Hawk's Schedule

8/4 Lake Mills
8/12 CCSDA Training

March 31, 2009

Slick reporting from the field

Woofie Woof!!

This is superdog Slick reporting from Camp Moe!! Well fellow poochies, I've been living here since Saturday and I'm settling into my new adventures fairly well. My new, temporary house is like my own house EXCEPT for one mystery. I still can't figure out how those deer jumped up so high and got their head stuck inna wall...and what they are standing on the other side so they don't fall down. They are also decidedly unfriendly - I've tried talking to them but they just ignore me!!

When I walk around and sniff and stare their eyes follow me but the never MOVE! You'd think their noses would itch sometime. Oh well.

There are some here that do pay attention to me, the humans of course, and the two lovely ladies. Sky, an older lab mix started playing with me Saturday night.

She told me she usually takes a day or two to want to play with the new dog but because I'm SUPERDOG she likes me :-) Lizzie, a sheltie is a tad more aloof and just ignores all my play bows and attempts to get her to play.

She just doesn't seem to enjoy my body slam the way Moby and Sky do.

We've gone on a few trips to the store and we have wandered the mall. Sometimes it's a bore but I have to keep the humans happy - they seem to enjoy it. Mom told me to be on my best behavior so I put up with the human blah blah blah and stuff and Mom, I'm trying to always be very well behaved.

Tomorrow night they said I go to the next house - someone named Chris Hamilton. Well, all for now - I'll be out of touch for a few days as my next home does not have a computer (perhaps I'll contact you by smoke signal or beating drums :-)


Letter from Camp

Another letter from Moby and Bodie to Tanner and Taylor. (double click on it to enlarge)

and the pictures from camp life...

March 30, 2009


There are many joyous milestones associated with puppy raising:

1. Sleeping until 7am
2. Housebreaking Complete
3. Earning "Canine Good Citizen"
4. Handling Rotation Well
5. Accepted for Harness Training
6. Completing Harness Training
7. Placement with a Partner

8. Reunion at OccuPaws event

Poker for Paws provided an opportunity for Weily's puppy raisers to see him and his partner Lisa in action. I can only imagine their pride as they met the puppy that they raised to be a guide dog.

Here's a picture of their current trainee, Deegan:

March 28, 2009

Poker for Paws

Greetings and Salutations!!

Slick has started his puppy rotation and has given me the position of "dog ghost writer" for him. Hopefully he'll be reporting from the field, but until then as a "newcomer" I'll do my best to report the news. My Name is Bodie and I am at Boot Camp to learn a few new things to properly help my young friend Tyler. I'm going to learn to work with a harness and to heel on the opposite side.

When I got here following a festive event "Poker for Paws" I met up with my pal Moby and a new friend, Lilly. I also met many dogs at the event today. I'm going to attempt to settle in and properly train these humans in proper dog treatment. We'll let you know how that goes. In the meantime, here are some photographs of today's proceedings.

All for now,


March 27, 2009

Moby's Letter to Tyler

Woof guys and gals - here is Moby's letter to Tanner.


Dear Tanner AND TYLER TOO,

How are both of you? I am fine. Hope you are too. I went on two car rides yesterday and one today. First we went to the Pancake house with Slick and me and everybody came an petted me and said what a good doggie I was and how handsome. We sat under the table while the humans ate. Slick said they do that a lot and blah blah blah – human talk to everyone.

Then Lilly and I went to Mt. Horeb to see the Vet. Did you know I weigh 82 pounds!!! It took two people to lift me on the table to meet Dr. Dave. Dr. Dave and the camp counselor went to High School together about a hundred years ago, back in the olden days. Dr. Dave did some tests and gave me some shots – I was brave and didn’t cry at all - and he gave me a doggie sucker when it was done. He said I am real healthy.
Then we went outside and walked and walked and walked. I thought the counselors got lost but we finally found the car and came home. Then later on we went to the store and walked some more. I’m really getting good at walking in a straight line.

