Where you come for your share of Puppy fun!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Date Possibility!

I got a phone call from Graham today about a possible date for the puppy to arrive. He said that there was one available for delivery on April 11, 2012! That's two year (plus a day) since Mary and I picked up Rocco from GDB. I think it's a perfect date for the puppy to arrive. Kind of like an anniversary present or something. Haha!

He also gave me a name! *big grin* But I'm going to keep that a secret until the puppy gets here. That way we can have a name game!

We'll see when things are more official.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

No Pup Yet

I'm having some real trouble staying focused. It's so hard to concentrate on things like Psychology and Dr. Faustus when I still don't have much information.

I got an email from Graham yesterday (because I sent him an email asking when I could expect to know anything) and he said that puppies had not been allocated to Scotland yet. He did say he was poking and prodding the person who is in charge of allocating the puppies to get on Aberdeen. *smile* I'm just a little impatient I suppose. Haha! OK...I'm a little more than just a little impatient. I'm just so ready to know whether or not there's a puppy in the kennels for me.

I've decided to take this time in reviewing the puppy manual. They do things a little differently here and use a few different commands. I still haven't found the equivalent for "that's enough" for GDB back home. As long as it distracts me from thinking about getting an email from Graham. I'm sure I'll find time to study in there somewhere.

Also, good luck to Mandy and Saxon today. Saxon is going back in for training today and she's getting her new little puppy. I can't wait to hear who she's going to get. Teesha and Stuart are also going back in for training today. They're being driven up to San Rafael today instead of puppy them on the puppy truck that came through yesterday. I'll be thinking of them all today.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Waiting Sucks! (& Phase Report)

Gosh, I really do hate waiting. Especially when there is a puppy involved. I mean, for all I know I could be welcoming a 6 week old puppy in exactly a month. I really, really want to know if there was a puppy in the kennels for me or if I'll have to wait until summer break. I'm just super excited about everything and just can't wait! I feel so impatient, but it's been almost a week since Quiz left and it would be lovely to know if I'm definitely getting a pup. Anyway, I'm sure I'll know soon. On to the phase report.

Halette     45Y4     LAB     F     8

Our Tippin was dropped from breeding and will be entering harness training as soon as she heals from her spay. Also, our Schroeder was CC'd for the same thing his brother Snyder was; bilateral elbow dysplasia. As far as I know none of the other pups in the litter have been experiencing the limping our two boys have. Schroeder is up at Guide Dogs right now and should have had his surgery yesterday. He'll then complete physical therapy and then come home as his raisers' pet!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Reann's Pup "Becky"

This is Becky. *smiles*
Becky. One of Reann's baby black labs.
Becky is from Reann's first litter. Becky is Rocco's niece! *big grin* Isn't she cute!? I also know her daddy. Her dog daddy is Alonzo and he was raised in the other group in town. He has the most big, gorgeous lab head you've ever seen. I think Becky looks more like Alonzo than Reann. She's got a nice, square head.

I also heard the other two females' names. There is a Brooke and Brie. I don't know any of the male names though. I'm hoping to find out at some point. 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

My Valentine

Told you I had a few back up pictures. I recieved this the day after Valentine's Day. I had to leave early so I didn't get it until I got home from classes, but it was definitely a pick me up after the long day I had had.

A Valentine's card from Freya and her family. The front says, "For someone special. Special people know the art of giving from a loving heart. On the inside it says, "Erin, you will always be Freya's Valentine." on one side and on the other the poem is, "Today is a day/ for celebrating the people/ who make our hearts happy.../ like you!/ Happy Valentine's Day" There are also birthday wishes in there.
I have to say that I am an extremely lucky puppy raiser. Freya's people make sure to keep in contact and send me pictures every other month even if they're just pictures of Freya playing with some toys. It makes me feel a little bad that I don't have more to send them. I will forever feel blessed that my special Freya went to such special people. It's always hard to give up our puppies, but I think it's worth it when you have the opportunity to have wonderful people in your life. It was hard to give her up in February 20, 2010 (Gosh! As of today she's been gone from me for 2 years.) but, if I'm really honest, one of the easiest things I've done was to say good bye to her just three months later.

