Thursday, December 23, 2010
Halette turned 9 months today! Although she is my sixth puppy I have raised for guide dogs and 7th if you count our great dane since I have been with Jarett, you never get used to how fast they grow and how fulfilling it is to watch them experience new things. I try to give them all the love I can in the short time they are with us. I have her 9 things at 9 months ready but I am going to wait until after Christmas, possibly after New Years to post it.
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
We were a little late in picking our Christmas tree this year. Last week we took Halette (finally) to go pick out our tree. We were pretty limited due to the procrastination, but we waited long enough for the trees to go on sale! Ha, so we got an upgrade and bought a Noble Fir. Halette has shown us that her breed holds true to being durable to cold, wet weather and her love of birds. It was quite cold and started to rain when we finally agreed to a tree and we took the time to take some photos.
Halette in front of a potential tree. (Not the one we came home with)
Jarett and Halette pose in front of another potential tree.
Me and Halette posing for a photo. This is where I noticed that she has a passion for birds in the sky. I haven't encountered it and we noticed that while Jarett takes her to school 3 to 5 times a week, Halette is not exposed to many birds. (Our other dogs, excluding Halette, grew up with chickens and goats.)
I was playing with Halette to get her attention. I try to add my sense of humor when I am somewhat frustrated at a situation. I think I was shushing her here like a baby in this photo.
And Voila, finally she was looking at Jarett and then at the last second looking back up at the birds. I make it sound more dramatic than it is.
Brought the tree home and set it up. Carla was first to pose in front of the tree. She looks a little worried in this photo. I have no idea why, but she loved the tree. Carla was so happy, I think she remembered the tree from last year. She was jumping up, wagging her tail and giving the tree her little love nibbles.
Carla and Tenaya sitting in front of the tree. I know it looks a mess but please remember we live in a tiny little space so it is a living room and bedroom and office (and well you get the point) all in one.
Carla, Halette and Tenaya all in front of the tree.
The lighting was off on this one. I think maybe I will work on it and maybe repost it.
Halette and Carla in front of the Christmas tree.
Halette with her jacket on sitting in front of the tree with her ear flipped back.
Everyones interest has quieted, all except our cat Yiddu, but that is for another post. Carla could care less now that her initial excitement is gone. Tenaya hasn't cared too much, unlike last year when her head never came out of the tree (she never ate it or anything, she just wanted to smell it ALLLLLLL the time). Halette occasionally goes over to smell around, but has shown me that there is not too much to worry about with her. Soon it is time for the tree to come down. I think it has been a good experience for all the dogs.
Monday, December 20, 2010
Just a quick post. We have our Christmas parade early in the month. I always try to talk everyone into going, but usually it is just Jarett and me out in the cold. It didn't help that it was raining a nice, steady downpour this year. We stuck to it anyway and decided to just stay a few minutes and took Halette. Surprisingly, it was not too cold and Halette wasn't even bothered by the rain, bands and floats.
Thursday, December 16, 2010
We had our last monthly meeting for the year at the beginning of November. We don't do a meeting in December, but instead we have two outings. At this meeting we greeted a new puppy (which I didn't get a picture of, ahhh) Yellow Lab Female (YLF) Wella. I am particularly excited about this little pup because I enjoy the company of the puppy raiser. It is the puppy raiser's first female puppy, and from what I hear she is enjoying her new little one.
We had a visit from our CFR to introduce new information on the food protocol. We watched a great video full of information. I love the new outlook on training, how everything is so positive. Halette is not on food protocol while out in public but she is on it for the, "go to bed" and "come" commands. She is a bit mouthy. She becomes overly excited when she receives a treat and bites it out of my hand. Luckily, she is the first of my dogs to do this and it was the right time for this video. I went home and practiced the method and instant improvements!
Tenaya was able to join, as CC'd dogs are allowed to come to the monthly meeting. She looks forward to this as her therapy dog career is on hold for the time being. We had a local therapy group start up a few months ago and the founder is overwhelmed by the amount of dogs that have joined the group. She loved Tenaya, she said she could squeeze her in but I decided to not cut ahead and wait out our turn.
As I mentioned above, we do not do a monthly meeting for December so we had our goodbye party for some dogs that may or may not be recalled before our next meeting. I had Jarett take pictures of Donner's goodbye party. For some reason he left out Laser who I watched about two months ago who may also be leaving. As we do with all of our dogs we had some cake to celebrate and thank the raisers for doing such a great job! So if Donner and or Laser go off before the next outting/meeting.... Good Luck to them and their family.
Tenaya excited about being out and about.
I worked with Halette while Jarett stayed down and chatted with everyone that didn't have a dog to work with. By down I mean we were upstairs to do some stair work. My shoes are green thanks to mowing the lawn earlier that day. AHHH they are not green anymore thankfully. Thinking back that was a busy meeting. We worked on "Stay", "Come", dog distraction and stairs, plus the video and questions with the CFR and then Donner's party.
Donner all dressed in his cap and gown.
Here is donner with his cake that we the raisers get to eat.
