Thursday, May 31, 2007

So, because I don't have a life...

...I have a sincere desire for others to quit their's and we'll just sit here and blog back and forth all day long! Wouldn't it be fun? Everytime I post, I check back like every 30 minutes . . .I wonder if someone has commented? Even though I know no one has because you are all at school or work! I know, I'm pathetic. You only know the half of it.

Camp Puppy

So, because the guide dog world is amazing, somehow I doubt I need to post this because everyone likely already knows (that might have something to do with the list...) that I am now co-raising MBL Chester. He is 10.5 months old and is a David and Alexandra puppy. I will probably be getting him around June 11 or 12 and spending few days with him before heading off to Malibu, via SLC. The first week (ten days- something like that) of camp is training so there won't be kids yet which means I'll get to continue to get to know him better before the summer goes crazy! I'm so excited about the whole entire summer! And I'm very grateful to Diann for finding me a dog for the summer and to Mike and Karen who are letting me borrow their grandog (they raised David) for a few months.

Everything is falling into place. Since I've been on a mission, I'm not exactly wealthy but I needed to get my car insurance and register my car (things my mom had been doing while I was gone). Well, my mom surprised me yesterday and registered my car for me before she had my sister bring it over and trade cars back and she put insurance on it (well, transferred it from NM to OR insurance- it was covered before to). I have to pay her back for the insurance but not until I get paid.

Anyways, things are working out and I'm getting more and more excited.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007


So, the dog that was in the works to take to camp can't go! Sad. But I have a meeting tonight with my "other" club and Pat is going to be there. Hopefully we'll work something out. Cross your fingers for me!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

3:17 am

So, laundry is done. And for some reason that no one could explain (including myself) that totally reminded me of "Finding Nemo:" "Good feelins' gone."

1:53 am

So, its only nearly 2 am, and I'm still up, drinking a strawberry Italian soda from Dutch Brothers (I wonder how often they get non-caffeinated orders at 1:30 am) and typing nonsense on the internet while waiting for my laundry at my dad's house to finish so I have clothes to wear to Cindy's party tomorrow because mine are all dirty. That was a pretty good run on sentence! I want to go to bed and Abby left her front door unlocked for me. I was going to wait to do laundry till tomorrow but I had to come over and get my dogs anyways (I dropped them off on my way into town), so now I'm just washing my clothes too.

The last bit of the drive was fine. I drove for eight hours straight, just me and my dogs because, surprise! My mom bought a car this morning. When I decided that I wanted to take my car to Camp, she finally bought herself a new one (So, Lindsey, that obstacle has been eliminated- now just onto the cost which I think we can handle). We didn't get here until after 10 pm and Lyndsey and my mom were about an hour later then that. I had to wait in Auburn for all the car stuff to go through in case it didn't work out so I got "home" much later then I had planned. I chatted with Coreena on messenger, emailed my favorite missionary companion (who comes home on Wednesday) and did some other things before leaving again (at midnight- who does that?).

So, I think I'll go check my laundry now.

Thursday, May 24, 2007


I got permission from the camp end to take a PT but now I just need to confirm arrangements with the leader before it becomes official!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Best News Ever

I got fantastic news today! Even better then finding out I can take a puppy to camp (which I am still waiting to find out- I think I'll just call tomorrow)! Lindsey is going to camp! How come no one told me? I suppose everyone thought I knew. After all, I'm the infamous internet stalker. But I didn't know. She called me today and said "Lacey, have you thought of a camp name yet?" "Umm, no." "I can't think of any either!" "Wait, are you going to camp?" I'm so excited that I'm going to know someone. And now we have solved our traveling dilemma somewhat. I wanted to take my car but couldn't justify spending that much money on it (insurance and gas).

We're staying at a motel again tonight because we didn't get to Auburn until it was too late to see my uncle and then go to my grandparents. Not that it matters because I spent all my time at my uncles outside on my phone.

Anyways, tomorrow with my grandparents. Then I'm driving to Oregon on Friday although my mom and sister are debating staying here for the weekend. But I have a birthday party to go to in Roseburg. And friends to see before I'm gone forever. Between camp and school, it almost seems like I'll never be back.

And I think that's all for now.


Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Ghetto city

I don't want to offend anyone by giving the name of the place we are staying, but it’s in California and I think it might be the most ghetto town ever. The debit machines are older then me.

The drive today was boring again. We ended up not seeing the Grand Canyon (my sister didn't want to) and I'm disappointed. There's not much to mention except that the western part of Arizona (at least west of Flagstaff) is not nearly as nice as Flagstaff itself is.