Email Obsession

I don't know the last time I checked my email as often as I have been since Friday. I know that it was such a long shot that he would know something by that afternoon and there was very, very little chance that he would be working over the weekend. And yet, I still have been checking my email once an hour to see if I've got an email from Graham. I'm just so excited to know if there's a baby out there for me! Here's hoping that I know something tomorrow! AH!

Also, I had a reader ask me to disable CAPTCHA. This is the first time that I've been able to sit down and a University computer (blogger doesn't like my laptop and won't allow me to make changes from there) to fix it. I think I have done it. That's a big think though. If someone wanted to post a comment to see if I have in fact disabled it that'd be swell.

Anyway, I've got a few pictures to post up soonish. Old pictures that should have been up a week or so ago, but as a busy, busy University student it's been hard to find the time to sit and upload them to blogger. But I'm gonna do it in the next few days just so I have something to take my mind off of not knowing much.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Quizie's Gone

Well, Quiz is away. She's headed down to Forfar for harness training. I think she'll do well. The thing that'll get her is her distractions. Haha! Anything that moved would catch her attention. Hopefully she'll mature a little as she's only 14 months. I told Graham that she had a slight yeast build up in both ears and that I'd been cleaning them twice a day, but that they should look at them anyway. And that there was a possibility of a bladder infection. It hadn't occurred to me until yesterday, but she shouldn't have had some of those peeing accidents because she had just gone before leaving the house. He said he'd put the peeing stuff down when they got there as it's something they may not catch.

He didn't have any real news for me, just that not all of the puppies had be allocated. Which means that he doesn't know what kind of puppy I'm getting which includes breed, gender, and age. I'm secretly hoping that means that I'm getting a baby. *Grin* He did say that he should know soon and as soon as he knew I would know. Hooray! I'm getting pretty darn excited!

Good Luck Quizie!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Phase Report

Halette     45Y4     LAB     F     8

I know, I know. I said last week that it would be my last phase report post. Well, Halette was taken out of class and put back into training. This isn't an unusual occurrence at all. Sometimes the matches just don't work out and, personally, I'm so glad that it was discovered before Halette went home. It's a much easier fix this way. Here's to you Halette. *smile* You're perfect person will come soon.

I also thought I would give you an update on our pups. Lance was dropped back to phase 7 of training. This is also not an unusual occurrence. Last week I was hoping it was just a mistake but he's in 7 this week as well. My best guess is this; phase 8 is where they do the final blind fold test to see if the pup is "class ready". I'm guessing Sir Lance-a-lot made a little mistake and they put him back a phase to work on it before they tried testing him again. Keep in mind though, that's just my guess. No biggie. Lance is doing just great!!

Danvers is in phase 4 up at the Oregon campus. Go Danvers! He's half way there!

Tippin joined her friends up for training last weekend and is currently being evaluated for a breeder. We haven't heard anything in this past week which means that she's still in breeder evals! She is such a nice puppy and I have such high hopes for her! *grin* First PWAP breeder? I'm thinking so. Since the only puppy that we've had in breeder evals since I've been with PWAP is Royalty (though both Freya and Hilly were on breeder watch as puppies and taken off before entering training) and she was dropped really quickly I thought I would let you all know that Breeder Evals is also known as the Black Hole. Puppies go in and we don't really hear anything about how they are doing unless one of three things happen. The first is that they are CC'd for medical reasons. The second is that they are dropped from Breeding, spayed/nuetered, and put into harness training. And the third is that they become a breeder. We're really hoping for that last one for Tippin.

Finally, Stuart and Teesha are both on this next recall. Teesha will be joining her sister Tippin in San Rafael for breeder evals (I really am hoping that both of these girls become breeders) and Stuart will be joining Danvers in Oregon to start his formal training. The next recall for San Rafael is February 24 and the Oregon recall is March 2. Stuart has to be at the campus is San Rafael by March 1 for transport to Boring but I'm thinking Nancy will drive him up on the weekend of the San Rafael recall.

