Hawk's Schedule

8/4 Lake Mills
8/12 CCSDA Training

September 10, 2013

Best Friends

Monday September 9, 2013 will always be remembered as the day that Hobey met his new family.  This was the first of many interactions that will prepare Hobey for placement over the next seven months.

Our journey began when we met his boy, Luke, at Communication Innovations for a therapy session.  In the lobby, we had brief introductions and Luke, smiling from ear to ear, saying "dog".  Hobey tried to be good/calm, offering an occasional "kiss".

During the session, Luke wanted to show Hobey everything, while we worked on being still and quiet.  The first thing Luke scrolled to on his iPad was a photo of a dog.

 Later while drawing and tracing, he asked for Hobey's paw to trace it.


September 8, 2013

Growing Up

Over the weekend Hobey lost his last remaining puppy teeth.  Three of the four molars fell out during puppy playtime at the Dog Den.  He left a few red marks on his playmates and a trail of red on the floor, which I promptly wiped up.

This turned out to be perfect timing because he only had a four day supply of puppy food left.  He will be transitioning to adult food for the next week.  The recipes are very similar; the biggest difference is the size of the kibble.

Since we will be traveling again this weekend, we decided that it would be a good time for Hobey to spend some time without his canine companion; Monte is vacationing up north.  We have found that Hobey's ears work a lot better when he is not shadowing Monte.  On our walks, he explores on his own while maintaining visual contact with us and returning occasionally to check-in.

September 2, 2013

All Clear

Hobey received his freedom a week ago; no rabies, no more quarantine.

Three weeks after the "dog bite", my finger is still on the mend.  It should be back to normal in another seven days.

He has been making up for lost time: test drives, grocery shopping, Bucky Book pick-up & deliveries, office visits, and swimming.  He has grown to love the water.  Now our task is to keep him out of it.

The first of the month is always time for flea/tick treatment, heartworm medication, and puppy report.  This month we added nail trimming.

August 12, 2013

House Arrest

Hobey endured extra crate time this week while we completed our efforts at iCan Shine Bike Camp.  This allowed him to catch up on sleep with a late morning nap before the busy weekend.

We started early Friday afternoon with a visit to West Bend Insurance where he got some more elevator work.  Hobey walked the office, practicing his greetings with the twenty staff members who were still in the office.  He followed this with a restaurant nap while we ate a late lunch or early dinner.  Then Hobey endured a few more test drives, hopefully our last, before heading home.

Note:  without Monte around, Hobey seems a lot more lazy

Saturday was the usual with puppy playtime at The Dog Den.  He spent the time wrestling with the big dogs.  Actually, Hobey is becoming a big dog; he tipped the scales at 38 pounds.  We spent the last ten minutes cavorting with the smaller puppies.  He needs to be able to get along with all dogs and he did fine with the youngsters.

Sunday was quite eventful.  Hobey attended the final Madison Mallards baseball game of the season.  We greeted fans as they entered the stadium and Hobey and Dusty worked the crowd, during the game, to get contributions for the 50/50 raffle.  It was reported that people were more generous when the puppies tagged along. Dusty ended up carrying him most of the time which must have been quite a workout. This was preceded by the tailgate party at Erin's Snug.  He me his Custom Canine friends at the tailgate and we practiced LEAVING food on the floor.

The major incident of the day resulted in my visit to the emergency room. My finger was lacerated on a razor sharp point.  This occurred while Hobey was making friends with the lawnmower.  He was doing well so I started it and did a couple passes with Hobey following along at a safe distance.  He was in front of the  discharge getting covered with grass so I went to shoo him away and my finger caught his tooth.  The result was a 15 millimeter gash across my finger tip.  It was obvious that stitches would be required.

This was going to be a minor inconvenience until I retold my story to the doctor who described the injury as a dog bite.  I explained that the injury occurred when I hit the dog's tooth.  He repeated that the tooth broke the skin and caused the injury, therefore a dog bite.  Long story short, Animal Control was contacted and Hobey is quarantined for ten days.  Even though our four month old puppy is too young to have rabies (according to veterinarian), we have to take him to the vet three time during the next ten days to confirm this ($$). At least the quarantine is at our home.

August 7, 2013

Little Helper

This weekend we received a huge pile of wood chips.  They were waiting in the driveway when we returned from our weekend travels.  Hobey was very curious upon seeing the mountin and smelling the rotting wood.

After volunteering at the iCan Shine bicycling training on Monday, Hobey and I spent the afternoon spreading the chips around the yard.  Initially he pulled the debris and long sticks out of the pile.  I can only assume he was trying to help by turning the sticks into little bits.  Once the moving began, he followed the wheelbarrow throughout the yard picking up bits that fell out.  Everyone was exhausted by dinner time.

Tuesday, we attended the Night Out Against Crime in Lake Mills.  Hobey met his pal, Lebi, and a few other Custom Canine trainees. He was able to continue our work on calmly greeting people. He did fine for a four month old puppy; the only incident was a spilled water bowl on the gym floor.

August 4, 2013

Home Alone

Hobey spent the weekend in Arkdale, Wisconsin for our family reunion weekend.  We rented a condominium and he met the Dodds family.  The most different experience was a boat ride, on a pontoon boat.  He was not fazed and relaxed until we became bogged down in the mud and weeds.  While attempting to free ourselves, we all moved toward the front in order to lift the motor.  The boat pitched forward and a rush of water filled the floor and disturbed Hobey's resting.

During the stay, he found that lounging on the cushy foot stools was better than the floor.  We encouraged this.  At home, he has extrapolated this to all our furniture.  Not a problem, but like other things, now we need to transition to "Only When Asked".

Before the weekend began, we dropped Monte off.  He will be camping at my parents house for the next two weeks.  This will give Hobey some alone time with us which he really needs.  At times, he seemed to be too bonded and reliant on Monte.

At home, he hasn't missed his canine companion and is developing more independence.

July 28, 2013

Bus Tour

The afternoon began with a farm visit.  The evening training class involved a bus ride.  We met up with Buck and took the free Madison Metro bus to the Memorial Union.  Well, that was the plan, but due to construction we were dropped off a few blocks away and walked through campus - practice walking nicely on a loose leash. 

Once at the Union, Hobey was presented with a crowd atmosphere. In addition to the people, he faced many animal and food distractions.  After greeting a few folks, we made our way to State Street and then back to the bus stop, which was the biggest challenge for the puppy - remaining in one spot with activity passing by.  At this age it is too much to expect a puppy to remain stationary.

