Waffle Update

Waffle with her “go to bed” blanket – photo by Lisa Thompson

We got some more news this week on Waffle. She has been in a foster home to assess her potential as a K9 Buddy. But she has a little too much energy for any of the kids that are looking for a K9 Buddy now. They still think she is a really nice dog and so they are looking for a community placement for her before placing her as a pet. A community placement could be another type of service dog or a therapy dog or anything else beyond being just a pet.

So now more waiting to see what Waffle’s future will be. They probably won’t give us more information until they are sure that any placement they make is going to work out for her.

Waffle Update


Waffle as a young pup in a basket (from Lisa Thompson’s photoshoot)

Yesterday we got a bit of news on Waffle. Her official “Dog Drop Notice” came. Here is what it said:

DOG: 50B7 – Waffle F\LAB\Yellow – PRP\REL  DOB:2/27/2011

RELEASED DATE: 7/24/2012

PLACEMENT: Pull for K9 Buddy evaluation.

SUMMARY: Waffle is a sensitive dog with a history of confidence issues.  She has shown sensitivity to heights with some improvement seen with use of the food protocol.  Her general demeanor on outings is subdued and although she has made progress in some areas, she continues to lack the confidence needed to enter formal guide training.

Waffle displays very good house manners and is a wonderful pet. She is snuggly and enjoys people of all ages.  She may have potential as a K9 Buddy or other Community Placement.

RELEASE REASON(S): 21301 – BEH: Fearful Behavior Environment  Generalized
LOCATION (if applicable):

I had no idea they were considering her for the K9 Buddy program. I’m so excited. This program places dogs with blind kids who are too young to have a guide dog. The kids get a chance to learn about taking care of and handling a dog so they are better prepared when it comes time to get a guide dog. Here are a couple of videos on K9 Buddies.

Nearly Blind Boy Gets Furry Friend




Career Change

Waffle – photo by Lisa Thompson

We got news today that Waffle will not be a guide dog. Our CFR (Community Field Rep) from Guide Dogs for the Blind was in town this weekend to evaluate puppies. We knew that she would decide whether Waffle would return to GDB for training or head down another path. We also knew that the odds were that most of those involved seemed to think Waffle wasn’t guide dog material. We didn’t see that when we had her for a few days in May but it is possible that we didn’t have her in the kind of situations that she didn’t handle well.

Her high school puppy raiser isn’t able to keep her so we get the next option to adopt her or place her with someone else. Soon after we started raising puppies we decided not to adopt any of our puppies if they were career changed. I’ve seen many puppy raisers who have to stop raising puppies because they adopt their cc’d puppies and end up with too many dogs to effectively  raise puppies any more. So that level placing her with someone we know. As we have thought about this option over the last several years we have decided that we would only consider placing one of our puppies if it was a situation where they would be more than just a pet. For most people who want to adopt a career change dog we think it is the best for them to apply to Guide Dogs for the Blind. That way GDB can match the right dog with the right family. Then the chance for a successful match is much greater. My sister’s neighbor is looking for a dog that she can train as a therapy dog. But we don’t know her and we don’t completely know if being a therapy dog is the right career for Waffle. So it is looking like Waffle will return to Guide Dogs for the Blind next week and they will look at everyone they have wanting a career change dog and find the best place for her.

I wish that we could see her one more time before she leaves but I’m heading off to girls camp really early on Monday morning and won’t get home until after Waffle will leave. I’m so glad that we got to have that time with her a couple of months ago. Maybe Bill can make arrangements to see her before she leaves. When we were raising her they had an extra connection between them. Waffle is a sweet girl and I think she will be happy as a pet dog.

Lots of Puppy News

Life has been crazy the last couple of weeks with everything going on, especially Wood Badge. That finished up yesterday, so now I’m trying to get caught up on the rest of my life. In the meantime lots of fun stuff has happened on the puppy front.

Apex and Sue are off to the Northeast for a family matter this week and Apex turned 4 years old on Thursday. I want to send him a present but it hasn’t happened yet.

I shared news about Banta last week.

The biggest news is that Casey is in class and will be graduating on June 2nd. We have been waiting since January for this news so it is extra sweet. Casey will be living with her handler in Victoria, British Columbia. This is extra neat because in about a year we are going on a cruise to Alaska with Apex and Sue and we will be with in a couple of hours of Victoria. So we will have to figure out a way to visit Casey either before or after the cruise. Casey also had a birthday this last week. On Wednesday she turned 2 years old. I’m so happy that she was partnered by her birthday.

I got a call from our club leader recently about Waffle. There was some concern about her from her last eval with our CFR (Community Field Representative) and she wanted Waffle to go to someone else for a few days to see how she is doing. So we got to pick up Waffle on Wednesday and take her to Wood Badge with us. Then Claraliz’s family and a big gathering today so she will be here until tomorrow. It was fun to take her to church today. Lots of the kids remember Waffle and enjoyed saying hi to her. When she was younger she hated when someone tried to pet the top of her head. She has grown-up and was very tolerant of all the head pats she got today. Waffle also turned 15 months old today. She will to return to Guide Dogs for the Blind on June 10th.

