Pupdate: Emma’s Recall

Me and Emma

I’m off in post schedule this week. I blame it all on these puppies. I’ve decided I don’t much like the two-day overlap. I’m sure it will be good but it is emotionally much harder. The key is to remember that next time I  end up with 5 or 6 months with two dogs. I think two months would be perfect but with wanting a certain letter that makes it difficult to pull off. Maybe one of these times. Anyway, we put Emma on the puppy truck to San Rafael, California today. The way I was feeling this week I thought I might get really emotional when the time came to do it. But today, I came to terms with it and saw that some things would be easier in training Fable with just one dog in the house. We had a busy morning with other commitments but I got in a quick walk with Emma before we left to meet the truck. I think that helped too.

As expected Emma was super excited to be there and see the other dogs. There were a couple of dogs transferred from Colorado for the High School program and four dogs recalled for training, I think. By the luck of the draw Emma was the first one to go on the truck but she got the upper kennel right behind the driver’s seat. She will like that, because Emma will be able to see more of what is going on. Emma was more interested in the dog treats she got for being in the kennel than saying good-bye to us. She is off on her big adventure. I think they drive to Elko today and stop for the night. Then finish the trip to San Rafael tomorrow. They are probably picking up more recall dogs along I-80 as they go.

The house is quiet without her here. It is always that way when a puppy leaves. But she is close to my heart and I’m excited to see what path her life takes from here. We won’t hear anything until it is decided that she won’t be a breeder or that she has passed all the preliminary tests for breeding and they are awaiting final tests to decide. I’ll update here when we get some news on Emma.


Pupdate: Waffle

Shelley, Tucker, Waffle and Lola

Just 6 days until our “F” puppy comes and 8 days until Emma leaves but we got some news about Waffle this week that I wanted to share. Sunday marked two years since Waffle and Carole met so I sent off and email to mark the day. I got back an email with news on a big change coming in Waffle’s life. It turns out that while Waffle is wonderfully behaved everywhere she goes with Carole as a medical service dog, she really doesn’t like her job. Add to that is that she lacks confidence in new situations (saw this as a puppy) and Waffle can get stubborn when she doesn’t want to do something (saw this too).

So Carole has been looking for a new service dog to replace Waffle. I knew she had rescued a feral dog, Shelley, from a trip to Costa Rica but didn’t know until now that she had hoped that Shelley could take Waffle’s place. But while Shelley is smart she can’t deal with the long plane flights etc. and her prey drive is intense. Not surprising when you think about her origins.

At that point Carole had four dogs in her household. Tucker, an old boxer, Waffle a soon to be retired service dog, Shelley, a now healthy and happy rescued dog but not cut out for service, plus Lola who belongs to a family that helps with things when Carole is away for work. Adding a fifth dog just isn’t going to work. Time to cut back before adding a new dog. Shelley went to live with a couple, both veterinarians, with lots of land and things for Shelley to chase.

Waffle is going to Cape Cod to a wonderful family with an old lab, 2 boys (5 and 12 years old) and their parents. The mother met Waffle about a year ago at a two-week seminar in Tucson. She bonded with Waffle during the conference and went running with her everyday. Lauren never forgot Waffle and felt like Waffle was “the dog of her heart”. So when Carole started looking for new homes for Waffle Lauren asked if she could have her. They have sent Waffle cards, texts, and photos! Isn’t that so sweet. They are sending shirts with Waffle’s sent on it to Cape Cod and vice versa to help the two dogs get used to each other. I’m sure that Waffle will have no problems adjusting to the new dog. She has never been the only dog in the household in all of her life. Carole and Waffle will be going to Massachusetts Halloween weekend and Carole will stay for 3 days while Waffle settles into her new household and reconnects with Lauren and bonds with the rest of the family.

Carole will make sure that we get contact information for her the new family and they get ours. I’m a little sad because Waffle won’t be a service dog anymore. But she just isn’t cut out for it and I appreciate that Carole wants her to be happy in her work. Mostly I’m sad because I was looking forward to meeting Carole and seeing Waffle when Emma graduates in a few months from San Rafael (that is assuming she isn’t career changed). Carole lives not far from there and assuming the timing worked for her to be in town. The only possible way Emma could graduate by the end of October would be as a breeder and that is still fast to get all the tests back and her status confirmed as a breeder. But mostly I’m happy. I think that Waffle will love her new home and family. Now we will have another pup on the east coat, the farther east you can go in fact. Maybe we will get a chance to see her out there and meet her new family. Cape Cod is a beautiful place and the family sounds perfect for her.

