Archives for February 2009

Reece Update


This Saturday Reece turned 9 weeks. He is settling in well and becoming quite confident with himself and his surroundings. He no longer walks around the house whining and will bark at the other dogs if they do not want to play with him. We have taken him to a couple of restaurants, grocery stores and the farmers market in St. Jacob’s. He did pretty well, but was a little nervous of the crowds at the market and of a little girl who was running down the aisle at the grocery store screaming. When he is nervous, he will just sit and look at us so we pick him up and move on.

This week we have focused mostly on building his confidence, teaching him his name, and on learning to walk on the leash. He has begun to understand the concept of following his leash and has even begun to learn the command “sit”. I am not sure he knows exactly what “sit” means, but when I ask him he will often sit and then he gets a treat. By the end of this week I think he will have a good understanding of “sit” and hopefully will have begun to learn “down”.

Reece is nothing like Aiden was. He has quite the little personality and determination to do what he wants. When we tell him “no” he will stop and look at us and then return to what he was doing. He makes sure to let us know that he isn’t happy with something and will make a huge fuss when one of the other dogs tell him off. I think Reece is going to be a bit of a challenge, but also be a lot of fun to raise. Aiden was the perfect puppy for us to raise as our first, but Reece will make sure to keep us on our toes.

No real updates as of today on how Aidy is doing, but then sometimes no news is good news. Hopefully we will get to see him in just under two weeks and if we are lucky, we might even get to have him for a few days.

Reece Has Arrived!


Our new foster puppy has arrived. Reece is an 8 week old male chocolate lab who was born on December 20th. He is a dark chocolate with a white spot on his chest and white flecks on his chin and paws. He has grayish blue eyes and weighs almost 12lbs. We picked him up on Saturday from his breeder and he has been settling in well. We had a rough first couple of days with his constant whining and screaming in the crate, but today he seems to be much less anxious. He now walks around the place with confidence and has decided that our golden, Aspen, is his surrogate mother. He climbs all over her and pulls at her fur, but she doesn’t care unless he uses his little puppy teeth too much. I think she likes having him around because he is small and plays a lot more gently than Phoenix and Cessna. Phoenix tolerates him unless he is in his face too much, but Cessna stays away, letting out little growls when he comes near. I think she worries about hurting him so keeps him away, but once he gets bigger I know she will become his primary playmate as Aspen will back off.

Aiden has now been gone for just over a week and his trainer says he is settling in well. We had hoped to see him this coming weekend, but will have to wait another week or so because his trainer is out of town and won’t be at the training session this weekend.

Aiden Is Gone


So I did it, I sent Aiden off to begin his formal training. It is weird how at ease I am with doing so. I was more concerned about his trainer’s visit than I was with Aiden leaving. I know that must sound so weird, but with the disagreement we had back in the summer I was so worried that he would no longer allow us to foster. Well, the verdict is in and our new little bundle of fur, as long as all goes well, should arrive within the next week and a half or so.

This morning I took Aiden with me to my volunteering job and let him say good-bye to all of the people there. We then came home and cleaned up the house, we are doing some renovations so it was a little cluttered in areas. We packed up Aiden’s bag – his squeaky Cookie Monster toy, a smoked bone, and some food – then gave everyone a rawhide chip and relaxed. His trainer arrived and we chatted for about half an hour. Aiden was excited to see him and then fell asleep until he got up to go. I gave him Aiden’s bag and then Huib carried the bag of food to the van. Aiden didn’t even seem to care, he just followed the bag of food and jumped into the van.

We will not see him this coming weekend at the usual puppy training session as we have no reason for going and I have another commitment, but once we have our new bundle of fur we will make sure to attend and get a chance to watch our little man progress in his training. As well we have been told that if we ever want him for a weekend to let his trainer know and he will bring him our way. It is great not having to say good-bye forever and to know he will not be put into a kennel to wait for 4-6 months for his new partner. Aiden will live with his trainer along with other puppies who have also begun their training.

Good luck in your training Monkey Man! I will miss you, but I know you are now off to fulfill your destiny.

The Time Has Come

We got the dreaded message last Wednesday night to let us know that our little caramel bundle of silliness would be off to begin his formal training. We were so happy to be given just over a week longer to spend with him and to really get used to the idea of him leaving. He has matured so much over the past couple of months and we have really begun to see glimpses of what he can be. This knowledge has helped us to feel a little more at ease in saying good-bye. He gets so excited when we take his puppy coat down from the leash rack and has such love for people and for helping me out – even though he has never been taught or expected to do so. Even though I would love to keep him, seeing his love for the job and his passion for helping, I know that it would be selfish to make him mine and stay home as a regular dog. He is destined to become a service dog and has always showed us this side of him. Other dogs will play for hours, but Aiden will just sit back and observe or go and play, but make sure to check in every so often.

I wish Aiden the best of luck in his training and will be so proud to see him in his working jacket standing beside his new family and partner in crime. I will keep everyone posted on how he does, but for now I will close this post by sharing a poem that has been circulated for years amongst puppy raisers.

Ode to My Puppy Raiser
by Melanie S. Meenen

So when you remember me. . .

Goofy grins
Dancing eyes
Flopping ears
Spiked teeth leave
Fuzz changes to fur
Puppy breath vanishes
Hindquarters follow front
All obedience basics practiced
Socialization continues day by day
Trainers nod heads in agreement
We all knew it was coming
My time has come to go
Their grins disappear
Eyes tear quickly
Heads shake
Hearts torn
Return
Train

Know I was born to set someone free!