Friday, May 24, 2013

Trip to NC

Last week, my family returned home from a trip to North Carolina.  Dante came with us too.  I must sound like a broken record by now, but Dante is such a good traveler.  Thirteen hours in the car each way, and a crazy week including college and seminary graduations, and he did fantastic.  There is such a difference in this boy when he is not bored! ;-)

On this trip, I really realized how solid Dante is in public.  Dante has always been good in public, but in new places he was always rather distracted until he settled in.  This week, he went in and out of dozens of brand new places including friend's homes, hotels, church, an airport, college campuses, grocery stores, and restaurants, and Dante acted as if he had been there a billion times.  For the first time, it felt easy to take him somewhere new and busy.  As much as we still have to work on, this trip has made me really see his strong points and how far we have come together.

At the airport saying goodbye to my sister, on her way to Italy and the UK for the summer.

Dante loves meeting new friends and family

My sister's graduation

Using my purse as a pillow at lunch.  This place was so welcoming of Dante, and even offered water for him.  I said no, as he can't while he is working and I had some in the car for him, but it was really nice just the same!

Mother's Day with the family

PEANUT BUTTER.  Need I say more?

One of the many play dates with friend's dogs

And some fun walks as well!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

New Addition

For the last few months, the question I keep getting asked is "when are you getting another puppy?"  Dante's Turn In is only twelve short weeks away.  While I know I am going to raise again, I was not sure when that would be.  Little puppies are a lot of work in the beginning, and due to my school, family, and travel schedule in the fall, there was a very, very limited window of time that would work for my family to receive a baby puppy, or else I would have had to wait 4-5 months after Dante goes back.  

 I really did not want to take a break from raising, and thanks to our amazing Puppy Program Manager, who totally got our situation and did not want us to have to wait either, was able to set us up with a puppy exactly when it worked best for us.  That's right, puppy #2 (!!!) is scheduled to arrive on June 7th!

There will be a two month overlap between him and Dante, which I think will be excellent for both of them.  Dante can teach the new puppy the ropes, and just maybe the puppy will make Dante grow up a little.  ;-)

This puppy's name is Moray.  He is a 3/4 Black Lab, 1/4 Golden cross.  Moray already holds a very special place in my heart.  You see, when I started with Guiding Eyes for the Blind, my first puppy was supposed to be a male black lab from the M litter.  It may just seem like a coincidence, but it feels very specialMoray is absolutely adorable!  You don't believe he is the cutest thing ever?  Ha!  See for yourself.

Moray: 4 weeks old.  Photo courtesy of Jadynn's Breeder Caretaker

Unlike when I received Dante, this time around I am much more connected with other people involved with CCI.  I am so thankful that I was able to get in touch with Jadynn's (Moray's mom) Breeder CaretakerBreeder Caretakers are so amazing!  They care for CCI's precious breeders, whelp puppies, and care for and love on them for their first 8 weeks.  They are truly priceless!

I have shared my story about how I started puppy raising before.  I waited a looooong time for Dante.  Or at least two years from when I decided to raise seems like a long time to impatient me.  It feels absolutely crazy fast that I am going to have CCI Puppy Number Two in just three short weeks.  I am kinda really, really excited! 

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Me Too!

We have been sitting still in the church pew for over an hour now.  I am amazed that after a few days of too much school to do, and even more rain, that Dante has behaved himself as well as he has for the last few hours.  For not getting as much exercise as he really needed in the last few days, he has made it through Sunday morning better than I expected.  I honestly prepared myself to have to sit outside with him.  But he is great, and laying so still.


You see, Dante thinks he is entitled to certain things.  Oh, like kibble when he does something well.  Hence why a pouch of treats on the hip is a necessity of any fashionable outfit in my life.  It usually works quite well; Dante does something I like, I praise and (at his age, occasionally) reward him.

Dante is very good about not begging for food when we go out to eat.  But, he also knows that people do not eat in ChurchAnd he apparently thinks that anything I have in my hand is meant for himOr so he thought.

This week we had Communion, and Dante thought he was entitled to partake.  As the plate was passed down the row, Dante's head popped up.  "Uh-oh," I think.  My eyes meet my mom's and we know we are in for it.  I put my foot on the leash, just as Dante tries to sit up.  We spend a few minutes with Dante trying to pop up without avail, but then he settles down again.  Just as I let my guard down, "WOOF!"  I quickly cup my hand over his muzzle, "Quiet!"  I whisper.  

I look up, everyone was startled at first, but then started laughing.  It is times like these that I am incredible thankful for a Church Family that is supportive of puppy raising and loves Dante.  But that doesn't mean puppy raising does not have its embarrassing moments.  

Thank you, Dante, for keeping me humble

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

"I got the whole Heeling thing down, now it's my turn to push the cart!"