I don't think I'll have internet the next two days. I'm going to be staying with my dad's parents and I'm not really sure where my mom is staying. It's kind of crazy. My mom's brother and my dad's parents live within 3o minutes of each other so my sister and I are staying with our grandparents, and I think my mom is going to get a hotel in Auburn near my uncle. The really funny part is we're going to miss seeing our dad by two days. He'll be here on Saturday because this week is his parent's 60th anniversary. Oh well. I should see him soon anyways.

So, maybe I shouldn't confess this . . . I got lost today when I was suppose to be following my mom to a hotel because I went to roll the window up and a dog squealed. I panicked and freaked out, while my dog is panicked too because I shut her head in the window! I'm the worst dog parent ever! I pulled over and examined for damage and she didn't really seem to care at all, she just wanted her head out of the window. By the time I determined that Cami was going to live, I had no idea where my mom and sister had gone. Found them though and we finally managed to find a motel that allows doggies. Lest you think I'm as terrible as I feel, I'll let you know Cami has forgiven me so don't you go and hold a grudge against me. Besides, my mom says it’s not as bad as the time she shut my head in the window (I don't know if she is serious).

Until later...

PS- I'm trying to convince my mom we should take a short detour to the San Rafael campus. Neither her nor my sister have ever seen it. I'd get to see lots of puppies!

I remembered!

Patriot's dad is CCI stud, Bauman. My other best friend raised a CCI pup at the same time we had Patriot and Eiger is Patriot's cousin. I love all the connections in the sevice dog world.

I promise that as soon as more stuff happens with PIT I'll focus this more on that. Or on Camp Bloomfield when I have access to a computer while there (I'm not a big fan of using the internet on my phone but I will if I have to).

Short Drive

So, I'm in Flagstaff now. I think Arizona looks to be quite pretty. I don't know for sure because my family never leaves on time. We said we were going to leave at 9 am so we would be on the road by noon and managed to finally leave Albuquerque at 5:30 pm. We are awesome! So I'm seeing Arizona in the dark.

Unfortunately, I didn't hear back about whether there is going to be room for me to take a pup to camp. It's a top priority right now so I can figure out transportation and several other things. Hopefully tomorrow. I know the fulltime camp staff is very busy right now getting ready.

It's late though and I better go to bed. We've got a long day tomorrow. We're totally going to drive more then 300 miles tomorrow and we're going to go see the Grand Canyon- my sister wants to go. Never mind that I wanted to see the meteor crater and we didn't get to. Whatever!


Saturday, May 19, 2007

Puppies and Adventures

So, as I am sitting in a hotel room with nothing to do (we are out of our house but don't leave for Oregon until Monday), I thought I'd write up some about my GDB experiences and past PITs. Let's see how far I get before I get tired of it for the night. :)