All Pups Pupdate

I’m finally getting around to writing an up date on all my pups. We had contact with all of them near the holidays. Boy time flies by. Is it really all ready a week into March?

Yakira and Apex

Puppy #1 Apex will be six years old in May. He is doing great and still has lots of energy. He and Sue have a busy schedule so his high energy is perfect. When they have long days at the office she gives him dog puzzles to keep him occupied. We got a delicious case of citrus a few weeks ago from Florida. That was awesome. The tangerines were especially amazing. We just had the last grapefruit for breakfast yesterday.

Banta and Mark

Puppy #2 Banta is doing great too. We got a professional portrait of her and her handler and they look so good together. Mark has had some health problems and had to be in the hospital recently. A local puppy raiser took care of Banta and even took her to the hospital for visits but she was super excited when he got home. Mark loves her dearly and they are so well matched for each other. She will be 5 years old in July.

Carrie and Casey

Puppy #3 Casey has matured into a very confident guide dog. Carrie graduated from law school last year and they moved to Vancouver. They now commute to downtown and Casey does great except when the weather is bad. She is a fair weather guide. I don’t hear from her Carrie very often but when she write she shares great stories and pictures. Casey’s birthday is in May and she will be 4.

Tucker, Shelley & Waffle

Puppy #4 Waffle has a good life. Carole added a new sister to the household recently. On a trip to Costa Rica she brought home a feral dog she named Shelley. Shelly looks like a black lab and her and Waffle get along great. Waffle spends almost every moment of the day at Carole’s side. Waffle turned 3 the end of February.

Yakira – aka Princess Yaya

Puppy #5 Yakira is a lucky girl living it up in Florida. She gets to see Apex all the time and enjoys romping with him and wintertime house guest Ruby (another black lab). But we got really exciting news earlier this week on her. Sue noticed that Yakira was alerting Sharan when the phone or the doorbell rang. (I didn’t realize that Sharan’s hearing had gotten so bad.) So Sue wondered if Yakira could be trained as a hearing alert dog for Sharan.  She checked into it and via GDB found a trainer. Since Yakira has already been a service dog the training should go pretty quickly and with some luck Yakira will be certified as a hearing alert dog by Easter. It is amazing the path that has brought Yakira to this place. She will be 3 years old in August.


Puppy #6 Zodiac has the perfect family and partner for him. They love him with all his quirks and everything. He celebrated his second birthday on Monday. Toni sends me photos and update regularly via email and Facebook. Zodiac looks so handsome and happy. He is really starting to bond with his David and give him is whole heart.

Bill, Dune, Raelyn and Emma

Puppy #7 Dune is still officially in the limbo land between being dropped from breeder evals (her patellas weren’t up to par to be a breeder) and showing up on the phase report. I’ve heard from sources that she has started her harness training so hopefully this next week we will see her name on the phase report. I hope she loves training. I think she has the potential to be a super great guide dog, if she likes it. If not she will be career changed in no time at all. She is an opinionated girl so she will let them know right away if she doesn’t like it. Dune will be 16 months old on Tuesday.


Puppy #8 Emma has adjusted to life without her Dune. Things are so much calmer and easier around the house that I said yes to having an in heat puppy in training from another club stay with us for two weeks starting on Monday. Emma will love having Verbena for a playmate. Emma turned 8 months old about a week ago and is showing some signs of teenager boundary pushing. But she really is an easy-going pup most of the time. Yesterday, I let her out on the deck for some fresh air and then forgot about her. More than an hour later I’m looking around trying to figure out where she is. Then I saw that the kitchen door was open but not the screen door and I remembered where she was. She got soaked from the rain storm that had come through while she was out there, but seems to have no lasting trauma from the experience. The good part is she was due for a bath and the rain did such a good job that now she smells and feels clean again.

So there is my novel on how all my pups are doing. It is great being part of such a wonderful organization as Guide Dogs for the Blind, that makes a positive impact on so many lives during the process of what they do. Being a puppy raiser makes my life better.