Where you come for your share of Puppy fun!

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*

Monday, October 10, 2011

My Little Secret

Alright, so I really couldn't keep this a secret for much longer. I'm too excited about all the possibilities. Before any of you ask, no I'm not getting a puppy. Not yet anyway.

Most of you know that raising a puppy is like having a full time job without the pay and benefits. We puppy raise because we love doing it, but it does take a lot of effort and a lot of our time especially if we're raising the puppy by ourselves like I would be doing. Now, I've never actually raised a puppy by myself during school time. My dad and I were co-raisers with Freya and my leader Mary and I were co-raisers with Rocco. Hilly was only mine, but it was summer and I had no other responsibilities.

I've been thinking a lot about what it would mean for me to get a puppy while in University. It would mean that I would have to give up a lot. Mostly, I would have to give up three months of my social life from when I get the puppy to when it's old enough to be taken anywhere. To be honest, I don't know if I could really give a puppy all of the attention that it needs from me. But that doesn't mean that I'm not going to try.

About a week ago I emailed what is the equivalent to a puppy group leader about what I need to do in order to become a sitter. I don't know why I didn't think about doing that over the summer, but it seems like a brilliant idea if I do say so myself.

What I've decided to do it just puppy sit for a little while to see if I'm able to handle a puppy and my social life at the same time. If by Spring Break I'm confident that having a puppy will not interfere (majorly) with my social life or my studies then I'll put in an app to get a puppy. I will most likely ask for a puppy that is already over four months old so that I don't have to deal with potty training and a five hour University schedule. While I would absolutely love a little 8 week old puppy, I think it would be a lot smarter for me and better for the puppy if I were to get an older puppy.

I haven't heard back from the puppy leader yet, but I'm hoping to hear back within the next week. Hopefully, by the end of October I will have everything done and I can start taking puppies in for a day or two when needed. I let you know how everything goes.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Phase Report

Halette     45Y4     LAB     F     3

Hermes     46Y1     LAB    M    8

Hestia     LAB     F     Breeder Evals

Belle Puppy EPIC is in phase 6 this week.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Hilly's an Official Ambassador

Hilly at PWAP's fundraiser. She's laying down with her Pet Ambassador scarf on and being a very, very good girl.
Guess who is GDB's newest Pet Ambassador? That's right! HILLY!!!!!! I'm pretty excited that her pet ambassador scarf finally came. I'm also a little disappointed that I won't be there to take her to any fun Pet Ambassador gigs for a while. I'll be back over the summer but the jury is still out as to whether or not I'll be back over Winter Break. We'll see. At least I know that she's happy and healthy back home. I've been told she and Rosie play day and night, nonstop!

I don't have much to report about GDB over here. There hasn't been any more fundraising events since the last one and I'm still trying to stay strong and not put in a puppy app until January. I won't lie, it's getting harder by the day. Not only did little "Eli" arrive in the group two weeks ago but Meghan and Emily are getting another puppy in just three and a half weeks! Puppies, puppies everywhere but not a ball of fur to cuddle.