Sunday, July 31, 2011

Potluck with Halette

This year's potluck was HOT!

I wish I had a little extra time to prepare food for the potluck but we have just been so busy over the last few months that there was no time left. We hurried with Halette to the store, bought some not so exciting pasta salad and headed our way to the potluck.

I keep forgetting that our group has been shrinking smaller and smaller lately. I expected the usual 6-8 dogs (at times more) but there were not many. When we showed there was an 8 year old CC'd yellow lab, Halette and some more CC's. Finally, Cava and Raffi showed and later Anthony. Havasu and Estee had already gone in for formal training earlier that week.

We set up the food and began filling our plates.

After dinner we play little games to keep the fun going. This year we played musical sits, had an ice cream eating contest and a blindfold race with PIT. We even had time to have each pup paint a picture.

First we played musical sits. Halette knocked one pup out after another... until we came down to Cava.

Here is the shot that tells it all. Not really.

We couldn't tell who sat first so we went to muscial down.

And Cava won.

But that is okay because I didn't forget to tell Halette what a good girl she was.

After musical sits we all went over to the little kiddy pool. I have to say it was one of the only things that I can remember Halette didn't like. She would almost always just go along with whatever we asked but she wouldn't get in the pool. I also didn't want to push the subject as we had never asked her in the past. I have a feeling once she finds out how much fun a pool can be, she won't even remember not liking it. She did however think it was one big water bowl. How dare these other dogs put their feet in it.

Next, we moved right along to the ice cream eating contest. We always split them into different age groups, and being that there were not many dogs, Halette's only competitor was DUN! DUN! DUN!...... Cava.



Well Cava whipped us AGAIN. Halette is the slowest eater I have ever met. ( I know, weird for a lab) But.......

The next game was a blindfolded race, where you must balance an egg on a spoon with one hand and hold your pup's leash with the other. Your partner stands straight across from you and calls your name.
Now, my group plays this game every year, but last year was the first time I actually participated. Remembering back to last years preformance, which ended in a very slow finish in last place, I decided to just book-it.

Apparently I booked it so fast, Jarett forgot to get an action photo. And shortly after the race started, Halette and I won! (GOOD GIRL HALETTE!) I do have to say she did a wonderful job assisting me. Haha

Jarett was already pretty confident playing this game so he always books it. Halette won us and herself two prizes.

After the games had ended, I had Halette pose with what she won.

And to close the evening, we had each pup paint a picture.

I let her paint some with her happy, happy, little tail.

And I helped her paint with her paws.

How do you like it?
I think she may have some talent.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Pit Stop

After the ferry ride we made a quick pit stop in Ben and Jerry's. I know we enjoyed the cold ice cream. I think Halette enjoyed the cold floor.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Ferry ride to San Francisco with Halette

Last month we went on what would be Halette's and my first ferry ride. I have to say it was a new exposure for the both of us. We started our journey from Oakland and ended up in San Francisco at a farmers market.

My GDB puppy raising group had done this outing before, but I had missed it the previous years. To my surprise, there were two other GDB puppy raising groups who had the same idea for the same day at the same time. Wow! What were the odds of that?

We showed up to the ferry at the last (and I mean last) second. We ran on the ferry and were instantly ushered in line for our tickets. We had spent most of our ride on the ferry into San Francisco in line inside.

Once we finally bought our tickets, we moved upstairs said our hellos to Lucinda (YLF), Raffi (BLM) Wella (YLF) and Cava (YLF). We looked out the window and realized that if we had just been there ON TIME we could have sat outside. As our disappointment began to set in, we noticed that there was a space to ride outside downstairs. So innocently we wandered our little selves down the stairs.

FYI it is a little loud, noisy and WET outside on the first floor. I instantly thought that this was a mistake and that this was not an appropriate situation for Halette to be in, but when I glanced down, Halette was going with the flow. She didn't seem bothered by the noise, wind, or water.

At this point I pull out the camera to get some shots to prove I was in fact witnessing these amazing views for myself. The mist and splashes of water left both Jarett's and my camera lenses wet. (So for the rest of the day my photos have a haze over the image.)