Hobey has not seen our neighbor, who he regularly visits, for a couple weeks.  He suffered a broken femur and is rehabbing in Evansville Manor.  So we decided that a visit would be nice and it would provide good exposure to a new environment.  After his initial excitement, Hobey settled down and was not alarmed by any of the new sights/sounds.

We continued Hobey's socialization at the weekly play group.  In preparation, we all went for a walk before to burn some energy. Again we started out with the older dogs where he met up with his old friend Parker.  At "halftime" we took a potty break and moved over to the younger dogs.  No issues this week and one milestone.  Hobey lost his first tooth.  We only noticed it after seeing the blood on the head of his playmate.

Hobey was exhausted and rested while we drove North for a birthday party.  After meeting hundreds of dogs, we met one that Hobey did not get along with:  Deja, a St Bernard puppy.  She is one week younger than Hobey.  He resisted her advances, but eventually could not tolerate them and offered an overzealous correction.  Not the time or place, I decided to avoid the situation and Hobey spent most of the day crated, which was good training, too.

At times we have noticed a strong friendship between Hobey and Monte, which is good.  However, like most things there is a balance.  Sometimes he seems to dependent on Monte, so I walked them separately today.  This was needed because Hobey was constantly looking for his pal as we left on our walk.  After ten minutes, he figured out that he was alone and enjoyed our time.  He met up with a couple dogs and had friendly encounters.  This was a relief after the incident yesterday.

Hobey is doing well with the WAIT command that we started to introduce the OUT command.  Eventually he will learn to get out and stay out of the kitchen.

July 22, 2013

Chicago Part Two

Hobey's weekend began with his usual Saturday activity.  It started with outdoor play time with a few of his canine friends at The Dog Den.  After an hour, we moved inside for his last Puppy Socialization Class; he successfully graduated.  Then we "raced" home to finish packing for race weekend at Chicagoland.

Already tired, he slept through the three hour car ride to Joliet.  He was awakened briefly as we stopped at our hotel to drop off luggage.  As we walked to our room, he displayed a potential issue.  Walking past a couple rooms, he would start barking.  Not sure if his superior hearing noticed something that we did not.  Fortunately this behavior was not repeated throughout the rest of our visit.

At the race track, there was not much on track activity, but we did manage to test out his new Mutt Muffs.  They appeared to work.  We observed a practice session from the front row and his slumber wasn't disturbed by the noise.  The primary activity was a trackside party where Hobey was able to meet fellow spectators.  Our planning could have been improved with some puppy boots to protect Hobey's paws from the hot blacktop.  He didn't seem to mind, but it would have offered another level of protection.

Sunday, race day, was another long, hot day.  First, Hobey bordered a bus which took us to the infield.  We toured the pit area and visited victory lane.  While there qualifying began with cars loudly traveling around the track at 174 mph , we brought out the Mutt Muffs and used them as we walked around.

Hobey added to his meet/greet totals as we walked around the sponsor areas gathering as many freebies as we could before the race.  He met a few of the horses that were being used by security staff; he barked upon initially seeing them.

Although warm, the race presented an opportunity for our puppy to catch up on his nap time.  With 43 cars racing around the track, the sound is louder, so we actually put ear plugs in his ears before positioning the Mutt Muffs.

July 18, 2013


Hobey did not enjoy being outside when the temperatures were in the 80s.  He became a great search dog, looking for shady spots.  Being chocolate our Labrador melts in the heat.  So the last four days under a Heat Advisory with the heat index near 100 degrees have been intolerable.  Outside time and outings have been scaled back.

Although we have not modified our plans, Hobey has not accompanied us.  This kept him in the cool house and provided daily crate time.  During the day, trips outside have been quick.  "Go Potty", then back in the house, which has helped solidify the command.  Our walks to the park occur in the morning (5am) or late (11pm) and our two canines come home exhausted with tongues hanging out.  Hobey usually ends up lying on/near a register with cool air.

With not much else to do, we ramped up our work on the WAIT command.  Hobey is eager to please and seems to have caught on quickly.  He waits to be released before going outside and before attacking his food bowl.

July 14, 2013

Learning WAIT

Friday:  After two late nights, the humans in the house needed a rest day.  We all enjoyed a lazy day.

Saturday:  Our day began with a walk to the park.  This was in preparation for puppy play group.  Although most people view this as exercise time, I have found that Hobey, and others, enjoy better interactions with less energy.  He also played with the teenagers prior to moving over to the younger/smaller group.

After a week off, our training class resumed. We started with puppy push-ups and then worked on walking nicely, on and off leash.  The last test was a blind recall; we hid behind a wall and asked Hobey to COME.  After brief confusion he determined where our voices were coming from and quickly found our hideout.  At home we are beginning to work on WAIT/STAY.

Sunday:  Today was a fun day.  We took the dogs up North to a secluded/secure location and met some canine friends.  The dogs wrestled each other, waded in the pool, chased balls, dug in the dirt, and followed us as we picked blueberries.  They was non-stop activity for four hours.

At home, the dogs needed a quick bath and then enjoyed some additional water playtime.  As you can see in the photo, Monte has joined us in teaching Hobey to WAIT.

July 11, 2013


Another long day for Hobey followed by another late dinner.  He attended the annual Lights and Sirens event in Watertown.  It is a great outing to greet people, add fifty to his total, and get exposure to the sirens of emergency vehicles in a controlled environment.  We approached from a distance which uncreased the volume while we looked for any signs of discomfort or uneasiness. Eventually the sirens just became background noise and we hardly noticed it.

Hobey did spend some time in police custody.  Lisa spoke with the officer who explained that he was under arrest for excessive cuteness.  Guilty as charged, but sentenced to time served then released.

After the event we all, including Hobey, went to a restaurant for dinner.  We brought along two cups of kibble; he appreciated not having to wait until we returned home.

July 10, 2013

Second City Concert

Hobey's visit to Chicago began with a ride on the "L".  Initially he readied himself to disembark every time the train stopped.  By the tenth stop, he had figured out that we were not going anyplace and he settled down for a short rest.  Arriving at our destination, he bounded up the three flights of stairs which took us to the surface in the Windy City.

The half mile walk to Grant Park provided multiple opportunities to master the sidewalk grates, some of which Lisa even avoided.  Our fearless puppy handled all the obstacles getting to the park like a champ.  He amazes us each and every day with his confidence.

After selecting our location, our true test began - keeping our charge cool and hydrated.  This was our biggest concern when preparing for the day's outing.  So we had packed three large water bottles and his favorite bowl.  One thing that we should have packed was an umbrella to shield him from the sun.  We used the backpacks and our bodies to create shade.

