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Reoccurring Visitor

 

The most common place Glee has been this month is the doctor’s office. About a month and a half ago, I got my wisdom teeth removed. Ever since then, I have been having problems with it and Glee and I have visited the office many times over the last few weeks. Glee has handled it very well because many days I would not be feeling good at school because of the pain and she seems to remember where I need to go and when. While we were in the doctor’s office, she would lay under the table and be quiet. She would be so quiet that the doctor would forget she was there until she moved. Glee behaves herself during these appointments, which makes me happy.

 

I have recently realized that I have had Glee for about three months now. Glee and I have created such a great bond over this time. She has improved soooo much ever since I first got her. Especially in school, Glee knows what and what not to do. In the beginning, Glee would want to pick up pieces of paper or crumbs of food off the ground. She has not done this because she has learned very quickly not to do that anymore. The most impressive part about having her at school is her being able to remember her way around the campus. Sometimes when I don’t need to go to my locker, Glee will try to go that way. Glee does know where she goes to the bathroom. If she has to go to the bathroom, she will try to walk faster and faster to get there. Glee has her favorite people at school. There are three people that she just LOVES. Of course these are my friends and not total strangers, haha. She gets soooo excited when she sees or hears them. Yes, Glee will greet them and their faces will just brighten up because Glee brings such joy. Everyone loves seeing her because she has such a happy and bright soul.

 

During swim practice, Glee is in a kennel in the swim office. Yes, we all could guess what she does. She sleeps. The whole time. This dog is asleep more than she is awake, haha. Glee is such a good girl in her kennel during swim. Glee is also in a kennel for a period during school while I am in PE. She gets a bone, but just ignores it. My floral teacher always tells me that she makes no noise and doesn’t cause problems. Which is good 😊

 

 Hope you enjoyed this week’s blog!

 

         Rowan

 

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Getting My Glee Back

 

Last week, I finally got my Glee back!! Our group had our monthly outing at the annual Sonora Celtic Fair. We each still had different dogs because we switched, but at the end of the day, we were able to get our own dogs back. I was sooooo happy, and so was everyone else. The experience taught me that I need to be patient with different dogs that I will switch with and know that they all won’t be like Glee. Overall, the Celtic Fair was a BLAST! It was an actual blast since there were cannons going off. Which was great for the pups so they can get used to loud noises that could happen at any moment. All three of the pups handled it amazingly!! Acted like nothing went off! The dogs saw people in loud, metal, heavy armor which didn’t affect them at all either. So many people loved seeing the pups and were happy that we were raising these puppies to hopefully help someone in the future.  

 

         Our first day back to school together after those two weeks was on Monday. And let me tell you, Glee was happy to see all her friends. Everyone missed Glee and her happy face. It was so cute seeing everyone saying hi to her and her getting so excited about it. Glee adjusted well for her first day back to school, but at the end of the day she was just tired and wanted to go home. I had the same exact thoughts at the end of the day too. Glee remembers the paths of school which is a plus for me, haha. She knows the way to my locker, so half of the time she guides me there. We have gone to so many places in such little time after I got her back. She has done amazing and adjusted well.

 

         At our last monthly meeting, I learned how to do clicker training. No, we didn’t do this with our pups because we are not allowed to. People in our group participated and played the role as a trainer of the dog and someone act as the dog. In this activity, we had the “dog” go outside. While they were outside, we had to come up with something they had to complete to be reward with M&M’s. Example: I had to walk in a certain direction, and if I was still walking in the correct direction, I would be rewarded with “nice” and candy. I ended up having to pick up a cheese shaker from the table and sitting down in a chair. This activity was kind of like the game hot and cold. It showed us how positive enforcement works with the pups and shows how hard their little brains function to figure out where to go. Let me tell you, it was not easy. I enjoyed the activity because I can see how it is for the dogs and figuring out what to do.

 

         That night, I found out that I must take Glee to the vet on Friday. I need to take her because she has been coughing with and without collar pressure. We have a couple of ideas of what it could be, but we are not positive. Therefore, another reason she needs to go in. Depending on what is going on with Glee, she may be dropped form the program immediately. I’m trying to not think much about it because I get sad thinking that she may be dropped. I’m hoping that it is something that can be fixed and she will be okay. We have someone already looking for another dog just in case Glee gets dropped. If Glee gets dropped, we are keeping her and I will start a new pup as soon as possible.