Shortly after this we arrived in San Francisco, we walked straight off the ferry and right into the farmers market.

It is a pretty impressive farmers market. I know our little local farmers market really doesn't compare to the variety. The weather was just perfect and the atmosphere was welcoming.

We gathered in a group and discussed the time to meet back up and we went our separate ways.

We began outside where they had live music and food, food, and some more food, Oh and people people people..... Did I mention it was crowded? After the first quick lap outside, we moseyed our way inside the building. I had no idea how large this market was.

We explored the remaining areas and circled back around outside to find some lunch. Just around this time I spotted a little yellow lab with a green jacket. What? I didn't recognize this little one. Thats when I realized we were not alone. There were TWO other Guide Dog puppy raising groups. One group from San Fran and one from Sonoma. Needless to say I was excited! I talk to a few different people. I was on the look out for Halette's littermates (had no luck). I know I talked to Mars' (BLM) raisers and a little J? puppy (YLF).

At this time we stopped to sit and actually eat lunch. (As we sat there, more and more GD pups walked by.)

Our time was coming to an end for the day's adventure so we headed over to the agreed spot and waited for our group to meet back up. We had a little photo shoot with the ferry in the background. This photo below was my favorite of the shots.

Once we boarded the ferry we did a group photo. Halette was front, Lucinda is behind her, Cava, who you can hardly see is the yellow lab behind Lucinda, and Raffy is the black lab in the back.

The ride back to Oakland was peaceful and short. Halette seemed pooped out.

Overall it was a GREAT exposure for all the dogs. We experienced crowds, heavy traffic, food, dogs, smells, live music and the loud, bumpy engine of the ferry. I know I look forward to this outing with my next pup.

Sunday, July 24, 2011


Just a note.

We turned Halette in yesterday. I have a few more post before I get to her recall.

I thought I would change up the blog's look. Let me know what you think!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Train Ride with Halette

Well about a month or so ago we join the rest of the GD group for our annual train ride.

From right to left is Estee, me, Halette and Raffy posing in front of the train.

Here is my little monster sitting in front of the train.

Some dogs have difficulty getting on the train. The trick is to show the dog that you can step on the stool first. Halette seemed to get it and just went right along. Thankfully, because our CFR joined us for the ride and was watching each dog board the train.

And right on up after me.

Halette walking across the grates from one train car to another. This is important to a successful working dog, they have to accept different floor surfaces.

As you can see she had multiple experiences with the grates.

Halette and Me on the train cart we rode in.

Halette settling in under the set next to Jarett.

Had to share this photo. I think Halette gives the cutest over-the-shoulder looks.

We rode the train in Sunol where at one time the Mayor was Bosco the dog, so of course we had to pose with the statue of Bosco. Excuse the head collar. Poor Halette, I had no idea I pulled it like that. Luckily it was just for a second.

Halette walking loosely on a leash back to the car.

We ride the train every year when spring has sprung. It is one of my favorite group outings. This year was a little cold but I will sure take the cold as it has been sizzling hot in past years. When it is hot the outdoor cars fill up, but because it was cold this year we had room to enjoy the outdoors. Halette didn't seem bothered and it was another exposure checked off the list. Wooohooo!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


I know....I know..... most of you must already know this but in case you didn't, fellow guide dog raiser E is now raising Halette's sister Hilly!

I have been meaning to post about this for quite some time now. Sorry Hilly....

Anyway, Halette is leaving soon for formal training, but please check in with us and please if you haven't already, go take a look at raiser E and Hilly at A Study in Sight. It looks to me that E was just what Hilly needed.

We are still a few posts behind and they ARE in progress, I promise.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Vay Kay

Back in December....

Well..... It all started with this.....

And approval from our group leader and the hotel.

And a long drive.

And then we arrived late or early whatever you think 1:30 in the morning is.

And if you didn't figure it out by the photos, we went to Disneyland! We were meeting up with the rest of my family who had already been there for 3 days.

I have never taken a pup in training along with us for a hotel stay. This time we were confident in our pup Halette's behavior enough that at 8 and 1/2 months we believed that she could handle a mini road trip and a two night stay in a new, constantly busy place. Halette handled the car ride just fine. Slept most of the way. Relieved for us when we stopped for a break and was happy getting back in the car for a few more hours of driving.