After the concert, the crowd's exit was slow  and we decided to wait until the hoard was reduced to minimize the risk of getting Hobey stepped on.   Many others took the same approach and this was the perfect arrangement for greeting people.  Once again Hobey met over 100 different people of many different races.  It took us an hour to exit the concert and walk the half mile back to the train because we were repeated stopped by greeter. Every time we stopped a small group would form.

Tired and educated about the train, Hobey rested the whole ride back - about 20 stops.

July 7, 2013

Dog Days of Summer

Summer has finally come to Wisconsin.  Hobey is not a big fan of the hot weather.  He is our cold seeking missile; he is always looking for cool shady ground to lie down.  Therefore I knew that our trip to the Farmers Market would be a hard day, especially after an hour of playtime.

We met his pal Lebi at the corner and walked with the crowd for half a block before we moved to the grass to find shade.  Hobey and I planned to take the shortcut around the square following the others.  Soon Lebi joined us and we ended up spending more time socializing with children and adults.   One new friend, Brian Adams, was a photographer who shared this photo.

Hobey then napped on the cool floor in the restaurant before returning home for his lunch and a longer nap in his bed.

Sunday was another warm day.  In the afternoon, we took Hobey to Sun Prairie for a visit with his mom, Caia and her family.  They played and romped before settling down when Caia was able to provide some much needed motherly advice/correction.  Mom was able to secure and maintain possession of the Frisbee.

July 6, 2013

Fair Day

Our annual visit to the Stoughton Fair.  It's a chance to meet and greet  a lot of people as we walked the midway.  We were stopped numerous times for a petting frenzy.  Hobey is still mouthing, so kids tend to keep there distance.  We continue to work on this.

The highlight of the outing is always roaming around the barns and introducing Hobey to cows, horses, sheep, goals, pigs, ..  He handled it better than any other dog that we have taken there. 

July 5, 2013


We could hear the screaming and popping of fireworks starting at dusk. As darkness blanketed the neighborhood, we began our walk in search of the source of the noise.  Knowing that Monte is completely comfortable with the sights and sounds, we used Monte as a role model.  Walking through the smoke which worked as mosquito repellent, we knew that we were getting closer.  The booms were louder, but Hobey didn't show any reaction until a housed dog started barking at us. 

The only issue on the journey was that Hobey was stopping every few minutes to potty.  It appeared like the beginnings of a possible UTI (urinary tract infection), most likely caused by eating rabbit droppings.  Not a big deal, very common, we just needed to start a cranberry regimen, which we always have on hand for our puppies. Oops, we were out of cranberry and it was 9:50.  Walgreens closes at 10 pm, so Lisa raced to the store just before closing time, upsetting the workers. 

Cranberry was secured and everything looking good this morning.

July 2, 2013

Will Work for Food

Thankfully we have ended up with another typical Labrador.  Training is relatively easy once you determine what motivates the trainee and for Hobey we have found that anything edible works.  He will stand on his head if he knows that you are carrying (a pocket full of kibble).

We continued working on DOWN, COME, and FOLLOW.  There are times that I question whether he is listening to my commands or if his stomach fuels an auto pilot. When I call him to me, he will immediately sit down and if I am slow to supply a treat, he lies down.  Good response, we can fine tune it during the next nine months.

Yes, he turned three months old today.  In approximately nine months, he will be placed with a family that has a child with autism. All signs point to success as Hobey appears to be a quick learner; he has not gone under our bed since he got stuck.

July 1, 2013

Hand Feeding

The first of the month is flea and tick medication day.  This involves administering a poisonous substance to the dog's coat to kill and repel fleas/ticks.  Therefore, we do not plan to take Hobey anyplace and no playing or snuggling.  What can we do at home all day?  Maybe some focused training.

At training on Saturday, we were reminded that dog food bowls are for perfect dogs.  Since we do not have a perfect dog, we are hand feeding our trainee.  We worked on his two trouble areas: DOWN and COME.  He has been reluctant to lie down and rarely responded when asked to Come when out in the yard. Not surprising, Hobey caught on very quickly that I had food in my pocket and he eagerly complied with every DOWN command and he enthusiastically sprinted when I called him.

June 30, 2013

Too Big?

The village festival provides a number of new experiences for a young puppy.  In addition to the carnival, we attended the parade today.  Hobey was unfazed by the gunshots, sirens, drums, and animals.  He was more stressed by the half mile walk to and from the parade route.  So tired, he cried and rested in the shade the whole way home.

As I mentioned the other day, our little man is 26 pounds.  Although he is not too big to wedge himself under our bed, he is too big to get out by himself.  We heard him crying this afternoon, and found him stuck under the bed, asking for help.  We will determine his I.Q. based on how many more times he needs to be rescued.

June 29, 2013

Down to Two

At puppy play time, we continued to work on Hobey's dominant play style.  He spent half the time with the younger and smaller puppies where we had to keep a close watch and be ready to stop any inappropriate behavior.  This time can be mentally exhausting, however, there has been noticeable improvement.  He also did very well working on the FOLLOW command with puppy distraction, following me as I did laps around the area.

Halftime is a good time for a potty break and we decided to spend the second half with the older/bigger puppies.  The energy was much more stable and relaxed.  When not bouncing around between the elevated rest area/beds and initiating play, Hobey spent the time practicing submissive behavior with the older dogs.  We were able to relax.

We began training class cradling our tired Labrador.  During class we are fine tuning his SIT and he actually began responding to the hand command for DOWN, no luring required.  We practiced our technique for FOLLOW and reviewed how to calmly greet strangers using the WATCH command. Hobey responds well to COME during class, while his recall at home needs work.

His reward for a good performance was to spend five hours at car dealers - torture for humans and canines alike.  Only three additional test drives, but many opportunities to greet sales staff and customers.  Tired from two hours at The Dog Den, Hobey tolerated conducting the vehicular research, although he would have preferred some uninterrupted rest.  He did enjoy napping during the test drives.

Our house guest and Hobey's playmate left us and returned to his home this evening.  Having endured Hobey's nearly constant harassment for over a week, I imagine that Norman was glad to get back to being the lone dog.

Tired from the long day, we didn't make it back to the carnival.

June 28, 2013

Big(ger) Boy

Hobey, our service dog in training, weighed in at 26.5 pounds today.  He has grown taller over the past week.  He keeps growing and we keep feeding him, still four cups a day. 

The last two days have been filled with outings and late dinners.  Thursday's trips were for dog food, another test drive, where the sales people are always happy to see him, and grocery shopping.  The grocery store was mildly eventful.  Even though Hobey appears to be housebroken, he still has a small bladder, so we need monitor him to keep things successful. Halfway through our shopping, we could tell that he was uncomfortable and made a rapid exit. In the parking lot Hobey was able to put a smile on a crying child's face.