 

Puppy Swap

Last week, we had to switch dogs for two weeks in our group. We are required to do this so the dogs can be away from their handler and learn how to work with another handler.  Dog swap also exposes our canines to other environments, people and distractions.  So, for this, it means that I don’t get to have Glee for two weeks 😦 Glee went with our group leader Angie. Angie’s pup went to SJ and Jordan, and SJ’s/Jordan’s pup, Beta came to me. I was supposed to get Jagger, Angie’s dog, but he is not ready for high school. I would blow his little mind!!!

Beta, is a yellow lab who is three days older than Glee. She is a very obedient dog and well trained. She is such a cute dog and a sweetheart. I was not ready to swap dogs because I was so used to Glee. I didn’t know what to think because I didn’t know what it would be like or what to expect. I was worried about how she would do at school with all the people because she wasn’t used to being around so many people.

We swapped dogs on Thursday during one of our monthly dog meetings. Beta instantly missed her handlers and I missed my Glee the moment we swapped dogs. The second we got home, she started whining, and didn’t stop. I tried to comfort her, but that didn’t help. She eventually stopped, but she started to whine off and on at times. Later that night, I found out that Beta doesn’t like going to the bathroom on the pavement. She would go on dirt, grass, or pebbles. The second I found out, I knew I had to help with this situation and try to train her to go on pavement. This was a very frustrating task for me.

The next day, Friday, people at my school thought that Glee got a haircut (because Beta’s hair is shorter than Glee’s) or thought I got another dog. The most asked question of the day “Why do you have a different dog? Did you get rid of Glee?” Which, I answered repeatedly that day. Friday was a stressful day for me because I had a different dog and I had to watch her very carefully making sure that no one messes with her. She was having a hard time adjusting because she has never been to high school before. Of course, the issue of going to the bathroom on the pavement came up. From the time I got to school until my first period I was trying to get Beta go to the bathroom. Of course, this was frustrating because she wasn’t going.  I didn’t want her to have any accidents as I am traveling to class or having one in the classroom. By the end of lunch, I had to take her on dirt. Beta needed to go and I knew she did, but she wasn’t going. I had to let her relieve herself on the dirt because there was no choice.

That Sunday, Beta spent most of her day in the kennel. I was working with her on going to the bathroom on pavement. That morning, she only went to the bathroom once, which was right when I woke up at 6. She ate her breakfast and drank plentyyy of water. Our group leader Angie, had me leave her in her kennel and take her out every 15 minutes until she went to the bathroom. Then instructed when she did go to the bathroom, to throw her a party, reward her A LOT, and give her freedom (be let out of the kennel and play around the house). Technically, I was waiting her out. It was about 6 hours until she finally went. I was sooo happy about it because we were making progress. Even though it is very small step, it still counts.

Beta is now better at going to the bathroom on the pavement. She probably didn’t enjoy being in the kennel, but it was teaching her that she needs to go to the bathroom when she is told. I’m so happy that she has gotten better with this situation and I was happy to help with it. Even though that I have gotten frustrated plenty of times, it taught me to have patience and to learn that every dog isn’t going to be like Glee.

Beta and I traveled to many places like Starbucks, Grocery Stores, and Restaurants. She did so well at each place, which I was very impressed and happy about. Beta experience her first swim meet at my school. She was around people, the echoing of water, and water splashing of water. Beta did AHHHMAZING!!!! She didn’t really care that much, she slept most of the time.

I was happy to handle and train Beta for these two weeks. She is such an obedient dog and listens very well. I’m super impressed on how she adjusted and what she has accomplished while being with me.

Hope you enjoyed this week’s blog!

~Rowan

 

 

The Past Few Weeks

 

These past few weeks, Glee has been to many places. We all think that Glee is a professional at going to basketball games. She handles them so well, plus enjoys watching them. At the homecoming basketball game, there were so many people packed into the stands and people screaming and yelling. I’m proud to say that Glee handled it perfectly and ended up sleeping through it. Glee will soon be going to swim meets, baseball games, and soccer games. I can’t wait to see how she will react to those. The swim meets will get her used to the echoing of the water, the sounds of the buzzers going off, and the splashing of water.

 

Later that week, Glee traveled with us to Bear Valley Ski Resort and experienced everyone looking scary in their ski/snowboarding outfits. One important thing that she went on was metal stairs that were steep. Glee handled them very well and didn’t second guess herself going up or down them. Plus, Glee was socialized with children from another school. May I add, it was echoing with everyone’s loud voices. Of course, Glee didn’t mind it at all and just slept her way through the day. Glee also got to play in the snow…. which she loves to do. She just wants to play and enjoy the weather. Of course, she will pose for us while she sits and looks pretty in the snow.

