Where you come for your share of Puppy fun!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Pictures of Dulcie

Some more cutie patootie pictures of our sweet, darling Dulcie! She's definitely on the darker side and it looks like she's got a great golden personality. I just can't handle how cute she is! Hope Mary is getting some sleep. She's 10 weeks old so she might be able to sleep through the night a little better than a younger puppy. I'll definitely update you as I get updates from Mary.

Dulcie giving a goofy grin with her eyes closed
Dulcie giving a sweet smile
Sweet Duclie lying on the floor 
Dulcie sticking the tip of her tongue out. Mary says she does a lot. Haha!  

Friday, May 24, 2013

Please welcome...


Wait...what!? The observant of you will notice that Dulcie isn't an "H" puppy but rather a "D" puppy. That's a pretty funny story there. When we first got our puppy assignment we were actually due to get a puppy from the Amici/Garcelle "D" litter born on March 14, 2013. But, when it was finally decided that Miss "D" would come to us, we had a puppy switch to Miss "H". This morning we were given another puppy swap back to our Miss "D"! Been a puppy swapping roller coaster over here. Haha! Either way, I'm super excited to meet her when I get home. She is Colorado's half sister and I LOVED Colorado. She looks like him too! Mary also says she's "feisty". Oh puppy raising department, you did it again. 

Below are some pictures that Mary sent me. She looks like she's on the darker side and I LOVE dark goldens. Amici is a pretty dark boy so there's no surprise there. *smiles* 
Dulcie with Brenna right off the puppy truck.
Dulcie's sweet face.
Dulcie on the left with the other puppy club's newest puppy Hamilton. He would have been Miss H's sibling. 

Gonna be home in 16 days...they'll go by so slow won't they?

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Miss "H" Comes Tomorrow!

I'll be honest here guys. I haven't allowed myself to get too excited about Little "H" up until now. I was waiting for something to fall through or for some tragedy to happen that would make it impossible for her to come. But we're in the home stretch now! Miss "H" will be home with Mary by this time tomorrow!! Really and truly, I can't wait to see who she is. I can't wait to meet her. And I can't wait to get to know her golden personality.

Only one person has taken part in the name game so far. If you're interested in guessing her name then by all means do. Just reminding you that she is a female golden retriever whose name starts with the letter "H". You can guess 5 names and if you're right I'll figure out a prize for you.

I suppose it's time to reveal some of my guesses:

1. Hepzibah
2. Habiba
3. Hutspah
4. Henna
5. Harlequin

Those are my favorite "H" names so far. Mary found a street named Hilmar and there's a town in California called Hilmar as well. We both think that it would be funny if Miss "H" ended to be Hilmar. Hil for my Hilly and mar for her last puppy and Miss "H's" half sibling Marley (rockin' it in phase 7 of formal training this week!).

Not long now.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Frankie Update #2

Frankie checked back in at home after being in formal training for almost two whole months! Gosh, it was such a long wait and I kept having to tell myself, "No news is good news." But let me tell you, it was all totally worth the wait!

Frankie's trainer sent a lovely letter to his walkers and they were kind enough to share it with me. I've copied and pasted it below for you. 

"I am writing to update you on Frankie's progress a the Forfar Training Centre. As you know he settled into kennels well and mixed find with the other dogs in my pack. He bonded very quickly with me and was always eager to come out and learn. He showed a good understanding of all obedience commands. I worked on his stands, making them more solid. I taught him house obedience which he picked up quickly. I then took him to supermarkets where again he showed nice obedience and responded well to new commands. Once I felt I was receiving all the responses that I was expecting I introduced him to harness walks.

Frankie is a very bright boy who enjoys learning. I have taught him to stop and sit at all curbs which he is now doing with no prompt from myself and does not break the sit until he is asked to move off. On the rare occasion he he over steps a curb I will re approach and give a little stumble or drip to make him realize that there is a consequence for his mistake, however he is such a good boy he seldom makes any mistakes!!HE is demonstrating a good understanding of the straight line principle and does not go around any corners unless asked to change direction. I taught him some new commands to teach him to avoid obstacles and people, he is starting to make decisions himself to avoid theses giving my right hand side plenty clearance so I don't bang into anything. If the pavement is blocked or a gap is too small for us to safely fit through he will stand and wait till it is safe to move off again.

As you mentioned to me on the phone Frankie was sometimes a bit dog distracted. However I have found him very easy to control and he has only required a couple of telling's off for being distracted by dogs! He generally works past dogs and birds without me saying anything to him he is so keen to get his guiding work correct he does not seem to bother about being distracted. Frankie loves working in all environments especially city conditions where he enjoys finding his way safely through crowds of people. I plan on testing his knowledge by doing a blindfold walk this will tell me if there is anything I have to work on although I am sure he will participate to a good standard. Frankie has excellent social behaviour and lies down and goes to sleep straight away in cafes. He will confidently work around shops and really anjoys finding the doors etc. He also has very good recall and enjoys working to a free run area and then working back to the centre again. 

Frankie has been clean on all his walks and uses the concrete runs very well. I have taken him on a bus and train journey where he curled up and went to sleep! Frankie has been completely sound since he has come in for training. I know you were a little concerned about his reaction to a loud noise when out one day with you but you will be glad to hear that I have seen no reaction to any noises, he is always very confident and relaxed.

