Where you come for your share of Puppy fun!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

What I Already Miss...

So, blogger is in a poopy mood (haha, dog jokes) at the moment so I can't upload these videos and the pictures at the same time. I guess I'll just upload the pictures tomorrow or maybe later tonight. I feel like I should be tired, but I'm not. You'd think 18 hours of travelling would take it out of me. Well, to be fair to me, 18 hours is a little less than my usual 22 hours of travel.

Anyway, I did leave yesterday afternoon...yes, it would be yesterday afternoon (travel is confusing sometimes) and it just about killed me to leave my Hilly Bean again. As soon as the suitcase came out she started to sulk. She's a smart girl. Hopefully Arwen is telling her that I go away sometimes, but I always come back (I used to go to Tennessee over the whole summer). It got worse because I left my water bottle in the house so we had to turn around and I had to say good bye all over again! That was hard. Mostly because whenever I leave the house without Hilly she rests her head on the window sill that's right by the front door. I can watch her sad face watching me walk all the way to my car without her. And then in the plane "Once Upon a December" from Anastasia come on my iPhone and I almost started crying. It was the line "soon you'll be home with me, once upon a December". Yep, I just want my little labby home with me.

So I started to think about what I'll really miss about Hilly. I took these two videos on our last morning walk together *sniff*. The first is of this cute thing Hilly does on the first "up" curb we encounter. She takes a running starts and then hops over it. This isn't eh best capture of what she does, but you get the idea. The second is Hilly stopping at curbs. It's the only reason that I allow her to walk in front of me like she's doing here. I don't want her to barrel out in front of a car if they don't have the decency to stop for us. So, she's taught to wait at the curbs same as Arwen. Those are the two walking things that I'll miss about Hilly. She's so good on walks, but she does need to slow down a little. If you notice we more of sprint rather than run. Haha! It'll come with maturity.
Oh, funny thing that happened to me at the airport this afternoon. I was passing through security for the second time in London Heathrow and for some reason they have to strip search my purse. I mean, they take everything out and search all the electronics. It doesn't happen often, but I suppose they have to make a show out of it sometimes which I'm OK with when I don't have to catch a plane that is closing (I kid you not this happened once. My flight into London was delayed about an hour and a half and they sent me to the wrong terminal and it was all bad stuff). Anyway, the woman looked at the bone shaped poop bag holder I still have on my purse (and yes, it is still filled with baggies) and looked very confused. She held it up and asked, "what is this." Now, I tried very hard to think of an eloquent way of putting it, but I just couldn't. So, I said, "It's for picking up dog pooh." really loud. *facepalm* I'm not my best after a long flight.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays from all of us here! In our house, we celebrate Christmas. But we all wish you a happy Channukah, Kwaanza, and Solstice!

Rosie, Hilly, and Arwen. Rosie and Hilly are wearing jingle bell collars and Arwen is wearing a Santa hat.
Rosie, Arwen, and Hilly outside. Hilly and Rosie are wearing their jingle bells and Arwen is wearing her hat.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Three Years and Three Days

Well, I'm a little late, but December 20th this year was not only the PWAP Christmas party, but it was my three year puppy anniversary. *smile* On December 20, 2008 I received the black ball of pudginess and fur that was once Freya. I still remember the car ride up to GDB in San Rafael. It was the longest car ride in my whole life and we moved by car from Texas to California when I was five. But we eventually made it up to the campus and a black lab was placed in my arms. Mimi over at Ours for a Year Lifetime remembered how she felt so inexperienced when she realised that other raisers had brought toys and blankets and what not for their puppies to amuse themselves with on the ride home. I felt pretty inexperienced too when picking up Freya (in fact Freya and Cabana were born within a few days of each other), but not for the same reason. We had brought a crate and lined it with newspaper for easy clean up. We even brought a few toys so that the long car ride home wouldn't be too boring for the new little puppy. But the crate was too small for poor Freya, so she ended up on my lap the whole way home. I think I've come a long way from that day.

At the Christmas party I had someone ask me how many puppies I had raised. I pointed to Hilly and said "She's only my third." She then said that three puppies was a lot...though we were in a room where people were on their 30th, 16th, and 7th puppies so I didn't really feel like it was a lot and Freya is the only puppy I've raised for the full length of time, but still. I guess to those who haven't raised any three sounds like a pretty big number. Anyway, she asked me how each of my puppies compared to each other. I struggled with what to say and eventually settled on, "Freya was my smartest, Rocco was my cuddler, and Hilly is my clown. They each have their own personalities that I had to learn to deal with." It wasn't eloquent or anything, but I think she understood. But it's got me thinking about what each one of my puppies has taught me over their time with me.

1. Freya taught me to be patient and consistent. I've always been a patient person, but I'm also a perfectionist. The two don't mesh well when raising puppies. I want it done perfectly the first time, but who can expect a 9 week old puppy to sit perfectly? She taught me that perfection is only worth having if you work hard towards it. And she definitely taught me to be consistent in my training. I couldn't let her get away with anything when she was a little puppy because she would take that as an excuse to be bad all the time. She was my first "trouble child" and she probably wouldn't have gotten past puppy in training if I hadn't learned to be consistent.

2. Rocco taught me to move slowly. Freya was "go, go, go" all the time and was ready for anything that came her way. She could have flown at 9 weeks and have been perfectly fine. She was just that kind of dog. Rocco, while still a trouble child, was a lot more mellow (though still hyper for a male) and wanted to take things at a lazy pace. He was ready for most things, but there were a few things that I learned should wait until the puppy is at least 6 months old. He also taught me how to deal with loud mouths as, if you might remember, I didn't get any sleep for the first 3 months Rocco was with me due to his poor crate behaviour.

3. Hilly taught me that some dogs just shouldn't be Guide Dogs. Of course I already knew that not all dogs could be Guides. I had seen dogs in my group be career changed before and knew that it just wasn't their thing. But Hilly really taught it to me. Now that she's career changed I'm noticing it more and more because she doesn't have to be perfect. She's a sniffer and take opportunistic sniffs of the ground if I'm not paying attention (not Guide Dog material), she doesn't like being left alone so she gets into things (definitely not Guide Dog material), she hops (which isn't all that bad but she can't control it), and she is distracted by everything around her. I don't know if I had gotten her sooner if it would have changed anything, but I'm definitely glad I didn't try and convince Jim to take her back into training. They would have started to wonder if Jim was in a right state of mind. I mean, she hackles at stalling cars not because she's afraid of them but because the noise gets her excited. She just shouldn't be a Guide and that's not something I truly realised before Hilly. I think it's because she could be a Guide...but she just shouldn't be one.

Anyway, I know this was a long post, but I've been reflecting on what Guide Dogs has taught me and what being a puppy raiser really means to me. I've decided to ask for a puppy back in Scotland. I do want to puppy sit once before I do, so we'll see what happens. But I think I'm ready to juggle university and puppy. I'll keep you updated.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Phase Report

Halette     45Y4     LAB     F     8

She's still hanging out! Good Luck Halette! Found out that one of our newest puppies, Hank, has a sister named Hana. Since no puppy can be named a name that is already in use for another puppy in training, breeder, or guide I guess that means that Hilly's sister must have been CC'd. I know she was due to go in for breeder evals so I'm thinking it was for medical reasons. I was a little sad when I found out that the name had been reused, but such is life right? I wonder if they'll reuse Hilly. Haha!

