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!