Thursday, December 30, 2010

Vacation so far

So, we're on vacation!! Yay!! We left on the 26th for our 15 hour car drive. We're here in Colorado staying at a little cabin that my Oma and Opa (grandparents) own and rent out throughout the year. We drove 8 hours the first day, and the remaining the next. The dogs were pretty good, no real problems except for bed hogs - mainly Egypt because Bob gets up too often, giving her the option to move into the middle. He was laying on the suitcases at one point lol. Overall though the trip was good. We all got here in at least two pieces or less.

View of Bob in the back of the car with his head resting on a suitcase
Hi backseat buddy!

Bob's reaction to the snow wasn't easily judge-able... He was really excited to get out of the car so he was just hopping around and jumping up and down. Now, seeing him go out into the snow for a few days now he just does that, he'll hop a bit or bring his paws way up when he first gets onto the snow. He gets used to it quickly though and acts just like a big, playful, goofball. Egypt's reaction is a bit different, I don't know if she's ever been in snow before but she tends to avoid it when she first gets into it. She'll walk all the way around or pace a few times before going in... then she's fine, maybe its like jumping into a pool you know is going to be cold. You want to jump in but know its going to be uncomfortable so you put it off... just a thought lol. 

Bob making a turn while running in the snow with his hackles on their way up, he is playing with Egypt
Bob playing with Egypt in the backyard.

Anyway, the first day we got in around 5:00 P.M. so we didn't do too much, it gets dark pretty early here because the sun sets behind the mountains. It drops like 2-5 degrees a minute as soon as the sun starts to disappear so it gets pretty cold - the high being around 25-30 degrees. I know that that isn't very cold for a lot of other people, especially peeps up in the northern states, but dropping below that with no sun is enough to get us Texans inside! 

Egypt running full speed in the snow with Bob chasing after her
Catch me if you can!!

These are a few pictures of the dogs playing in the back yard the first day we got here (Monday). Bob stays on the long lead due to all the yummy smelling deer poo that surrounds the houses. The deer here are so used to people, most of them come down regularly to say hi to the folks that throw corn in their yards. Some of the deer will come right up to you if you have something good enough in your hands. -Another blog post on that though. 

Bob laying in the snow with some flakes on top of his head and on his nose
What? Sniffing snow up your nose isn't normal?

I only have a few pictures of Tuesday, my brothers and dad went skiing but came back early due to the mass of people that were there. Erin, Darrell and I were thinking about going but I would rather stay home and sled or ice skate if the place is going to be too crowded. Anyway, when my brothers came back into town they convinced Darrell to get onto one of my Opa's bikes that he has up here. They got him on it in the middle of the road and he followed my younger brother's clapping for a good 30 yards or more. Doesn't sound like too much but he had fun and it was funny to watch. After the bikes we all decided to walk around the neighborhood and play in the giant snow piles in the ditches along the side of the road. I know there are a few of you out there laughing at us either out loud or in your head but we never see snow so we're more than happy playing in the ditch piles haha. Bob was funny to watch because he would come leaping after us and sink just the same - I don't think he cared lol. 

Darrell riding a blue bike with my brother standing in front of him in the middle of the road
Darrell following my brother as he walks backwards clapping for him.

Bob sitting in a snow pile on the side of the road
Bob sitting waiting to be released so he can go play again. 

Well, once again the sun started going down and it was about time to head back inside to warm up when the deer came down for their dinner lol. There is a guy a street away that throws corn out for them so my mom took the camera and got a few pictures. 

a bunch of deer, at least 5 standing in the front yard of a cabin eating corn off the ground
I want to go get some corn now so I can get better pictures lol. 

Yesterday was a lot of fun. We went to a few big hills to go sledding and to a little town to go shopping. I didn't take my camera to the town (wish I had - the scenery on the drive is so pretty) but I did take my camera to sledding - and handed it straight over to my mom lol. She managed to get quite a few really funny shots and when I have all of them uploaded to Facebook I'll post up the link. In the meantime here are a few of Darrell, the dogs and I. 

my brothers and sister and darrell and I at the top of sled hill
Top of the sled hill!

Darrell with snow covering his masked face and snow goggles
Darrell had made a snow angel - face down.. this was the product on the human side.

Bob and I sitting on the hill
Me sitting with Bob. 

Darrell and Egypt sitting at the top of the hill, he has his goggles up on his forehead so Egypt is licking the only skin she can get to due to his mask covering the rest of his face - his eyes lol
Egypt licking the only skin she can reach lol. 

Sledding pictures / embarrassing wipe out pics lol

Darrell wiping out on an orange and green sled and bob running up behind him
It took Darrell a few tries to get the balance act down right.

