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.


Pupdate: All pups

As I looked back I realized I haven’t done an update on most of my pups since March so here goes:

Apex curled up on the car seat

Apex, the senior pup of the group turned 6 years old in May. He is still a happy and healthy boy. They went on a cruise to Key West in the spring. Apex is a frequent traveler. I wish I traveled to as many fun places as he does. Sue retired from a long-time position a couple of months ago, so Apex’s days are a little slower, though she has been super busy taking care of family and friends in need. Sue starts a substitute teaching job this fall. I’m sure Apex will enjoy being around the kids again after the summer off.

Mark and Banta at the Furry Scurry

Banta still loves being a guide dog. She and Mark went out to dinner a while ago and as they were leaving a group of people where admiring Banta. One of them said, “your dog looks so happy.” She had her head and tail up and wagging as they walked out. Mark loves her spunky personality. They are such a perfect match. He wrote this about her recently:

She has learned a new bad habit. When we are going home and I have my cane, I undo her leash when we are getting close to our back gate. She lets me walk about 5 feet and then runs and either jumps and hits me in the back or runs around and punches me in the stomach. She does this about every 5 feet until we get home. It probably does not help that I start to laugh and give her treats when she punches me. Sometimes I reach out to grab her and she will jump and do a 360 turn in the air, of course that is worth another treat.

Casey curled up on her bed

Casey and Carrie spent 10 days in Italy this year. She enjoyed the cobblestone streets and lounging in the sun. When they got home Carrie went through the final ceremonies for becoming a lawyer. She is working in the same firm where she articled. They moved her office to the sunny side of the building so that Casey could enjoy the sun. She is a fair weather girl.

Waffle met Carole two years ago on Sunday. She gained another sibling this year. It is a four dog household now. With Emma going to San Rafael there is a good chance we will be taking a trip there in a few months. Waffle lives in the area so I’m hoping the timing works out to see Waffle and meet Carole while we are there. No new photos of Waffle to share but Carole posted this Short Video on Facebook. I think you will be able to see it. Waffle plays the supporting role to her sister Shelley.

Sharan and Yakira on the cruise to Key West

Yakira got to go on her first cruise in May. Apex who is a veteran cruiser was there to show her the ropes. So awesome that two of our pups got to go on a cruise together. Sharan had hip replacements soon after the cruise and is now starting to get out and about again. Yakira is enjoying life in Florida at just the pace she likes, slow and easy.

Zodiac and friend Roxie watching over Kolton

Zodiac and David just passed their year mark as a team this month. They are now officially a successful guide dog team. Zodiac is devoted to David and remains the same fun-loving dog he was as a puppy. I am hoping to plan a road trip to Missouri to see them in the near future.

Dune chillin’ out in her new digs

Dune and Ashleigh have been a team for two months now. Though she is not a fan of the Arizona heat she loves being a guide dog. Here is some of what Ashleigh has said about Dune:

I have to say, Dune is an amazing guide. Dune is a spark plug. She always wants to get going and I am so happy to see her tail wag when I grab the harness. I really have seen her excitement and joy at being told she did a great job and getting a good pat on the head. It makes me smile regularly to see her tail wag in excitement at finding that tricky doorway or that randomly placed light post.

Emma’s Farewell Party Invitation

Emma will be getting on the puppy truck in two weeks from tomorrow. The last few weeks always go so fast. So much to fit into those last days. I never seem to get enough photos taken. I still need a really good picture for her official portrait. We are having the traditional farewell party for Emma a week from Sunday in the afternoon. If you are in the area and want to come let me know and I’ll send you our address. We are going to miss her lots, but she is ready to go and I’m excited to see if she wants to be a guide dog.

Puppy Truck Countdown14F puppy comes in just 13 days! Time to get geared up for a cute but clueless puppy. It is such a shock to go from a well-trained dog to the brand new puppy but it is also fun to see them for the first time, learn their name, and get to figure out their personality. Each puppy is different and we learn so much from each one of them. Still time to add names to the name guessing contest.

Boy that took longer than I planned. Guess I’d better do updates on the pups as they come in instead of doing them all at once. It will be my goal to get updates done every Friday.

Lots of Pupdates

It has been a fun week in getting news on our pups. When I think about it I’ve heard something from all of our pups in one way or another so lets take them in order.

Apex: you may remember that we are planning a cruise to Alaska with Apex & Sue. Sue is a super organized planner and she is keeping us on track in make plans for this exciting trip. This week she sent us an update some of the little details of our trip.

Banta: She is in perfect health. Banta recently had her annual trip to the vet for shots etc.

Carrie and Casey

Casey: We got a wonderful update from Carrie and Casey about their holiday travels including photos from Invermere. Plus some stories about a “couple of typical lab incidents.” She had some trouble eating a fleece blanket and the stuffing out of her dog bed while in her crate. Thankfully she didn’t develop a blockage and all is fine there. The other one had me laughing because she pulled something similar when she was being puppy sat when she was young. Here it is in Carrie’s words:

One night, I was up extremely late preparing for two important presentations the next day. I had 3 hours of sleep in total. Sometime in those 3 hours of sleep, Casey got up and consumed half of the cat’s litter in his litter box! Gross! I was in my business suit and high heels, cleaning up large amounts of upchucked litter, wondering if I could take her with me to the courtroom and if she was going to throw up cat litter all over the place while I made my submissions! She looked a little green but I called the vet to make sure she didn’t need to go in again and they said she should be okay. That was a really rough day. Since then, Casey is now happily on tie down on her bed, and I’ve installed a door thing to prevent her from gaining access to the litter box. She is so sneaky and mischievous sometimes but it is hard not to resist her beautiful brown eyes.

