Hawk's Schedule

8/4 Lake Mills
8/12 CCSDA Training

May 22, 2008

Final Post - Buddy

First, I want to thank all of the faithful readers. There are about 60 of you that read the blog periodically. Hopefully you found it entertaining. It was fun writing about Buddy's experiences and it captured many fond memories for future reference - the good, the bad, and the amusing.

Secondly, a huge thank you to the OccuPaws staff and other puppy raisers for their support and guidance. You helped us through the challenging times and shared the joy of our many accomplishments.

At this time we are not sure what the future holds for Buddy, only that he will make some family very happy - it may be ours. I do know that we will have a dog in our life.

Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole. - Roger Caras

May 18, 2008


Lisa and I have made our decision to keep Buddy in our home as a pet. We wanted him to succeed, so that we wouldn't have to make this choice. A couple of friends from the park were happy with the decision, they all love Buddy. However, I have been reconsidering ...

We got into this because we did not want a full-time pet, but we ended up getting a pet and so much more. We enjoy the benefits of a pet with the freedom that a guide dog in training allows us.

The bond with Buddy is obviously strong and we let ourselves get too attached. At times he seems more like a child than pet because he spends all day everyday with us. We knew it would be difficult to say good-bye, but weren't planning on being the ultimate decision maker to terminate our relationship. We don't want to betray him.

Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole. - Roger Caras

Dog Jog

We woke up way to early this morning. We volunteered to help with the OccuPaws Jog for Guide Dogs and had to be to DeForest by 7:30. That didn't leave much time to sleep, walk, and eat. Weily only got the basic potty walk this morning. We made him work for his entire two cups of food using the food dispensing toy - Busy Buddy.

Weily was returned to his foster parents, Kathy and Theresa. He has only been with us for a week, but we will miss having his puppy love in our home. Then Kristen brought us our new pet, Buddy. The three of us spent the rest of the day playing with other dogs, "jogging" and eating. We saw ourselves on the news story at 5:00. Unfortunately we were dancing to the Banana Lady's song - not very flattering.

Heidi's mom has comments on the dog jog which are a must read for all puppy raisers.

Dogs have given us their absolute all. We are the center of their universe. We are the focus of their love and faith and trust. They serve us in return for scraps. It is without a doubt the best deal man has ever made. - Roger Caras

May 17, 2008

Bye Wally

Weily's Last Day: Woke up early, before the goddaughters, for our walk and breakfast. Weily was very good with the kids with only an occasional puppy kiss. After they left, Weily and I started our work in the garden. He explored the backyard for a bit and then settled down for a rest on the cool grass - not even bothered by the neighbor's barking dog.

Watching from the window:
In the afternoon we made a trip to Wal-Mart. We overheard a few people discussing that you can't bring a dog into the store. Next stop was the grocery store to pick-up some supplies for our bake sale contribution. It might have been easier to just donate the money (Lisa spent the whole evening baking and decorating).

Children in the store were surprised and excited to see and greet a dog. We also talked about dogs with the owner of a nearby kennel who was shopping. She commented on Weily's excellent behavior. The bagger was thrilled to see a dog and she thanked us for coming to her checkout lane.

A little more work in the garden and fixing the basement door. Weily watched me intently the whole time. He wanted to help - if he only had opposable thumbs.

We swapped our walk for playing ball again this evening. He enjoys that more (he loves to play ball). and it lasts longer! Weily is a wonderful dog and well behaved. He is so easy going and mellow. We learned a lot from him and will miss our "Wally".

In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn't merely try to train him to be semi human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming partly a dog. - Edward Hoagland

May 16, 2008


Weily's big adventure today was the Bike to Work Week fiesta. He worked the crowd and got a few pats on the head. One lady was extremely interested in the guide dog process and we fielded her questions as she doled out affection to Weily.

After I got my bike repaired, we filled our plates and grabbed the only available picnic table. It was available because it was only ten feet away from the rock band. The band's roar and ducks in the nearby pond were formidable distractions. He didn't mind the music, but the ducks were irresistible as they swam away or flew into range. He crept toward them, but STAYed after one correction.

