Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Health Update

We survived Christmas without Dylan eating the tree, or the baked and candy treats that we had way too many of.  However, just prior to Christmas, we noticed she was scratching more than usual.  It's been very dry here and even Chris and I have been a bit itchy, but this seemed to be getting out of hand.  Also, some black splotches started to appear on her skin, then the inside of her ears started turning red, so we new that that was more going on then we first suspected.  So Tuesday, we made the trip up to Sylmar to see the GDA veterinarian.

Now allergies are one thing that GDA dogs cannot have.  It doesn't matter how good the dog is at commands or how disciplined they may be, a blind person will not be put in a position to have to worry about their dogs health.  And allergies are that big of an issue that many dogs are careered changed because of allergies.

So as we were in with the vet, he did scrapings of Dylan's skin and scoped both her ears.  Yes, she has a yeast infection which is causing her skin to itch and her ears to turn red.  Her paws are also red and she is continuing to lick them relentlessly.  This infection is also the reason her skin was blotchy.

To ease the scratching, he gave Dylan a steroid shot and some pills to take for the next thirty days.  Drops for her ears and a kiss on the nose for good measure.

One of the last things he mentioned was 'why' she was getting these reactions.  "It could be allergies and he would have to bring it up with management."  Ouch!

But in the mean time, she is playing with her new Christmas squeaky ball toy and tormenting Bailey.


video

To be continued...

Sunday, December 18, 2016

The Letter

Upon returning home from the potluck, the mailman had brought a letter we were half expecting to receive a bit later.  The letter read:

"Dear Tom and Chris,"

"Well, the time is here, the day you've been anticipating since you picked up Dylan all those months ago.  It is now time for Dylan to come in for her formal guide dog training."

Dylan is to be turned in after the graduation on January 28.  The fine people at GDA will have a luncheon for all those turning in their dogs for formal training.

I'll have to say about this in the coming weeks.  But for now, we are very excited and melancholy about Dylan leaving us to continue her journey towards helping the blind.

At eight weeks


Sleeping with Cade
To this:

All Grown up





The GDA Christmas Potluck

Saturday was the Christmas potluck at GDA.  Lab puppy raisers were to bring a main dish.  I whipped up a lasagna and presented it to the masses.  It was gone in minutes.  However, one lasagna will only last a minute when you're feeding 75 people.  There were so many dishes of food, going through the line with your dog in tow was lots of fun.

Lots of photo ops were presented for the puppies and their humans.

Presents by an open fire.


It is always nice to see the people who are raising the siblings of your dog.  Because of rules put in place by GDA, for good reasons I might add, the sire's and bitches are not revealed to the puppy raisers.  So it was a lucky happening when talking to an owner of a black lab only to discover this was Dylan's mother.

Meeting Vivienne, Dylan's mom.

And no, there was no recognition between the two.  Even after sniffing butts!  But it was fun to meet the owner and talk to him about his dog.

And of course, when you have a Christmas potluck, you have Santa.  

That attentive look is owed to the cookie the photographer was holding.
We were also asked to bring an ornament for the Christmas tree to be put up in the main office.  We obliged with a bone painted with Dylan's name.


It was a fun day and possibly the last Christmas we will have with Dylan.  

Saturday, December 10, 2016

The Seeing Eye Dogs and a Drowsy Parade

Dylan spent a week up at GDA.  They want us to do this for longer periods of time so the dogs get used to staying up there and aren't shocked when they are left up there for 8 months going through formal training.  She also was one of many dogs in her age group, 16 to 18 months, to have their eyes dilated and checked for any issues they might have.  Its kind of important that guide dogs for the blind have good eye sight. The puppy raisers were asked to put on blindfolds to simulate a blind person sitting in a waiting room with their dogs.

Next!

Dylan... "Is this almost over?

Luckily, it wasn't a real bright day so there wasn't much squinting by the dogs as they emerged from the kennel with their pupils dilated.  Dylan passed with flying colors.

The following Saturday, our South Bay Puppy Raisers participated and walked in the Downey Christmas parade.  This was our second parade and the 18th for the South Bay group.  We took Dylan last year when she was only 6 months.  Actually, she was a week shy of six months, but they let us walk in it anyway.  They stress that the puppies need to be at least six months old to participate in any of these big events.  In last years parade, we were number 25 in the parade lineup.  With more than 90 different groups, bands, twirlers, dignitaries and such, going off early was a good thing...even for the dogs.