Then today was nice, we went to Shelton’s in Cross Plains and I saw that Slick was a celebrity and everyone there (about a zillion people) all said hello and they were going to come see him tomorrow at Poker. I don’t know how to play poker, do you Tanner? They are going to have pizza and I sure hope they drop some on the floor. I guess tomorrow is a big day cuz the counselors have got two cars filled with stuff. And they are going to give it all away – kinda dumb don’t you think??
Then I got two recesses outside to play with Lilly and Slick. Here is a picture of me.

That’s all for now Tanner.
I love you and I miss you.
See you soon!

PS: Here are some pictures of me.
PSPS: I miss you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!XOXOXOXO

March 26, 2009


The newest OccuPaws puppy was donated by Neverest Labradors. She is eight weeks old and weighs about eight pounds. She is quite the cheerful mischievous sprite (aka Pixie).

If you have an idea for her name, send it to Marlene :-)

March 25, 2009


We were busy last night gathering Echo and Buddy's medical records, paperwork, and supplies. Buddy's was officially transferred from us to his new owners. He will share his new home, just a few blocks away, with two dogs, a cat, and two humans.

Since the Puppy Coordinator was in town, she stopped by to get Echo. He will stay at her home, with seven other dogs, a cat, and two humans. Echo's future plans are not definite at this time, but she said that there are a few possibilities.

Bones chewed on the ends, a surplus of bags.
Leash hangs on the door, no jingle of tags.
Toys all picked up, the crate put away.
No barks to alert, very quiet today.

We don't see another dog in our immediate future, so I will be back in a month for Echo's bithday, unless we get an update sooner.

“For me a house or an apartment becomes a home when you add one set of four legs, a happy tail, and that indescribable measure of love that we call a dog.” -Roger Caras

March 23, 2009

Good Puppy, Trainer Needs Help

Our first failure was blamed on medical issues, however last year Buddy was having behavioral issues during his brief stint on rotation before x-rays revealed mild elbow dysplasia. As I compare our two students, they have many similarities not caused by nature, but rather the environment that we provided them. It would be foolish not to contemplate if puppy raising is a suitable vocation.

Our training methods and consistency are suspect and need to be evaluated. Similar to our charges, we may require a few major corrections to improve performance or we may be career transitioned. We may be unfit to raise guide dog puppies by ourselves, so the Puppy Coordinator is creating a plan to have others more involved in our puppy's training to correct our mistakes before it gets too late.

Draft Horses

Woof Kids,

Well, all the new dogs, Moby and Lilly have taken over the house I guess. They each got brand new strappy harnessey back thingies and THEY get to go on all the trips now.

Oh yeah, every once in a while Mom and Dad throw me a bone and take be to a movie or something, but the growed-up dogs get special treatment.

They get to go and walk with kids...big kids, and little kids and they all get to pet them. Mom says they are getting used to that harness thing and walking when someone is pulling back. I could do that...yeah I could if I wanted but noooooo, I'm too young. They forgot I'm SUPERDOG...taadaa!!

I did get Moby dirty again - we did the body slam thing and I won and he's bigger'n me but I'm SUPERDOG...taadaa!! He tipped over inna mud and so he got a bath.

They told me how they walked with a bunch of kids at Nikki's and a bunch more Brownie's at the Mall.

Maybe someday I'll get my very own harness. A pup can dream, can't he??


March 22, 2009


Not sure if Echo knew why the Puppy Coordinator and Trainer stopped by the house on Saturday, but he made their decision very easy. Not sure why, but he cried and whined the entire time that we discussed his situation, about ninety minutes. Not sure if it was one thing or a combination, but Echo has been terminated (from the program).

Our puppy Echo will be now be career transitioned to a permanent home. We are 0 for 2, but the Puppy Coordinator says that his temperament is just not a good fit to be a guide dog, a "misfit" - my term not hers. As we prepare for Echo's departure, Buddy's journey to a new home and role as loved pet also begins.

From what I hear, Echo seems to take more after his father and would therefore be a superb field dog. If anyone is interested in either of our two "misfits", please contact us or Marlene at OccuPaws.

