November 30, 2009
I just wanted to let everyone know that my days as a blog writer are numbered. I met my future family for the second time, this time at their home, along with my first meeting with their dog. While I tried and tried to get this pup to play, he just wanted to growl and snap. Finally with lots of play bows, helter skelter running and a little correction from Nikki, he agreed to play with me. We chased each other and ran with toys in his back yard.
When we settled down, I met my new pal Kaitlyn and her sister. After I got a lot of loving and hugs, Dad put my harness on me for another test drive. Off we went, with Kaitlyn walking beside me with pauses only to give me a hug. She likes to move fast so I got to trot with her :-) and she is very, very good with her cane and didn't touch me with in once!!
We finally had to stop cuz it was getting dark and cold, but while the humans went on and on with their blah blah blah, I got treats and gave kisses and body rubs. I was sad to go, but I think Kaitlyn was even sadder. Fortunately, Pam is going to do her Mom and Dad's sighted guide training and then I'll teach them some obedience stuff. I have to make them think they are controlling me, but we all know we dogs are the real masters!
Then old Mom and Dad will teach new Mom and Dad everything they need to know about working with me and Kaitlyn as a team. I think we're going to try and finish up their training in the next few weeks so I can go live with them forever before Christmas (what a present I'll be). Then I overheard some blah blah about a big graduation party for us on the 26th or 27th so all of Kaitlyn's family that is in town can come see her graduate. Cool huh?
All for now. I'll be turning over the blog reins to Harley soon.
November 29, 2009
November 28, 2009
P.S. She lost her second tooth this morning.
She bounded up and down the stairway four more times before we let her rest. Hopefully she will transfer this ne found confidence to other stairways and she wil be ready for the hockey game next weekend.
Now if we can just finish the housebreaking.
November 27, 2009
Today we went on a car adventure. I had to sit in the back seat with my three people. It was kinda scrunchy. We went to Wollersheim winery. They didn't let me taste any wine or cheese. I had to stay, lie down, come on, stay, down, lets go, stay...while my people wandered around. Then we went to see sculptures by Doc Evermore. More of the same. Sit, stay, come on, down...they sure can be erratic. And then we had lunch, but they forgot to place my order. And then we went to the grocery store, where they had samples and yet again didn't share. They wouldn't even let me eat the crumbs on the floor.
When we finally got home, I had my dinner. Now I'm feeling a little dozy. Oh, and I did very well this morning on our walk...well, I had to be corrected, but the leash is getting looser. It's SOO hard with the squirrels and birds calling my name.
She entered the house like she owned it. Neva and Marley wrestled and romped while we shared dog stories. Marley was acting like the pack leader, so we tried to use her to lead Neva down the basement steps. That ploy was unsuccessful, so we have more work to do.
Marley has been pulling when out for walks. We reintroduced her to the pronged collar and she started behaving immediately. A few trips up and down the block was all we could handle in the rain, but Sharon and Marley were working like a well oiled machine.
We also received an update on Archie. He looks very happy with his adoptive litter mates. With only one exception all the news on Archie has been positive. He unfortunately lost a tooth in a baseball accident. He has learned not to chase a baseball about to be batted, but continues to chase anything else that moves.
November 24, 2009
This morning, I thought that she was ready for some tough love. We played outside for a bit and entered the house through the basement door. I dried her off from the rain and left her downstairs.
We called her upstairs, "Neva, Neva". Eventually she came to the bottom of the stairs and whimpered. We kept calling and coaxing her with treats from the top. As she began ascending, we were speechless and she stopped three quarters of the way up.
She had a decision to make and looked down and turned around, almost slipping. I had a decision to make: rescue or motivate. Getting her to refocus on us and the treats, she climbed the final four steps. To prove that it wasn't a fluke, we repeated the exercise four more times later in the day. Even though she won't descend yet, we are two proud puppy raisers.
November 23, 2009
Our puppies always draw double takes from other patrons. Usually it's surprise and happiness, especially when they can greet the pup. It's rare, but we have experienced disgust, especially around food. It was pure joy in the library. Neva was mauled by four young girls. We shortened our meet and greet because we were quite a commotion in the normally quiet building.