 Morgan and Dylan at 6 months during last years Downey Christmas parade.
This year, we had a slight snafu regarding our entry and we were placed 81st out of 100 groups.
Arriving at our staging area.

Ready to roll.
To make matters a bit more trying for us was Dylan had been given an anti-itch medication while she was up at GDA.  One pill twice a day,  morning and night.  Its sort of like Benadryl, the drowsy kind.  The morning of the parade I gave Dylan her pill, which I never do as Chris is the nurse. However, I failed to mention this until I saw Chris giving Dylan her pill as I was shouting, NO WAIT...too late!  She got a double dosage of her meds.  Calling vets all around, we finally were told she would be fine, just a bit drowsy.


A bit sleepy with Avery
Needless to say, we had a sleepy puppy up in Downey.  But it kind of worked out, because our neighbor's daughter, Avery, had made a Santa hat for Dylan.  She could have cared less that something was sitting on top of her head.  Plus, she was the hit of the parade with her cute Santa hat and garland trimmed vest.

A bit spaced, but looking good.
The days are counting down for our time with Dylan.  She is scheduled to go into formal training in February.  I have to say that in the beginning it seemed like 18 months was an eternity.  Raising and socializing her to be ready for her next move, we felt like this was  never going to happen.  Just two months left.  We are hoping she brings love, sunshine and trust to her new owner.  Also, secretly hoping that just maybe, Dylan changes her mind about this guide dog thing.


Friday, November 25, 2016

Schmoozing with OCFA

It has been awhile since my last post.  Dylan is still progressing toward her goal of becoming a guide dog.  Also, while I have been absent from posting, Chris received an offer to work part-time for  the OCFA.  (that's Orange County Fire Authority).  Working occasionally from home but also attending classes, keeping the firefighters up on their immunizations and various other duties, it has offered her a chance to take Dylan along to the fire houses she visits.

While attending a class being taught by another nurse educator, Dylan sat in with Chris and was somewhat of a hit of the class.  I know, hard to believe, right?

Dylan hanging with the firefighters

And, although the class was stimulating for them, Dylan found a comfortable spot and decided to dream doggy dreams.

What class?


Waking just long enough to see if she could garnish anymore attention.

Am I going to be tested on this?

Leaving class, she could not help but get just a bit more firefighter love.

That's right, I'm cute...

As I mentioned, Dylan is doing very well in her training and time is running short for us to keep our girl.  But, that can wait for now.  Coming up is the Downey Christmas Parade which we will march in and the opening of a new building on the Sylmar campus.

And finally, there is still time to purchase your Guide Dogs of American 2017 Calendar in time for Christmas gift giving.  Only $10 with all proceeds going to GDA.  Just let me know and I'll get the calendars to you.  Free shipping is included and supplies are limited.

How could you resist...










Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Lifting the Cone and Watching Chess

Well it's been two weeks since Dylan got spayed.  You would never know it by her actions.  After the first few days of being groggy, we kept her "cone of shame" on for a few more days.  Then it was like nothing ever happened.  We weren't able to go to the graduation as it was just 5 days after her surgery, but I think we could have gone and she would have been fine.

Late last week, we took her to see her first movie.  Trying to pick a movie that's not too loud, not too long and doesn't have any animals or barking dogs in it was a challenge.  We discovered months ago that Dylan will bark at our TV screen whenever there is an animal shown or if she hears an animal, even if it's not a dog.  So we picked The Queen of Katwe.  It's a great movie and a true story about an Uganda girl who becomes a Chess Master.  No guns, no barking dogs or roaring Lions.  It was a bit long, 2 hours, but she laid down on the floor and just chilled the entire time. And, as it was the first showing of the day, no popcorn was on the floor when we got there.  That is until Chris dumped hers on the floor and then it was a free-for-all.  That dog can suck up more food quicker than you can say, NO!

Going in to see her first movie.

Our next experiment is to take her on a plane.  Maybe a short trip to S.F with an overnight stay.  I wonder if that's tax deductible?  Anyway, hopefully we'll be going some time this month.

The latest word is we will be turning Dylan in sometime in February.  Can't believe she has been with us since August of 2015.  We have learned so much and it's been fun sharing her adventure.





Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Buckets of Shame

After returning Monday from our out of town visit up north, we drove up to Sylmar on Tuesday afternoon to pick up Dylan.  Her kennel stay included her being spayed.  We arrived around 2:30 in the afternoon and were told she was still sleeping from the anesthetic and it would be about 20 minutes before we could take her home.  When she did come out she was a bit groggy, to say the least, and could hardly stand.  And of course she was wearing that, "cone of shame" collar.

