Hawk's Schedule

8/4 Lake Mills
8/12 CCSDA Training

September 29, 2011

Adios Mantequilla

Although unintended, my post and the related comments created a seemingly uncontrollable situation where it will take an act of God to bring Monte back.

For this I need to publicly apologize to my wife, Lisa. She wanted nothing more than to take care of Monte for the rest of his life. We love him and know him better than anyone; one month ago we told people that Monte would not be a good diabetic alert dog. I let principle get in the way and will never be able to correct this unintended outcome.

I am truly indebted to everyone that supported us. Your positive comments are worth more than the loss of our forever dog. In a crisis, you can identify your true family; we will never forget your kind words.

We are searching for another opportunity to complete our mission of raising a guide dog. We will eventually be successful.

In the meantime if anyone needs a babysitter for their puppy or some training assistance, we are ready, willing, and able.


Unfortunately I was premature in my reporting that Monte would be returning to his home in Oregon.
We are hopeful, but doubtful of a happy ending.

I formally apologize to OccuPaws for not taking the decisive and corrective action to delete the blog sooner.

Many thanks for the support and offers to pay the fee. However, it is not about the money. If you are so inclined to donate money to OccuPaws, I encourage you to do so. I strongly support their mission and the efforts of their volunteers.

September 27, 2011


I have have been AWOL for the past ten days. The obvious reason is that Monte is gone (we are dog-less) and the other is that my computer time has been nil as I recover from a back injury at the racetrack last Monday. I was finally able to put my socks on by myself this morning :-)

As we wait for our next "baby guide dog", we attempted to fill the void by puppy sitting. Our old protege', Abbey, was in need of care so she stopped by for a visit. She arrived Sunday morning and was scheduled to return home on Thursday. Unfortunately for us, she came into season Sunday night.

Anyone that knows us knows that we do not favor females dogs for this reason. The only other time this has happened to us (with Cinder), we were in the car traveling to Beloit before the first drop of blood hit the floor. Less than twelve hours after arriving, Abbey was on her way to Fox Lake.

This afternoon we received some bittersweet news. Monte was not selected for the Guardian Angels diabetic program, but would be available to become our forever dog. We can't wait to see the goofball running through the park like a "normal" dog.

September 10, 2011


In the process of reminiscing, I found this RARE video of Monte behaving well:

to be continued ...

September 5, 2011


Maybe I take this too serious or get overly attached, but it always felt like something was missing during the last three day. Because he was missing. Our sidekick, Monte, was not there as we walked through the grocery store, he was not sleeping under the table as we ate, and he is not watching me right now. The oddest feeling was taking a walk without a leash; being dog-less we had to call and borrow our first puppy, Buddy, for a walk to the park.

If we do our job as puppy raisers correctly, when it is time for your canine companion to leave, they take a piece of your heart with them. Therefore I am recommending the following warning be placed on puppy raiser contracts and identification cards:

Warning: Puppy Raising can be hazardous to your health. It is more addictive than any known drug. Eventual separation may cause sleeplessness, malaise, or Atrial Septal (hole in the heart). Symptoms may lessen after repeated attempts. However, the only known cure is complete withdrawal, which can only be achieved if you are heartless.

The one lesson that I am learning from our puppies is to "Live In The Moment." Therefore, I eagerly wait for the next puppy to enter our life and slowly mend my broken heart. Focusing on the moments of joy experienced in the present and ignoring past/future heartache.

Quote on our "Painting for Paws" bowl:

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

September 2, 2011

Going, Going, ...

After being informed of Monte's dismissal last night. We were asked whether we would support Monte going to California to pursue a career as a diabetic alert dog (DAD) or possible search and rescue. After much discussion and a few tears, we decided that Monte would be the forever dog that we have been searching for and help us train puppies. A not so perfect ending, but a great new beginning.

Unfortunately, we found out this morning, despite our gut wrenching decision, that he would be going back to the breeder. Well, more accurately that the breeder had decided to send him to California to start training as a DAD.

He will be picked up in two hours. The wait is unbearable.

... Gone

Good Luck Monte.

Update: After saying our "Good-Bye" and returning home, we were notified that the breeder will let us have Monte, if he doesn't make it as a DAD (Guardian Angel).

September 1, 2011

Home, Done, Decision

After a brief stay with our trainer, Monte returned to our home this evening. No surprise to anyone, he is no longer a guide dog in training. His vest was pulled and he will be career changed. We have been contemplating this for the last few months, but the decision making process is easier when it is entirely hypothetical.

Do we quit after four failures and keep Monte as our forever dog or give it one more try?