Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Guess who is 7 months old

As though it were hard to guess. :D Well, today is Fullertons 7 month day. I can't believe he has been here for 5 months already. The time is flying by, next thing you know I will be loading him on the puppy truck. (NO, I CAN'T THINK ABOUT THAT YET!!!) Anyway, we have come a long way during the last 5 months and Fullerton is a wonderful pup. Although, like all pups, he has his issues that we continue to work on, but he is a very good puppy. It is sad though because he is loosing his puppy look and getting more adult-ish every day. Today he weighed in at a whopping 48 pounds. Still kinda small but he is getting there. :D

We didn't have a terribly exciting day, we went to school, and then after school we went to Petsmart and got Fullerton a new bag of food. On our way to the register we walked through the toy isle and I noticed a few Nylabones that were on clearance. I could not pass that up so Fullerton got a new bone for 5 bucks (usually $10.99, so that made me happy) So, below is a pic of Fullerton with his new food and bone. :D (It is quite difficult to get a puppies attention when there is 40 pounds of kibble goodness right next to him) He also got a very nice compliment in the pet store. Fullerton was walking stupendously on a loose leash and I was pushing the cart and just had his leashed looped around my arm, he didn't pull away or try to sniff anything once, I was a very happy momma. Anyway, after I paid for my stuff and was walking out a lady came up to me and told me that she was watching me and Fullerton walking around and she was so impressed by his behavior. I was beaming, he is usually pretty, umm. . . well, you all know how pet stores are, so of course I was very happy with him. :D

After dinner I gave Fullerton his new bone. (Liver flavor, yummy)
I would say that he quite enjoys it, as he has not let it out of his sight since we got home. :D We also went out in the yard (Yay for quick melting snow!! Although we are supposed to get more tomorrow *grumpy noises*) for some "official" 7 month pics. :D
Look at that slowly disappearing baby face. :( He is getting so grown up."Mommy can we PLEASE stop taking pictures and go have dinner!?!?!?!?" (Fullerton got a little sick of photo time and ran to the door, silly labby)
It was a good 7 month day for Fullerton.

Monday, March 30, 2009

I Want a Refund on Spring!!

Now don't get me wrong I love the cold weather and I love snow, in fact, Winter is my favorite season, but enough is enough. Waking up this morning to five inches of snow was not what I had in mind. What happened to Spring?!?!? It's very nearly April!! Step aside Winter and let Spring have its turn.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Do Dogs Have Nightmares?

Last night at about 3:22 I woke up to the sound of Fullerton screaming bloody murder. I have never heard him (or any dog for that matter) make a sound like that in my life. I leaped out of bed and flicked on the light switch and looked at Fullerton who was laying on his dog bed and had already stopped screeching. He did look like he had seen a ghost though. I went over to him and sat on the floor next to his bed and started petting him. He slowly crawled into my lap until he was in a sitting position with his head on my shoulder. It was so pitiful and I felt so bad for him. I have no idea what happened. He has been fine and dandy all day and acting totally normal. It scared me so badly that I could not get back to sleep at all. So, I am wondering, do dogs have nightmares?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Strange Comment of the Week

Since us puppy raisers have puppies with us in MANY different places it is impossible to avoid the public. I am very happy to educate and answer the the many (read: Bazillions of) question that I am asked. But there are always those questions/comments that render me silent for a moment. The question of the week this week was: (drum roll please)

Why does your dog wear that thing that says he is a guide dog in training???

Umm. . . because that's what he is . . .

All I have to say is WOW! Sometimes these little comments make me wonder about the future of the human race. :D

Well, I also have some pictures to share. Today I was playing tug with Fullerton and when the game was over I went and put the toy away when I turned around this is what I saw.

His ear stayed that way for about 10 minutes until he shook it out. Can you say German Shepherd wanna be?!?!? It made me laugh. :D

Monday, March 16, 2009

A Day in the Life. . .

Last week I was approached by an unusual amount of people thinking that it was terrible to train a dog to work and that they have horrible lives being the "slaves" of humans. So, I decided to write a post about a day in the life of Fullerton a Guide Dog Puppy in Training and his (slightly crazy) puppy raiser. So, for those of you who stumble upon this blog who are unaffiliated with guide/service dogs, I hope this post can help you understand more about what all of us puppy raisers do. :D Enjoy!

March 16, 2009: A typical day in the life

Our day begins early when the alarm clock goes off at 4:40am, making a shrill buzzing/beeping noise.

