Rocco

Hotel Time

Hey everyone! It's Raiser Erin. Rocco, my best friend Lilly, and I all drove down to San Rafael today. I didn't want to hit traffic in the morning so I thought it best to stay the night in a hotel. So that's where we are right now.

Rocco's having fun checking out his new surroundings. He's sniffing the room from beds to drapes. Mostly though, he's jumping around playing with ten million toys I brought for him. Seriously, he got to bring so many toys. I hope I don't spoil my real children the way I spoil my Guide Dog Puppies.

Lilly and I are trying to find a place to eat that's cheap and not a fast food restaurant. I'm a vegetarian and rarely do a find a fast food restaurant that has anything for me. And don't even say McDonald's has salads because iceberg lettuce and croutons is not a salad. Anyway it should be an adventure. I figure I'll ask the front desk if they know of anything nearby. If that doesn't work then thank God for the invention of the iPhone.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Arwen's Post

Hi everyone! This is my first post on my sister Erin's blog. I don't know why since I help raise these puppies just as much as she does. This is me.

I am an 8-year-old, female, golden retriever. I love to run and play but mostly I love spending time with my people. My new puppy is Rocco. My job while the puppy is with us is to tire the thing out. I do that really well with Rocco, not so much with Freya. She was a little too rough for me. I'm not a dominant dog and Freya definitely was. But Rocco is fun to play with. He listens to me when I tell him I've had enough and I can actually win at tug with him. My other job is to teach them how to behave in the house. I know that while we are in the house we aren't suppose to rough house. So when the new puppy tries I tell them "No!" before Erin even has a chance.

I'm going to post from time to time. I'll talk to you guys later!


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Phone Call

Hey all! I'm really excited! When you get your letter from Guide Dogs it tells you that you are allowed to call your puppy's new partner in the last three days before Graduation. That would be today. I was allowed to call between 7-9 pm. And would you look at that! It's 8:00! That means that, yes, I have already called Freya's new partner. I asked him and he was ok with me posting a bit from our conversation. Here's how the first part of our conversation went...

Me: "Hi! This is Erin (my last name). Freya's puppy raiser.
Partner: "Oh, yes, hi."
Me: "Is this (Freya's partner's name)"
Partner: "Yes it is."

I went on to say more stupid things in my "put my foot in my mouth" way. This may shock some of you, but I'm really shy. I make friends easy, but only after I've told myself a million times to not be nervous and that the worst someone can do to me is be mean. So when I talk to a new person I get really nervous. And when I get nervous I tend to talk really fast, say things that could have sounded better if I had said it some other way, and sometimes I hyperventilate.

So, after the awkward introductions were made we really got to talking. You all know that Freya's going to be living in Huntsville, Alabama. Well, her partner works for the army as an assistant inspector. I think Freya's going to have a lot of fun travelling all over with him. I was so hoping that she would go to someone who was always on the go and it sounds that he's pretty active. Freya is his first Guide Dog. He started to go blind in 2001 and was officially "legally blind" in September 2008. He still has partial vision though. I think this is pretty cool because Freya was born in October 2008. Does anyone else believe that she could have been born for him? I think so.

Since he works for the army he's going to be travelling a lot. When they get home (it's kind of weird to think that her home is now different than mine) they're only going to be there for a week before they go off to Texas. Then they're off for Pennsylvania. I'm so glad that she's going to get to go so many different places.

I have say that I really liked him. He was so nice and he seems to really like Freya. As you all know this worried me a bit. I was worried that she might be too much dog for anyone she was paired with, but he seems to understand her. That's wonderful...I'm just so glad that he likes her. He said that she sleeps on her bed right next to his and every morning when he wakes up she's watching him. When he opens his eyes she starts to wag her tail. :) When she bonds with someone she bonds for life. I don't really know how to explain it, but she's got a special person. A special person who wants to keep in touch and send me pictures. :D

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The "I Miss You" Post

With graduation only a few days away I began to think about all the things I miss about Freya. Freya was a wonderful puppy and I love her so much! I'm so very proud of her. There were quite a few odd and unusual things about her that I absolutely adored. I don't have a lot of pictures of these, but I'll try to describe them the best I can. These are some, definitely not all, of the things I miss about Freya.

