Thursday, April 29, 2010

Green Leash Giveaway!

I have decided to do a green leash giveaway! I have learned how to make leather service dog leashes and decided to share one with a blogger friend. These are leashes that can adjust to two different lengths and are braided together for extra strength. Here are a few pictures of the leash so you can see what they look like.

To enter just submit a comment letting me know your dogs favorite place to go.
I will announce the winner on May 8th.
I will also give the winner the option of a different color if you want it to match your school's color, dogs vest or personal preference. I have green, blue, black and red and if you ask nicely I may be able to get another color if you want. I will also give the winner the option of having their dogs name stamped into the leash (as in the picture above) Good luck to everyone!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Bummer!

I just found out that there was an open space on the puppy truck in May and my CFR chose Paris to fill it. So, instead of 2 months left with my girl I now have 2 weeks. I am very sad to have to say goodbye so soon, but she is ready and I think she will do great! I am so proud of how far she has come in her training, she is a wonderful little puppy. I sure will miss my spunky and goofy girl.

[Paris running in the yard, ears flying everywhere and tongue lolling out to the side.]
I am sure you are all wondering whether I will be getting a new puppy, the answer is YES! ;) I am an addict after all. I will be picking up a transfer puppy the day Paris leaves, I am excited to meet the my new charge.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Fullerton is a working dog now

What a crazy, quick, emotional weekend. It went by way too fast but was absolutely wonderful and totally worth it. There are about a trillion pictures so I will narrate as they go along I suppose. :)


We left Friday morning at about 6am. I took the BFV (the Big family van) so the the Paris could have some room. She didn't seem to mind at all. I took out one of the benches and then stacked her two beds together and she had a nice cushy ride. She was such a trooper because we spend about 32 hours in the car in a 3 day span. What a good girl!

[Paris laying on her bed in the fan.]
We arrived at my aunts house around 8pm and were super exhausted and headed to bed shortly after. I attempted to get some sleep before graduation and that didn't go well. So, I was up at about 4:30am and couldn't get back to sleep, it was a very long morning. Finally 9am came and I started getting ready. Then I headed out the door around 9:45am. It didn't take nearly as long to get to campus as I thought and we got there around 10:20am. We sat in the car and watched some girls walking the dog in training for a while. At 10:45 we headed over the the kennel kitchen to drop off the Paris. I mentioned that she had some diarrhea (I don't think the trip completely agreed with her) and they said they would probably move her over to the isolation area because of it. Poor kid, I probably should have kept my mouth shut. . . Anyway, I snapped a couple pictures of the training board.

