Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Phase 3!

Fullerton is now in phase 3!! He is one of two dogs in formal training right now in phase 3. . . I am starting to get nervous. The rest of his string is now in phase 4 and 5. . . But, I am so proud of him and happy he is advancing! Keep it up. Here is what Fuller is up to on campus now:

Phase #3

  • Guidework training in quiet residential areas
  • Frequent rides in the training vans
  • Introduction to more advanced guidework commands and responses ("Right," "Left," and "Over Here,") continued training on commands from phase #2
  • Introduction to curbs and street crossings
  • Progressive obstacle course training on campus
  • Mall exposure walks
  • Dog social sessions

And, I was wrong about Forte in my last post, he is going through final breeder evals, he isn't official yet. Still keeping fingers crossed for him. He is going into foster care for the holidays for about a month and then will do his final tests!

I know it's been two weeks since I last updated but it's been super busy at work and I haven't had any time to spend on my blog, but I promise after Christmas things will slow down a little and I will have a big fat update on the Paris. :D Have a good Christmas everyone!!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Phase 2!!

Fullerton 491S LAB M 2

Phase 2!!!! This may not seem like a big deal because there are still 8 phases but I am so happy for my boy!!! I have not had a puppy make it to phase 2 since my 2nd puppy. Prudy, puppy #1 was career changed in phase 8, Tahoma, puppy #2 breeder/guide, then Glennie and Spanky, puppies #3 and #6 were both career changed before formal training and Adeline and Sherman, puppies #4 and #5 were both career changed in phase 1. So for me 2 is a big deal. Good job Fuller, I am so very proud of you! Here is what Fuller is up to on campus this week:

Phase #2

  • Preliminary obedience training
  • Exposure to distractions (toys, food, other dogs, cats, etc.)
  • First on-campus workouts with a harness
  • Introduction to the BEST program training techniques (including treadmill sessions)
  • Sessions to teach guidework-specific commands (such as "forward," "Halt," Hopp up," and "steady") and the desired response to those commands
  • On leash introduction to the campus obstacle course


Fullertons brother Forte is officially a breeder. I hope I can raise a Fuller neice or nephew sometime that would be so cool. His other brother Filby is in phase 6 and the last brother Flamenco is currently unaccounted for. If anyone knows his whereabouts I would love to know.

Monday, December 7, 2009

A (not so typical) Day in the Life

I liked doing Fullertons Day in the Life post so much that I decided to do a day in the life post for Paris too. So I planned over the weekend to follow her day on Monday. . . little did I know how different yesterday was going to be. But here is Paris' (not so typical) day in the life.

I wake up at six every morning now and as soon as I turn off my alarm Paris is ready to go. I usually open my eyes to my little yellow girl staring at me.
[Paris looking at me over the edge of the bed]
Today we woke up to about five inches of snow. It was great I LOVE snow.
[A picture looking down my street and everything covered in white]

I took Paris out to potty (which she did wonderfully in the snow, some of my puppies have really not enjoyed going in the snow.) Then we went back in so I could get ready for school. At 7 we leave for school.
[Paris sits in the snow before we leave for school]
A friend of mine had stayed over the night before so I had to drop her and her dog Boone off at work on my way to school. So two humans, and two dogs piled into the car to take her to work. On the way I stopped at a red light and someone took a corner way too fast for the snow and slid into me. GRRR!! I was pretty mad but fortunately everyone was fine. It is really scary to watch a car sliding closer and closer and not be able to do anything about it though. I was pretty shaken up. There was also a cop car stopped at the light across from me so he came over and had us pull into a gas station and did all his stuff. My friend got to work late and I would not have made it to class so I didn't go to school either. Oh well. . .
[My poor red car with a big dent in the driver side just above the wheel]
So instead of going to class me and Paris went to my moms first grade classroom and helped them out for a while. Paris was excellent with all the squealing seven year olds. When we first got there my mom had us talk to the kids and tell them why Paris was allowed in school and then we helped them with their art project. They made little soldiers for Christmas. Paris didn't try to eat any of the paper scraps that littered the floor after the first graders where done with their projects I was so proud. Then I put Paris in a down stay while my mom did reading time with the kids and then I walked around with Paris to help them with math. It was a lot of fun and Paris was a big hit. The kids were so good and asked me if they could pet her as we walked around to help with math. Paris is so good with little kids.
[Paris sitting under the table with all the paper soldiers piled on top.]
[Paris' down stay while the kids all read their books. A couple ladies walked in and didn't even notice her until I got her up for math time. That is always a huge compliment.]
When it was time for morning recess me and Paris left to go home. While there I practiced "go to bed" and "come" She is wonderful at both commands. :D
Video description: Paris sits by a door and then I tell her to go to bed. She promptly runs to her mat that I have placed about 20 feet away and lays down on it. I say "nice" and she gets a kibble then I take a few steps back say "nice" again and she gets another kibble.
I think I am going to start giving her the command from another room and she if she still knows what to do if she can't see the mat. She is so good at this command, it makes me so happy!

