Well, it is all done. The GDB Workshop was a lot of fun. I got a ride down there with another raiser in my group, it was nice to chat and get to know her better. She is a really interesting lady. Anyway, I got up at the crack of dawn *yawn* after not sleeping well last night. I kept waking up and I was tossing and turning all night. Anyway, I got all ready and packed up some stuff for Sherman before she picked me up. We drove to the Blind Center in Salt Lake (we were a little late because we got LOST!) Our CFR started with a power point about all the options for a puppy in training after they leave the puppy raising home. Here is Sherman during that, he wasn't very interested. :)
Then we took a break and our CFR pulled out different age groups of dogs and explained what they should be learning at each stage and the typical behavior and different equipment seen on each age group. First she pulled the dogs up to 5 months old and had them do a sit, some had to be placed in a sit and others were able to do it. Then the dogs from 5 to 10 months, she had them do a sit and then a down. Then all the rest, so me and Sherman stood up and started walking to the front and then she changed her mind and said that she would do the recall dogs last so we went back to sit down. That is when I met my new pup, he walked by being handled by Lindsey. I only got a short glimpse of him but he seemed nice enough. All those dogs went and she had them to a sit, down, and then a sit from a down and a few did stand (kudos to Hobbs for doing it flawlessly, what an amazing stander!!) :) After that the recall dogs got to go. She had us do the same as the other group. After I had Sherman do it my CFR pointed out that I didn't have to say my commands very loud because Sherman is focused on me and doesn't need it. So kudos to Sherman for being my awesome boy!! After that we took a break so that all of the dogs could practice relieving on concrete and NOT grass. lol Sherman has always been my star reliever so we went outside, took off his jacket and gave him the DYB command and within seconds he was doing him #1 and then about 30 seconds later a #2. YAY SHERMAN!! After everyone was done we went back inside and our CFR talked about relieving and singled out Sherman and said that the trainers at GDB are going to love him because he is a fast reliever and will go wherever I tell him to so YAY SHERMAN AGAIN!!! After that she did another power point on training equipment and did some demonstrations with dogs wearing a training collar and a halti. Then we had a break for lunch and when we got back together it was puppy truck time. (NOOOO!!!!!) During lunch I talked with a few raisers ate my food and then finally got to meet my new guy up close. Here he is with Sherman. He makes Sherman look like a baby! He is at least 10-15 pounds heavier than Sherman and quite a bit taller but still oh, so handsome.
I took them outside to get better pics without the flash (camera flashes and black dogs don't mix) Apparently there was something more interesting for the new guy to look at because out of the 7-8 pictures I took he wasn't leaning in one and that one Sherman looks stupid so I didn't use it. :)
So then it was the puppy truck time. They handed out babies first there were six and they were adorable, the ones I remember were Curry-MYL, Zinfendel-FBL, Orion-MYL, Owen-MYL, Parsons-MBL, and there is another C that I just cant remember but it was cute. :) They gave some time between puppy delivery and loading the recall dogs, when it was time everyone headed out to the puppy truck. I stalled for a while, I was very proud of myself though I kept it all together until he was on the truck. But that time had to come, so I unclipped his puppy coat and slipped it off, took off his training collar and handed him over to Mick who lifted him into the top corner kennel. I said goodbye and took a few pictures. I left my sunglasses on so you can't see my red, puffy eyes. (ha ha I am learning) Upon exiting the truck Lindsey had a surprise for me, she handed me my new puppy, literally picked him up and handed him over, and boy is he heavy. :) That made me laugh. I wish I got a picture of it. . . too bad. Anyway, I know you have all been waiting for this so here goes, my new boys name is . . . (drum roll please!!!)
I thought that the name was awful when I first heard what it was. (About the most undignified guide dog name ever) But now that he is here I am getting used to it, it is not that bad and it kinda suites him. (by the way Kelsey guessed it, so kudos to you) I thought that I would call him Sherman a lot but so far I have been calling him Hobbs. Dunno why. . . Anyway, he was born on June 30, 2007 so he will be one at the end of this month. His parents are Domingo and Vintage. He is a very sweet dog too. He is on a diet because he could afford to loose a few pounds, but even without those pounds he is a lot bigger than Sherman. He is already starting to understand that he has a set of rules that he has to follow here. He was a little stand-off-ish after we got home so I sat on the floor across the room from him and let him investigate for a while. Then he layed down and looked at me and then started slowly inching his way over to me. He was finally close enough to touch and so I started petting him and massaging him and he got closer so that his head was in my lap. I got out the zoom groom (man does he shed) and brushed him while he was laying on me. I think he likes me, he has started wagging his tail when I talk to him, and he tries to be close. He is a pretty cool dog, and I think that the next few months are going to be a lot of fun with this guy.
Other than all that Thursday was my last day at work so now with all my free time I will be getting ready for CAMP!! (and taking Spanky on a couple walks a day to take off those pesky pounds) Only six days before I leave!!! I think Sparky is going to be an awesome camp dog. I CAN'T WAIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!