Monday, February 25, 2008

Avalanche Dogs

Sorry, here is another little rant...

Working dogs should always be under control, and yet the search and rescue dogs at the resort by my house don't seem to always follow that rule.  One of the dogs lives near the apartment, and has gone after Hugo and Dante several times, with his handler encouraging him to go for Dante because he is "just a Chihuahua."  

Those times the dog was not on duty, or in uniform.  But 2 weeks ago this dog went after another dog at the base of the ski hill.  He was in uniform, as was his handler.  The dog displayed signs of aggression before going after the dog.  His handler did not appear to be concerned, saying 'he wasn't going to do anything.'

What if the dog he went after had been a service dog?  What if a child had gotten in the way?

Marley and the CGC

Marley passed his Canine Good Citizen test on Wed!  He is now practicing his Therapy work by letting children read to him at one of the local schools.  

I want to test Dante, but he will not sit still long enough for a stay, so we are still working on that!  Tom plans to test Hugo before the summer, so that Hugo has some qualification for going to work with him if he works at Second Nature.

My parents keep asking me what benifits the CGC gives Marley, and I do not really know other than for therapy work!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Walmart and Service Dogs

When talking with other service dog handlers and puppy raisers, the topic of Walmart often comes up. Usually not in a positive way. The only place I have ever been denied access is at Walmart. I have been harassed in there as well. Out of curiosity, I did a Google search for 'walmart service dogs'. The whole first page is nothing but people who have been denied access!!!

Why does Walmart think the rules do not apply to them?

Adopt Me!

Sometimes a dog (or puppy) comes into my work, and I just have a connection with them. They are all special, but this little pup is going to grow up to be a really cool and unique boy! (I think, anyway!)

He is a 9 week old Mutt. Probably Lab mix, maybe some Border Collie or Golden in him, I am not sure. He was abandoned on someone's porch one cold night.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

A+ for Sterling

Last night Sterling went to a puppy sitters. I was a little nervous, since we have been working on a couple things lately. But….

She said he was great!!! The sitter said he is one of the calmest 5 month old puppies she has watched (she has raised four pups of her own). He did not have any accidents, didn’t chew on anything, and didn’t chase the cats! I am so proud of him!

Thursday, February 14, 2008


Yesterday, Otis, Hugo's brother, passed away. He made it a whole year, and brought joy to many people. This sweet pup suffered from a genetic disorder that left him without the ability to absorb the nutrients he needed from his food. He never grew as big as his brother, or as strong, but his unending love was something that will never be forgotten.

Though I played a small part in his life, I will miss him just the same. The wonderful people who gave him a home for his short, but meaningful life, will be in my thoughts. They kept on trying to find a cure, kept on giving him love, and just stayed committed to Otis when most others would have given up. Only when Otis's quality of life began to suffer did they say goodbye.

I hope that now he is healthy and strong, happy as he always was during his stay here. Run Otis, and know that you are loved and missed.

Hugo on the left, Otis on the right.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Sterling's Littermates!

A BIG thank you to the yahoo GDB Littermate list! THANKS!
Also THANK YOU to Anna for the picture of Denzel!
Sterling was born on 9.10.2007 to Denzel (MBL) and Parkay (FYL).
There are seven puppies in the litter. I have information for 5 of them. If you have anymore, please let me know!
There were two yellow females (like their mom), and three black males (like their dad). The other two I do not know, though I think they are yellow in color. Not sure on the sex.

Here is his Handsome Dad!

This is his beautiful mother Parkay, with her litter. Sterling is one of those black puppies.

Here is his sister Sunset. She is being raised in the Guide puppies of Seattle Club, in WA.

Here is Sarita. She is being raised in the Puppy Guides of Snohomish County Club, in WA.

Here is Sparky, his brother. He is being raised in the New Leash on Life Club, in Utah County, UT.

Then there is also Shaw, who is being raised by my leader in the Summit Guide Dogs group, in Summit County, UT.

I do not have any pictures of Shaw and Sterling on this computer, but I will add them to this post tomorrow!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Sterling's 5 month Birthday! (Feb 10th)

Well, I may be a little silly, but this was the day that I put away the kennel.  He got a new bed from Costco, and gets to sleep free in my room at night!  

On Sunday my family, Sterling, and I went to Riverdance!  This was so cool, and I wish it could have gone on all day (though it does look exhausting!).  He was very good during the performance.  The clapping made him pop up to see what was going on at the beginning, but by the end he slept through a standing ovation.  Many people commented on what a good boy he was.

We also went out to dinner and to Costco, where we saw another PIT from the high school group.  That was the first time we have been out and about and seen another Guide Dog pup. 