Tonight, the highlight was visiting the carnival that calls Oregon home for the weekend.  Our visit was cut short due to a heavy shower.  Intermittent showers affected the turnout, but still provided a good environment to look cute, greet people, and experience the various sights/sounds.   The biggest challenge was trying to keep Hobey's focus.  Already easily distracted in a common environment, the food and litter covering the ground presented a constant distraction that could only be overcome with the lure of kibble.

While walking the carnival grounds, we met a lot of kids and a few adults.  Who can resist a puppy?  One of the adult after noticing Hobey, recognized us from the articles in the local paper, Oregon Observer.  She was appreciative of our volunteer work and fundraising efforts.  Her last comment was that Lisa's former employer should rehire her  :-)

Tomorrow is an extra busy Saturday; The Dog Den, more test drives, and more carnival fun.

June 26, 2013

Late Dinner

Anyone that has ever known a Labrador Retriever knows that their favorite activity is eating. Hobey is no different and the best part of his day is his three feeding times.  Unfortunately, he had to wait for number three this evening.

Mealtime was delayed until all our outings were completed.  We started with a quick trip to the farm to gather our vegetables for the week, mostly salad fixings.  He was a big hit, but he needs to stop pulling.  Another month of redirection and luring before the pronged collar is in the toolbox.

We were home at a reasonable hour, but we still had plans for the evening: a visit to a car dealership, a pizza at a restaurant, and ice cream at Sonic.  After taking two test drives and waiting/watching us eat for two hours, it was finally time for Hobey's dinner.  He literally bounced as the kibble rattled the food bowl and I mixed in some water.  We raced to his crate for some private dining and rest.

Another potential issue popped up as we were preparing for our night out.  Hobey ran away when he saw me approaching with the vest.  He went to the cool kitchen floor to lie down.  Not sure if he was just warm, hungry, or if he is starting to associate the vest with negative experiences. 

This was the first time, so we are not that concerned.  To head off any potential problems in the future, we initiated using the most positive reinforcement, food, to accompany putting his head through the vest opening.  We will also be monitoring him closely on outings, looking for any signs of stress or unhappiness.

He just might have known that it meant a late dinner was in order.

June 25, 2013

Job One Complete

The last couple days have been uneventful.  Mostly spending time around the house and going for walks, staying out of puddles.  We did make an uneventful trip to the library.  We gave Hobey his second DHPP booster.  Giving injections in not one of our favorite activities, but it saves the cost of an office visit and the vaccine is a lot cheaper.  

The biggest news is that I believe our housebreaking task is complete.  There have been numerous occasions when Hobey has had the opportunity to decide where he wanted to relieve himself and every time he has decided, correctly, to wait by the door.  If we are slow or do not see him, we are prompted with a whine. Yesterday, Lisa and Hobey stopped at Kwik Trip for a few items.  As the visit was only going to be five minutes, they didn't potty first. Upon entering the store, Hobey immediately began crying, which was translated as "I need to potty now" and he did, on the lawn.

I was asked the other day why I stay up past midnight. Well, tonight was a perfect example.  Thunderstorm started about midnight.  Hobey was sitting by the door at 1:15am; we had just been out.  Photo Op:  I am standing outside in the pouring rain, holding a flashlight, waiting for Hobey, and searching for a stick to use as a marker.  We don't pick up each time, but we have devised a method to effectively locate the little landmines. 

Fortunately, our trainee doesn't like water hitting him, so it was quick and we returned immediately to the house.  Other times he likes to wander around the yard exploring.  He has started to run away from me when I approach him because I grab his collar to redirect or return to the house. I need to start bringing treats with me to redirect and positively reinforce the his recall.

June 23, 2013

Our Little Handful

Rain showers with occasional thunderstorms moved through the Oregon area Friday and Saturday.  The wet weather created a few unplanned wading pools/puddles. Since our canine trio was already wet from "outside potty", we might as well take them for a walk or swim.  The big dogs, Monte and Norman, raced through the standing water while Hobey observed from a safe distance until he couldn't control himself any longer and unexpectedly found himself shoulder deep.

After fifteen minutes of splashing, our canine companions were waterlogged and we attempted to dry them out with a walk to the park.  This included walking up and down the metal steps in the stadium.  Not even twelve weeks old, Hobey tired and I ended up carrying the soaked puppy halfway home, quite the handful.

Saturday morning was spent at The Dog Den for an hour of puppy playgroup, where we supervised and corrected Hobey's small dominance issue. His play style requires constant supervision, quite the handful.  This was immediately followed by a forty-five minute training session. This week we worked on FOLLOW and COME.  Thankfully the staff provided material from the class we missed last week so we could keep up with our homework. 

After his busy morning and afternoon romp, Hobey met up with a few of his favorite people, his breeders and their neighbors at the grand opening of The Ironstone Nest.  It was easy to tell that he remembered everyone from his earliest days in Sun Prairie; we couldn't tell who was happier.  He is quite a handful.

The first weeks of a puppy's life are critical to having a well-balanced adult dog.  If their love is any indication of the care that he received, Hobey shouldn't have any problems.

In fact, we took a brief break from the party and as we started back, a police car pulled away and initiated the siren right behind us - very loud and startled us both.  We usually like this to happen in a controlled situation where we start off from a distance and move closer.  Hobey handled this without a second look.

People were impressed with Hobey's training and demeanor.  However, at this point the focus is on creating trust, bonding, imprinting behaviors, and most importantly building his confidence.  SIT, DOWN and STAY can and will be mastered further down the road.  Now, we encourage greeting humans/canines and exploring, but later when serious training begins we will want him focused and compliant.

June 20, 2013


On Wednesday we acquired another dog in the house. Our guest for the next week is Norman, a two year old pet chocolate Labrador, is staying with us while his family vacations.  The afternoon was spent getting acquainted and learning house rules. 

Monte is especially appreciative because we lifted the furniture ban while we attempted to make Norman feel at home.  Hobey is acting like a pesky little brother, constantly bothering our guest. Although we have attempted to provide a correction, I think the behavior will continue until Norman rebukes his playful advances.

The evening's training session allowed Norman to get a break from the little pest. The training was at East Towne Mall and it was Hobey's first visit.  We joined the other Custom Canines dogs practicing SIT and FOLLOW while introducing DOWN and COME by luring. After class we walked the mall greeting patrons and exposing him to all the different sights, sounds and smells - he did very good.