1) Her awkward bow legs. Seriously, she was so bow legged it was hilarious. When she ran she looked a bit like a crippled penguin! :D One time she was running in the backyard when she hurt her foot. When my CFR came to have a look at her she wouldn't gate. In fact, she couldn't gate because her legs were just too bow legged. We were so worried that she was going to be dropped for some weird health problem, but apparently all of her littermates had slightly bow legs too. She just got the worst pair.

2)Her smile. She had a great smile. All you had to do was say her name and she would give you a big old grin.

3) Her eyes. A lot of black labs have dark brown eyes and you can barely see them. Freya had really light brown eyes and they would just melt your heart. They were so expressive and had a lot of love in them. I love them!

4) The way she would always be ready to play. She loved to play. She would play hard and long and always found a way to keep me playing. She could play tug with her rope toy all day if she were allowed. I loved that she was always ready to play with me.

5) How she was happy to work. She would get so excited when she saw me get out her jacket. No matter if she was on a flat leash or in a halti she enjoyed going out so much. Generally she was in her halti, but that didn't make a difference to her. She was going out somewhere and that's all she cared about.

6) Her "I Don't Give a Crap" attitude. This sounds weird, but she did things her way. She knew what she had to do and by the end she would take direction and command from me, but it was so rare that I had to do it. She knew exactly what she was suppose to do and what she needed to do and she didn't care what other people thought.

7) Her fearless nature. Nothing could phase that dog. A car passed right by her when she was just 10 weeks old and she just kept on walking. The first time she went up stairs she didn't walk up them she flew down them. Then she ran down the stairs. She conquered grates and different feeling floors right away.

8) The fact that she was so smart. Really, if she had opposible thumbs I'm pretty sure she could drive my car for me. And I drive a manual transmition. She learned easy and quick.

9) Her tongue. It was so long and it was always moving. She would lick anything that would move in front of her. In was tough going to teach her not to lick everyone that crossed her path and eventually I just gave up because that was just her nature. I'm hoping her new partner doesn't mind.

10) Her cuddliness. She would curl up with me on the floor and watch movies with me. Her favourite thing to watch was Spongebob Squarepants. But she always liked things like "Marley and Me" and "PS I Love You." I really miss my cuddle buddy. Rocco cuddles with me, but it's different. I love him and his cuddling, but Freya was so much like me.

These are just a few of the things that I miss about Freya. I'm really looking forward to seeing her this Saturday. I can't believe how fast time is flying by. Tomorrow I can call her new partner (I'll ask him if I can use his first name), then Thursday Rocco and I get ready to leave, then on Friday we leave! We're staying overnight in San Rafael with my friend Lilly. I can't wait! Really, I'm dying to meet her partner and see her again.

Monday, May 24, 2010

First Day of School

No, today wasn't my first day of school. It was in fact Rocco's first day of school. Normally I'm not allowed to bring my Guide Dog puppies because "there is no education value in having a dog in the class" and "the parents would find it wrong!" But, every elective session I sort of go behind my Principal's back and bring them anyway. You see my school works differently. We don't have electives throughout the year so we sandwich two week blocks of electives between Winter and Spring semesters. And even though I am technically a graduate I still have to go for the next two weeks. I do the play every time and my director loves my puppies. So, I bring them. Rocco did amazing. He slept for the first 3 hour session and for most of the second 3 hour session. He was such a gem. And there was little clapping. But it didn't really bother him. He sat up, but that's about it. The whole cast loved him.

We are in the black box this week so it was the perfect place for sleep.

Here he is at lunch time in the union. My school's on a college campus, so yes, we have a union.

Then back to the black box for more sleep.

Sunday, May 23, 2010


Hey everyone! Elmer is due for surgery tomorrow for his liver shunt. Please keep him in your thoughts. Thanks!

Raiser Erin and Rocco

Friday, May 21, 2010

Bacclaureate, Eagle Scouts, and Clapping...oh my!

So, it's been a very productive day for Raiser Erin and Rocco. For those of you who don't know I am graduating from High School tomorrow. So, this evening was my Baccalaureate. Rocco and I went to take individual pictures, group photos, and then on to Baccalaureate. He did very well and wasn't scared of the string quartet at all. Unfortunately he was scared of clapping. Oh dear. We had to leave early anyway.
Here he is waiting outside with us.
One last hug before we go in.
Here we go!

