Sunday, December 27, 2009
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
In honor of Ezra, Maayan, who raised two puppies for GDB in the same club as Ezra and his family, is training with Team In Training to run the LA Marathon. Maayan is running to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Please, if you have the ability to do so, consider donating for this great cause. You can view Maayan's progress and/or donate at http://pages.teamintraining.org/los/LA10/mgordonnn7.
Please, feel free to post any variation of this on your blog. Help spread the word and get more support for not only Maayan, but Ezra's family and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
Friday, December 11, 2009
When I was a senior in high school I wanted to get a job to support raising Iverson and earn some money, of course. I applied at a few places, but the only one I remember is the Wildlife Safari. I applied on what I believe was a Tuesday evening, I didn't apply for anything specific but I knew their busy season was approaching and they'd need seasonal workers. On Wednesday I got a call from the elephant department supervisor and we arranged an interview for that Saturday morning. I was ecstatic! I've always loved the elephants at the park and remember when George was a "baby". The interview went off without a hitch and Sunday morning I did my job shadow, I went and spent a couple hours in the barn with the staff, helped clean the stalls, learned which elephant was which and met everyone. They all liked me so I was sent to get a UA and a TB test. Once the TB test came back clear (whew! There's one thing I don't have /wink/) I started that Thursday. Because I was still going to school I arranged my schedule to where I'd have half days until I graduated but with such a terribly busy schedule and him not being allowed to attend work or school with me I had to have Iverson transferred to a new raiser. It was heartbreaking, but I couldn't pass up the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity I'd been handed.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Enjoy it here. Want to know what you're clicking on? It's a story of a dog, a guide dog, that helped his handler get out of the North Tower of the WTC on 9/11. No, it's not Michael Hingson and his guide Roselle. We all know they're story and it's amazing, but this one is heartwarming as well. I don't know which organization Dorado came from, but that's not important, the story is.
Monday, November 30, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
This is George and I at the end of 2006. He's castrated bull (the oldest in free contact: without a fence between the elephant and handler at all times) and was 25 years old at the time. A bull hook is used much like a leash on a dog, it *can* inflict pain but is used as a guide rather than a threat, comparable to a gentle leader or like device. This is after my family got a personalized, private meeting with the elephants and the elephant enclosure, they were allowed to pet, feed and watch George perform some of his commands.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Eclipse is a special dog, not because he was in my home, not because of everything we went through together. Eclipse is special because something inside him, the things that make him him truly surpass and outshine most dogs. In fact, he surpasses and outshines any and every dog I've ever met, even most people in the world these days. Eclipse is something special. If only you could know him, if only you took the time to know him, you would see the magic, the magic that is Eclipse.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
I apologize to all of you but more importantly to Joy for listening to someone else as if it were Joy directly. I will try my hardest to not let others get in the way of my raising experience again, and especially not ruin my happiness and hope in raising and "my" puppies.
I also wanted to apologize for making incorrect statements, although according to what I had been told they were true to my knowledge, they were incorrect.
There's a part of me that wishes I had been able to handle Eola and stuck it out until the next swap which would have been last month. Somedays I feel like I wasn't a "good enough" handler for her or didn't work hard enough with her. If I had just pushed myself a bit more we could have stuck it out. Then I remember how much Emotion has to do with puppy raising and my emotions were shot at that time. I was going back to working full-time, looking at moving out of my parents' house again and missing Eclipse and GDB like no other. I realize that giving Eola back was the best thing for me to do at that time, even though she's been in a number of homes since. Apparantly I'm not the only that has a hard time with her. I feel like if I still had her I wouldn't have let her and myself down but I'd still be involved in Eclipse's life, albeit from a distance. I'd know what is going on with him, from "the horse's mouth" if you will. Then I wouldn't be tempted to put my trust and emotions on hearing it 'third-hand'.
