While I was hoping that Fable would wait until after Apex and Yakira’s visit next week, Fable’s body had other ideas. There have been emotional signs for several weeks that her first season was approaching. So I have watched closely for physical signs. On Monday I thought she was starting to look a little swollen. Tuesday afternoon I found a small darkish drop on the kitchen floor. I checked Fable with a Kleenex and sure enough it came back with a pinkish stain. So the days of her confinement began and she missed puppy class that night. I’m so glad she got to have a fun weekend playing with Odie. He stayed with us for the holiday while his family had an adventure that was better off without him. Odie is a good puppy and Zodiac’s nephew which also made it really fun to have him.
Fable has 25 more days to go until her freedom. Her energy levels are much lower and she has that look in her eye that is typical of a dog in heat. Her body feels off and she doesn’t understand why. Today I had to pull the doggy diapers out because she started dripping in earnest. So far she is not at all a fan of the diapers. She should adjust to them quickly and be more comfortable with them soon. Things will get worse for her before they get better a couple more weeks from now. Poor Fable.
Next week I’ll have to share photos of Apex and Yakira. I’m so excited to see them (and their people too)!
There have been lots of coming and going of puppies in the last few weeks and more to come in the next few weeks. Zodiac has been on puppy sits two weekends in May because we went to Wood Badge. He also had two weekends in June. The first because he was too young to go with us to Casey’s graduation.
Parker at Rockaway Beach
Next my friend Lisa had a family reunion to go to. Her dog Parker needed to come to our house to be puppy sat because he had some anxiety issues and was most familiar with us and our house. Parker and Lisa went with us to Casey’s graduation. So Zodiac went to Karen’s and Parker came here. Instead of Parker going to Karen’s. Osaka, Karen’s dog was in season and her house isn’t approved for an in season female. Another puppy sitter could take Osaka for about a week but then had committed to puppy sit someone else dog. Yakira was still on house arrest from being in season herself and they don’t like us to have three puppies in training in the same household. So that meant that Zodiac had to go off again. That meant that we had Yakira and Parker for a few days.
A few days later Parker went home and Yakira was cleared to socialize again, so Osaka came here and Yakira went to Karen’s and Zodiac came back home. Osaka was a good girl but she is a lab golden cross (mostly golden retriever) and she has that soft golden coat. Soon after we got her I noticed that she had mats behind her ears. She had been at another puppy sitters before we had her and they have a swimming pool. Osaka must have gotten the mats while there, maybe from getting wet in the swimming pool. Well I didn’t have a clue how to get the mats out. I tried but with no success. So Karen came back to our house toward the end of that week and brought some golden retriever type grooming tools. Plus she worked for quiet some time getting the mats out from behind Osaka’s ears. Goldens certainly need more grooming than labs. Well Karen was nice and let us keep Yakira for the weekend. We stretched the three puppy rule but it was fun to have her home. All three dogs got along very well together.
Finally we got Yakira back home early this week. We have had Zodiac for about two months and he had only gotten to go out and socialize with Yakira a couple of times. By the time he earned his jacket, Yakira was in season. Then she swapped with Osaka. I’ve really had to think hard to keep track of which dog I’m talking too. A couple of times I just couldn’t come up with the right name in a timely manner.
This next week we are headed off to Martin’s Cove for a short pioneer trek. We had originally planned to take the dogs with us but it is so hot that we decided it would be better not to have them there. We will be home less than 48 hours before I head off for Girls Camp all the following week. Bill is helping out the first day so two more puppy sits are in the works. My friend Lisa’s dog Parker went back to Oregon for formal harness training yesterday so she will thankfully be available to puppy sit both dogs. Summer is crazy with puppy raisers going every which direction. She will take Yakira and Zodiac while we are in Martin’s Cove and then while Bill is helping us get up to Girls Camp. Then she will take Zodiac while I’m gone the rest of the week. That way Bill won’t have to come home from work in the middle of the day and a puppy won’t have to spend the whole day in the kennel.
That should take care of our puppy swapping around for a while. We want to take a trip to Colorado toward the end of the summer to visit Banta. But I think we should be able to take both puppies with us on that trip.
We got permission for Casey to be out and about one day early so she could attend a multi-club puppy meeting with our CFR today at the Career and Technology Center. It was so nice to be able to take booth girls out. Lindsey said that she needed to have a bath first to help her not smell so interesting to any intact males. Casey got to meet her brother Crosby after the meeting. As we were chatting with his raisers we found out that Crosby is an ear sucker just like Casey. Isn’t that funny. We talked to Barb about Waffles fear reactions and got permission to start her on food protocol. I’m so glad, I think this will help her immensely.
We got news today that Casey will not be returning to Guide Dogs for the Blind on the next truck. They have more dogs in Breeder Evaluations than they need and training needs more dogs. So since Casey was the youngest puppy scheduled to go on the truck and she is in consideration to be a breeder she will not be going back until the next puppy truck to Utah which is expected to be in October. I didn’t see this coming. Casey is ready to go back but we sure will enjoy having her longer. I think for Waffle it would have been better to have a month or so as an only dog before she is transferred but that is not to be. We have canceled Casey’s Farewell party to be rescheduled when we have a new recall date. Another good thing about the change in recall date is that Casey doesn’t have to go back just a few days after she is released from her confinement from being in season.
