Wednesday, July 10, 2013

To The Doctor We Go

Don't worry, it wasnt for Romeo. It was actually for Miss Ava.

There is one thing I must confess....I have never taken a pup to an appointment of any sorts (doctor, dentist, any medical, etc..) I just feel like I wouldn't be able to control their actions as well. If I'm getting my teeth cleaned, and he breaks a down-stay, now what? Try to say "dwwaarrrn" and then "ssshhhhttteeyy" while the dentist plucks food from those pearly whites?

I did confess that, but this appointment was only for Ava where I can make sure both are good (and controlled).
There was one point, where I'm telling Romeo to leave-it or down, and then Ava picked up this, but then Romeo moved, etc... It was funny, but after five minutes, it settled down.

*Sidenote: Ava received a clean bill of health with absolutely no issues or concerns :)

Romeo laying at the side of the exam table. Ava on top of table, grasping her toes.

Fun, Fun Day

We had a day of overall fun!
I again, had errands to do, but in between, Romeo got to have fun!

Okay, he might not have thought this was fun, but I have wanted to get his picture above downtown Flagstaff for awhile. I headed up the hill to Lowell Observatory (they discovered Pluto and are still fighting for it)
and right outside of their facility is an awesome lookout area.

Black Lab in blue vest sitting on rocky ledge overlooking the view of downtown Flagstaff

After lunch, we headed to the dog park for Romeo's first visit. Wouldn't ya know, no one was there :(
While we waited, We walked over to the newly constructed mini Agility area.
I am thinking about training Romeo to compete in Agility. Since that's what I do anyway, and am putting my course together again, seems fitting.

He did great! A little unsure sometimes, but it was his first time being on an elevated surface like that so props to him!

"Look Ma! No hands!"  Black Lab sitting awkwardly on Blue A-frame

Black Lab sitting on long, blue plank known as the dogwalk. Staring off at something in the distance.

Black Lab sitting in the middle of the course, right ear thrown back, tongue out.

"Pine cone Anyone?" Black Lab sitting under picnic table with pine cone in his mouth


After our fun at the dog park, ALONE (no one ever came) We headed to Walmart to get some baby supplies for Ava. He does so good being next to the cart, not phased at all by it.

 After everything was done in the store, we then headed to the other dog park in town. I wanted Romeo to play with other dogs, since Ive noticed big dogs scare him a bit. There were many big dogs there, and as usual, he slowly approached them and was submissive towards them. He didn't play at all really.
I was going to call it a day, knowing what I need to work on, but just then a little Jack Russell mix came in.

He was the same age as Romeo, but smaller of course, and sure enough, Romeo took to him right away.
Apparently their dog is really shy, and refuses to play. They have been there almost everyday since they got him a month ago and nothing.

Wouldn't you know it, the dog and Romeo took to playing! The owners were so impressed! They kept taking pics, and saying they just couldn't believe it!

Here they are playing with a stick, black lab and white, small dog.

Prancing Romeo! He is in a prance stance while small, white dog is under him play bowing.

All in all, Romeo had a great day with lots of things to do and see, and lots of friends to play with :)

First Outing

Romeo did excellent on his first outing! More so than any other pups I've had.
We did so many errands that day too; he was a champ through it all and had no problems (no accidents, thank goodness) and listened and watched me quite well.


We headed to Walmart and got cards for Father's day. Since it was the day before, EVERYONE was there in the tiny section. It was chaos trying to look at and choose cards. Finally, it cleared out and Romeo just sat there so patiently. 

We then headed to the true test, the dog food aisle. Usually that's a temptation for any dog, trying to sneak a quick sniff. I believe that's all he did. For a four month old pup, not bad!

You would think trying to go to a store with a 7 month old, a puppy, and trying to teach and look after both would be hard. Actually, it is fairly easy with us. Maybe it wont be when Ava starts walking but we will cross that bridge when it gets there :)

We finished up at Walmart and went to about 5 other stores. He did FANTASTIC in all of them!

It's the little things that show me he is going to be a great pup and an even better assistance dog!

Guess Who's Legal?

Romeo became Legal on Monday, June 10th! Watch out Arizona! Romeo is going places!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Fun For Mr. Romeo!

