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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.

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