Go Puppies! Erin is so proud of you!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Mostly Wordless Wednesday

Sorry, I haven't had many pictures. I've recently lost my camera and, while my phone takes pretty good pictures, it's not as good as my camera. Anyway, here are some pictures of Quiz.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Quizie's Time

Well...it's official. Quiz will be leaving me this Friday morning. Not because I emailed Graham about anything. Nope. After these past two days I actually thought that she could stay for the extra two weeks.

Quiz got pulled back in for formal training early. One dog got sick and another got pulled in. That one was Quiz. I'm actually a little sad that she won't be with me the rest of the time she was suppose to be. Through all the frustrations, she really is a very nice puppy.

One thing I have learned this past week though is that my schedule works really well with having a puppy that can't go places. Big plus. Haha! Graham is coming on Friday morning, early I might add, to pick her up. I'll be talking to him about my own puppy then and seeing if he's got any news about it. Should be fun though even though I'll miss Quiz.

Monday, February 13, 2012

A Semi Success

I really wanted the title of this post to be "SUCCESS!!" but we'll just stick with little victories.

I've mentioned that I can't take Quiz to classes with me due to her unwillingness to "down". Well, today was my first day with her that I had classes*. Today's classes were a psychology lecture from 12-1 and then my psychology practical from 2-4. If I left Quiz in her crate from the time I left to the time I got back she would have been in the crate for four and half hours. If I were back home, this wouldn't have bothered me so much because we're allowed to leave them alone for four hours. Here we're only allowed to leave them in the crate for three hours. So, I came home in between my two classes.

*Note: I have my schedule worked out to where I can easily come home in between classes if need be. I can also skip classes if I really need to be with a puppy because all of my lectures are recorded. As long as I make it to my tutorials and practicals I'll be fine. I thought it would be good to have some wiggle room if I got a baby puppy.

This morning, for about an hour, Quiz and I tried the outside in the relieving area for ten minutes then in the crate for ten minutes and repeat. I ignore her completely from the time we leave the relieving area to when I take her out of the crate again. She didn't end up going before I left the house. So, when I got home between classes, I gave her the chance to relieve again. It took her about two minutes to pee. She got lots and lots of praise and was allowed to play in the house. Then right before I left I let her out again and guess what! She pooped! *does a little happy dance* I was a little sad that I couldn't give her a real reward right then and there because I had to leave for class, but I gave her so much praise.

When I was done with class for good I came home and rewarded her with a free run. My first free run...didn't go too well. When we first got there there weren't any other dogs and she had a grand time chasing the leaves (she actually looked like a cat). Then some kids with a soccer ball game around and she kept trying to steal their ball. Then a dog came around and she tried to steal her ball. One thing I've found the same; these dogs aren't allowed to play with balls. Her recall got pretty bad around the balls as well. We cut the run short. She pooped on the way back to the house. She was completely ignored (my new thing as well, I'm not giving her any attention when she relieves when she's not suppose to).

We went home and she played a little and then it was time to be off again. I took her out to the relieving area and she looked like she peed. It was dark so I really couldn't tell. Darn dog tricked me. Right when we were getting to my friend's house she peed on the sidewalk.

All in all...it was a semi successful day. She pooped for the first time in the relieving area so I have hope which is more than I had this morning. 


As the title states, I'm a little frustrated. Not so much with Quiz, but with little habits that she has and issues she has presented.

The first is still the relieving issue. I gave her 45 minutes yesterday to relieve. Then went back inside, let her wait for about 10 minutes, and gave her another 10 minutes. Then I repeated the waiting for 10 and circling for 10 another 2 times. (Yes, that is in total, an hour and five minutes she had to relieve). I was getting worried about her so I decided to take her on the shortest walk ever (to the house next door and back) just to loosen everything up a little. Just past the bushes of my house she decides to pooh all the pooh she had refused to get rid of the five times I had taken her out to the relieving area. Yes, it's very frustrating. My new rule (which was actually instated yesterday) is that I'm not taking her anywhere unless she relieves and to give her an extraordinary amount of praise when she does (even if it's just pee). So far, we have not had one successful walk where she does not relieve and I'm giving her plenty of time to relieve out back. In fact, she has not pooped once in my back garden. At 13 months, this should not be the case. So, if she doesn't relieve she'll have to stay in the crate while I go out. I hate doing it, but it's better that she learns that she needs to relieve out back before we leave or wait until I find an appropriate place for her.

