Thursday, December 16, 2010

Quick Don Update :D

Again, sorry I have been such a blogging slacker! Finals have eaten up all my spare time :) No puppy yet.. .though I am doing a lot of puppysitting and other fun things with the club. Just thought I'd update you on Don's progress- he's in Phase 4 this week and I couldn't be happier!! His brothers have all just arrived, too- the D litter boys must be having a fun time at GDB!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Mt. Tam Guide Dogs Website!

It's been three weeks since Don left now. I miss having a pup in the house! Recall wasn't easy, but I knew Don was ready for the next step. He was so excited when he got there, which helped. I think he's having a good time at GDB :) He's still in phase 0, as of last week. I was starting to get worried, but apparently how the timing worked out with the number of instructors, he just wasn't able to get assigned to a string. My leader said he should be assigned an instructor by this week- I guess I'll find out when we get the phase report today.

My school has Veterans day off today, so I got to spend the whole morning finishing the website I made for the Mt. Tam Guide Dogs Puppy Raising Club. I started in a long time ago, in summer, and I hadn't had the chance to work on it for awhile. I think it turned out pretty well. The address is I'd love it if you would check it out and tell me what you think!

Sorry I haven't been getting around to any blogs lately! I'm looking forward to getting back to blogging. I'm going to be doing some puppysitting until I can get back to raising. Hope everyone is doing well!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Less than a week...

...until my big boy goes back for formal training. On Sunday we'll be driving Don to Guide Dogs and I will say my final goodbyes. I felt like these 1 1/4 years with Don went by so fast. I remember picking up Don and thinking how it would be a long, long, time away when he went back. Now, we're only 5 days from recall day. I know I'm going to miss his a ton- the way his ears go back and he gets all wiggly when I come home from high school, his adventurous spirit, his beautiful brown eyes and big black nose, his big puppy kisses, I could go on and on. Most importantly, I love how Don tries his very hardest and gaives being a puppy in training his all, even when it's hard. Maybe he doesn't ignore the dogs every single time, maybe he steals an object every now and then, but he has come SO far and every time I work with him, I can see his will and effort to do the best his big, confident self can.

Don, I hope you have a great time in formal training. I love you and my greatest hope is whether you are happy wherever you end up, and I know Guide Dogs will make sure of that. Don, thank you for the best year ever!

Above: Don at my volleyball game last week. He's a big fan :D

I hope to post everyday until Don's recall. A couple of questions- any tips for recall day? and for those of you who have raised GDB puppies, how do you do the "Fun Things About My Puppy" sheet? Can you attach other pages?

I have so much to write about; more will come later. I think Don is ready for formal training and really hope he makes it as a guide.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I'm Still Alive :)

No worries- I'm still blogging, I just haven't had much time lately with fall sports. I'm really sorry I haven't gotten around to commenting on any blogs- hopefully sometime soon. I really miss it! This weekend I am hoping to have a good chunk of time to write about all our MANY adventures this month- from Don going to a horse farm with the puppy club, helping out at a fundraiser, going to Tahoe (with Don!), and so much more! As for Don's recall date, my leader is guessing early October, so we still have some time together to work on a couple things and get those guide dog skills polished! Don's maturing into a nice boy, and he had an awesome time at Lake Tahoe.
more to come...

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Puppy meeting! (and new puppy Danelle)

Saturday was puppy class, so we headed off to Guide Dogs. We got there a little early so Don could play with Silky (she has a blog now). Nougat and Quebec were there too! Don didn't get much playtime in, but he had a fun time running with Silky and playing tug with Nougat. Isn't Nougat an awesome name? And she's the color of nougat! (above, Don sits next to the grape vine on our porch)
Silky taking a break in the shade.
Don get's all his puppy energy out in a battle of tug with Silky.
Nougat galloping across the play yard, ears flapping and tongue hanging out. Isn't she cute?
Nougat :) The only one who would smile for the camera. GOOD GIRL!
The puppy class was excellent- the theme was "a walk in the park". We practiced taking left and right turns with our dogs, without any verbal cue, to teach them to be more attentive.

