Thursday, December 1, 2011

Joe update!

I am a horrible blogger and puppy raiser! Can’t believe I have not posted any updates on the boys since August!  I blame school ;) While I have been busy with all my classes, Joe has also been keeping busy learning how to be an amazing guide dog candidate. From what I have heard and pictures I have seen he seems to be LOVING College! Of course he started college early by going to classes with me. Speaking of school, do you know how weird it is for so many years to be known as the girl with the dog and stopped all the time to answer questions about your puppy and then going back to blending in with everyone else! I am still not used to it!

Joe has been doing great and has been spotted by several of my spies! I have also been blessed enough to see several pictures of my sweet boy. In every single picture he has the biggest smile on his face. He always put that smile on when he was truly happy, so I know he is getting lots of love and attention. 
Happy Joe!
I have gotten three report cards for my Joe Joe and he is making wonderful progress. Just like any other proud parent, his report cards have been on the refrigerator and you can’t help but smile when you look at them.
Hanging out in the office
Joe 1st report card (August 2011) he was in phase 1 working on curbs, straight lines, harness and turns. His trainer’s comments were “Joe is a sweet fun dog to work. He is doing pretty well. We are currently working on his jumping habits. He is doing better but gets extremely excited to see new people. He is great in the kennel and gets along with everyone. I look forward to getting to know him better and can’t wait to see his potential as a guide dog. :)” I send the boy off to college and he falls to peer pressure and learns how to jump; just goes to show you that college students and puppies in college share some similar traits :)
Joe’ 2nd report card (September 2011) he was still in phase 1 working on curbs, straight lines, harness and turns. His trainer’s comments were “I don’t even know where to start because Joe has so much personality. :) He loves to work and is coming along nicely. We are currently working on his separation anxiety. He seems to bond fast and strong to whoever works him. He is doing better with this. When he is in harness he is very happy and the tail never stops. He takes working very serious and seems to have low distraction. I look forward to working him more.” I was very happy to see that he was showing his trainer his true sweet self! I would always ask Joe if he was sure he was full lab, because he was sure clingy like a golden. We worked hard on this and he quickly became fine with working with other people while I was around, but I guess he forgot some of that. I also think that it just shows that he loves all of his friends. When I got this report card, I happened to be in the process of reading a book for one of my psychology classes that dealt with how parenting style affects adolescent behavior and personality development. I could pick out which parenting styles I used on Joe. He had a very balanced puppy hood and didn’t go off the deep end when he got to college :) 
Joe you aren’t naughty!
Joe’s 3rd report card ( October 2011) he was in phase 2 working on escalators, obstacles and traffic checks. I know he was happy to finally be able to get on that fun ride at the mall (also known as an escalator). He had always been so interested in them and all we could do was sit and watch them. I kept telling him once he went to college he would learn how to ride them. His trainer’s comments were “Joe is coming along well. He is a fantastic little worker and enjoys going out. He gets along great with all of his roommates and everyone that we come in contact with. He can still be a little immature from time to time but is doing much better and with maturity this will improve.” That boy has never met a stranger!
You do make a very handsome Santa!  
I am super proud of my little guy! I think about him often. I miss having a little buddy to run errands with or who makes college classes a little bit more fun, but I know he is where he is supposed to be.

Joe’s harness picture came about a month or so after he went back and it is framed with an impression of his paw print. It joined the wall of fame of the best guide dog puppies ever! Out of the 6, Joe has the biggest smile of them all! 
All grown up!
Keep up the good work Joe I am super proud of you!!! Even Ely gets excited when he sees a picture of Joe, though I think he misses his snuggle buddy! 
Look at that handsome, happy boy!