Groggy after surgery
It seems all the GDA puppy raisers call it that, not because their dogs are to be shamed for being operated on.  But because the dogs hang their heads down and it looks like they are ashamed of how this silly cone makes them look.

She got home and we placed her in her crate so Bailey wouldn't bother her and want to play, although any chance of Dylan playing was between "forget about it and none"!

Out for the count.  Bailey wondering what's up?
She came home with some meds and ointment for a rash.  Seems she always picks up something at the kennel.  But this morning she was a bit better and ate some and thanks to our area leaders Nancy and Brian, we were able to put a soft cone on her that allows two things.  It doesn't kill you when she runs into you and she doesn't clank into everything while she's walking.  

Really!  I gotta wear this thing?
One dog we saw while up north visiting Paul and Robyn had no shame.  He would walk around with an orange bucket in his mouth.  Say hello to Axel...whom we met at the Sunset Magazine Center in Napa.


With Paul and Robyn
and Axel!
As much as you tried, he would not let you take his bucket.  And, after you tried removing it, but walking away frustrated because he would not let go ever, he would come up and bump into you with the bucket.  Too funny!

So for the next 10 days its easy does it for Dylan and then it will be the home stretch for her until she goes in for formal training.    

There is a graduation this Sunday and if you are available, you can come and see the next generation of Guide Dogs.  It is free and open to all.  Just go to guidedogsofamerica.org for details. (or maybe sign up to be a puppy raiser)

Friday, October 14, 2016

When a Spayed is called a Spade

We dropped off Dylan today at the kennels in Sylmar.  She will be there till Tuesday.  During her stay, she will be spayed.  I always feel bad leaving her there knowing she is going to have a medical procedure and we won't be around.  I believe dogs remember when they go to the vet or someplace where things are done to them.  Its like they lose a little trust in you.  Can you blame them.

My last post I think I used the wrong spelling for the procedure Dylan is going through.  Even my editor missed it.

So I'll report back when we pick her up and let you know how she faired.




Tuesday, October 11, 2016

The Results are in...Sort of

Last night was our monthly meeting and we were asked to dress up our dogs for Halloween.   Chris went out and got a princess costume for Dylan, which kept falling off.  But that didn't stop humans from showing some Halloween spirit.  Our main puppy sitter, Georgia, did herself proud with a doggie hat that raised its ears when you pulled on the paws.   

Dylan checking out Georgia's doggie hat.

We were informed that Dylan will be spade next week, ending any chance of her becoming a breeder.  This is good news as she is still on track to go into formal training.  I guess the other good news, is the PennHip X-rays didn't career change Dylan.  Although, we were not told the actual results of the X-rays, we did watch a program on the Animal Planet called PennVet that showed the procedure.  This is a show about students who study at the Pennsylvania University of Veterinary Medicine to become veterinarians.  The very first episode explained and showed a yellow lab going through this procedure of having a PennHip X-ray.  It's a great show and I highly recommend it.

Dylan will be going up to Sylmar on Friday for her kennel stay and will be spade on Tuesday morning.  We'll pick her up that afternoon.  She'll be groggy and will have to lay low for a few days.  That will be hard as she is always wrestling with Bailey.  We may have to crate her for a few days for her protection.  

Her obedience training is going well, although still pulling some while heeling she seems to be doing better.  October 23rd is graduation day for 10 dogs and their new handlers, which we will be attending.  If you want to see some amazing animals, please attend one of these.  It's open to the public and free of charge.  It's on the GDA campus in Sylmar.  

We are often asked, "How can you possibly give up your dog after raising it for 18 months?"  When you attend a graduation, you understand the "How" and the "Why"!







Friday, October 7, 2016

Dylan, going for Gold!

While still awaiting Dylan's PennHip X-ray results, life goes on and Dylan keeps interacting with the world around her.

Today was Olympic Games Day at Carver Elementary, where Erin teaches 4th and 5th grade.  On hand to speak with the kids and teachers was three time Olympic Medalist (2 gold and 1 silver), Water Polo player Kami Craig.  She spoke with the kids about never giving up.  Growing up with dyslexia, Kami had a rough time in school, but never gave up on her dreams.  Playing water polo for USC and then making the U.S. Olympic Water Polo team, Kami stressed the importance maintaining focus, even when things don't always go your way.  Kami also displayed her Gold Medal from the Rio Games, allowing the kids to touch it and lift it.  (It was heavy)  Also on hand were two Special Olympians from this summers games.