Time to move on I guess, but I hope my apology helps people realize I was never purposefully malicious or rude to JLAD or Joy and I never made incorrect statements out of spite. JLAD was not a good fit for us, for a number of different reasons, mainly the distance for class and the swap, but those reasons are unimportant at this point. I wish JLAD the best and that all the upcoming breedings and subsequent puppies are born safely and grow up well-adjusted. I also hope and pray that if it's determined Eclipse would be a poor fit as a service dog that the best decision is made for him and his siblings.
Thank you, JLAD for letting me raise again and experience my lovely Eclipse. I would not be the same person I am today without having known the boy. You taught me that I love service dogs, just in a different way than guide dogs, and helped me decide on the next organization I hope to raise for in the coming months. Thank you, and I'm sorry.
Monday, November 2, 2009
GDB's posting >here<
Gannon has been found
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
I like to have a head collar that not only fits a puppy but matches his personality. Eclipse was in the blue Gentle Leader and it fit his personality perfectly, I love blue on that boy more than any other color! Eola was in a purple Gentle Leader, again, it certainly fit her personality. (They were in head collars for very different but equally necessary reasons)
The next puppy will be required to be comfortable in a head collar in case his future handler needs to work him in one. That being said, I want a head collar that not only fits him correctly but matches his personality. Gentle Leaders don't fit all dogs' faces, neither do Haltis, it's something that has to be assessed and determined over time with a pup as it can change with age as well. I like Haltis for certain dogs and I like how the neck strap doesn't have to be as tight and is easier to put on for me. However, I do not like how Haltis only come in black, for the most part.
So I did some research. I'm definitely getting an orange Gentle Leader for the little guy and possibly a red one. I could have swore I remember there being burgundy Gentle Leaders but I can't find any information on them. North Star (where Boots is from) has burgundy listed as a color for Gentle Leaders but when I go to add it to my cart it's a martingale. If I want to buy them I'll contact them to see if they do in fact have burgundy Gentle Leaders. I found a place in Australia that has Haltis in five colors and when the pup gets here and a Halti is needed I'll order a very pretty Halti for him.
If you want to know the link(s) let me know, I have them.
What do you consider when putting your pup in a head collar? Just fit or which head collar you personally prefer, is color of the collar important to you, etc?
Here's the link for the Haltis. http://www.worldforpets.com.au/products/product_detail.asp?ID=1893
This store has all the available GL colors in kits for amazingly cheap. http://www.bestfriendsgeneralstore.com/unique_dog_toys_c/401_GLH1/Gentle+Leader+Dog+Headcollars
Sunday, October 25, 2009
I have a blue medium GL and a purple medium. Of course the blue on can be used, if it fits the pup's face. I also have a black size 2 Halti. I don't really want to use the blue GL on the new pup if I can avoid it, because it's Eclipse's.
I'm looking for somewhere to purchase colored Haltis. They tend to fit most dogs' faces better, in general, and I'm pretty well set on GLs if I need them. Not to mention they have a specific website where they can be ordered.
You guys were so terribly much help when I was looking for good training treats to use so I figured you'd be the ones to ask. Any place you know of that I can get an orange, red, green, burgundy, etc halti?
Ally, Teddy & Kira
Friday, October 16, 2009
I think I'll drop his food back down to 5 cups a day versus 6. He's not putting on any significant amount of weight with the extra cup of food but his output is definitely increasing. We'll see how he does on five cups with added goodies throughout the day.
Thanks again for all the suggestions! I really appreciate it!
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
They can be viewed here
It is private though, so if you'd like to view them send me an e-mail at lets_see_here (at) hotmail (dot) com
If you're not a regular reader of my blog and/or your blog isn't in my blogroll please let me know who you are and where you're from, then I'll decide if I'm comfortable giving you the password.
This morning, I timed him. He eats VERY slowly. This morning it took him 12 minutes to eat his breakfast. I don't always have time for him to spend 12 minutes eating and am wondering if anyone has any suggestions? He eats out of a smaller bowl, so I'll try one of the larger bowls today. He has tons of water right there, tonight I'll try soaking his food in water.
