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Saturday, April 30, 2011

A Reflective Mood

This past week has been a little hard on Raiser Erin. Not Erin, but Raiser Erin. She's the girl inside of me who comes out every so often. You know, the Puppy Raiser inside of me. Yeah...she's not been having the best of weeks. Raiser Erin is the one who gets sad when thinking about Rocco and how I couldn't finish up his PIT phase and the one who frets about whether or not I'll be able to raise while I'm here in Scotland for University.

The answer to this last question is, I still don't know. I still don't technically have a place to live next year and at this point, with a month left until we need to move in, I'm going to have to take what I get which means the big possibility of NOT being allowed a Puppy. This is part of the reason Raiser Erin has been having such a hard week. Every time I think about just settling for a place that won't allow a Guide Dog Puppy that puppy raiser inside of me gets a little sad. I know it won't kill me to take a break, but I've missed doing it and I think raising for a different school would be so interesting. I mean, here the raisers start the puppies learning the "find" command. Like "Find the Crosswalk" or "Find the Bus Stop". I think it would be so cool to be able to do that. And they still use Shepherds here. When I go back to the States for my Masters work I'm going to be in California which means I'll be able to stay with GDB. But we don't use Shepherds and I really, really want to do a Shepherd. They also use flat coated retriever which look like Black Golden Retrievers. I wouldn't mind raising one of them either. But, I've gotta have the house to do it. One of the people I'm moving in with next year is interested in doing it as well which is great. But...yeah...house.

Now this other reason might seem a little petty at first, but bear with me. One of my biggest flaws is that I get jealous real easy. And I'm very, very competitive. Some of you know, some of you may not know, that I went to meetings for almost 6 months before I got Freya. When I was going through this, going to meetings and having the "pick up" date changed over and over , I didn't know that that wasn't normal. Then, when three other raisers got their puppies within a month of joining the group I did feel a little...well I felt bad. The jealousy crept up and I had to remind myself that for some reason, it was meant for me to take about six times longer to get my first puppy and that it was ultimately a good thing. And it was. I stand firmly by the belief that if Freya had gone to a different first time raiser then she wouldn't have passed. But still, I felt like those 6 months I spent going to meetings every week I was being made to prove myself and when the other raisers didn't have to prove themselves I spent time worrying as to what was wrong with me. Obviously nothing is wrong with me, it just happened the way it did and I've come to terms with it. But, well, this past week a raiser and friend of mine got assigned a new puppy. Her second "golden cross" (though technically this one is just a golden with a pinch of lab) and her third puppy in only a year and a half with the group. Now, you all know that Goldens are my favourite breed and if the three years I've been in the group I've asked for a golden or a golden cross. I've never had one obviously and it just sets off my jealousy to know that this is the family's second Golden in just a year. I mean, I'm very very happy for them, but again...I'm feeling like I have to prove myself for a Golden. I know that isn't true. Part of the reason they've been able to raise so many puppies in such a short amount of time is because they're all into it whereas my family...well they're not exactly supportive of my raising puppies. My father was the reason I didn't get another puppy the day Freya was dropped off. He's not into raising and I understand and respect that. It's his choice and unfortunately his house. I don't think he'll ever, ever admit it to anyone but I think he gets to attached to the dogs. I'm pretty sure he missed Freya a lot when she left. But, don't tell him I think so.

Basically, I'm wondering when I'll get to raise a puppy on my own terms. Obviously you can't pick and choose which puppy you get, but I would like to be like the other raisers who turn in their puppy app and get assigned a puppy a month later. I'd like to be able to put on my app "Golden or Golden Cross" and get assigned one instead of being told "Sorry, but not this time."...again. It probably won't happen until I own my own place. And I want to be very clear on this, I love Freya and Rocco and both of them needed me. I didn't think I would grow attached to Rocco, but he's such a part of me that if he's CC'd I'm going to try very hard to get him to Scotland with me before giving him to my Mom and Step-dad for the 3 years I'm here. But, still, I would like to be like those other raisers just for one puppy.

Besides all these feeling going on with Raiser Erin (realises I've gotta take a 3 year break and trying very hard not to be jealous of a good friend because that friend doesn't deserve it) she's had a hard week because it's looking more and more like there won't be a transfer for me over the summer. I was hoping beyond hope that there would be a puppy who needed their last months taken care of by an experienced raiser, but it doesn't look like that will happen. So, I have to resign myself to puppy sitting for the summer. Some people are able to be sitters...but I'm not. I'm gonna do it, but it's been hard on Raiser Erin to give up on that hope of a puppy of my own for the summer.

