Hawk's Schedule

8/4 Lake Mills
8/12 CCSDA Training

May 30, 2012

Full House

Long ago we agreed that we would have a one dog limit.  Then Monte came back to us. It's a slippery slope.

Monte obtained a roommate on Monday.  Savi came to visit for a few days.  Monte is enjoying the multiple car rides every day which we are doing to work on Savi's motion sickness. 

Copper wasn't feeling well, so he joined our pack for some observation Wednesday morning.  I have found that our back seat is not large enough for three dogs.  The three amigos have been rotating "riding shot gun" and playing musical crate.


May 23, 2012


There were still a few things that we wanted Cooper to experience before he transitioned to his new family: farm animals, zoo, children's museum.  One of our puppy raisers arranged a visit to Three Gaits - Therapeutic Horsemanship Center, so we could remove one item from his "bucket" list.

Cooper's family was busy and unable to attend, so our pal visited us for the whole day.  It was hard to tell who was happier to see whom; Monte couldn't stop wiggling and Cooper wanted to play, play, play.

At the stables, the dogs were initially cautious around the new fragrances - the bridle was very interesting.  Cooper quickly warmed up to the equines, but then took a step back when the gigantic beast moved.  Eventually all the puppies reached the point of indifference.

May 21, 2012

Free Time

We have been a single dog ho,me for the last two weeks. They have been very difficult.  Not because Cooper is gone; actually it is probably better that he was not around.  I am just getting over a cold that turned into a sinus infection.  It started thirteen days ago.  The first few days of the cold I was sleeping half the time.  Then the infection took all my energy; I was winded just walking down the block.

I recently started feeling better and it just hit me that not having a service dog in-training frees up an incredible amount of time. Including walks, training, and travel, we probably have an extra twenty-one hours a week (an extra day each week).

Monte is enjoying his special one-on-one attention.  He gets two walks to the park most days, brushed every other day, daily fetch in the yard, and spends his indoor time sleeping on the sofa/bed..  His crate time has diminished as he only gets crate-time after eating and for sleeping.

Our grocery store had chicken legs on sale for 68 cents a pound, so he has been getting a extra leg/thigh with every meal.  This should fatten him up.

May 6, 2012


How do you begin to thank people who have given so much of themselves to help your son and your family??? We are SO, SO, SO thankful and grateful for Jeff and Lisa. They have dedicated time and love to raise Cooper to help Mac. Mac has Down syndrome and autism. Cooper came home with us last night after Mac's first Special Olympics track meet. The emotions were so overwhelming.... I am also thankful that it really is a "see you later" and not a good bye to Jeff and Lisa. I had warned them previously, they are stuck with us forever now :) Russ, Mac, Griffin and Cooper went on their first outing together by themselves. They went to see their cousin in a high school play. A situation that would have once been overwhelming to all of them. Mac is very sensitive to noise. So the beginning of the play he had some stress and had to leave. The difference was, Mac was able to come back and to sit through the rest of the play today. Today Cooper has lived fully with the boys experiencing light saber swords, darth vader masks, ninja moves, guitar playing to name a few things! Griffin wanted to show Cooper his room today (which he has seen previously) but Griffin sees this as different this time around because Cooper is here to stay. Yesterday morning, Griffin said to me, "Mom, this is the best day ever! Do you know why?" Me - why? Griff, "because Cooper gets to come home with us today forever." Jeff and Lisa truly gave the ultimate gift of love yesterday..... and we promise to love Cooper!! Thank you!! Love you both! xoxo Lexy (Mac & Griffin's mom)

New Beginning

Our day began with a short walk through the park which included some obedience work and playtime with a pair of boxers. A great way to start the day.

Next on the agenda was Special Olympics. We arrived and were greeted by Mac.  Today he surprised me by welcoming us before hugging Cooper.  With just a few minutes before Mac's race, Cooper garnered the bulk of the attention - as it should be. We all cheered Mac on to a second place finish and shared high fives after he received his ribbon.

As we made our way to a Team Austin photo a little girl with her dad stopped us and asked to pet Cooper.  Of course we made time and she gave Cooper a few cautious pats on the head.  Then her mother walked up and said that this was the closest she has ever been to a dog.  "She is usually terrified."  Not sure what it is, but Cooper is a very special dog.

After the meet we officially relinquished our role as Cooper's trainers and guardians. He will now reside full-time with his boy, Mac.  Although, we have been working tirelessly toward this day, it is always difficult to say good-bye to a well-trained, loving companion.  As is often stated about puppy raising, "If it doesn't hurt a little, then you aren't doing your job."

However, in this situation it is truly not "Good-Bye", but rather "See you later", because we are not completely finished yet.  We are on call for the next couple months to provide guidance, support, and puppy sitting, as required.  During this time we will  be fine tuning some Mac-specific skills and assisting with the legal process to gain access for Cooper into the Madison School District as Mac's service dog.

As Cooper begins his new life, we need to thank:
Custom Canines Service Dog Academy for their support and guidance, without them we never would have met Cooper or Mac. 
Austin Family for including us in their family and for their unparalleled preparation for Cooper's arrival - we have no concerns.
The Dog Den for providing training opportunities and sharing their knowledge of everything canine. 
Family and Friends for accepting our canine trainees at special training events (ex: weddings) and for your encouragement.

It takes a pack to raise a service dog

May 4, 2012

One Day Left

Cooper spent Tuesday shopping for supplies that he will need at his new home: water bowl, crate, food, nail clipper, and more toys.

Wednesday, all autism assistance dogs had a mandatory training session with our program coordinator.  Given Cooper's status, we were thinking that it would be an easy day.  And it was.  After some basic obedience, he spent the bulk of the time in a DOWN STAY while people stopped to pet him.

I believe all the dogs completed the required 30 minute DOWN STAY - with minimal correction.

Disney Photos Added