"Sometimes when you sacrifice something precious, you're not really losing it. You're just passing it along to someone else." Mitch Albom

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Furniture Shopping and Pouting

     Jet is a very quick learner about things.  And one thing that he has recently learned is that when I say "Let's Get Dressed" that means he gets to go with me.  He LOVES going with me!  And he now thinks he should go with me each and every time I leave the house.  However, as good as he is, he just doesn't fit into my kayak and so he didn't get to go last night.  So now, when he realizes I'm not planning to take him, he sits and pouts.  He gives me puppy dog eyes.  He backs himself into a corner rather than gets into his kennel like I ask.  And once he's in his kennel, he stares at me very longingly for a minute before he huffs, groans, and slams himself onto the floor to pout.  He's very dramatic.  If assistance work doesn't work out for him he has a future on the stage.  :)

     He also showed his irritation yesterday while furniture shopping.  We are looking for some office furniture...not real exciting for anyone.  He did really well with his manners in the stores.  But, when he'd get tired of standing in one spot looking at one thing, he'd do his little huff (quietly at least) and flop very dramatically onto the floor until it was time to move along.  He fits right in with our kids!  He hasn't realized yet that, just like with the kids, we're not interested in his full time amusement and entertainment.

Beautiful night on the lake

He was showing me how he could balance just fine on the front...pretty good considering the kayak was wobbling back and forth while he was sitting there.  

Friday, August 23, 2013

To Cabela's we go!

    I have been excited all week to take Jet out on his first outing as an official puppy in training, cape and all.  (Even though I still haven't found the time to call about a smaller cape.)  Unfortunately, we had school open houses every night this week so it wasn't until tonight that we got to really do anything fun.  Pat "needed" to go to Cabela's and I thought that was a perfect opportunity for Jet.  I have been very mildly worried about him being a bit timid.  He tends to be a little bit whiny and clingy to me.  But, he appears to be outgrowing it.  Tonight, he showed me he wants to work.  He was willing to do anything I asked.  I didn't push him too much as far as commands.  I mainly just let him explore while maintaining an appropriate loose leash.  He was naturally very curious about the animals.  Some other things he "noticed" were the giant waders.  He kept sniffing at them and then looking up as if he was confused as to where the top of the person was.   He liked looking at the water under the bridge and the fish.  And he saw himself in a mirror down at his level.   The only problem area I noticed was he didn't like people walking behind him when he was sitting beside me waiting for Pat.  Other than that he was very patient and confident.  I forgot how many people are curious when you have a smaller puppy.  I talked to several people about assistance dogs and answered lots of questions.  Smaller puppies must seem more approachable than larger dogs because it had been quite awhile since people had asked so many questions like that with Churry.  We finished up the evening with a stop for ice cream before we headed home.  He did a really good job of not sniffing and licking the floor in there.  Enjoy the pictures, even though they are poor quality because I forgot my camera.

Enjoyed looking at the fish

This exhibit was the most interesting for him.  There were several smaller animals very close to him.

This is the only whimper of the night that he let out.  He quickly quieted down when I corrected him and I didn't hear a peep out of him again.

Some simple commands to show off for the lions and elephants.

He did an excellent job of leaving stuff alone on the ground.

This was a perfect obstacle for him to practice on.  It's a rocky ramp to try out hiking boots on.  

He was very cautious, yet confident going up and down the strange surface.

Giving me 5.  He was willing to do whatever I asked him to try tonight with very little coaxing at all.

Practicing a short stay.  He's looking at me, don't worry, I didn't walk this far away from him in a crowded parking lot!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Back to School

      Jet has been pretty bored the last two weeks.  It's back to school time, and that means this mama is missing in action as I return to my classroom!  I love my job so much, but there are certain times of the year that I do feel guilty about, and back to school time is one of them.

      However, Jet still continued with his training every evening.  He has really been building some stamina and endurance the last couple of weeks for longer walks.  It has been a great stress reliever for me when I get home each night after working long hours.  During this two weeks he has mastered two more commands...faster and slower.  He is a pro at them.  He is such a natural walker.  It doesn't matter how slow I dawdle along, he doesn't leave my side and always maintains a loose leash.  I have to remind myself to put his Gentle Leader on because he truly does awesome without it.  He never pulls at all, but I want him to be accustomed to wearing it in the event that his future partner would need a little extra support.  On the other hand, if he's capable of working without it I don't want to give him the idea he doesn't need to work if he's NOT wearing it.  So, we wear it every other night.  Having had Churry, who was somewhat of a puller, it's amazing to me how well he does without it.

    And, today was an exciting day for every Puppy in Training...our cape arrived!  I didn't really have time this afternoon to go anywhere (because I'm working on school stuff from home after spending all morning AT school) so we just tried it on and posed for a picture.  I'm pretty sure I accidentally received the larger cape rather than the smaller puppy cape because it's huge on him and he's big as it is.  So, I need to check into getting a smaller one.  But, he looked cute anyway.  He LOVED getting dressed.  After I put it on he lifted his head up and trotted along very proudly!

Jet loves helping get the laundry out of the dryer and bringing it to me.  

We started with socks and have moved to larger articles of clothing.  He also gets them out of the washer, which is a much bigger challenge for him.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Jet's First Public Appearance

     Today was a big day for Jet.  He went out in public for the first time, and to a rather large event.  It was a promotional/awareness event for Assistance dogs held at Zona Rosa in KC.  There were lots of people, dogs, noises, etc.  He did a pretty good job.  He is a little bit whiny, but did pretty well for his first outing.  He kept his bottom on the ground while being pet and minded his manners around the other dogs.  And, it was fun to see Jet in comparison to the Valentine Litter.  He is pretty much as big as they are!  Just confirmed what I already knew...he's gonna be a big boy!

     The second exciting thing we were able to do is bring home a puppy, totally non KSDS related, to a family we know.  It was a little yellow lab that needed a forever home.  It has been a fun week for me being able to introduce two exceptional families to their dogs.  I think if I could find a job doing that I would.  And knowing that the dogs are going to receive exceptional care is very heartwarming!  The little girl in the picture is going to be a first grader at my school, too.  Seeing the smile on her face when I handed her her dog was amazing!

Saturday, August 3, 2013


     Many of you know already, but I have to make the sad announcement that Churry was released on Tuesday for hip dysplasia.  It was a very rough day.  I think hearing that news was harder than turning her in.  We had worked so hard and it was a major let down for us.

      However, some good did come out of it.  For starters, we got to see our girl again.  She spent the night with us on Wednesday.  Second, she was adopted by some good friends of ours so we will see her whenever we want!  They are such a wonderful place for Churry to live her life.  They will take wonderful care of her I have no doubt!  There are few people in this world as picky as I am about things, such as the care of my dogs, but this family will not only meet, but exceed my standards.  They have puppy sat for Churry once and loved her.  While Churry won't ever replace their dog that passed away, I hope she'll step up to the plate and fill the void they've had in their family.

     Here are some pictures of her few hours with us on Thursday.


Bailey did not want to sit with "the babies".

Jet enjoyed Churry's company.

Bailey finally got with the program.  Getting all 3 of them to stay was a challenge, since the only one of them who really has that skill mastered well is Churry.

"PSST, I've heard a lot about you!  I've got some big shoes to fill apparently."

"Maybe if I act like you, the mommy will talk real nice about me when I'm gone, too!"