Today, Thursday, was spent establishing our routine for wrangling three dogs feedings and exercise.  Hobey was not pleased being left home while the big dogs went for a walk before breakfast.  Howling in his crate as we left, Lisa had to serve his meal before we returned.

June 18, 2013

Perfect Puppy

Tuesday's Highlights
Hobey's antibiotics ran out today.  He still has a bit of a nasal drip, but his recovery appears to be nearly complete.  Next we need to determine the cause of his scratching.

Hobey sitting by the door crying to go outside; housebreaking 99% complete.  We transitioned from reading his body language to get him outside to allowing him (set him up) to make mistakes while we were there to offer immediate feedback, he learned very quickly what was not acceptable.  There were time we knew he had to potty, but we needed to wait for him to signal us or initiate/squat. "Perfect puppies do not result in perfect dogs," so don't expect a perfect puppy.  Let your puppies, and expect them to make mistakes; be there to provide guidance.

After our bike ride we sneaked up to our house to not disturb Monte. Lisa listened by the window where we leave Hobey.  He was silent until I entered the back of the house and disturbed Monte.

June 17, 2013

Normal Routine

It was definitely easier housebreaking a puppy when I was able to get away for eight hours a day. After three weeks of adjusting our schedules around an eight week old puppy, it is time to readjust to a normal schedule.  I had the late shift.  No more staying up past midnight to get a potty break before going to bed. Our canine pair has been getting up at 5am for breakfast and then again at 7am for water.

Custom Canines was selected as the recipient of 58 Bucky Books that we can sell to raise funds.  We had an initial strategy session with the Bucky Book staff that Hobey attended.  He made a great impression on the staff and then dozed off during our meeting.  FYI: the books will be available in September, but we need to notify potential buyers and we can begin to make advance sales.  The books are $35, however using only three or four coupons will save you at least  that much. Contributing to Custom Canines will actually save you money.

Hobey is learning that when the car stops that it is time to get moving.  So when we stopped at Sonic, he was ready to go.

After a successful afternoon outings and with our previous trips to the grocery store with Hobey having gone well, we expected a routine shopping experience. Well, it was anything but that. Apparently instead of a service dog trainee, we took a social butterfly to the store.  He was literally choking on his flat collar to greet people.  Eventually I resorted to using the end of the leash like a choke chain to provide a bit of a correction and minimize his pulling.

I went to bed at 10pm, after the puppies wrestled and settled down for the evening. Seven hours of sleep before our walk and breakfast :-)  I can live with this routine.

June 16, 2013

Travel Weekend - Potty Challenge

This weekend  was a travel day for Hobey.  He endured a two hour car ride, his longest so far, to Neenah to visit a strange environment.  This is always a challenge when housebreaking a puppy because the key to housebreaking is consistency and repetition.  We needed to reintroduce our trainee to the primary exit of the residence and reestablish his potty spot.  Even after that we kept a very close eye on him; others' flooring must be protected.  This work resulted in no accidents, but one close call, pre-stream.

The weather Saturday night produced another test as a storm rolled through the area. I don't think Hobey will have any issues with thunder/lightning and hopefully fireworks.  This epiphany came to me as we were standing outside in a downpour waiting for him to relieve himself with constant thunder.

Sunday's temptation was dinner out at a restaurant.  Not a big deal as long as you are prepared; we have been to a few already.  The challenge was food lying on the floor nearby.  Hobey was well aware of the morsels, proof that his nose works, but after some redirection he settled down for a nap. Lunch completed, we quickly exited for a post-nap break.

June 14, 2013

Scratch and Sniffles

We know how fast viruses spread online, so we haven't posted any photos of Hobey and his green slime.

Hobey is still sniffling; he may be getting a little relief.  We talked to the veterinarian yesterday to request a different/stronger antibiotic, but he told us to wait a couple more days.  If it is viral, bordetella or cold-like, the antibiotics were useless and it will be done in a couple days.  Our hope is that his sniffling and scratching are related.

Today, we left him home alone for two hours during our bike ride.  Hobey was howling when we came home, but again this might have been initiated by Monte's welcome barking.  Next time we will sneak up to the house and listen.

Note:  We received three huge bottles of fish oil today -three hundred gelcaps per bottle.  We also have liquid ivermectin for heartworm protection.  If anyone wants or needs any, just let us know.

June 13, 2013

Home Alone

The antibiotics have not impacted the green gunk.  Usually the antibiotics work with in the first 48 hours. We think that it might be a mild case of kennel cough since the onset seems to coincide with his nasal spray. Thus, we have been keeping him away from other dogs therefore we had to miss the Madison training class. However, it didn't stop him from visiting the farm, Blue Moon Community Farm, for our first CSA pick-up.  He was able to greet the other members.  The only issue has been his persistence in tagging along with the people he meets.

After we returned from the farm with our salad fixings the weather was nice, calm before the storm, we decided to take a bike ride together.  This was the first time that we had left Hobey home alone.  He was crated and crying as we left and crying when we returned an hour later.  I doubt that he cried the whole time though; I hope that Monte's barking to signal our return initiated his crying.

Hobey participated in the Custom Canines fundraiser today; he joined Laura and Mark, P4P supporters, for lunch at TGIFridays.  Before heading over to the restaurant we waited in the lobby to practice remaining calm and stationary as people walked past.  Eventually he got the hang of it and relaxed on the cool tile floor.

We planned for his eventful day by walking to the park.  We still don't let him walk the whole way with Monte, but he wants to.  He walks a little more every day.  This preparation left him tired and he slept during lunch.  After we our lunch, we walked over to Laura's office and took Hobey's first elevator ride - without issue.

Next on today's agenda was Lisa's haircut.  At the salon, Hobey hesitated, but decided that he could ascend the carpeted stairs in the stairway. We have been working on stairs; yesterday he ascended the metal stairs at the high school stadium, but would not descend the stairs in our house.  After meeting the owner, he settled down and rested.  As we confidently approached the stairs Hobey didn't balk and deliberately descended the twenty or so steps :-)

June 11, 2013

Ten Weeks

Hobey is ten weeks old.  Housebreaking begins in earnest tomorrow.

We were scheduled for a training class in Janesville, but kept him home tonight. He has green gunk dripping from his nostrils. I don't think its contagious because Monte is not showing any symptoms.  Better safe than sorry; we didn't want to share his infection with the other puppies.  Antibiotics were prescribed yesterday, however, they have not had any effect yet.  Hopefully we will not need a new, stronger prescription.

June 10, 2013

Scratch Exam

We all needed a rest after the long day yesterday and our busy week with the kids. Here is a photo from yesterday.  If you look close you can see some familiar faces (Lisa and Alexis).

