Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Center of the Universe

By Fred
There's something special about Dewey. He's all legs and ears and a wagging tail that's always wagging, even while he is eating. After just a few days he knows the routine, he knows the house, he knows the yard, he knows where and when to busy (and wags his tail about it), he sleeps through the night. He's almost perfect. Kudos to the staff at Southeastern for raising such a good and happy little puppy.

But last week I wasn't sure how Dewey would fit in with the other dogs. I was worried: what if they don't like each other? What Jam is jealous and mean? What if Willows disowns me permanently for bringing home yet another one of these? What if Dewey is homesick and sad? And could I be more like a 14-year-old girl for worrying about stuff like that?

Jam is on the floor, allowing Dewey to chew on his face.
It turns out that Jam has adopted Dewey as a brother. I've notice a change in Jam now, as if he is happy with a new sense of purpose. He plays with Dewey for a while and then comes to me and gives me a look that I haven't seen before, a kind of proud smile.

And yesterday I heard Willow barking at Dewey, I guessed, to make him go away. But when I went to investigate, I saw that her tail was wagging and her barking was to get his attention so that he would play. Very unusual. Willow just doesn't do this, especially not with new puppies.

A picture of Dewey asleep at his favorite new restaurant,
his big ears flopped in different directions.
For centuries people believed that the earth was at the center of the universe. The belief persisted longer than it should have, partly due to pride, partly to fear.

A picture of Cheryl holding Dewey, both of them smiling.
At a time like this when Cheryl is away for a few days, it would be tempting to believe that I'm at the center of the universe for these three dogs, but it isn't so. They have worked out a good relationship all on their own. I'm just the concierge.

No word yet about Coach. Hope he is doing well at school...

Monday, July 29, 2013

Nearly Headless Jam

Puppies are funny creatures.  In some ways they are like horses in that they shy at very odd things at unexpected moments.

Take this morning for example. Baby Dewey (BD) and I were having a nice breakfast and checking out Facebook when all of a sudden it was as if a horrific creature had appeared in front of BD.  He leaped up, tucked his tail and backed up a few feet.  Then he looked up at me for confirmation.

"Are you seeing this?" His eyes were locked on to the TV room, so I turned and looked over there.  All I saw was a sleeping Jam in MY leather chair.

Wait, from Baby Dewey's perspective, it was merely a head!

Jam, with just his head hanging over the arm of the chair.
 From a puppy perspective, and after having seen one too many True Blood episodes, I could clearly see the decapitated head of Jam sitting on the chair, taunting poor Baby Dewey.  Something needed to be done.

"Dewey, let's go see Jam." I could see Jam barely open his eyes.

BD was not sure about getting closer to the head, but he did like Jam, so he started to walk very, very slowly, closer to the chair.  We took our time.

Jam raised his head and looked at us.  Annoyed.  His nap was disturbed.

BD sitting in front of a complete Jam, head and all.
BD walked around the chair and looked at Jam.  "See?  Jammy is fine!  Good Dewey!"

BD did a little happy wiggle (he's big on wiggles and he's a mighty tail wagger as well).  All was right in his world once again.

Ah, puppies.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Big Day: Toddlers, Children and Breakfast Out

Dewey started out the day with breakfast at Wildflower.  Since it was only his second outing, we opted for the patio, but the waitress was perfectly happy to have seated us inside and taken a chance on him.  

"No, I think we should take it slow out here." Dewey was investigating the leaves on the ground.  He was looking extra cute.  Everyone said so.  The wait staff seemed concerned the couldn't bring him water, or a plate of bacon, or an apple or some cookies from fluffy puppies.  They do take good care of dogs at Wildflower!

Dewey got lots of sweet attention from everyone walking by who, without fail, said, "Oh, look at the baby!"

He is really cute.

Then we had some small, cute visitors of our own come by: Lydia and Vivi Gaurkee.  Children and toddlers are on the exposure list, so this would be a great first visit.  Dewey is a very gentle dog, so we didn't have any concerns there.  We had also been working on greetings with Jam and Willow.  Now, time to try them out.

Lydia explains something while mom pets Dewey and Vivi thinks about things.
 Lydia came bearing gifts: a big nylabone for Dewey!  He was so happy.

