Saturday, April 30, 2011

No longer a Puppy Raiser

Image of Bob standing in front of a bush with giant grass like leaves, he has his tongue hanging out and is looking to his right
Bye Bubba :)
Yes, it's true. Bob's last day with me was Friday. He is not going into formal training though. He is being placed with another raiser. Why you ask? Because Tuesday I started my new job - My work informed me that it might be too much to do puppy raising and my job so they advised me to place him elsewhere. What awful place could I be working at that thinks it would be too much for me to handle work and Bob do you say? Well.... I am the new Kennel Manager at Guide Dogs of Texas!!! Yay me!!

Bob standing in front of grass like plants and an old fence, he is looking at the camera with his tongue hanging out
Can't wait to see his happy face on training days! 
While yes, I am sad that Bob is no longer with me I will get to see him everyday once he comes into advanced training - which is currently set for January, so its more like a temporary absence other than me giving him up.

I am excited to be working more closely with GDTx, this job will hopefully transition into a GDMI apprenticeship some time down the road so that is my 'long term-ish' goal in taking it. My responsibilities will be taking care of the dogs that are in advanced training, basic grooming needs, getting ready to go out for training in the mornings and feedings at night, finding boarders for them on the weekends, lots of kennel maintenance and rehoming career changed and retired dogs. There are a lot more smaller details but those are the main aspects of the job. I spent all last week training and my first 'solo' day will be Monday when all the dogs in formal training come back from being boarded for the weekend.

Two Images of a harnessed Guide Dog in Training sitting underneath and large red wooden trellis that is covering part of a wide sidewalk that is used for an obstacle course. The image on the left is from below the dog with the roof of the trellis in the background. The image on the right is from farther away and you can view the whole trellis and parts of the obstacle course in the background.
My first "mini" project with GDTX, mulch the new Jasmine that lies on the sides of this lovely addition to our obstacle course, courtesy of the Eagle Scouts - the picture will be sent to them so they can show off their awesome work :) - Doesn't Buddy look cute?

Izzie alerting me of the obstacle on my right.

There was a full 24 hours job interview for the job which was very interesting. The reason for the full 24 hours is because they were looking for a good candidate who would be able to transition into the apprenticeship once the position opens up so they kind of combined the 2 interviews in one. The day consisted of getting assigned a dog, learning some handling skills and going out for a blindfolded walk all before lunch time. We then went over how to do sighted guide and went out and had lunch with a client. We got back, had a short break and learned more about obedience sessions and were watched by the Director of Training. We had Dinner with a volunteer client host (someone who comes and cooks for the clients while in class) and the next morning had a meeting with the CEO. About an hour later I sat on the porch in conversation with the Training Director and another GDMI where she "cruelly" informed me that while I had amazing attributes and had done so much for the organization they would, however, be dropping me from the Puppy Raising Program. It took me a few seconds to laugh at that lol. Thinking about giving up Bob stung a little but I just had to tell myself I would see him again and get to watch him advance in his formal training.

Us coming up to some broken side walk
Izzie alerting me of an overhead obstacle. 

Saturday, April 2, 2011


Will post soon with Bob news - promise, but for right now I have a poll that I would like everyone to participate in. It's about dog treats - I'm not going to say much because I'm trying to keep it as unbiased as possible. Please post up a link to it so all your other dog peeps can give their opinions as well. I look forward to your responses, let me know if you have any questions. Thanks much!

** Just so everyone is clear, this is a question regarding a method of giving your dog a treat - it is not to be confused with a training method. Basically - if you were to give a treat to your dog, would you prefer giving individual treats for your dog to take or would you prefer to squeeze a tube and hold it down for your dog to lick?

What would you prefer to use as an aid to training your dog? A no-mess, paste based dog treat that you can squeeze out of a tube/dispenser - similar to tooth paste. Or traditional individual dog treats held in a pocket or treat pouch.
Paste based treat
Traditional dog treats
Not sure - need additional information
Free poll maker

* If the box is not working please click the link to get to the poll. Dog Treat Poll