On the evaluation side of Waffle’s visit, she is doing good. She lacks some confidence but she handled the intensity and newness of Wood Badge very well. We didn’t see any reason she should be career changed at this point.

Next on our puppy list is Yakira. She went to Wood Badge with us the week of my birthday and she did really great. It is a noisy and busy environment with not much of a chance for the pups to really let loose. Well on Saturday afternoon an hour or two before we finished for the week Yakira went into season. So she is now on “house arrest” until 16th. This meant that Yakira couldn’t come back up to Wood Badge with us and we had to find a puppy sitter for her. There are only a few households in the club that are cleared to have an in season pup. One was going out-of-town and another is just a new puppy raiser. The last one was already puppy sitting another puppy, Pierre, so we made arrangements to swap Yakira and Pierre around. Pierre is intact so we were careful while dropping off and picking up Yakira. I made all these arrangements before I new that we were going to take Waffle with us to Wood Badge so we ended up with two dogs at Wood Badge, Waffle and Pierre.

Finally we get to Zodiac. He is really doing great. He has caught on to the relieving thing and Yakira has been a great mentor to him and teaching him how to behave. But our club leader said he was too young to go to Wood Badge. And after we got up there last week I was glad that he wasn’t there. It would have been really hard for a puppy that young. Zodiac was a one puppy sitter last week. A new raiser who is getter her first puppy on June 7th. Then for this week’s Wood Badge he went to another raiser who is also getter her first pup on the next puppy truck. When we made arrangements originally they were for Zodiac to be there until the end of Wood Badge Saturday but then we realized that it would be best for Waffle to stay with us for a couple more days. Three puppies in training is too much for one household so it worked out for Zodiac to extend his stay until Monday. We plan to pick him up late morning and get some photos of our “W”, “Y” and “Z” pups all together. It isn’t often that a raiser can have three of their pups together at one time.

Because we have Casey’s graduation this next weekend both Yakira and Zodiac will be going to puppy sitters again. Yakira will be returning to the same place as this past week but I don’t know where Zodiac will be. I’m guessing that our club leader has a spot picked out for him. Yakira’s timing on being in season was not helpful for our club leader. She was planning on Yakira being puppy sat by many of the new raisers in our club. It looks like Zodiac is getting that privilege instead. What an eventful last week or so in the puppy side of our life.

50 for 50 #10 – Izze Soda

We have developed a tradition over the last several years with Izze natural soda. On special days we drink a bottle of Izze to mark the occasion. I was first attracted to Izze when a was faithfully avoiding all refined sugar. Izze is fruit juice and sparkling water, no added sugar. Today we each enjoyed a bottle of Izze Sparkling Clementine to celebrate Waffle’s 1st birthday. We got to see her and Claraliz on Saturday but we wanted to do something extra today to mark her birthday. I love Izze’s fruit flavors and I enjoy their colorful bottles and I save the bottle caps with their fun design.

Waffle and Claraliz


Today we got to visit Waffle and Claraliz. On Monday Waffle will be a year old and I really wanted to see our little girl. We hadn’t seen Waffle since she transferred  to Claraliz the end of September. We didn’t want to do anything that would disrupt her training but I checked with our club leader and she said it would be fine. So we made arrangements to meet up with Waffle and Claraliz at her house. It was so fun to see our little Waffletta. She jumped on me after I got in the front door. I was glad that she was happy to see me. Sometimes when we were raising her it seemed that she was always happy to see everyone else but since I was there most of the time she didn’t seem to miss me.


Yakira and Waffle got to play together and I made Waffle a tug rope that she really seemed to like. We also had a zip lock bag full of adult food left over from Casey that we passed on to Waffle. Yakira is still many months away from switching to the adult food. It will be kind of old by then. Claraliz made some yummy red cake for us and we got to meet her pet dogs and her dad and a brother. Waffle is doing really well. She is very grown-up and her nose is very pink. Waffle also still has her underbite. Didn’t really think that was going away. She is very happy and content in her new household. She has now been with Claraliz as long as she lived with us.

We probably won’t get to see her again until recall day when she gets on the truck to return to Guide Dogs for the Blind. Claraliz is thinking about getting a new puppy this summer to raise. I hope she does. She is doing a good job with Waffle.

Waffle is 10 months old

Waffle and her “go to bed” blanket – photo by Lisa Thompson

Today our little Waffle girl is 10 months old. It is hard to believe that it has been almost three months since she was transferred. I’m sure that she is starting to look really grown-up. It would be so much fun to get to see her in the next couple of months. Maybe we can set something up to see her around her one year birthday in February.
We are back to a one dog household tonight. Lindsey picked up Sinclair on her way home from spending Christmas at her parents house. His family will be back from vacation in a couple more days.