I was so proud of Don! He did really well- there is hope yet for his dog distractions!! Actually, he really wasn't dog distracted. He's always been great at turning and stopping- but I was a bit nervous about how he'd do with tons of other dogs around him. ... and, we had to do the exercise with the leash on the flat collar. I had visions of Don pulling in the direction of other dogs; of me correcting like crazy! but, have no fear... Don was great :) He turned when I turned, ignored the other dogs, and stopped the second I stopped. He did well when another raiser handled him, too.

While Don was walking with another raiser, I got to work with Danelle (sp?) (Dagan's sister!) who was just transferred to our club. She was really sweet, and did great as well! She ignored the other dogs and had some pretty awesome turns!

Overall, puppy class was great! Don's 15 months now!- which means he's going back soon- possibly even September :( I'm starting school next week, so I'm not sure if Don will be going for a while. The other day, I had a school orientation, and my mom had forgotten that she had jury duty. So, Don went to jury duty with my mom! She said he settled well :)

I can't wait for the next puppy class- it's going to be at a horse farm!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Check out this new GDB blog!

i guys, just wanted to share with you a new GDB puppy raiser blog. Silky's raiser, who is in my puppy club, has started blogging! Her blog is "Puppy Raising in Point Richmond". She also raised Maren, a female black lab who was career changed. So, go check it out and welcome them to the puppy-raising blogging world :) Their blog is awesome and photo-filled. Do you remember Silky? I puppysat her awhile ago and she is also Don's favorite puppy pal! She goes on many adventures, you can read about her latest outing to Cal.
(Silky when I puppysat her)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

I am no longer puppyless; all is well!

After a fun week in San Diego, I am back and have my puppy again! With the Give a Day, Get a Disney Day program, my family and I got free tickets to Disneyland for volunteering with Guide Dogs :) It was a fun vacation, though it felt really weird going places without a dog. The other day I wore my "Ask Me About My Puppy" shirt from Fun Day, and then I realized I had no puppy with me! One guy said, "so, what about your puppy??" oops.

Don was at the GD kennels for the later half of the week, so we went to the puppysitters house first to pick up his stuff, then headed to GDB. Don did really well at the puppysitters. Of course, he had his Don moments (eating tanbark in the yard) but I was glad to hear that he played well with their career change dog Bente, and they said he was super on outings! And they said he was very quiet, good on tie-down and crate. He really loves dogs, they said he had a blast playing with Bente and that they got along well.

A question for you- how do you stop your dog from picking up tanbark, grass, etc. in the yard? I usually don't let him in the yard, only on-leash when practicing his "come". But, they said he was picking up stuff in their yard, so now I am wondering if I should let him out in the yard more often and work on not picking stuff up. Any suggestions?

Without a puppy, I had lots of time to work on my club's website. Below is the logo I've been working on. I think it's finished now!

Don was really happy to see me :) He had his "happy ears" on. Unfortunately, Don is having some diarrhea trouble since I picked him up. I am hoping it'll be better tomorrow, if not I think I'll put him on the bland diet.
I'm glad to have my puppy back! Don got a bath, so now he smells like Mango Tango shampoo. He's had a fun time with his new Kong, and is exhausted now. With only one more week of summer left, I'm hoping that Don and I will go on lots of great outings!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Super fun, photo filled, FUN DAY 2010 post!!

Don and I had an awesome Fun Day!! What can I say, but it was FUN!! really, really, really fun :) This was my second fun day, but first fun day with a puppy! Last year, I was out of town, which was pretty sad considering I live so close to GDB! To kick off the Fun Day celebrations, I attended the Follow the Trainer. It was really cool being able to see how they train the dogs in formal training. I never knew how the guide dogs are expected to walk from curb to curb and it was really neat seeing them teach "Left" "Right" and "Hop up". First I saw Apple, who did really well. The trainer was really impressed with her performance (it was her first lesson!), and she seemed so happy and eager to please. I never knew how fast the guide dogs go! Don is going to like that :) I also saw Dex, who was a huge, handsome black lab, and Salsa (isn't that a great name?).

