Friday, April 29, 2011

Puppy #11

I am very excited to say that 2 weeks from today I'll be picking up guide dog puppy #11! It will be a starter puppy for a High School program in Salt Lake. I've wanted to raise a pup for this program for several years and am very happy it finally worked out this year. The high school program gives high school kids credits for raising a puppy as part of their companion animals class. I'll have the puppy until September when it will be transfered to its new raiser. I asked my leader not to tell me anything about the puppy except the litter letter so it will be a surprise until I get it, and should make for a fun guessing game. I should get the letter in the next couple days and then I'll let y'all now and start a guessing game. I can't wait!!!

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Picassa-less part of graduation

So I've wanted to share these photos from my graduation trip but I've been super busy so here ya go.

Me and Amanda with Snickers and Breeze left for graduation on Friday morning and drove home on Sunday. In a three day span we spent about 32 hours in the car. It was a fantastic trip though and totally worth it. The pups behaved themselves beautifully. And, Oregon is gorgeous so we got a little bit of touristing into our busy schedule. Anyway, here are photos from Breeze and Snickers part of the graduation trip.

Snickers using Breeze as a pillow in the car. The pups did some rough housing in the car but most of the time they slept or chewed on bones.
Breeze using my suitcase as a pillow.
After we arrived in Oregon we took the dogs for a walk and it was so gorgeous and green. There were some really cool plants and moss growing from absolutely everything. I loved it. Unfortunately there are no pictures because I left my camera in the car. :( But, it was a lazy night after that. I did homework and Amanda graded papers and then we headed to bed, and yes we are super cool people. :) The next morning was graduation, so it consisted of getting ready. We got to campus and had to drop the pups off in the kennels. Snickers was super popular on campus, everyone asked if he was. . . the chocolate. LOL, he got lots of pets and attention and he just soaked it up and was on his best behavior. He got to meet his big sister Picassa again and was so very excited to see her. After all that craziness me and Amanda were starving so we went to Olive Garden for some Lunch/Dinner and the dogs were perfect!

Breeze sitting in the waiting area of the restaurant.
Snickers in the waiting area.
Snickers snoozing away on the floor while we ate.
Breeze sleeping in the restaurant.
Since we still had a lot of the afternoon left we asked our waitress if there was anything close by that was a good tourist attraction. She told us about some winery's so we decided to do that. Well, on the way we got lost but we found some cool views so stopped for pictures. :)

Me and Snickers above a very large river. It was pretty gloomy but I like the picture anyway. :)
Snickers with the river and evergreens behind him.
Breeze with the river and trees behind her. The sky kept getting scarier and scarier.
Right after that picture it started hailing and raining really hard so we ran to the car. While in there a rainbow developed and we could see the whole thing. It was awesome!
We decided to chase the rainbow for a photo opportunity so jumped in the car and sped away. (You know your a puppy raiser when. . .) Anyway, we found the end as it was disappearing so quickly took photo's of both dogs. I love this picture!!! (It's the one I sent in for the GDB 2012 Calendar)
Breeze in front of the rainbow.
The valley below where we had parked. I LOVE OREGON!
We managed to find our way home and let the dogs blow off some steam by playing a short game of chase.
Then it was dinner time! Snickers waiting so patiently for his dinner to be poured.
Snickers inhaling his food. It kinda looks like he is vomiting but he's eating I promise.
Then more homework and grading papers and then bed. We left early Sunday morning to head home but on the way we couldn't resist hiking up Multnomah Falls. It's gorgeous!

Snickers and I in front of the Multnomah Falls sign.
Amanda and Breeze in front of the sign.
Snickers posing in front of the lower falls.
Breeze in front of the lower falls. This picture turned out so good of her. She's a cutie!

Me and Snickers walking up the trail.
Snickers and Breeze half way up the upper falls.
That's the last picture of the trip. The dogs were perfect traveling companions and the trip was amazing! I loved every second of it.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Picassa Graduates

If I had to use one word to describe Picassa's graduation it would be: Perfect! I would not change one single thing. :)

Here are my favorite things about graduation:

-How much Picassa already loves her partner after being together for two weeks, and how Picassa would constantly check in with her partner.

-Picassa's partner said she had to practice corrections with Juno (GDB fake dog) because Picassa never gave her the opportunity to practice.

-How excited Picassa was to see me.

-That Picassa's partner has a little kid because Picassa LOVES kids.

-How absolutely perfect Picassa and her partner are together and how well me and Picassa's partner got along. We are very similar personality wise. :) (I don't know how GDB does it)

-That Picassa has phenomenal work ethic!

-The Picassa is still the kangaroo I know and love!

-That Picassa still makes her moaning chewbacca noises in her sleep.

-That Picassa's trainer said she was always very willing to learn and such an easy dog to train.

-How surprised Picassa's partner was about the length of Snickers' tail, when really Picassa's tail is abnormally stubby. (I was the same way while raising her, everyones tail seemed super long)

-How serious Picassa is about her new job. Her partner was telling me that during a route every few blocks they release the dog with the "okay" command so they can de-stress and take a break and Picassa always refused to act silly in her harness.

-How happy Picassa seems to be when she is in her harness.

-(And now that she is home)That Picassa seems to be adjusting to life in Minnesota so well and her work continues to be flawless. :)

And my favorite thing. . .

-That Picassa is now a full fledged, best of the best, working guide dog now!

And, without further delay, here are pictures from graduation!

The training board
The dogs in class board and there is Picassa! Something interesting about class was that all the dogs were female all the students were female and all the trainers were female except one, I found that really funny. Also, Picassa was the only yellow lab in the class, the other five were black.
Me pointing at Picassa's name on the training board.
I loved that they put me in the same room as when I met Fullerton and his grad. :) This is me getting my first glimpse of Picassa and her partner coming out of their dorm room. She wasn't hard to spot being the only yellow dog.
Picassa, her partner and trainer coming down the hall. Picassa was really excited.
The girl was so excited to see me.
Jumping all over me in typical kangaroo fashion

Picassa in harness leading her partner to get pictures taken.

Picassa and her partner getting formal pics taken.
Picassa's partner, me and Picassa in a formal picture.
I missed Picassa kisses, they are so sweet.

Picassa looking up at her partner

Picassa's partner loved seeing her old outfit and Picassa seemed to miss it too. She tried to put her head through it. :) We had to get a picture of Picassa with her old jacket (which is now Snickers')

Me and Picassa waiting for instructions before going to the glass box room
Walking across the stage

She just looks absolutely amazing in harness! I think this is my favorite picture of the day, it's amazing!

Me with Picassa (pup #9) and Snickers (pup #10)
My last glimpse of Picassa and her partner as they walk back to the dorm.
Graduation was absolutely amazing and it was great seeing Picassa again and seeing how happy she was with her job and her new partner. Her partner is completely thrilled with her and I could not imagine a better match for Picassa. I wish them many years of safe travel together and look forward to hearing all about it. Goodbye Picassa be a good girl and know that you will always have a piece of my heart. :)