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Blog: Guest Posts
A Career Change for Caleb
A transition for our family
Well, I really did not anticipate I’d be using the words career change; in fact, I delayed writing this post just to avoid it. I take it very hard when one of my dogs is dropped; I feel for a second that I failed as a guide dog puppy raiser. For 13 months Caleb and I have been a team and to an outsider we look like we know what we’re doing. But truth be told, Caleb made the decision he does not...
Blog: Guest Posts
Guide Dog Puppy-Raiser Asks, “A Year Already?”
Thirteen months and countless miles later
As I type this, we’re waiting for our flight home after a good but long week traveling. Caleb’s fast asleep at my feet, having grown very used to the San Francisco International Airport, and I have no worries about traveling with him. In fact, I’ve got no concerns about his ability to become a guide dog if that’s his chosen path. Recently, I re-read each of the blogs I’ve written for this series...
Blog: Guest Posts
Guide Dog Puppy Raising Balances Work and Play
Plus, some serious off-leash challenges for Caleb
This is my favorite time of year; I love the changing of the season and how it changes our activities. The temperature drops, the leaves change colors and soup becomes a staple on the dinner table. The one negative I can find is the shorter day. It’s an adjustment for all of us. We go from weekends spent on the water to weekends hiking the amazing central Oregon wilderness, and as always Caleb...
Blog: Guest Posts
Caleb Keeps Rocking Guide Dog Preparation
The puppy-raising phase is coming to an end
This afternoon Caleb and I returned home from a five-day trip to San Francisco, where I learned two of his littermates had been career-changed. Since only about 50 percent of puppies in training make it as working guide dogs this is not unheard of, but after another successful travel experience with my stoic little dude it stung just a little. Luckily, Caleb remains on track. We have yet to...
Blog: Guest Posts
On the Road Again, Caleb’s Western Tour
Our Guide Dog pup travels four states, sniffs a T. Rex and turns one-year-old
It’s 8:02 on a Friday night, we are in a hotel room in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho and I am the only one still awake. We have been on the road for a week; Caleb is officially a road warrior. Last Sunday, we packed up our car and headed west. A few years ago, my husband Alex went on a fly-fishing vacation to a lodge in Montana and had an amazing time. Since then he’s been trying to work another trip...
Blog: Guest Posts
Future Guide Dog’s “Family Reunions”
Caleb reunites with his littermates
Once a year Guide Dogs for the Blind hosts their annual “Fun Day” at each campus, an annual recognition event for puppy raising volunteers to thank them for everything they do. It’s the biggest event of the year. The day provides raisers from the various territories with the opportunity to learn about new training techniques, changes in the breeding program, new community placement options and...
Blog: Guest Posts
Guide Dog Puppy-in-Training’s First Summer
Swim lessons, playing with a pal and a new tattoo
To say we’ve had a busy month is an understatement. I got my first and only tattoo (more on that in a second), while Caleb has been traveling, trekking and celebrating his first summer in style. Summer has officially arrived in Bend and that means one thing around our house—getting outside as much as possible, preferably near water. For Caleb this meant his first swim lesson. Mind you, Caleb’s...
Blog: Guest Posts
Guide Dog Puppy-in-Training’s “Teenage Rebellion”
And loving up first graders
Caleb has officially reached the halfway-point of his puppy-raising year; today he’s 9 months old! We took another plane ride this month; in fact, we took a few. Caleb even bravely managed an early morning flight, which sets back mealtime by an hour—a lifetime to a Labrador. I left the Alex in charge for a week, while I rode my bike 545 miles from San Francisco to Los Angeles as a participant...
Blog: Guest Posts
Guide Dog-in-Training Works the Red Carpet
Caleb’s first fundraiser
Our little dude is growing up so fast; we’ve completely lost all semblance of a puppy around our house except during playtime. He’s come to be known by one of his many nicknames, “Little Goat,” as he loves to jump straight in the air and race around the track he’s created in the yard, kicking up his heels and burning off steam. Caleb is almost eight months old now, which means he’s about...
Blog: Guest Posts
The Whirlwind Life of a Guide Dog Puppy—with Video
Caleb’s first plane trip, photo shoot and evaluation
Last week was a big development week for Caleb. He took his first plane trip, met our delightful friend and photographer Amanda Jones (video below), explored San Francisco, and had his six-month evaluation with our field representative from Guide Dogs for the Blind.  While in theory it would be great to have our dogs always travel with us, I can tell you from years of experience it’s not as easy...

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