Hobey (18.2 lbs) has still been itching so he did make a visit to the veterinarian.  The examination didn't reveal any obvious problems, so the most likely cause is either stress, inherited dry skin, or an allergy. We are instituting a fish oil regimen for both our dogs dogs.  Monte (76.5 lbs) has been shedding A LOT. 

One Hundred

Yesterday at The Dog Den's socialization class we received a great handout that outlined a series of goals for puppy socialization.   Although provided for pet dogs, it provides an extensive list of people, surfaces, sights, smells, and environments. The first goal is 100 different people.

Between our two hours at Dog Fest and an afternoon at Little Amerricka, I believe that we meet one hundred different people today.  One of the people was CCSDA President, Nicole Meadowcroft (photo), who he had not met yet.

As we entered Dog Fest, we met Hobey's breeders, Derek and Laura.  After raising him for eight weeks they generously donated him to Custom Canines and we consider ourselves fortunate to be trusted with such a valuable gift. Having access to the breeder is extremely helpful because they can provide information on parents and siblings.  For example, they were able to offer an explanation for Hobey's itching - dry skin, which may be resolved simply with diet and/or supplements.

The combination of significantly warmer weather, a young puppy, and a half dose of Benadryl resulted in Hobey getting tired easily; I ended up carrying him about half the time (video @ 1:42).  In addition, we stopped at most every water bowl to cool off.

After lunch we headed to Marshall for La Movida day at Little Amerricka. The park was filled to capacity with children and adults of all ages, none of which could resist a cute chocolate Labrador. Having a puppy in tow limited my "amusement", but he was able to accompany us on a train ride.

Hobey spent most of the afternoon being mobbed which was perfect preparation for a restaurant dinner.  We went to Texas Roadhouse, a puppy raiser's most difficult environment because it is littered with peanut shells that dog's for some reason, maybe the salt, seem to adore.

The worst part of the day from Hobey's standpoint was having to wait until 8 pm for his dinner.

June 8, 2013

Food Bowls are for Perfect Dogs

Another busy day for the puppy.  It began with  an hour of play time with 20 other youngsters.  He made the rounds, but eventually paired off with his new girlfriend Ada Mae.  Hobey continues to amaze; in the middle of playing he walked away toward the door.  We went out and he quickly relieved himself.  He has only been here once before.

Immediately following play group, we had his first socialization/training class.  It provided another opportunity to socialize with puppies his age.  We began with the basics: GO PLAY, load the marker word, reward looking into your eyes, treat grabbing the collar.  During breaks we started luring him to SIT and DOWN. Again the biggest takeaway is that mealtime can be used for training - hand feed, practice.

Hobey returned home exhausted and grabbed a bowl of food before a well deserved nap. After his nap and our lunch, we took the dogs and girls for a walk to Burger King for ice cream.

He has been prompting us when he needs to go outside :-)

While we have noticed a tendency to be vocal and slightly dominant, our only concern is that Hobey is constantly itching - dry skin, ear mites, allergy, fleas, mange? A visit to the veterinarian is probably in our future, if things do not get better by Monday.

June 7, 2013


Although Hobey's training has been progressing well, we decided that he wasn't quite ready to visit the Madison Children's Museum. The boys stayed home doing yard while the girls went to MCM. I am constantly amazed at how (almost) nothing seems to faze our trainee.  A few dogs have not been fans of the lawnmower.  After I completed half of the front yard, I brought Hobey outside for an introduction. He approached the quit mower with caution.  After acceptance, I steered Monte and Hobey away while I started it up.  No issues and they actually followed me, at a safe distance, for the remainder of the yard.

The one sound that does bother Hobey is a dog barking.  Every time he hears that he races back to the house.  As we finished mowing the lawn, the neighbor dog was barking, so we spent more time outside and used Monte to help convince him that is wasn't a big deal.  Progress was made, but definitely needs more work.

We made our third trip to the supermarket with an added distraction this time - nine and seven year olds in tow.  It was a challenge, but we remained focused to our list and made it in/out quickly.  Hobey was good, although one woman accused me of choking him as he attempted to follow others and lead me around the store.  I paid no attention, but Lisa's response was that "He is choking himself." I guess we could break out the pronged collar :-) Then what would people say?

Another challenge for some puppies have been stairs, specifically our flight of a dozen steps.  Hobey has easily handled our entry steps.  Yesterday, I started up the twelve stairs after toweling off Monte and I looked back to see Hobey half way up.  With slight encouragement, we got him to finish the journey. Next "step" will be descending which is always more difficult.

Note:  Hobey checked in at 17 pounds

June 5, 2013

Watertown Vacation

Our plans to spend a couple days in Wisconsin Dells enjoying the waterparks meant that we needed a place for Monte and Hobey to "vacation".  We could have taken Hobey with us, but we figured that monitoring two children was enough to keep us busy.  Watertown was the destination for our pair of canines and Camp Lebi was the location.  They joined Lebi, McCoy, and Luna for a few days of canine bonding and canine corrections.  No one better to shape puppy behavior than other dogs.

Hobey even got some additional socialization.  His caretakers, experienced puppy raisers, had him and Lebi accompany them to a medical appointment, dentist visit, and brat fry.  They reported that he was a "rock star" on outings and seemed to be catching on to the housebreaking - wishful thinking.

The next few days will be challenging with two dogs and two kids ...

June 2, 2013

On the Farm

On Sunday, Hobey went to Blue Moon Community Farm for his first of many visits.  We will be getting vegetables from the CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) again this year which means that he will getting out there weekly to meet the other members and farm inhabitants.  The visit today included a tour of the farm and potluck dinner.  This provided him ample time to get acquainted with most of the members.  The children were especially interested; he barely had any time to himself which resulted in one tired puppy.

June 1, 2013

Dog Den Intro

After a rest day yesterday, Hobey was back in training mode.  He once again woke before dawn.  Monte enjoys these early morning awakenings because they both get fed before we return to bed and wait for my alarm. There is light at the end of the tunnel, literally, as his awakenings have been approaching sunrise.

The morning consisted of his introduction to The Dog Den for puppy playgroup.  We met many young pups and their owners.  Hobey took a liking to Ada Mae, who is about the same age and size.  We are a tad concerned regarding his apparent dominance; we will watch  this closely and have a plan to keep it in check - cradling is important.