So, a little over ten years ago, I was begging for a dog. I'd never wanted anything so badly in my life and no one in my family had ever wanted one at all. I spent months and months trying everything I could think of to get my mom to agree to it. I read every book I could find in the library about dogs (and took notes- I was a nerd!) I read the classified section every week and looked at dogs. I did everything. One day, I saw in the classifieds that the local guide dog puppy raising club needed raisers. That was a bit of an understatement. There weren't any raisers. At all. Nora Harrison (have you read her book Dear Kilroy? - if you haven't, you should) wanted to raise a guide dog puppy but soon found out there were no clubs in our area so decided she'd have to become a leader. So she did. And now she needed a club. I was fascinated at my first meeting. There were two PITs there and Pat Cook had brought one of her dogs. I couldn't believe the things that dog could do. My mom thought it was a neat program, but wasn't falling for it as fast as I was. I thought it would be cool because if for some reason the dog thing wasn't for us, it would only be temporary. My mom ended up saying I could do it but she thought I should have a permanent dog first. That was certainly a change but I wasn't going to argue. While I looked around for a dog, I had the opportunity to puppy sit some of the dogs in the early days of our club. Eventually, I got a young Australian Cattle dog puppy who I named Camas. He wasn't the best first time dog, but we managed to get along. Unfortunately however he turned out to be very aggressive towards strangers and of course that is a no-no with PITs. When he was 13 months old, he unexpectedly started seizuring and was dead within minutes. Well, now I was minus one aggressive dog but didn't have a dog at all. Back to problem one. I had a new dog within a week (funnily enough I had already been looking around for a different dog to use for 4-H because Camas was so aggressive). I adopted Cami from a kind of local shelter and she has been the best dog I could have ever hoped for. She is mostly Labrador, part heeler. I showed her in 4-H for years and she won either Champion or Reserve in every obedience trial we entered. But that's not about GDB pups, sorry. Now, both problem one and two were solved. I had a pet dog and she didn't have a mean bone in her body (although she has developed one towards neighbor’s kitties). I could get a PIT, right? Ummmm, no. We moved. No longer had a fenced yard. I needed a dog run. Asked for one for Christmas/birthday for two years. Finally got one. Yay!?! Nope!!! My dad lost his job and couldn't pay child support. We had to move in with him for a bit and his dog is pyschotic. Mind you, during this whole time, I'm continuing to puppy sit and stay active with the club. Finally, we moved into a new house. Forget the fact that it was ghetto and had the worlds smallest yard- I still met all the requirements. I filled out the application and I don't really know how long it took to get a puppy (I think it was only about two-three weeks). I got eight week old FYL Jacoba (parents: Camaro and Galana) in July of 2002, five years after my first GDB club meeting. Jacoba was a breeze, minus one small problem. She would relieve on command readily; however, she also went any other time she felt like. She had that problem the whole time I had her. I did a lot of puppy trades hoping someone might be able to work on it with no major results. I sent her in for training in November of 2003 thinking she'd be back within 6 weeks or so. Well, when she wasn't I started to get excited, especially because she seemed to breeze through the phases. And then, a surprise phone call. She had been dropped for defecating in harness. Not really a surprise, but she seemed to be doing well in training and had lasted so much longer then I expected. When I picked her up from the campus, her handlers said that she was a wonderful dog and had many desirable qualities which are why she remained in training for so long despite the relieving issue. They had done everything they could. I hadn't really decided what to do with her if she was cc'd. I thought I'd give her to a coworker of my moms who loves her to death, but I took one look at her and knew I'd be keeping her. She continues to be a wonderful permanent addition to our family and despite my mother’s constant complaints, she wouldn't know what to do without her.

Jacoba actually went back a few weeks early because she went into season. I hadn't been prepared for that and didn't have a new pup application in yet. I bugged Diann (leader) all the time asking when I was going to get a new dog. And was expecting it to be a bit. The first week of December, my best friend’s dog was going back for training and I went to meet the puppy truck too (of course). I got on the bus, saw all the puppies, etc, along with everyone else there. After the truck left, we all did too, and a few minutes later my mom called and said that GDB had just called wondering why I wasn't there to pick up my new puppy. What!?!? First of all, I WAS there. Second of all, what puppy? Apparently, no one knew I was supposed to be expecting a FBL, including me. Since the truck was already headed up north again (in the confusion of the morning they had just "overlooked" the pup and its not like I was there anxious to get my new trainee), it was decided they would drop her off on the way back to California. So two days later, I met the truck again to pick up Beverly (parents: Weaver and Oona). Beverly slept through the night starting her second one with me. She seemed to be a very confident dog from the first day. She also had a ton of energy and kept me busy all the time. She could pull her tie down around the house. She had some serious problems with separation anxiety (barking, whining, and lunging when left alone). Essentially, she was a terror in the home, but the epitome of perfection in public. I would go to raiser meetings and talk about her at home and no one would believe me. I'd tell them to take her home. :) Once they did, they didn't disagree anymore. I was concerned about her behavior and why things weren't progressing well with her so when my CFR wanted to evaluate her while I was serving an internship in the training department at GDB, I was okay with it. Part of the evaluation was to have Jenna, another raiser in the club take her for awhile. Based on the evaluation and Jenna's experience with her, it was decided to transfer her to Jenna. Jenna had raised Beverly's aunt, Comet, and was quite familiar with their "type." I was so relieved that she was staying in the club because although she was a hard dog, she really was an absolute sweetheart and I liked her a lot. Jenna did a wonderful job with her but she eventually started to display the same problems in the home, with some progress (Jenna was able to let her off leash confined to one or two rooms, something I couldn't do). Jenna had her from August-December 2003. Four days before Beverly's recall, I was meeting with Pat (to evaluate my current pup) and we talked a lot about Beverly. She ended up making the decision to drop her. I wasn't really upset. I knew "guide dog" wasn't in her future and was glad she didn't have to try it. Plus, since she was dropped, I got to have her for the last few days and still take her out (she wasn't official yet). Jenna and I allowed GDB to place her and she is with a family in Beaverton Oregon who love her. They are just as active as she is! I hear from them a couple of times a year and am so pleased with GDB career change placement program.