Greece led the way in the parade of class rooms

Erin walking with Dylan leading her class representing Ireland

Erin's class with 3 time medalist, Water Polo Player, Kami Craig
Watching the kids participate in wheel chair basketball, football toss, relay racing and field hockey was a special treat for us adults.

Dylan being there, cheering them on all the way, received a special Gold Medal for cheer.  

Erin's class, representing Ireland, with Dylan and her gold medal

It was a Gold Medal day for sure.











Wednesday, September 28, 2016

A Dylan Update!

Monday, Chris took Dylan up to GDA to be examined by their vet.  It included some blood tests and X-rays.  Nothing definitive was discovered but the vet saw a liver enzyme that was a bit off, so she asked us to bring her up Wednesday morning.  "Be sure not to feed her in the morning" we were told.  They wanted to do a 12 hour fasting exam then feed her to see what transpired after she ate.   So we prepared to go up this morning.  I fed Bailey and turned my back for about 3 seconds and I see Bailey walking away, which never happens, and there's Dylan chowing down on Bailey's food.  Oh CRAP!

Good news, Bad news...The good, Dylan is eating again.  The bad, she picked a crummy time to start.  We called GDA and told them what happened and were told not to worry as they can do the test at a later date.  We just need to be sure she fasts for 12 hours before taking up to be examined.  So no drive up north today, but we will go up next Wednesday to complete the exam.

However, Dylan seems much better, is more playful and exhibiting normal eating habits, as noted above.  Working with her, she again exhibits normal behavior and is even walking better on leash and not pulling so much.

Still working on her sitting position, however.

Is that a smile I see?

Thanks for the kind thoughts and words regarding our girl as we will continue to update her progress on becoming a guide dog.

FYI
There has been no update on her PennHip X-rays to see if she may be looked at as a breeder.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Dylan feeling punky

The last few days have been somewhat tough for our little girl.  After coming home from having her X-rays a week ago, she hasn't been doing very well.  She got diarrhea on Tuesday, we switched her food to chicken and rice and then Saturday night, she vomited all night long.  We called GDA but they don't have a vet on property on Sunday's so we were told to take her to a local vet.  They examined her and could not see anything definitive.  The vet said that maybe she was having a reaction to the anesthesia when they did her X-ray.  To keep her hydrated, they put in a 800cc fluid bolus under her skin.  This absorbs into the body in a few hours.  They also gave her a B12 injection and some medicine to settle her stomach.  Then gave us some antibiotics to feed her for the next few days.

I'll say this about Dylan, inside the vet's exam room, she didn't shake, quiver or whimper.  She didn't look very happy though.   What a trooper she is!

Getting an 800cc fluid subcutaneous IV
Receiving her B12 shot.


Bloated with fluid under her skin around the neck and shoulders.

Not a happy camper.

After we brought her home, she was as lethargic as I have ever seen Dylan.  Just laid around all day, would not eat and looking very sad.  

So today being Monday, Chris will be taking Dylan up to Sylmar to be examined again by the GDA Vet.  Thankfully, Nancy our area leader, will be going up with Chris as coming back without a carpool buddy is a nightmare as I was committed to taking a friend to the airport this afternoon.

More to come as we find out what's going on with our little girl.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Dylan and the X-RAYS

As you may remember, Dylan went up to Sylmar for X-Rays this last weekend.  I went to Monterey to hear Jazz.  I digress.  Well, it seems it was more than just your ordinary x-rays.  I'll explain as best I can given my limited medical background, which is none.

Large breed dogs such as labs, are x-rayed mostly for hip dysplasia at a young age.  If she were to go in for formal training, this would have to be done before her training began.  This type of x-ray is referred to by Guide Dogs of America as OFA, which stands for Orthopedic Foundation for Animals.  It lets them know if dogs have hip dysplasia.  This is your standard protocol for all breeds.

For GDA, their dogs that are being considered for breeding have a different type of X-rays.  These are called PennHIP X-rays.  The dogs have to go under anesthesia as the hips have to be manipulated for multiple exposures.  These are sent to the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine to be examined.  These X-rays are what is known as "predictive" x-rays.  Studies have shown them to be very conclusive in predicting a dog getting hip dysplasia.   GDA does PennHIP X-rays when they are considering dogs for breeding.

