Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A year in review

Well it's that time of year again! My birthday is in four days which means it's time to look back and see what I've accomplished in the past year.
Lets see:
Well, I got GERD. That's not really an accomplishment, but it is a major change in my life.
I raised my first guide dog puppy.
As of tomorrow I'll be raising my second guide dog puppy and my first baby puppy.
I've become able to consistently take good dog pictures. I don't think there's a single dog in the past six months to a year that I don't have a picture I love of.
I started running.
Because of GERD and the puppies I think I've grown a lot as a person.
I got my permit and have been out driving a bit.
I've made a school plan for this coming year, aka how to get to a school I want.

That's all I can think of right now, but I'm sure I'll think of more when I'm less tired. Oh wait, I'm getting a 9 week old puppy tomorrow, I'm never going to be less tired.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

And my puppy is... a Black Lab female who's name starts with "V"!

Her parents are Hurley and Sarita if anyone is interested. And here are the pictures of Puppy V's, I'm calling her puppy V until I learn her name, litter. She's going to arrive on Wednesday August 31st, sometime in the afternoon I think. Another person in my club is also getting a puppy from this litter.
So, here are my name guesses:

And other people came up with:
Viola, pronounced two different ways

The one name I do NOT want is Vanessa. If that is her name I'm calling her Nessa.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Puppies, Puppies, and more puppies!

My club is getting 4, yes 4, puppies in September! A female yellow lab and hopefully a female black lab (she said she preferred a female black lab, but would be happy with anything) are going to two new raisers. A female Golden Retriever who's name starts with "G" is going to the person how raised Tabetha. And I am getting a female black lab!

One of the things that is the most fun when expecting a new puppy, or four, is try and guess the puppy's name from the first letter. So here's the list I have for Jills new puppy who is female and her name starts with "G". You are welcome to join in too if you want!

I'll be sure to let you know when we get the letters for the other puppies so we can do this again!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Bye Kelsa, everyone is going to love you!

I said goodbye to Kelsa around 10 o' clock this morning. It wasn't as sad as I thought it would be; I got to meet the leader of the club she's going to and I found out later I have a puppy raiser friend in that club as well. I heard that the family she's going to is really nice, not that I expected anything else, and they would be fine if I contacted them sometime to visit her. I also finally got it all the way though my head that transferring a puppy is actually pretty normal and even leaders have problems. The leader who came to pick up Kelsa has a puppy with fear issues right now. Best thing of all is that it seems like I'm going to get lots of updates on her! I can't wait to see what happens

We did a photo shoot last night before she left and got lots of really good pictures.
Super Sleeper!

I love those eyebrows!


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Kelsa is Being Transferred

Well, the time has finally come. We have tried everything we could think of to fix Kelsa's relieving and I have carried out the ideas to the letter, but it hasn't worked, she's still having accidents. While I am very disappointed that I couldn't fix it I know, my ego is taking a bit longer to catch up, that I did everything I could and everything that was asked of me.
I have a couple ideas of what might be going on. One; She has gotten in a habit of having accident's in my neighborhood or with me. Two; She having accidents because she's so stressed when she goes on walks. That could possibly be a self reenforcing cycle, she gets stressed, she has an accident, she gets corrected, she gets more stressed. I've been giving her food for walking comfortably with mixed success. Or three; She's just a bit different biologically from other dogs and physically unable to not relieve when on walks. While it's possible it's the least likely of the three. The one that I think is closest to correct is the second although the first is a strong contender too, which means there's still a chance she could become a guide. All I can do is see what happens.
I found out this morning that Kelsa will probably be leaving in 2 to 7 days. In the mean time I'm going to keep going with all the training we've been doing, like trying to get her to poop three times a day and food protocol on walks, and spoil her as much as I can. And I've been taking lots of pictures of her.
I submitted one of my pictures of Delphine to the Guide Dogs 2012 calendar contest and it got in! So I've been trying to get pictures of Kelsa to submit to next years calendar.

Delphine is second from the bottom on the far left.

One toy is never enough

I love that cocked head!

She is a champion sleeper

My favorite doggy portrait

While I was writing this I got a call from my leader, it actually more of an extended evaluation than a transfer. If her reliving problems aren't getting better in a few months she'll be Career Changed. I also found out that she will either be leaving tomorrow or Saturday. I think I'm going to be skipping yoga to go take pictures.


I took and passed the permit test on Monday and had my first experience driving. I also got to experience my brothers first time at driving. I'm happy to report that I didn't hit anything not even a curb!  we won't count the invisible cars. It was a lot of fun, but I don't think I'll ever be ready to actually go out on a road much less a highway.
I wish I had learned to drive a long time ago because it would have made life with Kelsa easier, but I didn't and there's nothing I can do about the past. However, I'll be ready for the next time, so long as it is 6 months to a year from now.

Fun Day

Every year Guide Dogs puts on a party to thanks to the puppy raisers and it's called Fun Day. Fun Day is actually two parties, one at the California campus and one at the Oregon campus. Fun Day is an apt name as it is always so much fun! It also has a theme for each year, last year was western, this year was 50's. It really hard to find 50's style dog costumes so I had to get creative. Some people managed to find one though as I saw a couple walking around. Vona was one of them! I was so happy to see Vona, she was transferred from my club 5 or 6 months ago. At first I didn't recognize her, but as soon as I said hi she recognized me. I just love getting rapturous greetings!

Speaking of seeing a puppy that I hadn't seen in a while, Jill, Tabetha's raiser got to spend the day with Tabetha and by proxy I got to spend the day with Tabetha. Tabetha went back for formal training at the beginning of July (I think) and is probably going to be a breeder. She is getting the final health and temperament testing in California now. She's as sweet and funny as always and she was very happy to play with her best friend Zuni. Zuni and Tabetha are the same age and very close in color so I keep mistaking them for siblings.
Tabetha put herself in the crate for some reason

Still as cute as the day she arrived

Play time! Shh, don't tell.
So cute!

Hey Zuni...

Look in the same direction? No thanks.

Goofy, and adoreable Zuni

We're done with pictures; it's playtime again!

Kelsa was not impressed with having to sit on the side lines.
Tabetha cuddling with her raiser

This would have been so cute if only Tabetha hadn't just finished licking her lips!
Zuni also had to stay at campus because it was his recall day. He is going to make a fabulous guide. I got the privilege of taking a family portrait before he left.

We had a poster of all our current puppies up at our booth, I'm so proud that 5 out of the 9 pictures are ones I took! I can't say just how grateful I feel that people think my pictures are that good, good enough to hang in public and put in their scrap books!
The middle picture on the top row, the entire second row, and the middle picture on the bottom row are mine.
I also got to meet one of Kelsa's littermates, Kai, who is being raised in the area and I know his raiser. He's a very handsome boy. He looks most like Kashi and any of the other puppies I know.
Kai on the left and Kelsa on the right.
It was a great day! I got to see and talk about puppies all day.