Things have been crazy on the dog front around here lately. Before we knew that Galaxy was coming, I agreed to help out a guide dog user who was having foot surgery and needed someone to take care of her guide dog while she is recovering. So we have had a three dogs here for the last couple of weeks. Holly is a good dog but the mix of the three of them is a handful at times. We have put x-pens and gates to good use every day. The three of them love to play with the Jolly Ball in the back yard.
Galaxy, Holly and Fable
Galaxy is amazing in her resilience in playing with the bigger dogs. She never gets intimidated and jumps right back into the ruckus even when she gets knocked over. One thing for sure, is I’m not ready to have a three dog household for any extended period of time. It took me about a week to realize the alphabetical serendipity of having an “H” named dog to add to our “F” & “G” dogs.
Late Monday night we picked up our new little puppy in training for Guide Dogs for the Blind. Her name is Galaxy! (Thankfully a name I can easily live with.) She is a fun loving pup who has done great on learning to relieve outside. (Yeah!) And last night she went to bed quietly in her kennel and slept until 6:30 this morning. (Another Yeah!) Galaxy holds her own with Fable and Tamara (who we are puppy sitting for about a week) and she really, really loves air conditioning. She knows exactly where all the air vents are in the house and lays on them any chance she gets. Galaxy often makes funny little growly, whinny, barky noises when she plays with a toy in her kennel or an x-pen. Being only 7 weeks old when we got her, she works hard to eat the 3/4 of a cup of dog food she gets at her meals. I feel like we hit the jackpot again with Galaxy. These puppies from Guide Dogs for the Blind are amazing little souls and we feel privileged to be intrusted with the care.
Fable is being an awesome big sister. I’m so proud of the progress she continues to make. She will be a year old on Tuesday. We had our doubts about her at times a few months ago and at least three of her six siblings have already been dropped from the program and I suspect that another one was too. She has been challenging to raise in many aspects but it is all coming together. Currently she is expected to return for the next stage of her training the end of October.
In just 10 days our 10th puppy in training for Guide Dogs for the Blind will be coming! We are expecting a female yellow lab with a name starting with the letter “G”. Keeping with tradition I am having a guess the puppies name contest. The prize is a personalized travel mat. There is no limit the number of entries per person but the deadline is June 28th. If more than one person guesses our little girl’s name, the winner will be picked by random drawing of those who guessed right. Just comment on this post to enter the contest.
As if you haven’t heard enough about my puppies this week. But it is Friday, my traditional day to give update on my puppies. Forefront this week has been Dune’s arrival. We have had our trying moments since Wednesday but each day gets better. She finally pooped outside last night for the first time. And she learned to go down more than one step today and then surged ahead and took the flight of stairs all the way to the bottom. She is starting to really catch on to relieving outside. Tonight she went to the door but I didn’t clue in what she was telling me until she had a pee accident right there. Hopefully last night’s two-hour scream-fest will be the last. I think we have a tactic that helps her settle down and go back to sleep after she goes outside to relieve in the middle of the night. Tonight will be the test.
Zodiac went to work with Bill again today. Dune had her first “outing” she went to my sister’s house and got to meet her Career Change black lab Clifford. They got along very well. When Zodiac got home from work tonight they were both very happy to see each other and they played together for a few minutes. I’m very proud of the good big brother Zodiac is being.
The phase report came out yesterday as usual but Yakira was still in phase 7. The good part is that the rest of her string was in phase 7 too. So it can’t be that Yakira is having a challenge with the training. Maybe her trainer got sick or something like that. I’ll be very surprised if she isn’t in phase 8 next week.
Our sweet little Dune girl arrived today via Delta airlines. It has been an eventful day full of joy and excitement. She finally fell asleep in her x-pen a little while ago. Dune is confident and knows her mind, she is sweet and seems so tiny. I forget how little they are when they come. I love her color she is on the dark side for a yellow lab but not so far that she is red. She is more of a dark honey color. I think she is the perfect color for her name.
It was fun to experience having a puppy come by plane. The photos below shows much of what it was like. I’m so tired that I’m not going to post much more today. These first few days are hard on the puppy and on the raiser too. We want to much to help them understand what we want them to do, especially when it comes to relieving. But so much has changed so fast in their young lives and they have no clue what you are asking them to do. Dune has a cute temperament to match her face and I’m certain that she will be a joy to raise, though it will surely be challenging at times.
