Dune: d-day


Tomorrow is the big graduation day!

Dune’s recall was unique for us. Because of timing she was due to return to GDB in February when there is no puppy truck to Utah. We volunteered to drive her and Esme and Felix (two other recall dogs) to campus. We got there a couple of days after a huge snowstorm. It was fun to see campus covered in snow. We took her for a walk around campus before leaving her in the kennel kitchen. Dune was excited to be there and not at all concerned about us. I’m sure she was happy to have new faces to meet and places to explore.


Dune: down


Two more days until Dune’s graduation!

I’m not sure how this started but Dune didn’t learn to do this until she was older. When Dune saw one of us going down the stairs when she was upstairs, she would run around to the railing that overlooks the stairs and wait for you to make the corner. The difference in level puts our head about the same height as the floor above. Dune would squat down and stick her head under the railing and get all excited and want some attention as you walked down the stairs. So cute!

Dune: dropper


Only three days left until Dune is an official guide dog!

Dune invented a game she played with herself. I’m guessing that the first time this happened it was accidental but she decided it was fun and played it regularly.

Step One: take a toy to the top of the stairs.
Step Two: drop the toy and watch it bounce down the stairs.
Step Three: after a short pause, run down the stairs.
Step Four: snatch up the toy and run around with it.

Sometimes she would repeat the game. The funniest thing is that Dune taught this game to Emma.

Dune: delightful


Just 4 days to Dune’s graduation!

Dune has a delightful personality. She delights in everything in life. She delights in new things and as a puppy in training she experienced lots of different places from a week at Girl’s Camp to hiking along the Jordan River to the annual puppy pool party to a trip to a preschool at the YMCA.

She especially delights in showing people how much she enjoys them and in how much they enjoy her too. Dune is very in tune with people’s emotions and she enjoys being loved, even by strangers. To her they aren’t strangers at all.

Dune: decisive & in class


Great news! Dune is in class scheduled to graduate on June 21st! She will be living in Arizona after her graduation with her new handler Ashleigh Gonzales. We are super excited to see Dune next week and get to know Ashleigh. We knew she was capable and we hoped that Dune wanted to be a guide dog and it looks like she does. Way to go Dune!

Dune knows her own mind and she knows what she wants. A good example is her relieving. As a young pup she relieved every time you asked her. As a teenager she learned she could hold it for a longtime. Now, if she is going to relieve she will do it pretty quickly. If she doesn’t think she needs to go, no amount of waiting will change that. It isn’t unusual for her to go 12 hours without peeing. If she knows she is going somewhere. She is great at quickly relieving.

Dune is a girl who knows her own mind. I am sure that this trait will serve her well in decided her future.

Dune: demonstrator

I’m posting an extra page from Dune’s puppyhood book today. I just made it today too. I just had to share the great news. Dune was the demo dog at the Guide Dogs for the Blind graduation today in Boring Oregon. This is an honor. As far as we know none of our other dogs have been the demo dog before. Thanks to fellow puppy raiser Martha who was at graduation for making this page possible. I’ve had trouble focusing on anything but Dune since I got the news so I decided to channel it into this page. Fingers crossed for good news next week. The demo dog is often in the next class.

Dune Demo Dog

At all of GDB’s graduations they have a short demonstration of what guide dogs do. The pick one dog in training for that honor. On 7 June 2014 Dune was the Demo Dog!

I was on my computer when a message came through on Facebook from a fellow puppy raiser who was at graduation:

“A small yellow dog is demo dog. I will let you know soon.”


“It is!”

“You mean it is Dune!”

“Posting pictures of her now”

I was so excited to see Dune and hear about her. Martha apologized for the quality of the photos because her phone was having troubles plus she said, “Dune is also very fast and she was excited about working. She was really cute and very focused!”

Dune: distance

Time for another page of Dune’s book. A new class starts on Monday and there are 11 dogs in Oregon in phase 8 with two more in 7. That gives Dune a 50/50 chance of being in this class. The bad part if Dune is in the next class, is that Emma is in heat and on house arrest until the end of the month so she wouldn’t be able to go to graduation with us. The good part is that no matter what happens next week it will be a good thing in one way or another. As an interesting side not, in the last few weeks Emma has taken to looking out the window too. She never did it while Dune was here.

Dune is the second of our pups to use the kitty tower to look out the front window. She is always interested in what is happening in the world around her. She doesn’t want to miss and thing. If she hears a sound outside she will run to the window and fine out what is going on. When we happen to leave her home she will watch us go. Or when she hears Bill get home from work she hops up on the kitty tower to have a better view of the outside world. She is the same way in the car. Dune is much more likely to be looking out the window of the car as we drive somewhere than to be snoozing as most dogs do.

Dune: dear


Another class started this week and Dune is not apart of it. She has now been in phase 8 for 5 weeks. There were 12 dogs in Oregon in phase 8 last week and with 6 dogs per class, Dune had a 50/50 chance of being chosen. No such luck. I spent some time (too much probably) analyzing the phase reports since January. 80% of the dogs that make it to phase 8 are either career changed or in class by the 5th week in phase 8.

I don’t want to sound like I’m complaining because I truly want the right match for Dune more than a quick graduation. I friend’s dog spent 9 weeks in phase 6 and she finally moved on to phase 7 this week. I am so excited for her. That was a long wait. It is much easier for them to have them waiting in phase 8 for the right person and Dune needs the right kind of person that will love and appreciate her for who she is. But this is a patience building stage of being a puppy raiser. While we wait for the next dog day in Oregon on June 9th, enjoy another page from Dune’s puppyhood book.

Bill does the morning relieving and feeding. When that is done he likes to get on the floor with Dune and play with her and then spend some time snuggling with her. He does the same thing when he gets home from work. Dune gets a bit silly sometimes in her pleasure at playing with Bill and getting his undivided attention.

Dune: dashing


The next dog day in Oregon is on Monday. I hope I’m not as anxious about it as I was the last one. I really do want the right match for Dune not a quick match, but I’m excited to see her take the next step on her journey. In the meantime, here is another page from her puppyhood book.

Dashing up and down the hall in our house is one of Dune’s favorite things. This usually happens after she has been out socializing and has had to manage herself and keep her excitement in check. When she gets home she just needs to let loose for a bit and dash up and down the hall. Just before bed she also likes to do this. Dune and Emma are quite the pair of labs when the too of them running up and down the hall way. I call it the Indy 500. Her cohort in these races was usually our 8th puppy in training Emma.

Dune: darling


A new class started this week in Boring, Oregon but Dune was not part of it. Felix who we transported to campus in February is in class, so that is awesome. I keep reminding myself that a good match is so much more important than a fast match. So next potential graduation is June 7th. Here is another page from Dune’s book.

Even as a little puppy Dune was darling. Another puppy raiser commented that she was like a miniature dog and she was. Instead of the typical big feet and gangly looks of most puppies, Dune was very petite and well proportioned. She grew in an even and gradual way and kept the same proportion as when she was a puppy.

As a grown dog, she is still darling not only in how she looks but also in personality. She has a gentleness about her even while she has strength and determination.