Darrell on the sled looking cool in his full face mask and huge ski goggles
He figured it out quickly though :)

Me crashing out after going off a snow ramp
Me not so much haha - in my defense there was a ramp my brothers made and that was my landing. 

Darrell flying up in the air, his legs are straight up in the air with his back parallel to the ground. He's coming off of the ramp
Darrell's was worse haha. 

Oh and for some reason in the middle of all this Darrell felt to the need to pick Bob up and hold him for the camera lol. Bob is used to being handled and wasn't bothered by it at all but this face cracked me up.

Darrell holding bob in his arms, bob is looking at the camera with a face like he's asking why he's being treated so badly haha. you can see mountains in the background.
He's begging my mom to talk sense into Darrell...

I guess Darrell felt like Egypt was being left out...

Darrell lifting Egypt up into the air, she has a much calmer look on her face.
Egypt just doesn't care like always lol. She probably liked the break from the cold snow haha. 

Ok, well thats all for now, I have a few more pictures from last night but no time to upload them - internet is slow here. Here is one last image to leave you with - it is the view from where we were when we were sledding but it gives you a feel for where we are. the place is pretty much surrounded by the mountains and most of the homes are tiny cabins like the ones here.

a view of the mountains that surround the neighborhood we are staying in.
Its so cloudy here because its snowing up on those mountains - its slowly making its way down to us!

Oh and on training talk, Bob has been doing very well, I had him walking nicely around the neighborhood with me the past few days. Deer smell is everywhere here and he's just getting better :)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Back to being a good blogger :)

So - there hasn't been much going on since finals stopped but there has been enough so here goes!

First off - Bob has been progressing very nicely these past couple weeks with his work and his pulling. Its strange how you can see that semi-big kind of tiny change in him that comes with obvious maturity. He's still a little crazy but only really at home. He's starting to behave himself without being told to on walks and he's getting really good at notpulling all the time. He still gets a little over excited when asked to find things so there is a lot of re-working with his finds - not because he doesn't know what he's looking for but because he's just way too excited to get there lol. We had a walk with Larry the other day and it went really well compared to our last walk, which was just a month ago. I thought this one would go kind of terribly considering it was about 3 days after my last final. That means Bob hadn't had as much work as he usually gets but I was pleased with the results. He even got to meet one of the several horses that pull the cart things around in downtown San Antonio.

picture of Bob standing on a sidewalk face to face with a big black horse who has his head down so he can see bob better.
Well hello very big puppy.

This was actually the second horse that Bob passed, there were four in a row, the first one he was cautious of but passed with little problem. This one however, the second one, had its head turned around and was looking at him - that spooked him a bit so he tried to turn around and get away from him. So after getting Bob a little more under control we were allowed to introduce him to it. He was ok, cautious but also curious. Overall it was good because next time we passed them he wasn't as crazy as he was the first time. Anyway, it was a pretty good walk. Now that its colder he is getting more work outside so it will be good with his distractions.

Oh, and also, Bob has kind of made up a new game for himself. He had a bath the other day and when the tub was filling up I had him step into it - he's getting big and I'm not into lifting him unless I have to ;). Anyway, after the bath I had him hop out of it and I dried him off - all normal. Well then he had those crazy funny hyper moments after bath time that most dogs do. During his crazy time he decided he would start throwing his bone into the bathtub - watch it flail around helplessly and once it stopped moving would hop in, grab it, hop out and run around the apartment with it. He did this at least 3 times and finally wore himself out enough to go crash on his bed. Well apparently he thinks its a lot of fun to hop in and out of bath tubs... He's done it multiple times since then and even has gone to my sister's bathroom and played in her tub.... he's gone a bit crazy I guess. I even found a bone on edge of the tub against the wall the other night... that one must not have been as much fun as the others...

Bob standing in the Bath tub with his bone on the tub floor at his feet.
Can you see his bone at his feet?

Another scrap of news, Egypt had surgery yesterday - she had to have a broken tooth extracted. Apparently she got a slab fracture at some point. We noticed it because her breath was smelly and I checked and you could see the crack in her tooth. I snapped a picture with my phone but its not very good. Please ignore my fat looking fingers - the camera adds ten pounds remember. Anyway, she had her surgery and was really groggy yesterday but is much more herself today - hope she feels better by the time we go on vacation! She and Bob get to play in the snow in Colorado!!

picture of Egypt's mouth with her lips pulled back, you can see a section of her upper right doggy molar is brown and decaying.
The fracture was in her upper right dog molar, can you see the crack?

