Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Day 22 - Feeling Better

Barbara is doing much better than before! She'll be on antibiotics for about a week longer, but already her infection seems to be calming down. :) She slept most of the day, but was very awake through the late afternoon and early evening. She hasn't been this wound up before, she was literally running laps around the apartment. I think that's a sign she's feeling much better!

We were going to have a follow up meeting with our regional coordinator on Monday, but because neither one of us was feeling well, we're having it tomorrow afternoon.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Days 19, 20, and 21

Sorry about the lack of updates the last few days. I don't have any photographs of Barbara because she and I haven't been feeling our best. I have a cold, nothing major, and she's on antibiotics for a urinary tract infection. I think we'll both be well enough to resume the photoblogging starting tomorrow. :)

Friday, March 26, 2010

Day 18 - A New Hat

This frisbee is one of Barbara's favorite supervised toys, even when we put it on her head. :)

Day 17 - Big bowl of water

The shadows are from the sun coming through her crate.

Day 16 - The grass is always greener...

Barbara wants to know what she's missing on the other side of the baby gate.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Day 15 - Growing Up Fast

Day 14 - Puppy Class

Barbara had her first puppy class today! We got to meet two of her siblings which are also being raised in her region, Blondie and Baxter. The three siblings got to play together as part of the class. They played together on the stairs to get more comfortable going up and down them.

We're learning a new command, "stand."

We're also practicing door manners. The dogs are expected to sit and wait to be invited through doors when they're opened, rather than barging right into the next room. Once they're invited through, they're supposed to sit. It's going to take some practice. :)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Day 13 - A New Friend and a Big Yard!

Photo by Carol Smalley

Playing puppy ping-pong!

Barbara's had a lot of energy the last two days, so she needed some outdoor exercise. She can't go for walks yet because she hasn't finished getting all of her vaccines, so we were invited over to my friend's yard to play. It's fenced-in, so Barbara could play off-leash. She loved it!

She also got to meet my friend's pug, Buddy. He has a Twitter account, @buddythepug. He wasn't in a playful mood, but it was good for her to get to meet an older dog. Tomorrow, she'll get to meet some other puppies in the program at our first puppy class!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Day 12 - Stairs are Fun!

Barbara was given the okay to do stairs during our follow-up meeting on Monday. She goes up and down well. Tonight, my mom and I played "puppy ping-pong" with her in the main part of the house. Mom was at the bottom of the stairs, around the corner, and I was at the top. One of us would call her to come, and she would have to travel the stairs to find us.

She was having fun, and it tired her out! :)

Friday, March 19, 2010

Day 11 - Feline Friends

Barbara first met my cats on the day she arrived here, but she's still very curious about them. I have two, they're Siamese sisters from the same litter. They're three years old now, and Barbara's been their first exposure to a puppy. They've met older dogs in the past.

Pictured here is Amaryllis, she's a chocolate point Siamese. Her sister is Juniper, who is a seal point. Both of them are good with Barbara, and they have plenty of places to hide when they want a break.

Day 10 - Kennel Practice

Barbara and I went out into our yard to play, and when we came back in, it was time for her to practice her kennel skills. She's doing pretty well with them and will happily sleep in both her big kennel (the one in the photo), and her small kennel (which she sleeps in at night).

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Day 9 - Ice Cubes!

Barbara's been teething, so I've been giving her ice cubes. She thinks they're fun to play hockey with. She chews on them after she's done playing with them.

She's feeling much better today than she was yesterday. :)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Day 8 - Vaccines are no fun...

Barbara's been with us for a week today! :)

Barbara had her first trip to our vet for her set of nine-week shots today. One of the vet technicians remarked she looks like the Cottonelle puppy! I hadn't thought of that before now, but she really does. Her checkup went well, she's a very healthy puppy! She now weighs 11 pounds.

Since she had her shots, she's been tired and cranky. I can't blame her. She'll feel better soon, she just needs some rest.