Neva had her third puppy class at The Dog Den. We worked on SIT, DOWN, WATCH, HEEL, and COME. Sit is almost automatic and the Down still requires some prompting. Her recall is good and Lisa even added a lured Finish.
Tonight's contests were 'Musical Sit', which Neva won and 'Musical Down', where she took second place (out of five). Overall a positive evening. However,we experienced the highlight of the evening exiting class. On the way out, she went down the steps without any hesitation. Only two more weeks until our next hockey game.
Guess what?! I’m home! Well, right now I’m in a computer lab, but I’m back in Wisconsin. Phew. So my person took me to this place called California. It was strange. It was warm. And I had a funny house…had to wear my vest just go outside. And I saw lots of new things including: glass elevators , airport security, flying (ok, so I tried to flap my ears, but I was really on a plane), a train with glass doors I could see out of while we moved, a REALLY LOUD train, geese, the trolley (my person had to lift me up because it was an old one with a teensy step that they didn’t want me to fall on), a cable car, crowds (geeze, I didn’t know so many existed), some new doggie friends, a concert (SHHH, don’t snore), a bunch of restaurants…I’m sure there’s more, but it’s a blur.
At the airport on the way home, I was walking along and minding my own business when a suitcase started to bark and growl at me. It happened like THREE times…yeah, my people were a little lost, trying to find the right check-in. Someone needs to learn to be quiet. My person said I was VERY GOOD as I did my best to ignore the obnoxious creature.
Unfortunately, after all that adventure, my person says I smell bad. So even though I took a bath ONLY 12 days ago so I'd be clean for my trip, I'm under the threat of a full cleaning tonight.
November 22, 2009
I took her outside, hoping for the best, but knowing that is was probably too late. No potty action outside confirmed my belief. Back indoors, we began our scavenger hunt for treasure. The damage was too piles and one puddle.
As usual, our puppy taught us another valuable lesson.
P.S. an update on our older dog Sky. She had the sutures in her ear removed yesterday and her ear is healing nicely. Once the hair finishes growing back it will be hard for anyone to tell she had any problem.
I guess it's time for me to introduce myself, now that I have been a good boy and did NOT mess up my crate and only got up once in the middle of the night to go potty. I must be all grown up now!!!
I arrived at my new home on Friday after Momma Marlene got me and Hailey all spiffy. I smell soooo sweet. I got to meet Slick and Timber and Roxie and Reggie and Stitch. They all like me cuz I'm cute and don't bite hard (usually).
I'm part of the Labradorks crew now, I guess.
Aww, Timber loves me so much he's smiling while I bite his elbow.
You can see some more pictures of me and Timber and Slick here.
November 21, 2009
The prognosis was inconclusive, although fleas and mites were not present. A steroid injection will provide relief for a few day along with Benadryl and medicated shampoo.
The Benadryl had calmed things down and the steroid was on board, so we took her to puppy playtime at The Dog Den. She chased, fled, wrestled, bit and licked the dozen of smaller puppies. With ten minutes remaining, we took a walk over to the bigger puppy group. She was a lot more timid, but overall no issues.
Neva was exhausted after the hour and we were tired from lack of sleep. We all returned home to eat and take a nap.
Neva is still wary of strange sounds and sights. The barking dogs in the neighborhood send her to the porch seeking safety. We walked the park and she is approaching other dogs and people with more confidence.
Stairs are still something to be avoided at all costs. So after our walk, we went downtown to practice. The village hall has four steps that are less intimidating, but still invoke fear. Using our magic treats we were able to get her up and down a few times, and then she was fine, running up and down fearlessly.
November 20, 2009
Introducing Haley, Harley, and TBN.
After romping in the grass, Harley left with his new puppy raisers to his new home. Neva, Haley, and TBN went to visit a person that wanted to rescue one our "misfit" dogs from the island of misfit toys. However, when she met Haley she thought that puppy raising might be the perfect fit.
Our black butterball, Neva, might belong on the island with us by her side. The canine teeth on her left side have not come in yet, or they were knocked out weeks ago. She also has very dry and itchy skin. Any touch on her back makes her legs scratch uncontrollably. After a healthy two months with Banjo, we are back to raising a puppy with health issues. When will they learn that we just aren't cut out for this puppy raising stuff.