Saturday, December 11, 2010


I have my last 2 finals (hopefully ever!) on Monday and after that I promise to turn back into a good puppy raiser / blogger / person who isn't glued to a text book. In the meantime - guess what Darrell did a weekend or two ago.

picture of Darrell strapped to a man via a harness, the guy he is strapped too has his tongue sticking out and is holding darrell's hands up so Darrell can thumb up the camera. Darrell is smiling stupidly as he is falling from ten thousand five hundred feet with a weird dude and a parachute strapped to his back.
He went skydiving!!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Finals - just saying ;)

So, obviously I haven't posted in about a year - sorry. My last day of class was Friday (yesterday) and I have 3 finals coming up but only 1 in the coming week so yay for free time - yay for blog time. Lots of stuff has been happening lately - but this post will be about the A-litter Puppies. Last I left off they were three weeks old, since then I have visited them at 5 weeks, 7 weeks and today at 8 and half weeks old. These visits weren't just for fun though - much like the last one I had a job to do - guess what it was. I got to run the puppies through their 5 and 7 week temperament tests!! Sounds cool huh? Well it was, I learned so much about puppy brains I could write a book - it would only be half a page long but a book none the less, meaning I will print and bind it and sell it to people.. maybe.

So, bet you want to know what exactly I had to do in these puppy tests and what are they were for right. Well, the purpose of the puppy temperament tests it to rank the puppies sociability, soundness and biddability. Translated meaning we were testing how well the adapted to a new-ish environment, how the handled being startled and a crazy dancing penguin, as well as how much support they needed from the 'handler' (me) or if they needed any support at all. By support I mean if they would come to me when they were uncomfortable and if they were 'coax-able'  when I was trying to get them to do what I wanted (with verbal efforts first and food if needed). Well anyway, I didn't do any of the actual evaluation - my job was to actually walk to the puppies through the test / obstacle course. We had stations set up to have them go through.

picture of a puppy walking over a folded up puppy pen there is a metal pan and a green tarp near by  for them to walk over also
pshhh no problem walking over this thing! 

This is a big part of the test, we did this same test both times (5 weeks and 7 weeks) but during the 7 week one we moved them out to the driveway because they were way too big by then. It was my job to get them to walk on top of all of them and then their reactions would be evaluated by Michelle and Tracy. There is also an orange cone there in the background, that is to test their reaction to a brand new object in their environment. Another thing you can't see is a crazy maniac singing and dancing penguin (who sang a very annoying version of the cupid shuffle). This was to judge their recovery time as well as their auditory sensitivity.

picture of a floppy pink bunny attached to a flexi leash as well as a can with tape on top of it.
The flexi squirrel and penny can! 

So, whats going on in the picture above is there is the pink bunny and it is attached to a flexi leash, what happened with this is the puppy would see the bunny sitting for them nicely on the floor, and then when they go up to investigate it, it would be retracted in fast short bursts and then they would do it all over again in one long fast burst. This was to test their pray drive and (if they grabbed it) how willing they were to give it up. Also, see the can with the green tape on it - its full of pennies, this was also to judge their sensitivity but to a different type of noise/distraction.

The reasons we conducted the exact same tests at 5 and 7 weeks was to judge how they differed from the first one and if they did how much. So, after the tests were all complete we did get to play a bit - we had ourselves a little play session and photo-shoot (duh) so here are a few pictures from that.

all the puppies sitting in front of a fallen tree in their tiny puppy jackets, one on the end is on its back with its face hidden and back feet in the air
Ummmm I think this should be the new header for the website - just my opinion lol

One of the puppies with her front paws up on the log and she is looking at me, I am on the opposite side of the log than her
Miss Aspen peeking over the big log. 

one of the puppies sitting inside of half a stump with her puppy jacket on.
We put Alice in the log - can't lie and tell you that she did it herself. 

These last ones were all from 5 weeks old. Then they grew up lol - these next ones are from after the 7 week test.

a much bigger puppy chewing on an arm of the fallen tree
Big Aspen chewing on a branch

a puppy laying in front of a tree with dirt all over his face and tongue
Big Austin chewing on dirt... :?

one of the puppies laying in the middle of a bush so you can only see him through the trees
Alamo finding a nice place to rest. 

And here are the pictures from today: today was Puppy Hand Off Day - so today all the puppies went to their raisers. There was a news crew there for a bit and lots of picture taking with people and puppies and people and puppies.. and some people. Here are just a few of the pictures from today.

a news videographer with his camera in Poppy's face, poppy is sittin there with a blue bandana on that says I support guide dogs of Texas
Poppy gets her fifteen minutes of fame. 

Poppy getting a bone full of peanut butter
And a peanut butter stuffed dog bone. 

all the raisers with their new puppies in front of one of the GDTX trucks, poppy is laying down in front of the group
And the puppies with their raisers!!! From the Left going right we have Alamo, Alice, Aspen, Ava, Atlas, Allie, Austin and Poppy in the front :)