Monday, August 4, 2008

F Litter Ready for Raisers -- Episode 8

The puppies have been getting ready to venture into the great wide yonder: the homes of their future puppy raisers. Several important things have happened first.

Each puppy got another bath. One-by-one they took their turn standing in the sink, getting rinsed with a warm splash of water from the faucet. Next came the soap. This involved an elaborate process of rubbing each puppy to make sure they were thoroughly avocado-shampoo-smelling clean. Some puppies took to this better than others. While some would stand quietly, others would whine or groan throughout the entire process. After they were soaped we rinsed them off again. For some reason, the second rinsing usually evoked more wriggling and noises than the first. After the final rinse, we dried them off with a big warm towel. One towel usually lasted about two puppies before becoming soaked. The puppies seemed to enjoy this final step the most because it involved getting cuddled. By the end of the process, we had seven beautiful smelling puppies back outside again and ready to tackle the world!

Black Lab Frolic starts her bath with a rinse:

Black Lab Finella getting a rinse in the sink:

Yellow Lab Franco is pictured after his rinse:

Black Lab Flute climbing out of the sink onto a green towel:

Black Lab Fjord being towel-dried:

Black Lab Faulkner, damp from his bath, pictured in a blue towel:

Black Lab Faraja, clean and shiny, pictured below in a brightly colored towel:

My Mommy, My Mentor
Since she started to wean them, Christine has been gaining more and more of her old spunk back. When the babies were little, all she had time to do was eat, sleep, and nurse. Now that the puppies are mostly eating kibble, Christine has gotten some more energy to play with them. She will pick up toys in the yard and let the little ones try to grab hold of a side. If they do something she doesn't like, she will bark at them to teach them better manners. She wags her tail while she's playing with them and they wag back, happy to have their mama as a playmate.

Christine is pictured below playing with her puppies.

Move Over Dora!
Exploring is fun! Several new territories have been discovered. Frolic has become the champion of sneaking into the house to get extra attention. Although she is one of the smallest puppies, she has become an expert at throwing herself over the wooden plank that blocks the side door. Even the larger puppies can't do it with the skill she has finessed; if the door is open and we're inside, she will reliably appear about fifteen seconds later.

We don't know who started it, but the pups have decided that standing with their front paws in the water bowl and digging and splashing around is infinitely more fun than drinking. As a result, we are constantly refilling the empty bowl, which only adds to their pleasure.

Road Ready
This Wednesday will be a very bittersweet day, as we will be heading for GDB's campus and saying goodbye to our little litter. Our biggest consolation in giving them up is that we know they will be wonderful guide dogs in the future. Realistically, we know it would be insanity to raise seven dogs in one household until they are full-grown, but sometimes, we can't help but wonder about what it would be like to try...

All of the puppies, clean and ready for their big day, pictured together on a single dog bed.


  1. Uh, woe. That time went fast. They're going to be crazy balls of fun for their puppy raisers. Wonder what Christine will be like when they're gone.

  2. I have loved reading about these little puppies! The pictures are great. There are some very very lucky raisers out there!

  3. I'm sad to see reading about these little pups is coming to an end. Good luck to them in their puppy raising homes!

  4. So exciting to hear about these pups. We are scheduled to get an "F" pup, female at Oregon Fun Day on Saturday, so we have been eagerly watching their progress and trying not to pick favorites! Be assured the little one we get will be well loved and cared for. As pup #10 for me, she will have a lucky number and busy days at preschool!

  5. Danielle- Leader Boise ID.Monday, August 04, 2008 4:53:00 PM

    We can't wait... Our two "F" pup will be delivered at Fun Days in Boring... I love being able to see how the pups are with their mom and then as they grow... too bad we can't do it with every litter...
    Thanks GDB... You Rock...

  6. This is SO much fun to read about this litter ... having experienced the other side of this wonderful journey (receiving a guide dog!) They are SO adorable!!

  7. Thank you so much for this blog. There are some very lucky raisers who will pick up where you left off and give these darling babies loads of love and the very best training. Hopefully all will keep in touch and before long you'll be able to stand proudly on stage at their graduation as guides.
    Tomorrow will be a sad day to load them on the puppy truck bound for Oregon and the next adventure in their young lives. Mick will take great care of them. Tell Christine's she's a wonderful mommy and give her a big belly rub.
    Thinking of you,

  8. How sad that we won't get to read about these little guys anymore. But I'm sure that their new raisers will be fully aware of what lucky people they are!!