One hour of sprinting, bounding, wrestling, and barking left our nine week old trainee exhausted. After his lunch, Hobey slept for most of the afternoon and missed our walk to the park.  This left him rested and ready for  a return trip to the supermarket.  Last week's journey ended quickly as we spent most of the time observing the checkout lines. He surpassed my expectations today; we walked the entire route throughout the grocery as we completed our normal shopping routine.  Still a bit of whining when he was not able to follow the passing children or when friendly customers, who stopped to give him pets, moved on.  When we stopped to talk about him or compare prices, he would lie down, waiting patiently until prompted to FOLLOW.

May 31, 2013

Rest Day, Still Working

On his seventh day in our home, Hobey rested.  No outings, but we did make it to the park to meet others.

We have been working hard to establish routines to foster an easy transition to housebreaking.  Our human training to get him outside before/after eating, playing, or sleeping has been completed. Next we need to transition the responsibility to our charge and train him.  Unfortunately, this will involve some failures.  It is difficult to have a puppy completely understand housebreaking requirements without a couple teaching  moments.

In addition to shuttling Hobey outside twenty-five time a day, we have been attempting to translate his language:

Howl - Usually occurs immediately after being placed in his crate, this clearly means "I want to get out of here." After some time, which has been decreasing, this ends with a sigh and acceptance that he is there for the duration.

Crying - This has two known meanings.  The first is when standing by the door or after spending time in his crate, "Get me out of here I need to potty."  The second is when he is not allowed to dictate our route or when separated from a friendly person.  A third meaning has been evolving when we began rewarding housebreaking-like behavior and returning inside when asked to COME; he now crys to go outside to play/rest and get a treat.

Bark - This usually occurs when other dogs are around and translates to "I want to play" or "What is that?".  However, he sometimes barks at inanimate objects during play when frustrated by their lack of cooperation or intrigued by their strange noises.

May 30, 2013

Out for a "Walk"

Hobey's travels today took him to our local bike shop (LBS), Oregon Bike and Skate.  Our tandem bicycle finally made it home after it journey to Utah.

After the LBS, we needed to get a dose of the Bordetella nasal spray to prepare for puppy play group.  He met a few folks before entering Farm and Fleet and followed a group inside the building. He cried when they turned and we chose not to follow.  In addition to the nasal spray we got some flea/tick medicine and the rest of his puppy vaccinations (DHPP).

Before we made our way home, Hobey met our first autism service dog, Cooper, who wasn't overly impressed with our new trainee. They spent a little time playing in the yard before we made it home for Hobey's afternoon nap, followed by a "walk" to the park.

Highlight - He wasn't phased by the thunder and lightning

May 29, 2013


Hobey has been attempting to nurse on Monte and play with the puppy in the mirror.  He has been unsuccessful with both attempts.  Monte does not find it as amusing as we do.

The Madison area Custom Canines held their training at a restaurant this evening.  We debated whether we would attend because you just never know when and where a puppy will relieve himself. It was a good opportunity for socialization and the worst that could happen is that our trainee would create a mess for us to clean-up.

Upon arriving at Ella's Deli, we made a quick potty stop and waited outside for the rest of the crew to show up.  This allowed us to observe traffic and listen to vehicular sounds.  A screaming motorcycle started Hobey, but he quickly rebounded and continued to approach the road.  He greeted the other raisers, canines, and a few families, crying as they departed.

Inside the restaurant, we stopped briefly inside the entrance to locate a table and then hurried to our seat.  He quickly settled down with his fellow trainees: Sarge, Buck, and Vrona.  Hobey barely moved for the entire hour.

One of the normal triggers for puppy potty time is sleep, so we made an even quicker exit to find the nearest patch of grass.  We circled for a bit in the rain, but he didn't potty until we returned home and he ate dinner.

"A tired dog is a good dog."

May 28, 2013

Hobey Baker

We have been asked how we named our puppy.  He is named after Hobey Baker, the namesake of the award given each year to the nation's best college hockey player.

Our Hobey spent his afternoon walking to/from the park followed by a play date with Juno, Lucien, and Lorenz. Juno is Lazlo's service dog.  The boys kept the dogs occupied by emptying the balls out our garage: twelve golf balls, seven tennis balls, ten baseballs, six lacrosse balls, and one basketball. Hobey, Juno, and Monte were exhausted after chasing balls and each other for ninety minutes.

We spent the evening at the Janesville Mall with four other service dogs in-training.   They practiced their obedience while our prime objective was socialization, canine and human.  Hobey far surpassed our goal of meeting ten new people every day.

He slept five straight hours last night !!

May 27, 2013

Never Too Early to Start

Smart Dog? It didn't take him long to find that shortest route to the water bowl is through the food bowl.

We started Hobey's obedience training today by "loading" the marker word. Instead of providing a bowl of food, we feed him a piece of food by hand. However, before distributing each piece we said the marker word, "YES".  This way the association with the "YES" will be positive and we can use it to mark correct/appropriate behavior.

Our puppy is taking a lot of our time, but Monte still needs his fun time and exercise.  In order to use my time more efficiently, Hobey comes with us to the park.  As I mentioned the other day, he can't walk the entire time so I carried him.  Well today I brought along a canvas shopping bag to tote him in.  It was much easier and he appeared comfortable.

Our socialization included greeting dogs with humans at the park and a quick trip to the drug store. For puppies this young, these trips resemble our walks through the neighborhood; we let him explore and take us where he wants to go. 

May 26, 2013

First Night

New Puppy = Sleep Deprivation + Revamped Schedule.

Having been through this many times before, albeit the last time was almost two years ago, we tried to prepare for the first night.  Hobey, aka Glenn, was introduced to the crate for his daily naps. One new approach this time; we have placed a second crate in the living room.

Knowing that someone was going to have to be up every three hours, we adjusted our sleep schedule.  I volunteered to handle the first few and stayed up until 3 am.  Lisa did the 5 am potty break and Hobey wanted a snack. Then I took our two canines for a walk before their breakfast at 7 am. Returned to bed and I slept past noon.

We delayed our Saturday trip to the grocery store until today.  Lisa was going to go by herself, but I figured it would be good to introduce our trainee to a new environment and to many new people.  My plan was to make it as far as we could and then sit on a bench in the front of the store to observe and greet people. After housebreaking, socialization is the primary training activity at this stage. We made it through the produce section before his desire to follow took over.  Hobey and I patrolled the front of the store and to the neighboring Walmart while Lisa shopped.  It provided ample time to explore and meet the customers and employees that couldn't resist his cuteness.