[A whiteboard that has the names of all the dogs on campus and who is in charge of them.]
[This part made me especially happy. It's the In Class section of the board and Fullerton's name is on it.]
The we headed over the the Visitors Center where the raisers all gathered before they took us over to the dorms to meet the graduates. I met the other raisers and was able to chat with them for a while. It was neat to hear all the different stories. Then a guy came over and told us about what to expect from meeting our grad and our dog again and the graduation procedures and stuff. Then they walked us all into the dorm and separated us into different areas. I was put into the library. It felt like forever and I couldn't sit still, I kept sitting and standing and pacing and then I finally heard someone say "Your puppy raiser is in the library." My heart started racing and then they turned the corner. I shook hands with Fullertons partner and introduced myself.
[Me shaking hands with Fuller's partner, her trainer is standing next to her and Fullerton is giving me a good sniff.]
It took him a second but then he realized who I was and went crazy and jumped all over me and game me kisses all over. I was so happy to see him too!
[Fullerton jumping up on me.]
He looks so filled out, happy and mature. I got to talk to his partner for a long time and she is absolutely amazing! Fullerton is her forth guide dog, 2nd from GDB. Her first two were a golden and a shepherd from Canadian Guide Dogs and her last two have been yellow labs from GDB. She absolutely adores Fullerton and says that he has the work ethic that her shepherd had and she loves that about him. It was amazing to see their bond after being together only three days. She said he was flawless and she was just waiting for him to mess up but he just doesn't. That is so great. His partner is a puppy raisers dream and I feel so fortunate that my puppy got placed with her. She is retired but still goes out every day with friends and travels all over the world. She said all of her dogs have been all over Europe and the states and Fuller will definitely be traveling with her too. She also said that her dogs are spoiled rotten and that is just perfect! I loved how open she was and willing to tell me about everything that goes on in her life and about her past dogs. She is just an amazing women and I couldn't be happier with this match was such a success.
[Fullerton standing between me and his partner with both of us smiling and giving him pets.]
We went and got our pictures taken and visited some more and she put Fullertons harness on for the pics. He looked absolutely breath taking in his harness. Here is a picture of the lettering on top of the harness that says, "Guide Dogs for the Blind."
After pictures we exchanged gifts. I brought Fullerton a nylabone, a nylaring, and a rope toy. I handed her the bag and she asked Fuller if he wanted a toy. He got really excited and popped up to watch her get the bones out of the bag.
[Fullerton's partner taking bones out of the bag and Fullerton watching intently.]
[Fullerton chewing on his new nylabone. He loved it and put a pretty big dent in it already, he was always such a tough chewer and destroyed more than a few toys.]
Then I gave her the leash and she loved it! She had to go and show it off to her trainers too. I am so happy she liked it.
Then I opened a gift from her. She gave me a picture frame to put the picture of Me, her, and Fullerton in. It is a really cute frame I like it a lot.
Then it was time for the graduates to go into the auditorium so me and Fullerton got a few minutes alone together. It was so cute to see how concerned he got when his partner left. He loves her a lot. He was so sad when she left.
[Me and Fullerton watching his mom walk away, I was being sad for him that is why my face looks ridiculous.]
I was happy to find out that he still gives kisses. If you say, "can I have a kiss." He will lift his head and let you kiss his nose. It's so cute and I love that he still does it.
[Me kneeling next to the most handsome guide dog ever!]
He looks so good in harness.
Then the trainer came and got all of the puppy raisers and led us into a glass box room. And then led us out one at a time to present our dogs. Me and Fullerton were second.
[Me and Fullerton waiting to go on stage for the graduation.]
[Fullertons partner and trainer on one side of the stage while me and Fullerton walk towards them.]
[ Fullerton's partner talking about him.]
[Me talking about Fullerton. I honestly have no idea what I said I was way nervous, hopefully nothing too inappropriate.]
[Fullerton wearing his harness in front of the Guide Dogs for the Blind sign. I still can't believe how handsome he is.]
Fullerton's partner with her trainer and Fullerton sitting. Since she has only had Fullerton for three days she will be staying on campus until Wednesday before going home. GDB has never done this before and her trainer is excited to see how it goes.
We were able to go to her room and let Fuller roam and blow off some steam and we chatted some more. Fullerton came over and sat in my lap and gave me kisses it was really cute.
Fullerton's partner bending down to give him a nice ear rub.
After that we went and sprung Paris out of isolation. They said she did great and just slept the whole time. I was very proud of her. We were able to take Fullerton's partner out for dinner. We went to Olive Garden. We were there for a long time and visited some more, it was great.
[Me, Paris, Fullerton's partner, and Fullerton waiting to be seated. Silly Fuller has his tongue sticking out]
After we ate we were getting up and brought Paris out from under the table and the lady at the table next to us said she didn't know there was a dog under the table and asked if she could pet her and I said yes, then Fuller's partner brought him out from under the table and the lady was even more surprised. Then she asked me if I had raised a puppy before, I said yes and told her that I raised Fullerton as well. She asked if it was hard to give them us, I said yes, but then I pointed at Fuller and told her it was definitely worth it to see your dog so happy. It was neat and probably won't be in that situation ever again. Then we went outside and she let us see Fullerton work a little bit. It was amazing to see him navigate the crowded restaurant without running her into a person, table, chair or other obstacle. WOW!! On the way out the door we ran into her trainer and talked to her for a bit. It was funny. Anyway, than he worked through the parking lot and found our car. I was so impressed and one proud puppy raiser.
[Fullerton's partner working through the parking lot with a huge smile on her face.]
When we were back on campus I got a picture of puppy #7 and #8 together.
[Me sitting on a cement wall with Fullerton and Paris both sitting down.]
Then it was late and time to say goodbye. I gave Fullerton an ear rub and told him to keep it up and work hard and to keep his partner safe.
Then his partner gave me a big hug and asked if it was okay if she sent me pictures of him. Of course I said that would be amazing. I wished her luck in the rest of her training and she wished me a safe drive home and we partned ways.
It was absolutely amazing! It was definitley worth the trip and I could not be happier with her. She and Fuller are going to have a great life together.
The next day we were on our way home. Here are some random pics from the drive home.
[Paris does this in the morning a lot, when she stretches and then just stays that way, it's weird so she sits with both her legs extended back but her upper body is still in a sit possition, if that makes sense.]
We stopped at Multnomah Falls on the way home. It was a great morning hike and just what we all needed to get some energy out. While we were going up to the falls a train drove past. I was amazed because Paris didn't flinch at all. It was really loud!
[Me and Paris standing right under the bridge that the train is driving over.]
Me and Paris by the Multnomah Falls sign.]
[Me holding Paris on my shoulder so we could get a picture of the waterfall behind us. It's 530 feet high.]
[Me and Paris walking up the trail, it's amazing how green and moss covered everything is, it was so pretty.]
Paris sitting on a brick wall with the falls behind her.
At a random rest stop in Oregon they had a train so I took a picture of Paris sitting on the back of the train.
It was an amazing experience and I wouldn't trade it for anything. I really hope this post made sense since I am running on about 5 hours of sleep in the past five days. . .

