It has been a busy weekend with puppy stuff. On Friday we had a farewell party for Zodiac. Nothing fancy, just some cookies, snack mix and lemonade. It is a tradition with each of our puppies, a chance to celebrate them and give family, friends and neighbors and chance to say good-bye. I think it is also for me. It helps me process the pups departure and come to terms with not having them around. Zodiac had lots of fun. His favorite people from church came and some of his puppy friends. At one point we had five labs at our house. That was crazy.
Saturday we had a big Guide Dogs for the Blind puppy training meeting. Lots of puppies there. With dogs ready to leave for harness training, like Zodiac, to very young puppies who just got off the puppy truck on Thursday. I learned lots of things from the visiting Community Field Representative from Oregon. It was a great opportunity to learn from someone new.
After the meeting Zodiac has his final evaluation. I’ve been a bit paranoid all week that they would decide that he wasn’t ready to go back or they would career change him on the spot. It is crazy the kinds of thoughts that can get into my head sometimes. We took Zodiac and Dune to the movies on Saturday night as one last outing for all of us together.
Sunday morning we got up very early so that we could get Zodiac to Ogden by 7:00 a.m. It was raining pretty hard when we left home but as we traveled north the skies cleared and the sun came up on a beautiful day. The hotel where the puppy truck stops for the night has a lovely walking path with trees and a pond and waterfall. I took both Zodiac and Dune for walks before the puppy truck drivers came out to the truck. Then we helped walk the puppies that had been picked up previously. I really enjoy doing this and meeting new pups and thinking about their puppy raisers. I walked an in-season female named Moxy. She was a happy and good girl. Bill got to walk Zodiac’s brother Zenith. Their temperaments are amazingly similar. Zenith reminded me a bit of Apex (our first puppy in training) which isn’t too surprising since Apex’s dad is Zodiac and Zenith’s grandfather.
We took Dune and Zodiac for one last walk together. Then it was time for Zodiac to get on the truck. That is the hardest part. He didn’t love getting into one of the kennels in the puppy truck but Zodiac did it anyway. We know he is in good hands. They stopped in Boise for a break Sunday afternoon and spent the night in Pendelton, Oregon. Zodiac would have arrived on the Guide Dogs for the Blind campus in Boring, Oregon on Monday afternoon.
Another puppy raiser that I know from a Yahoo group dropped her puppy off on campus yesterday. She saw Zodiac’s name on the wall in the kennel kitchen along with the other puppies that are expected to arrive on this recall. I like knowing that Zodiac has been on campus twice before, so he is sure to recognize it on his arrival. There is a whole team of experienced and caring people who are now taking care of him. They will help him adjust to life on campus. The next step for him is a thorough physical to make sure his eyes and heart and joints etc. are all working right. Now we play the waiting game. Waiting each week for the phase report to see how he is doing.