While I was serving my internship and Diann told me Bev was going to be transferred to Jenna, she also told me I already had a new dog. Cascade (parents: Trent and Isabel) had been transferred to our club at 3 1/2 months but she didn't actually have a raiser. As soon as I got home, I had an adorable FYL puppy. She was a very soft dog but a lover. As far as obedience goes, she was the worst of the three I'd had so far, but it wasn't defiant, she just didn't learn as fast. Temperament wise, she was a perfect guide dog. Things were going fantastically with her and I didn't have any plans to change anything.

Then, randomly, one day in November of 2004, Diann called up and asked if I'd be willing to transfer Cascade (within the club) and accept a GSD that day! Well, of course I said yes, I'm not one of those people that refuse shepherds. Well, I didn't get him until the next day (or the day after?). Phantom was bred by an outside breeder that typically bred dogs with good success as guides but that were a little tricky to raise. Palance, his brother, was placed with my club leader. Because my best friend/fellow raiser had always wanted a shepherd, we agreed, with Diann and Pat's permission to co raise Phantom and her current MYL, Patriot (parents: somebody from CCI and Uma). More about Patriot later. Phantom was most definitely a GSD. He whined all the time. I'm certain he spent more time whining then otherwise. But still, I really learned a lot from him and enjoyed the experience. But as his barking/whining issues got worse and his confidence didn't get any better, he was transferred. He went to at least three people after me, two club leaders in southern Oregon and one licensed GDB instructor. It didn't work. He ended up being dropped in August of 2005 (he had been transferred in March). GDB placed him with a single man in Portland who had GSD experience. Phantom is the only dog in his home. I haven't contacted him, but I'm sure its working out wonderfully. GDB has a good record with placements.

I was pretty much co raising Patriot even before it was official as Stephanie and I did most things together. Patriot had urinating issues his whole PIT career. He was a calm solid dog though and he was a lot of fun to be around. He has this huge, block head that was quite distinguishable and adorable. He ended up being cc'd in phase 6 for urinating in harness. He had started out in training with urinating issues but when he seemed to get over them, he got to stay. But all of a sudden he freaked out and started relieving both in harness and in his crate on the way to workouts. He now lives with Steph's aunt and uncle in Washington.

Back to Cascade for a minute. I don't remember exactly when she went in for training, but she as quickly pulled for breeding. She was evaluated, tentatively accepted and shipped to the San Rafael campus. I was super excited because I was leaving for my mission soon and I thought I'd be able to make her graduation since she wasn't going through training. I never heard anything about it though, and since the letter I got from the breeding department said I could call anytime if I had questions, I did. About a week and a half before I was to leave for Texas, I called them and asked about her. Upon her arrival in San Rafael, further health testing was done and some problems were found with enzymes in her blood work. After several more weeks of different types of testing, with the problem appearing every time without a possible cause, she too was dropped from the program. They had just dropped her the day before I called and hadn’t been able to notify anyone yet. Pat decided to place her with a young girl in Washington who has seizures but wanted to be able to participate in 4-H. She needed a solid dog and from what I hear, Cassie was the right choice.

We had Patriot until May of 2005, at which point I had to take a break from raising. My current location didn’t allow dogs (anymore J ) and then in early 2006, I went on a mission for my church. As my family is in Albuquerque, we don’t have PIT, but we move back to Oregon next week. Pretty much the first thing I did when I found out we were moving was contact the leader there!

Anyways, there’s my novel! As I think of more things, I’ll add them. And pictures. Thanks for participating.

Friday, May 18, 2007

I'm new!

So, I was browsing myspace and looking at the Puppy Truck's page, which Tabatha had commented on, so I looked at her page which refers visitors to her blog and there I checked out other puppy raisers that I knew. So I can blame this mostly on Tabatha (but also Lindsey, Mickelle, Coreena, and Ally).

I currently don't have a puppy as I've been in Texas for awhile serving a mission for my church (Mickelle is going to have so much fun!). I am working at Camp Bloomfield this summer though and am waiting to hear if there is enough room for me to take a pup (since I didn't actually have one of my own when I received the job, if the counselors who have dogs want to bring them, they get first choice). I hope I do because otherwise my puppy time is going to be pathetic.

Currently, I am in Albuquerque where my mom moved (with all my stuff) while I was in Texas. But we move to back to Oregon (to Bend- I'm from Roseburg) next week. We leave on Monday, arrive Friday. And then I'll be there for about 2 1/2 weeks before heading off to Malibu. I hope to get some puppy time in before I go!

Anyways, that's about it for me for now. Hopefully that's good. I'll put pics of puppies up as soon as I can, but they just left with the movers yesterday (my digital camera is a recent acquisition) so it might be a bit. Unless Coreena and Ally have some?