Monday, December 19, 2011

Gift Wrapping with Jonquil

Each year our Guide dog group volunteers to gift wrap at the mall. People will give you the most odd things to wrap so I always have a little anxiety about this outing. Truth is, I kinda stick Jarett with the wrapping and I stick with the dogs. Seeing as gift wrapping isn't that interesting, I didn't think to actually snap photos of that. I did catch some of the dogs.

Jamayla (Jonquil's sister)



Here we have Raffi, Polka and Anthony way in the back. 


Jonquil did well. While it was our shift we were pretty much the only ones with a pup there. Her sister was there to greet us, but left shortly after we showed up. By the time we left we said goodbye to Raffi, Polka, Anthony and Wella. Jonquil, Jarett and I did a little Christmas shopping at the mall with no luck. Jonquil did get to experiece the crowds and an unusual amount of the door alarms. I was very surprised how well she reacted to the ear piercing alarms as she is a little sensitive to loud spontaneous noises. We made sure before leaving the mall to stop back by to say goodbye to the GD group. After leaving we made on last stop at a craft store. Clearly Jonquil is going to have to build up her endurance as she was worn out from the day's experiences.

Jonquil's Christmas Tree Part 1

Last year we took Halette with us to pick out our tree. So this year it was only right if we took Jonquil for the experience. The first tree lot was a bust. We just couldn't find the "right" tree. But, I thought we took some cute pictures so why not share. Then we moved on to the next tree lot.

 This tree lot had all types of trees. Also had an added bonus with the ground cover being some sort of crushed shells. (Note: We were extra careful to make sure Jonquil didn't eat any.) The shells where crunchy, smelly, and pokey. I can't say Jon didn't notice. How could she not? But she was very willing to walk down each isle. I was very proud of her. 

"Jonquil, Let's go!"

Jonny giving good eye contact. You can see the shells all over ground.

Jarett and Jonquil.

And the tree is chosen. Jarett and Jonquil posing in front of the winning tree. 

Me and Jonquil in front of the tree. Everyone was oooohing and awwwing over how cute Jonquil was posing for the photos. Suddenly I was swarmed with children petting her. She was also exposed to the loud sounds of the chainsaws. She definitely noticed the sounds but responded well  to me. Overall, I think that this helped with her curiosity once the tree was home. When Tenaya (golden) was a pup in training she wouldn't get her head out of the tree. Jonquil couldn't care less. 

Thursday, December 15, 2011


I have received an award from Haddies raiser. I have really admired this new blogger and puppy raiser. It has been a pleasure to watch both the pup and the family bond over the last few months. If you haven't yet checked out this blog, I suggest you do. Haddie is still young, only a few weeks older than Jonquil, so now is a great time to catch up on what you missed. Check it out at Paws For Independence

Again, thank you, I have enjoyed reading your blog and watching you grow as a first time puppy raiser.

(1) Thank the blogger that gave you the award and then add a link to their blog.

(2) Reveal your top five picks (with less than 200 readers) and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.

(3) Hope that the people you’ve sent the award to forward it to their five favorite up-and-coming bloggers, and keep it going!

Okay so here we go.....

First is Jam at McLean Southeastern Guide Dog in Training . I enjoyed reading about their second guide dog puppy in training Berkeley and now their third, Jam. I look forward to reading their hysterical stories and at times I feel I can relate to them.

Second is Vance at In Training.  Here we raise guide dogs and over at In Training they raise various types of service dogs. It is interesting to see the differences of raising/ training a one type of service dog to another.

Third is Newman. At The Time Before They Guide. they just turned in Shirley their first guide dog puppy and picked up a new little yellow lab male NEWMAN! I look forward to watching Newman grow and grow. If you are looking to follow a pup from start, now is the time! (I have tried and tired to leave a comment on your blog but for some reason it wont allow me. Sorry.)

Fourth is Bamboo at The Waffle Blog . It was fun watching Truffle grow into a tiny but couragous guide dog. And better yet, we get to hear updates about Truf and her handler as they make their way through college. Truffle's raiser is now raising Truffle's half sister Bamboo the CUTEST black lab female ever! Go check it out!

