Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas 2009

Apparently I really scored with the gifts for the pups this year. They have been playing with them NON-STOP over the last 24 hours. I may have to go out and pick up a few more, to hold.
Victoria chewing on a rawhide candy cane
{Victoria saw the rawhide Candy Canes, and ditched everything else}

{My sister "helped" Bubbles and Texas open their gifts}

{THE rope toy of the year, with bones attached}

{ Can I have it back now?}

{Another rope toy,a water ball, and a interactive toy*place treats inside of it*}
{"HEY I was here first!"}

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

2009 In Review

2009 is coming to a close, and wow have I had a busy year!!! Never would I have dreamed of all the different things to come my way this year!!

Dog's Trained: 8 - Timothy, Veda, Ben, Gideon, Daniel, Ira, Hope, Dublin
Dogs Fostered: 1 - Victoria
Dog Puppy Sitting: 6 - Jordan, Eden, Lydia, Mensa, Bishop, Ben (before he became a SD)
Total Dogs this Year: 15 not counting Bubbles & Texas

Foster Pups in My Group: Yiska, Gideon, Hope Ira, Noah, Ophel, Phillip,Yoda, Zach, Bishop, Abby, Casey, Felix, Reuben, Willow.
A hard month with so many changes, I couldn't see straight. Signed up for two classes with our community college in WNC. Bubbles, Texas and I moved to TN on our own, and I started working with Wilderwood Service Dogs. My first trainee was a bouncy 1yo Retriever mix, named Timothy. He was defiantly a challenge, but I didn't feel overly intimidated by working with him.

I was home all day with this job, and bored out of my mind. No internet in my home, so I was stuck going outside, trying to find my way around an unknown city, and going to restaurants for internet. My friends really baled me out during this month, so I frequently visited their home, or went out with them. Bubbles and Texas acclimated really well to our new place (well except for Bubbles throwing up every day for the first week we were here) and we learned more about working with Mr.Tim.

My first Wilderwood Graduation was like nothing I'd been in for sure! I'd seen autistic children, but had never experienced it first hand, how their emotions are so easily effected by new environments, sensory overloads etc.. It was also hard, since I didn't know much about autism spectrum, or how to help the parents help the dog help the child. It was most defiantly a learning experience. I was soo thankful we got three days off afterward, and pretty much just collapsed! Veda arrived A week later, I was promoted to Foster Program Manager, and began, working with our volunteer foster families, answering questions, Running puppy classes, working on different training problems as they arose, and anything else that was required. 

I was settling into my new position as FPM. This was just one of those months, that you really don't recall much of, since it wasn't too much going on. School was close to wrapping up, My sisters, Veda,Texas went back across the mountain, to Chimney Rock's Bark in the Park. That was fun! Well after we got Texas to stop trying to bite anyone close to him... 

Busy, busy month, Ben was given to Wilderwood as a service dog, and came to live with me. (Speaking of Ben, I just heard that he is doing great with his new family! *sniff* I miss that dude)My sister was graduated High school, Finals were due, Rei and Kacie came to visit, which was AMAZING; 

2nd Wilderwood Graduation, with Veda and his brother Xerxes; since I knew what was going to happen, it was a lot easier in some respects, than my last one. Still was great to get to see the dogs and kids bond with each other. After graduation was over, we headed to FL, for a church event, and then a trip to Universal Studios!! When I got back, I was offered a position with the University of Tennessee Police Department, and I accepted it. Gideon came to live with me as my 4th trainee.


Started work at UTPD, added Daniel to my gang. Gideon and Daniel were defiantly an interesting combination...they on such opposite ends of behavior levels, that it was driving me crazy, so Gideon moved on to another trainer. Texas turned a year old! 


Daniel moved on to another trainer, and Ben came back for a couple weeks, before moving on to ANOTHER trainer, and Ira came to live with me. She defiantly kept me busy, puppy proofing, and then re-puppy proofing, and go back and RE-puppy proofing my house. If there ever was a dog with ADHD...she would have been it. Decided school wasn't going to happen this semestor :((

Graduation No. 3, 3rd verse same as the first, this graduation went the smoothest. Said goodbye to my buddy Ben, attended my first Knoxville Campmeeting while living in Knoxville. Next year vowing to board the dogs.

Wilderwood changed our flow system, so I was traveling to our kennel facility three times a week and training pups out there. Victoria came home with me, and Gideon arrived back and left again. We baby sat Mensa for a week...then brought Hope in around the middle of the month. I'm so glad she looks so much better now!! Its hard to believe she was once so gaunt!!