November 18, 2009
Neva and Sparta were Naughty.
In class we worked on HEEL and BACK; two things that we haven't even started to work on. We have only had her for two weeks and housebreaking has been our primary objective. Our homework is to have our little black potbelly pig HEELing by the next class. After class we stopped by to visit with Santa and his elves.
Neva and Sparta were Nice.
View a Few More Photos
When we've left her at home for short periods of time, I've let her stay in this crate, as she can curl up in it, but at night, I have to kick her out and force her over to the other crate, which she is getting better at. No more poking at the door as I try and zipper it up.
We also rode on our first full bus today. Many of the newer Oakland busses have a seating that is primarily elevated, with an un-elevated path down the middle, and accessible seating at this level at the middle of the bus. But all of that seating was taken. So Promise had to lie on the floor by the back door for a while, and then when someone got up, I had her hop up to the higher seating, but she couldn't back in, as it would have required backing up a step. I got her up and then had to pull up her front end to rotate her (not enough room for her to rotate her rear end under my seat and then she settled right down. That bus ride was also the first time I've been asked if I have an ID for her.
Monday was spent recovering from a long day. Everyone slept until puppy class at The Dog Den. Much of the class time is spent off leash working on the commands. In addition to the canine distractions, the puppies receive commands from the other owners which is good. However, Neva has picked up a few bad habits: begging, grabbing treats, floor surfing, and nibbling fingers. She absolutely loses her head when treats are plentiful and doled out indiscriminately. We need to either explain to the group how to treat our puppy, limit interactions, stop attending class, or lighten up and let her be a puppy. The easiest thing to do is stop attending class, but we will probably discuss the situation with a trainer at puppy playgroup on Saturday.
We were brave and took Neva out to dinner for the first time on Tuesday. Being a tad bit older than three months, she needs a lot of work. It makes you appreciate how the older dogs lie quietly under the table. She hasn't learned DOWN or STAY yet, so we figured it would be a challenge to corral her under the table. We hoped that after a long walk she would lie down and rest; she did not. We did experience the "star" treatment. People interrupted our dinner to meet Neva. Now we know how celebrities feel eating cold food.
After our lengthy dining experience, we attempted another first. A quick trip through Wal-mart followed by dreaded grocery shopping. Neva was not bothered by the shopping cart, which she handled better than loud rolling trash cans. Of course her favorite sections were the deli, the meat department, and pet food aisle. We all returned home happy and relieved - our greatest fear, the puddle or pile, did not appear.
November 17, 2009
His bone went under the couch, and he did all he could to get it out. All this in a matter of 5 minutes.
Later, while I was in the kitchen I came out and my small electric blanket that I keep on my couch, the cord was chewed threw. The cord must of been hanging down. Lucky it wansn't plugged in. I was only gone a few minutes.
Today was not a good day. I guess I have to crate him when ever I leave the room. Usually he follows me where ever I go.
Jan and Ernie
It looks like I should have shared these Tips from Cesar a day earlier.
We have been introduced to prematurity awareness by our beautiful, sweet and precious great-niece named Rylee, born 9 weeks and 1 day premature. I don’t know all the ins and outs about Rylee’s birth and all the trials and tribulations she has been through, but I know there were many. I cannot tell you all the medical terms for the equipment she has needed or the procedures she has had or the medicines she has been on, but again there were many. I do not even know the exact numbers of days she was in the NICU at Iowa City or the number of times she was back in the hospital in her very short life, or the number of nights her parents spent at the Ronald McDonald House to stay close to her, but there were many.
I may not have all the statistics, but what I can tell you is Rylee Marie is a beautiful and effervescent little angel who will melt your heart with her bright silver-blue eyes and tender smile and her big belly laughs as she watches the antics of her ever-doting big brother Troy. What I can tell you with absolute resolve is that Rylee is very loved. She has a robust, funny and inquisitive big brother Troy who watches over her and no doubt is just waiting for the opportunity to “show her the ropes” and teach her all he knows! She has the best mommy and daddy who seem to always remain calm and handle each new situation as it comes up, together, and with steely resolution. They are wise beyond their years, they have had to be, they are jugglers of time and schedules and responsibilities, and they are super heroes!