Little Late

I know I've been terrible about getting onto the computer and writing something, but the past few days have been filled with appointments. So, this is my Wordless Wednesday from yesterday. I missed these girls. I promise to get on and give you an update on what's been going on.
Arwen and Hilly curled up on the sofa.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Just a little Longer

Hilly sleeping on the couch with her Hedgehog.
I so very much miss this girl! I can't believe that I'll be leaving Aberdeen in 14 hours and in a little over and in a little over 32 hours I'll be snuggling my little labby again.

I'm pretty much packed and am relaxing now. I've decided that I should go on more short visits to places because packing for 10 days has been the most relaxing packing experience that I've ever had. And there's no chance of my bag going overweight because I'm taking like two pairs of jeans and a couple a shirts. Hopefully, tomorrow I'll have a relaxing day of travel. Fingers crossed.

I've got a lot planned for my short visit home, so come back soon for pictures and adventures!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Phase Report

Halette     45Y4     LAB     F     8

Halette's still hanging out there in 8. But, the last class of 2011 on the San Rafael campus (where Halette is) just graduated last Saturday. So, she definitely don't be going into class until the New Year. Here's my fingers crossed for you Halette!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Puppy Party

Today, I'm ashamed but happy to say that I skipped class. Why? Well, because it was the puppy party in my district! Couldn't miss that especially in the last week of school. I'm ok with it because I finished 500 words on my essay this afternoon and I'm fairly certain that I'll finish another 500 this evening before bed which means I'll definitely be all finished with it by tomorrow! So...yeah, I'm allowed to miss a day of classes to have all to myself and the puppies.

I had a great time this morning. I really needed a puppy fix and I had a lot of puppies to choose from. When I got into the car this morning Vale was very excited to see me and gave me some kisses. He's such a cutie. I hope that I get to puppy sit him when I get home from winter break. Anywho, there were puppy games (I didn't partake in most of them, but I had a good time sitting on the sidelines and taking pictures) and then food. Surprisingly, I'm a fairly shy person so talking to people isn't the easiest for me but I also hate being quiet. But just sitting there getting to listen to these different stories about puppies was nice. I met a really cute Golden Retriever/German Shepherd named Zodiac. The really weird thing about him was that he looked all black lab. His dad was an all black and all of his siblings where brindle. If you look close though, his hips are sloping down like a Shepherd's and his face is longer and not as square. But definitely didn't see it at first. I wanted to steal him.

Anyway, pictures for you to see...
Me with PIT Unity. Unity attends the university with her puppy walker so I might see her more often.

PIT Alex. Oh, I fell in love with him. He was just so sweet!
Vale with his antelers on.
Vale and his brother Barnaby.
Remember Ace? He's a VERY big boy now.
 And now to say this. All of my will power is gone. I've officially broken. How and why? Well, there were at least 4 tiny, baby puppies and quite a few puppies who were still a little shy of 4 months old. Just seeing all those tiny puppies made me want one sooooo bad. Don't worry. I didn't sign up then and there and I'm still going to puppy sit at least once, but a puppy of mine own is definitely in the future. Probably not until spring break which is a few months away...but that's only a few months away.

Only 5 days left until I see my little labby again! Can't wait to see you again Hill Billy.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Ode to a Kitty Cat

Hilly passing by Sylvester. She respected the old man.
Sylvester, my fat tuxedo cat who came to live with me full time when my mother moved back to Califnornia.
 My dearest kitty...you will be greatly missed. Your meow was annoying and you could be awfully pushy when it came to food. But you always a loving purr to share when you were cuddled. You were the best lap warmer a person could ask for even if you never really had much control over your claws. I'll always remember your crossed, emerald green eyes and the blank stare you gave because, let's face it, you weren't the smartest cat around. But you were loving and sweet and cute. Sylvester McKitty McBean, I will miss you very, very much and am glad I got to spend the whole summer with you in my lap. I also thank you for putting up with the many puppies I brought into the house over the past 3 years. You handled them all with grace and dignity. Everyone says that you were too stupid to run or scratch, but I know that you were training them in your own way. 

I like to think that I woke up suddenly last night because I knew you had left me and were giving me one last cuddle before you passed over. You're at peace now my little dude.

Sylvester McKitty McBean (? 2003 - 11 December 2011)

Sunday, December 11, 2011

In Just One Week...

I'll be cuddling this little lab once again!
Hilly sitting next to my empty suitcase this past September. She was very confused as to why I was putting all of my stuff in it and decided to put all of her toys in as well.  
I have to admit, I'm ready to go home for just a little. There's a small part of me that still wishes that I decided to stay here all winter break to puppy sit and really start in on working with GDB UK. At the same time I'm really, really glad to be getting away for a little while. We haven't had any snow in the city yet (which I hear is fairly normal and that last year was just a freak accident) but it's sure been cold enough for snow! The cold mixed with no snow to have fun in is helping cause my serious case of the "grumpies." It's not the only factor, but it's not helping me forget all of those things that are causing my grumpies.  

I know it probably sounds weird because I'm living in Scotland and it's a great experience and everything. Well, let me tell you, the cold loses it's novelty after the first week and I'm well into my second year.

Anyway, just not been in the best of moods as of late and it's pretty hard for me to find that happy thought that gets my mood to pick up long enough to put on a great show when I'm around people. For now, I've decided to stick with the fact that I'll be cuddling my Little Hilly-Bean very soon. She makes things just oh so much better.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Phase Report

Halette     45Y4     LAB     F     8

The next graduation is this Saturday so I'm hoping that Halette's person will arrive in the next class! Go Halette Go!!!

Lance is still in medicals, but seeing as he's lasted a week I think he's good to go. I'm sure next week's phase report will have a little "1" next to his name. *smile*

New Puppies!

Yesterday we welcomed 3 new puppies to PWAP! I'm beyond excited to get to go and meet all of the new puppies who came while I was away.

Anyway, we welcomed HANK, NEVADA, and MARLY yesterday at the holiday luncheon! You might remember me saying that we were going to be welcoming a Miss N and a Miss M and that Marly is a fairly masculine name. Well, sometimes puppies need to be swapped before going to their raiser home. The most common reason for this is usually the puppy has really soft stools and they don't want to send the puppy home with a bad tummy. This happens a lot really and is one of the main reasons we aren't told the names ahead of time. Our group is lucky and has had pretty good names for the last three years (we keep saying we're due for a weird one) but some of the names GDB thinks of are really weird. The puppy raising department doesn't want to tell the raiser a "good" name only for that puppy to get sick and them end up with a "bad" name. Or vice versa. They just don't want us to get use to the name before we get the puppy because everything can change. Right...where was I? Ah, yes.

Well, Candie's Miss M had some loose stools so she wasn't ready to go home on the 7th and, I guess because all the other Miss Ms were spoken for, Candie got reassigned to a Mr. M. But Candie really wanted a female puppy and since this is her 30th puppy Mary thought that it would be good to give her something special. *smile* So, Mary's Miss N (Nevada) went to Candie and Candie's Mr. M (Marly) went to Mary. Yes, I've known about this for a couple of days but I was told not to ruin the surprise. Don't worry though, Nancy has her originaly puppy so that won't be confusing to explain.

So, a little sad that I won't get to meet two golden girls when I get home, but I LOVE the name Marly so I approve of this puppy swap. Haha!

I don't have pictures of the the little ones just yet. Hopefully I'll have some soon, but even if I don't I'm home in 10 days anyway so I should get some great pictures of them then. *grin* So, welcome HANK, MARLY, and NEVADA!!!!