{Ira and Victoria napping}

{Gideon & Victoria laying in the grass}

 {Hope surrounded by leaves}
Moved back into my position as Foster Program Manager, and working from home. Celebrated the Anniversary of the arrival of Bubbles & Texas. Went out of town for Thanksgiving, and boarded Bubbles & Texas for the first time. They got great reviews bit sigh of relief from me! Hope moved onto the last stage of her training, and we enjoyed our time with Victoria. 

A mass of dogs,work, graduation, and trips. Well and you've all read about it here. Wow is it just me or are the years getting shorter??

Looking forward to next year, I've got a lot cooking just starting in January...STAY TUNED!!!


Thursday, December 17, 2009


With puppies, you send a lot of your time, watching them, containing them and making sure they aren't going to get into trouble. Its a LOT of work, managing that, and with the constant changing of dogs in my house, I rarely reach the point where I can just let them loose in my house...well with out some apprehension.

Since Bubbles and Texas are my constant companions, they for the most part, have earned their "freedom" in the house. Though if they haven't "done both" outside, they will not be left loose while I am gone, and even then, only if I'm going to be gone for 3-4 hours.

With the others, I mostly crate them, unless I'll only be gone for a short amount of time, and then I'll baby-gate them into the kitchen.

Well Victoria probably earns the award for being the dog I've had the longest this year, so she'd gone from the crate, to one room, too two rooms; no accidents and no chewing...

Today I was able to give them an extensive amount of exercise before I left for Wilderwood Graduation Week so I decided to go for the ultimatum....leaving them all loose in the house. No restrictions.

I came home, the house was still standing...(amazing cause I forgot and left the oven on!!!) nothing chewed, destroyed, or anything!!!!

I am very proud of my babies.

And of course just as we reach this point....I get the news Victoria leaves me next week. :((((((((
"Puppies WAIT"

"Puppies COME, COME, COME!!!"


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A Play

So since about August, I've had at least two service dogs in my home, the difficulty in that is making sure they get an equal amount of exposures during the week. And since I work another job, its makes that ideal just a little bit harder, but we do our best.

I posed a question to my Puppy Raising group, a little while back, to see if any of my other Multi-SD-Pup friends, had ever attempted to take both their dogs out at the same time. Not many were brave enough to do so; and I was more nervous about the reaction of the establishment, more so than if the dogs would behave with each other.

{Bubbles in her Coat}
There have been a couple of times, when I've asked me sister to handle one, while I had the other, but backed out at the last minute.

Well Sunday, I was presented with a Dilemma. We were going to see a Nativity play in Downtown K-vIlle, which pup to take? Bishop had already been crate during church and pooped while in there. (MY FAULT OF COURSE) and Victoria would be stuck at home for the next week, and I really wanted to get her out....hmmm....

I finally decided to see if my dear sister, would handle one of the pups while we were out. To which she said she would.

So after church, i ran home, hauled crate outside, cleaned pup, threw blankets in the wash, took Bubbles and Texas out to potty, and loaded the others into the vehicle.

Our first stop was Taco Bell. Vicki has this thing about not wanting to get out of the car, so I left her and took Bishop as we ran inside. The we hurried onto the Collisiem, where the show was too be held.

One thing they forgot to tell me...was we were arriving 30 minutes early.

My sister and I walked the dogs in and found a seat, fairly empty, with nobody in front or behind. I had Victoria, since she's been showing some nervousness about being out in public..and I start to get her settled about five seats down from Bishop.

Wellll he decided he didn't want to be away from me, and threw a little fit; so I moved him over too "sit" with me. I had them down, and began rewarding every three seconds with tiny pieces of treats.

Being a new place, he really didn't want to lay down at that moment, so he walked over to "visit" with Victoria. Of course at that moment, a group of people come in and decide to sit down in front of us.
Note: the seats were so close together, you tip your head back you were hitting someone's leg...thankfully my claustrophobia isn't too severe.
Which meant that the puppies walking around meant they were bumping into the people in front of them. That (in puppy language) translates to "Oh a person! I must say hi".  Our seat mates seem  quite nervous about having the dogs behind them, but they didn't move, and neither did I. Cause we were there first.

15 minutes later I decided to walk them around some, to get some of the "jitters" out of their system. Since the Collissuem was huge, we walked up and down several flights of stairs, up and down the halls, and to the bathroom to collect any clean up supplies.
I have to remember to get myself into baby puppy mode.

 {Bishop }
After that we decided to go back to our seat, as the play started in 5 minutes. But unfortunately I wasn't fast enough, because another group came and sat on our row, which mean there really wasn't any room for two puppies to lay down.

Thankfully seeing both dogs, encouraged them to move to another row. By this time, our trek around the building had worn Bishop out, and he collapsed under my friends feet, never to be heard from again...until after the play.

Victoria however, wasn't so easily deterred. You never know what monster might come out and get you if you let your guard down!  And sat against my OTHER sisters leg, and let her pet her.