After I returned home, we took our evening walk and played a little. He wasn't too interested in playing ball after the walk. However, when our goddaughters showed up he got his second wind. He feeds off their energy and I think he wants his share of the attention. He is relentless.

A dog teaches a boy fidelity, perseverance, and to turn around three times before lying down. - Robert Benchley


Buddy flunked his mandatory physical and is no longer an OccuPaws puppy. He and one of his sisters both showed dysplasia on their x-rays: Buddy's elbows and Bella's hips.

Our decision is pending on whether to keep Buddy as a pet or continue raising puppies. We don't feel that we can appropriately care for two dogs.

A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of. - Ogden Nash

May 15, 2008


Weily was a house dog today. A couple walks around the block and a longer walk to the park. He doesn't seem to mind a rest day. He appears to be a calm dog with a good temperament, either by nature or nurture, so the walk is not as crucial to burn off energy. The only time that Weily consistently has shown a high energy level is playing ball.

Tonight was a "Hygiene Day". He needed a bath after running through the creek yesterday , but didn't get one until today. We tried the blow dryer as a test. Weily didn't mind the noise or even the direct air flow. A manicure was next. He didn't really need one, but it was good practice for both of us. He also got his teeth brushed which he really didn't care for - all we had was bubble gum flavored kid's toothpaste, no beef flavor.

We skipped the evening walk. Before bed we finished the day with 30 minutes of cradling. Weily enjoyed that more than the walk.

They never talk about themselves but listen to you while you talk about yourself, and keep up an appearance of being interested in the conversation. - Jerome K. Jerome

May 14, 2008


Weily was a little gimpy this morning so we cut our walk short, just long enough to take care of business. As we were walking home this morning Weily quickly snatched up something off the ground. It was gone before I could see what he had in his mouth. Searching the ground where he gobbled, I found "leftovers" from another dog. He shares that compulsion with Buddy and his litter mates.

We prescribed some aspirin with a lot of rest. He was raring to go this afternoon. Weily mingled with some dog buddies for awhile and then they all splashed in the creek to cool off.

Before Weily got his dinner he had to work a little more. Another trip to the hardware store and grocery store. We stopped a new place for him - the library. He had a very nice meet and greet in the library and was well behaved as always.

We took our evening walk a little earlier than usual. It was still dusk and some normal things looked peculiar to Weily. He stopped to study cars, trees, garage doors, dogs across the street. He seemed distracted by everything tonight and would not LEAVE IT. The most interesting to him was a girl on roller blades; it wasn't her but the sound that the wheels made as she skated back and forth.

The dog was created specially for children. He is the god of frolic. - Henry Ward Beecher

Heidi's Update

An update on Buddy from Heidi.

May 13, 2008


Weily has had a quiet day today. The usual three walks with only a trip to Home Depot. Otherwise he seems content to rest. He napped for about two hours after dinner. We played a little ball and for a treat got out the food dispensing toy. He might like that better than playing ball.

Walking in the dark, Weily was spooked by some traffic cones, so we stopped to "make nice" and repeatedly walked past them. We had previously passed at least two other sets prior to the scary grouping. You just never know what will cause the reaction.

Not sure if we should be making accommodations for our new dog or he should be changing to us. I think a little of both is occurring. On the first day we got Weily, he was having a hard time with the HALT command and our use of it at curbs and crossing streets. However after only a few days he is anticipating our command and preparing to halt as we approach a street.

Weily is very good meeting and playing with other dogs and is only mildly distracted by other dogs. His prey drive and retrieval skills are very strong. He loves to play and his tail is constantly wagging. Weily is more social than independent; he is rarely in a room by himself.

When walking he is attentive but will occasionally focus on objects/smells and it is difficult to get his attention with the choke collar. Our biggest challenge has been adjusting to the choke collar. We never really got the hang of it. Every time you need to use it, it seems to have slipped lower on the neck. The correction is not as precise and it seems to take more force. Good thing Weily doesn't require much correction.

