Monday, July 27, 2009

Sherman was Matched!!!!!

I just found out that Sherman was matched with his new owner!!! I could not be prouder of my little Shermy wormy. It seems like so long ago that I sent him off to start a new chapter in his life, but really it was only 3 short months. I am so excited for both Sherman and his new owner as they begin their life together.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Puppy Class

On Saturday, Rocky attended puppy class. The topic of the day - distractions. Everyone brought something that would be distracting to help their own puppy and the other puppies become used to it and learn how to leave it alone. I took bubbles not just plain bubbles, but scented bubbles. There was all kinds of stuff. All of the pups did a great job leaving all the fun stuff alone. We also worked on obedience. We split up between baby puppies and the big dogs. I was asked to lead the baby group which I didn’t mind doing. Mostly what we did were sits, and downs, with a few stays. We also passed around the pups to different raisers who then worked with them during the routine. This helps them become used to working with different people and helps them understand that they have to listen to what other people tell them to do.

Rocky, Kukla and Chelsea

Five cute puppies getting some water

Rocky did great during the meeting. He got tired and hot towards the end of the meeting, but other than that he did everything he was told to do. It totally wore him out and he slept the afternoon away.

Rocky and Ely after puppy meeting

Rocky loves to sleep next to Ely

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Sunday morning adventures

On Sunday morning, it was just me and the dogs so I got up early to take them for a walk before heading to church. Rocky and Ely are super good walkers and walk right beside me on loose leashes - something (I guess) people don’t see very much during their walks because people always comment on how well behaved they are.

Rocky during kids church

At church, people were amazed by how much more energy Rocky had and how much he had grown. Rocky wasn’t crazy, but was awake and walking with me instead of wanting to take a nap. Rocky did a great down stay several times throughout the morning when I would have to go take stuff to different benches. The loud music and kids dancing does not bother him one bit, in fact he usually goes to sleep. The kids are finally to the point that they don’t even ask to pet Rocky before or during kids church but wait till after it is over and then ask. I am so proud of them; it is a hard thing to learn and all the kids from kindergarten to 5th grade have gotten it. Rocky got a sticker because he behaved so nicely on Sunday.

After we were done teaching in kids church we headed over to the adult service. Rocky was great during the service and curled up on his blanket and went to sleep (he gets a blanket because the floors are concrete and get really cold after a while.) Rocky got petted by a lot of younger children and toddlers. He did great with the not so gentle petting that they gave him. He was happy to give them kisses anyways. We even got to talk to a couple who has an aunt who raises for Southeastern in Georgia.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Happy Birthday Ely!!

My sweet little Ely turns 3 today! Ely was the most laid back puppy in his younger days and not much has changed over the years. Even though he loves to go places (other than the vet) he prefers to lie out in the sun and take a nap. When I picked up Ely on that late September day in 2006, he was a chubby little pup with the face of an old dog. It took a lot a arranging to get him up here, thankfully there was a trainer for the school that lives up here who was meeting someone else from the school part way to pick up a dog for a home placement and was more than happy to bring back a puppy. Ely was the first baby puppy that she had ever transported. I almost didn’t get Ely, they wanted to keep him.

Picking up Ely

Taking a nap while visiting family

Being adorably cute
Being superman
Ely was a special puppy because I was able to sponsor him. I had raised enough money from the annual walk-a-thon to name my next puppy. It took me 3 months to come up with a name. I went through so many names and finally picked out Ely. I choose it for several reasons. First it means defender of men; a guide dog protects their owners from obstacles that can hurt them. Secondly Eli was the high priest of Israel and the teacher of Samuel in the Old Testament. I wanted a name that was biblical. I choose to spell his name different then how everyone else spelled it because he was going to be a special dog and I just liked how Ely looked.

Ely has always like to pick flowers (he is no longer allowed in my mom's garden since he pick all of her flowers)

Colt and Ely
Ely was a joy to raise and I was sad that he had hip dysplasia, but extremely happy that he could come home forever. I can’t believe he is turning 3 already! I have no clue how he will act as he gets older, since he already acts like a 10 year old. Hopefully he won’t have too many more major problems through the years.