Vivi is not sure about the dog.
Vivi was not sure what to make of the big tail that occasionally smacked her in the face or the puppy who wanted to lick her face.  In general, she withheld approval.

Jam tries to get some loving.  
In typical Jammy style, he waited just a little bit and then he crashed the party.  Taking Dewey's bone as his own ("That's mean!" Lydia said.) Jam ran over to where we were and made his presence known.
We did get him to calm down and be a good boy.

Dewey comes back to visit Lydia, Vivi and Christy.
Then Dewey came back over.  He was a fan favorite.  Even Jam let the girls play with Dewey and he munched on the nylabone content to have the new toy rather than the attention...this time.

I hold on to Dewey's leash as he says hello to the girls.
 Before we had chocolate cake, we went out to look at the fish and the frogs.

Lydia, her mom and Vivi look at the koi pond.

Lydia is looking for frogs in the water.

There was a frog, but it jumped away.
 Then we let all the dogs back into the house and took a photo with just the girls.

Overall, it was a successful visit!  Thanks Gaurkees!!
 Overall, it was a good puppy visit.  No scratches, no falls, no bruises, no pulled tails.  Everyone was happy!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Bringing Dewey Home

Friday we went to pick up Dewey:

Closeup of Dewey.
I was a little sad because we had planned for a big party to pick him up from school.  We had thought we would get a small 9 week old puppy, but there was a surplus of older puppies that needed to be moved to homes.  We had planned a vacation, for next week, which would have precluded our getting a puppy, but because I would be in a crochet class for most of the day, Fred had wisely backed out of joining me when it came time to buy tickets.  So he would be at home next week.

Dewey is 15 weeks old now.  He would have been 17 weeks old when we picked him up if we had stuck to the original schedule.  So, when we needed to make the decision of do we take Dewey early, we were able to say yes even though it meant no party, because we didn't want to leave him in the kennels when he could be at home with us.

Fred is kissing Dewey on the top of his head.

Of course it was love it first sight.

Cheryl is holding Dewey in her arms.
 Dewey is a quiet, gentle dog.  He seems to have more in common with Willow than Jam.  However, that may just be the honeymoon phase and the true Dewey will peek his head out in a two weeks.

Tara, Cheryl and Fred smile for the camera. Cheryl is holding Dewey.
Tara matched us up with a good one (of course, they are all good ones! 8-).

The kennel staff surround Melisa as she holds Dewey.
 The kennel staff gave us our last bit of instructions about Dewey.  They were super nice.

Even though Dewey yawns before his big car ride, he didn't sleep on the way home!
 Then it was time for his first car ride. We got him to busy first, which he did right away. Then we got some kibble and tempted him to the car.  It is a little harder with the older pups (at least in our experience with Coach), they don't know about cars and are nervous about them.  Dewey was nervous as well.

Dewey is hanging back from the car.

Fred tempts him with some kibble.

Dewey is tempted and walks up to the car.

Dewey puts his front paws in the car.

Dewey gets most of his upper body into the car.
 At the point where most of his upper body was into the car, we popped the back end into the car and shut the door!  Mission accomplished.

Fred, Cheryl and Dewey at the Southeastern Guide Dogs sign.
Then we took our photo by the Southeastern sign and were on our way home!!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Meet Dewey!

This is Dewey:

Close-up of Dewey a black goldadore.
Dewey is a black, goldadore from the Judith-Goldie litter.  He was third out of the womb (3N13).  You'll notice he has really long black ears and long, long legs.  He also had a bunch of brothers and sisters who are waiting on puppy raisers to pick them up as well.

Cheryl is holding Dewey as he looks over her shoulder.

He will be home with us on Friday!!

Dewey tries to give Kelland a kiss on the face.
Kelland got to the first Berkeley student to meet Dewey.  He and his mom, Michele, met us at Southeastern to go take some photos of Dewey and his siblings for the blog.

Kelland gives Dewey a hug.
 There were some things about Dewey that we immediately liked:

Cheryl holds Dewey in her arms.

We liked that he was calm and friendly.  His tail didn't stop wagging the ENTIRE visit.

Tara gives Dewey a treat. 
We loved that he was motivated to work.  Michele got him to do a down stay in a matter of minutes.  Take a look.