When a dog wants to hang out the "Do Not Disturb" sign, as all of us do now and then, he is regarded as a traitor to his species. - Ramona C. Albert

May 12, 2008


After our walk this morning we fed Weily and put a tennis ball in his bowl. We have done this for Buddy to slow down his eating. Weily was confused and tried to eat around the ball, moving from one side to the other to get a better angle. Eventually he grabbed the ball out and ate normally.

The afternoon walk through the park was Weily's chance to meet up with the entire pack. Being new he received a lot of attention from the other dogs and humans too. He played fetch the ball, his favorite game, with Kane and Sable. He impressed the others with his speed and agility. I think he played too hard because on the way home he plopped down in the shade and didn't want to go any further.

Our final mission for the day was a visit to the hardware store and grocery store to drop off some more flyers for the Jog for Guide Dogs and grab something for dinner. Weily was still a little tired - he wanted to lie down on the cool tile floor.

Until we got home, then he wanted to play some more ball while we cooked. During our dinner, he spied a bug on the window. Ouch! It was on the outside.

Our weekly garbage night stroll past all the scary garbage cans went well except for the dog walking along the sidewalk. Weily wasn't sure about him and barked. Then we proceeded to greet him properly.

Dogs laugh, but they laugh with their tails. - Max Eastman, Enjoyment of Laughter

May 11, 2008


This morning we walked in the rain before breakfast. Since we were already wet, Weily got to go for a little run through the creek. After breakfast, he rested from the busy day yesterday while we hooked up the television.

The sun came out for our afternoon walk through the park. We met Leinie and Victoria, whose owners thought he was Buddy. We spent a few minutes socializing with five or six dogs before continuing to downtown Oregon to experience the "traffic". He has been working on HALTing before crossing the street.

While downtown a police car zoomed by with sirens blaring. Weily barely noticed. About a minute later a firetruck loudly pulled out of the station. Weily barely noticed. Then we walked over to the playground. Weily did great on the shifting bridge and even walked across the wobbly plank. He did notice every bird and squirrel on the way home.

Of the toys still in active duty, Weily's favorite is a bouncy rubber ball. We didn't think it would last long considering what he did to the other ones, but he has a soft mouth for this one. He loves to play ball. And he actually brings it back :-)

From the dog's point of view, his master is an elongated and abnormally cunning dog. - Mabel Louise Robinson

May 10, 2008


Weily's first full day in Oregon started with two long walks. One walk before his breakfast and another while Lisa was getting ready. While Lisa was making the bed, Weily jumped up - not sure where he learned that this past month.

We had a lot of work to do around the house, but the weather seemed to have changed for the better, so we changed plans and visited the Farmer's Market in Madison. A few laps around the square and quite a bit of attention for Weily. A veterinarian and her children were very interested in Weily. They thought he was a very handsome dog, so calm and well behaved. We stopped for some popcorn, which was the one food to catch his attention.

We left the market to have a quick lunch. Weily must have been tired because he slept through lunch which turned out to be a very good thing since we were meeting our goddaughters at the zoo. More walking as we waited for them to arrive. Followed by more walking as we tried to keep pace with two preschoolers. Weily received a lot of attention from the other guests as well as the zookeeper. She offered a little advice and shared stories of other service dogs that have attended the zoo.

We then picked up our new television before stopping for dinner at the custard shop. Our last stop of the day was for golf. Weily and the two of us were in charge of the preschoolers while their parents hit a bucket of balls. Weily helped the kids play some miniature golf. Keeping him away from the balls was not our biggest challenge, keeping the girls focused was.

We finally returned home for Weily's dinner and some play time with the kids. I had them work with Weily on STAYing. They would tell him to sit and stay, place the ball on the floor in sight, and have him wait until they said "OK". All three enjoyed the game.

Dogs are miracles with paws. - Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy

May 9, 2008

Puppy Guest1

After getting his hips x-rayed, Buddy left for a six week excursion. He will be visiting the homes of other Occupaws puppy raisers and experiencing new activities with them. Each puppy raiser will provide us with feedback to work on when he returns.

