Wednesday, December 30, 2009

NURI Update!!

(Another new post below this one)
Well true to their schedule, Nuri's December AT report came in my email today! I was sitting at my computer anxiously checking my inbox and waiting. Then my phone buzzed to alert me to a new email and I immediately opened the report!

It's a good report, by Nuri's standards. She is so goofy, I love it. Here we go!!

She is in good health and passed all her medical tests. (phew!)
She is learning Retrieve, Hold and Push. All interactive and working with an ambulatory person.
The only behavior she is exhibiting is "Solicitous" which isn't bad.

Here is what is written in the Notes Regarding Behaviors Section:
Nuri is currently learning to hold various items and polishing her basic commands. She is slow to progress with the push command due to her low food drive. At times she can be very active and solicitous. I am working on her learning to be appropriate with her interactions and response to correction. In public she was distracted by her environment but remained responsive. In the play yard she will play keep away when I call the dogs into the kennel. I am working on improving this. She is easy to manage during grooming although will vocalize during nail clipping.

None of this is any surprise to me. She always wanted to play keep away when she was playing and would occasionally, mostly whenever it suited her, come back when called. Nothing I could do would change her behavior. That's just the way she is. She is also the kind to not want to come any closer to you if she has you in sight. She will just sit there and look at you like you were not that intelligent and be like, "I'm right here, I don't need to come any closer!" Yeah, used to drive me nuts!

It seems like she is having fun and behaving herself which is all I can ask for. I also heard about her brother Nico that turned in this past November as well. He is doing a bit of "fawning" and "excessive body contact" which is quite amusing. Silly Nico!! And Nanette, Nuri's sister who also turned in in November, was released just before Christmas. She is going to live with one of her PRs which is awesome. They were lucky enough to get her home before Christmas and I know they enjoyed a great Christmas with her!

Hope everyone enjoyed the holiday season, and have a Happy New Year!!!

Happy Holidays!

It's been a very crazy month of December and things have been busy around here! Christmas was a lot of fun and Bright was so well behaved the entire time!! I love it! We took some pictures in front of the tree and she didn't seem very happy with me, but I did it anyways.

(Note: I know she is still under 5 months old, but her puppy cape was delivered to me early and so I put it on her for the pictures alone. She still only wears her puppy cape when doing anything. Plus her big girl cape hangs off of her which is quite comical)

We had a ton of snow over Christmas and Bright loved it!! She was jumping around and doing back flips and kangaroo jumping through the snow. We got a total of around 18 inches so the snow was quite high for her. We cleared an area where she could use the bathroom without sinking in the snow!This picture was taken before it got really bad outside.

We then had a day full of rain which washed away all the snow (yay!) and Bright was not happy. She kept trying to find a small patch of snow to "hurry" on and was sad to see them all get washed away. It was hilarious!

We also finished up our gift wrapping at Borders for the year. Great times had by all and raising awareness for CCI as well as getting donations. Here are some pics from the last day at Borders. Bright slept the whole time, lazy dog!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Bright's Favorite Purple Ball

We have this old toy that is a round purple ball with cut out holes in it. On the inside is a little green ball that rolls around, but is too big to slip through the holes in the purple ball. Bright loves this toy and I finally had the camera nearby when she was playing with it and managed to get some video of her in action. It's hilarious!!

Yes those are my feet in the video in my awesome slippers. Nuri used to love carrying them around the house and I had to hide them whenever I had them off of my feet.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

NURI Update!

Well we haven't gotten the newest AT reports like those lucky ones in NCR, but something equally as good! Enjoy!Anyone able to tell where my goofy Golden girl is???Yeah, she's the silly one!