He gags/coughs while/after eating as well, which is strange to me since he eats sooo slow! Anyone have any suggestions. I know this isn't the normal eating issue we have as raisers, but we don't usually have crazy doodles either ;-)
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
He, of course, joined us at work today. He chilled under whoever's desk he was at, like he always does. On lunch we challenged him a bit though. I worked with him on "tugging" with his leash (he only does so on command), walking with me while carrying his own leash and without me holding onto it. We also worked on "get your leash", "bring it here", "hold" and "give" at work. He's doing well. If I ask him to get his leash he picks it up near the handle and will hand it to me.
Of greater consequence though was I tested his knowledge of the "tug" command. I tied his leash to the door at work, entered the password to get in and asked him to tug. I held it open so I wouldn't have to re-enter the password but tug he did! Soon we will begin working on tugging objects around with the fleece, opening the fridge and introduce "nudge".
I got off work early and had to go get a new license (that was okay, but I hate the DMV today! Stupid rise in fees!) and Charlie went. He did fantastic, Alex held him while I took care of my business and he sat quietly and unobtrusively. Many people commented on his stellar behaviour. I even let him pick my debit card up off the floor and he's doing amazing at that, even on a linoleum floor. We introduced it with my license since the plastic was peeling and it prevented him from getting frustrated.
We also went through the big bad scary tire center at Wal-Mart. He did okay, was unsure but did well. Another thing we need to work on is things touching him from behind. It won't take long between Alex and me to get him used to that. I regularly grab the pups' tails while walking to desensitize them, Alex is just a brat and teases them to distract and challenge them.
Now, it's chill time. Tomorrow, if I can force myself to, we'll work on walking in the rain. The first time it rained on him he kept looking around trying to see what was touching him. Time to desensitize him to that, although now that the rain has started, he'll get used to it quickly for it won't stop until next late spring!
Monday, October 12, 2009
I was allowed to see Eclipse before he left, but it was a secret. I swore I wouldn't post about it.
Here's what happened.
As you all know, September 10 I got an e-mail stating that a final decision had been made on Eclipse's future. He would live with Joy and be a therapy/demo dog for JLAD. He would not graduate as a working service dog.
I asked if I would be allowed to see him. I was told no. I left it at that, didn't say anything about it other than my blog post stating I wasn't going to be allowed to say goodbye.
Eclipse spent two blessed hours here with me and my family, and we loved every minute of it. He was so happy here. It was obvious to me that a career change was a good choice for him, having worked with him since he was 9 weeks and knowing the issues he's had ever since his arrival as an SDIT.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Saturday, October 10, 2009
The place isn't ready to move into just yet, the carpets need steam cleaned and the paint needs touched up (and the weeds in the yard need cut down, I'm gonna see if I can put rock back there instead). Next weekend we're out of town (can't move in then) but if it's ready by the 24/25th we may move in then! All we need to do is buy a bed and we're good to go!
I have some "creative thinking" to do to expand the kitchen capacity (a buffet or shelf/cupboards of some sort) and still have a table and room to move around but all is well!
The sooner we move in the sooner I can apply for a lab puppy from CST! :-D
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
After clipping his face Alex and I curled up on the floor with Charlie to watch House, when we left Charlie decided the unused pillow was his. At work yesterday Charlie was working like a dog
Ally, Teddy, Kira, Charlie (in the crate upstairs, time alone is important) and maybe a new labby? ;-)
Monday, October 5, 2009
Hopefully tomorrow we'll be able to trim up his neck/throat, back and feet. Then his true genetics will be shown. I think he'll look more poodley than ever, but we shall see!
What I love about Charlie-Moe: He randomly gives you kisses to let you know he loves you. He grabs your arm/shirt/pants when he's overly ecstatic to see you, Bad but makes you feel loved! We're working on it. And he tolerates my picture taking and random spurts of energy to try and make him look decent. I Want him to look like a poodle, but he's not really complying!
Ally & a sleeping Moe-Char! (Although he may go back to Charlie being all clean-cut like he is!)