Sunday, November 30, 2008

Its Official!!!!

Please join me in welcoming
To our family!
Texas- Four months old
Birthdate: July 5, 2008
Adopted: November 29, 2008
I'm so excited I don't know what to do with myself.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

We Hope you all had a great day!
I know we did!
An awesome day with my family and puppies!

We started our day with a late brunch,
Brunch food
Sue again
{Any food for me?}
Texas circling the table
{How about me? I'm cuter!?}
then I spent the rest of the day alternating between cooking, taking the dogs out and keeping Captain Squeaky Pants quiet. LOL.
Texas screaming at the camera
{Man is he loud!}
Dinner was great, no turkey (mom's a vegan) and then our family (and Sue of course) went to the Grove Park Inn, which is one of the fanciest Hotels in our city, as well as being one of the oldest. Every year they hold the National Gingerbread House Competition and display the houses all over the Hotel, so we went a browsed around there.
Our Thanksgiving Table
{Ok so we had some meat! :-) Thankfully!}
Sue and I looking at the houses
{These houses have to be made COMPLETELY from edible items}
Gingerbread House Number 1
As a puppy walker you meet many many many characters; from day to day, but sometimes there are those you can relate too. For instance this one couple chased us across the hotel when they saw Sue. Apparently they were Lab breeders who donated their pups to an assistance dog school in Virgina: St Francis of Assisi Service Dogs. So that was pretty cool!

Miss Sue was cool-calm and collected through out the whole trip. She's still into going her own way, its like she forgets there is someone at the other end of the leash; but we're working on that.
I'm going to have to adjust my thinking as she is not a dog to do anything in a hurry. And after having two high-energy labs, this is really different for me!
Sue in the Sliegh 2
The family in the sleigh plus Sue
I'm sure you all are wondering why I am speaking of keeping Sue....
Sometimes when you start raising a guide dog puppy, life gets in your way, and its hard to give the dog the attention it needs. This is a basic overview of whats going on in Sue's family.
So my leader has asked me if I would finish raising Sue. While I'm honored that she would have that confidence in my dog handling skills, I'm also just as nervous that I won't be able to help her like she needs.

So I told my A/C that she would have to talk to my father about this situation. Sue has a lot to work on and having Texas as well would make things a little more hectic for me since he's so young; as well as our family preparing for a move to we'll see.

P.S.(I've just installed ClickComments on my blog. It is the new and fun way for you to comment. Simply click on an icon to tell me what you think.)

Erin and Co.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Sunday - Tuesday

Another work day for me; this would be Sue's first time being socialized with a large group of dogs; so i was eager to see how she would do. Her first reaction was submission, but after a few minutes, she was ready to play! And play she did. When we got home after the second shift, she came into my room, went to sleep, and slept for about three hours straight, before I woke her up to potty, and put her back to bed.

4:00AM- I was rudely awakened to these words: "Erin, I think the dog went in her crate."
So for the next hour and a half, I spent cleaning the crate, Sue, and the carpet.
Fun times I tell you.

The rest of day was, not as "good", but it was a little better. Around 4:00PM Mr. Texas and his foster mom arrived! We got his food, and medical records, and were all set to go!
He and Sue were able to meet, and despite hes recent trauma with big dogs...(which he doesn't remember, because we are not keeping him in that state,) they got along great!
I had choir practice at 7:10PM, so I had to send the dogs with my mom until that was over, but once home...This is pretty much what the rest of the evening looked like:
Bubbles pins Tex down

Tex playing with Sue

TEx and sue playing on the beds
Another shot of Tex and Sue playing

I think hes going to be a keeper! :-)))
Now if only we could decide on a name.
And please don't tell him he's a little dog, I don't think he could handle it!!

P.S.(One of these days I'll be able to get a face shot of the little guy, but as you can see its really hard to do! lol)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Puppy Meetings, and Sue

My morning started to the pitiful little cry of a lab puppy waking up; after about fifteen or so minutes, and frequent little cries, I waited until she was quiet, before leashing her up, and taking her out to "busy".

Since I still had 15 minutes before I HAD to get up, I brought her in my room, and tied her down to my bed leg, with some toys. She climbed on the dog beds and happily chewed on a bone, while I attempted to sleep some.

10 minutes later, I decided to go ahead and get up; busy lazy Bubbles, and feed both dogs, then another trip outside...and time for me to get dressed. After a few minutes of making sure I had space on me camera, Penny and I were out the door, and on our way to the parade!!
Neil squeezes his eyes shut against the sun
{Neil 8-months-old and his raiser}
Neil looking over his raisers shoulder
The dogs handled the parade and all the noises very well, I was most impressed with Ms.Sue; there was one point, when some.....guy started shooting off his gun right in front of us..which thoroughly freaked out Sue; so we moved away and I walked her around some and did some obedience with her to try and get her mind off of it.
Sue at the parade
Marching Band at the Parade
Sue again
Dancers at the parade
{Working Dog with Canine Companions for Independence}
Adopt this dog
And throughout the rest of the parade we stood a little ways off; so as to make a hasty retreat whenever she freaked; then we would regroup and come back. After we made it too the end, I got all of her things from Penny's raiser, and were on our way.