Puppies I get to meet when home:

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Bringing in the Holiday Cheer with Puppies

You all know that tomorrow my Leader Mary and retired leader Candie are going up to the holiday luncheon to receive their new puppies. Both are getting female golden retrievers, one Miss N and one Miss M. I won't lie, I know most of the names for the "M" litter, but I'm not telling. Mostly because I don't know all of them, I don't want to ruin the names for other raisers, and because I'm not sure which one Candie is getting. I do have a personal favourite out of the ones I know of, but who ever knows.

But, the two golden girls are not the only puppies that will be welcomed tomorrow afternoon. GDB apparently had a lot of older puppies ready to go to raiser homes, but not enough raisers. So my other leader Nancy said that should would take on a starter puppy to get him out of the kennels!

She's been assigned a male black lab born on September 28, 2011 to Hurley/Genevieve; Litter Letter "H"! So, now we have name guesses for Miss N, Miss M, and Mr. H!!!! Mary said that she would bring little "H" home with Miss N tomorrow so that he could be a part of the Christmas photo.

I really can't wait to get home!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Phase Report

Halette    45Y4     LAB     F     8

 Lance      4Z66     GLD     M    0 

Belle puppy EPIC is IN CLASS!!!! and will (fingers crossed) be graduting on the San Rafael campus on December 10, 2011! Hooray! Go Epic! I also heard that they saw 5 to 6 puppies in ESTEE! She was bred with male yellow lab OZZIE. I know her breeder keepers are hoping that that might mean some more yellow puppies, but if she didn't get the yellow gene from Jay or Belle then she'll be having all black labs.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The End of November

Today I am a little reflective of this past month. Sure, I didn't completely succeed in terms of Blogging Month. In fact, I think it's safe to say that I failed this year. Normally, not doing something to its fullest would bother me (I'm a real perfectionist) but not this time. This past month I have worked extra hard with University work. I think I put in more work for my Psychology report than anyone else in my group and I spent a great deal of time on my English essay. That was two to three weeks of solid work on my part which included staying on campus from 9am to about 4pm everyday. I don't even have classes on Wednesdays.

I think this month I proved that I can excel in University if I put in the work. But I've also done a lot of stuff outside of campus. I've been to a few movies (see "My Week with Marilyn" and "50/50". I didn't like 50/50 as much, but there's no denying that it was a simple, straightforward story told pretty well) and I have been keeping up with roleplying. Unfortunately I'm down to one game a week as one of my games fell through due to lack of interest. It happens, but that leaves me with a free Sunday. I'm considering running my own game (a scary prospect, but I love writing stories and acting so why shouldn't I give it a go?) to fill in the time slot and make walking the 20 minutes to campus for committee meetings worth it.

What does all of this tell you, my readers? That I've never been one of those people who can just sit at home and do nothing. This past week I decided to take a break because of the stress I went through in getting my report and essay finished. For the first two days I really liked just going to class and coming home. After that, when I realised I couldn't start working on my next report because we hadn't collected the data yet and couldn't start in on my next essay because I like to hear the lectures before writing the essay (turns out I could have done it because I think I'm going to be writing on "The Tempest" and those lectures aren't until the last week of term). So, I tried doing a little work here and there on preparing for exams in January, but I really couldn't make any of that stick since January seems so far away even though I know my first exam is in a month and a half.

With this realisation that I need something to A) take the stress off when I'm going crazy doing school work and B) to fill my time when there really is no school work I think I'm totally ready for a puppy sit. I would say ready to puppy raise, but I don't know yet. Definitely want to puppy sit first before taking that leap. The only problem is, I've been a sitter for the past month and a half and I haven't been able to do any sitting yet. I know I decided not to puppy sit that one puppy for the whole month of December so that I could go home for a few days, but I think that's justified. I'm really hoping that Graham can find a puppy for me after I get home just so I can have the experience. I think I've pretty much decided that a puppy of my own is in my future during either spring or the beginning of summer break. I knew I couldn't stay away from it for so long. Still, the fact remains that it would be best for me if I could puppy sit first. I've heard of a few stories of puppy sitters who got so tired of waiting for a puppy that they just got a puppy of their own...hand up if you think I'll be one of those puppy sitters! Haha!

Seriously though, I wish I could have had some more interesting things to post about this month. No puppy does make it a little hard. Hopefully next year, when I have a puppy of my own, November will mean that A Study in Sight will be a much more interesting blog.

For now, with it being the last day of November, I would like to finish up with giving you all the link to my puppy group's facebook fan page. We're trying hard to get to 200 fans by January 1, 2012 so if you haven't liked it yet, then now would be a good time! We are just 31 fans short. It's a great place to get updates on the group and see tons of pictures that haven't made it to the blog before. It's also moderator by yours truly. *Grin*

Hope everyone has a wonderful Holiday season! I'll post pictures of the two new Golden Girls when they arrive and of course pictures of what Hilly looks like when I walk through the door in just 18 days!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Three More Weeks

I had a Skype conversation with my parents this evening. When I said hello all three dogs went nuts. I saw them on camera bouncing and barking. They started looking around the house trying to find me. Hilly kept wandering in and out of the room. It looked like she was saying, "I hear her in here, so why can't I find her?" A couple of times she jumped up on my dad and looked really confused. Then she would give him a couple of kisses as if to say, "Where is she?"

I have to tell, I felt a little loved to see all my dogs get excited just to hear my voice. I can't wait to see them again in three weeks.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Another New Puppy?

I've been waiting to post this for a while, but I had to wait until everything was finalized. I am now very, very excited to be going home for those ten days over my winter break. Why you ask? Well, just think about it!

When I get home look at all the new puppies I get to meet. I get to meet THREE new black labs, ONE new black lab/golden cross, and TWO golden retrievers!

You all know that I love goldens above the rest. don't get me wrong, I've grown to love the labbies! Besides my girl Arwen, Hilly is the perfect puppy dog for me. But, I shall always be a golden girl at heart. In fact, I've often been told that if I were a dog then I would probably be a Golden Retriever. What can I say? I'm a little ditsy sometimes. *smile* Besides goldens, I like black labs over the yellow. It's a personal preference and I do still love the yellow labs. But black is just so slimming. Haha!

Anyway, with this knowledge of my puppy preferences, you can imagine when I heard that my group would not only be welcoming one female golden but TWO on December 7, 2011!

I hope you guys can remember my good bye post to my buddy boy Snyder the other day. Well, Snyder was raised by Candie who you all might remember was one of my group's leaders until she retired from Guide Dogs back at the end of the summer of 2010. You can see how long that lasted. Haha! Anyway, she has been assigned her new puppy. This puppy will be puppy #30 for her!

She has been assigned a female golden retriever born on October 5, 2011 to Macallan and Kyliee! Her letter is "M"!

I can't wait to get home and be burried underneath a pile of puppy breath!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Phase Report

Halette     45Y4     LAB     F     8

Belle puppy EPIC is also in phase 8 today. Hermes and Hestia both graduated this past Saturday. Hestia is a breeder and her raiser is her new breeder custodian so I'll get to keep up with Hestia! Hermes graduated as a Guide and is now working in Arizona. I hear that his new partner loves him very much! I guess these "H" puppies really now how to cling to their people's hearts. *SMILE*

I can't believe that Halette is the last littermate in training. I also can't believe that I won't have a littermate on the phase reports for a good 3 years. Here's hoping that I can handle puppy raising and social life! Haha!

