Thursday, March 26, 2009
Now that we've seen our names on the list, it really seems official. 3 weeks from today.. I feel like we should be getting ready?! We've done our research and have read the GDB manual almost cover to cover, have gone to every meeting since we started thinking about this, and puppy-sat many times. But I can't help thinking that there is more we should be doing to prepare... we'd love any advice for the beginners!
I understand that we are provided with the essentials (leashes, etc). I'm thinking about getting a dog bed this weekend, and maybe a few GD approved toys. Off to PetsMart!
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Another beautiful weekend spent skiing in the Rocky Mountains. Perfect weather, great snow, friendly people, and breathtaking scenery. I find myself sometimes forgetting how lucky we are to live here. This trip, I made it a point to comment on the amazing snow-capped peaks that surrounded us – I want the kids to appreciate what an incredible place we live.
Our family of five stayed for two nights in Keystone, and went skiing and tubing. The skiing was an old favorite, the tubing a brand new adventure for all of us. I never knew a person could fly so fast down a mountain, unscathed! Tubing is definitely something we all want to do again soon.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
This weekend we had the opportunity to puppy-sit a guide dog-in-training... a 9-month-old yellow lab. He has a very sweet personality and we had lots of fun with him. We really got a taste of what it'll be like to raise one of these pups on our own.Here is the little guy, "T," hanging out in our family room getting used to his tie-down. Because he isn't used to being around kids and other animals, he was constantly picking up kid and dog toys. It was difficult to let him have much freedom, because we found we had to always dig things out of his mouth. So... we pretty much had to take turns holding on to his leash and learning to live one-handed!
We had fun taking "T" on many short walks, a few stores, and even church. He had a little trouble sitting through church, and started the "puppy-leash-biting" thing, wanting to play. We had to take him out because we couldn't get him calmed down.
Above is a photo of Leah with her current charge... Leah will be the main puppy-raiser in our family. I know she'll do great!
Leah, my oldest daughter, just turned 10. That statement alone amazes me. And how is it that I remember more about her birth than I do about my 5 year-old son’s birth? I’m forgetting the special and the everyday… the silly remarks and the monumental events. My hope is that keeping a journal of sorts will help me to document life’s extraordinary, everyday moments that I know will otherwise blur.
Back to Leah – and another reason for starting this “journal.” Leah has taken a very intense interest in raising a guide dog puppy for her next 4-H project. After months of discussion and researching Guide Dogs for the Blind, we all finally agreed to take on this project. As much as I love dogs and am inspired by this worthy cause, I had trouble imagining how this could fit into my life-style as a mommy of 3 very busy children. How could I possibly have a guide dog with me at all times when Leah is at school? Still not sure, but seeing Leah so excited eventually rubbed off on me and we’re going to tackle this. And I have to admit… I’m as excited as she is (almost).
Which leads me back to the inspiration of this blog… My advice to Leah was to keep a detailed record of this experience, because it will be one she’ll always want to remember. She’ll only have this sweet puppy for a short time (anywhere from 5 to 18 months), and we know it will leave an impact on our lives, and memories we’ll cherish. Not only will this be a tremendous amount of work, it will also be an emotional journey that we will all learn from. I want her to get everything she can out of this experience, and “journaling” would be a great way to do this. It may also serve as a place for other puppy-raisers to follow our journey and offer/receive advice and share stories. Or maybe inspire others to consider joining this cause.
Hearing myself give this advice to my daughter made me realize that documenting our family’s life should be more of a part of my life as well, leading us to consider beginning this blog together. So here we go! Updates coming soon on our adventures in puppy raising and anything else that strikes our fancy.