It was a pretty hectic afternoon for me after the Follow the Trainer because I needed to pack for my vacation to San Diego (we were leaving right after Fun Day). Miraculously, I managed to get everything done and I got to Fun Day before the opening ceremonies! There were so many presentations, I didn't know what to see first! I watched the opening ceremony (the speeches were great!) then the fun began! I saw photos of Don's parents (Bosworth and Gail). Then I got my green leash from Megan (thank you!), which I love. It gave me something to do in the car ride to San Diego- I broke it in quite a bit!
Above, Don in the car on our way to Fun Day. He was soo tired, but he knew something was up. When we got there, he was so eager to jump out of the car!

Above, Don's father, Bosworth. He definitely got his father's coat!
Above, Don's mom, Gail. Don looks just like her!

I really wanted to see what the vendor booths had, so I headed there. It was SO cool. I was in heaven with all the GDB shirts and puppy raising things! I got a Born to Lead shirt from Mimi and Cabana and Cassie and Dagan, which I LOVE. The graphic is so cool! I also got an "Ask Me About My Puppy Shirt" with all the answers to common questions on the back, which I thought was pretty funny. I got to meet Dagan, which was awesome!
Hi, I'm Don. You must be Dagan!
Don sitting next to Dagan. Isn't Dagan handsome? I loved getting to say hi to him. Thanks to Mimi for taking this photo!

I also got to meet a lot of other people from the blogging world. Standing in line for lunch, I ran into Sarah with Rafferty, Mandy with Cancun, and Megan with Kyle!! I also met Kaytlynn with Ryder (he is SO handsome and sweet). Later, I met Halette and Tenaya! And of course, Don wanted to say hi to Silky from my club.
Don with Rafferty, Cancun, and Kyle as we waited in line for the BBQ lunch.

I think the highlight of the day for me (and Don) was getting to meet his littermates. I was having a bit of trouble finding Don's litter, but then two GIANT black lab look-alikes walked towards us, and I knew they had to be Don's brothers. Sure enough, they were. Delaware and Diablo look so similar. And they all have the big heads (apparently Bosworth is known for his head :) ). Don was actually the smallest one there (Diablo was 85 pounds!!) but Don had the biggest head.
It was so cute- Don, Delaware, and Diablo got so excited. I think they remembered each other. Above, Don and Delaware are both doing their "happy ears". It must be a family trait!
Don: I've missed you sooo much! Above, Don displays some brotherly love and happiness :)
It was really nice meeting some of Don's littermates. Dinah's raisers were there too, but they just happened to be on vacation and didn't have Dinah with them. Dinah sounds really sweet.
I talked with the other raisers, who were all really nice. Delaware and Diablo are both really calm dogs, and all the dogs like to lay on their back in really funny positions! It also appeared that dog distractions are a family trait :) They sound like really great dogs.
Delaware- doesn't he look just like Don (well, minus the black coat...)
It was sad to leave, but we plan on staying in touch. Don gave everyone a goodbye kiss. Good luck to the Bosworth/Gail "D" litter as they enter formal training within the next few months!

The fun day activities were great. I really liked the Juno walk. I'd always wondered what it felt like to hold a harness. And of course, I had to look at all the adorable puppies in the kennels.

Can't wait for next years fun day! I wonder what the theme will be?

Friday, July 30, 2010

Check out this new GDB blog!

Hi guys, just wanted to share with you a new GDB puppy raiser blog. Silky's raiser, who is in my puppy club, has started blogging! Her blog is "Puppy Raising in Point Richmond". She also raised Maren, a female black lab who was career changed. So, go check it out and welcome them to the puppy-raising blogging world :) Their blog is awesome and photo-filled. Do you remember Silky? I puppysat her awhile ago and she is also Don's favorite puppy pal! She goes on many adventures, you can read about her latest outing to Cal.
(Silky when I puppysat her)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

My Best Friend (by Don)

Everyone needs a best friend....

