Saturday, February 2, 2013

My first puppy

So as I said before I will be spending the next couple weekends telling about my past puppies. This weekend I will tell you a little about my first puppy Wilbur. Wilbur is a male yellow lab who was born November 30, 2001. When I first got my puppy assignment I was told I would be receiving an 8 week old male black lab puppy name letter W. I was sooooo excited to receive him we had a few of my friends over for a sleepover the night before I got him, so that they could come see the puppy truck too. On February 2, 2002 we went to pick up my puppy.Well when the truck pulled in the driver asked if we could guess the name we all took turns guessing names but never were able to guess Wilbur. Well you can imagine the big shock we had when the driver brought out a huge male yellow lab pup. We actually told him that he had the wrong pup our pup was suppose to be 8 weeks old and yellow. Well he didn't get it mixed up paperwork said we were to get a male yellow lab and yes this pup was 8 weeks old. After being handed this huge moose we were told his name was WILBUR. We all fell in love with the name and in reality the name fits him perfectly since he LOVES food. When we brought him home we weighed him 18ib at 8 weeks old. Sadly the day after I got him I had to leave for camp keep a week long trip 6th graders at our school take, so I had to say goodbye the next morning that was really hard. I spent the whole week missing him and looking at pictures I had brought of him. Once I got back it was time to start working with him. He was a smart boy, and loved to learn. Unfortunately a week after I got back Wilbur started having loose stools, and for a while would wake me up in the middle of the night because he had an accident. As you can imagine that can be quite frusterating to deal with especially since it was so cold out. My mom said if it was to much to handle we could transfer him and be done raising well I had waited many years to get a dog so I was not about to give this pup up. He continued with tummy issues until about 8-9 months old. During the time I raised him I was in 6th and then 7th grade. In 6th grade he went to school about 2-3 times a week once he was old enough and then almost everyday in 7th grade. During this time I played club volleyball and would have travel to LA on saturdays, and Wilbur went to every game. He even went to the end tournament we played in, in Sacramento where he stayed in a hotel with my mom and sister and dad (I had to stay at college dorms with my team). Even when I played for my jr high volleyball team he went to games. One special trip we took with Wilbur was to Sea World. I have not done this trip with any other pup since him though I hope to some day. My family and I met up with some relatives in San Diego and decided to go spend the day in Sea World. Wilbur did great and really liked the dolphins the best. Another big trip we took with Wilbur is to Pittsburgh, Pa. This was in the days where Guide Dogs for the Blind let us take the pups to states that weren't puppy raising states. We were going back there for Christmas and received permission to take Wilbur with us. I'm sure you can imagine the looks we got walking through the airport with this huge lab who by this time was at least 80ib. He was a great traveler. Funny thing is most people on the plane had no idea he was there till we got up. He got to have lots of fun and experience tons of snow. Another thing only Wilbur got to do was go to church camp with me. Our church's youth group every summer spends a week up at a camp with other youth groups. It was a lot of fun having him there and he did great he slept in a kennel by my bed and would go in there when we had activities he couldn't be apart of. He was a huge hit at camp. However, many of the kids could not understand why I was allowed to bring my dog and they couldn't so they asked that I not bring any more of my dogs. While I was raising Wilbur my family and I attended my first Fun Day. That year the theme was Hawaiian, so since I was young I had lots of fun dressing up Wilbur in a hula skirt and bra. He was such a good sport and wore it most of fun day. The following day we went into San Francisco and rode a ferry around the bay. The latter was not one Wilbur could go down so my dad had to hand him down to the captain to get him onto the boat and back up at the end. I did many fun things with Wilbur that I can not cover them all. On the last day of school my 7th grade year it was the day I had to turn Wilbur in. I did my best to compose myself in school ( many of my friends knew why I was sad but at the same time could not fully grasp the emotions I felt that day. Really unless you are a raiser you will never fully understand all the emotions we feel when turning in our dogs). When the time came to put him on the puppy truck I lost it and cried and cried my eyes out. I had worked real hard with him to overcome his soft stool issue and his food stealing issue (unfortunately he partner fed him people food so hes back to his old tricks again). On that day I received my next puppy to raise.

Fast forward a few months and we received the call. The call every raiser is proud to hear. Wilbur was matched and would be graduating. On November 6, 2003 (which also happened to be my 13th birthday) I had the honor of presenting him to his partner. He went on to guide his partner in Georgia. During the 6 years he guided I was lucky enough to be able to stay in contact with his partner, and see him twice. At the age of 8 years old he retired and came home to live with me and my family. He continues to be a spoiled pet and has taken over the couches and pillows.

Some funny things about him is he LOVES food we have to put him outside or on a tie down if we have food or he will take it from you. When he was a puppy in training he stole Zucchini out of a skillet while it was cooking once. He even ate a plate of cheeseburgers and sticks of butter. He also has a small scar on his nose from when a cat scratched him while being puppy sat yet he still loves cats. His first meeting he went to we worked on stairs that were a little steep well he had so much extra skin it fell over his eyes and he couldn't see.

Wilbur off the puppy truck

right before I left for Camp Keep

Wilbur as a puppy in training

Wilbur at Fun Day

Wilbur in Pittsburgh

Wilbur and I getting ready to leave for church camp

Wilbur and I at his graduation

Wilbur as a retired guide and my spoiled pet

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