Please Help Bring a Puppy Home for Thanksgiving

I could lie and say that blogger was in a poopy mood last night and wouldn't let me publish, but I just didn't get home in time to write a post last night. Ah, well. I had one all lined up so, I'll post the one I had set up for yesterday and the phase report for today.

Yesterday I saw a disturbing status update from Guide Dogs for the Blind. So, I'm posting this up to get the word around to help get a Career Change home for Thanksgiving.

If you live near the Portland, Oregon please be on the look out for JAMAICA. She is a career change Black Lab puppy from GDB and she got lose and is now missing. She was last seen on November 19. Her ID tage number is 47V0. She weighs about 50 lbs and has some white hairs on her stomach. If you come across a puppy of this discription please call Andy Fitzgerald at 510-418-9863.

Thanks guys! Let's hope we can get her home in time for the Turkey.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Second Time

Well, definitely failed. Second day in a row. I really needed sleep last night. I guess it's just as well because I really didn't know what to post about.

I haven't had any news about any puppies to sit. So, who knows when I'll get a puppy to puppysit. I'm starting to think never. Hope it's not never. Haha!

Anyway, I'll try and think of a better post for tomorrow as I will continue to try and post everyday, but won't be staying up late to try and write a post.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Good Byes

Good byes are never easy even for people like me who say good bye often. I've been asked a few times if saying good bye gets easier. I think it gets harder with each puppy to be honest.

This summer, when I left, I knew that it was going to be my last good bye to Lance, Luther, and possibly Danvers. It was hard to do, but I did it. Now, Luther was CC'd about a month ago and is still at GDB waiting to be placed (or so we think; they go into a black hole when they're back at GDB for placement and we don't hear anything until a month after they're placed). I didn't devote a whole post to Luther because...not because I didn't know him well or didn't like him or anything. But, I guess, because it's what was fair to him. He was stressed when working and so it didn't seem so much of a shame but more a relief. A relief that he's out there now. finding his people who he will make very happy as he was one special boy.This feels a little more sad.  

I didn't know when I left that I would be saying good bye for the last time to Snyder. I hope you all remember Snyder. He was this cutie patootie...

Snyder at 8 weeks old in my backyard. He was such a good puppy to puppy sit.
  Who turned into this handsome young man...
Snyder in August at Rocco's graduation. He's so handsome.
Snyder had many nicknames; Little Piggy, Mini Rocco, and Mr. Turtle are the most well known. He was called Mr. Turtle because he was so slow. He was so slow because he limped. He was diagnosed with really bad Pano and went on anti-inflammatory pills. Unfortunately, it didn't get any better he was sent up to Guide Dogs to get everything checked out.

We found out that Snyder was Career Changed due to severe bilateral elbow dyplasia in his front legs. This means that both of his front legs have it. He also has arthritis and will have to have one of his elbows operated on. He will be ten months old tomorrow. Just ten months! I was a little shattered when i heard the news. Snyder is one of those male dogs that I could have and be perfectly happy with. I enjoyed sitting him every chance I got. I'm beyond sad that I don't get to say a proper good bye to Snyder.

At least he's in good hands up at Guide Dogs. I'll let you know when we hear anything about him.

I'll be seeing ya Mr. Turtle.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Welcome Puppies!

I suppose the title is self explanatory. The newest puppy members of PWAP arrived just an hour ago! Both of these boys went to first time raisers. I wish them luck on their first night together and can't to meet them when I get home for winter break.

So, without further ado let's welcome the newest members of PWAP!

Titus, a black lab male
Terrence, a black lab male
They look so cute! I'm so ready to meet all these new puppies!

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Decision is Made

Again, things are just sort of popping up that I can post about. This is great!

I made the decision yesterday that I would go home for a little bit of winter break. I'll be home for 10 days which should be enough time to give some lovin' to all of my girls. I'm pretty excited to see Hilly again. I hear she's been a...not a bad puppy, but a rowdy one. I, as all puppy raisers, like to think that it's because she misses me soooo much that she's acting out. More likely that she's just an 18 month old lab who does naughty things from time to time because it's the labby nature. haha!

Anyway, that's my big news for today. I chose my own puppy to a puppy I don't know. I'm still going to see if I can puppy sit for a little over the winter break because I'll be home for about 2 weeks and most of it I'm thinking my flatmate will be away. So, it would be nice to have a puppy for some of that time.

Tomorrow the second set of "T" brothers arrive! Can't wait to hear what names he get! I'm really liking Trystan, Tibbs, and Toby right now, but I have a whole list in my notebook.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Phase Report

Hermes     46Y1     LAB     M     In Class!

Halette      45Y4     LAB     F      8

Belle Puppy Epic is also in phase 8 this week! Just two more puppies. Gosh! I can't believe that. I also can't believe that Lance will be on those reports in just a few weeks! Also, the September Breeder's digest is out and guess who the new breeder I looked at is. That's right! Hestia!!!! I'm so excited that two of my puppies littermates have made it as breeders.

That's really all I have to say today. Have an essay to finish up. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

New Puppies!!!

Again, thanks to everyone who participated in the discussion. All the comments were enjoyable to read and it was nice to know that I'm not the only one who thinks that service dogs in training should be allowed to attend school.

Anyway, I can't believe I haven't said anything about the new puppies on here yet but I guess it just slipped my mind. I don't know how it did as it involves puppies, but you know how it goes sometimes.

My group back home (PWAP - we're trying to get 200 fans by January 1, 2012 so if you haven't liked it yep please do) will be adding three new puppies to it in the next month! Isn't that exciting? We have two first time raising getting their very first puppies. *smile* I love it when new raisers get their first puppy. The third is going to my leader Mary. This, unfortunately (well fortunately really but you all know what I'm getting at), means that her last puppy is ready for formal training. Lance will be going in for his formal training on November 28, 2011. That's the official recall date so it's most likely that they will drive him up a few days before. Good Luck Lance!

Now on to litter announcements! The two first time raisers are both getting male black lab "T" brothers from the Flamenco/Athenia litter born on September 16, 2011. We'll have another set of littermates in the club. At the moment that makes for three sets of siblings (Teesha and Tippin, Schroeder and Snyder, and the two Misters T). They'll be arriving on the puppy truck this Saturday! Can't wait to hear their great names (though I hope we don't get another Townsend and Tomales. That would be too deja vu). Mary is getting a female golden retriever from the Preston/Devine litter born on October 8, 2011. Her letter is "N". I love the letter "N". I've come up with so many names for this little girl already. I can only hope that one of them is right. Oh! Guess when Mary is getting Miss N! At the holiday luncheon on December 7, 2011! They always post pictures of the puppies they hand out on their Flickr site and usually their blog. It's be soo cool to see that!

Cracking and yet holding strong. I don't think I want a puppy before at least spring break this year. It's good that I'm able to get my puppy fix through meetings and puppy sitting (though I haven't been able to puppy sit any puppy as of yet). Hopefully soon though.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Discussion Day 5 (Warning: Lengthy)

First off, before I launch into my opinion on the matter, thank you to everyone who read the discussion and to all of those who contributed comments to it. I enjoyed reading every one's opinions on the subject. It was interesting to see that no one really said that service dogs in training shouldn't be allowed to go to school. I was kind of hoping someone would because I would have loved to have heard a coherent argument against it. The only one I've ever had was not what I would call coherent.

That brings me to start in on my rant. The reason that this subject is near and dear to me is because when I was raising Freya, my school did not allow her to come with me and it almost meant that I had to stop raising entirely. Let me give you a little background first.