We left about half way through to go to my best friend's Eagle Scout Ceremony. Carl and I have history, I won't be shy, we used to date. But now he and I are best friends. I cannot tell you the happiness I felt when I saw him up there receiving the rank of Eagle Scout. For those of you who aren't Scout people the Eagle is the highest rank a scout can receive. Less than half of those who start out in scouts end up as Eagles because it takes years of hard work and determination. I am now proud to not only have a Grandfather and Brother who have earned the rank of an Eagle Scout, but a best friend too. Congratulations Eagle Scout Carl! You earned it! But there's a lot of clapping at these ceremonies as well and he was kind of freaked out.

There he is waiting in the church.

You can't really tell, but here's Carl lighting his Eagle candle.

Eagle Scout? Yeah...you can see the little badge on his left your right. It's the red, white, and blue one.

Freaked out may be too conservative a term. He almost bolted quite a few times. Now, since I was trying to calm him down, and nothing was working (please don't tell my CFR Jim) I started using food. It worked surprisingly well. By the end of Carl's ceremony every time there was clapping he would sit up and look at me instead of bolting. I'll talk to Mary about this and see if we can continue to use this when there is clapping. Yes only clapping. Why? Because he isn't scared of anything else. Carl plays the bassoon and he played really loud. It put him to sleep. Movies put him to sleep. It's just clapping. He's so weird.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Rocco became "legal" today. His last pair of shots was last Wednesday, so today I could take him where ever I wanted and I didn't have to worry so much. So today he went with me to my Graduation singing practice (I graduate from High School on Saturday and a whole bunch of us, since we go to a music school, are singing Don't Stop Believing and The Star Spangle Banner). Before we didn't want him to walk around on campus because my school's on a college campus that has a few dog shows a year. Today though I didn't need to worry. He also went with me to fix my camera, Trader Joe's, and Graduation Services. I had to trade in my robes because they've given me the wrong size twice. Ugh! I want my graduation to be over with already. I'm thinking that Friday we'll go to the pet store for the first time. We need to get his ID tags. It's going to have his name, my cell number, and Mary's cell number.

The Letter...(dramatic music)

So guys...I got the letter today. I know, I know...we all thought it would never happen, but it did. Let me tell you the story. Today is a final day at my school for 1st and 2nd periods only. Now I don't have a 1st period and my 2nd period was a college class and I already took that final, so I didn't have to go to school today. Yipee! I took the time to keep my mind off the letter and went everywhere with Rocco because he's legal now! We went to get my camera fixed (turns out it'll be cheaper to buy a new one), get my grad robes fixed, and to various stores and graduation singing practice. I had checked the mail before we left the house at 11:35. No mail yet. So I didn't much worry about it until we got home at 1:45. After I had a little something to eat and Rocco had collapsed on his bed with a look that dared me to make him move again I rushed out the door to the mailbox. I put the key in the slot and began to turn...and low and behold there was mail!!!!! I shoveled the mail out, possibly ripping a few of my dad and step mom's wedding reception invite returns, and as if by magic the letter from GDB landed right on top. My heart was beating in my throat now and I was sure that I was going stop breathing. I threw all the mail on the formal dining room table and just stared at it for a while. Then I decided to open the Netflix movies first to see which ones had come. Then I gingerly picked up The Letter and walked back to my room. I looked at Rocco and he looked at me...then I ripped it open! As I gained control of my breathing I read

"Dear Don(my dad and Freya's co-raiser) and Erin,
Congratulations! It is our pleasure to notify you that Freya is graduating as a Guide Dog to:"

This was it. I was about to find out to whom and to where my baby girl is going. I'm not going to tell you the man's name (yes, she's going to a man just as I always thought she would) but I will tell you where she's going. She'll be living in...


I know, that's really far, but I liked Alabama when I went through it and she's already used to the heat. Not so much the humidity, but definitely the heat. She's also going to be living in an apartment. That's right, she's going to be an apartment dog.

I can call her partner next Wednesday between 7 and 9 pm. Oh...the waiting continues.

Monday, May 17, 2010

No News

Hey all. I didn't get any news today about where Freya's going to work and who her new partner is. It's strange to think that she's with someone else right now...you know...but I'm staying strong and slowly beginning to realize that she's not coming home. I can't wait to see her!

As soon as I know you know.