Casey running in the snow

Waffle: Bill was going through some mail and found a card stuck between two other pieces of mail from Waffle’s new partner! This was our first direct contact with Carole! We didn’t even have her name. I’d sent a couple of things to her via Guide Dogs for the Blind. But with career change situations if is up to the new owner to decide if they will have any kind of contact at all. Carole offered to send photos, so I popped her an email and we got a few photos of Waffle in her new life. Here is a little of what Carole said:

Waffle has a busy life.  She travels with me for work.  She’s been to Boston, Arizona, Costa Rica, New York so far. When we’re home she’s with our elderly boxer, Tucker, and her best friend, Evie – a 2 year old black lab.  She still doesn’t swim in the pool but I’m planning to teach her this summer.


Now I can do the last version of Waffle’s puppyhood book, including or career and a little about her home and family.

Yakira: Puppy #5 is continuing to move along through training. This weeks phase report has her in phase #7! She will most likely be class ready next week and a new class is starting in Oregon on the 21st so it is possible that Yakira could be graduating as soon as February 2nd. Of course it will probably take longer than that for her to be partnered but who knows.

I need to get moving on Yakira’s book too. I’ve worked on it a bit but I’d like to have it pretty much done by the time we go to her graduation. Coming up with words that start with “Y” for her book isn’t the easiest thing to do but I think I’m close.

Zodiac: Our current puppy is doing well. He is really starting to mature and he kept things lively around here and he probably makes me laugh every day. He is such a fun-loving boy.

Puppy #7: Our club leader said to keep next Wednesday open for a new puppy to come. It isn’t 100% for sure yet but it is the first hard info we have had on our new puppy. Thinking of a new cute little puppy always brings a smile to my face.

It is amazing to me that with seven different dogs involved that we could have some kind of contact or information on each dog within a week span. That makes this week extra special to me.

Waffle Book – addition

Below are the additional pages I added to Waffle’s book to include her time in the high school program.  The first thing I did was to rework the Claraliz page to include the basics of what happened to Waffle after her transfer. Then I all the photos that Claraliz sent me plus a few of my own from Waffle’s first birthday visit and the five days she came for an evaluation. The bit of text on these pages is based on an email that Claraliz sent me when I asked her for memories and stories of Waffle. I ordered the book today, taking advantage of Blurb’s 25% discount code. I’ll be sending this book to Waffle’s new partner for Christmas. I hope she enjoys getting to know more about Waffle’s growing up time.

On September 30, 2011 Waffle was transferred to Claraliz Fernandez to finish raising. She was part of the Salt Lake Tech Guide Dog class for high school students. The students work hard in this class and have to attend for a year before they can get the opportunity to raise a puppy. Waffle remained with Claraliz and was apart of her life and family though out the school year.

Then in July of 2012, it was determined that Waffle wouldn’t be happy being a guide dog. She was evaluated to be a K9 buddy for a blind child but Waffle was too energetic for the kids that needed companions at that time. In August the perfect place was found for Waffle.

Waffle Book – Claraliz

On September 30, 2011 Waffle was transferred to Claraliz Fernandez to finish raising. She is part of the Salt Lake Tech Guide Dog class for high school students. These students work hard in this class and have to attend for a year before they can get the opportunity to raise a puppy. Waffle will remain with Claraliz and be apart of her life and family though out the school year. Then in June of 2012 she will get on the puppy truck and return to Guide Dogs for the Blind to complete her training to become a guide dog for a blind or visually impaired person.

Waffle Book – Wonderful

After all is said and done Waffle is a wonderful girl. She can be sweet and cuddly or she can be willful and frustrating but we love her just the same. She is a bit of a daddy’s girl and listens for the sound of the garage door opening that signals that Bill is home. Then Waffle watches and waits for him to sit down on the floor so she and Casey can get their nightly dose of snuggly papa time.

Waffle Book – Woeful

Have you ever seen a sadder looking face. Waffle has a way of using her favorite “woe is me” look to get strangers to talk to her. With her pouty lower lip and her long coppery red eyelashes and her sad puppy dog eyes she knows how to look pathetic. It is kind of funny because she is actually a very happy go lucky kind of pup other than not always being sure about new or different situations.


Waffle Book – Witty

Waffle has a fun way of interacting with the world. When we first got her she was such a busy-body getting into everything. She is curious and loves games and finds ways to play them anytime she can. She tries to start games with our cat and he usually plays along. She is very smart and perceptive.

Waffle Book – Wipeout

When Waffle is tired she is tired and her favorite way to sleep is on her back. I’ve learned that dogs only sleep this way when they feel safe and secure in their environment. It sure makes her look like she is dead to the world. Sometimes I wonder what she has done to make herself so wiped-out by the day. Probably it is just growing up.


Waffle Book – Winner

Waffle’s pronounced under-bite got her pulled from breeding watch but it is hard to imagine her without it. The first time we took her to the vet for shots he pointed it out to us thinking that we already knew about it. Now that we are aware of it, it is there it is obvious and adds to her charm.