Wednesday, December 22, 2010


I know I still have to do the post on picking up Comet and the outing from Saturday, I promise I'll get it up as soon as I can, probably tomorrow.

Comet is settling in well! She loves Eva and Mowgli and every once in awhile will entice Rizzo to play too. Riz is sort of a cranky dog so doesn't usually play with other dogs besides Eva but Comet has gotten her to play! Comet has tested us a bit but she has mostly stopped that and is starting to respond very well to her new name and the new commands. Since she did come from a different organization, there are some changes for her. We use slightly different commands for some things and the harness which is new for her. She was going stiff when we put it on her but Ally worked with her a bit with treats and then yesterday Max and I took her and Eva to the park for a walk and we started the walk with her just wearing it but the leash not attached and then we attached the leash to the harness once she started ignoring it and it went much better then the outing on Saturday! She is still finding some actions awkward with it on, such as jumping in the car, but she's doing very well. We haven't done any outings (besides Saturday) yet, we wnat her to settle in a bit and to learn how she ticks a bit more before tacking an outing. I need to get some pictures of her for you all to see. She's absolutely adorable! I'm enjoying this raising experience so far! Yes, she has her challenge behaviours but she is so sweet and so attentive and the organization is such a pleasure to work with!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Welcome Home

Comet (aka Mattie) is home! It was a long day yesterday but an amazing outing and me and Comet have started working on her weaker areas. She's such a sweet girl who loves to cuddle and get some loves but definately has an onary side! I'm exhausted and have a lot to do today so once I get some pictures from Ally I'll do a post on the outing yesterday, the long drive home and the first night with our little yellow spitfire. Eva just loves her and these two are gonna be quite the dynamic duo. This will be a fun raising experience for me and really challenge me to put my skills to use and try some new techniques and what not. Ok, well the girls are taking their morning nap I'm gonna go clean the house and maybe take a nap ;-)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


I'm gonna try my best to remember what happened this year. Bear with me!

January: I started college in January. I loved being back in the classroom but realized that the problems I had in high school are still there in college. I have a very hard time paying attention in class, not getting bored and getting my homework done due to how boring it is. If something challenges me, I love it, but the stuff I do well in and pick up quickly is incredibly difficult for me to not go into a coma sitting in class. Max was still working at the call center and we were struggling to get by at that point. Charlie was 9 months old and his immaturity was pressing my patience. I felt helpless in helping Charlie progress and started to get depressed about it. I also started experimenting with going gluten-free to treat my Celiac disease but didn't take it serious. My depression deepened for a couple reasons including the depressing thought of never having children. I knew we had a long way to go in treatment for fertility but sometimes things just get to you.

February: February is always a hard month for me as it holds the anniversary of our sweet nephew's death. It's also a happy month since it holds the anniversary of Iverson's graduation! (the day before the other anniversary of the month...) I got sick in February and it feels like that started an almost non-stop cycle of feeling fine for a couple days and then being sick again for a couple weeks. I think my body was struggling with the celiac disease and the torture I was putting it through with the constant changes in my diet.

March: Max and I celebrated our third wedding anniversary! Max also got a good paying job that he enjoyed and things started to look up. Charlie was still driving me crazy and I was frustrating with that raising experience in general. My first term of college ended and I did nothing for spring break.

April: Charlie turned a year old and not much changed. He just got bigger but was the same goofy puppy. The next term started. I don't think much else happened in April....

May: I requested Charlie to be transferred/recalled. I was at my wits end with him and I couldn't handle him much longer. There was a program called Puppies In Flight that transports service dogs and service dogs in training for no cost. The organization has to submit the paperwork and it took an incredibly long time and took several attempts to get it right. So May we spent waiting for the paperwork to go through and to get a flight scheduled.

June: Eva had been home for a year as our pet! Continued to wait on a flight for Charlie and struggled with raising him. I applied to raise for Canine Angels Service Teams, a small local organization that we had been following for years, just took our time to make sure they were a good fit for us. Had our home visit at the end of the month and dreamed about the possibilities of raising on the the Space Litter pups born at the beginning of the month. We also moved into the downstairs apartment, easier on all of us and a better place for us to raise our kids, without stairs.

July: Found out I would be raising for CAST but not a Space puppy. I also found out that the Puppies In Flight program was on hold and was no longer transporting dogs for the time being. I resigned myself to dealing with Charlie for the coming months and tried a little harder with the boy. Began working on a two bedroom house from the same landlord we would be moving into.

August: I turned 22! Rizzo turned 3 and worked on the house some more. We chose the paint colors, new carpet and some of the light fixtures. We moved in in the middle of the month and it was so nice having a yard and a doggie door for the dogs to play. Charlie improved with the added freedom and time to mature.

September: Max and I both started fall term of school and we settled into our new home.

October: Eva turned 2! A thing we never thought would happen! We turned Charlie in and I felt relief. Char went to the prison to continue his training. We got our Mowgli, my dream kitten! A long-haired black and white tuxedo boy who loves to cuddle but has a feisty side!

November: I learned that I would be getting a Space puppy after all! Mattie was donated to a different organization but was returned to CAST for personal reasons of the raiser and I was the chosen one to raise her! We found out Eva had cancerous cells in her urine which could point to cancer in her urinary tract soemwhere. Our life changed in another way, with the possibility of adding a baby to our family through foster care (may lead to adoption) and started to bond with the baby (due Feb. 14, 2011) and met her older sister (8 months old, in foster care). It was an exciting but emotionally tolling month.

December: I am getting my sweet Space puppy and we continue to bond with the baby girls. I visit weekly with the older sister and we got to see the baby girl on U/S. We are waiting on a referral for our home study to be complete since we live in a different county but I can't wait for that to happen! The anniversary of our nephews birth was easier this year and I realized that I am ready to be a Mommy, despite the pain and fear from losing Koen, I'm ready.