Graduation Check List:
Order Photo Book (Check, got word today that it was shipped)
Order Kong and Dino (Check, Should be here within the next week)
Find Grad. Outfit (Check, found the cutest thing at Target)
Fix Camera (must do! Probably Wednesday when I have the whole day off of school)
Write Down some memorable words (must do! I've been stalling because I start to cry)
Make Hotel reservations (must do! I'll probably wait until the end of this week just to be on the safe side. I'm paranoid, what can I say?)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Extensive Crate Training

Hey everyone. I hope your weekend is just as relaxing as mine. Actually I hope it's more relaxing because I worked yesterday.

I used to work at a Denny's and let me tell any of you high schoolers who are looking for a summer job, don't do it. Especially if you're a hostess. If you're a waitress you'd probably have a better experience than I did. Anyway, that was the last official job I held. I babysat here and there, but I was a hostess. Yesterday I got the chance to be a "hostess" again.

I was offered 6 hours of work at Playland/Storyland. This is a local kids amusement park. Playland has all the rides and Storyland is basically a life size version of a pop up fairy tale book. It's pretty cool, but it was cooler when I was a kid and the city still cared about keeping it clean and good looking. Anyway, my job to be a birthday helper. I basically cater to the mom and cleaned up the mess that the young children left. I was going to take Rocco and just leave him in his crate in the office, but he started to have his bad tummy and I didn't want anything to happen. Plus when I got there I realized that there was no room in that office to hold his crate. So, since I decided not to take him for fear of him having diarrhea in the crate as I was passing out pizza and Mary couldn't take him because she was working with another dog in our group who is having issues. She took him down to see Judy who, if you remember, is really good at fixing problems and finding out why the dog is having his/her problem. Anyway, the only person left to watch Rocco was my dad.

I don't think he minded. I think he likes Rocco better than Freya mostly because he tired out. Freya was what we like to call "aggressively curious." Rocco's really mellow so my dad can keep up with him. But he had to stay in the crate pretty much all day. I told my dad how to work the citronella collar and when to spray him. I also left his lunch out (yes he's still having lunch until we fix his bad tummy) and asked him to take him out to go to the bathroom at noon and then at 2. Rocco apparently did amazing. He didn't whine in his crate and he did very good on the tie down for my dad and he was even allowed outside to play. I'm so proud of him. He didn't even whine we I had to put him in his crate for another 30 minutes when I took my dad Arwen for a walk. I'm so very, very proud of Mister Rocco D'Angelo. Looks like my whinny boy might actually be able to become a Mob King after all.

Graduation Checklist:
Order Photo Book (check)
Order Kong and Dental Dino (check)
Fix Camera (still need to do)
Find Grad outfit (need to do)
Get really dark sunglasses (need to do)
write down what I'm going to say (need to do)

I still don't know where she'll be working, but I should know within the next few days. As soon as I know you guys will know.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Funniest Thing Ever

This just happened a few minutes ago and I think it's hilarious. I had to go to the bathroom so I checked to make sure that Rocco was behaving himself. When I realized he was sleeping I thought it would be fine for me to leave the citronella remote in my room. As I was in the bathroom I heard the door to my room creaking open. My first thought was Mia was opening my door and letting herself onto my bed. No problem. Then I heard Rocco shaking right next to the bathroom door. Shoot! I forgot to put him on the tie down. So I quickly washed my hands and called for Rocco. He didn't come which is weird because he likes to be right next to me. I rounded the hall corner and realized that he was sitting patiently between the living room and the formal dining room. Just staring at me. That's where he'll sit when waiting for his food and I'm in another room. I called him again and he went the other way so I followed him. He was sitting right in front of his food bowl just staring at it. I didn't give him breakfast this morning because he had a bad tummy last night and this morning. He was obviously telling me that he did not appreciate the way he was being treated.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Phase Reports and Citronella

Every Thursday I recieve a phase report from my leader. This is a list of dogs and what phase they're in. I have a list of dogs going that I've been watching for a while. A few of the dogs who were in phase 10 were off the list this week...as well as Freya. I know Judy won't mind me posting this, but her puppy, Toledo, will be graduating with Freya as well. I'm so happy that they're graduating together. Judy and Toledo aren't from our group, but we knew them well and went to a few events together. Judy just had another dog graduate last weekend as well. She takes older dogs, problem dogs, and fixes them. She's really good at fixing the dogs. Pierre, the dog that graduated last weekend, was throwing up and loosing hair and Toledo had horrible crate manners. I don't know how you fix the throwing up and loosing hair, but I do know how you fix whining in the crate because I'm doing it right now.

