Hawk's Schedule

8/4 Lake Mills
8/12 CCSDA Training

June 30, 2009

Who's that puppy???

RedFred, Bacon, Tub-a-lub are all names he's been called, regardless as to what sticks, he not too worried as you can tell!

Little Pink Girl

Well, we had her for one day, but she needs to have some pics out here. This is "little pink girl" the day at our house. I guess she was worn out. Wish she could have slept like this through the night!!!

Here she is just hangin' out on the steps. Cute isn't she??

June 28, 2009

Our New Dog - Chocolate Marley

Today's volunter picnic coincided with the end of Cinder's two month stint at our home. She begins her rotation with another puppy raiser to add to her resume. In exchange for Cinder we got Chocolate Marley.

We first met Marley when she was 13 weeks old. She only stayed at our house for a few days last February. We kept her very busy. We went to the movies, a couple restaurants, and she was our "moneymaker" at a Mounds fundraiser.

Marley is seven months old and will be staying with us for the next two months. Tonight her greatest fear was put to the test - drums. There were ten marching bands practicing, basically in our backyard, at the high school. She was more accepting and relaxed listening from inside the house.

Stay tuned for the future adventures of Chocolate Marley, the big dog.

"A really companionable and indispensable dog is an accident of nature. You can't get it by breeding for it, and you can't buy it with money. It just happens along." - E B White, The Care and Training of a Dog

June 27, 2009


Cinder turned five months old on Friday and the entire OccuPaws organization celebrated. We had a pizza party with cake and balloons. Well that's what we told Cinder. The celebration was actually the graduation ceremony for our first two children's companion dogs, Bodie and Moby. It was a great opportunity to remind everyone of the true purpose of our blood, sweat, and tears.

It is truly an amazing example of the difference that these dogs make in the lives of their visually impaired handlers. Two shy, fearful, and often panic stricked boys have been transformed into confident, outgoing, and humorous boys. Every time you see the team working together it brings a smile to your face and a tear to your eye.

The celebration obviously included the family and their dogs, but it was also an opportunity to show appreciation for the breeders, puppy raisers, and trainers. Here is Moby with his proud "mom", puppy raiser Tina.

It takes a pack to raise a guide dog.

Hopefully our charge, Cinder, was inspired to someday have a job. She did very good reacting with the mass of humans and canines.

After "her party", we forced her to make another trip to the grocery store. Since it was late, we were able to took a few photos.

June 25, 2009

Carny Dogs

Cinder's first outing this evening was to the grocery store. She did well considering the constant invitation to rest on the tile floor and the cooling breeze from the freezer.

Our ulimate destination was the carnival. On our way, we stopped to see Buddy, Kane, and Sable to drop off some freebies from the Dog Fest. Cinder was not well behaved when meeting her pals - needs work. A planned five minute drop and go turned into a one hour caravan of canines and humans. With the Petrys and their three dogs, we were an even bigger spectacle walking through the midway. Not sure what John and Marty thought of being the center of attention, it takes a while to get used to it. Many people thought that all four were service dogs.

Buddy handled the experience well given his year of training. Kane and Sable became a bit anxious as it got darker, but handled it well. Cinder shied away from the clickety-clack of the children's roller coaster. She needs work; we will make a repeat appearance on Saturday.

"Things that upset a terrier may pass virtually unnoticed by a Great Dane." - Smiley Blanton

June 24, 2009


Too hot during the day and shorter walks at night, we have had to find things to do inside the house to keep Cinder busy. Luckily she is still losing teeth, so she is content chewing on anything and everything. She does miss her squeaky toys from this weekend; playing fetch with a rope toy just isn't the same.

Wednesday is Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) day. We had to pick up our weekly supply of vegetables. It was Cinder's third trip to the Blue Moon Farm. She practices obedience on the farm visits. She didn't do too well on STAY tonight, until I put her on a STAY in the shade.

She also gets to meet some new people and creatures. Cinder has been getting acquainted with six or seven future participants. She even got a kiss from one this evening.

As we were making friends with the pigs who are fully committed to the CSA, we were talking to the Kristin, our farmer. I mentioned how one of the questions that we often get is "How can you let the dog go after raising it?". It must be easier than raising pigs. Kristin said that she recently acquired her first pet and it is strange for her to care for and nurture an animal that will not end up on a plate along side the fall vegetables.

"No matter how little money and how few possessions you own, having a dog makes you rich." - Louis Sabin

June 23, 2009


This morning Cinder met the street sweeper on our walk. Initially the noise caught her attention and then the rotating brushes. We walked along side until she got used to the sound.