CCI Christmas in the Kennels
Twas the night before Christmas and the kennels were still,
With most dogs now asleep having eaten their fill.
The Labradors sprawled out, quite snug in their beds,
While visions of ANYTHING edible danced in their heads.
And the Lab/ Golden crosses curled up on the floor,
The Goldens twitched in their sleep and some even did snore.
The dog food was stacked in the feed room with care,
In hopes that a trainer soon would be there.
On the window ledge, one of the kennel cats lay,
Surveying the lawn at the end of this day.
Something was different, that little cat knew.
Tonight something would happen, it had to be true.
For that day as the workers had left to go home,
They’d wished “Merry Christmas!” before starting to roam.
The dogs had noticed it to during this past week's walks,
The trainers seemed just that much happier and eager to talk.
In the mall where they worked through the maze of people and stores,
There were decorations and music and distractions galore!
Most dogs pranced along without worry or fear,
But some balked at the man on the sleigh and those fake looking deer.
The cat was almost asleep too when he first heard the sound,
A whoosh through the air and a jingle around.
It reminded him of a dog's collar when the animal shook,
But this sound kept on growing. He'd better go look.
From the ceiling there came a faint sort of thunk,
As the kennel cat climbed to the highest pile of junk.
Once before people had worked on the roof,
And come down through the trap door to a chorus of "Woooof!"
But the dogs still were quiet, all sleeping so sound,
As this man dressed in red made his way right on down.
He patted the cat as he climbed past his spot,
Then made his way right to the trainers' coffee pot.
A Labrador sat up, not fully awake,
Then a Golden followed her with a mighty loud shake.
That did it! All the dogs sprang to life with loud noise.
In spite of the din, the old man kept his poise.
He filled the pot full and it started to brew,
Then he pulled up a chair and took in the view.
Dogs all around him, so carefully bred,
He knew well their jobs, the tasks that lay ahead.
Some had stopped barking and looked at him now,
While others delighted in their own deafening howl.
Laying a finger in front of his lips,
The jolly old man silenced the excitable yips.
"You all may not know me, but I'm Santa Claus,"
The old man smiled and took a short pause,
While he filled up his mug with hot liquid and cream,
"I've always wanted to stop here. It's been one of my dreams."
The cat had climbed down and was exploring Santa's sack.
"Yes, little kitty, that's an empty pack."
Santa smiled as he drank and looked at those eyes,
Deep brown ones and gold ones held wide in surprise.
Some of these dogs, he'd seen just last year,
In their puppy homes, cute and full of holiday cheer.
He'd seen the effects of a pup on the tree,
But now they were here at the school, just waiting to be.
"I didn't bring you presents or bones just to chew.
I'll tell you something better, what you are going to do.
You all will work hard and the trainers will share,
Both praise and correction, gentle and fair.
You'll go lots of places and face big scary things.
You'll ride buses and subways and hear fire sirens ring.
Cars will drive at you but your path you will stay,
Not moving into danger let your handler lead the way.
And then just when you think that this trainer's the best,
The kindest, most fun person, toss away all the rest,
That trainer will begin to ignore you and give you away,
Handing your leash over despite your dismay.
Now the person who pets you and feeds you may ask,
For your expert help in many a task.
This man, woman or child whose heart you with snatch,
Thanks to CCI you will make a great match.
So, you well-trained dogs it is no big surprise,
You will work as a team and discover the size
Of this great world we live in, because you will go
A million new places with this person, you know.”
Santa sipped at his coffee and looked over the brood,
Knowing what he had to say next might sound kind of rude.
"Not all of you will make it and become a working pair
Your time here isn't wasted though, please don’t despair.
Some of you will be drug dogs and some will find bombs.
Some will become pets in a home with a dad and a mom.
All these things are important. People wait on long lists
To receive such good dogs as you, the school folks insist.”
The last drop of coffee had gone into his cup
As Santa turned, smiling at each wide-eyed pup.
"The best gift of all is to give something back.
That's why there's nothing for you all inside of my pack."
Draining his mug, Santa went to each pen,
And petted and scratched each dog again and again.
"Now next year and many more years after that,
You all will give gifts wherever you're at.
You might lick a hand that's had a bad day,
Or retrieve an object that’s fallen out of the way.
You might help catch a crook or discover some loot,
Or just bring some joy to a tired old man in a funny red suit.
Your master will love you and treat you with care.
In return, your training and trust will always be there."
After the last dog had been petted and soothed,
Santa put away the coffee pot and made ready to move.
Up the ladder he rose to the door high above,
With a smile and a wave as he slipped on his gloves.
And all the dogs’ ears were pricked as he disappeared out of sight.
"Merry Christmas to all, and to all a Good Night!"