March 21, 2009

New Journey

Buddy will be embarking on a new journey, once Echo decides if he wants to be a guide dog or hunting dog.

This morning, we worked with Echo by playing musical bone. Facing each other, each dog was given time to chew and when the "music stopped" we switched players. No possessiveness, they were each very tolerant.

I think that Echo is going through a phase and will work through it. He is not an aggressive dog, just going through a stressful period.

Bestest pals

Woof fellow pups,

Great news. The great white beastie is really a dog and his name is Moby.

Mom said he is going to stay with us for a couple weeks to learn some new stuff. All I know is he's super cool and after we played I told my pack he's totally rad so now I teached him the secret handshake and everything and now he's a member of the pack.

So we all got to play together and boy is he fast - we were running and running and he got tired first cuz I'm superdog!!

I'm almost as tall as him and I told Mom if she just fed me as much as he gets I'd grow up to be big and strong like him too. She said he is a good dog and comes better than Lilly or me when she calls him...hrumph. That's cuz I haven't showed him the really good hidey places we can go when Mom calls. I'll teach him!!

He said he likes it here but he did miss his pal Tanner. He showed me the letter he wrote home to Tanner.

He writes real small some humans might need to double click (whatever the heck that means) on his letter to read it.

All for Now,


March 20, 2009


We experienced a glimmer of hope this evening on our walk. Echo picked up a stick and wanted to play. Arie, a big German Shepard, also wanted the stick. Arie bared his teeth and growled a bit. Echo dropped the stick and quickly moved away.

Also on our walk, Buddy and Echo were allowed some off leash time. Echo received a few additional lessons from Buddy when he was invading Buddy's space or attempting to steal toys. Echo cried out a few times, but we continued to encourage Buddy to exert his authority.

Once the hierarchy has been established, everyone gets along very well. Echo needs more experiences like this stored in his head. Our strong dominant dog showed that he is rational and can learn.

"Call me Ishmael"


A Great White Whale has invaded my space...I think he is trying to swallow my bff Lilly whole!!!

More tomorrow after I figure out what this great huge beast is doing here. In the meantime, Dad dragged out the RBC for the monster.


PS: RBC is dogspeak for REALLY BIG CRATE!

Surprise, Surprise, Surprise

Today is your birthday we traveled so far we two

And when the sun comes out tomorrow
It'll be the start of a brand new day
And all that you have wished for I know will come your way

Happy Birthday Buddy

March 18, 2009

Dog's Life

Well Echo has been behaving well since Monday when he tangled with a Pit Bull for the rights to a ball. Yes, we have a very strong dominant dog on our hands, but he has been very good adjusting to his new environment and rules. He has quite the life: a biweekly manicure and a nightly massage. I can't believe he fussed getting his manicure/pedicure this evening.

Echo is learning his place in the house and working hard on HEELing when out and about. He is still accompanying us on our daily adventures to the drug store and grocery store. He even went to a work meeting with Lisa today. Like most of the people at staff meeting he was bored. Unlike humans, he wasn't shy about showing his lack of interest with a couple loud sighs toward the end of the session.

It's too early to tell if any progress is being made. It's only been three days, but he seems more attentive. Next weekend at Poker for Paws will be a good test and others will be there to assess our situation.

March 17, 2009

A new harness

Woof fellow canines!

Lilly and I are still having fun as true Labradorks when we play outside, but Mom and Dad are working us harder than ever. Walk walk walk, turn turn turn, blah blah blah...

My only break came when I was giving kisses to Mindy's pup - Jacob. He liked them.

After walking all over the neighborhood we went to Nikki's so that Lilly could try on a harness and Mom and Dad could do more Blah blah blah. Brooklyn thought Lilly looked squeezably sweet...

And Lilly just got tired modeling. She does look kinda special though doesn't she!!

Then the next day we went off to East Towne to stroll, human eating time (are there NO dog treat stations anywhere???) and more of those moving stairs. I went first to show Lilly there was nothing to be a-scared of and I did a good job cuz she went right on.