The coming year will bring a lot of changes. A change in my major, a possible change in our family dynamic, a change in raising for a different organization and changing from a couple to a family (hopefully!) Who knows what the future will bring with the baby girls, we may end up with one, both or none. We hope beyond hope that our family expands by a daughter or two. If not, we move forward to more advanced fertility treatments. One way or another, this coming year we will have a baby or two or at least be pregnant! We will enjoy our time left with Eva and learn what we can from raising our first lab/golden cross! This coming year we will also find out what's going on with Eva and what we can expect with her future.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

6 Things At 6 Months!

Today is the 6 month day of the Canine Angels "Space Litter", part lab/golden cross with a couple full goldens thrown in there! Talk about a good day to meet my new little girl!

I would like to introduce you to Mattie! Once a Space puppy, ALWAYS a Space puppy, even if your name doesn't fit into the theme (which may or may not be changed to a more theme appropriate name)! Mattie was donated to a small organization in San Diego but due to some circumstances with the raiser's family, she has been returned to Canine Angels! I've known for almost 3 weeks now that she would be coming home but the weather prevented us from picking her up a couple weeks ago.

It has been decided (with my blessing) that Mattie will stay at the kennels for the next week or two to see how she does and who she is. It'll give us a base to work from and see what areas need work and where our focus needs to be. So even though I met her today when we picked up Jackson, she is still about 90 minutes away from us. I'll try my best to come up with 6 things after only spending 45 minutes with her today!

1. I'm thankful that this gorgeous little girl has found her way back North to join our family.
2. I'm thankful that I was given the oppurtunity to finish her raising!
3. I love her coloring! She's quite dark but has white bloomers!
4. She needs reminded that she is a retriever, not a SPRINGER!
5. I'm looking forward to teh day I get to bring her home.
6. I love how little she is! I think Ally's Tiki (at 15 weeks) weighs more then the short, thick Mattie!


As I don't have a puppy yet, I offered to puppy sit any dogs for Canine Angels that they might need. So a week and a half ago at the outing, we were told about a 6 month old dobie that was donated but would be privately placed as a pet that needed some work. We picked up Jackson today! He sure is a soft fellow, shy but oh so sweet. He will be here a week or two and we'll work on his potty training and some basic obedience and work on getting him to gain some weight. I'll post some more pictures as soon as I get some good ones!


We have a winner for the puppy pool!

Congrats Lisa, Ellie & Hosta! Contact me to let me know which store you would like your giftcard for and we'll figure it out!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Happiness Is...

Going on a puppy outing with a great group of people and some amazing dogs!
(Snoopy - Peanuts litter, 23 month old goldendoodle; Terra - T litter, 5 month old poodle; Wyatt - W pup, 5 month old labradoodle; Tundra - T litter, 5 month old poodle; Vida - V litter, 5 month old goldendoodle)

Handling an amazingly sweet, easy to handle doodle in Advanced Training.

Then switching for the rest of the outing for a little 5 month old doodle who loves to walk fast and hold her tail high.

I'm home!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Puppy Pool

Don't forget to guess in the puppy pool! It will be closing soon and I want everyone to have a chance to win the $25 gift certificate. Guess breed, sex, color, month of arrival and first letter of name. You can also submit names for extra points.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Choosing Of Themes

This post is to answer the question from Erin (in Scotland!) about how themes are chosen for litters so here's a brief explanation.

Theme ideas are submitted to CAST, from raisers, graduates, supportors, etc. The litter is born, seen how many pups, boy/girl ratio and then an appropriate theme is chosen from the list. They have to ensure there is enough names and enough boy/girl names to make sure all the pups fit into the theme. The raisers are notified that they are slated for a pup from the litter and given a list of approved names, you submit your favorite three boy and favorite three girl names and you find out who you get when you pick up the pup and what name was chosen. You can also submit names that fit in theme and they'll decide if it will fit in the theme or not.

I hope that helps a little. There is no telling what theme will next, just have to wait and see after the pups are all born! (No litters that I know of as of yet, probably won't be for a while yet that another litter will be born)

A Whole New World

College is a waste of my time. Forgive me if you disagree, but I am not the sort of person to sit in a classroom/office all day and be happy. This term of accounting classes has made me see that I am not interested in going into accounting, at. all. The people are boring, the rules are boring, the classes are boring, it is boring. So, I am making a change. There are changes coming in our lives in the coming future and I am changing my major as well. I am going to go for early childhood education, I've always loved kids, always loved teaching and tutoring and love seeing little minds develop. The plan at this point is developing but I have already registered for the classes for next term and have plans in place to start a career that will work with whatever changes our family goes through.

This change is coming not only from being bored out of my mind with accounting but from other possibilities that have come up that we are hoping and praying will come true. All I can say is that maybe, just maybe, our dreams are finally going to come true!

And yes, we are still going to raise puppies and don't forget to get your puppy pool guesses in!

Monday, November 15, 2010


The good thing about pets are that we can call "mulligan" and start all over! Of course, it is harder to have to undo learned habits and behaviours and have to train correct behaviours and shape productive habits, but we can do it! So I've called "mulligan" with Eva and Rizzo.

Eva: Eva has started (not necessarily recently) thinking she can climb onto the furniture whenever she wants, although she does pause with her front feet on the couch or bed waiting to be told "no" but she is still instigating and not on our choice. That is a behaviour I have always disliked and so she is no longer allowed on the couches or bed except for in the early morning after Max gets up and she has about 10 minutes of cuddle time with me. We are also going to re-train her "go to bed" and work on her greetings and reaction when people (namely Ally) come over. She's a wild thing then and barks and jumps and spins and goes crazy so we're going to be working on her default being to go to her bed and waiting for pets there. She is also going to be transitioned to sleeping and being loose all the time. There really is no reason for her to be crated and it would make her much more comfortable to be able to relieve when she needs to instead of waiting until we wake up or get home, etc. She has been sleeping loose but it is time to start letting her be loose when we aren't home. She is perfect at night, not getting into anything and simply goes out when she needs to and then returns to her dog bed. That's on top of solidifying her basic obedience and a couple fun tricks.

