Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Team Training!

It is official ~ Haddie has made it to the roster of the August 2013 Team Training!! I am so happy and do not take it for granted to have received the following photos from our Puppy Program Management Department. I really don't have many words right now - you can imagine I am beaming and pretty proud.

Keep training strong, Haddie!!! I am praying you find your Forever Person early next week. 

Monday, July 22, 2013

We got tickets!

Our family has always been one for adventure when it comes to travel. We have flown into the Mid-West and then drove through three states just because it originally started with seeing the Field of Dreams in Iowa and "since we are there ..." type of adventure. We won tickets to the Master's in Georgia and then ventured to the Atlantic Coast "since we are there ..." We went to San Antonio Sea World, rather than the closer park in San Diego, in order to include seeing the Gulf of Mexico on South Padre Island "since we are there ..." You get the point.

When we went to Santa Rosa in February to return Haddie, we drove in order to see other parts of our country, specifically Northern California. While we didn't have a huge amount of time to dedicate due to the children's schooling, we did manage to get in a fair amount of exploration of Napa Valley and San Francisco.
Now that we are nearing the possibility of returning to the San Fran area in the same year with Haddie's potential Graduation in three weeks, we needed to make a choice on how we were going to get there, and what we were going to do in addition to the exciting Graduation Day. We justify the added vacation because it is a long haul to get there via ground, and expensive via air for a one-day celebration (which is amazing in and of itself). It falls into our famous category of "since we are there ..."

It has been an agonizing last few weeks of going back and forth about car versus plane. Because the long, two day haul to get to Santa Rosa from home base is still very fresh in our minds, nobody in the family was overly excited about jumping back into our Toyota for a repeat. And with the airlines, once you purchase a ticket, you are committed to going somewhere in the next 365 (with an additional fee), should our plans change due to a change in Haddie's decision.

The safest route financially was going via ground, but we needed a "wow-factor" to get us pumped about that type of long travel. And we have finally made a decision. We will be going by Train! It wasn't even on our radar as on option until my husband casually mentioned it this weekend.

The perk is that if Haddie decides to change her mind and not complete College in these remaining weeks, we can get our money back up to 24 hours prior to departure. That was a huge selling factor, just as low-risk as if we hoped into the Toyota, but it definitely provides the "wow'.
So it is set (as long as Haddie agrees). In three weeks we will board the Train for a 22-hour ride to San Fran, and we are so excited! A new adventure awaits us as a family. We will rent a car on the other side and continue to finish up our touring of San Fran, Napa, and will include a new adventure to Carmel and Monterey as well.

Kolby will be staying home with the family that got us interested in Canine Companions. He will be well cared for by an experienced trainer, allowing him to learn how to take commands from someone other than ourselves, and there is a Change of Career dog in the household to help mentor him too. They are an amazing family and we are so excited the dates work for them to love on Kolby while we are gone.

I am so glad I can put our transportation behind us, and plan our fun adventure to celebrate our great teamwork to get Haddie to her new, amazing journey.


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Lucky Puppy

Our Vet Tech was right - I would be surprised at how quickly Kolby would bounce back from what looked like and sounded like a very painful ordeal. She gave him a shot of pain meds that would last 24 hours, reassured me to wait on purchasing extra pain meds, and as hour 25 rolled around it was clear that Kolby was fine. 
Arrival of Baby Kolby - 8 wks
48 hours later - he is still fine. No extra pain meds required. Amazing. 

I did sneak into the Veterinary Clinic today for a check of his stitches. What are actually signs of healing I took as signs of something had gone wrong. They don't look pretty, but they reassured me it is exactly perfect. I truly am a newbie at all-things-related-to-this-topic!!

The sweet front office woman that adores my Beagle and my CCI puppies took Kolby to the exam room while we waited in the lobby. A few minutes later my favorite Vet Tech came back with Kolby all smiles and praise for a super, amazing, well behaved puppy!! She and the front office woman raved how calm Kolby was and how perfectly still he was when he was laying down for the check. 
first snuggle at home - 8 wks
I know they are comparing Kolby to a standard pet-dog, and I know it is expected of him as a future Assistance Dog to behave so wonderfully and he has been bred to do so, but I also have to give him huge credit for doing so at just six months old; and for strangers. I can't take that away from him. He still has the choice to be misbehave and he didn't!! I was so happy to hear of their positive report.  
sleeping baby Mister - first day home
I am itching to get him out of the house and around the block or into a store or some place to get his mind working and off of just being lazy. I, too, would enjoy time out of the house with Mister. But I know the right thing to do is not to push it, and we will continue to play games here and work on commands. I am just so happy that he is not showing signs of pain.

