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.