Rizzo: Riz is awful about jumping on top of the furniture whenever she wants and doesn't listen very well to the "off" command. she is not allowed on furniture at all anymore and we will work with her on the "off" command. The main thing I'm going to be working with her on is crate training. Rizzo doesn't not like to be kenneled unless she's with Eva. She will do anything to get out and she knows that if she pees/poops on herself, she gets to come out. She doesn't do that when she's kenneled with Eva but since Eva is going to transition to being loose, Rizzo will have to be kenneled alone. Why don't we just let her be loose as well? Well, Rizzo will retaliate for us leaving her and it isn't fun to clean up. So getting her used to and accepting of being kenneled alone is the first step to get her to be loose as well. We will also be working on "go to bed" and basic obedience with her as well as walking on a loose leash. We will also be working on not barking at the door and socializing her more.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Revision to Puppy Pool

Alright, those of you who have guessed in the puppy pool, you are welcome to re-guess. Our puppy will be coming home sometime in 2011, will not be from the litter I mentioned before and who knows what letter/theme it will be! I'm, of course, more then ok with this, it gives me some more time to spend with my sweet Eva.

Happy guessing!

Change in Plans?

Max told me last night he would like to get Eva's urine sent to the oncologist in a month instead of in two months. Makes me happy! Depending on what is seen by the local vet we might just use it as a monitoring and still wait until January to send it to the oncologist but I'm happy that we may only have a month wait to know what's going on instead of two.

I'm not planning on changing puppy plans at all. It's not like we had a healthy dog and got this news, it just is what it is and we have to keep living and enjoy today. Today is a homework, training, full of classes, praticing my piano skills (in progress), laundry, dishes and cuddling with my girls watching movies sorta day!

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Life Must Go On

No matter what news we get, life must go on. Yesterday we traveled to Ally's with Eva, Rizzo and Galaxy in tow. Grand total of dogs at Ally's yesterday: 7. It never felt like there were 7 dogs there which is saying something :-) Ally and I took the "puppies" and old lady (Tiki, Galaxy, Eva, Eclipse and Kira) outside and ran around with them and played the "come game." All of the pups did great, Kira didn't want to leave Ally's side.

Anyway, we hung out and then our older sister and her boyfriend came over with gluten-free lasagna, cake and phase 10! Fun times, fun times. I'm not too good at keeping secret what cards I have in my hand..... oops.

Now I'm exhausted from the whirlwind that's called my life the last couple of days and happy I got to sleep in thanks to DLS. Now it's off to spend some time with the three needy girls in my house and prepare for the future by enjoying today!

Saturday, November 06, 2010

We Have A Plan

After 32 hours of getting to process it and an in-person consult with our vet and looking at the blood results we have a plan. We've spent $400 at the vet on just Eva and Rizzo over two days and it's another almost $100 just to have the oncologist look at her urine and gather what they can from that. Our vet wants us to go to the oncologist but for now, we aren't doing anything. Eva is still Eva, her body is still her body and she's still got a poor prognosis. The only thing that has changed is we know there are more questions that need answered and more tests that we can do and there may be an option for us to fight it.

The plan at this point is to wait until January (the first week) repeat the U/A down here and make sure the cells are still in her urine. We will also do a water deprivation test to see where her kidneys are truly at and if the cells are still there will take the 2.5 hour trip to the oncologist and see what they say. Like I said yesterday, we will not fight it. If it is cancer, it has been progressing for 2 years and is the likely cause of her decreased kidney function. Eva is happy right now, she's doing great. I'm not going to give her drugs to make her miserable and risk killing her with those drugs to treat something that is killing her.

For now, we love Eva and treat her like a normal, healthy dog for the next 2 months. Then, we go from there. We hope to find out what it is, where it is and how bad it is so we can make an educated decision on what to do and know what to look for. Eva will tell us when she's done, whatever the cause is and we will listen to her.

Friday, November 05, 2010


No smiles now..... they think the cells they saw in Eva's UA are tumor cells. They want to send them off to an oncologist......

We won't fight it.......

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Say What

Eva weighs in at a whopping 47 pounds! The vet was shocked that we got her to gain weight and was very happy with her overall physical condition. She does have some very infected ears that he showed us how to take care of and I might try her on a homemade food again to see if that helps. We'll see what she needs for a diet tomorrow after we get her blood results back and take in her urine sample. We are planning another check-up, bloodwork and an ultrasound in April 2011.

So all outward signs say she's doing great, now just to see what her blood says. :-)

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Keeping Myself Busy

Not even two weeks into this break and a large part of me and my life feels empty without a puppy in a jacket by my side. So, after sending an email to the puppy raising list begging for suggestions, I have a plan to help the time go by faster. I have written out some goals for my doggies, first part is happening tomorrow with both of them going to the vet and getting needed procedures done and training already in progress. I have a list of commands and tricks I want to teach each dog before the pup comes and I want to get some manners instilled in Riz quickly. I have college and some goals around the house I want to finish before the pup comes and some personal goals. I have a puppy blanket I'm making that I need to finish soon and some supplies to get. It also helps that there's a couple really cute little black girls I can watch (Galaxy is visiting this weekend!) whenever I really need a puppy fix.

All those things are just bandages though, I need me a permanent fix! Of course the founding mothers of Canine Angels are really good at keeping puppy plans and news quiet and keeping me on my toes. I've done all I can to get news out of them and their lips are sealed!

Monday, November 01, 2010


Wow, talk about a discombobulated post! So here is a new post with the guidelines written out more clearly and the possibilities!

Guess sex, breed, color, month of arrival and first letter of first name. 1 point for each correct part.

Names can be submitted for extra points. If I choose one of the names you submit for my puppy you get 2 extra points if it is not already on my name list.

Total possible points = 7

Sex: male, female
Breed: lab, golden retriever, poodle, labradoodle, goldendoodle, lab/golden cross
Color: yellow, black, chocolate, apricot

Puppies may be donated at any point and of any age. We are trying to get a pup from a litter of 2 FBLs, 2 FCLs and 3 MCLs that were born 10/30/10 donated. If I don't get a donated pup the next breedings are planned for spring 2011.

Prize: $25 gift card to the store (online or in person) of your choice.

Guessing will be open until 11/30/10 unless I recieve a puppy before that! You can guess on any post on this blog, no specific post required.

Oh My Word!

How in the world did I wait 11 months, 12 months, 19 months and 3 months before/between my puppies!?! Charlie has been at CST for all of 9 days and I'm dieing without a puppy! I can't wait to get my little guy/girl and have the best year with them, both of us learning and growing and teaching together! To be honest, I'm dieing for news of my next puppy and am hoping it's just a short couple more weeks before my pup is in our home and it feels complete here.