Fullerton has been sleeping loose in my room for the last six days and is very good about staying on his bed until the alarm sounds, but he seems to think that when the alarm goes off it is an invitation to make a flying leap onto my bed and SIT on my FACE. (Yes, my glorious day began with the most annoying sound in the world and a puppy butt ON my face! I think he will go back to tie-down snoozing for a while longer.) After I got my 42 pound, six month old off my head I slowly flop out of bed and wander down the hall with my bouncing puppy in tow, I did my business and then put in my eye drops in. (I always sleep in my contacts *slaps hand* So my eyes are all sore and dry in the morning.)

Then we walk back to my room (still with the bouncy craziness of the puppy, I cannot fathom how he has that much energy so early in the morning. . . *sigh*) I put on some flip-flops and grab Fullerton's leash. I opened my door give him the okay (yes, he waits for permission before going out the door, the dog can't just rush out when it wants because the blind person can't see him exit, and it is just safer that way. Imagine if the dog runs out the front door and into traffic, a dead dog is not a happy dog) Fuller races up the stairs and waits for me at the top, when I get up the stairs, I clip on his leash and we head into the darkness so he can do his business. I clean up after him and put his deposit in the garbage can and we head back inside. Fullerton starts chewing on a bone while I change into my workout clothes. When I as ready Fullerton goes into the kennel. I bid him farewell and assure him that I had not forgotten about his breakfast and then I leave for the gym. I work out for an hour (1/2 of Cardio and 1/2 Weight Lifting) and then go home.

When I get back from the gym I let Fullerton out of the kennel and he begins his bouncing around with joy in the return of his long lost mommy. We return to the bathroom while he waits patiently (or not so much) for me to shower. When I get out we go back to our room and it is FINALLY time for the starving puppy to have breakfast. I take his bowl, scoop out two cups of glorious kibble and add water. (Bounce, bounce, bounce goes the puppy) Fullerton then sits quietly and does some puppy-push-ups (sit, down, sit, down) then I give the okay to eat (the dogs wait to eat too, it's nice to not have a dog jumping in your face for food and knocking the bowl out of your hands) He eats like he will never eat again and then goes back to chewing on his toy while I get ready. When I was done getting ready I take Fullerton out into the yard to do his business again and then unclip his leash so he could blow off some steam.

In the one above you can see the white stripe on his tail. I have been trying to get a decent picture of it for a while and it finally showed up this morning. :)
When he was tired I brought him back inside and we played FIR Hide-and-go-seek (Food Induced Recall or "come") He loves this game, I have him stay put somewhere and then I go hide and call him and he has to come find me. He is a good seeker. :D "I found you mommy!"
After that we went back down to my room, and I got my stuff together for work and Fullerton went into the kennel. I said "goodbye" and told him to be a good boy. (Unfortunately I can't take Fuller to work with me) and I left for work.

During my lunch break, I go home, give him some water, give him a potty break, and let him loose in the yard for a few minutes. Then we went back inside and practiced "go to bed" (Fullerton is doing pretty well, but not doing as well at it as I had hoped, but he is getting there)

Then he goes back into the kennel and I go back to work. When I get off, I come home take him potty again and then we go for a short walk. (Look at that loose leash action)
When our walk is over I get ready to go to school. Then we get into the car and drive to school. When we got to the parking lot I get out and grab my stuff out of the car and then got the boy dressed. (I have him get his front feet on the seat so I don't have to bend over to dress him. He is normally on the floor when driving)

We park in free parking (which is practically in Idaho) so we have to walk to school. It is a nice walk probably about a half a mile. (Not too bad) We walk a few pretty busy roads and we do three street crossing before walking through the BIG parking lot. Fullerton has always done awesome! (Getting ready to cross the street)"The great and spacious building" aka My school UVU. :D
First we go to math. Fullerton finds math very boring and unimportant and takes every opportunity to groan VERY loudly when the class is nice and quiet. (Fullerton under my chair in class, being a very good boy)After math we go out to our potty spot. I always have him potty behind this statue (called Infinity) when we are at school, jacket off of course. :D
After he does his business we go to English, my English class is a discussion class and it gets pretty noisy in there so I let Fullerton chew on a bone while we are in there. He enjoys English.
After school we trek back to free parking and get back in the car. Usually I run an errand or two. Yesterday it was to the Orem Fitness Center to get my new pass. (I lost my other one and they are getting sick of looking me up every day.) Then we come home and Fullerton eats dinner (with Panache)

After another potty session we play an intense game of tug. Which Fullerton enjoys!

Then we relax while I do my homework, Fuller chews on his toys or goes to bed, and looks so cute doing it.