Ely on the beach (one of my favorite pictures!)

Happy puppy!

Mr. Cool Ely and one of his best buds, Ralph

Ely getting use to the harness at his last puppy meeting
Even though Ely would have made a great guide dog, I am happy to call him my dog and he enjoys being a therapy dog and a very spoiled rotten pet.
I made him a birthday cake. I don’t really use a recipe when I make dogs treats. I might use one as a guide but most of the time I create my own recipes. For Ely’s birthday cake I made a peanut butter, apple, banana, chocolate (using carob powered) version. Let’s just say it was lab tested and approved:) Ely LOVED it and somehow knew that it was for him when I first started making it. The cake weighted about 2 ½ lbs and was very dense. Ely and Rocky both got some cake and the rest I cut up and froze them for later. He got treats, special chew bones, and a new nylabone for his birthday. He seems to be enjoying his special day, though he wishes he didn’t have to wear a birthday hat:) I will post pictures from his birthday later.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

An Early Morning Visit to the Vet

On Friday morning, we got up bright and early to head to the vet for Rocky’s 16 week shots and Ely's check up from his surgery on his knee 8 weeks ago. Our appointment was at 7:30 to help out Ely who couldn’t eat anything. Rocky loves going to the vet while Ely, on the other hand, would rather go anywhere else. Once we got back to the room, a vet tech took Ely back because he had to get sedated to get an x-ray on his knee. Rocky was concerned at Ely leaving and there was a dog in the back who was not too happy. All that changed when Dr. Brian in, he LOVES Dr. Brian and gets all happy. Rocky was giving him lots of kisses when he was checking him out. Rocky didn’t like getting his shots, but was a good sport. He weighed in at 32.8 lbs.

Rocky at the vet

After Rocky was done, we waited on Ely. Dr. Brian came back to tell us that all the plates and pins were in place and his bone was healing nicely. Ely still has a few places that still need to grow and get a little stronger before letting him be 100% back to normal. He is on a 2-3 more weeks of no running and somewhat limited exercise. I am happy that he is healing well and will be back to normal in just a few more weeks! They then brought Ely in, he looked like he was drunk. He was wobbling back and forth. I took him out to go potty and the poor little thing ran into the door. His eyes were so droopy; they looked like a basset hound eyes. I have never seen a more pitiful dog, he was so out of it. It took him about 5 hours to start to come out of it enough to realize that he didn’t get breakfast.

Ely on the way home from the vet. Look at those eyes!

Both Ely and Rocky slept most of the rest of the day. I attempted to take them for a walk Friday night, but they were still both kind of out of it so we didn’t get very far.

What the boys wanted to do all day, lay out in the sun.

Two sleeping puppies

Friday, July 17, 2009

Sherman Report

A few weeks ago I got Sherman’s first report card. He is currently in phase 2 and is doing really good. I was extremely happy with how he is doing. Sherman is meeting expectation on most of the categories and exceeding expectations in accepting the harness. He got a few working on, but they are stuff that is new to him, like clearance and escalators. His trainer said that he was a really sweet puppy and that he is coming along nicely. Keep up the good work Sherman!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Guide Dog Program