I might as well start a puppy pool, lets try this. Guess what breed, sex, color and month my next puppy will come home and you'll win a $25 gift card to the store of your choice!

Here's some information to help you guess:
"Xerox", the little black lab puppy we did the fundraising for came from a wonderful breeder in Montana. On Sunday she had another litter that we are hoping to get a puppy from, just waiting on some confirmation. Anyway, the litter contains 2 female black labs, 2 female chocolate labs and 3 male chocolate labs.

Of course there is always the possibility of a different puppy being donated to CAST before then.

If CAST does get a donated puppy it will be at least a "Y" puppy, if not "Z" or starting the alphabet over with "A."

Another option is that next spring there may be a couple litters bred by CAST in which case the litter would be themed. The Space Litter dam was in heat a couple weeks ago and it appears has about 6 months between heat cycles. The other breeder for CAST I'm not sure of her heat cycles. Both are golden retrievers and may be bred with another golden, lab or poodle.

So with that information, let the guessing begin! I will enable comment moderation so guesses will be hidden.

Extra points for submitting names not already on my donated puppy name list for the letters "Y", "Z", "A" & "B". *

Guesses should include sex, breed, color and month of arrival. Extra points for names not on the list. The most points once our puppy arrives wins, 2 extra points if I choose a name you submit!

*I want to see what you come up with for names so won't be posting my name lists just yet.

I did it!

Eva and Eclipse will be at the vet on Thursday November 4 at 8:20 am. Eva will be getting her blood work done and possibly an ultrasound. I really want to see what is going on in there, does she have underdeveloped, malformed or missing kidneys? Eva we aren't too nervous about, she's doing great, gaining weight and feeling a little too well sometimes ;-) Eclipse is a little more stressful. We need to get a baseline for where he is and see if his kidneys have declined in functionality since he was last tested 14 months ago. It's a strange feeling for me going in to the vet with more concern about Ally's dog then my own, it's usually she's going with me for support as we brace ourselves for more bad news on _______.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Is It That Hard?

*Disclaimer: It may appear that I'm over reacting a bit but this is how I felt and it was on top of an already emotional day where I had to come to some realizations about our life.*

Today Ally and I took Tiki to get her well puppy visit and a set of shots and her microchip implanted. After that we tried to set an appointment to get Eva and Eclipse a check-up and see how their kidneys are faring. Not the most pleasant experience at the vet to begin with that we're asking to set up but we run into accussing attitudes and disbelief. Told outright "it's not a normal request", noooo, there's tons of 2 year old puppies out there dieing from kidney failure. So we walked out of there without an appointment, I'll have to get up the nerve to make a call I dread to set an appointment I dread even more. We need to set up the appointments soon though so that we can get the vet we love. I know my dog isn't normal, I know that it sounds weird to hear of a 2 year old puppy with kidney failure, I know this. I've dealt with it for the past nearly 2 years. I've gotten the looks, the stares, the pity and the tears. If Eva didn't need this check up I'd just skip it to avoid telling her story again, to avoid the looks and "opinions" of people who have no clue what it's like. I would skip it, but I promised my little girl who loves mud and rain and walks and cuddles while wet and muddy that I would take care of her and unfortunately, these awful vet visits are part of taking care of her.....

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Down to Two!

Saturday our family officially went from 3 to 2 dogs. Charlie is in formal training and I've been told that he is settling in well and they think he's a sweetheart! It sure is quiet here without him but it's a relief as well that he has moved on in his training, on some days it felt like our time with him would never end! Turn in was quick and painless. It helped that as soon as they took Charlie out to the yard they came back in with two of the CUTEST little black lab puppies ever! No tears shed and no regrets. After he was taken to the yard I filled out the turn-in paperwork and tried to come up with a way to describe the somewhat indescribable Charlie-bear with his outgoing personality yet confidence issues. He was a trooper on the way down! Slept most of the way and spent some quality time with me in the back seat the last couple of hours giving me some kisses and being the sweet boy we know he is. Here's one of the last pictures taken of the boy as a puppy-in-training.
Ignore me, we just drove through the night for 15 hours... ;-)

Sunday, October 17, 2010


I think this may have been explained before but I thought I would explain again just in case. Canine Angels names in a really neat way. If you noticed in my last post about graduation there are themed litters and letter litters. Theme litters are program bred (Dam or Dam and Sire are program dogs) such as the Space litter (turns out 3 of the space litter are full golden, sire is CAST "Lewis"!) and the National Parks litter. Letter litters are litters that are either fully donated from an outside dam and sire or the sire was used with an outside dam. Such as the case with Miss "Velvet II" and her sisters, the black goldendoodles. Their sire is CAST "Lewis" as well but their dam is the personal dog of an organization friend. The same applies for donated single pups, they are named by letter. So Mr. "Wyatt" is the "W" pup and the little donated black lab we ran the fundraiser for is the "X" puppy, "Xerox." No clue yet if I will be getting a "Y" pup or a themed pup but either way is fine by me. Raisers get to help name their pup, with themed litters they are given a list of names and they choose their favorite three names for male and female from the list. Then a puppy is assigned to them and Canine Angels makes the final decision on the name. Just to be prepared, I have started an Excel workbook with letter names arranged alphabetically and for male, female and unisex. I also have an Excel workbook of puppy supplies, I love Excel!


Saturday, October 16, 2010

CAST Graduation 2010

Today was Canine Angels Service Teams 3rd graduation. It was just as moving as last years only this year we felt like we belonged instead of just visiting. We met the founders we didn't meet at our home visit and met many other people involved. We were handed leashes with dogs attached when their raisers had more dogs then hands and we talked to one of the mothers of last years graduates. The speeches this year were amazingly touching and I am so excited and honored to be apart of this organization. We learned a bit more about CAST and got to talk to the founders on a more relaxed basis then the home visit and just chat, one of my favorite past times! The only bad news is that they aren't planning another litter until next spring so it could be a bit of a wait before another donated pup comes along or the litter(s) are born and ready for raisers. That's ok though, I'm happy to wait for the opportunity to raise for these amazing people. The puppy-raising coordinator asked about Charlie and Eva. It's amazing to have someone ask about my sweet Eva who only met her once and for a short period of time and cares about her :-) One of her previous pups was honored today and actually celebrated graduation as a facility dog and it was so neat to see her go through the emotions we go through when we hand over these dogs. It's nice to know that our feelings and emotions are understood (since all of the founders have/are raising these dogs right along beside us!) as we go through this journey. All I know is that after today, the wait for a puppy will feel so much longer and shorter at the same time! I would wait for a long time for a puppy from them but on the other hand I really want to get a pup to raise to feel even more a part of this organization!