I Googled PennHIP:

PennHIP (an acronym for "University of Pennsylvania Hip Improvement Program") is a diagnostic technique for evaluating the hips of dogs for laxity. The acronym is also used for the network of veterinarians that use the PennHIP method of evaluation, and for the database of breed-specific hip dysplasia trends maintained at the University of Pennsylvania. PennHIP's main objective is "to reduce the frequency and severity of hip dysplasia in all breeds of dogs", to quote the official website. The PennHIP method of diagnosis consists of three radiographs taken from different angles, which are then analyzed in order to make an assessment.

Now having said all this, does it mean Dylan will be a breeder and not a guide dog?  Will it exclude her from becoming a guide dog?  Will she have to do more X-rays if she is selected to go into formal training?  We don't know!  But when word comes back to us, you'll be the first to know.

Results take anywhere from 2 to 5 weeks.  We may never know her results.  She may be called in to be spade, which would obviously preclude any breeding.  She may be career changed because they are predicting hip dysplasia.  She may be just fine and go into formal training as scheduled, which would be sometime after the first of the year.

Anyway, I wanted to update you all as I had a few inquiries as to what was going on with Dylan and her X-rays.  Thanks for asking about Dylan.  She is doing just fine.

Dylan and the X-Rays...sounds like a 70's rock group.

She is back and rockin' new socks.


Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Back and Forth

The day after Labor Day, Chris and I took a trip to New Orleans.  We were there until Friday.  Dylan was left at the GDA campus for an entire week.  We picked her up last Sunday.  Tuesday, we got a call from GDA that they wanted to talk to us about Dylan.  Oh crap!  Now what?  Chris, who was playing golf when she received the voicemail told me, "my golf game went to crap, thinking Dylan was going to be dropped from the program."  She must had done something bad or she barks too much.

I returned the call and was told that Dylan needed to be X-rayed.  That this would happen on Saturday, but she needed to be brought up on Friday.  I guess my questions was, she was there for a week, why not do this when she was there?  We were informed that the dogs need to be doped up and the technician is only there are certain days.  So three dogs are going up to be X-rayed and Dylan is one of them.  The reasons are varied.  Dylan has not been spade, which means she could be considered a breeder.  Two, they are always on the look out for hip dysplasia.  This problem is the biggest reason dogs are career changed out of the program.

But, after a week away, we were missing our little girl and it was great to be able to cradle her.  She continues to have a rash inside her paws which requires swabs of medicine to be applied and socks put on her to keep her from licking them.

One relaxed puppy

Paw socks!  
The socks stay on for about 5 minutes before she gets them off her.  But it lets the medicine stay on a big longer.

Her skills are getting better as she gets a bit older.  Barking still seems to be an issue but we're working on it.

So we'll take her up Friday and see what the X-rays reveal and hope for the best.






Saturday, September 3, 2016

Tic-Tac-Dog

We had our last training night for the summer at Brian and Nancy's house.  We had nine dogs, six black and three yellow Labs.  We made it a fun night with Chris rolling big dice to determine what commands our dogs would have to do.  Sit/Stays for 5 minutes, down/stays for 3 minutes.  Then Brian drew out a tic-tac-toe game and it was on.  The blacks against the yellows, with one exception, we converted a black into a yellow to even out the game.

The rules were to either sit or down your dog in a square.  Then leave your dog by themselves, telling them to stay as others brought their dogs to complete the game.  If your dog got up, you had to remove them and that square became open again.  At one point we had 7 dogs in the squares and once one got up, they all decided to leave.  So we had to start over.  The blacks won the sit game.  The second game they were all in a down and no one won that game but we had nine dogs all in a down/stay in a tic-tac-toe game.  Pretty cool.

A Sit/Stay

The game started with Sit/Stays:

Starting the game

Dylan in the middle square

You can see the dogs looking at their handlers as they implore them to stay

The Blacks win as Brian gives them the release signal

Then it was on to the Down/Stays:

Seven of the nine, the black Lab up top is really a yellow.

All nine dogs in Down/Stays...Amazing!

Ended the evening with cookies and lemonade for the puppy raisers and doggy bone treats for the pups.  It was a great night and we'll miss seeing our friends each Wednesday night.  But we will still be meeting monthly and at GDA as well.






Thursday, August 18, 2016

Dylan is Back...

Dylan came home yesterday after spending a full week up in Sylmar.  This was after spending 4 days with a puppy sitter up by LAX airport.  All to give me an opportunity to see what damage was done to my left knee.  Plus, it gave Dylan a chance to be with her GDA mates up in the kennels.

