Sunday, April 29, 2012


 Apparently, May is National Pets Month. According to a T-shirt I have, it is also National Guide Dog Month. And, for Katrina, May is officially.... "Learn to Love the Gentle Leader! Month". Whatever May might be, Katrina is off to a good start (I know, we still have a couple days till may :D )

Today, we went for a long walk to downtown. I wasn't so sure how Katrina would do, because she's never gone on a walk that long. She was great with the loud noises from the freeway and traffic downtown. We saw some dogs, lots of bicyclists, and runners. She was great! I'm working on her pulling with the flat collar, so all the distractions were a great opportunity for some practice. At the meeting, we practiced being more "random" with our movements on walks- like suddenly changing directions or stopping. We practiced that a bit and it seemed to work!

Once we were in downtown, Katrina was absolutely exhausted. I don't blame her- it was a beautiful, hot day, and the floor of the restaurant we were in was nice and cool. I was pretty sure she was not up for an equally lengthy and hot walk back home, so my brother came and picked us up :) Katrina was pretty happy about that.

Back at home, and after Katrina took a nice hour long nap, we went into the backyard to work with the Gentle Leader. The back yard has always been off limits with Katrina; as a young pup she would eat everything on the ground, and the grass and tanbark was just too tempting. But! She seems to have gotten over the "if it fits in my mouth, its food! yum, dirt!" stage. I put her GL on and took out a tug toy, and she was thrilled to be running around in the previously "forbidden backyard". This was a big step for Katrina- normally the second the GL goes on, she plops down and sulks. We played for a good 10 minutes, racing all up and down the yard. We practiced some off leash come, too. I got her so excited that when I picked up her leash and said "let's go" she didn't even notice the GL on her face... so I just continued walking up our street, and voila! She was finally walking with the GL!

(Above, Katrina smells the flowers in the garden)

I didn't want to push her too far, so our walk of victory was over in about 30 seconds, but I am hopeful!

Well, there is my story of Katrina's success today! She's such a sweet girl, sometimes it's hard to notice her stubborness, but it's there :) Today I think we got one step closer to tolerating the GL! Stay tuned!

(Above, Katrina on a walk. Katrina hopes everyone is enjoying the summer weather!)

~Lauren and Katrina

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Catch-Up Post #1: Outings, Photoshoot, and more!

I love this dog so much! Katrina and I have been very busy lately! She's changed a lot since I picked her up at 14 weeks, but she still has the same loving personality! She is a total cuddlebug and very people oriented. 

To sum up what Katrina and I have been doing:
1) Katrina got over her doggy fears! She used to shy away from dogs in public, but not anymore! She's still pretty scared in group play, but our CFR said that wasn't the biggest concern.
2) I started taking Katrina around my high school more often and to track meets. She loves hanging out with my friends. She especially loves saying hi to little kids.. it's like she knows to lay down so she doesn't intimidate them :) She's a sweetheart.
3) I'm talking to my principal on Monday to discuss bringing Katrina to school! My teachers said is was OK, but fingers and paws crossed that the principal approves.
4) Katrina has been on a couple big outings for her: these include a college fair (which was probably more scary for me than for her haha). She was great with all the crowds! 
5) Katrina had her first evaluation with our CFR. She did really well walking around in the downtown area, and handled the open stairs like a pro! I definitely have some work to do with the Gentle Leader...which leads me to my next point!
6) Katrina's biggest enemy is her gentle leader. She absolutely hates it. So.. May is officially "Learn to Love the Gentle Leader!" month for Katrina. So far, we are off to a good start! We've been playing fun activities with the GL, like "come" and tug outside around the yard. 

Yesterday was the submission deadline for the GDB calendar. So, I decided to take Katrina for a photoshoot at the bay. I got a couple of good shots: (Pictured below: Katrina in front of the Golden Gate, with her puppy vest on)
Pretty girl :) 
 She has the sweetest smile!
 Katrina exploring the rocks!

On another note, earlier this month Katrina went to the puppysitters while I was out of town. Below is the beautiful Delicate Arch in Utah. If you haven't been there, you should go! It's amazing!

Back to my puppy:

Here she is last week. We were getting ready to go to the puppy meeting. We had a meeting today and we had to walk our puppies on a lose leash while balancing a plate of easter eggs in the same hand that we were holding the leash in. It was hard, but so much fun! And hilarious! 
 Above is the Suzanne/Jenkins Special "K" litter. Kristin, Mommy Suzanne, Keith, and Katrina. They are all amazing puppies with amazing raisers! It was great to meet up with them at a GDB graduation. I barely recognize GDB now because of the renovations. Guide Dogs is remodeling their dormitory/graduation building. It is going to be great when they are finished! I can't wait to see it!
Above, Katrina is holding a toy in the GDB play yard. Katrina thinks this could make a nice ad for Nylabone :)

Katrina has an exciting week coming up! I'm taking her to her first Giants baseball game, and then we are off to see Don (now Sanford) and his owners for his 3rd birthday party. He is such a lucky boy! Every time I see him with his owners it reminds me how great the GDB community is! 

Have a good week!
~ Lauren and Katrina