    Last Tuesday, Romeo and I ran errands. In the morning, I had a Babywearing play date. For those of you who aren't quite sure what that is, it's a term used for wearing your baby. There are wraps, carriers, and slings you can use to keep baby close to you and have your hands free. Some use it for medical reasons others for fussiness, but mostly just to have your baby close and be able to carry them without having to stop what your doing.
I took Romeo along and tethered him to Ava's stroller. He did awesome! There were kids running all around and several came up to pet him. Without doing the normal puppy behavior of trying to jump on them and paw and mouth on them, Romeo sat still and let them pet him while he licked their hands. AMAZING! I was even impressed! I was preparing for the worst, but he proved me wrong.

Such a good boy! She wasn't really pulling his ears, just feeling them :)

Ava and I received support on how to really use our ring sling (Thanks you, Brittany!) We had issues, but I think we have it under control.
I also took home an Ergo carrier to try and I'm still working on how to properly use that. Not sure I like where the straps go, but that's a different story:)

After our playdate, Romeo and I did a few errands  and then I had an appointment to meet a local lady who wants to sell some of her Agility equipment. Since I had to leave my full course when we moved initially, I have been looking at building/buying it all back.
She mentioned she had 5 dogs and Romeo could play with them if he wanted. There were two miniature poodles, one small terrier mix, a cocker spaniel, and a 6 month old cavalier puppy.
Three of the dogs were elderly and let Romeo know his place (He assumed since they were smaller than him, he can play all he wants with them, WRONG! He found out the hard way) The baby cavalier was a screamer...oh joy. So if Romeo played with him and barely touched him he screamed. The only one that was up  for a game of fun (and teaching) was the terrier mix.
 I am going to purchase her teeter next week for sure and am thinking on a set of weaves. Weaves are easy and simple for me to make so I'm not sure on that yet.

After all that, it was vaccination time! Romeo took it all like a champ and didn't even know the vet was sticking needles in him. It might have been something to do with the fact that the tech just loved on him :)

Then it was time for some fun again! Romeo met up with Coleman, a CCI release dog. He belongs to one of my former co-workers and it was her first time puppy raising, but she's not sure if she wants to do it again. He was released for temperament, he just couldn't focus enough I guess. She told me when they were out training, he took off and jumped in a pond, silly boy!
Romea played tug with him a lot and he just stood there! Too funny!

To end the day, One of Adam's co-workers has a black Lab, male and they met for the first time when I stopped by. His name is Towns and he is such a stocky Lab! I love stocky Labs :) He is only a few weeks younger than Romeo so many playdates ahead!

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Like Us!

Just a quick note to all the puppy raisers and handlers out there! Romeo and I have a Facebook page and we would love it if you would "like" us and share! I will still be updating on here but Facebook allows me just to make quick little posts and updates a bit easier. I will write my more lengthy post on here. Head on over, here

Saturday, June 01, 2013

Here It Goes! *Please Read*


Now that the formalities are out of the way, Let's begin at the beginning....No, not that far! Just a couple of weeks.


So on Tuesday, the  21st of May, I headed from Northern Iowa down to Kansas City, Kansas.  I left at 11:30 A.M. and it takes roughly 5 hours to get there so a little after 5 was my ETA.
When I came to visit, I had essentials in the van. Luggage, stroller, foldable crib, etc.. things that would make the trip, and stay, comfortable. When I left, I had every family member, and I mean EVERYONE, give me baby things to take home. At first I was all for it! Who wants to buy everything when you can get some for free! Yet when the time came to leave, you had no idea what was in the van!
4 pieces of luggage
1 folding crib
1 Bumbo
1 travel swing
1 stroller
1 small container of toys
1 carseat
1 baby lol!

When I left add these things to the list:
1 snowblower (free is free! and we needed it for the winter)
1 crib (that was decently flat)
1 crib mattress
1 4ftx6ft picture (it looks good in my bathroom)
1 plug in, small vacuum cleaner
1 pushing car (kids ride in it and you push them)
1 small slide for toddlers
1 attachable bike chair
1 outdoor swing
2 totes of random things and clothes
2 boxes of baby clothes, bottles, bedding etc.
1 box of toys
1 baby walker
a few sacks of random things for travel

Now for the pics:

View from behind drivers seat


So....That's what Ava and I (and Mr. Lover) drove all the way to AZ


Our first 5 hours of driving went perfect! Ava slept and then I pulled over to feed her which only took 20 min. We headed into Kansas City area and boy, did it confirm my likes of country living. I hate traffic not because Im scared of it, but because everyone truly annoys me! Seems like brains shut off during rush hour traffic! Better to put me in an area filled with cows and horses and no one around for miles.

