Thursday, June 27, 2013

First Movie

This weekend Pinnacle and I are headed up to Fairfield to the Jelly Belly factory for a guide dog fundraiser. Since Pinnacle is young I decided to split the trip into three parts to make the long trip more enjoyable for him. Today was the first leg of the trip. Pinnacle and I drove from Bakersfield to Fresno. When we got to Fresno it was 104 degrees. Since it was hot I thought it would be perfect timing to take him to his first movie. 

As I've mentioned before when I take my pups to their first movie I choose a short kids movie. I do this mainly because kids movies arent as loud and tend to be more empty during the weekdays. I took Pinnacle to the Sierra Viesta mall theater since that one is usually pretty empty. I decided on seeing the movie Monsters University since I am not a fan of Pixar movies and would not care if I had to get up and leave. 

Pinnacle settled under my seat while we waited for the movie to start. The first preview was pretty loud and startled Pinnacle. He sat up and looked at the screen tolting his head trying to figure out what was going on. After that he decided to go to sleep. He only sat up one other time during the movie which was a pretty loud screaming part but once he realized it was only the movie he was back to sleep. He did excellent the rest of the time. As we were walking outside the theater to the car there was a band playing and some booths set up he did great and wasnt phased at all. 

Tomorrow is phase two of the trip. We will be driving to Stanislaus to spend the night with some raisers up there.

          Pinnacle outside his first movie

Monday, June 24, 2013

Malcolm Returns

I posted about a week or so ago that Malcolm was cc'd from Dogs for Diabetics. That call was heart breaking for me and I cried for days. He was a really great boy and had really hoped he would make it through their program. However, the stress of so many changes had caught up to him and he started to alert bark and alert growl again. He did it when I first got him but after working with him on it got him to stop. I had a short time to decide what to do with him. While I have a lot of respect for Guide Dogs career change placement department the thought of him going to someone who might not keep in touch was to hard so I decided to bring him home and place him.

One of my friend's had placed two of her golden career changes with a family, but 2 years ago one died of cancer so they were wanting one. After hearing more about them and thinking it over I decided they would be a great match for Malcolm. I had my friend contact them and tell them about Malcolm. They were thrilled to hear I wanted to place him with them. I explained we would do a week trial run to make sure it was a good match.

On June 21 the puppy truck came to pick up one of the dogs in our group for formal training, drop off 2 new puppies and drop off Malcolm. It was at the truck I met the family who would be taking Malcolm. After talking with them for a short bit I knew I made the right choice. Once the truck pulled up I handed the puppy truck driver my leash and they got Malcolm off the truck. Soon as I said his name he lost it and went crazy. He jumped right up on me and kept licking my face. It was a priceless moment. Once he settled down some I took him over to meet his new family and their other golden career change, and he quickly liked them. Our group got two new pups a male golden lab cross named Moab and a male golden retriever named Akron. Once the truck left it was time to say goodbye again to Malcolm. It felt weird to be saying hello and goodbye to him all in a mater of an hour.

Malcolm's reaction to seeing me again

He lost total control of himself

Malcolm meeting his new family for the first time

Malcolm and his new friend Chuck

New puppy in the group Moab male golden lab cross

New puppy in the group Akron a male golden

Malcolm's new family text me when they got home and the other day saying how much they love him. He has been swimming in their pool everyday and has been playing fetch as well. I will be giving them the paper work in a few days to fill out for his adoption and then he will be officially their forever boy.

Pinnacle's Eval

So this is about a week late but I have had a lot going on so here it is. Last Monday our CFR came down to Bakersfield to evaluate how the pups in our group are doing. I use to get a little nervous but after having Polaris transferred from me and Agent dropped in home I will admit I was a little more nervous than usual. My biggest fear was being told that he didn't think Pinnacle would be ready by end of summer to start school with me.

The eval was at 3:20 but we got there a little early so we sat off to the side. Once he was done with the pup before us he had us walk the two pups. Well Pinnacle was very distracted and wanted to play with the other pup. After a bit we finally got into the mall and found a quiet area. He then worked the other young pup who did really good. Then it was Pinnacles turn. Pinnacle was quiet a handful. He kept wanting to jump and try to chew on our CFR's shorts. He was a bit squirmy with puppy handling but didn't resist or get mouthy which is good.

After the walk the other pup and raiser left and it was our turn to sit down and talk with the CFR. He said Pinnacle is a good boy and has lots of potential we just have to work on him not getting so excited and not so distracted. Pinnacle was put on a food protocol and pretty much a long as he is not fixating on something he gets a piece of kibble every 5 seconds (this is due to the fact if food isn't constantly coming at him he looses interest in the food reward). We have a couple other things to work on with him but we are told he's still doing pretty good and hopefully will be on his way to one day being a guide dog.

Update: since his eval his distraction level is improving. He still gets distracted on outings but not as often which makes me happy.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Lots of Catching Up To Do

A lot has happened since I last posted, so this will be a longer post. To start of last week I got a call from my leader saying I needed to call her back right away. Once you have raised for a while you know that is never a good sign and usually means bad news. I called my leader back right away and braced myself for whatever she had to tell me. She broke the sad news Malcolm had been career changed from Dogs for Diabetics, and would need to decide what I wanted to do next. He had been dropped for alert barking and alert growling in the home so any other service dog option was out of the question. One of my friends knows a family who had 2 of her golden career change dogs but one had passed away from cancer few years ago and were hoping to get another career change. We explained to them that Malcolm was career changed for having a cataract, alert barking, and alert growling and if they were ok with these issues we would consider placing him with them. They were perfectly fine with these issues, so Friday Malcolm will get off the puppy truck and go home with them. They will do a week trial to make sure it is a perfect match before I give them the adoption papers. If they do adopt him he will be one spoiled boy.