No, I may not be able to tell you everything, but what I can tell you is I have cheered on Rylee’s triumphs, my heart has leapt for joy whenever we hear good news, and I have more than once been down on my knees with my hands clasped fervently in prayer during those uncertain times of tribulation. No, I cannot tell you what Rylee’s current weight and length are or what lullaby soothes her tenderly off to sleep or how many ounces she consumes in a day. Our job is to be the great-aunt and great-uncle and believe those are not just titles, but truly character goals to live up to. We are 2 extra people now and forever planted firmly in Rylee’s corner. You see, a premature baby touches lives and sends ripples out across families in ways some of us never think about. I cannot tell you how many premature babies are born in the US every year, but I do know, thanks to the efforts of the March of Dimes, these babies have a much greater chance of living healthier lives than they may have a decade ago, and we support their efforts. Watch out world, Rylee is on her way and growing up and I can definitely tell you she will go on to do great things!
Read more about Rylee and her amzing family.
November 16, 2009
We saw lots of little dogs, and some not so little dogs, that Promise wanted to say hi to. We said hi to some and got a little better at not saying hi to all.
We also had lunch at a restaurant...she slept quietly. Then in the evening, we went to the MFA recital of a friend at Mills College. It was a come and go concert, so we could leave when necessary. We sat out one piece that we had been forewarned might be loud and went for a little walk. Promise did great until the last piece, during which she started to snore. She was completely gone. After a large amount of petting, she finally woke up enough to move, and stopped snoring.
We've been riding the AC Transit busses, which Promise has pretty much gotten used to. They make different noises and are a little more erratic in traffic than she's used to. Our only issue has been barking. She's barked at the door to the apartment building a few times, and a couple other occasional gruffs or barks.
November 15, 2009
I've had an exciting few days. Last week I left home to spend a few days with another human, Pam who is a teacher. She spent some time with Mom and Dad learning how to have me guide children, go through doors, all of the commands I know and to give her a chance to see what living with me is like. What I didn't know is she teaches the very kids I hope to help some day.
I got to go to all the different schools she visits and meet all the children she helps.
I got loved and pet and cuddled and tummy rubbed!!! It was pure heaven for me.
Then each of the children got to walk with Pam and I just like they would if I was their special dog. I got to visit classrooms and Pam told the children all about me and what I do.
November 14, 2009
Everyone was up early for the Community Day fundraiser at Boston Store. Neva was joined by Dale, Sonny, Divit, and Deegan. The puppies entertained us with their antics until they zonked. We found out that a sleeping puppy draws just as much attention as playful puppies.
We were also successful in dealing with the fog horn at the hockey game. Six goals this game and now when the Badgers score, the horn sounds, Neva lifts her head, looking for a treat.
One issue remains - fear of stairways. Although we have been positioning treats near our stairs which she eagerly retrieves, she has a distinct phobia of stairways. In addition to being carried up and down the stairs, which is common for little dogs, Neva stops and pulls in the opposite direction when seeing stairs. We were able to lure her near a stairway at the hockey game after she panicked. Resolving this issue is our goal before the next game (12/5).
In Minneapolis/St. Paul, we hurried out to the pet relief area, where Promise had a lot of sniffs, but didn't have to go. So we went back through security, and she had another pat down search. The second flight got a little long - 3 hours and 45 minutes in the air. She fell asleep with her head on my foot, which was a little cramped for me, though she had plenty of space.
In San Francisco, we were greeted by a spectacular pet relief area. Then we rode the AirTram, which was Promise's first train...which we took to BART -- the train to Oakland. The noises and movement on BART were enough to keep her on alert for about the first five minutes, and then she settled right in.
We also rode several glass elevators. And the AirTran had glass doors. She was intrigued by seeing things move through the doors, but did great.
Now we're in Oakland for the week. It's more urban than Promise is used to. The squirrels and pigeons have no fear.
November 11, 2009
We were so busy the first few days that Neva was never really introduced to our neighborhood. The sights, sounds, and smells are quite different than the quiet street she lived on before. We have begun a reintroduction protocol to ease her into new situations.
