Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Update and Pictures

Tomorrow our club welcomes two new puppies, a male black lab, and a female black lab. I will post more on them tomorrow. On Saturday, Sterling's brother Shaw leaves for formal training.

Our club meeting was out on a trail so that we could walk past scarecrows. It was very fun, and the granddaughter of our leader walked Dante. It was soooo cute, she was so happy and proud to be walking a dog just the right size for her!

I had Bracken from Thurs to Monday, and he was an awesome pup for 5 1/2 months old. Loose leash walking like you would not believe! But, he hates to sit still for the camera, so I did not get very many pictures of him!

Friday is Halloween, and my boys will be going as cowboys. For fun, we put the hats on the Bernese Mountain Dog puppies that my leader has, and they are cute!

My sister is bottle feeding some baby kittens that are about 10 days old. They were found in an abandoned boat (not sure if it was on the water or not...). They are so cute, and the black one already has the softest and longish hair! They are both boys...any name suggestions?

And the best news....Marley's surgery is now ALL paid off! 13 months later....yay!!!! And he is as happy and healthy as he could ever be.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

IN CLASS!!!!!!

Our club has two sections. There is the adult raising group, and then the high school raising group. Our club sent back 6 dogs in June to San Rafel. Now 4 of those dogs are in class and will graduate Nov 8.

Unprecedented! Amazing! Maggie, Madden, Sage, and Fairmont, all raised by high school students, will graduate in class together!!!
London and Moses were cc'd.

Yay! Of the 6 dogs we sent back in June, four are graduating!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

More Pictures....and Puppies!

Yay!  A solid Internet connection...and more pictures.  The first ones are continued from the last post, when we went on our hike.  Marley checking out the sights.
Dante, King?  He thinks so.
Marley charging through the brush.  Really can't say enough about how those packs hold up!
Sterling going gray?  Nope, it is Licorice, Tom's parents' dog, who is out here for the month.
Give me a JOB!  Hugo looks to Tom for something to do while we take a break.

And now......


These cuties are 6 1/2 week old Bernese Mountain Dogs.  They are my leaders pups.
And they love carrots!
And looking cute....

And chewing on each other....
Really, my brother tastes really good....
Looking Cute!
Those are some BIG feet...
Can I have some of your dinner?  Please??
Yay Toys!
Oh, time to sleep.

One last cutie.

Not much else going on!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Fall Pictures

Finally I have taken some pictures, actually sat down at my computer and uploaded them, and I have a working internet connection....

What does this mean?


We were on a hike, and everyone kept commenting on how I was making Marley carry the stuff.  (Really it was more his stuff, dog biscuits, dog water bottle, leashs....)  I love it!  It makes him burn energy so much quicker, which is really nice on days when I cannot hike for 5 or 6 hours.  And these RuffWear they take a beating but do not even show it.
I love this picture, we turned around after this because it looked like it as getting ready to rain, and the trail up is very rocky/lots of shale on the way down.  Not the best thing when you have a large dog wearing saddle bags barreling down the path and running by you: never quite compensating enough for those packs...
And now blogger is not letting me upload...try for more later.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

New Puppy for Summit Guide Dogs

My fellow club member will be getting a new puppy in just two weeks! He is a male black lab from the Righetti/Carmen litter, born in 8/23. It looks like most of the puppies have already been assigned and are early awaited by their new raisers! The raiser who will be getting this pup will now have two pups in training, as her first pup she started for the high-school raising program. Here is a video of the day they transferred the pups to the high-school raisers.

Now she will have Mario and Mr. T to watch for on the phase reports once they return for formal training.

If anyone has any info on littermates or pictures of the parents, please let me know!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Dog Food?

I have been reading the book Pet Food Politics, and it has made me take a very hard look at the food I feed my dogs. This book makes the point that many pet food manufactures do not know where their ingredients are sourced from, and that is how contaminants such as Melamine (pet food scare of 2007) can end up in pet food. Because Dante is such a small dog (smaller than a cat!), what he eats is very concerning to me, because just a small amount of toxins of contaminants could make him very ill, or kill him. And of course what I feed Dante I have to try to feed Marley too!

(This only applies to Marley and Dante, as Sterling has to be feed Science Diet (large breed puppy lamb meal and rice, but really who needs to be specific!)).