Our OccuPaws get together was held in Oregon so we didn't have to travel which meant we got to eat before ten o'clock. We meet at the library and the dogs were told to DOWN STAY for our "brief" hour long discussion. Four children were put in charge to enforce the STAY and discipline any offenders. The old man in the group, Reggie, did awesome - Cinder not so much. She just couldn't resist the kids and she broke loose with an occasional whine.

Finally outdoors, Reggie practiced his curb work with a group distraction and the others practiced HEELing. Our final destination was the band shell to listen to music. Marley didn't care for the loud noise, but eventually settled. A few meet and greets before returning home for dinner, ear cleaning, and nail trimming.

"Dogs are our link to paradise. They don't know evil or jealousy or discontent. 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

June 21, 2009

Hat Bowl

We have been known to improvise when needing to get our puppies a drink when at hockey games or out for a walk. We have used our hands to cup water from a water fountain, used a plastic bag as a bowl, or even shared our water bottle.

However, this weekend we were prepared.

As Cinder was getting a drink today, a little boy was watching the puppy very closely. He told his mom that the puppy was drinking out of a hat. We were wondering who he was taking about, then we both smiled as it hit us. He was referring to our portable "hat" bowl.

"The one absolutely unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him, the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous, is his dog." - George Graham Vest

June 20, 2009


It's hard to believe, but this is the first time that we have traveled with Cinder. She adjusted well to a new house and thoroughly enjoyed having new squeaky toys to play with. She played non-stop for two hours before bedtime.

Her only issue was with the dog at the "new house". Cinder was very cautious at first, barking a few times. They eventually made friends.

Today's events included a stop at the Appleton Farmer market, where we heard "No Dogs Allowed", but more often "She's a Guide Dog in Training. Don't Touch". After a bite to eat, Cinder went to a party at the assisted living facility to visit grandma #1.

A few meet and greets this morning when we stopped to drink and cool off. Many compliments on her training and temperament throughout the day.

Next, we stopped to see grandma #2. Cinder roamed the backyard playing with a ball and cautiously investigating the swimming pool. She got too close and the raft gave out completely submerging her head - quite refreshing.

After drying off, she accompanied us to our dinner where she slept under the table. Finally home again, Cinder got to eat, rest, and then another hour of play before bedtime.

June 18, 2009


Cinder has just completed a doubling of her daily cranberry to treat another potential UTI. She will be on daily cranberry until her inverted vulva pops out, which hopefully will occur after her first heat cycle, in six months. With a normal urination pattern, we were able to practice her focused walking - not sniffing from side-to-side.

Like most dogs, Cinder is always happy to go. It doesn't matter where, she just likes to go. Once she gets to the destination, Cinder waits until she can go again. Tonight Cinder went to a going away party where she laid quietly on the patio for a couple hours. Then she got to go inside the restaurant and wait during our dinner. After dinner, more "go" back home and then go for a walk. She has been very observant to noises and movement on her night walks.

Tooth Update: Only one baby tooth remains, her lower left canine. When the adult teeth come in or when the puppy food runs out, it's time for adult dog food. Obviously Cinder has been teething for the last week which explains why she constantly has a toy in her mouth and why portions of our personal items (boot, purse, blanket) are missing or frayed.

My dog's not spoiled ... I'm just well trained !

June 16, 2009

Big Girl

When we arrived at the Puppy Coordinator's house for our weekly OccuPaws get together, Cinder was overly excited. Marlene informed us that Cinder is a "Big Girl" now and she need to start behaving.

Our session focused on handling the seven puppies and discussing the plan for puppy rotation. While we checked on the puppies' progress, the Big Girl played with Marley, Echo, Mollie, Skeeter, Envy, and the pink collared female puppy. Marley and Cinder wrestled non-stop with the exception of a time-out for Cinder's last puppy shot.

Our "Big Girl" is starting to act like a "normal" Labrador. She is finishing her two cups of food in one sitting and still wants more. Cinder reached another milestone this evening. After playing for a bit I called her over to test her recall, her mouth was full of blood and she was missing a canine tooth. She lost her first puppy tooth, getting ready for her Big Girl teeth.

Echo's harness training continues. He has learned to walk straight which is very important and he started to work on curbs yesterday. Chris and Echo both appear to be quick studies. Keep up the good work.

Night Walk

Today was garbage day, so last night Cinder and I took a night walk around the neighborhood. We haven't walked much after dark and common objects/noises become strange with different lighting.

The numerous garbage bins were not an issue. She does keep her distance when we move ours out to the curb. There were only a few items that caused her to pause for an extended look: motorcycle, flag pole, patio lights.

Any time Cinder saw a person walking, she would stop and follow their progress. She did try to grab a few of the spots on the sidewalk caused by the streetlights shining through the trees.

For the most part she was more surprised by noises than fearful. Overall not a big deal, but you never know how she will react next time.