Someone to sniff grass with
and run and run and run

Someone who delights in chewing your jowls and doesn't mind when you pounce on them
and will roll in the dirt with you

and cool off with you
if you are lucky, they might rub your belly when you roll over
Someone who you can sneak attack and roll over on the ground,
and she will still be your friend
Someone who you can steal toys from!!
Someone who you can play chase with and will never, ever tire!
Thanks for being my best friend, Silky!! That was a fun playdate :)
pant, pant, pant... I guess I am sorta tired :)

Lauren: Don and I are busy getting ready for Fun Day! Only 1 more day- we can't wait! Tomorrow I get to do the follow the trainer, so that should be fun!
Almost forgot- I took this cute picture of Don in his cowboy gear.
He didn't like the hat though, so I won't make him wear it to fun day. It sure looked good on him, though! :)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Training at the Airport!

My brother was leaving for a trip yesterday, so I took Don so he could experience the sights and sounds of the airport. He did really well, walking through the airport and waiting in line while my brother checked in his luggage. I didn't think I'd get to go past security, but the lady gave my mom and I escort passes, so we could go with my brother. I was so happy that Don would get to experience security check! (Below, Don sits calmly as lots of people and suitcases go by)
In my excitement that Don would get to go through the beeping metal detector, I forget to take out my cell phone and bait bag. oops. The metal detector didn't phase Don- he walked right through- and then we waited in this little room for them to scan both of us (Don's collar had set off of the metal detector). Don waited patiently in a down while they checked me. I was actually glad I had left everything in my pockets because Don got to hear the beeping a lot which was good for him to experience.
Above, Don waits calmly next to a security officer. They checked Don next. Much to my dissapointment, they didn't scan him, but they padded him down. Don was great- he wagged his tail but stayed in the "stand" position, and was very happy about the attention he was getting.
Above, Don does a nice down stay inside the airport. I walked him through the terminal and he got to see a man pushing a ton of luggage carts, a couple rolling trashcans, and lots of people! He was a good boy :)
To end Don's visit to the airport, we stopped at the baggage claim so Don could watch some luggage go round and round. It was a great outing- and really tired him out :)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Don Visits the California Academy of Sciences

The other day, I took Don with me to spend the day at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. This is a really neat museum- it is in a giant, beautifully designed building with an eco friendly green roof. There is an aquarium, rainforest dome, planetarium, and more! My favorites are the Philippine Coral Reef and Elephant-Nosed Fish (no kidding- they have really long noises that look like an elephant's!). It was a great experience for Don with all the people, and he handled it like a pro! He stayed really focused the entire time, and did a great job of navigating the crowds. It's really nice having Don with me- the crowd seems to part when Don walks through :)
Understandably, Don was not allowed in the exotic bird/butterfly aviary, so Don and I walked around the exhibits while my family went inside. The staff there were really nice about having Don there- they were really sorry he couldn't come in and even offered to take him to their kennel facilities (but Don and I were fine with going to another exhibit). Above, Don is sitting underneath some giant prehistoric mammal (I think that's what it is...).
Don could definitely see the fish. He liked watching the staff feed these giant catfish.
Above, Don watches the waves in the Pacific Ocean sea life tank. Poor Don- he wanted to go for a swim!
Next we saw the albino alligator then walked downstairs to the aquarium. Don was great at the stairs!
Don with the Philippine Coral Reef in the background
Me holding Don in front of the fish tank.
They had this little tunnel you could walk through, so Don and I went in. On the other side, you are in this glass sphere, and you can look up and see all the tropical fish. Don was more interested in the air vent than the fish though.
What's that?? Don saws these two fish (I think they are Angel Fish) and it caught his attention. It was pretty cute :)
They had a bridge that went over the entry way of the museum, so I took Don and it didn't phase him. Later we went to the planetarium (again, they were really nice about Don and showed me where a seat was with extra room for him to stretch out). Don was pretty tired for the long day, and fell fast asleep while I watched the show Journey to the Stars. It was amazing- it actually felt like I was moving and you could see all the stars and planets in 3D.
Don and I both had a fun time!! We'll be back again.

Sleepyhead :)