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Good Couple of Days

I have a little more info on Fuller now. . . I just talked to his new mom for the last hour and a half. Boy is she amazing!!! She has had him for about 24 hours now and she absolutely adores him. He is her fourth guide dog (third with the letter F) and she says that he is by far her best one so far. Wow, what a compliment. He will be living in Vancouver, Canada and his partner travels a lot so she said he will join her on her trips to Europe and other places like that. That is just amazing. I am so happy that this worked out, she is just thrilled with him and they have been on seven workouts together and he has not made one mistake and she hasn't had to correct him once. She says she is waiting for the catch because no dog can be that perfect but he keeps surprising her. She is absolutely thrilled, I can't wait to meet her on Saturday! I am just overwhelmed and so proud of the boy. I didn't have much time to think of a gift for her but luckily had some materials left from my last project so I made her one of my green leashes with Fullerton's name stamped into the leather. I think it turned out great and I really hope she likes it. There are just no words to describe how happy I am right now. ;) I just got the van packed and am ready to head out tomorrow.

[Close up of a green leather leash with lettering spelling Fullerton stamped in it]
Also, today I got an e-mail from GDB saying that they have chosen the picture below to be in the calendar for next year. Congrats to Miss October!! I've gotten some great news lately GDB wise and I couldn't be happier.
I better get some sleep now before I go, so hope everyone has a great weekend and I will for sure have an awesome post ready when I get back.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Best Phone Call Ever!!

I just had the most amazing phone call ever!! Fullerton is in class to graduate!!!! He will be graduating on Saturday April 24, 2010. He was a last minute dog switch for his partner so he has only been with his person for a few hours. It wasn't a whole lot of time to get ready but everything is kind of falling into order. I will be leaving Friday to drive to Oregon to see him graduate on Saturday. He will be working in Canada. Wow, it's all still sinking in, I can't believe it! I can't wait to see him again and say our goodbyes. I will be able to call his partner tomorrow, I am super nervous but really excited too. I have had so many emotions the last couple hours, it's surreal. Anyway, I'll stop blabbling on now. . . just wanted to let ya'll know!

[Fullerton laying down in the green grass with his puppy coat on. He is smiling with his tongue out.]

Monday, April 19, 2010

It's good to have spies!

Yesterday I got a wonderful surprise on my facebook page. I have a friend who volunteers at GDB's Oregon campus, and she got me a couple pictures of Fuller!!! She was able to take him on a walk and said that he did very well. It is wonderful to see that he is still in the land of the living and he seems to be happy. I am very proud of my boy, and hopefully a graduation is in the near future for him. He looks great, I don't even have words to describe how wonderful it is to see him.

First picture is of Fuller and his female black lab roommate looking out of their kennel. I can see he still has that funky way of holding his tail that makes him look like he has to poop. He gave me a few heart attacks that way and my CFR once asked me if he normally holds his tail like that. :) Silly boy!
The second picture is while he and my friend where on a walk. He has a pretty bright red/maroon-ish halti on and and is looking at her from the side while he is sitting. He is just so handsome!
I miss the boy like crazy but hopefully he finds his niche here soon before his momma starts to go crazy (or goes more crazy). And, if you haven't seen my earlier post from last night be sure to read the one before this.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Day at the Lake

Today we had family dinner like always but afterward we all decided since it was such a nice day, to go down to the lake. We all piled into the van and headed over to Utah Lake. While in the van Cannon (my uber cute nephew) kept telling Paris to give him a kiss. He kept grabbing her face and pulling her toward him and would give her a kiss, usually on her nose but occasionally on the top of her head. It was really cute! I love my nephew so much, he is pretty much the cutest kid on the planet. Here are some pictures from the ride:

[Cannon with his hands around Paris' face all puckered up to give her a kiss on the head.]
[Cannon with his hands around Paris' muzzle giving her a big wet kiss on the nose. I love his chubby little fingers wrapped around her nose and both of their eyes are closed, it kinda makes me giggle.]