Delta employees bring the crate with Dune and Eagle
Dune ready to get out of the crate
Dune taking a second thought about getting out of the crate. Eagle is in the back of the crate. He is sure he doesn’t want to come out.
Yakira is continuing her stead pace through training. She is in phase 4 this week. Keep it up sweet girl, we are cheering for you.
Guide Dog News, a quarterly publication of Guide Dogs for the Blind, in its News of Our Graduates section listed Casey’s handler, Carrie as this years recipient of Reach for the Stars Scholarship. Congrats to Carrie on this accomplishment.
Our local puppy club has gotten too big and this week was our last meeting together. We meet at the Cold Stone in South Jordan to see Frosty and the other candy windows along with enjoying a tasty ice cream treat. It was a wet evening but lots of fun.A new club is being formed and we will be part of it. It is going to be fun to see what it takes to organize a new puppy raising club. We need to pick a name for our club. Any suggestions?
Right now the new club only has 5 puppies but more our expected soon. It seems that GDB has too many puppies in the kennels and they are looking for raisers. So we decided yesterday to apply for our next puppy, #7! He/she may be a co-raise with my friend Lisa, but we decided it was a good time to add another puppy to the household even if she decides now is not the best time to co-raise a puppy. So puppy #7 could arrive, by plane, in just a few weeks.
All four of us on Zodiac’s puppy day – photo by Lisa Monson
My plan was to get a new puppy in August but when the opportunity came to get a “Z” boy this past Friday I somehow couldn’t say no. So the 19th thing that I did to celebrate turning 50 years old is getting a new puppy.
Zodiac is a fun mix of stubbornness and adventurer, with a bit of unexpected caution thrown in. He is happiest when he gets some freedom to explore his surroundings. Most of his complaining has been about being kept from learning about his surroundings. I told you about his stubbornness in last Friday’s post introducing Zodiac. Then there is his fear of his food bowl. It is stainless steel and when Zodiac is about 3/4 of the way through eating he has a tendency to step on the edge of the bowl, which flips it. This scares him so he backs off from the bowl. It is funny to watch him. He wants to go back to his food but he doesn’t trust the bowl to stay put. It helps to understand that in the puppy kennels they eat from a doughnut-shaped dish that they can step into. If you we hold the bowl he comes back to finish his meal. Such a silly boy.
The first few days with a new puppy are the hardest. The whole relieving outside is new to them and puppies don’t have a clue what you are trying to teach them. But it gets better quickly once they start to catch on. In the meantime, I am getting up several times a night and making lots of trips out during the day. And there are still more accidents to clean-up than it seems possible.
A really bright spot is how well Yakira and Zodiac are getting along. She is being a good mentor and learning to play to his level. They are so very cute together. What a fun way to celebrate turning 50!
Meet the newest addition to our family, Zodiac! He is adorable of course, aren’t most puppies. He has kind of mid-range temperament, not too shy and not off the charts confident. He picked up his stainless still food dish and then dropped it and the clang scared him a bit. He got over it in a few minutes.Then while he was eating dinner he tipped his bowl and then he thought it was some strange thing and didn’t want to eat his last couple of kibble.
He enjoys exploring the house and sticking his little nose into the shoes in our closet. I got to see his stubborn side today. As he was exploring he headed into our spare bedroom. I grabbed the leash to stop him because we don’t let puppies go in this room by themselves. Our cat has claimed this room so we keep the door ajar. Well Zodiac had a fit! First of all he backed to the end of the leash. When I wouldn’t let him go any farther, he planted his feet and wouldn’t move. I just help firmly on the leash and waited to see what he would do. Zodiac stood there with his head down looking at me for several minutes. I didn’t move. Next he tried laying down. When that didn’t work he escalated things by whining. This went on for several minutes. He has amazing determination. Finally he decided to move out of the room and continue his exploring. The good thing is that he didn’t try to go back into the spare room.
We are going to have lots of fun over the next few days. I hope I get some sleep tonight.
Today we met our precious little Casey. We thought she was going to be a yellow lab until she got off the truck. You just never know for sure until they hand you that little bundle of fur. She was born on May 23rd so she will turn 12 weeks this weekend. Her parents are Jay (donated to GDB by AGBN) and Noleta. She is part of a litter of 6 puppies with 3 males and 3 females. Two of Casey siblings are being raised just South of here. Casey also joins two half brothers in our puppy club, Joe & Joshua. I’ve been so proud of Banta. She has been so good with Casey, being gentle with her. Casey doesn’t have Banta’s natural confidence.