A side effect of her fear is the submissive urination that occurs with perceived threats. The other day the neighbor's dog passing by the house caused this reaction, as did being carried down the basement steps. She keeps a safe distance away from the door downstairs. To help ease this very real fear, I have started placing bits of food near the edge of the stairs; she will approach to receive her reward.
When alarmed at night, Neva freezes and will not leave the porch and thus will not potty which has resulted in a couple of night time accidents in her crate. These accidents were also preceded by an evening feeding. We have implemented a new feeding schedule to better control the crate issue. Instead of a half feeding in the morning and half after outings, Neva will be given one third in the morning, a third at lunch, and the final third at 4pm. This will provide ample opportunity to purge before bedtime.
On Sunday it was off to the dog fair. Lots of pics posted below, most of which are similar to mine, so I won't post more of the same. Again, Cinder did well, though walking through the crowd of people and dogs was challenging for her at times. She is ever the social butterfly, so I had to remind her she was working.
November 10, 2009
This is Tdawg (better know to you cats at Timber) bringing you the news from my newest assignment - Boot Camp. Been here about a week and I'm slowly trying to get these new human dudes whipped into shape. First of all, they have no regular schedule (gotta make a note to fix that) and they must have poor memories - they can't remember where I sleep. I've been in a different bunk with different bunkmates every night. I tried to tell them the first few nights - HEY, DUDE AND DUDETTE - I'M IN THE WRONG PLACE!!! But they must be hard of hearing cuz, man o man, they just ignored me. So a couple nights ago I just gave up teaching them proper routine and kept my mouth shut.
And another thing - what the heck is all this waiting business - what is your major malfunction people. Time is money, double time and all that stuff....noooo. These people think I should wait to eat, wait to come out of the kennel, wait at the door, wait at the stairs, wait, wait wait...Sheesh.
OK, I get it now. The humans always want to go first - I guess rank has its privilages :-(
Today I got the morning off from drill instruction. We went to a place with way cool racing chairs and walking struts. I got to meet everyone and get hugs!!
Then it was chow time. What they didn't tell me was it was only human chow time. No way, lemme out a here.
As nice as I was to the owner and their friends, just petting and good dog and what a handsome boy....blah blah blah FOOD people FOOD - that's what makes a happy recruit!!! The army moves on it's stomach. How come they didn't learn that in basic???
I'm writing this on the laptop because these crazy DI's have me bivouac'd outside.. and they can't make up their mind. 5 minutes outside, 30 minutes inside, then 15 minutes outside, then a nap inside, and so on. I'm trying my best to let them know I don't like being alone, but I'm about to give up telling them that too.
PS : Thankfully I had shore leave Sunday and saw some of my family :-)
November 9, 2009
A three month old puppy reminds one to keep expectations low and not to get overly excited about random successes. Puppies are not very good at generalizing and, like mutual funds, past performance is not always indicative of future behavior.
We thought we were moving in the right direction with housebreaking. We forgot to inform Neva of this. She either didn't try to wake us or we didn't hear her and she made us a present during the night. Accidents provide a teaching moment, so the bad part is that we missed an opportunity to guide her and show her the proper location to potty. We learned not to go to bad until she potties, no matter how late it is.
After tackling stairs yesterday, we decided to try the basement stairs. She wouldn't get within three feet of them. The ones at the dog fair were outside and open while ours are closed and a bit steeper. She would not ascend or descend our stairs- I carried her.
Tonight was Neva's first puppy class at The Dog Den in Madison. I mention them often because the are so supportive of our OccuPaws guide puppies. They allow us to attend their training classes free of charge. Our focus tonight was GO PLAY, WATCH, and SIT. It's funny that Neva is very good at WATCH and SIT, but needs to practice GO PLAY.
NOTE: I forgot to mention last week that we had Banjo for two months and there weren't any medical issues. He was our first healthy rotation.
This will not be repeated as we noticed that Neva is missing her canine teeth on her left side - very strange. The upper one is just starting to poke through, but no trace of the lower. It's always something, except with Banjo.
Here is Maddi, Sonny, & Timber being puppies.
Then we did a demo with all the puppies to show what the babies have learned and how far the older puppies have come.
Nikki's daughter showed how the children's program works. Great job Brooklyn & Slick!
At the end of the day we finally had some pooped out puppies!