We wound up at my favorite place on earth. (NOT) WALLY WORLD!!
I don't know what it is about that place, but EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. WE GO IN THAT PLACE.
{Insert Puppy Name Here (except midnights)} has an accident! And despite my efforts to get a "busy" outside...which could have been harder...but it was cold and I had to visit the ladies room as well. So inside we went!

And about a minute later, I was cleaning up the floor.

I totally deserved that.

Oh well, we made it through the rest of the trip well and purchased some things for Tex's visit....small dog toys etc.. lol. I refrained from buying a coat for him.

I decided to visit PetsMart, and get some treats for training. While she was very well behaved...I do not appreciate people, who think they can tell me, how my school wants me to train my dogs.

But I digress.

Once home, I let Sue explore some, busied her then put her on tie-down, while I swept the floor and did other various things around the house; I gave her carrots and a Kong Wubba, to keep her occupied, and she had lots of fun, making a mess with the carrots. ::big grin::
Sue laying in the floor at home
Sue - sleeping on tie down
After that, she snoozed on her bed, while I was on the computer. Once she woke up we went back outside, and I started working on getting her to focus on me, and not pull on the leash. This technique works very well:

Sue is a little goofy, and it took about five times for her to realize...Oooh yeah....follow Erin!
After that we worked on her name, "Come" and "Down". She's picking it up very quickly.

Her house manners have been pretty much perfect, and she's a pro about controlled retrieve.
Which, I'm ashamed to admit, Midnight was horrid at.
So this next week should be a breeze!


Friday, November 21, 2008

Puppy Sitting: Penny

Meet Penny:

She is a 7-month-old Female black being raised in our group! She is also the half-sister, of my puppy Rei! In just the few hours I have had with her, I am very impressed with her demeanor.
Very Midnight like...of course she's still young, and has things that could be worked on..who doesn't; no accidents, very good about busying aka pottying on command, and Bubbles even played with her for a little bit!!She's defiantly a people oriented dog and has followed me all over the house. She's very happy to let me be the pack leader, with little to no fight!

She really enjoys the dog beds, the bones and kongs I have laying around, but is not at all pleased with being crated. Oh well. She'll survive.
Penny is Happy to be here!!

Close up of Penny laying on bed

Tomorrows Agenda:
  • Puppy Meeting
  • Christmas Parade
  • Pick Up Sue

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Puppies! {by Erin}

Two days since my baby left, and I'm already refilling my house with dogs. Much to my dads horror. After two hours of negotiating, I will be bringing home....a 7-month-old, Female Black lab named Penny, tomorrow night, get up the next morning and go to a puppy meeting, and switch Penny for Sue, who is a 7-month-old Golden Retriever.

Sue will be with me over the Thanksgiving holiday.

On Monday........Mr.Tex will come home to spend the week as well!!! He is here on trial basis....just to see how he works with our family, (more likely just to give my dad a longer time to say no.) But as long as I can keep the accident level to a minimum (like NONE), things will be great!

No matter, I'm really excited to have a challenge again!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

MidDate No. 1

Phone Call:

" Hi Erin, your girl did beautifully for her first flight, she even got a certificate saying that it was her first flight. She got to meet the pilot and get her picture made with him. So she's having a blast! Great job with her! Talk to you later."

So she's having fun...why should I be sad?
Erin and Co.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Step I: Completed {by Erin}

Weekend Recap:

Saturday: On the weekends I’m normally not allowed to bring my dogs to work with me, due to a smaller staff size; but this weekend was slow, and because they knew Midnight was leaving, she was allowed to come with me so we could have a little more time together. (Which was AWESOME.)
Midnight ready to leave
Over the past seven weeks, we have had obedience class from 9:30 - 10: 30, and its my job to either move the boarding dogs to another building, or keep them quiet outside while class is going on. This week, we only had three dogs spending the weekend with us, so **** allowed me to put them in the small dog yard, and watch the class! This week was the classes “graduation”, so they mostly played obedience games with the dogs; but we were able to participate as well.