He did good for an eight week old puppy. We prefer to wait until the puppy is ten weeks old because they learn faster and quickly transition to sleep through the night. There is a reason puppies are so cute.  We wouldn't put up with all this if they weren't  :-)

May 25, 2013

Another Journey Begins - Glenn

 A new puppy, Glenn, was dropped on our doorstep by the Custom Canines stork, Marlene.  She showed up this morning unannounced.   I was out of bed but still in jammies and robe with bed head--but that's only fair, I've seen Marlene this way as well!  She told me to go out to the van, she had a "box of chocolates" out there for me. Took me a couple seconds to get that, then I went to pull him out of the crate in the van.

He seems so little! Very sweet! He didn't seem to mind one bit that I was in a fuzzy blue robe! Having just been removed from his siblings and familiar surroundings, Glenn was tentative and hid behind Marlene while we chatted.

We knew that she was picking up a new Labrador trainee (for us) today.  However, we didn't know where and we had no idea that his first stop was Oregon.  Of course, we could have placed him on hold for a couple weeks, but who can resist this face.  Also, having raised service puppies for the last six years, we have supplies and have learned to be flexible and adapt quickly.

After being introduced to our pet dog and mentor, Monte, we loaded up the car to secure the necessary puppy supplies: food, leash, collars, toys.  However, on the way there we made a few quick stops to provide a puppy fix to our friends and pick-up the final order of Pedal 4 Paws t-shirts.  Note: if any one needs a fix let us know, socialization is extremely important for Glenn.

He met the neighbors before we took him for his first walk with Monte.  As most everyone knows, Monte enjoys his trips through the park and spends his time running full speed from object to object for 30 minutes. Knowing that Glenn could not and should not keep up, we carried him about half the time. Boy, were my arms tired.

Glenn took everything in stride and easily adapted to new situations. If the first day is any indication, he will do great.

February 11, 2013

Temporary Location

For the next three months we will be at the following location:  


San Diego, CA
St. Augustine, FL

February 7, 2013

Monte's Class

Training for all Madison area service dogs is on Wednesday.  Usually we set up shop in a local business like HyVee or East Towne Mall.  This week's class was at Whiz Kids Daycare building.  It provides a different setting with varied sights and smells.  We use this to focus on basic commands and fine tuning without a lot of distraction.

Since we were not going to be in public.  I decided to bring our pet dog, Monte, to class.  We took a very long walk before class to burn off some energy; he runs for the whole hour.  Having been quite some time since he had any formal training (even with the exercise), it took him awhile to settle in.  And then it was time to leave :-)

Licorice, Sugar, Buck, and Bentley attended training.  The class could not be any more diverse.  Licorice, a black poodle, is mature and in the midst of being placed.  Sugar, a smallish yellow lab, is well behaved and working on additional mobility skills.  Her raiser has done an excellent job with her.  As a puppy, she was a bundle of energy.  Buck is relatively young and behaves like the adolescent that he is.  Bentley is nearing a year is being trained for autism service work.  But he gets anxious when out and about; he needs more positive experience.  Bentley is, my buddy, Lucy's sister and they could not be more different.

Actually is only took Monte a few minutes to settle in and stop whining.  He did fine until his Achilles Heel was revealed.  Good DOWN STAY until a rubber ball was rolled, tossed, or bounced.  He just cannot control his prey drive, however our walks through the park chasing mice, squirrels and rabbits have only contributed to his issue.  Overall, he was successful with heeling, Sits, and Downs considering that his training takes a back seat to the puppies that we normally have in the house.

He liked getting to go for a ride and seeing more of the world, beyond the dining room window, especially the other dogs.

February 6, 2013

Lucy, Home?

Tuesday nights are autism service dog class in Janesville.  This was another t-shirt drop-off, but we also got a chance to spend time with some new and old trainees. 

 Lucy is eleven months old and has just been returned for some fine tuning.  She needs more work on her STAY.  I took her on as my project for the evening; we worked together all night and she progressed rapidly.  We began with having her STAY for short periods of time with me a few steps away and progressed to having her on a DOWN STAY in the middle of the mall as traffic passed her by. 

As we worked I noticed an additional issue.  When I would do a step over, she always looked fearful and stood up.  We transitioned to me standing over her, rubbing her belly, and just making her comfortable.  Eventually she accepted having me stand and walk over her.  We were working so well that I wanted to bring her home, but Lisa said "No! We are too busy."

February 3, 2013


Even though we are not actively raising a puppy, we are still keeping busy with Custom Canine activities.  In addition to our fundraising, we are finding time to spend with our dogs and puppy raisers.

Our first stop on Sunday was to visit Cooper and his partner Mac.  Cooper was placed when he was only ten-months old, so he has grown up and filled out.  He looks like a real dog now. It's always good to see our puppy trainees behaving like adults, although Cooper, like most Labradors, seems to have retained his youthful puppy exuberance and love of life.  He spent most of our visit playing with his toys in the snow.  Inside, "Yooper" has become Mac's favorite subject in his home movies.

Next, we dropped off a jersey and some t-shirts for Dusty and Avery.  We were welcomed at the door by their autism service dog, Porter.  He settled down after the requisite 5 minute puppy cool down period.  Calm greeting are one of the most difficult things to practice, at least at our house, because we don't get a lot of guests.  It was also nice for us to visit with Avery and Dusty; hopefully we will be seeing more of them at training classes :-)

Stop number three was downtown Madison to work with Buck and his new puppy raiser, Avery, who starts high school next year.  Buck is about eight months old and a Golden Retriever.  He has been in their home for little more than 24 hours, but seems to have bonded very quickly with Avery, which is quite common for the breed.  After going over some basic commands we took a walk down to Trader Joe's.  Buck and Avery did very well. 

I hope we didn't offer too many corrections to Avery.

February 1, 2013

We Are Back

After a long hiatus from blogging, not puppy raising we are back. 

Volunteering as a puppy raiser is a significant commitment and brings with it many rewards. The greatest reward is a successful placement and hearing that your trainee is working as expected.

Chumley was  placed in his forever home just before Christmas.

After placement, we normally take a little break.  This allows time to regroup and spend some quality time with our pet dog, Monte.  


During our break we did have an unexpected  visitor, Enzo.  He stayed for a week while his puppy raisers were traveling and provided the necessary puppy fix, as we were suffering puppy withdrawal.  Monte enjoyed his company too.

Working with a non-profit, Custom Canines Service Dog Academy, one needs to wear many hats. My least favorite role is as fundraiser.  But that is what we have been working on for the last month.  I would much rather be housebreaking a puppy or fine tuning a STAY command.

We have taken an extended break from puppy raising to focus on fundraising.  We are five weeks away from beginning a cross country bicycle journey.  The focus of which is increasing awareness for Autism Service Dogs and securing donations to fund future placements.

Pedal 4 Paws - Coast 2 Coast