Freya was the only puppy that my father raised as well. Rocco and Hilly were in my name only within my household. From the time Freya was nine weeks old to about fourteen months old she went to work with my father. My father is a lecturer at the University in town. My high school campus also happened to be on the University's campus. So, if Freya was acting up and I had a free period I would walk over to his office and take her for walks and things like that. When Freya was about fourteen months old my dad was unable to take her to work anymore. His schedule got far too busy and it wouldn't have been fair to Freya who would have ended up sitting in the kennel in my dad's office for hours on end. So, we figured that since I was a senior that I would be thought responsible enough to take her to school with me and Freya could certainly handle it because she's awesome and that my school would allow this because it was known for being a great school. We were very wrong.

I approached my principal first through email explaining the situation and saying it would only be for three months at the most (I was spot on with her recall date) that this would need to happen. I explained her job and that my father's office was right on campus so during PE and if she was acting up I could put her in there for a while. His answer was a point blank no. Why? Because she was a dog.

So, I set up a meeting with him and my wonderful leader Mary (who as you know helped me continue to raise by co-raising Rocco with me). We sat down and explained that I basically had no where else for her to go during the day. He covered the basic concerns I have. Some kids might have allergies, she'd be too distracting to allow learning to go on, and that he didn't want any trouble with any parents. We explained that I brushed Freya once a day and she was bathed every other week (hey, she was a stinky puppy). And at one point Mary said something like, "Could you look at what she's doing now? This is exactly what she should be doing." I saw the surprise in his face. He had forgotten Freya was even there. Even though she was a model puppy and I pointed out that since everyone of my classmates (no seriously, there were only 71 seniors at the point) knew I was involved with GDB and knew how to behave around Freya so they wouldn't be distracted by her he still said no. By the end the only argument that he had was, "No pets." Yes, I did explain that she wasn't a pet.

Thankfully, my other leader Candie made it to where she could take Freya to work with her (have I mentioned I love my puppy group?). And all 71 of my classmates were disappointed Freya wouldn't be attending school and asked if I wanted them to start a petition.

Anyway, here are my views on the subject.

Yes, a service dog in training should be allowed to go to school as long as the puppy and handler are ready for the responsibility. If there is a student with an allergy then the student with the puppy should sit as far away from them as possible and keep their puppy properly groomed. I also have little sympathy for people who come up to me when I'm in a restaurant or something and tell me that I should leave because they are allergic to dogs. I usually ask them to have a little compassion and realise that my puppy is going to someone who cannot see (which I think trumps getting the sniffles for a while though I never say that out loud). But, as for students, I would try as hard as possible to be as accommodating as I could. As for fear issues, I think all the better for a service dog in training. I think we should educate the public better and make sure that they know that service dogs are NOT aggressive. If they were they would not have made it as service dogs. I've had people refuse to serve/help me because they were scared of my puppy. I don't get mad I just remind them that service dogs are not aggressive in any way and thank them for their time.

As for the puppy being a distraction issue, this is inevitable. Yes, the puppy will do something that will be a little distracting. They'll snore or shuffle or get up or something. They're puppies. This is to be expected and we can't do a darn thing about it. But claiming that they will be too distracting for learning to take place, I think, is underestimating the students just a tad. I also think that there are students in the classroom who are far more distracting than even an eight week old puppy could ever, ever be. Yet, we allow these distractions into our classrooms (I know, I know, law and everything, but it just doesn't seem fair). Perhaps have a dog in the class would teach them a few things about attention spans.

This is why an emergeny button is crucial. If a puppy is going to go to school then I think there needs to be an out. There needs to be a teacher's room with a kennel that the puppy can go to if the teacher doesn't have class or a parent that is willing to pick up the puppy if (s)he gets too upset.

I believe everyone is right when they say that the teacher has a lot to do with the success of the puppy. I remember I brought Zack to school once (don't even get me started on that) and when we were in English class he let out a loud snort. This was right after my teacher had asked a question that had apparently gone over our heads and instead of getting mad or flustered he said, "See? Zack agrees with me!" Crisis averted.

And trial run? Yes, I think if there is no obvious reason to say no (as in my case) but the principle is still unsure I think it would be the open minded thing to do. It would show that you care about your students which I did not feel when my principle just said no. If it doesn't work out then at least it was tried. If it does then you have another great thing to add to your school's reputation.

I also think this. Most high school students are running around and experimenting with drugs and alcohol and other such things. They're having sex for the first time (which I'm not saying I agree or disagree with as I think that's far too hefty a topic for my little blog) and letting their hormones control their bodies (which I will say I tried vehemently not to do as I wanted good grades and that didn't involve spending all of my time thinking about boys). Why would a school do anything but encourage a hobby that pretty much makes it impossible for you to do any of those things? Honestly, my principle almost single handedly ruined my hobby and if he did I don't know what I would have done. Probably become some drug addict sex maniac. Alright...that might be a little extreme, but you guys get what I'm trying to say.

As for the puppy I think that the puppy needs to be at least six months old to handle high school. I will firmly stand by my belief and say it to anyone that I think it is irresponsible to take a puppy younger than six months to high school. Not only because there is no way the puppy is going to be able to settle under six months for school which will not lead to success in anything but because it is a highly stressful environment. At six months they might be ready to handle it, but under that, it is a rare occurrence that there is a puppy who could handle that much stress and not have long lasting effects. Even at six months it should be approved by a higher power (in my case I think a CFR should do it until the puppy is ten months old and after that a leader).

Whether or not the student should be allowed to take the puppy to school full time is between leader, raiser, and puppy. I personally have no strong opinion on it. Obviously if the school allows the puppy then they need to be prepared for full time. But I think it's up to the raiser to tell what they can handle and what they can't from about junior year on. It's something that I'm dealing with and really just forming an opinion on right now. Pretty cool huh? *smile*

So here's how it all looked in my case. A responsible handler and a dog that was more than ready for it as she attended class with my father before. An emergency escape route in the form of a kennel in an office that was a five minute walk away. The entire senior class backing me up. I'm and still convinced to this day that he didn't allow if because he doesn't like dogs.

It turned out that the week before Freya's recall my dad couldn't take her and Candie ended up in a job transition so she couldn't take her and no one in my group could pick her up and drop her off so I ended up having to go to my principle and say basically that it was only one week and I was really out of options. The one teacher that I'm sure is the one reason I had to go through so much trouble was blown away one day when I got up out of my desk after a test and Freya followed me. He said, "I didn't think you had even brought her today." I could only smile and say, "That's what she's suppose to do. She's suppose to become invisible." Score. Freya and Erin - 1: The "Man" - 0

Those are my views and I'm standing by them.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Discussion Day 4

I love watching those posts views rise higher and higher. *smile*

Thanks again for all your great insight! It's wonderful to hear every one's point of view and absorb all of your good ideas. Now, today would have been the day that I told you all my point of view of whether or not Guide Dog Puppies and other service dogs in training should be allowed in school, but a point was raised by one of my...long time readers. Haha! I've always wanted to say that. Seriously though, this point was raised by Cassie who is a long time puppy raiser and group leader. Cassie's puppy, Poppy, graduated with my Freya back in May 2010 and since then she's raised Dagan and Foley and is now on Scooter. (Yes, she has lucked out in the name game of her last puppies). I'm interested to see what you guys think of her question.

Cassie's Question: If a student is allowed to bring a puppy in training to school should they take it to school every day?