Lucky Puppy ... 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

"Don't laugh. I didn't ask for this."

After the lengthy run-down of Kolby's surgery from the awesome Vet Tech, we were able to see Kolby just before closing last night. She had mentioned that he had the saddest eyes ever, and that all the girls working were giving him much sympathy and warming his kennel towels and giving him lots of love. Kolby was soaking it in.
He came around the corner dazed, but once his eyes focused, he wagged his tail and walked towards us. He immediately sat his perfectly straight sit and let us pet his head. He looked around the room with his Hound Dog Eyes and soaked in the "Oohs and Ahhs" of his really, really sad face from the small crowd that had gathered in the lobby.

Knowing Kolby the way I know Kolby, it was hard to say whether he was adding a little drama for the attention, or if it was all legit.

Once I saw the scar, I knew it was all for real.

Poor baby. The ironic part is that his birth order got him the light pink collar when he was a puppy, and the Vet stitched up his middle in light pink. It suited him, but it did not help his defeated look of his manliness being fully expired.
The complication that Kolby had that lead him to two incisions and extra recovery is that not all "the parts" were able to be found easily. Unfortunately, he was rather small in that area and they had to really open him up to find the missing part that needed to come out. The "normal" neutered section is also there and has internal stitches that will take care of itself, and that isn't the issue. It is the long stitch that goes into his belly and down passed his part that make this puppy look so darn sad.

I took him for a Hurry break as soon as I lifted him out of the car at home, and let's just say the aim was absolutely and obviously horrid. Ohhh, poor puppy - his dignity and confidence looked completely shot right there as his sad eyes looked up at me as if to say, "Don't laugh. I didn't ask for this."
I brought him into the family room where we were there to comfort him for the evening, and he fell asleep before I had a chance to grab the camera. He slept all night - only to be woken by me to offer more water and Hurry breaks. He is drinking like a Camel, and Hurrying like a Race Horse. It is quiet the ordeal.
I slept on the couch with Kolby in his kennel last night, and I only woke once to the sound of what I thought was him getting sick in the Kennel. It wasn't. I am not sure what it was, but I am thankful he has not had an upset belly from his pain meds.

This morning, I woke to a very hungry puppy that was thrilled to find his food bowl full.  Part of the side effect of the shot of pain medication that was given to him post-op is that he does have to Hurry A .... LOT. They assure me this will taper off in a few days. Until then, we are sticking close to the door that leads outdoors and offering plenty of rest, which means it has been pretty uneventful.
I think the worst is already behind us. I am so thankful. Each day Kolby will get more strength, less loopy, and less of a need to Hurry like a Race Horse all. the. time.

Happy to have him home, even if he looks at me every once in awhile with eyes that say, "Don't laugh. I didn't ask for this." 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Surgery Day

My poor little CCI Puppy, Mister Kolby, is at the Vet waiting his turn to be neutered. Tuesday is pre-scheduled surgery day at our Animal Hospital and I am confident that the surgeon will take good care of our boy.
In fact, I just received a phone call while I was typing and surgery was just complete. Bummer news is that it was an extra invasive surgery due to a situation we knew was coming for Kolby. Since he left CCI Santa Rosa, it has been listed on his Vet Record that he had not dropped both testicles. By now, it should have and so by waiting until he was older would have made no difference. A call to the Vet Clinic on campus this morning confirmed that being neutered was the continued route to go as he is a cross male, and bummer it had not dropped.
I will pick him up at 5p and get him fit with the Cone of Shame, just in case it is needed. I am crossing my fingers that he is too drugged up and too sore to even care about paying attention to it and that the cone will just sit unused in the laundry room.
They said his incision is long, and that stitches would need to come out next week, and to limit his activity. What was supposed to be an easy, quick, no hassle approach to getting this routine surgery done, has turned into a sad tale. My poor boy.
My son and I were joking that when he comes out of the meds and fully wakes up, we are curious if the Vet Tech will even notice. Our sweet puppy is still a very sleepy, slow-to-wake-up 6 month old that takes his own sweet time to stand up and start his day. She may be there awhile gently patting him to wake up, and he'll be thinking, "Lady - this IS awake!".
Kolby - I'm wishing you an easy and quick recovery with a strong body to overcome any discomfort, lots of awesome behavior, and the stories too boring to share on this blog. I am sorry this had to be done. If it were my choice, I would have kept ya' as is because you are just so darn adorable and smart. It would have been fun to have baby Kolby's running about some day. Stay strong, Buddy!! 