Buddy's first stop will be in Beloit with Heidi. Heidi has worked with every dog except Buddy. View her thoughts. Hopefully she will have good things to say about Buddy.

We welcome Weily to our home. Weily is almost 18 months old and will be progressing to formal harness training in June. Since arriving this afternoon, he has already gone for three walks. We met a little white dog on our walk and Weily was incredibly gentle and tolerant of the "annoying" little dog - she wouldn't leave him alone.

It's now playtime before our nightly walk before bed. He has already destroyed two toys. It looks like he will keep us busy sewing.

Here is Weily as a puppy.

We long for an affection altogether ignorant of our faults. Heaven has accorded this to us in the uncritical canine attachment. - George Eliot

May 8, 2008


After recovering from his minor bout of kennel cough, Buddy is now current with his bordatella. We had thought it was effective for one year. Our Vet Tech said that it is very effective for the first nine months and then is drastically decreases it's effectiveness. He received his nasal injection and about a dozen treats from the Veterinarian.

Buddy worked on one of his fears today - the lawnmower. His first introduction to the lawnmower last year when he was a puppy went well until it started. Ever since he has been skittish around small engines.

A neighbor was mowing the lawn today. She stopped and came over to talk. Buddy stared across the street and the mower and growled at it. So we took this opportunity to "Make Nice" with the lawnmower. First with it sitting inactive and when Buddy was comfortable, she started it up and we "Made Nice" to the powered up lawnmower.

This is Buddy's last night with us. Tomorrow we will see how influential we are; we start our puppy rotation.

If you get to thinking you're a person of some influence, try ordering somebody else's dog around. - Will Rogers

May 7, 2008


Didn't do much today. So here are some pictures of Buddy.

Dogs' lives are too short. Their only fault, really. - Agnes Sligh Turnbull

May 6, 2008


With the warmer weather, my routine has changed and so has Buddy's. I started biking to work this week, so the walk in the morning is shorter than usual. Leaving for work out the basement door, Buddy barks at me as I as magically emerge from below the dining room window.

Upon returning home, later than usual, Buddy barks if he sees me coming and races downstairs to greet me. However, he needs to be calm down before receiving any attention. Not sure if he is barking at the bike or the helmeted intruder. Either way, it needs to cease.

Our before dinner afternoon walk has been replaced with a before bedtime evening walk. A good way to end the day for both of us. It's also much cooler for the big black dog. He enjoyed the tiled floor in the basement all evening.

Properly trained, a man can be dog's best friend. - Corey Ford

May 5, 2008

More Stores

Didn't get much sleep last night. Buddy was crying at 1:00 am because he needed to go outside. He went out on his tie-out, did his business, and came back in. Since he was working on the thigh bone in the afternoon, I was worried that he was having digestive issues. So I never really got back to sleep. No digestive problem, we just didn't take him out late enough last night.

Since we couldn't decide on furniture over the weekend, Buddy was forced to go to the furniture store again today. The salesmen didn't have much to do on a Monday, so he received a lot of attention and Lisa fielded a lot of questions.

One more stop at the Home Depot before sitting through another town meeting. He met all the neighbors at the meeting and behaved wonderfully. No issues except for barking at the cat as she walked past the window this evening.
It's garbage day tomorrow. On our evening walk Buddy wasn't frightened or concerned with any of the cans.

There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face. - Bern Williams

May 4, 2008


Last year when we worked in the garden and Buddy was tied out, he would bark and cry.

Our first day in the garden this year and Buddy passed his test. He didn't bark or cry even when the neighbor dog started barking at him. I told him DOWN and he stayed there silent.

Buddy's reward was a walk by and through the creek. We watched him frolic in the water and finished with a game of fetch in the water. He would run down the hill, jump into the creek, and up the other hillside to get the stick (and return). He has gained an appreciation for the water.