I believe this is less about school policy and more about puppy policy, but it's still an interesting question and I shall add my answer to the rest of it when I tell you all my opinion. If any of you still having pressing questions that you would like answered in regards to this topic then please post away and we'll get it answered.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Discussion Day 3

Again people..."WOW!" I look back at the post views and yesterday's again almost got fifty views and the first day of the discussion is up to just under seventy. I'm wondering if any of those views on the first day are repeats, but at this point I don't care! I'm just glad people are interested.

I got some great comments yesterday concerning the issue we covered on our topic. I'm also really appreciative of those of you who don't comment often and took the time to do so. It's so great to know that I do have some readers out there I don't really know about. *big smile* I wish, though, I had made it clear that I am only talking about puppies in training who are absolutely ready to be put into a school environment with a handler who is responsible enough to handle that sort of responsibility. Haha! In GDB's case a puppy should only go to school when approved by a leader and maybe even by the raiser's CFR. But I loved all of those comments talking about all the distracting things our puppies can do. *grin*

I hope we can keeps these great comments going as today is our last day of the discussion. Again, if I don't cover an issue on this topic that you would like covered please just leave a comment telling me and I'll continue the discussion. If no other issue is brought up then tomorrow I'll post my own views on the subject. Now, ready for today's issue?

Day 3 Issue: I've heard of some places that, after considering all of the factors, have said no before trying it out. If all of these things have been considered and the raiser has made a good case for herself or himself do you think that a trial run should be allowed?    

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Discussion Day 2

First off, let me say, "WOW!" I was checking the stats for the posts this morning and yesterdays post got almost fifty views (the exact number was fourty-eight, but I'm going to say fifty)! I don't think I've ever gotten more than twenty at one time. This leads me to ask the question; am I normally that boring!? Haha! Just kidding. Really though, please don't answer that.

Anyway, even with all the post views I only received three comments on the subject. They were three very good opinions and comments, but I'm wondering if some of you are not putting up comments because you have an opposing opinion? Like I said yesterday, no one will judge you here. In fact, if you've got an opposing view I would LOVE to hear it.

With all of that said, I think it's time to get onto today's issue of our topic. Just a reminder for those of you who are getting into this discussion a bit late, the issue we are discussing is whether or not service dog puppies in training should be allowed in high school.

Day 2 Issue: I've heard that some people believe that having a Guide Dog Puppy (or any other service dog in training) in the classroom would be far too distracting for actual learning to go on. Would having a service dog in training be a distraction in the classroom?  

Friday, November 11, 2011

Discussion Day 1

Alright, so yesterday I told you guys that I wanted to get a discussion going on the blog. I told you the topic and set out some rules. What got me thinking of this particular topic was this interview. A recap you ask? Why sure! But never say that I didn't give anything to you.

What I would like discussed is the issue of Guide Dog Puppies in Training in High Schools. It's a subject that is near and dear to me personally and I'm just betting that it's a topic that's pretty close to some of you as well. I told you yesterday that I wanted to discuss this topic over three days with each day devoted to a particular issue. If after the three days I haven't discussed something that you think should be covered then by all means post a comment on the post of the third day and I'll extend the discussion. After the discussion is over I will devote a post to my own opinion on the subject, but not before. I don't want my opinion influencing yours in any way.

Also, I would like to let all of you know that I (nor anyone else) will judge you based on your opinion of the subject. It's your opinion and no one should penalize you for having one even if it is different from their own. I'm very interested in this subject and am trying to gather as many different opinions as possible so that I can be as informed as possible. Having said that, if there are any comments that I deem to be offensive towards another follower of mine I will delete the comment and find a way to contact you privately and ask you to be kinder in the future. This is no place to be rude.   

So, are we all ready to begin?

Issue for Day 1: Obviously, allergies and fears should be taken into consideration when a school is deciding whether or not to allow a service dog in training, but I've heard it used as the final decision where otherwise the school would have said "yes". Should other students with allergies or a fear of dogs be the final decision on whether or not to allow a puppy raiser to bring their PIT to school?

Please elaborate on your opinion as long or as short as you want (though I would prefer a lengthy explanation as it's more fun for me).

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Phase Report

Hermes     46Y1     LAB     M      In Class!!!!

Halette      45Y4     LAB     M      8

Belle puppy EPIC is also in phase 8 this week! I hope that Epic and Halette find their perfect partners soon! I'm very glad that Hermes has!

I'm hoping to start a discussion, but I want to start it tomorrow so that I can really work on how I want to present it. There are three issues on this topic that I wish to bring up so there will be three days of discussion. I'll post the topic I want to discuss today, but please don't post your opinion just yet. Take some time to think about it and what you want to say. Then I'll post the issues and then post what you've thought about. If, at the end of the three days, I don't bring up something you've discussed please post it on the last day and I'll extend the discussion.

Topic: Guide Dog Puppies in High School

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


I keep flip flopping over whether or not I should stay here for the winter holiday or fly back to California. You see, I could go home and see Hilly and Arwen and Rosie and meet all the new puppies we've got in our group or I could stay here and I have a puppy to puppy sit all winter break. I think staying here and puppy sitting would be a great opportunity for me to learn how to handle a puppy here as I'll have it for a long period of time. BUT! I miss Hilly a lot. I would very much like to see her and I would feel horrible picking a dog I don't even know over my own Hilly-Bean. It's not like I won't be able to puppy sit during next semester but on the other side of that coin, it's not like Hilly won't be there over the summer.

Any suggestions, comments, advice?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Gorgeous Dog

Today I saw the most amazing picture today while reading a wonderful story.

It was posted on the GDB UK facebook fan page and I read it right after I was out of class this afternoon (I might have found it in class, but let's not get into that subject shall we). It's all about a guy who is retiring his...fifth Guide Dog and starting with his sixth. It's really a touching story about the relationship that is formed between handler and Guide.

What really caught my eye was a picture of his second guide dog who was a German Shepherd/Golden Retriever cross. He was such a beautiful dog! Now I really want one of those, though I imagine that that colouring with that coat shape is very rare.

Here's the link.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Guide Dog Books

At the moment I am reading two books about Guide Dogs. Well, I say reading. I started reading one of them and downloaded the other to my kindle (Kendall the Kindle) in anticipation of when I would finish the first and be able to start the second. Unfortunately, school got in the way. It does seem to have this nasty habit of getting in the way of my pleasure reading.

Anyway I thought I would give some free publicity to these two books (even though I haven't really started reading the second one yet).

The first is Thunder Dog by Michael Hingson. Mr. Hingson is a GDB graduate. This is the story of his escape from the collapsing building on 9/11 with the help of his Guide Dog, Roselle. For those of you who don't know Roselle won this year's hero dog award. Sadly, she also crossed the rainbow bridge a few months ago. Roselle was the first Guide Dog I ever saw and way back then I wasn't aware that people like me could help train those amazing creatures. I highly recommend buying and reading Thunder Dog. I'm only a quarter through it, but everyday I can't read it is another day I stare at my kindle longingly.

The second is called Scary Lions: The Journey of a Blind Psychologist. This is the one I have currently not started reading so you'll have to excuse me, I don't remember who wrote it. I don't know if he's actually got a Guide Dog, but I'm studying Psychology at the moment in hopes of becoming a blind rehabilitation specialist or an O&M instructor. Reading about a blind psychologist sounded like fun for me. I'm hoping to start reading it soon as I have lost most of my sanity in the past week to overworking and over stressing. Once I do start it, I'll let you know how it is. The title sounds pretty cool though doesn't it?