Monday, July 15, 2013

Kolby is home

Kolby was gone for eight days and I only thought about him on days 1-3 and 5-8. HA! Seriously, I think I had one day where I totally forgot about both of my pups; they are such a part of our family.
We had fantastic Puppy Sitters that did a great job of keeping Kolby in-line. He is going through a growth spurt of ignoring and naughty, wrapped into a very mellow and well behaved puppy. In other words, he is going through his Adolescence and it is to be expected.
Bad timing for our Puppy Sitters, but they handled it well with great outings to a flooring store, Costco, Puppy Class, and a trip to the Airport where Kolby had his first Security Check (as they had to meet their guest at the gate), multiple walks with their Change of Career Canine Companions Puppy (who lives a very short distance around the block), and time working commands and playing.

Kolby came home and slept much of yesterday and today. I think the change in his environment for a week was just enough to wear him out. It made handling post-camping, unpacking, laundry responsibilities easier than a puppy that who was not exhausted. After the errands we ran together today, he just followed me around the house snoozing at my feet.
I am glad to have our Mister back. I missed his sweet face, his calm personality, and his little bit of mischievous to keep me working hard.

Saturday, July 6, 2013


We have been busy all day running from pet sitters to grocery store, over to another store, back to the grocery store, washing, folding, packing, loading all in anticipation of heading out on vacation Puppy-less.

The kids and I put both dogs in the car (so bummed I didn't snap a photo - it was adorable) first thing this morning, headed over to one part of town to drop off our beagle at the Breeder of this lovely pet.
It is the perfect hang-out vacation spot for our little girl (who is now 8 years old). Spoiled and loved because her "puppy raiser" (actually the woman that made our girl a National Grand Champion in the show ring) gets to have her back whenever we leave on vacation. Thankful. This week Cora gets to play not only with her beloved Herbie, but a new 6 month beagle puppy named Tiny. They will have so much fun together!

Then, we drove the opposite direction on the other side of our area to drop off Kolby at a CCI Puppy Sitters house. Their first puppy Turned In the same day with Haddie - we started Puppy Raising our firsts at the same time and got to support one another on that magical Turn In experience. Their puppy (a black male) is now living down the street and around the corner from them in a very loving home. They are happy to be able to puppy sit him every once in awhile, but they were excited to get a "puppy" under their roof again.

Welcome Kolby!!!

As with any first, I am a little nervous and praying that Kolby shows off his good side. Because not all puppies are perfect all the time, this little guy has a Mischievous Side to him.
But then he also has a very Curious Side which is just adorable and encouraging to watch. You can see his brain working and you just know that together a great team is forming into Rock Star Status.
Finally, there is of course, his ever popular and thankfully the most shown personality - the Sweet Side. Ahh, I hope this is the one that is shown the most because when he is sweet, he is just so melt-your-heart-perfect.
Kolby toured her house while we watched him sniff and explore. So far so good. He got a little antsy when it was time to put on his Gentle Leader to go in the front to say Goodbye to us. He was testing his Puppy Sitter already (sigh), but I have no doubt that was his one and only puppy-play-dance with the leash. I think he was just giving me a little bit of a question mark so I could stew just a little while trying to relax on vacation.

But in the end, as we stood chatting for a good while on her driveway, Kolby immediately plopped down next to the Puppy Sitter and stayed. As we made our way to the car with Kolby not in tow, and as we backed out of the driveway without him, he just remained in a Down, panting a smile of relaxation, happy to have been left behind.

Ahh, what a cute boy.

Stay Tuned - I will post upon our return next weekend on the Puppy Sitter's Kolby Update. Paws crossed.