I can't thank you enough for all the work you have put into Frankie he had a very good understanding of obedience commands and lead work he is also very well behaved in social situations and on transport. This highlights the hard work you have put into him during his time at puppy walk. By having a good standard of obedience and manners greatly helps a dog settle into training and also makes my life much easier when teaching the guiding role, so thank you very much.

Frankie has been a complete pleasure to train and wish there was more like him!!! He really is a little sweetheart and will be very useful boy for someone.

All things going well Frankie should move onto an instructor in July. I will contact you before then to give you the opportunity to come and see him working if you wish to do so.

Can I take this opportunity to thank you again for all your time and dedication with Frankie."

He's just rockin' it isn't he!? I'm so super proud of my sweet, sensitive, amazing boy! He's going to make someone so, so happy! Unfortunately, I don't know if I'll get to see him again on the visitation day. It will most likely be sometime in July when I will be back State-side. But I just know that he knows how much I miss him.

Just as a comparison; I really like this way of communicating with the raisers. While it took two months to get an update, it was so personal. It is so nice to know exactly how the puppy is doing and what they are working on. I do like the detailed phase description that GDB gives us and the weekly update that comes with it, but there is no personal connection. I think it would be great to have this sort of personal letter back home from our puppy's trainer.

Thing I miss about Frankie #2: His cuddles. He was such a good cuddler. 
Frankie cuddling into my shoulder at about 8 months

Frankie snuggling

Frankie sleeping on my legs

Thursday, May 16, 2013

A New Puppy for Erin

The title of the post pretty much says it all. There is a new puppy in the future for me.

There are so many emotions running through my body right now. Excitement is pretty much the most prevalent. I am excited to have a baby again. I am excited to have a full time puppy again. I am excited to really feel a part of the puppy group again instead of just the facebook page moderator or just that girl who used to raise. But, while I am most definitely excited, there is so much else I am feeling.

I am skeptical. Why? Well, I've known about this puppy for months (and let me tell you, keeping that secret was HARD) and for a while it was a sure thing but then it wasn't then it was a possibility then it wasn't. It's been such a roller coaster ride. So, there's a part of me that doesn't actually believes it's going to happen.

Strangely, I'm a little sad. Part of what has made this such a roller coast ride is that my parents didn't want another dog in the house. Understandable. But it meant that I had to find somewhere else to live. Which means that I wouldn't be spending all day everyday with my Gorgeous Golden Girl, Arwen. Now that it's being announced and is definite, I know I won't be spending all day everyday with her. It's hard. I feel a little like I'm trading in my old dog for a young pup. I know I'm not. In fact, I'm going to do everything I can to make sure I get at least a couple of hours of Arwen everyday. But, I still have this little knot in my stomach that I don't think will go away. I know that I'll be spending a lot of time with her this summer, but still...I wish I could do both. But I'll be home often to house sit and the like so it's not like there won't be times where I'll just sit with Arwen.

I'm also nervous. Not living at home...well it's one of the reason I go home isn't it? To be at my parents' and not have to worry. I guess it'll be good practice for next year after I graduate. I'll have the ability to lie with my parents and make it easy on myself, but I'm not going to. I'm going to get out there and try and do something with my life. So...I guess I need to get use to being near but only visiting. And then there's the fact that GDB has introduced a whole lot of new protocol while I've been here in Scotland and what if I can't handle it? It's weird to think that I've been doing this for nearly 5 years and I'm nervous about being good enough.

And I'm feeling a little reserved. As if I don't want to be excited. Or, rather, I'm not allowing myself to be completely excited. Instead of focusing on all the excitement, I'm thinking about the other emotions and then feeling bad for feeling excited because those other emotions are there too and they should get recognition right?

I'm also numb. As soon as I made the final decision we had a puppy swap. Now, I'd been thinking about this puppy since March. So, it was a little like...I went through all of that emotion, all of the thinking, all of the pros and cons lists, all of the worrying, all of the disappointment for this puppy and I'm no longer getting it? It was strange. I've already begun to like my new assignment, so it's not like it's terrible or anything. But that initial shock hasn't worn off.

Talk about roller coaster rides right? But like I said, excitement is definitely the strongest feeling among the bunch. I guess I just didn't think I could feel so much with just the decision to start a puppy over the summer. It's strange. But I think I've made the right decision. I think whatever I ended up doing this summer would be rewarding and valuable. And I think that it ended up playing out the way it did for a reason. I mean, there must be a reason that at the last minute when I thought I was going to have to turn down the puppy I was offered a room somewhere. When it was looking like it wouldn't happen I said that I would let it play out the way it was going to and that I wouldn't push it or try to force it into working. And this is the way it played out. So, there has to be a reason and I'd like to find out why.

Well, after all of that emotion exploring I suppose I should tell you about my new little one.

I will be getting a female golden retriever born on March 19, 2013 to Franklin and Kaylee. Her litter letter is "H". We've already made sure that the puppy raising department knows that I already have a Hilly and that she's the only Hilly I need since she's perfect. She'll be arriving on May 24 via the puppy truck. Mary will pick her up for me and start her for the first 2-3 weeks since I'll still be in Scotland then recovering from jet lag.

So...if you have name guesses I would love to hear them! In fact, we'll make a game out of it. 5 name guesses per person. Winner will get the satisfaction of know that they guessed the name. (Quite possibly something tangible as well but I haven't had a lot of time to think about it.)