I know what you all might say. Freya was a really finicky reliever and at 13 months she sometimes didn't go when given the opportunity. And Rocco didn't like relieving anywhere but at home. All this is very true. But they knew that if they didn't go when I gave them the chance they needed to wait. Both Freya and Rocco would go for the entire walk and relieve upon returning home. I mean, Rocco held his pooh for the entirety of Fun Day because he didn't want to relieve in the hotel parking lot. Then only went when I gave him the command. And he was only 6 months old.

Secondly, she does not do "down". Point blank refuses to do it. Which means that I can't take her to class, restaurants, or the cinema until I teach her "down". This is also a little frustrating because when my supervisor told me I was getting a 13 month old puppy, I was expecting one that knew all of the basic commands so I could take it places. The only places I can take Quiz are grocery stores and malls and places like that where I won't need to lie down and be still...but I can't take her there because she won't poop when given the opportunity.

Lastly, she's a forager. In the past, when we've been walking, my hand has constantly had to  pull her away from bushes, the ground, poles, and everything. I've had to give her a few strong corrections because verbal commands with a slight tug don't work. She is intent on smelling or grabbing whatever is there. Of course that won't be an issue because she can't go anywhere unless she poops.

Honestly, it feels like I have a really well house behaved 5-8 month old puppy in a 13 month old puppy's body. She's an excellent worker and loves to go out. Her whole body starts to wiggle when she sees her puppy jacket come out. But, I can't take her anywhere until she learns to relieve out back. I really didn't think I was going to have to teach her how to relieve on command or the command "down." Those are things I expect a 13 month old puppy to know already. She's a wonderful dog and, like I said, has really nice house manners but it's hard to being able to take her anywhere. At 13 months old they really should be able to go everywhere and need the exercise of walking and running outside.

See, I set up a lot  of stuff in these last weeks of February so that all the things I needed to do would be sure to be done by my spring break. I knew that having a little puppy would mean needing to be more flexible with my time schedule so I told all of my friends that I would have to just take things as they came during and after spring break, but made plans up until spring break. The reason I agreed to take Quiz was because she was older and could fit into this busy life style that I have created at the moment so that I can be super flexible when my little one came. But, she doesn't. The main reason I said that I had to wait until spring break for my own puppy was that I needed time to prepare...I needed to get ready for some of the issues Quiz is presenting.  

What this all sums up to is that, if she doesn't get better about her reliving and about her "downs" I might tell Graham that I can't watch her for the entire time. A week is absolutely fine, but the entire three weeks of not being able to take her anywhere, right before her recall, would be really frustrating and she would lose a lot of the training she received with her first raisers. All of it makes me really sad because I really, really like Quiz. But in honesty, three weeks of not being able to take her anywhere and running myself ragged when I didn't think I would have to might be too much. I didn't plan for a baby puppy right now and I'm not ready for it. Spring break I'll be ready for it.

I know Quiz needs time to adjust, so this could just be her adjusting period. Which is why I've decided to let it go for a week. If after a week she hasn't pooped in the back garden I'll definitely need to talk to Graham about it. It all boils down to I am not ready for a baby puppy yet (I will be though) and that's what it feels like with Quiz sometimes.

With all that said, I'm going to review the commands in the puppy raising book and make sure that I have them all right. I'm not opposed to the idea that all this is my fault, but I'm doing all that I can at the moment. Hopefully, it'll all get better and this is just Quiz adjusting.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Quiz's First Day

Again I say that Quiz is doing so great. She let me sleep in until quarter past seven this morning and probably would have let me sleep longer if I hadn't said her name. Lesson learned I guess. She's also pretty content with just laying on her bed or pile of blankets and playing with a toy. It's absolutely great because that means that I can sit at my computer or watch TV and not really have to worry about her. I think it's fair to say that she's pretty much adjusted to how things go here which is wonderful.