*All photos courtesy of Ally... with the help of my batteries ;-)
Part of Schmidt Family Vineyards where graduation is held.
Space Litter pup "Tycho" (Galaxy's full sibling) and Service Dog "Denali" (Graduated today!)
Facility Dog "Pumpkin" (Peanuts Litter) - Graduated today!

4-month-old goldendoodle "Velvet" (V Litter)
CAST breeder "Lewis" - Daddy of Velvet and her litter and 3 of the Space Litter
One of our borrowed pups today, 17-month-old "Twister" from the Games Litter.
Donated labradoodle "Wyatt"! He is so soft and fluffy!
Another one of our borrowed pups, 4-month-old "Tundra" - Standard Apricot Poodle (T Litter)
American Indian Dog "Skylar" Puppy-in-Training

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

We did it!

In less then a week we raised all the funds needed to purchase the little black boy for CAST! He will be flying to his puppy raiser next week.

A large number of the donations were made in memory of a special dog who passed away on Sunday after a valiant battle with cancer. Joy was a career changed golden adopted by her raisers who helped raise many more puppies. She will be missed by all who had the chance to know her in person and in heart. All we can do at this point is pass on her legacy by raising and providing more service dogs and touching more lives. We love you Joysie and will continue to keep your family in our thoughts and prayers and will continue providing service dogs in memory of you and all the other special doggies who have left us with such amazing memories.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

A new CAST family member!

This little guy is currently with his breeder in Montana. Through a great current member of the CAST (human) family, the breeder has agreed to hold this pup until a transport can be arranged to get him to his puppy raiser. Unfortunately, the breeder has undergone some financially hard time due to one of her dogs getting sick and going through treatment only to pass away :-( So at this point, we are trying to raise the money to purchase this little guy since he has all the signs of being a great service dog! Please help CAST provide service dogs to disabled children. Donations of any amount help toward the goal and like all donations to a non-profit should be tax-deductible.

Visit giftberry to make a quick, painless donation (trust me, it really is easy, I've donated a couple times via giftberry!)

Feel free to spread the word! We have a goal to raise $600 and have already raised $100!


Charlie's turn in has been pushed back 2 weeks. So turn in is now Oct. 23.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

First Recall

As most of you know, I have never actually turned in one of my pups for a recall to formal training. I guess you could say that Eva was recalled back to the organization for the swap and Loden was recalled for health evaluations but I've never turned in a puppy. Saturday will be my first time and I don't know how to feel about it. I don't think it's that hard to figure out that I've had my problems bonding and dealing with Charlie but there's still at least a little love for him that I have and a part of me that will be sad to see him leave. I don't know what to expect and I have no clue how often I'll be updated about him or when I'll get updates but that's ok. I know that this is what I worked really hard to reach with Charlie and was my goal from the beginning with him. But now that it's here, what do I do? A part of the sadness is softened by the prospect of getting a puppy to raise soon from Canine Angels Service Teams. I am so excited to become a part of this amazing organization and my only wish it that I would have done so sooner. But I've learned a lot by raising Charlie and over the past year and can't wait to apply it to my subsequent pups! I guess I'm just a mixture of emotions right now. Nervous about the long drive down and back, sad to see Charlie go, happy that I reached my goal, optimistic about my future in raising, anxious about when my little guy (or gal) will be home and just all around feeling a sense of apprehension about the future for Charlie.

Meet my new kitten, Mowgli!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

School, Trips and Dogs

School is in full swing and I LOVE it. I love all of my classes but piano is by far my favorite thus far. I have a full course load but thankfully it's mostly two days a week with an hour a third day and two hours a fourth day. So I have plenty of time to take care of the house, the dogs and all my other responsibilities.

Max is loving his new second job and he's enjoying school although he's struggling a bit with math, he just needs to believe in himself more because as soon as he puts a little thought in it he gets it and gets it right every time! I'm so proud of my husband who is working both jobs or working and in class all day every day of the work week. I'm trying to make it easier on him by having dinner ready for him when he gets home and the dogs taken care of and I'm working on getting the house in tip-top shape, it's a work in progress.

Next weekend we are taking Charlie back. He posted a blog on the dogblog if you want to go read. He's currently laying by my desk chair and I'm liking this more mature version of the spazdoodle. Of course, as soon as he's due to be recalled I actually start liking him! It'll be a long trip to turn him in and we're planning on doing it in 2 days again so we don't miss work or school. It's a good 14 hour drive each ways but thankfully this time we will be getting a hotel room Saturday to sleep and get some real rest instead of camping like we did when we picked Charlie up.

Eva's doing really well right now. She's looking amazing for her and hasn't had any more stomach issues. She is now 23 months old and is having very little trouble. Her trouble ear does seem to be developing an infection again but hopefully we can nip it in the bud before it gets bad.

I'll leave you all with some pictures, there's not many, I need to get more but here's some. I have to get back to my homework.
Eva in the backyard before we moved in

 Some of the yummy blackberries in the yard.

 Trumpet vine in the backyard. It attracts hummingbirds and bees.

Color in the office/future nursery

The beige up on the wall. This color is in the livingroom/kitchen/laundry area and hallway. The white wall is now a sage color but the white wall shows the color pretty well.

 Our bedroom. The walls are a grayish blue.

 The first day Elijah was here he decided the only safe spot was on top of the fridge.

The above three pictures are what the dogs a were doing all night while I did my homework and updated the blogs.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

More Changes!