Not a single one of my dogs has gone in water willingly, it's weird how un-lab-like they all are. Of course Paris wouldn't follow in their paw prints. She is not one for conforming. I was ready to start coaxing her to get in the water. We walked up to the edge of the water, I asked her to sit and then I said okay and she charged into the water as fast as she could. She spent the rest of the time racing in and out of the water. She had a blast! I was very happy with her. Finally a lab that enjoys water. ;)
[Paris' path of destruction into the water. ;) She ran full speed into the water making a big wake behind her and a huge splash of water in front of her.]
[Paris jumping out of the water on her way back to the shore. Her front have is bounding out of the water and her bottom half is under.]
[Paris bouncing around in the water. It was so funny to watch her bounce in and out of the water.]
[Paris deep enough that she had to swim. She is a very good swimmer.]
Paris had a great time and got a well deserved bath after. I have never seen so much crud come off my dogs in a bath, it was nasty. I am just glad I didn't have to get in.
Here is one video I got of the Paris running in and out of the water. She met a couple friends there and enjoyed following them around.
[Video Description: Paris running into the water after a friend and then chasing him out of the water.]
video

Friday, April 16, 2010

Some Free Time

Last Saturday my guide dog leader put me in charge of the meeting. I planned this really fun scavenger hunt around the mall. We split into two teams and whoever got the most points won. The teams were Spike, Paris, and Peanut against Meade, Moseley, and Christina. We did tasks like going out to someones car and practice getting in and out, getting a drink at the drinking fountain with your dog in a calm sit, go into a dressing room/bathroom stall and have your dog settle, go to the Disney Store and walk around the sparkly floor, and other stuff like that. I did bonus points too, you got a bonus point each time someone asked if it was hard to give up your dog and a bonus point each time someone asked to pet your dog and your dog acted appropriate while being pet. Anyway, I didn't take a bunch of pictures because I was busy checking on everybody but here are a couple. ;)

[Paris standing inside a large log that is in the kids play area. (It's a big rubber log that is on it's side and hollow so the kids can crawl through it.)]
[Moseley sitting so nicely waiting for everyone to show up and start the fun.]
After the meeting me and my friend (who has started coming to puppy meeting and should be getting a puppy in fall) went out for lunch. Since I was puppy sitting Moseley he went inside with us.

[Moseley and Paris laying down and fast asleep after an exhausting meeting. They are under the table of the restaurant being perfect puppies.]

[Moseley really wanted to share the bed with Paris. He snuck really slowly over until he was sitting on the bed and then when he tried to lay on the bed next to Paris she started nibbling his foot, it was quite funny. Paris is not good at sharing her puffy princess bed.]
[Moseley tried again with more success, he is mostly on the bed with a little of his fanny hanging off. Paris is looking pretty shocked but let him. It only lasted a few minutes until Paris scooted him off.]
Yesterday I had a lot of time between classes so I took Paris around campus and took some pictures. I only have two weeks left and I am done with this school forever. I am so excited to move on. I got accepted into the TVI (teacher of the visually impaired) program at UofU so I am Salt Lake bound the beginning of June. Lots of fun changes and I can't wait. Anyway, it's been really nice here lately (it's about time Utah acknowledged Spring!) so the grass around campus is so green and things just look really nice.
[Paris sitting in some green grass in the middle of our schools courtyard. There are big steps behind her with a strip of grass at the top of each one.]
[Paris sitting next to a big statue of a man holding a backpack in one hand and a jacket in the other. I put Paris' leash into one of his hands. She is always so intrigued by the statues around campus. It's funny.]
[Paris sitting on the upper level of the school with the courtyard below and all the layered concrete and red brick buildings behind her.]
[We started walking to our class and I started snapping pictures of her walking. I liked this one taken at her level, it was hot so she's panting and you can see her big brown eyes, she looks so happy. She loves her work and going out everywhere.]
[Another one, a close up of Paris' face. She has a big grin on her face and is looking up at me. She is such a lovely dog.]
[Paris crossing her paws and licking her nose while laying on her bed.]
I am puppy sitting my friends goldens again so I've got a full house right now. Moseley left on Monday and the goldens got here on Wednesday. Everyone just had a romp in the yard so they all have their tongues out (and you can see Paris' black spot that I have never been able to get a picture of it) From left to right is Ginger, Chelito, Paris, and Boone. They are a good group and they all get along really well.]
That about does it on pictures, I also have a couple videos of Paris practicing GTB. I have started sending her from the next room and she is doing really well.
Video description: Video from inside my room you can see me and Paris outside the door. I tell Paris to "go to bed" and she charges into my room, rounds the corner, jumps onto her bed turns around and lays down. I say "nice" and the Paris gets her treat.
video
Video Description: This one absolutely cracks me up. Me and Paris are further away from my door. I say her name but not the GTB command and she being the smartie she is takes off toward her bed without the command. She races to her bed and lays down. Then I lean over and give her an ear rub. Please excuse my laugh, it is so annoying!!
video
Hope everyone has a good weekend!!