Last but not least is Hawk at browndog cbr. I have to thank Hawk for the two previous awards they have given me. I also have to apologize for never passing on the awards. So I wanted to pass this award back to Hawk for acknowledging the importance of service dogs on their blog many many times. Thank you! This a great blog with frequent updates on the life of a Chesapeake Bay retriever who lives a wonderful adventurous life.
Also, I have tried to leave a comment on your blog too, but blogger is still not allowing me.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Good, The Bad

The good........

Jonquil isn't afraid of the vacuum.

The Bad........

 I think she likes it a little too much.

Let me explain. I have this belief that you slowly expose a new puppy to the hair blow drier and the vacuum. I like to start the dog in their kennel in another room. Then over a few exposures I move their kennel in the room that the vacuum is in use. Next they stay on a tie down and so on and so on. 

Well Jonquil has been through all of that. And I've got to tell you, I know she isn't afraid of the vacuum. Not even a little. In fact she thinks it is FUN. It is a play thing, a companion. I don't know why in the world she loves it so much, but as soon as I turn on the vacuum she runs up and bounces all around. While the vacuum is still running, I make her walk back to her bed and do a down stay. She stays. If I stop the vacuum for some reason and start it back up she does it all over again. In fact, today she ran and brought the kong back to it, you know just in case the vacuum wanted to play with the Kong. Apparently it didn't, so she took to just laying near the vacuum and chewing on her Kong alone instead.

Needless to say, we are working on it.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas Tree, Oh, Christmas Tree

Jonquil has helped decorate a few trees this year. I guess you can say she is in the spirt! First, was my mother's tree. It is fake and pre-lit so really it takes very little effort. Although it is 9 ft so we do have to put in some effort to get to the top. Jonquil really didn't care. Honestly, there were dog-cousins to harass so who cares about a stupid fake tree anyway? Yet, I still acted as the embarrassing/annoying mother who shows up and pulls their child from play early to get some quick photos of Jonquil in front of the tree. Somehow we had this understanding that if she cooperated she could quickly get back to trying to get the cool kids to play.

Here is the photo shoot

I'm not sure if this one is my favorite....

Or this one?

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Kicking Off the Season..... A Little Late

This was the first year our group went to a tree lighting ceremony. It was also me, Jonquil and Jarett's first tree lighting ceremony as well. I enjoyed the cold accompanied by the hot apple cider that was served, the company of other puppy raisers, and watching the dogs not care a bit about the whole thing. Jonquil's sister, "Jamayla," Vance, and Raffi showed up. Jonquil was pretty quiet. She waited calmly to greet the other dogs. She didn't care much about the tree or the people, but the flash of the camera was a bit of an annoyance. Luckily, some of the photos turned out alright. After the ceremony we went over with two of our group members for a cup of coffee across the street.  Jonquil was quiet there too. Sorry, not much to tell you.  For such a late start she has done really well. We are taking it slow as to not overwhelm her. 

Jonquil and Jamayla

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Okay, Okay, I Know....

I'll admit it. It has been a while since I've posted. It has been a little crazy around here. I have to get back into the habit. I know I have hardly shared anything about Jonquil and I want people to understand her personality, where she is at, and where she has to go.

Luckily, I have some posts piled up in my drafts. So, there will be some things to share soon enough.  

For now I will just share this.

Tenaya and Jonquil 

Come Back Soon. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Death of a Baby Toy

I would say that this purple circular chew toy has been one of Jonquil's favorite toys since her arrival. This toy is intended for young pups as it is easily chewed into bits. All toys meet the end of their run and it looks like this baby toy has died. 

Friday, November 18, 2011

Chew with your Mouth Closed

Jonquil has spent may hours entertaining herself with her favorite chew toy. Some of you may remember I went on a shopping spree at Guides Dogs Fun Day over the summer. This is one of those toys. Sometimes funny things would happen. For example, it would get stuck over her head. Hmmm... I wonder how that would happen? Anyway, here are some photos to share of her favorite past time.

Jonquil walking around with her purple circle toy stuck in her mouth and pulled over her head and ears. It looks as if she is wearing a sleep retainer.

I don't want anyone to think she was miserable or that she was stuck like this. She would often do this to herself and then undo it herself, for whatever reason she seems to like the challenge.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Carla Turns Five!