Sorry I left you all hanging about the house situation. Here's the latest and greatest


We have been here for 5 nights so far and I must say, I LOVE it! It's just the right size for us and it's so nice having a yard for the dogs to play in instead of the living room! Almost everything is put away and organized, have some more kitchen stuff to clean and put away but that's the only major thing. So here we are, in our house and in only a couple more days Fall Term starts! I'm so excited! We went out and picked up my books today, Max still has some FA paperwork to fill out but hopefully we'll pick up his books on Thursday. I started reading my piano book and play on reading the first chapter or two of the other books and maybe doing some of the problems for Trig. as well.

So Max got a second job and he loves it! He works on computers and it's just right for him. It works with his current job and works with his school schedule. Plus it is exactly what he is going to school for, so I'm really happy for him.

Eva isn't doing too well.... we're two days into the "three day rule" for CRF (canine renal failure) dogs. We'll just wait and see what tomorrow brings.

Charlie is loving having a yard to play fetch in and play with Eva in. He's doing pretty good, just needs a new haircut and some commands solidified over the next 2.5 weeks before he goes into formal training.

No news on our next PIT as of yet but I get to "borrow" Galaxy for some classes and during Tabatha's lab which I'm really excited about. Galaxy is such a sweet, cute puppy :-)

I'll get the house all cleaned and organized right and get curtains and what not up this week and post some pictures for you all. I'm off to go read through some accounting books right now though!

Monday, September 13, 2010


My blogs have evolved through the years, going from having one about puppy raising, then having several and one about infertility and the struggle about that. I have closed (and deleted) most of them but the two active ones, but as I read through a blog today about adoption and the long battle this couple has had to become parents (5.5 years of fertility battles and over 2 years of waiting for an adoption match) and watching on twitter as they went to pick up their baby boy finally, I feel this need to write about our journey and our struggle again. It shouldn't be private and no matter what people's opinions may be about me or my fitfullness as a parent, it is a dream that Max and I will realize one day. Should I go back to another blog about fertility and my battle with my health? I am so happy for this couple who finally has a baby to lay in the crib they bought years ago and to fill the clothes that have layed empty in a dresser. I'll let you all know what we decide, but everyday is one day closer to us becoming parents and everday of being gluten-free is one more day closer to being that much more likely to be able to sustain a healthy pregnancy!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Another Week?

Moving has been put on hold.... again. But this time, at least it was our choice! Really stinks though because this weekend was AMAZING weather and it's suppossed to rain Fri-Mon (at the least) all next weekend. Oh well, it saves our sanity and that of our dogs! Our landlord decided that since the inside of the house looks so good now that he had to paint the exterior as well to match. Which means.... scrapping, scratching, sanding, washing, etc. the existing exterior paint! Which makes for a very loud, annoying, nails-on-a-chalkboard sound inside the house. The 20 minutes we were there while they were doing it on Friday just about drove me crazy (ier) and I can't imagine how my little canine babies would take it. On top of that, they took the large gate into the backyard down which means that we would still have to take the dogs out on leash anyway until they are done which sort of defeats the purpose of having a backyard for the dogs to play in. So we decided that moving is stressful enough on us and the dogs, we don't want them to have to deal with strange people coming in and out of the house and being outside their house working and talking and eating to stress them out more and have their first week (s?) there being so highly stressful that it sets a pattern in their behaviour for the new house. Although it kills me to put off moving for another week as Fall term inches closer and closer, it's what needs done. I doubt that by next weekend they will have painted the house, but hopefully they will finish the prep at least and can actually paint the house the next day it's not due to rain. I love the rainy season but it certainly isn't the best time to paint a house or move!

On another note, we went to Costco yesterday with my mom for the first real time. We walked up and down every aisle and got some amazing things! 40 lbs of dog food for $26, shampoo for thick hair, delicious gluten-free soup, a natural sugar alternative called Agave (used in a lot of gluten-free recipes), coffee (for Max), grape juice (for Max, I hate the stuff), eggs (split with Mom), strawberries (split with Mom and Ally), cheez-it (for Max), gluten-free crackers, laundry detergent and an amazing mat for in the kitchen to stand on while doing the dishes or cooking! I'm so excited about that because one of the reasons I don't cook as much as I would like to is that if I stand on hard surfaces my feet feel like the bones are going to tear through my skin and it kills me. I guess I should say that it's only when I'm standing still, it doesn't bother me when I'm walking or moving around and it's only for extended periods of time (an hour +). Oh, we also got some almonds to try and make some homemade almond flour. It's great for making breads, cakes, cookies, etc. and is naturally gluten-free and healthy, lower in calories and makes the baked goods have an amazingly fluffy texture! I love having Costco in town! It's so nice having Mom and Ally to split things with as well so we don't have a ton of food going bad on us!

Ok, well I better go continue packing and look at some terrier rescues for Carley. I'll have Eva explain why Carley can't stay with us on her blog and a post from Charlie will be up soon!

Wednesday, September 08, 2010


I feel like my life is at a standstill at this point, it's not a good feeling. Hopefully we'll be moving this weekend, the house has carpet, wood laminate, lighting fixtures, etc. all in! Just working on some little things right now and getting the house ready to move in! It looks so much better and I know that when we do finally move it, it will be completely worth all the trouble that we went through, even though we will not be buying this house. The exterior is going to be getting painted as well after we move in.

I'm itching to find Carley a new home and to turn in Charlie (one month from today!) and to get our next puppy to raise. I'm itching to start school again and just move towards our goals.

I don't like feeling like we're at a standstill, although I love relaxing, I love feeling like I'm moving toward a goal or goals. I'm sure it will help once we move and what not, but for now, it feels like these last couple of weeks have dragged and it feels like these days until we move are just dragging by!

I know in no time I'll be fretting about our next puppy coming and about school and returning Charlie, it's just getting to that point.

Sunday, September 05, 2010


The house is making progress, even though most days it feels painstakingly slow, it is nearing completion. Today we are going to finish the trim and doors and finish touch-up paint. Tomorrow the laminate flooring goes in, door knobs, lighting fixtures, wall plates, etc are installed and the front walkway will hopefully be finished. Then Tuesday-Wednesday the carpet will be installed. Then all there is from there is cleaning and exterminating and we get to move in. So it looks like at this point we will be moving in starting Friday!