I met Lisa  ( who had no Merlot or Clara with her this time, I think she needed a break lol!) and Miriam (She raised KSDS Mosier, but her blog is a bit inactive at the moment) at one of the local Applebees. Sidenote: So good to meet up with you guys!
After our dinner, I FINALLY met Romeo. It has been so long since I had a puppy leash in my hands (other puppy raisers know that even one month seems like forever!) that it really took a minute to grasp everything.
Of course he piddled in his kennel so he was a bit damp but I took a picture with him anyway (my shirt did not thank me)

He looks really big in this picture but its an illusion :)


I believe I left Kansas City at 7:30 and then the drive continues.....
Romeo did EXCELLENT! No accidents, no noises, not even a slight whimper! Ava did very good as well. we were even able to stay on her schedule a little bit, which helped her out a lot.
I remember Kansas took forever to get through! I go all the way across Kansas and boy, is it boring! Sorry to people who live in the desolate part of the state. Even though I live in Arizona, I am up in the mountains, not in the desert. I need green!  I didnt get a motel but slept in the car. I may have gotten a total of 3 hours, not sure, but it didnt seem to help at all. I remember I got going at about 5 a.m. and pulled over an hour later, trying to get some more shut-eye. I just couldnt keep my eyes open. Got about 45 min. and then started up again. Sure enough, at about another hour of driving I had to pull over. 45 more min. and I started to feel human. The rest are I pulled over in, had another car with AZ plates sleeping. Funny little coincidence.
  Not sure what town it was, I'm thinking Liberal KS; I stopped to take Ava in to be changed and I a potty break. A lady came out and immediately went off about this guy that was watching me and looking at me from afar. She told me to get a good look at his car and plates, as he was driving off, and to just be on high alert. I just must have been too tired to notice. I thanked her and we chatted for a minute. She was headed to California and we were discussing half-way points and drive times.

OK and TX are quick since I only go through the panhandle and the corner of TX. NM is a square state so that took a short amount of time. I did stop at a gas station and get 2, 5 hour energys. Believe me, they work! I was alert all the way home!

I pulled in our driveway at 10p.m. on Wednesday. Ava was still awake so I gave her a bath to relax her and put her down.  I took out necessities, pottied Romeo, took a shower and headed to bed.

All day Thursday I was still exhausted. Ava and I just sat around and did minimal things. It honestly took me about 3 days to fully recuperate.


I want to state one thing: That dog is the most mellow Lab puppy I have ever seen. He could care less about food, he likes to quietly lay down and chew on toys, and he senses that Tara does not like puppies. He is so gentle around her and knows to leave her alone. NEVER have I seen any of the puppies do that! They pounce, run into her, chew on her and then she lets them have it. Sometimes a bit too much, but I am always watching her and the puppy. I still do not leave Tara and Romeo unattended. He still is young and Tara is getting older. When I go upstairs, a gate separates the two or she goes in a crate.
Hermes will let Romeo jump on him and even chew on him, but then lets him know when it's enough. JD plays with him a little and then does the same thing, let's him know that enough is enough.

He is so Gentle with Ava. He doesnt get too close but when he does, he has a little air lick. He gently licked her hand one time, but that was it. If I'm really watching, he wont touch her toys. If he does, I correct him and then trade her toy for his. I think he's catching on.

I believe I am caught up! You feel your age coming on, don't you? :) It wasn't that long....was it?


Thursday, May 30, 2013

Oh Boy!

There is so much to report that I fear my next post will be super long. I promise to make it informative and refreshing if you read through it all! Not exactly sure how to make it refreshing but it sounded good, didn't it?
For now, I will leave you with a picture of the lover boy.
*photo of Hermes and Romeo laying head to head*

Thursday, May 16, 2013

He's Here! ...Sort Of

Can you guess what I mean? If you guessed a puppy than you are....CORRECT! Interesting part is I haven't even met him yet. Since April 14th, I have been up in Iowa visiting my family and friends. I didn't want to have a puppy with me during my trip up to the Midwest (could have picked it up on my way) since I would be all over the place, visiting and whatnot. Trying to potty train and socialize a puppy while I'm visiting here or spending the night over there, could be very hectic.