 

Glee has also accomplished the goal of sleeping out of her kennel and sleeping on tie down!!! She sleeps on two pillows net to my bed, which, she is in LOVE with. I now don’t have to worry about getting her out of the kennel in the morning and making a lot of noise. She enjoys sleeping on the pillows more than the kennel. She started sleeping out of her kennel on tie-down, however she has now graduated to sleeping without being on tie-down. Glee just plops herself down when it’s time to go to bed, falls asleep and stays asleep though the whole night.

 

Even though Glee has accomplished so much, she has some bad habits. Glee still wants to go after birds. It doesn’t matter if the bird is flying up super high or is right in front of her. I tell Glee to leave it and she will soon realize that she shouldn’t be paying attention to the birds. Glee also loves to lick the floors and cabinets. When we are at restaurants, Glee scrounges for food on the floor. Which, after a while, it can get annoying. Glee has gotten better with not doing it as much and I’m still working on it with her.

 

Glee has been going to school with me now for about two months. So far, everything has been great. All the students and teachers love seeing her. Glee is a perfect dog in class. She sleeps under the desk and minds her own business. She pops up when the bell rings and is ready to travel to the next class. There are some funny and embarrassing moments in class. During tests, Glee will start snoring as loud as she can. Everyone will look and start to laugh. One time Glee barked very quietly while she was dreaming. It was very embarrassing, but I think about it know and start to laugh.

 

In the meantime, Glee has been to many places. She has been to Doctors’ offices, grocery stores, Starbucks, and restaurants. Glee is very good with traveling in these places. The only thing that happens sometimes is when she will want to smell food in the grocery store that is at her level. Besides that, Glee does amazing in these environments.

 

Glee had a very long day the other day. We were in the car for a very long time going to our destinations and going home. Our first stop was Bass Pro Shop. Glee was surely interested in seeing all the fake animals such as Bears, Tigers, Deer, and Goats. She also saw live fish is a big tank. She paid little attention to the fish, but she wanted to know what the other animals were. There were stairs that we went up and down repeatedly. There were many people in there, so Glee was surrounded by noise and small children. Glee did so well there and I was so proud. The next stop was an archery shop to get my brother a compound bow for his birthday. Nothing was important there because she was doing so good, until she encountered a cat. The cat snuck up behind and under the chair so Glee launched forward at the cat. No, Glee did not get ahold of the cat and the cat didn’t do anything to Glee. Glee did not know how to react because she has never been around a cat before, plus the cat frightened her because it came out of nowhere. I told Glee “no” and she quickly realized that she made a mistake and gave me the face saying “I’m sorry I didn’t mean to”. We later went to the grocery store then to pizza. Glee was so tired after this day. All she wanted to do was go home and sleep.

 

The next day, our group went to a hockey game for our monthly outing. Talk about people screaming and loud buzzers going off. Glee got startled at first when the first buzzer went off, but she recovered quickly. Glee and the two other dogs laid in front of us and slept. There was only a couple of times where loud noises took them by surprise. Besides that, everything with the hockey game was good and the dogs did amazing.

 

The day after that, Glee went with our group leader Angie, and her dog, Jagger, to go do a photoshoot for Guide Dogs for The Blind. It was for advertising. Angie told us that people said she was amazing and posed for the camera.  Next week I will trade puppies with another puppy raiser. Wish us luck…

 

Hope you enjoyed!

 

Rowan

 

Juno Walk…

On Tuesday, my family and I celebrated my birthday. I enjoyed that day very much. We went to dinner and of course Glee joined us too!! Glee rested under the table while we all ate and enjoyed our meals. It was a late night for all of us. Especially Glee, but she handled it very well. She was tired, but she kept working.

Throughout last week, we got a huge amount of snow. Glee LOVES the snow so much it’s crazy. Glee was able to play in the snow and most importantly, experience the slippery thick ice. She slipped and fell a couple of times, but after that she knew what she had to be cautious. That whole week it snowed at our house and rained nonstop at my school. Yes, Glee smelled like a wet dog. Very badly. I even smelled like wet dog at times. Glee got soaking wet because it rained so hard. Glee doesn’t enjoy the rain, but she is getting better at being in the rain and focusing on what she needs to do. She used to not want to move at all when she was in the rain, but now, she is fine with it.  Sometimes she will look at me with that face saying “Are you serious mom? You know I don’t like the rain. Ughhh fine I will walk with you in the rain.” Glee is such an expressive dog it the funniest and cutest thing ever.