I have been looking around for an alternative to just feeding them kibble. Now I do not want to offend, just educate! I started my dog guardianship by feeding Dante Eukanuba (which is now very low on my list, lots of by-products, corn, fillers, things I cannot pronounce), which is what he was feed when he was a puppy. He has always been a picky eater, and so we have tried: Royal Canin (ok, but expensive for what you get, still has fillers), Nutro (wouldn't eat, bag went to the shelter), Natural UltraMix (stopped eating after 1/2 the bag was gone), Nature's Recipe (same), Solid Gold (wouldn't eat, Marley ate it, good food though, lots of different protein sources within their variety's), Nature's Variety RAW (lol, wouldn't touch, Marley ate it, way good though!), Wellness (got bored, pretty good, some grain), and the most Recent, Innova EVO (still likes it, but with less gusto, and he is getting rather chunky on it). Most of these have been the small breed variety, and Dante will not consistently eat any type of dog food! (Lol, of course he just wants Sterling's SD, LBP, LMR!) So, in a last ditch effort to find him something good to eat, I have gotten KEEN from the Honest Kitchen. It is a dehydrated raw food that is nutritionally complete, made with human grade ingredients, and made in a human food plant! And it is something that he will finally eat!!!!

I am going to try to rotate in Honest Kitchen for Marley's evening meals, as I cannot afford to feed it to him all the time (silly big dog!). Marley currently eats a mixture of Solid Gold WolfKing and Kirkland Signature Adult. (Yay for Costco!) I am wondering if anyone else has had any experience with feeding food types other than kibble or canned? Anyone think that dog food is dog food? Let me know!

This could get addicting....

Thanks Brittany!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

An October Update...

Time for an October update! Much has happened since I got back from California.

I will start with the best…Marley saved Dante’s life! I kid you not; Marley performed an action that was deliberate and saved Dante from serious injury or death.

The story…

I was out on a walk with Dante and Marley, both off lead. We were on a little-used trail near dusk when I heard something come charging out of the bushes. It was a Husky-type dog, and when he came out and saw Dante, he charged. Huskies have a very high prey drive, and are often aggressive towards small animals, Chihuahua’s included. Knowing this, I did not take this charge to be any play maneuver; I knew Dante’s life was in danger. I ran at the dog screaming, trying to get to Dante before him. Dante tried to circle back to me, but in his panic to keep away from the charging Husky, kept running in a parallel line.
I was frantic, and called for Marley, who was about 50ft up the trail. He stopped what he was doing, turned and ran right for the Husky. He charged the dog, broadsided him with his shoulder, and flipped him on to his back. At this point I was very concerned I would now have a dog fight on my hands, albeit a more fair one than what would have transpired between Dante and the Husky. However, Marley simply stood over the dog, who was now cowering on his back, until I was able to grab Dante and ensure his safety. Once I had Dante, I called to Marley, he let the other dog up, and we continued on our way. Marley was very alert the rest of the evening, and for good reason! About 15 min later the same dog popped out of the bushed about 10 ft on my right, and Marley once again chased him off.
I think Dante owes his life to Marley!

Now on to Guide dog news. Sterling’s brother, Shaw, will be going back to GDB at the end of October. He will be part of an experimental program where the dogs will receive 5-6 workouts a day instead of 1-3. This is in the hopes that they can graduate sooner and there-by reduce kennel stress. One dog from our club was transferred to the high school raising program, and that raiser will be getting a puppy at the end of this month. Sterling continues to improve in almost every aspect, but he will not be going back anytime soon.

I have had Bracken, Burgess’s brother, since Thurs. He is a sweet pup, but it makes me appreciate just how far Sterling has come! He went to a short movie with me, and was great, and has been going to work with me, much to the disappointment of potential adopters! (Everyone thinks he is sooo cute, but cannot believe he is only 4 ½ months when they see how big he is!) It snowed here this weekend, and Bracken got to experience the wonder that is that cold stuff!

School continues to move along; both my fine arts classes have been forcing me to be quite creative this semester. Lets here it for leaving Gen Eds till the end!

That is all the news I have for now, hopefully a picture post will follow. I have been getting great pics for my photography class, but it is a film class, and so not easily transferable to the internet! Have an awesome week everyone, I know I will since I am on fall break.