Tuesday, August 25, 2009

First day of school

Raelyn had her first day of school yesterday when she sat in on my biology lab class at Dominican. She did really well! She was pretty high energy while we were walking on campus and in the building since a lot of students were around and making eye contact with her. She was so excited to meet everybody. I tried to keep her calm and kept the greetings to a minimum since she couldn't handle it.

During a meeting with another professor she sat under my chair and hung out. She would whine, but stopped when I tugged on her collar. Room for improvement! Once we got into the classroom, Raelyn hung out in her puppy house (travel crate) during the entire class session and was calm and quiet the whole time!

Raelyn also receives a zillion gold stars for relieving twice on command in the appropriate area! There is hope for her yet. She will be getting lots of practice this semester as she will be going to class 3 times a week.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Fun at Fun Day!

Each year Guide Dogs puts on an event to thank all of the puppy raising volunteers called Fun Day. This year we were able to attend with Raelyn and we all had a blast! We were able to meet 2 of Raelyn's 10 litter mates.

Raelyn with her two of her litter mates (Roscoe and Raider) in a licking frenzy!

We also met the family who is the breeder keeper of Raelyn's mom that took care of her and her litter mates after they were born for a month. They told us that Raelyn was the favorite of the bunch as she was runt of the litter. Although she was the runt, she was always the one pushing everyone else out of the way and was always the "Queen of the Hill". That explains a lot! Apparently she was feisty, independent, and tough right from the beginning!

Raelyn getting attention from her first puppy raiser while the breeder keeper family looks on.

The girl who first took care of Raelyn when she was born holding her first ever collar. How tiny!

While we were there at the kennels, we obviously had to visit the ridiculously adorable puppies!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Raelyn at 6 months

Believe it or not Raelyn has made it to 6 months of age already! Time has flown by and she has grown into a big fun puppy. She must have hit a growth spurt during this past month as she is HUGE now! Tall and has started to fill out, so she doesn't look like a starving model anymore.

We have discovered that her all-time favorite activity is swimming. She is a crazy beaver and loves nothing more than leaping high into the air and then splashing down in the water. It is so funny to watch and she never wants to leave. I pretty much have to drag her away from the pool.

She also loves to push you around in circles when you are sitting in an office chair. If you hold a toy with a stiff arm, she will grab the toy and start walking with it in her mouth and push you around in circles. Sometimes she can get going pretty fast. Dale had to close his eyes once because she was making him so dizzy! :)

Her favorite toys (in order of preference) are: plastic jugs, the jolly ball, kongs with ropes, sterilized bones, nyla dinosaurs, and the nyla circle thing.

Raelyn is getting along pretty well with the kitties. She still tries to follow them around, but I think she has learned that no matter how much she tries, they are not going to play with her. Shadow will let her sniff and even bump noses sometimes before she goes into psycho-kitty mode.

Raelyn has been doing really well this past month. She is super well-behaved in social situations when she has her vest on and head collar. She will lay down quietly at restaurants and be calm in large crowds of people. She is very confident and nothing seems to bother her.

She is doing great, but she still has her issues. The biggest one is that she doesn't have the potty thing down yet. We went through a big intervention a while ago (read a few posts down for more details) to get her to stop going potty in the house. That is going really well even though we have had a few accidents here and there, but overall, she is doing MUCH better! I think she is getting the hint that she needs to go outside before she can relieve. Mardie, our puppy buddy, said that it takes at least a month for a new behavior becomes automatic, so we are keeping with it!

She is super dog distracted. She wants to meet and play/wrestle with just about every dog she meets. During puppy meetings, she is pretty good and doesn't go crazy, but that's probably because she is used to them and she knows she can't play with the other dogs. When we walk by other dogs in the neighborhood or while out and about she gets all excited and preoccupied.

She LOVES to meet and greet people. She does okay when I don't let her say hi, but as soon as she knows she can go get love from someone she is all squirmy and crazy. We are working on keeping a sit position and not letting her mouth/lick people.

She pulls pretty good on the leash. She is getting better and she doesn't do it all the time. She knows how she is supposed to be on the leash, but she just doesn't care sometimes and is more interested in doing what she wants. We are making progress, but it is just slow.

Raelyn can still be super whiny in the crate or on tie down. She knows when it is food time and will let us know at least 30 minutes before hand that she needs food NOW! Needless to say, she has to wait and doesn't get anything until she is quiet. Usually she complains for a while, but once she realizes that we are getting food ready she shuts up. She can also be whiny when she wants to run around and do something fun instead of being in the crate. Oh well. Deal with it puppy.

Raelyn is fun, friendly, crazy, energetic, but still can be calm and mellow when she wants to be. Overall, things are going great and we'll see how she does going to school with me for the Fall semester!

All of the pictures are courtesy of our in-house photographer, Dale!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Puppy and Parents!

I am finally getting around to post after taking a hiatus while my parents were visiting. We had a great time together and they had a blast meeting Raelyn. Although I think Raelyn was probably more excited about them since she LOVES meeting and playing with new people! My parents had a fabulous time playing with Raelyn and showering her with lots of attention. While they were here we playing around the house and had many successful fun outings! After they left, Raelyn didn't seem bothered much at all about her playmates not being there. Now she is back to her normal routine with her boring keepers and not having near as much fun! :)

Mom and Raelyn both on good behavior!

Dad, Me, and Raelyn enjoying the sunshine.

Raelyn enjoying Amity's pool.
She is a crazy water beaver and discovered she loves jumping in after floating toys.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Success!...sort of

Well it has been 2 weeks since we have been on our new "potty plan" and Raelyn has responded fantastically! Very quickly she caught onto the new regiment and looked forward to going downstairs to relieve and get to play with her favorite tug toy after doing her business.

She even started giving signals indicating that she wants to go downstairs and relieve. She will get antsy while on tie-down or will stair down the stairs if we are playing. Pretty cool! Keeping her on tie-down or in the crate and not letting her wander around if she hasn't immediately gone is key since she still will go pee in the kitchen if allowed to (unfortunately found that out yesterday).

She can easily hold it for more than 2 hours at a time and had no trouble switching to the new program. Yay! So we still have work to do and have to be vigilant about making sure we set Raelyn up for success, but things are looking MUCH better than they did just a few weeks ago. Hurrah! :)