To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring - it was peace. - Milan Kundera

Harness Training

An update on two puppies that have recently started their formal harness training:

Ben is in culture shock, doesn't like being a kennel and didn't eat this morning. Stayed clean in the kennel; I took him out to potty, he saw the sheep/animals and didn't seem to be interested in any of them.

Gilbert on the other hand is doing great; he kicked ass this morning, nice workout. He is showing caution; slowing down in tight areas. Seems to understand clearances. Didn't miss any curb checks, street crossings are better, turns were really good.

I worked him into the auto dealer. He was good, worked his way out and found the door when I left. He is really coming around. I'm still stumbling and stepping on him and he is adjusting and getting used to it. Cross your fingers, so far so good!!!

May 3, 2008


Buddy's day started with a walk and ended with a walk. We walked to the post office this morning but it was closed. Our evening walk was through the park where we met a few dogs. In between the walks, it was a very busy day.

Bank, Post Office, Hardware Store, Home Improvement Store - sitting quietly in line and at the counter

Furniture Store, Electronics Store - plenty of walking around looking at all the choices, Buddy had the usual interactions with sales people and customers

Pet Store - Buddy wanted to play with a few cats that didn't want anything to do with him, met some dogs and puppies, one puppy was being walked by a little boy with a plan to walk the puppy so no one else could adopt him

Electronics Store - Buddy met many dog lovers here

Mall, Restaurant - finally a chance to rest and hydrate, met another real working dog (WAGS) that barked at Buddy, Buddy did not respond :-)

Furniture Store, Furniture Store, Electronics Store - made friends with salesperson and a few customers, quality time with a couple kids, Buddy barked a few times when he was awakened by some pounding noises

Ice Cream Shop - initially denied entry, opportunity for some education, cool tile floor = great place for a nap

Grocery Store - Buddy was hungry by this time and was focused on the lettuce, not sure why the lettuce caught his attention

Children are for people who can't have dogs. - Author Unknown

May 2, 2008


Another opportunity to meet a visitor this morning. It went good, but we are finding that the visitor needs to behave properly. It's difficult to explain to a stranger how to act when they just want to get their work done. Today's visitor provided positive reinforcement when Buddy broke for him. He needs more repetition with knowledgeable visitors.

The afternoon walks in the park have been going really well. The other dog owners have been assisting with Buddy's training. A side benefit is that their dogs are getting some training also. The last few days Kane and Sable have been sitting and staying as we approach which allows us to correct Buddy and back away when he is overly excited. He only gets to greet them when he and they are calm.

The greetings went well today and the pack walked differently. They seemed to be more cohesive and calmer. We walked as a group which is very different than the usual chaos - "dogs being dogs".

As we prepared to leave for the grocery store, Buddy knew it was time to go and got himself ready. He didn't want to be left behind. If he would have known it was to the grocery, he probably would have stayed home. The only time he perked up was when we passed the meat section. He was very attentive as I carried the fifteen pound of pork chops to the register.

A quick stop at the restaurant to order some take-out and then home to watch the Dog Whisperer. Well we watched the show while Buddy slept. Good for him because we picked up a few more lessons tonight, it will be a hard day for him tomorrow.

We long for an affection altogether ignorant of our faults. Heaven has accorded this to us in the uncritical canine attachment. - George Eliot

May 1, 2008


We practiced greeting visitors this morning. He needs more repetition, so feel free to stop by anytime to practice.

This evening we walked to the park. Buddy's friends weren't walking today. They were all playing fetch and chasing each other. This was a good opportunity to first practice our calm dog greeting. Then after greeting everyone, he worked on his DOWN STAY. It was quite a test with dogs running past and over him. He did well, not perfect, so we let him play for a couple minutes before returning to a work - more DOWN STAY.

The party broke up and we walked past the busy soccer fields to the playground. Buddy hasn't been on the equipment for some time. No problem with the steps. Slight hesitation on the shaky bridge. He really didn't want to stop on the bridge, but he did STAY. He will not do the wobbbly plank.

Happiness is a warm puppy. - Charles M. Schulz