After today Max and I will not be working on the house at all since we are done painting. We will take the days before the move to finish packing and cleaning this place and whatnot.

About the talk to buy the house, I doubt we will. This has been so stressful on me and we don't live there and don't have a strict move out date for our apartment. I can't imagine how stressed I would be living there while renovating or anything like that. Pictures to come soon!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Today was very overwhelming for me. Yesterday we went and worked on the house some. Primed the "blue room" aka the office aka the future nursery and prepped some more for painting. Today we woke up and headed over aroun 10 am. When we got there the subflooring in the office was torn up and we were sanding, cleaning and more prepping for painting. The pipe fix didn't work so now more earth is needing to be dug up and that section of pipe will need replaced. It was all just a little much for me so I had a little cry and then Max and I went into the backyard and kicked around a ball a bit. The backyard really calms me down at this point, even though it too needs a lot of work. I think it gives me something to look forward too with playing with doggies, parties, playing with our babies, drying cloth diapers, gardening, etc.

Anyway, we got a lot done today. The office floor is solid again and ready for padding and carpeting. I have some more cleaning and priming to do before we can paint and then carpet but it's getting there! The kitchen and laundry area linoleum and wafer board below that was removed and ready for new boards and linoleum. All the door knobs (indoor), light fixtures, etc are down and going to be replaced after we paint.

Max and I might go tomorrow and do more prep for painting i.e. filling in nail holes, caulking, cleaning/sanding the woodwork, taking down the cabinet doors and everything else. Hopefully Thursday the floor in the kitchen and laundry area will be prepped for linoleum and ready for us to paint and the water main will hopefully be fixed then too. Then the cleaning lady needs to come back and clean up and then we can PAINT! I'm so excited! As soon as we paint it should only be a couple more days for carpet and linoleum to go in and then we can move in!

There is still a lot of things outside that need done. The water pipe is under the walkway that I posted about before so they had to tear up part of it. Our landlord read my mind and will be tearing up the rest of it and putting down some railroad ties and putting in gravel for a pathway. I hope he puts down pea gravel, I love that for walkways! I still need to go in the backyard and clean up all the doodie that the previous tenants left and of course put down the bug barrier and flea spray. We also talked with the landlord about painting the exterior of the house but with the horribly job done by the previous owners it would cost a lot of money so we will be holding off on that for now or may just end up putting up new siding.

There is talk of our landlord selling us the house in a couple years. That'd be awesome! The house is small but in a really nice neighborhood in good school zones and there is plenty of room for us to expand when we need to. It's an older house built in 1949 so it has lots of old charm, exactly what I love in houses! I can't wait to take pictures of the finished product for you all too see! I might take some tomorrow when it's just Max and I there and post them once I have pictures of the finished house as well. We'll see though!

Ok, I'm off to do homework! It's finals week! Then a month off until fall term! YAY!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

New Puppy!

Yesterday we got a new puppy! Here's Ms. Carley (was Marley)

She is a patterdale terrier who may or may not become a permanent member of our family. She is settling in well though and is such a sweet girl with great manners! More pictures, posts and information about her on Eva's blog.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Today was a very long day. We went and spent the day at the new house and helped work on it. Basically today they tore out the carpet and we cleaned windows and prepped for painting. The yard was also mowed and it looks so much better! We aren't going to plant any grass at this point, just put down some fertilizer and water it and see what happens.

There is a broken pipe under the walkway so it looks like that may have to come up anyway, which is good and bad news. Good news because I want it repaired/replaced anyway since it's slanted but bad news because it tacks on more time before we can move in. Tomorrow Max has a meeting all day for work so we won't be there tomorrow but the broken window should be fixed tomorrow and the kitchen and bathroom will be professionally cleaned. Hopefully this weekend or early next week we will go in and help prime the hosue and then paint all the rooms. Our landlord loves the colors we picked out! The livingroom, kitchen, laundry area and hallway will be mostly a beige color. The living room will have an accent wall of a green-ish brown that will also go in the bathroom (I think). Our room will be a green as well and the office will be a lighter green so that when we have to turn it into a nursery it will be gender neuteral but not to babyish for it to be Max's office for now.

I took the camera today but forgot that the memory card was sitting here at our apartment in my computer. Oops!

Our landlord said today that because we are helping out and putting custom paint up and since it will look nice he's going to do us a favor and replace the other flooring in the house too! He said if we weren't replacing the carpet already and painting beyond just white walls, he would just leave flooring in the kitchen and bathroom, but it will have to look nice like the rest of the house!

There is a part of the floor in the office that needs a new support put in and also a corner in the livingroom ceiling is bowing down like it is damaged. So one of the people there helping take out carpet today pushed up on it and said there was something heavy pushing down on it. (No worries, it will be fixed before we move in.) After our landlord left and we were working on prepping for painting more, we decided we wanted to see what was pushing down on the ceiling. So we looked up in the attic, fully expecting a simple crawlspace. Much to our surprise there is a room up there! So we are going to put in one of those attic ladder things and make it my craft/homework room! Max crawled up there to see what was pushing down on the ceiling because it was behind the wall and it turns out there is a large cast iron christmas tree stand up there! Not sitting on beams, just sitting on the insulation and sheetrock! It's a good thing that didn't fall through as it would cause even more serious damage!

Our landlord also said that there is a rock patio in the back against the house that the people didn't maintain so it's covered in weeds right now but they will be taking care of that. He also said we can replace it with brick when we want :-) Max said by next summer we will need to put an awning up which I am all for! The doggies will have lots of room to run and play and explore! We considered replacing the giant dog door with a smaller one because we don't feel secure with the current one since anyone could fit through it! But our neighbors across the street are old family friends and the husband today took the cardboard cover and tacked a piece of wood to it so it can't be opened from the outside! It also works out since with puppy raising you never quite know what size dog you'll end up with!

We went out and saw the golden retriever mix today but she has a hold on her so hopefully she gets to go home with her family soon! Max and I have decided that we will keep our eyes open for the right dog to join our family and it doesn't matter when that is. We just feel that Rizzo needs a friend since she is so bonded with Eva. So if we get another dog before Eva passes or after, it is fine either way.