June 15, 2009

I don't wanna shot

This is Lilly, reporting from the field once more,

Slick, Mark and Barb came to visit me again today.

What a joyous day and ev...wait, what - visit the vet???

No thanks, maybe next year...Well OK, I guess she can take a look at me.

No, Tino, I'm really OK. It doesn't hurt. She's just looking at me - NO SHOTS today - yipee.

Oh, wait that tickles...yes rub my tummy - mmmmmmm.

Well I guess I'm in good shape fellow pups. Thanks for joining me Slick.


Easy Rider Dog

Potato, Potato, Potato,

That's me making cycle sounds...pretty good huh??

How do you like my new ride - got it special for the "Hogs for Guide Dogs" Poker Run. I'm gonna be the baddest mutt there!!

Errr, why no officer, it's really not my Hog. No, I don't have a license to drive one,,,unless my rabies tag counts???

Rev rev rev kiddies,


The Apprentice


I got a new trainer today. Mom and Dad's Grandpup Evan decided to put me through my paces. I decided to actually test him instead. First of all, we started with loose leash practice...wait Evan, a little looser, you're cramping my style.

Oh Oh, looks likes he's been to the Marlene Training Academy...he's got way too much control over me. I'll just have to give him a correction I guess.

Now just TRY and control this wee human - who's da strongest dawg inna world - SuperSlick, that's who. Come on now, follow the boss.

OK, OK truce - I give up. You da man!

All for now,


June 12, 2009

My Shadow

The perfect name for every black Labrador puppy is Shadow. In the morning Cinder runs to greet me when she hears me awake from slumber. She waits behind the door as I bathe and she monitors my progress during breakfast, shaving, and dressing.

At night when only she and I are awake, she lies on my feet as I read or blog, follows me to the bathroom to brush my teeth, and escorts me as I put out the trash. My shadow, Cinder, follows me everywhere I go.

And I mean everywhere - can't even take a shower without a furry black head poking around the curtain to check on my whereabouts. We just returned from a walk and working in the yard, so she might have been a little thirsty too.

In addition to licking toes, Cinder has another little quirk. When exiting the house she will stop, extend her paws, and stretch on the threshold. Don't tell her, but it reminds me of a cat.

"In the world which we know, among the different and primitive geniuses that preside over the evolution of the several species, there exists not one, excepting that of the dog, that ever gave a thought to the presence of man." - Maurice Maeterlinck 'Our Friend, The Dog'

Training Day

Hello from Dousman!

Lilly reporting here. Yesterday was another training day for Tino and me. I was pretty excited to see Mark and Barb when they came for another training session.

They wanted to see how I was getting along with my new pal, and I can say Tino and I are best pals. He doesn't want me to be too far away from him.

and he tastes really really good - yum yum.

Tino was feeling pretty good so we went for a short walk in the neighborhood and into and out of some stores. I had to keep reminding Tino not to let go of me or I would get lost.

Then when I showed I was being good, Tino's Mom took over leading me. She isn't quite as tough on me when I want to go fast, but she's learning. I think I'll start listening to her in another lesson or two - got to keep those humans on their toes.

Anyhow, we had a good time and to help Tino hang on the harness better, she is going to get him some very dark sunglasses...very dark!
All for now,

June 11, 2009

Divit Test

Woof Woof!!

Well, this week has been fun with everyone. They tell me that once I passed the "cow" test, I was ready for a little people test. So I got introduced to Mindy's Pup, Jacob. I put up with hair and ear pulling, eye lid lifting, firm petting and they told me I was so good putting up with that abuse. Hah, they think a little of that could hurt after surviving a "Slick Playtime".

Then they wanted to see if I liked to be pet and brushed by someone a little older so out came Mike's Pup Evan. We walked and played and I even sat when he said "Divuuutt, sayet". Babytalk is a little hard to understand but I got the idea. I was good and rolled to all positions so he could brush me.

Then, he thought it would be a good idea if we checked to see if the kennel was big enough for two. Dad wasn't fast enough to get the picture of Evan laying down with his head on my side, but did take this one. Conclusion, I like kids and my tail was not a lethal weapon.

The next day, Slick and I went to the Jet Room at the Madison Airport and watched the planes taxi and stuff. Slick really liked watching "da Planes"

After the Jetroom (no food again) we went to Mounds East to set up the OccuPaws booth. We got to meet lots of people who thought we were really good dogs and everything. One woman said we were so good, she went back to the counter and bought 2 doggie bones and gave one to Slick and one to me....wheee food!! But Mom and Dad said we would have to wait til we got home to have them. :-(

Finally, time to go home and Mom said one more test for me - sitting in the front seat. Slick said it was easy but I got sorta had no room and got stuck!!!

Well all for now,