We got permissiong from Jim to use a citronella collar on Rocco. The citronella collar is a last resort thing. We tried leash correcting him, but it didn't work. Then we tried sprying him with water and that worked for about a day. Next after water is listerine as a spray. When the spray didn't work we were allowed to use a stream. It's been sort of working, but he still has this nasal whine that won't stop. He doesn't whine when we can correct him or spray him with listerine. He whines when we're in the shower or getting ready or getting his food ready. The citronella collar is a remote collar that sprays in front of his face with citronella. It doesn't hurt the puppy, but they really don't like the smell. So if I'm not ready to get up and he is whining in his crate I can spray him. I don't mind if it's 6 or 6:30 in the morning. It's when it's 4am. Mary says that it's working really well so far and that he's learning fast that if he doesn't whine he doesn't have a horrible smell hangning around him. Maybe I'll actually sleep in this Sunday. I can't Saturday because I'm working.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


So you all know how I said I really wasn't expecting Freya to get into class this month and how she only had a 1/3 chance of being chosen? Well...my baby girl over came that one third chance and made it into class!!! YAY!!!! She's due to graduate on May 29th. That's 17 days away. Oh my...that's not a lot of time to prepare. I haven't seen her in over two months and by the time graduation comes around it will have been three months. I know that doesn't sound like a long time but for me it's a lifetime.

Things that I have to do:
1) make picture book as a gift to her new partner
2) order a kong and a dinosaur (those were he favourite toys)
3) fix camera
4) find a pair of sunglasses that will hide my bloodshot eyes because I'm sure that I'm going to start crying any moment now

I can't believe that she's actually graduating. Don't get me wrong she's a wonderful dog, but she's quite a handful! I'm not going to make reservations at the hotel until next week because I'm giving her partner a week to change their mind. I'm not saying that she's a bad dog, but we just had a dog get pulled back into phase 10 at the last second because the partnership wasn't working out. I'm just really nervous. I really want her partner to like her.

New Class and 16 Weeks

Hey everyone! This is Raiser Erin yet again.

Today is the day the new class gets their dogs. This past Saturday there was a Graduation up at GDB is San Rafael. This means that the new class got to GDB this past Monday and today is Dog Day! This is the day when the people are matched with their dogs. Will Freya be a part of this class? I won't know until probably Friday or maybe even Monday of next week. I'm dying to know! If she's not in the new class she could be in the retrain class that gets in next Monday. The retrain class is only 2 weeks for people who have had a Guide Dog before. Could she be in that class? Oh the suspense is killing me. If I don't hear anything by next Friday she probably isn't going to graduate this month, but you never know. Just look at what happened to Pierre. He got pulled into this last class about 3 days before graduation. Any thing's possible I suppose. I'm still probably going to go crazy! :)

Today is also the day Rocco gets his last round of shots. He is 16 weeks old today. Times goes by so fast...it seems like just yesterday that we picked up the whinny boy from GDB. I wish time would stop right now so that he could be a puppy forever. But, on the plus side, after a week from today I won't have to worry when I take him out. Right now I'm a nervous wreck whenever we go on an outing because I'm afraid he'll contract something awful. :)

I can't believe I might be seeing Freya in two and a half weeks...or possibly five weeks, but still...it's coming up fast.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Mother's Day

Hey I know this is a little late, but I thought I might post this anyway. I had a good idea to show my mom how much she meant to me seeing as my gifts were not finished or here on Mother's Day. So, here we go.

To Mom:

I love you Mom because I have...

A triangle nose and squinty eyes when I smile.
Wonky toes and wide feet.
Gigagungous teeth that don't fit my mouth.
A strong jaw bone.
A love for languages.
The determination to reach my goals.
Self confidence.
The knowledge of what's right and what's wrong.
Sweet dreams when I need them.
A song in my heart.
and a love for all living things.

All of this and more I have because of you. You may not know that you gave some of these to me, but you did. I like who I am because you taught me that my opinion is the only one that really matters. Thanks for being there when I needed you and thanks for being my mom. Though according to Buddhism I chose you. I'm glad I did.

~Raiser Erin and Rocco


Hey Everyone. Elmer is due for his surgery on the 24th of May. That's 13 days away! Please send him good thoughts. We're all hoping that his surgery is a success.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Rocco's Weekend of Firsts

As most of you know this weekend was mother's day. Rocco and I went to visit my mother, his grandmother, for this very special occasion. While there Rocco experienced a whole bunch of firsts.For some reason all of the puppies I have brought to my mom's love her yoga mat.