Haddie Update

Earlier this week we received Haddie's June Progress Report. While Haddie is still sporting College Life in Santa Rosa, she received her first negative check marks in the available boxes. Her written report explained, but I am so curious what "this all means". I know just a week ago she was invited to August Team Training, so either her naughty came out after the invite, or they are willing to work with her, or they will ignore the negatives as her positives outweigh.

I am not really sure.

Other than, this is the snapshot of Haddie in the month of June:

In the Training and Commands category she is working on: Basic, Retrieve, Hold, Get, Tug/Drop, Push, Light, Switch, Interactive, Ambulatory, and Wheelchair.

In Behaviors (part 1), Haddie received all boxes marked in the positive categories except for the one titled "interacts appropriately with dogs." That was the only box left blank (a first in all of her reports). In Behavior (part 2), Haddie received the following negative boxes marked; Forging, Rough Play With Other Dogs, and Whining.

I will admit that I was disappointed to read the negatives because they are not typical Haddie, especially the Whining. This puppy was silent, and I mean silent, from 13 weeks to Turn In. The Forging, while it was never reported in prior Advanced Training Progress Reports, there were times when I had to work with her on this. And we all know the "rough play with other dogs" was my occasional write-up on the Blog with our pet Beagle.

I am not sure if Haddie is getting bored, tired, stressed, or she just figured out that she's gonna be there awhile and she has settled in and her true-self is coming out. Regardless of the reason, as I will never know, this was the state of Haddie in the month of June. I have to accept it and not question, and not worry!

The comments stated:

Haddie has been introduced to the Switch, Tug and Leash commands this month. Haddie has continued to make good progress during training sessions and has required a low level of management during field trips. She has been forging when on a Let's Go and has recently begun whining on tie-down in the training room when it is close to exercise time. We will continue to monitor and work on these behaviors. Haddie has not had any incidents of barking inappropriately this month and while she plays roughly with other dogs, she has generally been responsive to verbal recall when necessary. 

The Report ended on a good note with the Overall Performance of Fear categories all check marked as Low (yay!), Overall Performance in Distractibility marked as Low (yay!), and Overall Performance of Energy and Training marked as Moderate (which is better than a Low mark).

Haddie - wishing you the knowledge to know what it is that you want your life to be. We are proud of either choice you make! Keep happy and wag your tail. xxoo

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Museum Outing

I met a friend in January through blogging. She had started reading my blog last summer, but I didn't know that until she made her first comment on my blog closer to the winter holiday season. I met her in person when it was Haddie's Bone Voyage Party in our puppy class the week before Turn In.
I remember she emailed me a sweet message the day Haddie Turned In. She has a way with words that really encourages me and lifts up my spirits. Life continued and we began to chat more and more. Then, her first CCI puppy arrived two days before Kolby. The rest is history ...
This past weekend we met in the big city for a Museum exploration with another Puppy Raiser and her dog who has an August Turn In Date. It was fun to have two young puppies, and an experienced pup to show them the ropes. Although, the two youngsters are doing a great job of holding their own. Rock Star Status.
We had fun playing with our puppies. Sometimes the creativity and fun really come out when you have multiple dogs walking the same adventure. Field trips are the best!! Not to mention the number of head turns when not one adorable puppy, but three come walking quietly by.
Summer has arrived with temps soaring in the high-80's to mid-90's over the weekend. It was the perfect setting to have our pups experience a Cafe. We dinned outside for lunch with shade for the puppies to slumber under our table and chairs. It worked perfectly, the pups were worn out from the stimulation in the Museum and all the walking about.
Before we parted for the day, we took the pups on a walk on the docks. They were awesome viewing the water under some of the spaces on the dock, and they had no problem laying down experiencing the movement of sailboats tied up, and those floating by too. A leisurely walk in the sun with two tired puppies was a great way to end the outing.
We swung into our Vet's office on the way home, and just shy of Kolby's 6 month birthday, Kolby weighed in at 44.4 pounds. He is all legs with long ears. He is known as our Chapter's Hound Dog. And yes, he can stumble over those lanky legs trying to get to his food bowl, or out the door. Heck, he can even trip over his feet just walking around the house!!
I love sharing outings with friends. It is just so much fun getting to know our CCI Family, sharing stories, asking questions, and talking off-puppy-topic too. Thankful for good friends, and awesome puppies who take training just as seriously as we do.