For those of you who aren't puppy raisers it's important that a puppy is very flexible when it comes to where they are living. This is why we do things like puppy swaps back home. Since we have no idea who they are going to go to we don't want them to get so wrapped up in their routine that it can't change without the dog completely freaking out. We also don't want them to get so attached to one person that they can't function with other people since they'll be going to a few different trainers while in formal training and eventually going to their blind partner (their blind partner is the one person that we expect them to get so attached to that they are confused when they aren't with them). Confused puppies are ok. Stressed puppies are not. So if a puppy is stressed when they are with another raiser, it's something to work on.

Quiz isn't at all stressed. She's got food and toys and attention. In order of importance, it's all a Lab really needs. Haha!

Of course, when a puppy does go to a different raiser it is expected for them to be thrown off a little. So Quiz does have a few issues that I need to work on while she's here. The first is not wanting to pooh when I give her the "busy busy" command. (For those who have been reading this blog for a long time will know that 'poop' is a big, important topic in puppy raising circles). I totally expected this for the first few days because Freya and Rocco didn't like to pooh anywhere but at home. Hopefully by Monday she'll get the idea. She's also an alert barker. One thing Erin doesn't tolerate after the puppy is four months old? Barking. Now, if someone is trying to break into my house I want the dog to bark. If there's a small noise in the next room I would rather the dog not alert me to it. So, we're working on it. Finally, she smells. I don't really think her last raisers gave her a bath for a while. I'm one of those people who makes sure that the puppy is bathed once a month because they have to be out in public a lot and I don't want them offending anyone's nose. It just add fuel to the fire of, "you shouldn't be allowed to bring that dog in here." A bath is in her future.

Other than those three things (one of which isn't her fault and another I expected) Quiz is wonderful. I'm really, really enjoying her. She makes me laugh. She makes my flatmate laugh (and my flatmate isn't a dog person...well, she's not a pet person). She especially made me laugh when the postman came today. Quiz must think that he loves her because when he left she had two food bowls (almost as important as the food itself) and two new toys. She spent a good twenty minutes showing off her new toys to my flatmate and me. This included a flipping routine. It's so excellent I should sell tickets.

Pictures will come soon. I'm just trying to get a good one. She doesn't really like sitting still for them.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Quiz is Here

This afternoon my supervisor dropped Quiz off with me. He was a little late in getting here so I had to rush off to my English tutorial and leave Quiz in her crate. I felt a little bad about it, but at the same time I don't because I had left two hours between classes.

Anyway, she's a very nice puppy. She was napping in the crate when I came back in and now she is just laying on the bed playing with some toys. Seriously, she's been so good. I couldn't have asked for a better puppy. But of course, I might be counting my chickens before they hatch. She could turn out to be awful. Haha!

Now on to the slightly confusing news. When my supervisor came in he said that I should have 3 weeks with her. I was confused because I thought that I would only have a week with her. But I decided not to say anything until after the first week. If she is really, really good then I won't mind having her for another two weeks.

However, I was instructed to get her to lose some weight. Haha! She's a bit of a chunk.

Phase Report

Wait...what? Where did Halette go!?! Oh yeah, that's right. She went to class! Haha!

That's right people. Halette is in class and due to graduate as a Guide on February 18, 2012. I'm so glad that she's in class and so happy for her raisers!  The litter turns two on March 23 so I'm glad she found her perfect match before then and will be home for her birthday. Go Halette!!

This is my last post of the phase report for a while (until something big happens) since my pups no longer have siblings in formal training. If you want to check how our pups in training are doing look over to the right side of the blog. Our two boys, Lance and Danvers, are doing great.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

My First Puppy Sit

Now, when I first emailed Graham I felt a little ashamed. A girl my age should have learned patience by now. But nothing but good came of that email.

I was really hoping for news of my own puppy, but I guess no news might mean that I'll be getting a baby and it hasn't been born yet. I won't lie, I'm hoping that's the case. I haven't had a baby in almost two years and I'm so ready for the whole puppy breath experience again. Haha! Anyway, he didn't email me back with any news of my own puppy but did say he had a puppy who needed a home for a week starting on Friday.