On Thursday, we had our monthly dog meeting. We talked about what were good things about this week and what was bad. My good thing with Glee was that she hasn’t stopped randomly while we are walking. I have been working with her on this and she is progressing. The one bad thing was her still wanting to go after birds. It doesn’t matter if they are on the ground or they are flying. I have been working with her and it is getting a little better. Every time she has shown interest in them, I tell her “leave it” and she slowly starting to understand that she can’t pay attention to them. 

At the meeting, we each individually went on a Juno walk with our leader, Angie. A Juno walk is where you are blindfolded and somebody guides you so you can experience what it is like to be blind. In this case, Angie was acting as the dog. I found it terrifying. I didn’t know where I was at and thought I would run into things. Angie had me listen to noises such as cars, people talking, and doors opening and shutting. I was amazed by how the dog learns certain terms to be able to direct the blind person. There is so much trust that goes into that and I find it amazing. Even though I didn’t like doing the Juno walk, I want to do it again. I want to put more trust into it. Overall, this meeting was great. We discussed having outing at a Celtic Fair and at a hockey game in the near future. I’m excited about what will come next.

Hope you enjoyed this week’s blog.

Rowan

 

Evaluation Week…

Earlier this week, we had our group leader, Angie, come over for a private session to work with Glee on a few things. Glee has been putting on her brakes, been mouthy, biting her paws, licking the ground, carpet, and cabinets. Angie came over to helps us come to a solution for each of the issues. Glee has progressed very well since that session. I am working with her every day on those training techniques as well as other training skills.

This week was a big week for Glee and me. We had our first evaluation together!! I was sooo nervous. Jim, a Community Field Representative for Guide Dogs for The Blind, does our evaluations. He oversees the evaluations and the group on how the dogs are progressing. I didn’t know what Jim would ask me and this was the first time I met him.

I had to prepare for any questions Jim might ask. Jim took Glee to go over body handling with her and to see how she is with a different handler. Body handling is when I touch her paws and add pressure. I don’t only do it with her paws, I do it with her ears, tail, etc. He does this so he can evaluate if she can handle it or not. If she goes to a blind person, the person won’t know where her paws are exactly at. So, they would need to feel around and Glee would need to be able to handle that. I do this daily with Glee. As well as cleaning her ears every week and brushing her teeth every day.

I reviewed in my head how much food she eats, how much water she drinks, how she is at school, and everything else I can think of. The night before, I went over all the training techniques with her. Cramming everything in to make sure she can do them all. I was worried that he would tell me I was doing something wrong, but that wasn’t the case! The evaluations went over very well. I didn’t know why I was stressing so much about it. I had to take her on a walk so Jim could asses how Glee is with walking. I was worried that she would get distracted, but Glee did great! Overall, the evaluations went fantastic.  

We have been working on new training techniques and terms for Glee that she is learning. One of them is “go to bed”. She is slowly getting the hang of it. It takes her a little while to figure out what I am saying, but then a light bulb turned on in her head and she knows what to do. Glee has gotten her bed taken away due chewing on it and making a hole in the bed. Though, Glee loves to lay on blankets so we are training her to go to bed on the blanket. We have slowly introduced “clean up” to her. Glee enjoys going to her toy bin and taking all her bones out. So, we decided to try the term “clean up”. She has put them away on her own twice! Which, is better than none. Glee is a smart little cookie, so she catches onto things very quickly.

Glee has done AMAZING at school this past week. I am proud she has behaved herself while I am trying to focus in class and doing work. Though there is one thing that has been getting her distracted. Birds. Yes, I said birds. She pays so much attention to them. It doesn’t matter if they are flying or sitting in front of her. Glee wants to go after them sooo bad. I mean she is a bird dog, but that doesn’t make it acceptable. I have had to correct her by getting ahold of her collar and telling her no. It takes her a few seconds to realize that it is not okay to do want to chase birds. We have not run into that problem for a couple of days. But, I do want to get into that situation again, because, I want her to avoid them.

I am happy on how everything is going right now. I am lucky to have gotten such a smart, sweet, loving dog. I enjoy her so very much.

Hope you liked this week’s blog!

Rowan

Tahoe Bound!!!