Then it is out for one last potty break and then it is bedtime. And we are ready to do it all over again the next day. :D

For those of you who made it through this whole post, Congratulations! I hope that gave a little insight into the day of a "working puppy"

And for our puppy raiser/walker/trainer friends out there, we would like to hear what a day in your life is like. :) Have fun!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Hip Hip Hooray!!!

FINALLY!!!! I have news on the Sherminator! Hi Megan,

These are my favorite emails to send. Congratulations!! Sherman is going to graduate as a medical alert dog for Dogs 4 Diabetics on May 30, 2009.

Please let me know if you will be able to attend to present Sherman to his new partner. The graduations are much like those at GDB. You will need to be there at 12:00PM for photos. The graduation begins at 2:00PM.

Sherman is doing great. His match loves him more and more every day. He goes to work in a first grade class 5 days a week. All the kids love him and jump in on his alert parties. Take care!

I am beyond words. I have already written back saying that I will be there. I don't care what it takes, I am going to be at my boys graduation. Yippee!! Go Sherman!! Sounds like his match is just perfect as he just adores little kids! I can't wait only 82 days until Sherman graduates. Better get started on that speech. . . maybe I am getting a tad ahead of myself. :D

Fun Firestation Outing

About a month ago I stayed after puppy class and brainstormed fun outings with my leader. I had made a few suggestions of outings that I went on with my puppy group when I lived in California. One that I remember that was a lot of fun and really good for the dogs was going to a fire station. The pups were able to meet a fireman in his gear and walk around a firetruck with the sirens and engine on. So, she asked if I would be able to set something like that up. I said "of course"

So, the next day I called the Pleasant Grove Fire Station and they were very happy to oblige. I was so excited that they were willing to do this for us. We scheduled to do it on March 7th. Unfortunately, that morning they were out on a call. I called my contact at the PGFS (I had his cell number) and he said they were just dropping the patient off at the hospital and would be there soon. So the group went to the Library across the street and did some work on the "go to bed" command for a while. Then my contact called me and said that his truck got called out to another place but the other truck was coming and when they got there they would do anything that we wanted them to do.

About ten minutes later we headed back to the Fire Station. The captain was there and had one of his men get in all his gear including oxygen mask (which is good for the dogs to get used to the noise) and he gave us an overview of the gear and how the fire station works. It was really neat. Then the fireman in all his gear came over and we let the dogs greet him one at a time. They were all wonderful, not a single one was at all nervous or scared of him. They all ran up wiggling and let him pet them. It was so fun for the dogs and the fireman really enjoyed it too.

This is Dax with the Fireman. (Dax just got his recall for April 19, we wish him luck, he is a fun dog)
This is our only black lab in the group right now, Safari.

Our club Grandma, Myra. (Myra also has a recall for March 28th, leaving our group with three pups until April when we are expecting SIX new puppies. It will be fun to have a big group again.)
Fullerton was absolutely adorable (he is being handled by one of the new guys getting his puppy in April) He went up and sniffed the gloves, his tail was wagging but he was totally in control. It was so cute. :)
He gave the Fireman a few little licks on his mask too.
All the dogs did wonderful and I think it was a very successful and fun outing for the people as well as the dogs. The firemen also asked us a TON of questions about guide dogs and the training and stuff like that, it was fun to answer their questions. We didn't get to do anything with the engine since we ran out of time. But, it was still a great outing. I could not be happier with how it all went. I am so glad that I could set it up. :D

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Happy 6 month day. . .

a few days late. Where does the time go?!?! Fullerton is now six months old. He has officially hit the gangly stage where his legs are too long for his body, this picture doesn't do him justice he really looks silly right now. :D It feels like just yesterday I was anxiously waiting at the airport for his arrival. Now I am wondering what happened to that tiny little 9 pound pudge ball? But, I could not be happier with him, he is a very well rounded little pup, he has his moments that frustrate me but for the most part he is very happy to just follow me around all day and very willing to go anywhere at anytime. (Yes, he has gone on several last minute midnight Wal-Mart trips, but that's what happens when you are being raised by the all time greatest procrastinator EVER! Sorry pup) He is so incredibly smart and I know the next 8-9 months are going to be very interesting with this boy, and I can't wait to see what he makes of himself. Oh, and he has finally hit the 40 pound mark, maybe he will be a decent sized male after all. :)On Wednesday I was feeling very stressed and tense all day and needed to do something to relax. So I decided to go to my "happy place" :) Where else. . . Bridal Vail Falls. I drove all the way up the canyon and when I got there it was fenced off. Jeepers, that was upsetting to go all that way for that. Well . . . what did I do?? I did what Megan does best. . .