You might remember Quiz from one of my first posts after I got back to Aberdeen. When I went to the first puppy class after getting back I worked with a loud mouth, black lab named Quiz. She made me giggle, but she did have to give her opinion on everything. I like bratty black labs so she and I got on famously. Well, guess which puppy needs a home for a week?

That's right! Quiz! You see, her raisers at the moment have a funeral on Monday and it's pretty far away. So they're travelling during the weekend and spending some time down there and will be headed back up on Friday. Quiz is 13 months old and will be headed back for formal training at the beginning of March. So she's an older puppy who has a lot of energy. I think this is perfect for me (not counting the fact that she's a black lab female) because having a puppy with a lot of energy will be the perfect test of how I'm to balance social life, school life, and puppy life.

It should be a lot of fun! I'm hoping that everything I've ordered will get here by tomorrow when Graham drops her off. As of right now I'm waiting on toys and a dog bed. Those are two fairly important things when it comes to puppy raising.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Patience and How Not to Deal with It

The outdoor run arrived today! I haven't had a chance to set it up or take a look at it as it didn't arrived until about half past six this evening at which point I was already out of the house for Tuesday's game. But, I have no classes and no responsibilities tomorrow, so I'll probably set it all up then.

I haven't heard back from Graham since last Thursday when we were talking about heights for the run. So, what did I do? Emailed him. Haha! Patience has never been my strongest attribute and I find myself able to wait less and less the more excited I get. At this point, I'm pretty darn excited so I'm proud of myself for not emailing him yesterday. Haha!

My guess is that he doesn't really have any news for me. Not because he didn't look at the board or check up, but because the puppy I will be receiving (if I receive a baby puppy) might have been born on Sunday. I was checking out the calender and the puppies born from last Sunday (February 5) to this Sunday (February 12) will be six weeks old around March 23. So in all likelihood, he doesn't know which puppy I'll be receiving not only because there's a good chance that it's not even born yet but also because he's checking to see if there are any older puppies available first.

While I know he probably knows as much as I do at this point (well...he might know a little more seeing as he's the supervisor and all) I still had to email him. I found myself unable to quit.

One more piece of exciting news to say before I sign off and go to sleep. I talked to the head of the school of Psychology today about bringing a puppy into classes. He was very supportive of it and said that he thought it was a good idea. But (there's always a but isn't there?) he had to check with someone else in the University first (you'll have to forgive me, I can't quite remember who he said). But he's such a nice guy and said that he didn't see any problem with it at all. So, that's good! Now all that needs to happen is for the woman who books appointments for the head of the school of English to get back to me.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Nomenclature Issues

I guess I'm just too excited not to blog about something. It gives me something to do and a way to express my feelings. Guess this means you guys will have a lot of posts from me until I get the puppy. *smiles*

Yesterday I received an email from a reader that just made me smile. I had no idea that I had a puppy walker from the UK reading my blog for any period of time let alone since before I left for University! She sent me an email congradulating me on finally deciding to get my own puppy and welcomed me to the world of puppy walking. It was such a lovely email to recieve. I really can't say how much little things like that mean to me. (It's actually what people don't understand when buying presents for me. A thoughtful card with a bunch of flowers is all I really need to know that you've been thinking of me.) Anyway, I asked her a question on names that I had not been able to have answered yet.

Just like back home each litter is given a letter and each puppy in that litter has a name beginning with that letter (fun sentence huh?). But there are also sponsored puppies here. I've thought a lot about sponsoring a puppy because you get to name it. And you don't have to stick with the litter letter. That means that there are some puppies out there who have names like Bob even though the rest of the litter has names beginning with "H". It's pretty cool. I only know of one puppy back in the states that has a different letter than her siblings.