This week started off very challenging with Glee and me. We had some issues especially during school. We had intense weather with rain and wind this week. Glee is not a big fan of this weather. She has been putting on her breaks while walking and not wanting to move. It makes me frustrated because she won’t go anywhere or do anything. Glee would back away and pull against me. I was able to get Glee to work through this new issue with collar pressure, praise and treats (she loves treats). With this new issue, I was worried about our upcoming trip to Tahoe.

This weekend was a big deal for Glee and me. Our family of four went to Tahoe for a basketball tournament. I didn’t realize how much of her stuff I needed to pack with me.

She needed:

-Travel kennel

-Food for breakfast and dinner

-Treats

-Her water bowl and food bowl

-Collapsible water bowl for when we were out and about

-Bones

-Leash, gentle leader, and vest

I was surprised on how much she needed, but it was all necessary to bring. Glee travels very well in the car. Though, she had to sit in the back of the car, which she hasn’t done before. It was a very long car ride of about three hours while being cramped. So…. Glee was a little bit spoiled and got to sit on the seat between my brother and me. She enjoyed it very much since she slept the entire time. Overall, the car ride went very well.

When we arrived in Tahoe, Glee instantly wanted to play in the snow. She is in LOVE with snow and finds it the most amazing thing in the world. Glee didn’t mind the cold weather, but we sure did! It was FREEZING! Right as we got out of the car and walked into the hotel, people wanted to meet her and thought she was the most adorable thing they have ever seen. Though, I was carrying a million things so it was very difficult to introduce her to people. I have a tough time telling people that she can’t be petted. I had to tell people she couldn’t be petted because I was not able to put everything down and pick it up again. Glee got to go through some new obstacles such as elevators and carpet stairs.

After we settled in and got situated, we got to go out and explore. Next to our hotel was Heavenly Village.  The roads and sidewalks were icy and at times was difficult to walk on.  These cold slippery conditions did not affect Glee and she navigated as normal. We walked around for a bit and let Glee explore and get the feel for what was going on. There were dogs all over the place. Dogs from the size of a pebble to the size of a mountain. All the dogs were interested in Glee. It was frustrating at times because some dogs weren’t under control or the owner wasn’t paying attention and some dogs would want to go after Glee. Glee got distracted a couple of times, but quickly realized that she needs to stay focused on working. While we were heading back to our hotel, Glee decided to take a poop in the middle of the walkway. Of course, I was embarrassed because she wasn’t supposed to do that and there were people around. I did have a mini heart attack because the dog bag to pick up after them fell out of the bag with treats. Luckily, we had just bought some fresh baked Nestle Cookies and my mom handed me he cookie bag.

That night, we had a basketball game to go to. Glee has gone to a couple of basketball games before, but this was over the top. Parents were yelling and cheering and buzzers going off. Glee hasn’t experienced such noise before at our previous basketball games. After a while she just relaxed and went to sleep. I’m not sure how you can sleep through such noise? Glee ended up surviving the first crazy basketball game of the weekend. After we ate dinner, Glee was happy that she could go back to the hotel to eat her dinner and go to sleep. It was a long day for her and all of us.

On Saturday, I had to get up early to take her out to go to the bathroom. Shortly after that we got ready and went to breakfast. We went to the first basketball game of the day and of course Glee slept through all of it. She got a little skittish while we were walking near the court with people and balls bouncing next to her. Glee enjoyed being out and about with everyone and getting to explore a place she has never been to. We went to lunch, which was a challenge at first for her. She wanted to smell and investigate the food we had. After a little verbal correction she realized that it was not acceptable and ended up sleeping under the table. A few hours later, we had our last basketball game to go to. (They won this one) Glee enjoyed sleeping on my jacket while everyone is watching the intense game. Yes, I know, this dog sleeps a lot. She was done for the day after the game, but she didn’t know that we still had to go to dinner in a very noisy place. We went to a pub for dinner that night, which had loud music playing to people cheering on the Patriots to win the football game. Glee was very unsure of the place because of the noise level and how crowed it was in there. When we were seated, she found a safe spot under the bench I was sitting on that had three sides to it. It cut the noise level down for her, which made her more comfortable. You can guess what happened next. Yup, Glee fell asleep again. The night was finally over for her and everyone else.

On Sunday morning, we got up to eat and pack so we could get out of there before anyone else. Which was good since we got home earlier and hit no traffic. Glee of course slept the whole way home. Glee got a break on Monday after this long overwhelming weekend.

I am happy on how this weekend turned out. Glee handled it very well even though there were some bumps in the road throughout those two days. I’m looking forward to future trips with Glee and my family. Hope you enjoyed this week’s blog!

Until next time,

Rowan