By the time we were done she was looking around like me, just having fun.

Finally, yesterday, we went to Nikki's again and Mom put me in a cage - ALONE!!! Something about me whinning at Mindy's house in a crate...didn't she know I'm usually fine but everybody was talking and laughing WITHOUT ME! and there was this cat sitting there staring at me. Anyhow while they were there, Lilly showed how nice she walks in her harness now that she is used to it.

Nikki was real happy with her!

Back to walking!

March 16, 2009

Simon Sez

Operation "Make It or Break It" has begun. Echo has started our version of house arrest or better defined as the children's game Simon Sez. He can't move without being told. Somewhere along the line our seventy pound puppy has gotten the idea that he is the BDIH (big dog in house).

The goal is to establish a new pecking order where Echo is clearly at the bottom. He must obey all commands and only act on our commands. Essentially we are his master and he is our dog. He is the last to eat and walk through doorways. Indiscriminate playtime has been canceled and toys placed out of reach; we control his every activity. A few hours of solitary confinement to top things off. While Echo plays Simon Sez, Buddy is free to do as he wishes and receives all the perks of being the BDIH.

It sounds worse than it is. However, this is very serious. We may have created a monster by interfering when Echo was younger and Buddy was "teaching" him who the boss was.

March 15, 2009

Strike Three?

After our morning walks the boys were allowed to play with their "special" toys. Echo always has to have the toy that Buddy has and they usually end up swapping and/or tugging. Buddy lets him win.

This morning Echo had a toy, Buddy was interested, Echo became very possessive, and the situation escalated. I broke up the melee; the end result was a serious correction for Echo. We believed that Echo learned a valuable lesson, however, there was a repeat performance this evening over an empty food bowl.

Echo worked on HEEL on the way to and at the park today. We worked hard, so we played hard too. Tonight was the weekly ear cleaning which both dogs hate. Of course this was followed by more cradling which both dogs love.

March 14, 2009

Stairways to ...

We spent the morning with family. Echo's first stop was the Overture Center for a Irish dance celebration for St Patrick's Day. We arrived late, so we watched from above. Before the presentation, Echo caught the attention of those that were lucky enough to be seated below and they snapped pictures of the special puppy in the Overture Center.

In addition to all the youngsters that provided puppy distractions and interactions, the Overture Center offered unique stairways to challenge a puppy. Stairways were not an issue, but Echo still has issues licking others.

We grabbed a quick lunch while Echo grabbed a comfy spot under the table. The final stop for the afternoon was the capitol building. We traversed the many different hallways, rode elevators, and climbed more stairways

The most interesting part of the day's adventure for Echo were the squirrels and birds on the capitol grounds. He is very aware of the creatures and their movements - high prey/play drive.

The day ended with the last hockey game of the season for Echo (at least in Madison). We walked even more stairs and he only gobbled up one piece of popcorn. It got to the point that every time we encounter a stairway, he assumes we are going that way.

March 12, 2009


After a week of "confinement", Echo was looking a little high strung. So he got the opportunity to play outside with Buddy. It was cold and late, none of the other dogs were in the park. At first he was so excited he didn't know what to do and just ran - no purpose he just ran. He finally decided on a game of keep away with Buddy. Since it was cold out, no mud on the dogs and no paw prints on the floor.

Lisa worked Echo at the grocery store. He did seem preoccupied with my whereabouts during the adventure. He ate dinner with Buddy when we returned home. We are still watching for canine directed food aggression, but Buddy seems to stay clear when Echo is eating. We need other dogs to practice with.

More cuddling and cradling before bed.

March 10, 2009


Question: How do you define impossible?

Answer: Trying to keep the "new" wood floor free of paw prints with two dogs and five days of non-stop rain which have turned the yard into a muddy swamp.