Monday, December 13, 2010
Last month Halette turned eight months old. She has grown into quite an uncontrollably cute young lab, and by that I mean her cuteness is uncontrollable. Because of our situation we may not be able to raise another guide dog pup for a while after Halette leaves. Plus I think we have decided that if she doesn't make it, we are taking her back. Due to the possiblity of not being able to raise another pup for some time, I have held off switching her from her puppy collar to her adult "professional" collar. I have tried to hold onto her puppyness for as long as I could but I did it, I switched her over to her big-girl collar. The first day Jarett took her to school with him, people noticed that she looked more grown up. I didn't have the right camera for the event so the delay was bad and the photos are not the best.
Halette with her baby collar on.
Halette with her baby collar off and laying acrossed her feet.
Halette avioding the flash and her big collar is on!
Here is a side shot.
And there we have it. It is done and there is no going back.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
While we were raising our 3rd guide dog pup Egypt, we had these left over tags from what I think was Safe Halloween. I can't remember. When I saw they said, "Be Safe, Be Seen" I thought that it was fitting, because from my experience most people don't see the dogs out in the public until they are about to run them over (especially the black labs). So as soon as I saw them on the table I took one and attached it to Egypt's collar, (really only to humor myself) where she wore it throughout her PIT days. Anyway, my point is that somewhere down the line we lost it. I thought it was gone for good until just last week, Jarett found it! So I thought it was fitting to pass it down to our latest pup in training, Halette.
Here is the bright green tag that says, "Be Safe, Be Seen" after I found it.
Here is Egypt at 6 months old playing tug of war with Teagan, both on the ground holding on the rope, while Carla the great dane is up on the bed pulling them both by the rope her way. You can see Egypt wearing the tag.
Thats me, oh yeah, please excuse the hair and scary face. Here you can Egypt (6 months old) wearing the tag.
Now Halette at almost 8 months old, wearing Egypt's "Be Safe, Be Seen" tag in hopes of following in her footsteps of becoming a official guide dog.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Saturday, October 23, 2010
1. Halette finally out grew the stretching while walking down the stairs thing I have previously talked about.
2. How you can tell how happy she is by how much her body is prancing back and forth. I hear people always comment on how she looks happy or, "Oh look at that dog prancing" type thing. In fact, at her evals, our group leader was laughing at how she skips when she walks.
3. Halette loves to lay at your feet while you are doing homework or on the computer. If we are laying down in bed she will lay her head as close as she can to you but she is still confident when left alone.
4. She will hold the "Stay" command for 30 minutes or more.
5. Her optimism. You can see it in her eyes and her every step.
6. She knows how to hold on to all her energy until we get home. We tell her, "okay" and she takes off, spazzing out.
7. She loves to be loved and give love back in return.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Every year in October our group outing is a bus ride to the mall. This is an important one for exposure to a public transit, large crowds and restaurants. I remember taking Tenaya last year and Syesha the year before that and taking Egypt, Glimmer and Teagan. One year we had to show the bus driver our Guide Dogs puppy's ID as proof that these where actual puppies in training. That was the year we had Egypt. Luckily we had our pup's ID on us. Some people didn't but as puppy raisers you find you still have all the other pups' IDs you have raised in the past, so we passed those around. It is the only time I have ever had to pull that thing out and actually use it. This year everything went smoothly. Once we reach our destination, we begin a scavenger hunt in the mall and meet up for lunch.
Halette and I waiting for the bus.
Cava is 4 month 3 weeks? She is the size of Halette. She and her puppy raisers are waiting to get on the bus.
Cava on the bus.
Halette riding on the bus. We chose the seat with the smallest spot for her to lay down. Why? I panic as soon as we get on the bus and grab the closest seat. One year I will learn my lesson.
Before we headed in to the mall for our scavenger hunt, we relieved our pups. Jarett and I got to catch up with Havasu's puppy raisers (Halette's littermate). Halette is on the left and Havasu is on the right.
Here is another photo of Havasu. Halette and her look similar in the face but Halette has droopy eyes. Havasu has a short stocky body and Halette is long and lean.
Our first pit stop was in Sears where they have all the Christmas decorations out. Moving light-up reindeer and singing stuffed animals. Here is Halette looking oh so thrilled to be taking a photo. Actually you can see her rolling her eyes.
Jarett and I became a little distracted (not Halette) in the mall and didn't take any more photos, so I took over once we were done with the hunt and were heading to lunch.
Halette posing in front of some flowers.
Halette posing in front of the fountain.
Jarett and Halette.
On the bus ride back everyone got a good laugh at Gidget who jumped up on the seat. It was Gidget's last outing with us. In fact we moved up this outing a week so she could attend. She returned to the Guide Dogs campus in San Rafael Sunday for formal training and we are anxiously waiting for some news.
Oh and I just have to say GOOOO Tyka! (YLF) She was recalled in the August with Tenaya. She was raised by first-time raisers who have done a great job with her. They are the same people with the little yellow lab pictured above named Cava. Tyka is in phase 8!
I along with Jarett have raised 6 guide dog pups. We are currently raising pup # 7. These are our stories, our adventures, our experiences. Please follow us and watch our pups grow into their paws and from jacket into harness. Feel free to leave a comment. We enjoy hearing what you have to say.