So it looks like at this point that we will be moving in next weekend, we really hope!

Ok, I'm gonna head to bed.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Preparing to move

We got to go see the outside of the house today since the previous tenants are officially out. They really left the house a mess and it's gonna take a lot of work on our part to get the outside the way we want it. The inside of the house is pretty bad too, the carpet needs replaced, so while the carpet is out we are going to go meet our landlord at the house and help paint the colors we've chosen for the house! Here's a picture of the backyard from my cell phone today.
Don't worry about the fencing on the sides, it has chainlink fencing behind it. We're gonna see about taking it down or replacing it in the future. At this point, we will be tilling the backyard and planting grass seed next month once it cools down a bit. We will be putting in a small vegetable garden for next year and planting flowers and what not. There is a slight slope in the backyard so near the house where it is lower we will be putting in a brick patio to have a seating area and fire pit.

The people who lived there before us had a bull mastiff and a rott/dobie mix so there is a HUGE dog door in the side door. The fencing along the carport is just lattice and it looks like one of the dogs tried to get out so we're gonna have to make it "doxie" proof.

Beyond that, it'll be a lot of cleaning, weeding, raking, watering and just general care and attention to get teh yards where we want them. We would like to pain the exterior of the house (hopefully in October/November) and the front walkway and step is uneven and needs repaired/replaced. We'll see what our landlord wants to do about that or wants us to do about it. The driveway also needs a patch on one side so that the car goes down even.

I know it sounds like we are putting a lot of energy and work into a rental for no reason, but there is a good reason we are doing all of this. Our landlord is amazing and we don't want to have to switch landlords. We will stay here until our family outgrows the house or until we are in a position to buy a home, whichever comes first. We can have our dogs there and are looking into possibly fostering a golden retriever for Golden Bond golden retriever rescue that is at our local shelter. More on that later! It would be a great way for me to use my cravings for a new dog before our next PIT comes and I would be helping out dogs that need it. We're going to go meet her tomorrow and send up our foster application tomorrow as well if we choose not to adopt her. Max says he doesn't want to since he wants a pitbull but we'll see after we meet her!

Ok, I'm off to go do some more packing and hopefully talk Max into going to an event this weekend for the rescue group. It's the same rescue that rescued, placed and have real concern for Eva's brothers/nephews that were turned in. I would love for them to get a chance to meet Eva and for me to get to meet the people I spent lots of time on the phone with worrying about those little puppies.

Monday, August 16, 2010

As Time Goes By

It just keeps going faster and faster! Eva is almost off house-arrest, let me tell you, Friday can't come soon enough! I'm dieing to get her out on some walks! Eva has been doing well, her weight seems to have stabalized (although it is still low for a healthy golden) and she had a nasty ear infection but with some daily cleanings and medication, it is clearing up. Her skin looks good at this point with no sores!

Rizzo just turned three years old on Saturday! I can't believe my little ugly doxling is three! Seems like just yesterday we were introduced to a 14 week old dapple doxie puppy named "Leann" and only a couple days later she came home with us. I love my baby girl and although she often times drives me bonkers, we are slowly teaching her manners and I really think that the upcoming move will help her settle down.

Charlie is now 16 months old and it looks like we'll be driving him down October 8-10, 2010. October 8 is the day he turns 18 months and since CST pups turn in at 18 months, it works out perfectly for us to take him down that weekend. Although it will be a very busy couple of weeks!

As far as moving, we drove by the new house today and it is a mess. The people were spossed to be out yesterday but there is boxes in the front yard, garbage and equipment in the carport and just stuff everywhere. Hopefully we'll be moving in next weekend though. Our landlord told us that he's going to have to replace the carpet and some other flooring and some cabinets and doors because the previous tenants dog was destructive.

Summer term is coming to a close and fall term starts in about 5 weeks. Max is very excited to start college and I'm excited to start the actual accounting program finally! Ok, I'm off to do homework. I'll leave you with a picture of Eva, Charlie and Galaxy playing the other night while she was visiting for a couple days.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Under New Management!

This blog will be pretty quiet until things settle down as in we're done moving, Charlie returns for training, Eva gets out of heat, etc.

At this point we are just working on getting packed for the move, watching little Galaxy when she needs a puppy-sitter, loving on Eva and Charlie and have some plans in the works for a potential new (canine) member to join our family. I haven't heard back from her temporary home yet but we are hoping Maggie, an 8-year-old bi-colored (black and white) sheltie joins our family. Although I prefer male dogs, I always wanted a female sheltie and we are really wanting to rescue a doggie and she is the only referrance the Oregon sheltie rescues have at this pont. There are seldom shelties in rescue in Oregon, probably because it is a *rarer* breed and most people who buy/adopt shelties know what they are getting into. I was told of a 4-month-old pup and a litter of sheltie puppies, but I really really want to rescue an older dog. Once Eva passes, we will be looking for a sheltie more seriously (if things don't work out with Maggie) and we may end up buying an older pup from a breeder since a lot of times breeders sell pups that they kept for a potential show dog that grew pass the size restrictions. I don't want three pet dogs when we get a puppy but there is little chance that Eva will be here when we get a puppy, her body seems to be failing her little by little and she seems to be getting more and more uncomfortable. We are back to the drawing board to come up with a plan to keep her comfortable as long as possible as we really really want her to see her second birthday (Oct. 24). We are hoping a puppy will be in our home late 2010 or early 2011. News on Maggie and puppy will come on this blog or Eva's once we get some!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Closing Time

I've been blogging (not all on this blog) for over 3.5 years. I love having a day by day record of our time Loden, Eva, Evett and Charlie. However, I think it's time for a new way for me to record my time with my pups. This blog and any others of mine that are open will be closing. There are plans for a puppy point-of-view blog for the next puppy whenever he/she arrives, but they are not concrete and I really have to consider if I want to do that or not. I may still read people's blogs and comment but plan on scrapbooking important events and datesof my pups for my memories and benefit. If you want to follow my going ons and that of Eva, Charlie and future puppies, feel free to add me on facebook, follow me on twitter or email me. Speaking of which, Eva will be going to the vet most likely this coming Friday, the news maybe posted on this blog, depending on what it is.

It's been fun guys.