Midnight and I walked around (her on leash) as a distraction to the other dogs; I didn’t put her in coat right away because I was pretty confidant in her. Unfortunately she proved me wrong. After we got finished with that exercise, I went ahead and put the coat on her, and took some pictures of her, in the office.
A few minutes later **** asked if I wanted to play another game with they needed another person to balance out the team.
Surre, why not? This time we were playing a relay, where we had to balance a biscuit on a spoon and walk around dogs in a circle around obstacles, WITHOUT dropping the biscuit. I kept Midnights puppy coat on this time, and she was perfect, our team won the first round!! ☺
After class was over, one of the other trainers with ABC (Animal Behavior College), came up to me, and asked was I a trainer; when I told her “No technically I’m not”; she said that she was impressed with how I handled Midnight! So YaY for us! ☺ ☺
Our Kong Wubbas came in as well (YaY huh Cody?), and Midnight and attacked them with gusto!
Midnight and Kong Wubba
Sunday: We went and visited our favorite neighbor so she could say good-bye, Midnight was pretty crazy, as my neighbor is a great source of excited energy, so she was Miss Spazzo tearing around all over the yard, jumping in and out of the kiddie pool full of dirty water; digging in the soft dirt. So basically she was a mess, when we got home. Bath TIME!!!
And today; I was pretty much numb all day, and then towards the afternoon it started to hit me harder; What didn’t help was, there was a certain one-eyed dachshund puppy there as well.....Tex Walker Walter Cotton Eyed Puppy. (ok so he doesn’t have a name yet, and all the staff has a different named for him Guess which one mine is?)
The plan was to meet my area coordinator after work, and I would take her puppy for a couple hours, and she would take Midnight; and then I would give her puppy to his sitters and go home. Weeeelllll as it turns out, Sam’s sitter was able to get him from my A/C right away, so we decided to meet at a store. But my brothers took Midnights puppy coat out of my car, when they were getting their “junk” out last night. So I had to go home get the coat, and then go meet her at another store. I went ahead and fed Midnight her last meal (with me), and watched as she did her familiar routine of carrying around her toys and stuffing herself into Bubbles crate. (sob)

When I finally deemed it time to go, I put on her coat, got her leash, and headed for the car.... except she didn’t want to get in for some reason; but realizing I wasn’t playing her game, she jumped in.
Once at the shop, my area coordinator pulled in right behind me. She jumps out, and I handed her Midnights vet records and Health Certificate, before getting Midnight out, giving her one last hug, and watching her prance off.

So far I’ve just been pretty numb. Looking at her empty bed/crate/toys has been enough to bring tears to my eyes, but its kind of unreal.

Midnight and I have bonded so much, that I’m having a hard time thinking of another puppy; just because I know it won’t be her. Yes Its that bad. But not bad enough to make me reject another puppy!!!!! I just wish it could be sooner.

My A/C has called me several times, since then to rave about her ☺ She’ll do fine I know.
And so ends the part 1 in Raising Eyes for the Blind: Midnight Edition

Stay tuned for updates from “College” , Puppy Number 4 news, and Bubble’s adventures...and maybe a second pet? Hope springs eternal!

Update: Well I showed my dad and family the pictures of ."Tex", and he has said we can bring him by to visit, if that’s ok with his foster mom; so I’ll see if I can get in contact with her, and go from there. This is not a yess.....but ....its close.... squashes hopes

Update II: Dad saw bigger picture on the pup and goes...I don't know, I'm sure someone will feel sorry for him and adopt him.... ...
So I'll need him to clarify his previous statement and see if he was speaking just because he wanted to see him; or because he wanted to see if he would blend with our family... who can figure out the minds of non-dog people?

I'm going to bed.

Erin and Co.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Happy Bubbaversary!

November 15, 2002 - Bubbles came to be a part of our family. We don't know when she was born, so we also include her birthday in this as well; we're figuring she is about 8 by now.
Happy Birthday Bubbles!

About Bubbles:
  • Loves to ride in the car
  • Loves people and tolerates dogs
  • Is a hunter...and drives us crazy but constantly stalking the mice in the walls..(during the winter time only...thankfully)

She is not happy about picture time

  • Has had many back issues..
  • Has had to be on "bed rest" for three weeks due to that
  • Used to think that she was a Doberman

Bubbles's "pro" pictures

  • Hates walking long periods of time..but is starting to like it
  • Is prettty big for a Dachshund
  • Has thoroughly got my father under her paws :-)

Jake and Bubbles

  • Loves to sleep under the covers
  • Will not sit on the hard floors...unless she has no other choice
  • Has very little obediance training, but will listen to what she knows

Bubbles peeking out from covers

  • Loves exploring outside, and is almost never on leash..around our house that is
  • Hates Cameras
  • Hates pottying in the grass (!?!?)

Bubbles in Grass

  • Has veerrry bad breath
  • Can be very standoffish towards me when the other dogs are in the house
  • Nickname is "Double Bubbles" in refernce to her size.
  • LOOOOVES to eat
  • Loves soft things
  • Loves to rip things apart
  • Loves to bark

And we're still very glad we have her. :-)