After the lights went down, I pulled out their treat (rawhide candy canes) and convinced her to lay down. Where she stayed, before finally stretching out and going to sleep.

There were a couple of parts where she looked up to see what was going on, but for the most part she stayed where she was.

{Victoria checking out the screaming child behind us}
After it was over, we stood around our seat talking/letting the arena clear out some, before leaving. BIshop did not move a muscle..which was fine with me.

{Bishop sleeping under a seat}
I carried him outside, let him "go potty" (which he's a champ at btw) and we went on home.

 Tired, but happy at a successful trip.

-We're not doing that again anytime soon....:)

Thursday, December 10, 2009


So we're going to go out on a limb here,and say that Hope probably won't be coming back to our house,before she graduates. We'll miss her, but are excited to see her with her new only five short days!
In the mean time, since we like to keep ourselves, exceptionally busy...our friend Bishop is here for the weekend. Bishop is a 14wo Bouvier (BooVeeAir) Des Flandres. Texas did NOT know what on earth he was, and it took all evening to calm him down. But they are fine now. :))
Bishop fluffy black and grey mixed puppy, looking at the camera
Bishop looking at the camera with ear sticky out to the side and mouth open

Bubbles however is not, physically anyhow, those of you who follow me on Twitter or Facebook, know that I came home to a dog in LOTS of pain. It seems that her back problem has flared up again, and she was could barely move yesterday; so I spent a lot of time, loving on her, and carrying her out of the way of the puppies.

I left her for about three hours for church, and when I got back, it seem with rest, she was better.

Thursday - 
Wow what a day this has been! It started bright and early around 7:00AM, waking myself up, and then getting Bishop out to potty; (which thankfully he is very quick about doing) then the procession of carrying Bubbles outside, then letting Texas and Victoria out. Feeding them, dressing me, and straightening my house (as the heating guy was supposed to drop by while I was gone) get Bubbles a heating pad set up in the crate, and load puppies in the car.
Victoria sitting against the back seat of the car

Wilderwood was one of three organization's chosen by a local radio station, to raise money for, and they wanted a dog to be there. My co-workers chose to take Victoria with them, so I dropped her off, and then Bishop and I went to Wal-Mart.

Those of you who have been following my blog since Midnight was around, you'll now that Wal-Mart + Me + Small Puppies = A Mess. I knew Bishop hadn't pooped before we left home, so I loaded myself up with cleaning supplies, and attempted to get him to potty before went inside. No. Such. Luck. 

Well, the only comfort I could find, was that the store is basically empty at 8:00AM.

Sure enough we made it to (HAH) the cleaning aisle, before he couldn't hold it.(Despite me sitting him at every stop). I was able to "catch" most of it on a paper towel positioned strategically. Cleaned up, thrown away, and we move on.

We check out, and I speed home, so I could burn some photo CD's for a co-worker, before we headed out to the kennels for a staff meeting.

Staff Meeting.....prep for Graduation......Met with another foster family, watched Bishop Play, reschedule a meeting, and fill out paperwork...

Began to head home, and realize, I forgot to leave the CD's!?

Turn Around

Drive Back, jump out, place items in a obvious place.

Get back in car and drive different way home.

The Loooong way.

But that gave me time, to call my co-worker and arrange to pick up Victoria on my way home. They gave her more rave reviews, said she did great, she was so excited to see me, when I opened the door to come inside, she dashed out the door, and refused to come back in!

Victoria and Bishop laying in the back seat of the car, Victoria is leaning away from Bishop who is curled into a ball and taking up  most of the seat
closer shot of Bishop curled up in the back seat
We finally got home, got everyone pottied, lunch fed etc....Victoria has discovered that she can reach the kitchen table....and finished my lunch for me. *sigh* Just another thing for me to work on.

The spent the rest of the afternoon, alternating between sleeping and tearing around the yard. Victoria would find a stick, and taking off zooming around, with Bishop far behind, but doing his best to catch up!

Bishop curls up on dog bed, while Victoria contents herself with laying beside itBishop and Victoria laying on the larger dog bed together

BTW- If I ever agree to watch a small puppy, or decide to foster a puppy in the winter, please feel free to hit me over the head with a 2x4. Victoria has decided, since Bishop gets to go outside, every 30 minutes (Current Temp: 26) she should too, and has been going to the door, and sitting or standing and looking at me. *ssigggh* 

Times like these makes me really appreciate my dachshunds. Who are curled by the heater, and haven't moved for the majority of the evening. Speaking of dachshunds, Bubbles was up and walking around outside today, does that mean she's better? Not necessarily since she came back in, and hasn't moved from her spot on the couch since.  Prayers, Good Thoughts or whatever would be greatly appreciated for her!!!

Signature Erin & Co