Our arrival was uneventful. We checked in and asked them to direct us to the relieving area. (Luckily the relieving area was near our room.) With our keys and our luggage we quickly walked over, out the doors and let Halette, " Do her business".
Being 1:30 in the morning we went to our room and set up the kennel and went to bed.

I do not live all that close to Disneyland so puppies from my group are not allowed into the park. Although, Disney kept reassuring us that it was alright, I knew to just stick to Downtown Disney, which is a great experience in itself for the puppies.

The toilet was a running joke because it was so loud and had such suction power that we joked that it could jump up and bite. We had to take Halette to go see it.

The next morning we ran through all the morning routines, feeding, obedience, watering, and relieving Halette. Did I mention that we had adjoining rooms with 3 kids, ages ranging from 4 - 9? So we had little visitors off an on (mostly on).

While Jarett took Halette down to relieve her, he also took her for a walk around the hotel. When they came back to the room everyone was ready, so Halette went into her kennel and off we went into the park. We had made a plan that every 3-4 hours we would head back to the room which was located right off downtown Disney to let Halette out, relieve, stretch her paws and take for a walk. She seemed to enjoy this. The photo above is an image of me and Halette outside in downtown Disney on our first walk through that area. We stopped and sat down on the edge of the water fountain to let Halette people watch. A few children ran up to her and wanted to play with her. It was one of those situations where you can't stop the kids from touching her, but Halette sat well for the children.

Halette posing in front of the huge Christmas tree located at the end of Downtown Disney.

Halette celebrated the 10th year of pin trading. I know exciting.

Halette and Jarett on the way to get the most awesome nachos.

Halette posing in front of the Disney Vault.

Halette hanging out with a pirate.

Halette even joined us in making some remote controlled cars.

It was a short fun trip (even though my knee gave out about one hour into the first morning).

We were there for a total of one day and two nights, the trip took three days total. The last morning we woke up and did the rounds. Got some of those lovely nachos again and headed our way back home.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Happy Birthday Egypt and Teagan

Happy Birthday to Egypt (puppy #3) and Teagan (puppy #1). Teagan turned 6 on June 30th and Egypt turned 4 yesterday July 11th.

Teagan I know you are at home with my mom still recovering from surgery, but I know you are feeling better.

Egypt I know you are loved and taken care of where you are.

Happy Birthday to my girls and here's to many more!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Halette's Final Evaluation

Well on June 23rd we had Halette's final evaluation with our CFR. I knew it was coming. You can somewhat predict when it's coming.

You have your final eval for a reason, and that reason is to get your recall date figured out. I had heard through a little birdie that it would be one of two dates and I had hoped that it would be the date furthest away.

I had some huge nerves about this eval and I usually do, but I am confident in Halette. (I think it was other stresses catching up.) Halette could sense that I was out of sorts and she was just a tad bit more excited for this outing than her norm. As we sat down to talk over Halette's pros and cons, I explained my anxiousness, everyone seemed to understand and the two of us calmed down (thankfully).

After going over reactions and behaviors we added her exposures/outings and moved right along to show off our work. We walked out of the coffee shop and into the store. Walked along the freezer isles and back around the electronics. Around this time we handed her off to the CFR so he could work with her for himself. They walked down the toy isles where all the baby dolls let out cries and walked out of sight. When they returned, Halette was so focoused on the CFR she would not look away! Good Girl Halette!!! (Although it does help that he was rewarding her with some much appreciated treats. I do have to say when she dropped one of the treats on the floor, she did a wonderful job showing off her food refusal right then and there!)

I knew right then, even though Halette didn't, that she was ready to leave and go to formal training.

So to sum it up, Halette is recalled for formal training on July 23rd Guide Dogs for the Blind annual Fun Day.

Does that sound like a fun day to you?

Oh and I just heard that her sister Havasu (who is in my puppy raising group) is going back this weekend and Halette will be going back with her sister Hanalei....

Halette and Tenaya sharing Halette's kennel.

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.