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

An Update and a Story

Well Bright and I have been super busy as we gear up for the holiday! We have been at Borders every Saturday raising money for CCI and doing quite well! We also have been handing out a lot of brochures and recruiting some (hopefully) new puppy raisers which is just great. The awareness that we do at these gift wrapping sessions in amazing and so many people are better informed for it too. It also amazes me that now most people will ask about petting the dogs because they see their vests on. Now I get "Oh well they have a vest on and I know that I can't pet them." This is what I call success! When my family first started raising puppies we were constantly having to tell people not to pet the dogs since they are working. Now, 7 years later, most people in this area know about the dogs and will ask first! It's so great.

As of today Bright is finished with her study for CCI. YAY! No more recording poops and keeping track of everything. I can give her treats now too!! I didn't mind the study, it was quite fun actually, but I'm glad it's over. We were at the vest yesterday for the last of her shots and she weighed in at 32.8 lbs! Yikes! I had her at the vet last Tuesday for her serum sample collection and nasal swab and she weighed 30.8 lbs then. So here is a list of her weights since I got her:
November 17th - 25 lbs
November 24th - 26.7 lbs
December 8th - 30.8 lbs
December 15th - 32.8 lbs
She is growing so fast and pretty soon she will be passing Wilara in height. Crazy!In the newest version of CCI's newsletter, The Companion, there was a little story written by an NCR graduate that I wanted to share with everyone. This doesn't just go for CCI puppy raisers, but for all puppy raisers across the country that have opened their hearts to a little fluff ball.

For All the Puppy Raisers
This story was submitted at
by CCI Graduate Sharon Heyer

While I was hoping for a miracle and something to make my life better, a Canine Companions puppy raiser was having sleepless nights as she housebroke a puppy. While I was filling out papers and waiting for my name to come up on the list, she was taking a puppy to obedience classes and socializing him to the world. When I was called for Team Training and planning a trip, she was hopeful the puppy would pass tests so he could be there too. When I traveled to Ohio to meet my new partner, she was praying that her puppy would make a placement. When I was nervous and waiting to see what dog would become my arms and legs, she was nervous and waiting to know if all her hard work had paid off. At graduation, when I was excited to leave with my new independence, she was saying goodbye one last time. When I was at home with my new service dog snuggled with me in my bed, she was at home trying to ignore the empty spot where he used to be. When she thought she was alone and feeling her loss, we were thinking of her and carrying her love in our hearts.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Santa Picture

Well the other day I took Bright to the mall to get her picture taken with Santa! She was excellent and I guess we don't have to worry about her being afraid of people in costume. She saw Santa and immediately wanted to get into his lap. She was so cute! We got a good picture of her.
I'm not sure yet, but I might take Bright to get her picture taken with Santa at work as well. RBVH is having Santa pictures this weekend and I'm considering taking her and Wilara on Sunday to get their pictures taken! I'm still trying to come up with a few good ideas for pictures this year. Still thinking. Anyone have any good ideas??

Sunday, December 6, 2009

A New Bed

A snuggly update:

We got ANOTHER new bed! Bright likes this one a lot better, whenever she can fight her way to getting it of course! Wilara seems to spend most of her time sacked out on this bed.
Look at that cutesy face! Awwwww......

So my mother was at Sam's Club today and picked up a new dog bed for the kitchen that the 4 dogs can all fight over. There is another one, but nothing beats a brand new bed!! The new one is quite interesting because they haven't been able to find a way to stay IN the bed. They keep falling out! Gives a new meaning to falling out of bed.....My sister's Sheltie, Jewely, has the right idea. Seems that she is quite comfy laying there like that. Looks good to me!

So since Bright couldn't really figure out how to best lay down in the new bed, she went over to the older bed and fell into it and promptly fell asleep. Oh the good life....