I think everyone knows I love my Carla. I feel a little odd saying this, but she understands me like no one else. She knows what I need when I need it and tries to make me feel better, the best she can. I have never met a dog that is as intelligent as Carla. So of course for her birthday she deserved to have everything she would ask for on her best day.

Her day started out with breakfast of course and a few of her most favorite foods. Then we took Tenaya to go pick out some gifts for Carla while we gave Carla some down time (she has a very strict feeding routine due to the breed's vulnerability to bloat).  Tenaya was very well behaved and helped pick out a femur bone, two stuffed "babies" a squeaky pig and a squeaky ball. When we got home I dropped all the gifts on the floor. She went straight for the bone. I let her unwrap it herself which took about 3 minutes. Carla usually won't chew on bones unless they are brand new and for very little time, but she chewed her birthday bone for 15 minutes.

Happy Birthday Carla!
Her favorite thing S. W. I. M. M. I. N. G. 

Looking sweet
Excuse the drool.


Tenaya after she enjoyed some "pool time" with Carla

Carla chewing her birthday bone.

I just noticed that today's post is only showing Carla's brown eye. Since her blue eye shows all her emotions, it catches your eye, so sometimes we ask her how life is through her brown eye. And no, I do mean her eye ball. 

Friday, November 11, 2011

November's Monthly Meeting with Jonquil

We had our last monthly meeting for the year 2011. It isn't the last of out events but the last of our official meetings at the airport.

I was excited to get Jonquil out in a safe place as she has been bundled up inside most of the time. Her stomach is a little more predictable lately, but with this type of issue, it is always up in the air.

While we waited for everyone to arrive we chatted a little with Jonquil's sister's (Jamayla's) raisers for a bit. It didn't take long before we moved over to start obedience. We focused on "recall". Recall is where you call for the dogs to "come". They must travel over to you with this command and touch your leg. We usually do this with our dogs in a sit or down-stay, but in this month's session we let our dogs get distracted with one another until we called for them. Jonquil and a few other pups were a little too young to go off-leash so they stayed on an extended leash, which was good because, honestly, Jonquil was not ready to be off-leash. We then switched around dogs where I worked with Anthony and his raiser took Jon. I hear that Jonquil did pretty well with the other handler. I swear this all happened even though we don't have any photos as evidence.

Obedience was fairly short and, as always, we moved on to the "business meeting". We covered upcoming events, and questions. We always have special announcements / updates. We were told that Cava (YLF) has been selected as a breeder. Although I am a little confused as to if this has been confirmed. I talked to Cava's raisers who are also raising Jonquil's sister. They said that they hadn't heard it was official, but that she had past the first set of tests. They also announced Halette, our previous pup who is currently in training entered phase 8, and a pup raised a few years back is up to graduate from Dogs for Diabetics! Congrats Lotto!

I finally snapped a picture of Peju! It only took 4 months? but I did it! I think with this photo I have one of every dog in the group shown on the blog. If you scroll down you will see I have a list of current pups in training, pups in formal training, and those who have graduated this year.

 Despite what you may think from this photo Peju is a very sweet well mannered, calm girl. 

We welcomed a new little puppy to our group.


Close up of Polka. She is already 11 weeks and man is she big. Almost as big as our four month old girls.

Now, Guide Dogs only allows each name to be used once at any given time. As long as that dog with that name is active in the organization, a puppy in training, or a breeder or guide, then it cannot be repeated. It is rare to get a common name or a name of someone you know, but you never hear of someone raising two dogs with the same name. And with Polka's raiser, this is the case. What are the odds of that?  So that was a little surprising and fun to learn. In fact his first Polka made it as a guide years ago but was retired only a year into her career. She now lives with the raiser's daughter.

Jamayla, Jonquil's sister. 
Right now they are about the same size, although I think this month Jamayla is a pinch bigger. 
 She is full of energy and has an opinion just like Jonquil. She did well at her come recall. 

 Jonquil and Jamayla

 All I know is that Jonquil is on the right.

This is such a mess. If you would like you can try to figure it out. Lol

Left to right is Jamayla, Polka and Jonquil

Again, Jamayla, Polka and Jonquil

I think Jonquil took a lot in at the meeting. Once all was taken care of, we let the three little ones have a playdate. She sure had fun. I just hope Jonquil doesn't think this is what meetings are all about.

Hello There!

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.