Michele has him sit. Dewey does know his sit command.
He is a smart boy!. 
Then Michele shows him what she wants him to do for the down.

Which, he eventually did.  He wanted to keep his
butt up, but she got him to put it down.
 He caught on to the commands, very quickly and was very happy to do them again and again.

Kelland got him to do a down as well.

Kelland and Dewey.
 One thing we do have to brag about is the fact that he doesn't have a conehead.  His brother and sisters all have little bumps on their heads from where they whack it on the top of the entrance in and out of the kennel.

The black one is his brother.
I'm happy to say, that Dewey does not have a bump on his head, so he has either learned his lesson or has watched and learned what not to do.  Either way, he's a smarty-pants.

The two black ones are his sisters. They have big bumps.
He should fit in well at Berkeley.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Coach Goes Wild: IFT in a LIMO, with Girls and a Mud Puddle!

Yesterday we took a limo ride.  Generally, you think of limos for happy events, like weddings and, well, parties, so, taking a limo ride to go to the IFT day at Southeastern Guide Dogs seems like torture.  What are you celebrating?  Your tears?

Actually, it is rather nice.  You get to go in a group, which is comforting and helps prevent major sobbing (in my case!) and it also promotes the telling of funny stories on the way down to Southeastern.  So you relive those happy moments that you had with your pup.

Did I also mention that you don't have to drive?  Strong emotions and driving are two things the generally should be avoided. The pups were great.  They acted liked they rode in limos all the time.  In fact, I think limos should be added to the list of exposures.  They actually had a tie down in them, but perhaps that is used for other things...I digress.

Ed is coming out of the limo with Bo on a leash.

Too soon, too soon, we were at Southeastern and piling out of the limo.  It was almost as bad as a clown car with all the people and dogs that kept coming out.

All six of us in front of the limo with our dogs seated in front of us.
We did take a nice shot in front of the limo of the group and the black labs looked very elegant.  I think Coach was pumped because he arrived in a limo full of lady dogs! Woot!

Coach's sign with his baby photo.

Then it was time to find his sign with his baby photo.

Photo of Coach only a few days ago.

Photo of Bopeeper's sign.

Photo of Bo with her coat and harness on from a meeting.

Maggie's sign.
Photo of Maggie from IFT.
Bo, Coach and Maggie had all grown from cute little pups to grown adult dogs in the space of 15-16 months.  They were ready for college, for training, for some more structure in their lives. Were we ready to give them up?

Photo of Fred and Cheryl with trainer Jen J. and Coach.
One of the reasons why we are able to give up our dogs, notwithstanding the mission of the school and the main purpose of raising, is the training staff.  Over the years as we have raised puppies we have gotten to know the trainers and they have gotten to know us.  In trainer Jen's case we took her obedience class 3 consecutive times for 1 puppy! (Bingo!).  You get to know that they care deeply for our puppies, just as much as we do.  And that they will take excellent care of our babies.

Then it was time to wait until your dog's name was called, do the long walk up to the trainer, and do the leash exchange.

Melisa kissing Bo goodbye.

Cheryl telling trainer Judy thank you for taking Coach.

Katie and Jeff getting Maggie  ready to go with trainer Judy.

And after all the tears and all the goodbyes, it is only the salve of puppy breath and kisses that can make things better.

Puppies playing.  The one in the back is especially happy and bouncy.

And so they let us go to puppy hugging and let out the hounds for us to love on.

For this raiser, just a moment to rest her head against a puppy's brings peace.
Some were looking for peace.  Some were looking for joy.

Another raiser finding her joy.

Perhaps this will be our puppy.
It's the right age and Fred looks happy with him.

Ed and Melisa smile as a puppy licks Melisa's face.
And as we were finding our smiles and our joy again, Coach, Bo and Maggie were being taken back to the kennels.  We were told that Maggie is in a kennel with 4 other girls and is having a great time.  Bo and Coach are roommates and he and Bo also have two other female roommates as well.  We were told that they are all getting along really well.  In fact, there is a mud puddle and they have taken the opportunity to "get acquainted" with it.

I'm thinking college might be more fun than our house was!

We will miss you big guy!  Be good, do good.