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Failed Already

Well, I can't believe I failed already. I didn't home until eleven last night and knew that instead of finishing up my report during the night I should wake up and finish it in the hours before it was due. I work better under pressure like that. Anyway, I got home and fell into bed. I must have been pretty tired since I fell asleep within seconds.

I had a post about the two books I am reading right now about Guide Dogs, but maybe I'll post that later today after class so there will be an appropriate amount of posts for November.

Sheesh! Can't believe I didn't complete a post yesterday and it's only the 7th!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Braided Leash Giveaway

Hey guys! I'm so glad this came about today because I'll admit, I was a little tapped out of posts and reall didn't know what I was going to post for today.

My friend and fellow puppy raiser for GDB (also fellow blogger) is doing her first ever leash giveaway! This leash looks pretty cool. For those of you who have seen the service dog leashes we use you know that there is a braid at the first silver loop. Well, she made this leash and it's braided from the first loop to the second loop. 

At the moment she's raising Saxon, a male black lab. Saxon is just about 16 months old. He's quite adorable and very good. I advice you all to go and check out her blog.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Staying Strong

I haven't gotten any word yet about my status as a puppy boarder here. I'm thinking that I should hear something in the next couple of days.

My biggest issue in this will be staying strong in that, "I want to take it slow and make sure this is the right thing to do before jumping head first into it." This is my new rule so that I can make sure that I have the proper amount of time to devote to a puppy before I get one. I think it's a sensible rule and apparently, so did Graham.

But I know that if I stay here over Winter Break, then I'll want a puppy. Hmm...I wonder if there's a German shepherd litter available over the winter holidays.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Phase Report

Halette     45Y4     LAB     8
Hermes    4Y61     LAB     8
Belle puppy EPIC is also in Phase 8 today! I hope we have some graduations soon!

Now, I realise that this might be cheating a little when it comes to a post a month. So, I'll try and come up with a little something else to post along with the phase report.

Does anyone else out there with CC pups feel a little sad still sometimes? Don't get me wrong, Hilly is absolutely the perfect pet for me and my family. She and Rosie play all day and that helps my parents control Rosie and her poodleness a little more and Hilly has done was Rosie couldn't do. She's made Arwen play. I guess Arwen just needs a dog her size...well her strength to play with. And I'm pleased and punch that I get to say, "That's my dog." But, I do feel a little sad every now and again that she's not in training becoming a Guide. Maybe it's because she's got siblings in training or because she messed up my perfect score (Haha! I'm just kidding about that one). Again, I don't regret adopting her at all. I think she was meant to be mine, but if it weren't for that dog distraction thing, she would have made a great Guide. Ah, well! She gets to be a therapy dog when I get back from University, so that's good!

I'll leave you with a few pictures of Freya enjoying her birthday present I sent.
Freya looking up at the camera with her unopened nylabone at her feet. She seems to be saying "I think she wanted me to chew it, not stare at it."
Freya making a funny face as she chews on it for the first time.
Freya laying down and chewing on her new, giant nylabone.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Home Interview

Today was my fateful home interview.

I woke up this morning and started my cleaning frenzy. I always hate having people think I live in a mess even though in reality my room is often cluttered. I cleaned the kitchen, bathroom, my room, and swept the flat. I also finished mowing the lawn. So...our flat was pretty frickin' clean by the time Graham and Jim got here.

It was all pretty standard. We talked for a while then Graham asked me some questions about the flat and my schedule. He asked me a few questions about raising in America. One of them was, "Are you as obsessed with making sure the dog doesn't relieve on walks as we are?" I did laugh at that. My group back home had a lot of bad relievers for a while so the simple answer was, "Yes, probably more so." Haha! He, as I suspected, had some concerns about our backyard but ultimately said that since I was just a boarder it should be just fine. Then we went for a walk with Vale. I'm glad I got to walk around with a dog that I knew well. It is still a little strange for me. I'm using commands I'm not use to using and the dog is allowed to pull a little.

I learned sort of how to handle the dog here, but I'm sure that I'll learn more throughout the next few months. Graham said that I handled well. That's good! Now all that has to be done is for the paperwork to become official. I was told that as soon as that happened I could have Vale for a week!

My only real question for his was, "Would it be easy for me to switch to being a puppy walker full time or would it take some real effort?" He said that it really would be just as simple as telling him that I wanted to be a puppy walker full time and he'd schedule me for a puppy. Hooray!

Better get to buying things like dog beds and toys and a crate.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Final Preperations

Well, November is upon us once again. November, for those of you who don't know, is national blogging month. The challenge: to write a coherent post every day of the month of November. Like last November I shall be taking on this challenge to write a post a month. I don't promise that they'll all be award winning posts, but they'll all be written and out there for the public to read. Today the fist post for National Blogging Month will be about my preparations for my Home Interview tomorrow.

It's been quite a long time since I had someone come into my home and inspect it to make sure that it was suitable for a Guide Dog puppy. The first time was way back in 2008 when I was preparing for my first little ball of fur who ended up being Freya. At this point it was my dad, my brother, and myself. Needless to say in this home run by men decorations were scarce and there was a bit of clutter...well, everywhere. My dad, brother, and I are all pack rats (a quality of mine own that I feel gets better when there's a puppy around because it's dangerous to do it). Basically, it was a matter of picking things up from puppy reach and fixing the hole in our backyard fence. Easy and simple enough.

The second time was when we merged families and my dad and step mom moved into a house together in 2009. I think this was more of, "We want to see your new house on the lake." rather than inspecting it. So, really at that time, I wasn't at all nervous about what they would say.

This time, I'm pretty darn nervous. I've never raised in an apartment before and I'm nervous that our little place won't make the cut. So, I've been pre-puppy proofing the flat for the last week. Today will be the final preparations which will include mowing the lawn (if the weather stays nice), vacuuming my room (as long as our vacuum cooperates), and cleaning my desk up. The rest of the flat is what it will be and I have realised that I won't be able to allow a puppy into our kitchen until he/she is very mature. and knows not to pick things off the floor.

Lots of work to do today with school and with puppy stuff, but I'm glad I'm finally getting into puppy raising here.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Puppy Envy

Shep, an 8 week old black lab/golden retriever cross. His parents are Hurley and Cheyenne so he's 1/4 golden and 3/4 lab.
Can I just say that this is one of the cutest things I've ever seen? I'm definitely experiencing a little puppy envy at the moment. I mean, just look at this little guy! He is absolutely adorable. He is also the newest puppy in PWAP (yes, we do seem to get the cutest ones don't we?) *wink wink* So, welcome to PWAP...


Friday, October 28, 2011

Phase Report

Hermes     46Y1     LAB     M     8

Halette      45Y4      LAB     F      5

Belle puppy EPIC is still hanging out in 8 for his match.

Wow, I didn't notice how many littermates were actually left. I hope Hermes gets matched with his handler soon. I know that he's on the California campus and that there is a graduation tomorrow, so maybe he'll be matched with the new class coming in.

Also speaking of tomorrow. Tomorrow is when PWAP welcomes its newest member to the group. You still have time to put in some guesses for Mr.S's name!


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Puppy Class and the Date is Set

Puppy class was really, really fun today. I got to work with Vale again. Last time I was at a puppy class he was fresh off...well, I'm going to call it the puppy truck even though that's not really what it is. He's older now and was very good for me when we started out on obedience. Because I had Vale for the first few minutes I had a relaxing time. Then we were told to switch dogs and when I was handed the leash of a small, black lab female I didn't complain.