Today is Banta’s 2nd birthday. I sent her a figure 8 tug toy because it was her favorite tug toy of all the ones we had and it held up pretty good. I got it sent off early and then waited a few days to send an email to Mark to let him know it was coming. Well I waited too long and the package got there before my email. Because he has no vision I didn’t send a note or anything with it. I just figure my email would take care of that. This is what he said:
Hi Raelyn and Bill
We got the box on Friday. Thank you very much. She loves it! I was wondering where it was from, I have not had anyone over yet who could read the box to me to see who sent it. Mystery solved.
Banta is doing very well. We will be working with another trainer this Wed and Th. I do not remember if I mentioned, I only agreed to the 2 week class if I had 1 week of at home training. We do not have many working issues, just a few minor things that need to be worked through.
We had 12 straight days of thunder storms, some severe, and only 1 storm seemed to bother her. We had 2 lightening strikes very close to our house. We learned the next day there was some pool furniture hit by lightening about 50 feet outside our door. I think that is when we both jumped. Now we are getting very hot weather. Since we have been back we have either had very hot weather or hot weather with high humidity. I think this has caused Banta to be a little less energetic than when we were in training.
We had a very long day today. I took the day off work and went to 3 Dr. apts. at 3 different hospitals. She did really well. We only had some difficulties for the last 20 minutes, I hope she just got tired. I was really happy with how she worked almost all day. I get so many comments about how well behaved she is and how beautiful she looks.
Mark and Banta
The other mile stone was Casey went into season today. I knew it was coming so it was a relief in someways that it finally got here. She has had some behavior changes the last couple of weeks with destructive chewing and peeing on walks etc. She even started to swell up a bit the last day or two. Lisa wanted to get a chance to have her over for a couple of days before she goes back but she had to cut it short when Casey came into season. So 28 days and counting of house arrest for Casey. The bad part is she will only have a few days a freedom before she goes on the truck back to GDB. It reminds me so much of the timing that Banta had too.
Banta has been on “house arrest” for the past 4 weeks because she has been in season. Today was she was finally cleared to return to normal socializing activities. After baths for both the girls we headed off for some fun. Casey spent the morning at work with Bill, while Banta and I ran some errands and took a walk along the Jordan River. We got a good coating of snow last night but most of it was melted by the time we got to the trail. It was so nice to get to have her out and about. The only bad thing is that we only have one week of “normal” life until she gets on the truck to return to Guide Dogs for the Blind.
Today Banta turned 15 months old. It is also her last day of confinement from being in season. One of her favorite people came for a visit today, her “Aunt Lisa.” Lisa gave both the girls lots of love and kisses and they really enjoyed it. Banta especially loved playing tug. Tug has been one of the mainstays on helping Banta cope with her confinement of 28 days. Banta is an expert at tug. She uses all of her 56 lbs. to maximum effectiveness. Banta has a head whip that can dislocate you shoulder if you aren’t paying attention. Lisa likes to say that Banta would have no trouble taking care of her young in the wild if she needed to.
Casey has decided that Banta’s ear is the best chew toy. It is rare these days for Banta’s ears not to have slobber on them either wet or dry. I’ve been discouraging it but Banta doesn’t seem to mind so it is hard to catch Casey chewing on them. They seem to be quietly hanging out together and the next thing I know is Casey is at it again. Well today I had already cleaned Banta’s ears off several times when just before Casey and I were ready to head off for puppy class, I was in for a shock. Banta’s ear was bright red. Apparently Casey is in the middle of loosing a tooth and she left behind as much blood as she did dog slobber!
Casey has been teething for several weeks now. I usually know she is loosing a tooth because Banta has blood on her face, ears or body from Casey. It is surprising how much it shows up on a light colored dog. I have been able to save teeth from both Apex and Banta but I wasn’t sure I would ever find one from Casey. She likes to pick up tiny rocks from the ground so I figured that most of her teeth would end up in her stomach. I’m not willing to go through her poop to get a tooth! Now I actually have two of her teeth. I got the first one yesterday. Casey and I were at a district committee meeting for Boy Scouts and noticed that Casey was interested in something on the floor. I checked it out and yeah it was a tooth! Today 24 hours later I noticed she was chewing on something and it was another tooth. Now I have a matching set.
Today marks one month until Banta returns to GDB. It also marks the 10th day of being in season. 18 more days of confinement. Mostly it hasn’t been too bad but she was bit feisty with Casey a few times today and I had to devise new tactics to keep them apart but let them have some freedom. This evening she has been doing the sit and stare at me thing. I tried everything I could think of, potty break, tug, cuddle time, none of it seemed to work. I tried to get a picture of her with the “stare” but she squints when the flash goes off.
Today we were having our usual picnic lunch with Bill when Banta rolled around on the quilt and I realized she was in season. She had made it this long and somehow we thought she might make it back to GDB before she had her first season. No such luck. Now we have 28 days of “house arrest” she can’t do any socializing. She can’t go on any walks. She has to relieve in the back yard instead of our normal spot on the driveway. The two dogs that have common fences with us are both intact males so we will have to make sure that they don’t get motivated to try to climb over the fence. Doug, a black lab, doesn’t actually live there anymore but he visit often. Charley, a beagle, is mostly out just during the day. I went over to Target with Casey while Bill took a nap and picked up some size 4T-5T pull-ups to help keep the mess from getting all over the house. It will be less than 2 weeks when Banta is able to go back to her normal activities until she gets on the truck for GDB.