Day 7 - First Follow-Up

Today, Barbara had her first follow-up meeting with our regional coordinator to see how she's doing. She'll have these meetings every other Monday for her first few months.

At her meeting, she was tested on how well she sat, came, and laid down on command for our regional coordinator. She's doing very well so far! She was also introduced to stairs, and she did well enough to be given the okay to go up and down our big flight of stairs in the house. :)

We're currently working on her door manners. She has to sit while the door is being opened, wait until she's given the okay to go through, and then sit while the door is closed. So far she's doing well with it!

After her meeting, she got to go home and play. She loves to play! :)

Day 6 - Making Herself at Home

Barbara's feeling right at home! She fell asleep on my mom's lap like this.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Day 5 - Food, Glorious Food

Food is quite possibly Barbara's favorite thing! She has to sit before she's allowed to have her food. She can't just eat it the second the food bowl touches the floor, she has to be given the okay to do so. Right now, she only has to wait about a second, but when she gets older, she'll have to wait longer.

It was raining and windy today. Barbara has decided she really doesn't like it when the weather is bad, but she'll have to learn to deal with it if she's eventually going to be a guide dog for somebody.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Day 4 - Sleep is Good

My mom and I both think that Barbara's already gotten bigger. Maybe it's because of all of this sleep she's getting!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Day 3 - New Friends!

Barbara had a good night, she only had to go out twice, no accidents. Today, she's been practicing her commands and having lots of fun! She was helping my mom with chores all day while I was at my classes, and apart from a few accidents and a bit of whining, she was well-behaved. We're still working on getting her housetrained, but she's making progress.

She's a very fast learner and really wants to please. She still hasn't been spooked by anything, and is very curious! Today she learned why spring in this part of the country is known as mud season.

This evening, she got to meet some new friends! She was very friendly and even fell asleep on one of their laps. So far, she hasn't met a person she hasn't liked. :)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Day 2 - A New Bed

Apart from having to go out every two-three hours, Barbara had a restful night's sleep in her kennel. This morning, she was given a bed to relax on when she's not crated. It may seem big now, but she'll grow into it soon.

Today, she was exposed to a lot of new things. She can't go for walks on the sidewalks yet because she's not fully vaccinated, but she can walk around the yard. Today, she got to see cars, a motorcycle, squirrels in the trees nearby, and even heard a chainsaw. So far, nothing has really surprised her. She has a great personality!

I'd also like to thank Mimi and Cabana from their blog, Ours for a Lifetime, for linking to our blog! :)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Day 1 - Meet Barbara!

This is Barbara. She's a yellow Labrador Retriever born on January 9th, so she turned two months old today! She's still small, only ten pounds, but she'll grow quickly.

Barbara has become a temporary member of my family. Why temporary? She's being raised for the organization Guiding Eyes for the Blind to become a guide dog. All of the puppy raisers for the organization are volunteers.

For about 14-16 months, she'll go through her pre-training with me. She has to learn how to behave around people and other animals, house manners, and commands. When she returns to Guiding Eyes at the end of her time with me, she will hopefully go into their training program to become a guide.

She will be the first dog I've ever raised, and I'm looking forward to the challenge.

All I knew before today was that I was receiving a yellow Labrador Retriever from the "B" litter. Guiding Eyes for the Blind names all of the puppies in a litter starting with the same letter. The first litter of the year is the "A" litter and it goes alphabetically from there.

Barbara was the puppy assigned to me, and so our project begins!

When she arrived here a few hours ago, she met the two cats she'll be living with. They aren't sure what to think of her yet, but she's fascinated by them. They're Siamese cat littermates (siblings from the same litter), and they're a little over three years old now.

I plan to share Barbara's progress as she begins her journey to become a guide. Every day, I'll post at least one photo of her to show how fast she's growing, and share a little bit of what she and I are doing in her pre-training.