The puppy in question is Quiz. At first I was reminded a lot of Freya. She didn't walk; she ran. They do things a lot differently here I've realised and while I was doing everything I was taught to control a puppy who wouldn't walk your pace (i.e. stopping and pulling the puppy back and waiting until (s)he is under control so the puppy wouldn't think that all they had to do was pull to get their way), I'm thinking that it made me look inexperienced and clumsy. It seems to me that their approach to a rowdy puppy is to just let it happen and hopefully the puppy will grow out of it. I'm not sure of course as I haven't been briefed on commands and what not. Hopefully, that'll happen soon. I guess I've just been taught to tolerate no nonsense when they're little and then when they're older they won't be able to pull your arm out of your socket. Anyway, besides pulling and walking everywhere (including ramming herself into my leg) Quiz was also not the kind of girl who let her feelings go unknown. She barked almost the entire time I had her. I think the "leader" (I really don't know what to call him so from now on he's just Graham) felt a little sorry for me because I was doing everything possible to keep her quite. I gave her verbal corrections, then collar corrections, and on the rare occasion that she was quiet I gushed praise in her direction. I also did puppy handling when she wasn't barking to calm her down and to teach her that when she barks she gets corrections and when she's quiet she gets pets. Nothing worked. At least she continued to bark and whine when her raiser took her back (I was so afraid it was me). She was definitely a spitfire. Needless to say, I fell in love with her. Haha!

Really though, I really enjoyed myself. I do think that it will take a lot of time for me to get use to using the commands they use here and our differences in training techniques. I guess it's a good thing that I'm puppy sitting first.

Soon I will be an official puppy sitter here and can start sitting. In one week (that's November 2nd) I have my home interview. Graham is such a nice guy that I'm not terribly worried (plus, I'm told I'll get a manual which means I can start learning up on how to raiser puppy UK style). I am going to start puppy proofing the house a little. I'll be the first to admit that it's not the most puppy proof place in the world, but to be fair to Lisa and myself, we don't have a puppy. I know he'll probably catch a few things that I need to change, but I don't need anyone to tell me that a puppy couldn't easily mistake an empty soda bottle for a chew toy. We really need to get a recycling bin for the kitchen.

Gosh! It's been over three years since I had my last home interview! Alright, now I'm nervous.

The Adventure Begins (Again)

I'm pretty excited this morning. Guess where I'm off to in about an hour (I shouldn't shower and get ready huh?). Go on, just take a wild guess. No guesses then? Well, I'll tell you anyway because I'm so excited. I'm going to puppy class!

Now, I know what you're thinking. "Erin, I thought Tuesday mornings you had class. Are you being a bad student?" You are all probably using your disappointed voices as well, but that doesn't matter. Yes, I'm skipping an English lecture to go to puppy class today and I might very well be late for my Psychology lecture. But I haven't been in the best of moods lately and I'm thinking that (besides my new laptop battery finally getting in which doesn't appear likely) what I needed was a good puppy fix. Also, I need to talk to the leader about when they're going to get my house visit done and about becoming an actual raiser when a litter of German Shepherds becomes available. It should be a lot of fun and I'm totally stoked. I haven't been around puppies in far too long.

I've also got a volunteer's meeting planned for Friday afternoon (I forgot the fact that I was going to plan on meeting my Psychology group to get our poster started but it isn't due for another four weeks so that can wait a little). Basically what's going to happen on Friday is I'm going to get out of class at 1pm and then run all the way and run all the way to the meeting. Thankfully it's only a thirty minute walk from my flat. I'm still debating on whether or not to call a taxi to get me there. The night before will have been our Halloween party and whilst I'm not one who drinks all that much or often...I will still probably drink a little and stay out late. But, I'm going and starting my job as a puppy sitter so I'm totally willing to make a sacrifice like afternoon naps or ten quid for a taxi.

I'm off to shower now so I can be clean for puppy kisses.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Phase Report

Halette     45Y4     LAB     F     5

Hermes    46Y1     LAB     M    8

Hestia     LAB     F     GDB Breeder!

Belle puppy EPIC is in phase 8 this week! Hooray! I'm really excited about Hestia being a breeder. Right after I found out the Reann had made it a breeder I found out that Hestia had also made it as a breeder. Hoping for a Reann or a Hestia or an Estee puppy when I get back! That would be great. You know what would also be great? If they bred one of them to a Golden male. *wink*

Also a big shout out to Snickers who is now back for formal training!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Almost There

Well everyone! I finally got an email back from the "leader" in this area. He told me where to go and what to do and who to contact. The day I got the email from him I went to the website and sent in my application to become a puppy boarder. I was told that it would probably be a while until the information would be passed on to the "leader" here, but he also already knows that I'm interested in doing this and that I'll be attending the meeting at the end of the month.

So...hooray! Almost there!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

A New Breeder!

I like going to the official Guide Dogs for the Blind blog occassionally to see if they've got the new littermate photos up from the whelping kennel. With the "Litter Announcements" is also a list of new breeder dogs that have been added to the GDB breeding colony.

The new Litter Announcements were added yesterday and I just got around to seeing them today. I took a look at the darn cute puppy photos which of course made me want a puppy all the more. Then I looked down at the new breeders list. First off I noticed the two puppies who graduated as Breeders this past weekend who were raised in the other group in my town. Just a little shout out to Medford (MLGX) and Heloise (FYL)! Also, Estee (FBL) who was from Belle's last litter ever was on the list too, but we all know that she was accepted as a Breeder. Then I skimmed the rest of the group, not thinking I would find anything interesting, but guess what name I noticed on the breeder list? No guesses? I'll just tell you then.


Reann is Rocco's sister, and I think looks a lot like Rocco. So far this litter has two Guides and one Breeder! Go "R"s!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Freya is Three!!!

Happy Birthday to my very first puppy, Freya! Freya taught me so much as a first puppy. She was easily distracted, was over hyper, and was in general a goofy girl. She was the one that started my friendly competition with the our Overload Jim about always proving him wrong. From the first time he met Miss Freya he said that I shouldn't be too disappointed if she was Career Changed within the next few months. Every eval he said that. And now look at her. Best gosh darn Guide around if you ask me! *Smile*
Freya chewing on a Dental Dino. This was always a coveted toy when she was my puppy.
 (Just to be clear, I respect Jim more than I respect most people which is why I feel little remorse for poking the slight bit of fun at him every now and then)

At the end of next month she will be an Official Guide for a year and a half. How time does fly! This means that Freya and Mr. L have pretty much cemented their relationship as Guide and handler. Every time I get an email from the Ls I'm more and more proud of Freya (and sometimes I just have to giggle at what a bad quirky dog she really is).

Freya making a funny face while trying to "kill" her rope toy. This was always the number one toy when she was a puppy. She was the best rope player in the world!
  I tell people often that it took me longer than normal to receive my first puppy, but I know it's because Freya and I were meant for each other. I wouldn't change my first girl for anything...even a full golden (which shows you how much I truly love her). 

It's been a while since she's sent a postcard, but hopefully soon you'll all have an update on her Guiding ways. 

Happy Birthday my first Darling Little Girl!

Freya in her absolute favourite position at work: on her back.
And happy birthday to the rest of Dylan and Belle's "F" Litter; Falla, Freeway, Foothill, and Faulding

*These are pictures I got over the summer that for some reason I never posted. Hope you like them! I think they show off her beauty and her goofiness*