This is my mom and Rocco. It was early in the morning so she told him to hide her face.

He had his first night walk. He wasn't scared of the dark at all!

He also went to his first movie. I must say I was quite nervous about this because he is a little noise distracted...sometimes noise shy. But I didn't want to leave him in his crate at the apartment because he's still working on the no whining thing and I didn't want to get my mom and step dad in trouble with their super. So I figured that we were going to see Babies and it was suppose to be a low key movie. I need not have worried. He slept through most of the film and the parts he didn't he watched the screen. Seriously guys it a great movie and I laughed through the entire thing. It's funny how similar babies and puppies are.

You can't really see him, but he's there at the movies.

He also went down a very long, very open flight of stairs without stopping once. He was scared to go down stairs right from the beginning. He can do up, but down has been a little iffie. But the only way up to the movie theatre and back down was a long flight of stairs. He mastered those stairs!

Rocco also found his first very odd fear. He was scared of the first landing at my mother's apartment. No the second and not the very long stair leading up to her front door. No. The first landing that was about 7 ft off the ground. I tried to get him to come by saying "let's go" and patting the ground but that took a long time. So I finally thought, "This is ridiculous boy! This is the only way to and from the bathroom!" so I dragged him across the landing and made him circle around it many times. He finally thought it was ok, but still! What an odd thing to be scared of.

He had his first accident while on an outing. He gave me my first mother's day present by not barking or whining once for his food or while being in his kennel. And he went to his first Gardens. We went to Desconso Gardens. He loves flowers!

Here we are taking a break.

Rocco giving me a kiss.

My mother, puppy, and me. I'm the redhead. My mom and puppy are the blondes.


Good Bye Paris

Hey All!

This is a shout out to another GDB puppy raiser who also has a blog. Her Guide Dog Puppy Paris is going back into formal training today. Rocco and I would like to say Good Bye to Paris and Good Luck! We'll be following you all through the phases.

You all should really check out her blog too because she is getting her next puppy today as well. Right now it's called The Adventures of Guide Dog Puppy Paris. Or something very similar. Google it.

Ok! Happy Mother's Day to all of you mommys out there. This includes all the puppy raisers because your puppy really is your baby. Have fun with them today!

~Raiser Erin and Rocco

Thursday, May 6, 2010

F Litter Spotlight

We've stepped away from my little pups for a while in the interest of Eli and Elmer, but now let's get back to Freya. She's been in phase 10 for 3 weeks now and I have been awaiting that call...you all know the call. The one when you're told that your puppy is in class? Yep! That's what I've been waiting for. You see, I really want her to graduate before I go off to college in the fall because I really want to meet her new partner. Anyway, as I anticipate the call I thought I would do an F Litter Spotlight. She's been in 10 for a while and all the other pups are past the half way mark so now seems like a pretty good time to do it.

I don't know much about the other pups, but I know a bit. I met Freeway at Fun Day this past summer and Falla had the same recall date as Freya so as we, sorry...I was leaving they were coming in. So, here we go!

On October 11, 2008 Belle gave birth to her 5 black lab puppies. I've heard that Belle generally has at least one yellow puppy, but in the F Litter there were only 5 black puppies. I believe their birth order is Foothill, Freeway, Faulding, Falla, Freya. I'm basing this off their tattoo numbers. Foothill-40T1, Freeway-40T2, Faulding(I'm guessing)-40T3, Falla-40T4, Freya-40T5. That means that my baby was the baby. :D I do know their weight order though.
Faulding: RS
Foothill: LS
Freeway: RH
Falla: RS
Freya: LS

For those of you who aren't GDB raisers all puppies get a shave mark when their born according to their weight. RS stands for Right Shoulder, LS is Left Shoulder, and RH is Right Hind (I think). RS is the largest followed by LS, RH, RL. The puppies are also grouped by male and female. This means Faulding was the largest male and Falla was the largest female. Freeway was the smallest male and Freya was the smallest female. The reason they have shave marks is because it makes it easier for the volunteers and employees to ID the puppy. They have tattoos in each ear, but it's much easier to spot their shave mark in the play yard than have to look in every pup's ear.