I'm in a fairly reflective mood right now. The first step to ending the problem is admitting it. Yes, I'm jealous but I'll get over it quickly now that I've admitted to myself that I am. My friend doesn't deserve that, she deserves me saying how happy I am that she gets to have another puppy and that I hope he's the best puppy in the world. Which I do. And I've gotta start preparing myself for the inevitable 4 year break (1 year down...3 to go). It's not going to kill me. In fact, it'll make coming home and having that next puppy placed in my arms all the more enjoyable.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Mr. April

You hear right! 2012 GDB Calender's Mr. April

I hope the fame doesn't go to his head.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

15 Months

Rocco turned 15 months old yesterday. I was going to post this last night after I got back from the pub, but if you read my College Blog you'll know why that was an issue for me.

Anyway, I haven't really been able to do his "So many things at So many months" for a while because it's hard when you're not with the dog every day. But I thought I would give you 15 Adjective that describe Rocco.

1. Fun
2. Happy
3. Cuddly
4. Serious (when he needs to be)
5. Goofy
6. Hard-working
7. Yellow (Had to throw that one in here)
8. Intelligent
9. Good
10. Knowing (he's got those eyes where you just know he knows when you're feeling bad or unsure)
11. Brave (look back to some of my baseball posts especially the one where he calmed me down when the fireworks went off and led me back to the car)
12. Flexible
13. Patient
14. Special
15. Loving

All of this means that he'll make someone a wonderful companion one of these days. I know that Lynn, Mary, and I all really, really love him. Jim has tentatively set him for a June recall, so we'll see what happens.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Mostly Wordless Wednesday

I would like you all to meet the newest puppies in my group.

Snyder and Schroeder

(Male Yellow Labs)

Schroeder (L) and Snyder (R)

Schroder (L) and Snyder (R)
Schroeder at his very first puppy meeting.

Snyder when I puppy-sat him


(Female Black Lab)

*you already know her sister, Teesha*

Teesha (L) and Tippin (R)
Tippin at her first meeting with our group. (She's a transfer)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Beeper Egg Hunt

So, I surprised my group and came home for a week. I don't know how Mary and I were able to keep it a secret for as along as we did, but everyone was surprised to see me especially Rocco. He was so happy to see me. He jumped and almost knocked his new momma over. He's really matured a lot since I last saw him in January. We got to spend "Gotcha" day together (well really, the day before "Gotcha" day) because the Egg Hunt was on the 9th. He did such a good job with all the children who petted and loved him and then snuggled with me during the picnic afterward. He's got evals today with Jim and he will be 15 months really soon so this is sort of that eval where Jim decides if he's ready for formal training. I know he's gonna do great when he is ready! His new momma says that she thinks he needs another few months out to mature still, but he might go back in at the end of this month. But enough of that, here are some pictures for you.
Rocco and Me with a visually impaired child. My mom is the one in the background.

Of course there had to be a picture of him giving me a kiss.

Rocco wanted to love on his "grandma" more than he wanted to take a picture.

Rocco in the car on the way to the picnic.

Rocco cuddling with me at the picnic. You can see, if you look real closely, that he's licking my leg.
Right now I'm puppy sitting Snyder. He's one of our newest little guys. And he's so cute!

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Fundraising Meeting

Ok, guys. The meeting was pretty...well, it wasn't the most fun thing ever, but it was pretty cool. I got to meet a few people with working Guides and a few Puppy Walkers. I had met one of the puppy walkers before. He's got Denzel who is a little younger than Rocco, but he's going back to Forfar for training very soon. He told me about the next puppy meeting they're having and offered to give me a ride if I wanted to come. It means that I would have to miss a lecture or two, but I'm ok with that just this once... Anyway, we also learned about a new radio programme hosted by a blind man. It's worldwide, but I can't remember the website right now, but as soon as I find out I'll let you know. Then we had tea and biscuits and I got to cuddle a really cute black lab female and a little yellow lab female. One of the retired guide in attendance got really friendly with me. She even tried to see if I would give her any of my biscuit. :-D She was really sweet. Anyway, that's all for now! Not a lot of pictures, but there you go.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

First Meeting

Today is going to be my first meeting with the Aberdeen Fundraising Team. I'm very excited because I know that there are a few people with PITs going to be in attendance and there will also be a few working teams. It should be a lot of fun. I'm really looking forward to meeting everyone. This should also be a great opportunity for pictures so I think I'll take a couple. I don't think I'll have time to post them until Wednesday evening though, but we'll see.