Today Rocky got to participate in his fourth guide dog program. This time it was at our local library for older elementary kids. His brother Spike and his sister Duchess came along to help along with Ely. Ely was extremely happy to be going for a ride, he has not been anywhere beside the vet in the last 9 weeks. He got so excited once we got to the library, he had been a reader dog there during the school year, but had to stop since he blew out his knee. All of the puppies were on their best behavior and were so good. I do a few programs at the library every year and it has become the fastest program to fill up. There are four girls who have been to every program I have done for the past three or four years. If I forget to tell something or if they want to hear about a story again they make sure to remind me. One of the girls even asked me to do a program for her birthday party and instead of getting gifts for herself she asked everyone to bring stuff for Southeastern. They gave two huge boxes for of treats, sheets, and all kind of stuff!
two girls coloring while blindfolded
Spike getting some love
The program went really well. I showed a DVD about Southeastern and during one part it shows a bunch of dogs playing out in the yard and then the puppy kennel with all the puppies. Rocky enjoyed watching the puppies. I think that all of my puppies have watched the movie during a presentation.
One of the things I tell the kids is that not everyone who is blind can’t see, some people can see a little bit. I then explain different types of blindness. I also make sure that they know never to pet a dog or puppy when they see them out in public and to always ask to pet any dog before you pet them, because not all dogs are friendly. I normally let the kids be blind folded and then try to put the puppy coat on the pups to see how hard it is to do stuff when you can’t see; it is also great for the puppy to get used to the coat going on not so smoothly, because the harness is not always going to go on smoothly. I thought that with three 16 week old puppies that might not be the best thing to do. Instead I let them get into groups of two and one of them was blindfolded and the other had to tell them how to color a picture of a puppy in harness coloring sheet. They found out that it was a lot harder than they had thought.
Some Service dog books
Two boys coloring while blindfolded
Overall it was a good day and I think everyone had a lot of fun. Afterwards Spike and Duchess came over for a little play time. They were so much fun to watch! Rocky slept the rest of the day.
Spike and Rocky playing Spike, Rocky and Duchess after the program
Two tired pups after a fun afternoon

A month update in photos

So I have been horrible about posting for the past month, so to make it up I am posting a ton of pictures of some of the big events that have happened in the life of Rocky. Enjoy!
First Sunday at church
First Sunday at church helping teaching 1st grade (the only reason he was on the bench, was because the kids were playing tag and were coming a little too close to the sleeping Rocky)
One of Rocky's first visitors, Chelsea
First trip to a sit down restaurant
Rocky and Spike after their first puppy meeting
Rocky on the huge bed at 9 weeks
Rocky meeting a few firemen. He was invited to go for a ride in the firetruck.
Rocky's weight at his first vet appointment
Rocky at his vet appointment. He tried to get the puppy in the mirrors to play with him.
At Cracker Barrel
One tired puppy
During his first College class
After a tiring 3 hour class. I could not of asked for a better puppy to take to class with me.
During second puppy meeting.
At the park where the meeting was held
Playtime during the meeting
watching the kids playing a game at church
Play date with Spike and Duchess
Spike and Rocky taking a nap together while we were puppy sitting Spike for a few days
Spike and Rocky on the playground
going for a slide a tired puppy after a hard day of shopping
During his first guide dog program for 4o kids at a camp
Getting lots of love from all the kids
taking a short nap while shopping
not wanting to leave Home Depot
First dip in the pool
sliding into Ely
Sliding down the ramp that we put in for Ely(since he couldn't go up and down stairs after his surgery)
A tired, wet puppy after playing in the pool
Wanting more food
with his pairs of shoes, Rocket dog
He looks so small!
up close with the big bull
taking a break in the pool
helping decorate the 4th of July float
During the July 4th Parade. He rode standing up the entire time, he never tried to get out.
after a tiring ride in the parade
He has so many winkles right now!
"One day I will fit"
During his second guide dog program for a camp (no pictures from his third program)
(LtoR: Duchess, Rocky and Spike)
close up during one of his naps waiting patiently while shopping His weight during the third trip to the vet. Rocky somehow picked up quite a few parasites and was not growing and having an upset stomach. After quite a bit of medicine he is feeling a lot better and is growing like a weed, 6 lbs in less than a week!
He lost his first tooth! so far he has lost his two bottom front teeth. Unfortunately I have not been able to find them yet, but I will get a few of them:)
Taking a nap after a hard day playing, and working
Rocky is such a sweet puppy and is really good about playing with a toy by himself, which can be pretty funny at times. He is starting to act more like a puppy now that he is feeling better and loves to go places and be outside. He has been a ton of places and is always on his best behavior. Everywhere we go everyone has to comment on how cute and well behaved he is. I know that he is going to be so much fun to train and raise, he has been so far.