Crawled under the gate and took a bunch of pictures. :)

It was so nice, I didn't know they close it during the winter, I have never been up there during that time and it was gorgeous. It was. . . crisp, I don't really know how to explain it but it was so pretty. I could see why it was closed though. The trail was all snow and ice (makes it hard to go uphill) and the wind was insane! I didn't go all the way up, just to the falls and then back down. I didn't feel that bad about it because there were two other people up there. :)

I am thinking of submitting one of these for the 2010 GDB Calendar, what do you guys think? Which do you like?

Here is Fullerton on the bridge over the river. (Pic 1)

Fuller in the water at the bottom of the falls. (The water was FREEZING) (Pic 2)

Another of Fullerton at the bottom of the falls. (Pic 3)
You can kinda see piles of snow on the falls. And at the top was a HUGE pile of snow, it was pretty cool looking. (Pic 4)
This is what the trail looked like, pretty slippery.
Here you can see the wind flowing through his ears.
And at the bottom of the trail. (I think this is my favorite for the Calendar. (Pic 5)
It was fun, and I felt so good after my impromptu, spontaneous trip to the falls. I know I have said it before, but I love it up there. And it was Fullerton's first trip to the falls and he did stupendous. I think he enjoyed himself too.
Here is a video of Fullerton. He does this every time my phone rings and it makes me laugh every time. I love it!!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Name Game

Okay I am really bored and have been procrastinating writing my English paper (due tomorrow, YIKES) so in my efforts of putting off my paper as long as possible I have decided to play the name game. :D I will start with myself and then do my pups. . . Enjoy!

Name: Megan
Meaning: Little Pearl
Origin: Welsh/Greek
Famous Megan's: Meg Ryan, Megan Mullaly, Meg Griffin, there is also a crater on Venus named Megan
Nicknames: Meggie, Meggie Muffin, Megs, Megera, Mae Mae, Booger (for dressing all in green and even dying my hair green for Halloween in high school, NOT for mining for gold!!), Elphie, Nutty, Noodle, Dog girl. . . (I could go on)

Name: Fullerton (MYL)
Meaning: Bird-Catcher or Place where the cloth is dressed
Origin: Scottish and Northern Irish
Famous Fullertons: Well, there is Fullerton, CA and it is also a type of cockroach hmm. . .
Nicknames: Fully-poo (or Full-of-poo, during his diarrhea phases, which he still has occasionally *sigh*) Fully-wooly, jack-rabbit, punk, Pruderton (whoops, that kinda just comes out sometimes), Fuller-bowler, baby boy.

Name: Spanky (MBL)
Meaning: (couldn't find one, surprise, surprise)
Origin: Scottish
Famous Spankys: Spanky from the Little Rascals, and Spankys Diner and Grill
Nicknames: Spanks, Spankerella, Spanky-Wanky, Spankster, Spud (on his not so bright days, which happened quite often), Sparky (on accident, but it happened a lot)

Name: Sherman (MBL)
Meaning: Person who shears wool
Origin: Old English
Famous Shermans: William Tecumseh Sherman (civil war general), Sherman T Potter (MASH character), and Mr. Peabody & Sherman Cartoon (Sherman was Mr Peabodys pet boy)
Nicknames: Sherm, Shermy, Squirmy Shermy, The Sherminator, Sure, Pretty boy, and Stud

Name: Adeline (FYL)
Meaning: Noble
Origin: German
Famous Adelines: Sweet Adeline (the song)
Nicknames: Addie, Add, Adeliney Whiney, Addie Pants, baby girl, and funny face

Name: Glennie (FYL)
Meaning: Valley
Origin: Scottish
Famous Glennies: Brian Glennie (hockey player),
Nicknames: Snow White, Glenns, Glenn, Scardy cat, and snow

Name: Tahoma (FBL)
Meaning: Snowy Mountain Peak (honestly I didn't think I was going to find anything)
Origin: Navajo
Famous Tahomas: (couldn't find any, hmm. . .)
Nicknames: Homie, Homes, Tahoe, Home, Ta Ta, T-Dawg, Black beauty, and Homa.

Name: Prudy
Meaning: Cautious, Intelligent (wow, thats prudy to a T)
Origin: English
Famous Prudys: (none)
Nicknames: Prude, Prue, Prudy-whoody-fresh-n-fruity (on those gassy nights), Prudelinsky L. Bogtrotter the 3rd, Prudence (when she was in trouble), and Princess

Anyway, I really should get back to my paper now, wish me luck, only 4 pages to go. :D