Freya was very, very active. My dad like to say she was aggressively curious and aggressively nice. It's true, but I really liked that about her. Falla's raisers said that she was active but mellowed out. Freya never mellowed. :) And when I met Freeway he was the typical GDB male. He was so laid back and mellow. In fact, when Freya saw him she went crazy and started to lick him all over and was jumping. His raisers asked if she was always that wild. My only answer was "Yeah, pretty much." Then Belle came over for a visit (this is apparently really rare. A lot of people never meet the Dam or Sire of their puppy. Lucky me! I'm in touch with Belle's breeder custodians and get pictures of Belle and the puppies.

Speaking of pictures...

This is Foothill in the last few days the Ken and Nancy.

This is Freeway in the last few days with Ken and Nancy.

Faulding with Nancy before the other puppies left. Faulding stayed with Ken and Nancy until they found a foster home for him. I can always tell which one is Faulding in the pictures because his right eye droops because of his surgery.

Here's Freya in her last days with them.

Here's Falla in the last days with Ken and Nancy. You might be able to tell that her nametag does not say "Falla." This is because Falla was Fay before she left Ken and Nancy. Then GDB realized that there was an oversight and there was already a Guide out there named Fay.

I guess now's a good time to say how Guide Dog puppies get their names. Each litter has a letter. So, when they are assigned a "litter letter" each dog is assigned with a name starting with that letter. That's why all of Freya's siblings have F names and all of Rocco's siblings have R names. The name cannot be used if there is a Working Guide, Guide Dog Puppy in Training, or Breeder who already has that name. Once the Breeder or Guide is retired or the Puppy is dropped from the program the name goes back into circulation. The raiser of the mother gets to suggest names for the puppies. That's why I was really hoping that Freya would be a breeder, but she was dropped from breeder watch at 9 months in hopes that she would be less distracted.

That's really all I have. I know that Foothill's name comes from the little town in California. The week after Freya went back on was on a choir tour with my school's chamber choir. Every year we go see a show and this year we went to see The 25th Annual Putnam Spelling Bee at Foothill College. I was told by my choir director that they would keep my mind off Freya since we were less than 10 minutes away from the Guide Dog campus in San Rafael. That plan really didn't work out that night. I also know that Freya's name comes from the Scandinavian goddess of Love, Fertility, and Beauty. She was named after a Golden Retriever who belonged to a woman in the breeding department of GDB. I saw "belonged" because the Golden recently passed away.
More F Litter Pictures:

This is Falla at the Pumpkin patch. She would have been a year old plus 3 weeks here.

This is Belle when the puppies where about a month old.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Home Again (An Eli Update)

Hey everyone! Some good news for you all before I go sit in my large papasdon chair reading through a few books and cramming for the AP Lit test tomorrow.

Eli is back home where he belongs! His raiser said that she heard him walking down the hall. And when he saw her he let out a huge puppy howl! :) We're all glad that Little Eli is doing better and back with his raisers. Now all he has to do is put on that weight he lost and regain some muscle mass, but I think we've all seen that he can do anything.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Elmer Update

Well, we're just getting good news right and left about Belle's "E" litter! Eli is on the road to recovery and I've just heard some great news about Elmer. Elmer is the one, if you remember, who has the liver shunt. He's due to go into surgery next week at Davis. YAY! We all hope it's successful. Right now he's staying with the same foster family who watched Faulding while GDB found a permanent home for him. Faulding was Freya's brother who was Career Changed about 10 weeks old. He had some eye troubles and some liver troubles that were fixed up, but GDB decided that he had too many problems at the get go. We'd probably have all five "F" litter puppies in formal training right now if they had waited to see if he was Guide material. Oh well. He's living the life of luxury as a pet to a vet assistant in...San Diego I believe. Hopefully Elmer will find the perfect home for him very soon.

Good luck Elmer!

Eli Update

Hey! I found a picture (from his raiser) of Eli at the hospital and I thought I would share it with all of you so you could see him for yourself.
He looks so depressed and a little pathetic with all the IV tubes around him. But his raiser said that he's alert now. It looks like he's going to recover.
I'll let you guys know as soon as I know more. I really think he's going to make a full recovery because he's held on so long and is getting better everyday! :) He looks so much like Freya I can hardly believe it. Not as much as some of her other half brothers and sisters. Zamira(graduated guide) and Rica(phase 10) look so much like her. I think it's because they're both Dylan puppies. But Eli and Freya have the intelligent Belle look.
Here's looking to you little Eli!

