Where you come for your share of Puppy fun!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Happy Belated Birthday Hilly!

So, yesterday was Hilly's 3rd birthday. I was able to post up a facebook status about it, but I was just too busy yesterday to write up a post about her third birthday yesterday.

I remember the day I met Hilly. She was my first puppy truck puppy so I was expecting to stand in front of the truck and have her be walked down the stairs to my waiting arms. Or at least my waiting leash since she was a transfer puppy. I finally experienced that giddy anticipation before the puppy truck came through through. I was even there an hour early just in case. Instead of watching her come off the puppy truck we were standing around waiting for them to finish relieving the in for training, career changed, and transfer dogs who weren't making their final stop there when one of the drivers came over with a black lab. I ended up having to ask if that was Hilly instead of being asked. I'll be honest, it was a little bit of a let down compared to everyone else's puppy truck experience. But it definitely wasn't a let down in terms of finally getting Hilly. She was everything that I imagined.

Hilly was a challenge. I worked super hard with her and got amazing results from that little labby who just wanted to please, have fun, and go, go, go. Our bond formed quick and strong. When it was finally decided that she wouldn't become a Guide Dog, I really was devastated. The thought that I might never see her again after only just meeting was something I couldn't bear. Luckily, I have great parents who took her in for me until I get done with University.

I like to say that I set out to fix Hilly so that she could change someone's life, but she ended up deciding to change mine. I can't imagine my life without her.

Just one more birthday away from each other.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

PWAP Update

Just a quick PWAP update. This weekend we see both NEVADA and MARLEY off for formal training. Nevada got on the puppy truck yesterday when Candie picked up her newest puppy and Mary will be driving Marley up the campus tomorrow. Good luck to these two Goldens! They are just such awesome puppies.

NAPA went into season and threw off her recall date as she had to be up at campus for boarding until she came out of season which would have overlapped with her initial recall date. Luckily, she went into season right as a string of dogs were going in for formal training and the puppy raising and breeding departments were able to get her into Breeder Evals that week! So, she is currently going through week 4 of Breeder Evals instead of just starting them this weekend. That's definitely great for her raisers since Breeder Evals is a black hole and can take a long time anyway. We are currently working under the assumption that "no news is good news." Hoping for PWAP's very first breeder!

Currently ELI, TITUS, and HANK are all in phase 8 of formal training. That's the very last phase which means that they are all just waiting for their perfect match. So proud of these boys! Maybe they'll all graduate together and save the members of PWAP some gas money. Haha!

Yesterday we welcomed two new puppies off the puppy truck. Candie received a male yellow lab golden cross born on January 13, 2013 to Picasso and Toffee. His name is GALLOWAY and he is a fluffy one! He's super cute and I just can't wait to meet him! Keno was transferred to Alicia so Jen also welcomed a new puppy. She received a transfer girl, NEDRA. Nedra is a female black half lab half golden cross born on September 13, 2012 to Denzel and Jingle! She is also super cute! Can't wait to meet her either.
Galloway and Candie 
Nedra just off the puppy truck

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Frankie Update #1

Woohoo! After waiting patiently waiting sitting by the phone checking the phone every ten minutes to make sure I hadn't missed a text or call for a whole week a two days Frankie's raisers finally got a little news about Frankie and how he was doing up at the campus and shared it with me.

They got a call from his trainer and she told them that she had taken him out to work a couple of times already. In the first week they usually just play with the puppy and get the settled into kennel life. But, I guess Frankie wasn't patient himself and just wanted to get out and get working. He also has a kennel mate. I don't have a name or anything, but know that his kennel mate is a female German Shepherd.

This is all excellent news! It means that he has settled really quickly into kennel life and that he is eager to get out and work! Good boy Frankie!

Remember, Erin loves you.

Frankie as a baby puppy. He is walking toward the camera.
What I miss #1: If you look really hard at the picture above (the lighting is kind of terrible) you can see his little "racing stripe" on his head. I loved his little "racing stripe."

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Good-Bye Frankie

Alright, so this post is a long time coming. I've been waiting on pictures and I guess a little part of me didn't want to admit that there was a possibility that I would never see my Frankie-boy again. But I've got the pictures now so I really have no good excuse to not post about my final week with Frankie and our good-bye.

As some of you might have guessed, Frankie went back to the Guide Dog campus in Forfar to begin his formal training. He left on Monday, March 4th. It was sort of a surprise recall. He originally wasn't planned to go in until the end of March, but when he was in to check on his slight nose sensitivity after the mall incident they decided that he was not only handling the aftermath of the incident well but that he was totally ready for formal training. His last week with me was between March 15-19. I didn't want to take too much of his time away from his real raisers, but I also wanted a little time to say good-bye. I have to say, I'm so lucky to be friends with these wonderful people who share their puppy with me.

In our last days we did the good-byes things you normally do when you are ready to turn your dog in for training. We went to the park one last time for one last free run. We went on a walk by the river one last time. He attended his final University lecture and tutorial. I gave him his first and last bath with me...he may have fun under a garbage bag that had "bin juice" all over it in an attempt to follow me to the large dumpster outside the housing complex. We took our last trip into town and our last trip to the grocery store. He had his last day at the office. I really had to admit that he was ready. Obviously, he still has a few things to work on and he does need to mature a little, but he really is going to make a great Guide.

The 19th was a Tuesday and Frankie's last puppy class. So I took the day off of work to go and work with him at his last class. He was such a model puppy. Really and truly. He didn't go for the food on the floor and he knew his commands and didn't bother with the other dogs while we were working. To say the least, I was impressed. Of course, he wasn't perfect. As a part golden, he is pretty clingy to his people. So when I was working with him he was trying to get to his real raisers and when they were working him he was trying to get to me. Haha! Silly puppy.

He's been up at the campus for almost a week now. This first week is just welcome week where they get the pups use to kennel life and settle them in and have them meet their trainer. The amount of time this acclimation period takes depends on the dog. We could get a call tomorrow saying that Frankie has started his training or it could be a week or two from now. Like I said, he's a pretty clingy dog so not being around either of us could take him for a shock. But, saying that, he is also adaptable. So, it'll be interesting to see how long it takes for him to get use to the kennels.

At the moment, my friends are between puppies which means that I am too. They are waiting on a company to finalize the paperwork for sponsorship. This company also sponsored their puppy about four pups back, so they wanted to wait for them. I'm thinking that within the next month they'll at least have the assignment if not the puppy. But, I will post any and all updates I get on Frankie.

Frankie in front of he same bushes at the park as when he was 8 months old.
Frankie lying next to a character sheet and some dice at his last roleplaying game.
Frankie at the park with a goofy grin on his face.
Frankie in front of the arch on campus
Frankie at the King's College buildings. It's the super old building on campus.  
Frankie in front of a new statue called "Evolutionary Loop"
Frankie smiling in the sun in front of one of the statues on campus
Frankie looking over King's College
Frankie next to the "bug" stutue
Frankie sitting nicely in front of Elphistone Hall
Frankie in his last University lecture
Frankie sitting in front of the pond with the cool time dial. Please ignore the water on his jacket...it's not like he walked me into the pond or anything.
Frankie in front of the library
Frankie on our last bus ride to work
Frankie's last day at the office. His head is resting against the desk.
Frankie and me on the steps at the puppy class. 

It's pretty exciting to think that I have a puppy in formal training again! ...even if he wasn't really my puppy...