A second thing that has occurred was poor Agent getting very sick. He spent pretty much all last week with severe diarrhea. He started having it Wednesday and by Friday he was so sick we had to take him to the vet and leave him there so he could be treated. The vet ran a bunch of tests and it showed no poison or parasites were in his system. Our guess is we bought a new bag of food on Tuesday and so there might have been something wrong with the food. The poor boy was so sick his butt is now raw and so is his muzzle from licking to try to clean himself. The vet says Agent is doing better his stools are back to normal and he will come home today. He definitely gave us a scare and we are glad it was nothing very serious.

Finally an update on Pinnacle. Pinnacle turned 4 months old yesterday, and has been going to some new places. To start he went to his second dinner. We took him to the country club we belong to. He did pretty good the place has carpet and there was different food smells all around so he took a while to settle, but once he settled he did great. Everyone there loved him and loved his name since there is a golfball brand called Pinnacle. Pinnacle also had his first long trip and first Fresno meeting this past weekend. Pinnacle and I drove to Fresno on Friday and he did excellent in the car. He just chewed his bone and slept in the crate. Once we got to Fresno he explored my apartment and kept me busy by wanting to chew on everything. After dinner time though he calmed down and fell asleep. Saturday we got up and went to my Fresno guide dog group's meeting. The meeting was at a bowling alley so this was another first for him. He really wanted to play with the other dogs and took a bit to focus. All the Fresno raisers loved him and his goofy personality. Once in the bowling alley he was confident and had no issue with the noise. He was a bit interested in the bowling ball so we will be working on that. Other than that he did great. After the meeting we drove home and he slept the entire 2 hr drive. Yesterday was father's day and my dad wanted to go to Mass. I agreed to go and take Pinnacle with us. When we got there it was packed and we had some difficulty finding a seat but finally did. Pinnacle did great he went under the bench like he was suppose to and pretty much slept. Only time he acted up was when someone put the foot part down and poor Pinnacle got squished once it was put back up he settled back down. He got tons of compliments on how good he did. The Father even came over to us and said how much he loved Pinnacle and did a blessing on Pinnacle so that was fun.

Besides all this craziness we have been taking it easy and working with Pinnacle on being in the car and on his commands. Sorry there are no pictures but with a lot of stress I haven't gotten any good ones to share. Pinnacle has his eval with our CFR today so hopefully that goes good.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Crazy Story

In case you haven't seen or heard by now Guide Dogs for the Blind has in the news a lot this week for a pretty terrifying reason. During a training session in San Rafael 2 trainers and a guide dog were almost hit by a car. Luckily everyone is ok and no one is hurt. The dog O'Neil is ok and went through extensive evaluations to make sure he wasn't traumatized which luckily he wasn't. Here is a link to an interview with one of the trainers there. The video shows once again just how great guide dogs are.

Wordless Wednesday

Ill let you guys caption this picture.the picture is of Pinnacle sticking his tongue out at Agent.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

First Dinner Out

Now that Pinnacle is 16 weeks old I am starting to introduce him to some new outings though we still have a few more days till we can go to places where other dogs are allowed. It has been a little difficult to do outings since it has been extremely hot here in Bakersfield (usually 98-102 degrees) and we don't want him to burn his paws or over heat so outings are kept short for now. When my pups are around 16 weeks old I like to introduce them to going to a restaurant. I tend to make the first restaurant trip Jonny Rockets since the floors are pretty clean and they are great about the pups coming in.

So tonight I was bored so I called one of my friends and asked her if she wanted to meet me at Jonny Rockets for dinner. I decided to take Pinnacle and see how he did. He did great. He went under the table and laid down. He fussed with his gentle leader for 2 seconds and then fell asleep. He slept pretty much the whole time we ate dinner only waking up when he was startled because the waitress dropped food by accident in front of him. After one correction he laid back down and went back to sleep.

Pinnacle asleep at Dinner
Pinnacle asleep under the table at dinner
After we ate dinner we took Pinnacle out and found a shady spot in the one parking lot to see if he had to go potty. He sniffed some but didn't show any signs of having to go. After giving him the chance to potty we took him for a short walk and he did great walking on a loose leash and not rubbing his gentle leader on me. After the short walk we found a parking lot that was empty and shaded and gave Pinnacle another chance to go potty. He decided to pee which I was happy about. I'm glad he is a pup willing to potty on any surface I ask so far.

After going potty we went over to Cold Stone Ice Cream to enjoy Ice Cream. It was hot so I got Pinnacle a cup of water so he could get a drink. He was happy to get a drink. He again did great and laid down and enjoyed watching people walk by. After ice cream we went home and he got to enjoy his dinner.

Pinnacle being good while I ate ice cream at cold stones

Friday, June 7, 2013

16 week shots

Today Pinnacle got his 16 week shots which means that in 1 week once the shots have fully kicked in he will be legal to go more places and I wont have to carry him. He weighed 32.8ib so hes going to be a big boy he did pretty good at the vet but did show signs of hormones kicking in oh boy. Hes now at home resting which hes happy with.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Good Laugh

At tonights meeting Pinnacle got to see his first water fountain guesa we can say he had no fear of it he kept sticking his head under the water