Monday, May 3, 2010

An Eli Update

I saw today that Eli's test results came back with a lower white blood cell count. That's not good for anyone who doesn't know that already. He's starting to lose muscle mass now...BUT he's producing his own sugar now too! He's still fighting though and that's a blessing in it's own right. Still think of little Eli. I know it sounds weird but I think of him as one of my babies because he's my baby's little brother. I'd really like him to get better.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Poor, Sick Eli :(

I hate being the bearer of bad news, but I suppose someone has to do it. This is Raiser Erin again and again I bring a little sadness.

Well, you all know that a few weeks ago my puppy was having a little trouble with his tummy. Now he's on two different kinds of antibiotics and he's doing much better. When he started having his bad tummy Mary found out that almost every dog that came down from Guide Dogs around the same time Rocco did had bed tummies too. Odd, but definitely not unheard of. So really, I didn't think much of it. Until today that is...

Today I got in touch with Eli's puppy raiser. You all remember Eli right? The loudmouth puppy that I fell in love with when I saw him on the puppy truck? The cute little black lab with the name that I would have wanted had I gotten an "E" puppy? Well it turns out that he's having some problems too. Only, it's worse than Rocco's. Eli has contracted Parvo.

For those of you who don't know to word "PARVO" to a dog owner is one that makes your skin crawl. When it's said in context of your puppy it's like getting shot in the stomach. Parvo, or parvovirus, is a very serious, though pretty common, disease for dogs of all ages. But it's worse for puppies. What it is is basically an infection. There are three kinds of parvovirus. The first is asymptomatic. This is basically where there are no signs and is most common in puppies to 1 year of age. The next is cardiac. Cardiac parvo is less common due to widespread vaccinations. This is also the most serious kind. Severe inflammation and necrosis (cell death) of the heart muscle can cause death in very young (8 weeks and younger) puppies. Older dogs generally survive but have scarring on the heart muscles. The last is intestinal. This is pretty common. Intestinal parvo can cause severe damage to the intestinal tract and cause sloughing of the cells that line this tract. This leaves the dog open to secondary bacterial infection. Most affected puppies are under a year old. Usually they're between 6-20 weeks old before all of the vaccinations can be given. Signs for intestinal parvo include vomiting, lethargy, loss of appetite, diarrhea-usually bloody and foul smelling (a characteristic odor particular to the Parvovirus infection), and fever.

From what I have heard I believe Eli has Intestinal Parvo. Right now he's been in the hospital for 4 days. He's on an IV and antibiotics to keep him from throwing up. The most common cause of death from parvo is dehydration so the vet is doing everything possible to keep fluids in him. Eli will be 13 weeks old tomorrow so he's an older pup. This is a good thing. He has apparently lost a lot of weight...but he's getting better. His raiser tell me that he is perking up a little and she hopes that he'll be well enough to come on in another few days. I hope so too. I, and his raisers and all of Guide Dogs, would like you to keep him in your thoughts as he fights for his life. He's already proven that he's got the will power and the spirit to get better because he's held on this long. Please help my baby's little brother get better and pray or chant or send out good vibes to universe.

I'd also like to take this time to caution everyone. Especially fellow raisers for Guide Dogs for the Blind. Parvo is extremely contagious and a puppy who has not had all of his/her shots should not be taken to places where there is a possibility of stray dogs. If you want to be overprotective like myself carry them into the vet office until they've finished their shots. And remember that puppies are most prone to disease and infection the WEEK AFTER they get a shot. Puppies should not be allowed into pet stores until they've finished their shots. Keep them on cement or asphalt, do NOT allow them on grass. If you must take them for a walk, like I have to take mine due to his high energy, keep him/her in your neighbourhood. If you see poop on the grass or anywhere near your house or other houses in your neighbourhood stop walking them and burn their energy in the house. It's better to be safe than sorry because watching your puppy go through this is awful. Guide Dogs for the Blind puppy raisers: Eli's vet said that he had been exposed to the infection about 10 days before he was brought in. Unfortunately this means he might have got it up in San Rafael. Things like this can happen when you have so many dogs in one place. If you know that your puppy was on the same puppy truck as Eli please keep a eye on them. If you're not sure, he came through Fresno on March 24th.

Thank you all in advance for you well wishes for Eli.
Raiser Erin.