The last few days I have worked with Echo on HEEL. He tends to walk in front, not pulling, just leading which is probably good for a guide dog. As he reaches the extent of his leash and feels a correction, he will immediately jump/run back to my side. As the walk progresses, his HEELing gets better and I provide constant reinforcement in attempt to keep him there.

We have substituted cradling and grooming for the daily exercise. Echo doesn't seem to mind and he may even like the extra TLC. It seems to have a calming effect.

March 9, 2009


Arf Arf,

Well pups, it's been an interesting couple of days. Friday, we went to visit the people at Shelton's and after the humans had lunch, we went for a walk downtown. I went with Mom and Lilly went with Dad. She said she had trouble with turns heeling on the right side (she kept looping) but after making turns for a while, she got the idea.

She said she also had to walk very very slowly, maybe because Dad is sooo old he can't walk fast! I got to go on a normal walk cuz I'm superdog.

When we got home, Mom got all mixed up on how to feed. We sit in the kitchen usually and then dash to our food after Mom says our name and free. This time she put the food between Lilly and me and made us stare and stare at it. Then we ate right next to each other - she said something about this being a test, but it seemed pretty easy to me.

When Lilly finished hers, she stuck her nose into my bowl and had some of my food. Mom was happy that we shared for some reason???

Then Sunday Lilly and I were all excited about going to Mounds (yum yum - great food and treats). We kept watching for the gravy train, but noooo, Mom said we didn't want any treats - speak for yourself lady! We want treats!!! But nope, just lots of people petting us and saying how good we were - pssst, hey kid, see that rack of doggie treats...please pleazzz gimme one?? Three wasted hours - not a single goodie.

And we were even pretty good with all those other dogs in there - but still just down-stay-blah blah.

We did get a good crazy run today outside and I came every time Mom called...almost.


March 7, 2009

Exercise Ban

On our short morning walk, Echo practiced SIT STAY COME with distractions. A lady walking nearby, one of the distractions, noted what a Good Dog he was. Then Echo spent the rest of the morning shopping: Walgreen's, WalMart, Farm/Fleet, Mounds, and Bill's. Nothing much to report, except that he is always happy to get "dressed" and take a ride with us.

We have cut back on his walks. In the past we have used them as exercise to reduce his energy level. However, we found out during puppy rotation that this creates a very high energy dog when he doesn't get the same exercise. Walks now will be used for potty and he will get his exercise on outings only. This should make him more manageable when others take over.

This evening Echo attended his first hockey game in more than a month. Again, no issues with the crowds, lights, or noises. There was some licking when greeting others;he has learned not to lick us. Back home for dinner, the two dogs have been eating together without incident, only gobbling and burping.

March 6, 2009

Recall Camp

Woof woof

We are now living out of the car - no we're not homeless, just going EVERYPLACE!! To breakfast, prize pickups, grocery store, gasoline store, doog food store (yessss), Nicole's, and haircuts??? Miss Lilly and I both we good pups, camping out while a lady sprinkled human hair all over us in some sort of strange ritual.

Then we spent some time a Nicole's house - humans did their blah blah blah and I kissed and followed around her human puppies.

Then we went outside where I learned to come IMMEDIATELY when called. For some reason silly humans don't understand, I heard them when they called, and I am coming....eventually - but first I gotta scratch, then sniff that leaf, watch that bug crawl, stretch, scratch some more, oops - poop to sniff, and then OK OK OK - I'm coming. It didn't take long and I was coming at a run!! Amazing what yummy food when I get to them does to motivate a pup.

That running back and forth stuff was hard work so on the ride home, I plumped up my pillow-blanket and took a nap.

Lilly was glad to have me home...did I give her an earful about getting FOOD when I come quickly and how she'd better run when they say come or no food for her!


March 5, 2009

Boot Camp

After what the Puppy Coordinator called five weeks of fun, Echo must start boot camp. Either he shapes up or he "gets booted out of the program".

Echo, like the other puppies, behaves well out in public. It will be important to keep exposing him to different situations to increase his confidence and help him deal with new situations in the future. However, it is critical that his general behavior improves. The big yellow dog is not a pet and must be held to a higher standard.

