Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Getting back to guide dogs

I realized that most of my posts recently have been about myself and as my intro banner says this blog is supposed to be about my experiences raising a guide dog.

Raising Kelsa has been a rocky road to be sure. I expected to have challenges and to have to work with her on things, that's what raising a guide dogs is all about. What I didn't expect was to keep running into the same problem again and thinking every time that we had finally gotten past it just to go back to square one again. I am of course talking about relieving. As Bethany my leader keeps saying, relieving is one of the hardest things we have to deal with as puppy raisers, but knowing that really doesn't make dealing with the problem any easier. Enter our broken record period; Kelsa was having numerous accidents on walks so we decided to have her not go on any outings for a month. After that month was up she was doing really well on outings and on the short walks we were taking. Then on a run around the block she had another accident. Back to no walks for a month and not doing any walking outings more than two hours after she relieves. I have no idea why we didn't make any progress on that problem!

What does it feel like I've accomplished since getting her? Nothing! I feel like we've been stuck in the same place while all the other puppies are growing up and getting better every day. Is that completely accurate? No. In her nearly four months with me she has learned the Down command, gotten pretty good at the Go To Bed command, gotten much better at the Come command and is relieving on concrete like a pro. That's it. Not a lot to brag about.

The hard thing is that I adore Kelsa, but I am so sick of the problem. My puppy raising moral is at an all time low. Right now I almost feel like quitting all together and never looking back. Almost. But I'll regret it forever if I quit now. I'm the kind of person that can fall off a horse ten times and will still get in the saddle again right away because I know it can be done and I'm not quitting until I do it. Which makes considering transferring Kelsa to another raiser really hard. I'll have quit before I beat the problem. But if transferring is best for Kelsa then I have to do it. It would be irresponsible and unkind to Kelsa if I didn't. Then my only way to get back on the horse is to try and raise a different puppy.

Anyway, I decided to go though all the pictures I've taken of the guide puppies and pick out my favorite.
My criteria for favorite is most professional looking while also showing personality.

Ozark. July 2011
Tabetha. May or June 2011
Lowell. May 2011
Kelsa. March 2011
Travis. January or February 2011
Trumpet. January or February 2011
Kashi. January 2011
Karma. January 2011
Bonnie. December 2010
Vino. December 2010
Vona. December 2010
Dinah. November 2010
Delphine. October 2010
Zuni. September 2010