This is Paris playing hide and go seek recall. I usually hide behind a couch or in a corner or in the bathroom and then I call her and she has to come find me. This time I hid in the hall and called her out of my bedroom and she found me really fast. What a good girl.
Usually all that time is spent at school. Here is a picture from last Friday.
[Paris sitting by a blow up Santa sitting in a green chair that is in our student center. Santa's arm waves too, it's kinda creepy]
[Paris walking to class on Friday as well. She is such a good sport]
After we practiced commands we went into my room and did puppy handling. Puppy handling is when we lay the puppy down and pet them all over, or we can do it in a sitting position too. Paris loves puppy handling, it relaxes her a lot.
[Paris falls asleep sitting down with her head in my hand, what a sweetheart!]
After puppy handling my boss called me and told me it was really slow and that I didn't need to come in so I got the rest of the day to play with my Paris. So, I took her out into the yard and let her run in the snow. She had a blast, although she really likes sticks, something that I continue to work on with her.
[Paris running in the snow with a long stick in her mouth, it looks like she is smiling, her ears are bouncing up and she has one foot on the ground and one kicking into the air. She really is quite graceful]
I took the stick away from her and then let her run around some more.
[Paris diving into the snow, she liked to faceplant, not sure why it seemed uncomfortable to me but she loves the snow]
After that I patted her down with a towel and we went on some outing. We went to the bookstore, grocery store, and a movie store. She was fabulous as always.
[Paris sitting in the grocery store waiting for me to pay]
Then I took my sister to her voice lesson.
[Paris in the car waiting for my sister to come out from her lesson. She has her head resting on the drivers seat.]
Usually we go to work where she spends a bit of time on tie-down while I am occupied or she roams around the back area with me. She has also made really good buddies with my friend/co-workers dog Boone. He is a 1 yr old German Shorthair and is such a nice dog. They are really cute together.
Anyway, after errands I did homework and then we settled in for bed and get all ready to start over again. :D So, there is a day in the life of a guide dog puppy in training.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


Fullerton 491S LAB M 1

Maybe I should have blogged about my Fuller woe's earlier. He's there and that number can only go up from here. Good luck Fuller, do your best!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Fullerton Withdrawls. . .

The last few weeks I have really been missing Fullerton. I forget what it is like to have a dog in formal training, and not just that but in limbo. He has been gone for nearly 6 weeks and he hasn't shown up on the phase report yet. He was dropped from breeding after a week and a half so that is at least 4 1/2 weeks of nothing. Each week the phase report comes and I hold my breath as it downloads and then there is no Fuller. It is very disappointing, especially since there are other dogs that went in for breeder evals with him and are now on the phase report. Then I just tell myself, maybe next week. I really hope he isn't just sitting waiting for a string, I hope he is doing some sort of training, I hope he didn't get sick, or is not having a tough time recovering from his neuter surgery. GRRR!! I just hate not knowing, I hate not having control over anything dealing with my special boy anymore. I really want news, it is amazing how relieving a number next to your dogs name is. So, maybe this week. . . . Okay rant over. Thanks for letting me vent. :D

Here are some pictures of Fuller, most of them are pictures that my sister took of us together just before he left.

[Fuller laying on his round dog bed the day I got him. He only takes up a tiny little corner of the bed. He is a tiny Roley Poley 8 week old puppy]

[Fuller a year later on his round dog bed. He takes up quite a lot of the bed now and has grown up a lot since he was 8 weeks old. He is 13 months in this picture]

[The rest are from my photo shoot with my sister. This first one is a close up of Paris' face]

[We went out to a hay field for our pictures. Here is Fuller with hay behind him, you can also see a few pine trees and the mountains in the distance.]

[A close up of Fuller. Fullerton is almost a red color, he is quite small for a male lab and drop dead gorgeous!]

[Me standing on a board in the hay with Paris and Fuller sitting on my left. They are like night and day color wise. Paris looks so light next to Fullerton, her dark ears almost match him though.]

[This one made me giggle. I look all happy and hunky dory and Paris is sticking her tongue out and has her eyes closed and Fullerton is looking off to the right.]

[Me standing again with Paris laying down on my right and Fullerton sitting on my left.

[This on is cute, it's like the one above but I am looking down at Fuller and he is looking up at me.]

[Me leaning against a wood post on a fence with Fullerton and Paris sitting in front of me.]

[Me kneeling next to Fullerton. I am laughing because Fullerton is letting out a huge yawn.]

[Same as above this time I am laughing because Fuller is making a really funny face. He looks like he is woofing.]

[I think this is my favorite one. I didn't know my sister was still clicking pictures of us. I am kneeling down and Fuller is sitting. I have my arms around him in a bit hug and both of us are looking to the left with serious looks on our faces.]

[I am kneeling with Fuller next to me. He is leaning up and licking my face. I miss my boy!]

[Fuller sitting in the field looking above the camera, he is such a handsome boy. I love his droopy lips.]

So I guess thats it. I really hope Fullerton is on this weeks phase report. I am about to have a mental/nervous breakdown! There will be a post about Paris and this last weekend soon so keep an eye out. :D