Unlike how it works in the states I will get to know the puppy's name well in advance before I actually get her (I say her because we all know my preference for the females). For me, this is pretty strange. I knew Hilly's name before I got her because her name couldn't switch and the puppy couldn't be switched. But with Freya I was told, "black lab female, litter letter F". And with Rocco it was, "yellow lab male, litter letter R". The reason we do this back in the states is because we don't want the raisers getting attached to the name or the puppy before they receive it. Let's say that you're originally assigned a "Joanne" from a "J" litter here and Joanne gets sick before getting on the puppy truck to come to you. Waht GDB will do is put another "J" female from that litter on the truck for you because you have no idea which "J" puppy you're suppose to be getting. This way when you're handed a "Jillian" instead of a "Joanne" you don't miss Joanne because for all you know you were suppose to get Jillian the whole time. Another reason that we don't get to know the names ahead of time is because there could be last minute name switches.

I hear that doesn't really happen in the UK. You see, back home, every puppy's name is unique. When puppies are born at GDB in San Rafael they cannot be named names that are used for Working Guides, Active Breeders, or current puppies in training. So there won't be another Freya until my Freya retires, there won't be another Rocco until my Rocco retires, but Hilly's name is up for grabs. That isn't true in the UK. You can have puppies in training with the same name as working Guides or breeders. It's strange for me really. I've gotten use to the fact that my puppy has a name that no other dog in the GDB system can have and it made me feel like they were special. Haha! It should be interesting to see if I get a name already in use.

With all of that said, I've decided that I'm still going to have a Name Game. When I find out the name of the puppy I'll just tell you guys the letter the name starts with. 

I had a dream last night that I was assigned a female yellow lab named "Soldier". While I like the name, I'm really hoping for a not lab. Haha!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Outdoor Run

One of the main differences I've found so far between raising in the States and raising in the UK is the backyard issue.

Let me explain a little. Back home you must live in a place with an enclosed backyard with a fence at least five feet high. It's actually a really big thing. Before you get a puppy you have a home inspection from your club leaders. They check to make sure that your home is safe for the puppy, tell you things that you should move so that the puppy can't get into them, and check your backyard (or designated relieving area). At my first house back home the backyard really wasn't an issue. The only thing we had to fix before we received our first puppy was the hole in the fence between us and our neighbours which had been caused by our dogs trying to get to their dogs and vise versa and me climbing the fence to play with Lilly and vise versa. Personally, I'm surprised that fence lasted the twelve years we lived there. The issue came with the house I moved into at the beginning of my senior year. The fence in our backyard was only three and a half feet high but we lived on a lake and the fence around the whole lake was six feet high. So, I figured the puppy would have to jump over our fence, swim across the lake, and then jump over the six foot fence to get out. But we were told to make the fence at least five feet high. Chicken wire was our answer! We fixed it, the housing association threw a hissy fit, they got over it, and that was that. And we're never allowed to have our puppies off leash unleash they're in the house or in an enclosed backyard.

Here, I don't have an enclosed back garden at all. I have people with enclosed back gardens around me (which I guess means that I have an enclosed back garden). And yet, I'm still allowed to raise a puppy. All I had to do was buy an outdoor puppy run to enclose a relieving area. I've chosen to enclose the concrete patio area so that I don't kill the grass and, because I don't have an enclosed backyard, there is a chance that an unknown dog could come around. That is potentially dangerous for a puppy who hasn't had all of their vaccinations yet. Concrete is safer. And, here's the strangest part for me, we're allowed to do "free runs" with the puppy. That means we can take them to the park, let them off the leash, and let them play.

With all of that said, I've bought my outdoor ex pen. It's not as tall as I would like it to be, nor is it as easy for me to open and close, but it was fairly cheap. I wish I had more to say on the matter, but I don't. At the moment, the most interesting development is that I've bought an outdoor run.  

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Phase Report

Halette     45Y4     LAB     F     8

Halette is still there. Hanging out in phase 8. I really hope she graduates soon. Fingers crossed for you Halette!

Also! If you look over to the right you'll notice that our own Little Lance, Sir Lance-a-lot, Wance is in PHASE 8!!!! Way to go LANCE!!!! I can't wait to hear when you're graduating. Though, if you wanted to wait until July I'd be ok with that. I guess you're mommy wouldn't want that thought. Haha! And Danvers has made it to phase 2. So proud of those boys!