Saturday, June 5, 2010

Graduation Pictures - Finally!

OK, I took a break from all things blog related for a week. Now we are back in gear and updating both Poppy's and Dagan's blogs this weekend!

Graduation was fabulous! LaVerne, Poppy's new partner, had to leave during graduation, so we met Friday for dinner. John and I were able see Poppy before we took off for dinner (Poppy was not allowed to leave campus without an instructor until after graduation). She was SO excited to see us! Though I had my camera with us, I was so focused on LaVerne and Poppy, I didn't take any pictures Friday night.

I'm not sure what it was, but this was the most relaxed, least chaotic graduation I have experienced! There were only 8 dogs graduating, so there were far fewer people than previous graduations I have participated in. Or maybe it was because we had met previously and I didn't feel like I had to squish 9 months worth of Poppy tales into an hour. Or maybe it was just our general pleasure with Poppy's placement. Whatever the reason, it was great day!

Poppy still loves to give kisses!
John sitting on the floor with Poppy in his lap, licking his face
And she is as cute as ever!
She looks fabulous in harness! And so grown up!
She enjoyed lots of posing (ok, maybe not enjoyed - but loved being touched and tolerated the posing)

After some time in the dorms, we went out for our formal pictures.
And, then for a walk over to the pond to enjoy the beautiful day and some pictures!
Then, Poppy said she had enough! I love this face, all squinty-eyes and tongue-y.

We are wishing LaVerne and Poppy all the best in the next adventures! Hoping that Pop is settling in well in Colorado and learning all there is to know about life in Arvada!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Graduation - a brief comment

Graduation was fabulous! Getting a sneak peak before graduation was even more fabulous!

By now, Poppy is in her new home, meeting her new animal friends and getting settled in for the night. So happy that she is in a spot where she can settle and be happy.

Will post pics and more later!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Thoughts of graduation

With all dogs out of the house (Dagan is on a puppy swap), it is left to me to update blogs. I know there is no way I will actually say what I want to say on stage at graduation. Heck, let's be real - I will be lucky if I remember to hand off the donation for Poppy's harness! I have walked off stage with it still in my hand more than once. So, I thought I would sit and think about all the things that I would want to say about my time with Poppy.

They say that March comes in like a lion - that was certainly true for us in March of 2009 when Poppy came home with us. At 6 months old, she hadn't had a very good start to her puppy raising career. She had issues. She was almost career changed. She was transferred for good reason. She was nothing but a product of her environment. But, habits are quickly set in puppies. I took her on as a challenge to see what I could do with her. And because she was my only option for a transfer at the time we turned in our previous puppy. She quickly grew on me.

Her smarts blew my mind. She is constantly thinking. You can sit back and watch her mind churn and try to figure what she should do, what she is expected to do and what she can get away with either doing or not doing. In 17 puppies, I had never had so much fun watching a dog think. Teaching her "Go To Bed" was a blast. She loved learning to positive methods. She picked it all up so fast! You can look at her and see the moment her brain clicks and "gets it." She is so proud of herself! She knows she is a smarty pants. Love it!

Her cuteness is overwhelming. She is a girl who knows what she wants and will work to get it. She needs cuddle time every day. She will come place her head on your leg or in your lap and just lean in to you, pressing herself against you. There were times that I could feel her want to be a part of me - to press herself into my being. Little did she know that she already lived and thrived in my heart.

Poppy challenged me as a puppy raiser. She challenged me as a leader. There were times that I didn't know how much "molding" I could do with the "lump of clay" I was given. Each time I would question her ability and desire to be a guide, she would step up and prove me wrong.

Each time I raise a puppy and turn them in, I have some inkling that I would love for that dog to come home if they were career changed. But, I also scrambled to have a plan for them in case they were released. Really, our life is easy without a pet dog. The two cats are plenty to deal with pet-wise. But Poppy was different. If she decided not to be a guide, I would have offered her to another service dog program, but in my heart of hearts, I would want her to come home. The bond we created was special.

I love all my puppies, but I simply adore Poppy. I love her personality. I love her perk. I love her spunk. I simply adore that dog. Love that dog! Can't wait for graduation!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The World is Small

Oh goodness! The world is small when you live near GDB. Went to dinner near campus with a friend who works at GDB. When her eyes about bugged out of her head over the table next to us, it was pretty clear what the reason was. That's right. At the table there were two women seated - one blind, one a former puppy raiser and GDB employee. We were good - didn't say any more than hi to the person we knew. Do you have any idea how hard it is to be back to back with the person who has your former PIT and NOT be able to say anything?!?! To hear her name in conversation?? Yup, about blew a gasket. Head just about exploded. Thankfully, there was beer. Ha! 9 more days until graduation!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Heading to...

Colorado!! Poppy is heading to Colorado! Arvada, CO to be exact.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Hold on - another twist in the ride!

Well, Mom got yet another phone call today... Poppy is IN CLASS!! She is in the 2-week class, so graduation is planned for May 29th! Yippy! Back to work on the scrapbook! Can't wait to meet Poppy (FINALLY!) Though kinda bummed that our trip to Alcatraz has been delayed. At least I've only been thinking about going a couple weeks - Mom has been thinking about Alcatraz for at least 20 years but has never gone. Probably because things like graduation push it to the back of her mind!

Wags and Wiggles,

Friday, April 23, 2010

Holding strong!

Just an update - Poppy is still hanging out in phase 8. Hoping to have more exciting news soon! Off to update on the important stuff now!

Wags and Wiggles,