Sterling is improving more each week, and my hopes for him as well!

I like the black labs, since their hair doesn't show in the car!  This is Sterling's favorite spot; he gets to get pats while hanging out with me.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

What to be when you grow up...

I have been thinking alot lately about what I want to do when I graduate with my undergrad. I have considered many careers, ranging from nursing and occupational therapy, to law school and guide dog training. Ideally I would love to get my masters in Guide Dog Mobility and Orientation and Mobility, however, the job market and salary are not as promising as I would have hoped. Since Tom also is looking at lower salary positions, it is difficult to consider a job with a teacher's salary in some of the most expensive places to live (ie. San Francisco).

I really want a job that will allow me to still interact with dogs on a daily basis. However, I do see the need for financial security that would allow me to continue having all the dogs that I have (and hopefully my own house with a yard to put them in someday!).

I have thought about doing Occupational Therapy; they are using Animal Assisted Therapy more often in this field, and of course I would love to bring one of my own, certified and trained dogs to work!

Really I have no idea though...which brings me to my question, what do you want to be when you grow up? (Or if 'grown up' anything you wish you could change to?)

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Guide Dog Breeder!

I need to make a correction to my post about the dog from our group that was pulled as a breeder.  Bingham, a male black lab, has gone from the Boring Campus to the San Rafel campus for final breeding evaluations.  He could still not make it as a breeder I think, but he is almost there!  The other pups from his litter were, to my knowledge, fixed.

Hope that answers everyone's questions!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Snow, Snow, and More Snow!

It seems like it has not stopped snowing since this year began! Some people I know have so much snow that they have had to hire dump trucks to come and haul it away. The streets in old town have all but disappeared, and I fear I will lose Dante in a wind drift every time I let him outside!

Today they said we would have 2 inch, and that it would only snow until about 10 am. It is 11 am now, and we have about 6 inch in the driveway, with no signs of this stopping!!!

Work should be interesting today, if we can even get the dogs up from Salt Lake.

Monday was my Mom's birthday, and we all went out to the Melting Pot in Salt Lake. Besides it being great food, and everyone being in an awesome mood, it was the first time my Dad had been on an outing that Sterling came on! I could tell he did not really want him there at first (The Melting Pot is a nice restaurant), but he didn't say anything and in we went. Sterling was so well behaved! Our waiter did not even know that he was there! This place had the cleanest floors of any place I have been with Sterling so far, as he only tried for one lick, and then went to sleep! My dad even said at one point that labs seem like the dog to get, since they are so mellow!

That may be true of GDB breed labs, but most I have encountered are hyper! But I was very happy for his experience to be so positive.

My favorite random quote of the week...(Sterling and I are in Great Harvest waiting to buy cookies and a women and her daughter came up to us...after I explained that he was a puppy in training.)

"But you don't look blind!"

Tuesday, February 5, 2008


Sorry I have not posted lately, time has just gotten away from me!
Here is a quick update, with pictures to come later.

He is doing well, very well up until this afternoon in fact. But then I got a bigger vest from my leader, and now we are back to square one! He defiantly has vest reactivity, and I am almost at a loss of what to do. Even with the food protocol he is balking in the new vest. We are gong to switch back to the small for a little while, but he cannot wear it forever! This is just such a weird problem. I have packs, vests, and coats for my other dogs, and they have never balked at it! Even booties on Hugo went fine after a couple minutes. Sterling has body sensitivity to some degree I guess.

In good news though he is now sleeping outside his crate and doing excellent on recalls and stays for his age!!! I can even call him when he is playing with other dogs. Dante's recall has really improved too, as he figured out very quickly that he will get a treat if he comes too!

The other boys...

Marley is doing so well; I think I might put him back into training if his evaluation with the vet goes well. Skijoring seems like a possibility too. I might start tracking work with Hugo in the coming weeks, since right now "search" means "find Tom".

Dante is wonderful as always; I think my parents like him more than me! It is such a complement though, they are always commenting on how much they like his personality and behavior: all a credit to my amazing puppy-raising skills! (Well, maybe not, but it might be!)

Same as always, rapidly coming up to midterms. I just do not get the whole medical terminology thing. Oh well, I am trying, and that is what counts, right?

Guide Dogs...
One of the dogs from our group that went back for formal training in November has been pulled to be a breeder!!! The other two are still in phase three.

Upcoming events....
Sunday is Sterling's 5 month birthday!
Thursday is Hugo's 1 year Birthday!
February 29th is guide dog evaluations. (Got to work on 'down!)
End of month...midterms (bleh)

I will post pictures by the end of the week!