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!
Monday, October 18, 2010
With every Guide Dog puppy in training there comes a time or two or three, where we have our Community Field Rep (CFR) come and evaluate the puppies progress. Halette has technically had two already but the first one didn't count because it she was too young and it was actually for Tenaya's final evaluation right before her recall.
Today Halette had her eval with our CFR and it went great! Our CFR's only complaint was that she has too much eye contact with her handler. This is something I have never had as an issue with before, and he said he doesn't come across it that much either. What good is a guide dog when they don't watch where they are going? So we are going to back off over the next month and see if we can get her to still watch us but also watch where SHE is going. If I am not mistaking, our CFR will be at our next meeting going over some new techniques and he will check in with us then. If it still is an issue then we will put her on the food protocol.
Like I said, this is something I have never had to deal with. I know we always want to focus on eye contact with the dogs, so if we do have to put her on a food protocol to break eye contact, this will be a learning experience for both Jarett and me.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
We almost always have our training meetings on Thursdays but this month we switched things up and held it on Tuesday. So last Monday we picked up Tenaya and on Tuesday we were heading to our monthly meeting. This month we focused on the "Go to bed" command. For whatever reason I have not worked with Halette on go to bed very much but she did it pretty well. We have since worked on it a bit more. We need to step it up with that and her "Come" while out in the yard. I am so use to our pups being surprisingly well at the come recall that I think I made the mistake of just assuming Halette would be just as good. She will come when called just not as well as she should be. Anyway, that was off subject.
Jarett working with Halette. Here in the photo she is on her go to bed mat. You can see a yellow lab in the back runing up to a black lab, this is Stockholm. He was a bit dog distracted when told "Go to bed".
Halette laying on her mat while all the other dogs take turns doing the command.
Since it was Halloween I dressed Halette up in a Vampire cape just for the heck of it.
On rare occasions we will have a special guest come to our meetings. Sometimes it is someone from Guide Dogs, other times it has nothing to do with Guide dogs. This month we had a vet who specialized in acupuncture (so nothing to do with Guide dogs). I found this interesting due to the fact that I have known people that have tried everything else and nothing has working like acupuncture and I was curious to see if it was something that would help Tenaya out with her hip dysplasia as she ages. Our group leader has a 9 year old CC'd Golden named Armando who was also dropped for hip dysplasia who has been receiving acupuncture. A few weeks/months back suddenly his left side of his face began to droop. No one knows what exactly the problem was but decided that acupuncture was an appropriate treatment. It seems like it has worked but he is still experiencing some of the drooping in his face.
Here are some examples of the needles that are used in the treatment.
We passed around a little figure of a horse with the pressure points labeled.
In this photo you can see the points labeled better.
Halette showed little interest in the figure.
Tenaya found the horse figure a little more entertaining.
Tenaya smelling the figure.
Here is Donner who may or may not be recalled in November.
Gidget who is going back next weekend for formal training.
Here is Armando. 9 year old CC'd golden who was receiving the acupuncture treatment as a demonstration. I don't know if you can see in the enlarged photo but there are some needles in his forehead.
Halette resting her head in between mine and Jarett's legs.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Some of you may be wondering what the last two video post may be about. I know it is obvious that Tenaya is HOME!!! But what you don't know is the long journey she has been on.
When Tenaya was dropped from the Guide Dogs program for hip dysplasia there were no openings in any community placements. Guide Dogs called us to let us know she was up for our grabs again. Before we could call back, we received another call asking us to release her for placement with a man who was visually impaired. We said yes!
It took about two more weeks to hear anything. She had moved to Texas where they changed her name to Carly. After about a month of living there with her new family, they decieded it wasn't the right thing for them and sent her back. It was quite a surprise to hear she was back but as my mother said, "She has been through enough, bring her home" and that is just what we did.
I think she missed us. I have never seen her so happy and she has been that way since we picked her up. She jumped up all over me, then ran over to Jarett and did it all over again. I have noticed for the first few days she jumped up a few times. I figure they all jump up in the kennels at GD's to see what is going on. Now that she has settled, she has stopped jumping. One other thing I have noticed was her leash walking is not as good as it use to be. She never pulled or stepped out of line. So we are working on that. I just think being through so much over the last two months that those are really minor things. Other than that she has been so good that yesterday I forgot she was even here. Back to the name change, I thought the name Carly was so close to Carla that she may have thought she hit Carla's status but she will not respond to the name now that she is back home. I don't think that she knows the difference between her life there and her life here.
We are going to take her to the beach soon, maybe this time we will let her have more freedom. It is still a little up in the air what we are going to do with her. I met up with a new local group for therapy dogs. When I arrived the leader told me they we not looking for anymore dogs until January. She said she liked Tenaya and thought she was ready, so she would maybe try to fit her in in the next few weeks. I may still have a family that wants her but I don't know if I want to give her away for the thousandth time. I want her, I just don't have a lot of room here where we are at for the next year or so. So for the time being Tenaya is back home and it does look like she is going to stay. Welcome home BEE-AIR.....
Here I am trying to get ahold of Tenaya excitement inside the Kennels.
Jarett and Teanaya on GD's campus in front of the waterfall.
Then I took a turn taking pictures with Tenaya in front of the waterfall.
She was still so excited as we walked back to the car, so I took a few more seconds to let her get it out.
Me and Tenaya walking back to the car.
And whoops, she jumped on the car seat. Easy fix. We tired again and in she went right where she was supposed to go.
It seems Tenaya is back to herself, not jumping or pulling she has settle right back to where she was, like she was never gone.
Friday, October 8, 2010
Monday, October 4, 2010
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.