Thursday, June 30, 2011

Training Classes

It has been suggested that we attend CCI Training Classes before we even get our CCI Puppy. There are two reasons why I agreed with this good idea. First, it will be part of our weekly routine when we are trainers, so why not mold it into our lives now, so that this part of the transition is already established. Secondly, and most importantly, it allows us time to digest the many different angles of training a CCI Pup.
My daughter and I attended last night. She worked with the Instructor's dog, while I observed during the puppy class. Then, during the Advanced Class, my girl had had enough and so I worked with the Instructor's dog. I found, however, that I learned more while observing the dynamics and differences of all the dogs in the class. How the Raiser dealt with their specific situation was interesting and enlightening.

The Instructor's dog knew ... everything. You barely had to say a command and he was down, or sitting, or heeling beside your left side. I know this will not be the case when we start Puppy Raising, and when it is our turn to be a "real" student in the class, it will take on a whole new level of learning.  We'll be like the other students in the class who are using commands of "No" and "Don't" for frequent corrections. Or, the student who was being trained by the trainer on how to establish dominance with their young pup.
Having been to a few of these classes now, I am driving home from class with a realistic picture that this is not all peaches and cream. There will be a lot of hard work, confusion, and determination built into the fluff and fun of raising a CCI Puppy. I'm still up for the challenge - my kids are more than ready for the challenge - and my husband is eager with camera in hand to document the adventure every step of the way.

Still can't wait ...

Monday, June 27, 2011

Interview #2

Lisa, an area Rep of CCI, came to our house this morning for a meet and great Interview #2. She was a very nice lady that basically answered all of our questions and shared first hand about the ins and outs of raising a CCI puppy. It was a fun discussion as we were able to get in-depth, and we felt like nothing was left out.

The highlight was that she brought her twelve month old, black lab-retriever mix dog in training named Docker. He was adorably tall and lanky for his adolescent age. I shared upon welcoming them to our foyer that our dog, Cora, was in her kennel, but it would be a great test to see her reaction with another dog in the house. Cora has always been the solo animal in our house. Any visiting dogs, such as my parent's Portuguese Water Dog, have always been greeted outside for walks.

So the moment of truth. I told the kids leading up to the doorbell ring to just stay calm, and Cora would be calm. Lisa and Docker came into the kitchen and sat down. Cora had a peek-a-boo view from across the family room, as her kennel is positioned against the back wall. So far, so good. Cora was silent for a good five minutes until she figured out that something was just a little off. And then the barking ensued.

We ignored her and with in 10 minutes she was completely silent for the remaining two hours. Granted, those 10 minutes felt like the longest in history but it eventually paid off. In fact, at one point we could hear her snoring from across the room. We had plans of letting her out of the kennel, but then that did not transpire. I think leaving the situation on a positive note was the better choice for this first time experience.

But when Docker left, and Cora was released - she was all sniffs to the kitchen floor where Docker had stayed. I left his dropped fur bits on the floor for awhile to give her time to investigate, and to process that another dog's scent was okay in the house. As soon as the hair was vacuumed up, she ignored the area and life went back to usual.

Lisa was very thorough and let us ask as many questions as we wished. She became emotional when she told the detailed stories of Turning In your puppy, and the day of Graduation if your puppy is placed. It sounds like a very caring, compassionate, and professional organization with all the details they put forth in their program, training, and completion. We are happy to have found this fit.

When my children were asked "What do you guys think about returning the puppy back to CCI?", my son replied, "Well, I won't let the dog drag me down the hallway, but it will be hard."  Well said, Buddy. It will be hard, but we know the big picture and the benefit of stepping in fully to this program to benefit those who desperately need this service.

Saturday, June 25, 2011


WELCOME to our family dog-blog about our Puppy Raising experience with Canine Companions for Independence. Happenings of our life outside of puppy raising can be read at Elle J Thoughts, otherwise, this blog will focus on our soon-to-be CCI Puppy adventures for the next sixteen to eighteen months.

Just this past week we had a phone interview with CCI.  I am not certain what they were looking for exactly in our answers, but it seemed to be to learn about our general understanding, opinions, and ideas about puppy raising,  in addition to CCI's expectations and requirements of Puppy Raisers. It was a forty-five minute casual conversation that seemed to end on a positive note.

We received an email last night from a local CCI area representative requesting a home interview on Monday. Thankfully my husband has a flexible enough job where he can spend time with us during the interview so the whole family will be together. Again, we do not know what to expect, but I am confident that it will be a fun learning interview - as I have a lot of specific questions to ask her too.

The adventure has begun - rather rapidly, but that makes the excitement and fun that much more elevated.