First my knee.  After X-rays and an MRI, it was discovered I had a "minimally depressed fracture of the anterior quadrant of the lateral tibial plateau".   As well as a small tear of the mid zone of the lateral meniscus.  No surgery, but 4 to 6 weeks staying off it and keeping it wrapped.  Ugh...

Second, Dylan handled the away time very well.  I picked her up in Redondo Beach as a volunteer for GDA goes and works in the kennels but comes home around 1 P.M.  She was no worse for wear and was as energetic as ever.  Bailey was very glad she was home.  Someone to romp with...

video


Wednesday night is our training night with the other dogs in our group at a local park.  Chris and I took turns working with Dylan and I must say that she did well considering we had not worked with her for two weeks.

Me with Dylan in a down/stay while Brian bounced a ball to distract her.

And Chris working with Dylan on her "formal come".  Just a slight adjustment to get her sitting facing forward.

video


Her long line leash comes were not so good.  I didn't get any video of this but she was all over the place.  The idea is to be about 30 feet away and call her.  She is on a long line and is suppose to come directly to you and stop in front of you.  Sort of like what I was asking her to do when she did come right to me, only she never stopped.   Ouch!

Going forward, our biggest concerns revolve around walking her one to two miles a day for her exercise.  With my knee and Chris' back, this will be a challenge.  But we have the pool so that's what we'll do in the mean time.  Doggie time in the pool, anyone?


video






Dylan is Back...

Dylan came home yesterday after spending a full week up in Sylmar.  This was after spending 4 days with a puppy sitter up by LAX airport.  All to give me an opportunity to see what damage was done to my left knee.  Plus, it gave Dylan a chance to be with her GDA mates up in the kennels.

First my knee.  After X-rays and an MRI, it was discovered I had a "minimally depressed fracture of the anterior quadrant of the lateral tibial plateau".   As well as a small tear of the mid zone of the lateral meniscus.  No surgery, but 4 to 6 weeks staying off it and keeping it wrapped.  Ugh...

Second, Dylan handled the away time very well.  I picked her up in Redondo Beach as a volunteer for GDA goes and works in the kennels but comes home around 1 P.M.  She was no worse for wear and was as energetic as ever.  Bailey was very glad she was home.  Someone to romp with...

video


Wednesday night is our training night with the other dogs in our group at a local park.  Chris and I took turns working with Dylan and I must say that she did well considering we had not worked with her for two weeks.

Me with Dylan in a down/stay while Brian bounced a ball to distract her.

And Chris working with Dylan on her "formal come".  Just a slight adjustment to get her sitting facing forward.

video


Her long line leash comes were not so good.  I didn't get any video of this but she was all over the place.  The idea is to be about 30 feet away and call her.  She is on a long line and is suppose to come directly to you and stop in front of you.  Sort of like what I was asking her to do when she did come right to me, only she never stopped.   Ouch!

Going forward, our biggest concerns revolve around walking her one to two miles a day for her exercise.  With my knee and Chris' back, this will be a challenge.  But we have the pool so that's what we'll do in the mean time.  Doggie time in the pool, anyone?


video






Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Since the Fall...

Since Thursday I have been hobbling around with my bum leg.  I had X-Rays and a half cast applied on Friday.  By Sunday I was through with the half cast and just had Chris wrap my leg.  Monday night was our monthly meeting night and our puppy sitter, Kathi and her husband Dennis, were going to be at the meeting with Dylan.  It was also the night of skills for the dogs and Kathi was gracious enough to work with Dylan.

Kathi working to brush Dylan while blindfolded.
While I watched Dylan going through each skill, it was plain to see how much Kathi loved being a puppy sitter.  She had raised a GDA dog prior and knew exactly what to do.  Included in the skills were cradling, jumping in the back of a van, sit stays and down stays as well as the formal come.  Then it was off to the hall for some refreshment and prizes.

Us with Dennis and Kathi

While staying with Kathi, Dylan has gone to stores and friends houses.  Also she has been going on long walks.  Like Kathi told us, a tired dog makes for a happy puppy raiser.

Nice Sit...At Whole Foods.  Where else?

Back to their home.

Ahh...

Then the prerequisite computer training:  All guide dogs must be able to use the computer...

or not...

And finally some window gazing time...



Thursday morning, our area leaders Nancy and Brian will be taking Dylan up to Sylmar for a week long kennel stay.  While we miss our puppy so very much, knowing that she is in great hands makes it a bit easier for us.  One of the many great things about GDA is the support they give all the puppy raisers.  I can't think of another organization that supports its people and dogs so well.   

As for me, I had an MRI today and will find out results on Friday.  Stay tuned...