Today we have instituted new rules and procedures for our new dog: (1) Echo will be fed with other dogs, not in his crate. (2) No growling, biting, or aggression. (3) He will not be allowed in the kitchen when we are preparing meals. (4) Play times will be limited. (5) No licking or jumping. (6) No eating off the floor, wait for command to eat. (7) No whining or crying, except to potty. (8) He will not go to the park for fun or exercise.

If I missed any, please let me know. The list of rules is more for our benefit than his. We need to refocus on the job at hand, and it must be viewed as a job.

By the way, Echo is readjusting to life back "home". We fed him with Buddy and Echo growled when approached which earned an immediate correction. He's not sure why he has to stay out of the kitchen, but begrudgingly complies. He is very good about waiting for the "OK" before eating out of my hand. Trimming his nails only bothered him a little bit.

The journey continues ...

March 4, 2009

New Dog - Echo

Arch and I received a surprise visit this afternoon. An appraiser stopped by the house. Arch behaved well and remained in a DOWN throughout the visit. This evening we went on our last walk to the park. Arch said his good-byes to Victoria, Chase,Trish, Ellie, Mala, Charlie, and his tormentor, Teddy. A quick shower was required before his trip home.

Our new puppy, Echo, arrived home much bigger than when he left, five weeks ago. It looks like he's put on about five pounds. We tend to underfeed or overwork our puppies; they're usually on the lighter side.

We are viewing this as a new beginning. We are hoping to correct the misbehavior that we had been tolerating before his rotation. The feedback from the other puppy raisers is much appreciated.

March 3, 2009

Last Night

Arch walked around the school traffic again this morning without incident. A walk to the park and some play time with Buddy before breakfast. He is looking a little thin so he got an extra serving. He also got to try the food dispensing toy. Arch didn't understand the toy so Buddy showed him how it works and Arch was glad to eat the food while Buddy nosed the toy up and down the hallway.

Arch did get to go to the grocery store. Usually when we go to the store in town the staff and customers keep their distance. Today Lisa was picking up a package from an employee so Arch met a lot of the staff and Lisa answered questions. Arch received compliments on his behavior and canine good looks.

More interaction with the dogs of the Park Pack (Kane, Sable, Victoria, Riley, Teddy) before dinner. Arch was harassed the whole time by Teddy, a playful puppy. Hard to believe he was hungry considering all the ice he ate. Not sure when he picked up the habit, but he is constantly picking up pieces of ice to chomp on. Hopefully just going through another chewing stage.

It was definitely not Arch's lucky day. His final night here and it just happened to be nail trimming night. It was my lucky nigh because Arch's nails are clear and the quick is easily discernible. He handled it well, much better than Buddy. Buddy may sense my apprehension due to his black nails.


Woof Sigh....

Today ONLY I'm letting Lilly tell her story since I, superdog, was left AT HOME while Lilly and Reggie went to visit at the nursing home, but before I turn it over to her...

Mom said I was a very good boy last night at my last rally class. If she could just remember to read the signs, I'd be glad to do what she needs!! But despite her senior moments, I did just fine (well, except for that very very minor floor sniffing, and licking, and sniffing some more, and...) well I thought it was just being a dog but she "of no humor" did not. After a couple firm corrections (her words) I decided LIVING was better than sniffing so I left that spot alone.

Now, here's Lilly:

Good morning all!! What a wonderful day, running and chasing outside before we went for a splendid car ride to visit people. I was a perfect lady, placing my head softly in peoples laps, looking into their eyes and sighing as I was pet. The only low point was Mother felt I must stay on my feet - she must not realize how relaxing lying down can be. As my little friend Slick would say - blah blah blah, stand stand, stand. OK, I get the point - standing.

In any case, here I am with a couple of delightful ladies.

And with another young lady who likes to push chairs with wheels all around the building - such fun.

Well, reporting for Mr. Slick, I'm Lilly Pad signing off.

Tah tah,

Miss Lilly