So Lisa (Merlot and Clara) so graciously allowed him into her home for the month :)

OH! I almost forgot! HIS NAME!
As stated before, he was born on Valentines Day so the theme is obvious.


isn't that awesome! And so very typical of a Lab. Yes, I have a Lab and he is black. He makes number four...ALL BLACK MALES! lol! :)
Next week I will be picking him and and can't wait to see him! I've had prolonged excitement far too long!


Friday, April 19, 2013

Jewelry Anyone?

Some of you know, I am a representative of a friends jewelry making business. She makes her own fine pieces of jewelry and has several collections out.

Her newest collection, Letters, will be out in a few days and she just put out a video documentary of her inspired new collection!
She was a guest blogger on a jewelry blog.

Check it out of then check out the site! If anything sparks your interest, contact me! I also book parties, both local and online, with great incentives!


During Vance's graduation, I also got to meet Doniphan and Daniel. He calls him Donner now and boy are they busy! They traveled to Florida and are now preparing for a trip to Singapore!
He is so calm and relaxed, of course I remember that about him; not a care in the world. I also forgot how BIG he is! If you've ever seen a moose in harness, well that's Donner! I also noticed he has a little grey around his muzzle, so cute.

So Saturday was a great day, got to see Vance and Doniphans partners. Can't wait to hear more about them.

Vance Graduation

Friday night was amazing! I met Vance's partner John and his wife Pam. I shared as many stories as I could remember about Vance (after driving 18 hours straight, no sleep, I was a bit forget full :) ) and also gave them my scrapbook I made of Vance. Lisa ( of Clara and Merlot fame ) also gave some of her memories to them of her time spent pup sitting for several months. She couldn't actually be there but was there in spirit :)
Saturday morning came and I presented the team of John and Vance. Of course I always get nervous during public speaking but I think I did alright. It was so great to see Vance working; I think sometimes he may have gotten a little distracted but there was so much going on, hard not to!
I also saw friends I hadn't seen in over three years and some I met for the first time!  Overall it was an awesome day and can't wait to see and hear how Vance does in the coming years :)

Friday, April 12, 2013

Puppy Raiser Dinner Tonight

The drive from AZ to KS is a bit rough if you drive straight through like we did. I did most of the driving because I wasn't tired, but in the early morning, sleep was starting to creep in. Ava did really well! I was impressed! Now on our way back, that may be a different story. It will be just her and me so it may take us a week to get home with all the stops! :)

As of now, we are wasting time shopping just south of KSDS. We will check into our motel room a little after noon and boy I cannot wait to take a nap!
Tonight will be the time puppy raisers get to meet the teams and chat, give them mementos (his scrapbook, collar, etc..) and have a dinner together. I'm nervous just because you never know if they are the kind of people that love to stay in contact with puppyraisers or say "hi" and be done with all communication. Cobra and Doniphans partners have stayed in contact with me so I am hopeful!
Saturday will then be the graduation ceremony in which everyone, public also, is invited to attend. This whole trip is a double whammy for me because I have not met Doniphans partner in person. I was unable to attend the graduation ceremony for them so they are coming Saturday to meet me and say "hi". Can one get so lucky? Overall excitement here :)

I also have MANY pictures of Vance's scrapbook (yes, I finished it finally!) But I will post one of my favorite pages!

Pictures and summary to follow later!

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Busy, Busy, Busy!

This week is proving to be busy! Let's see...Sunday night, Ava and I headed down to Phoenix to pick up my Mother from the airport. Monday we spent a good chunk of the day shopping. Got to have a little guilty pleasure right? Monday night we headed home and to save time, we took a shortcut. Whoever said shortcuts were helpful? We were almost to our house when we came across a fallen tree. It was directly across and since we we driving a van, there was no off-roading to go around. So much for saving time. We got home last night about 8:30 instead of 6:30 :(.
Today is tidy up day and gathering things to be packed for our cross country trip. I just have one more page to finish for Vance's puppy book! I am so happy with it, I just love scrapbooking! When I get back, the plan is to start in with Ava's book.
Tomorrow is clean and pack the van day. I'm sure that will be a chore! The van hasn't been deep cleaned in a few months! I think a big sign that it needed cleaning was when a neighbour dog, while I was at their house, was licking something in the door track!
Thursday is the big day! We head out around noon and drive straight through to Kansas, where we will attend Vance's graduation! I hope and pray Ava will think the road trip is a new adventure and not a gruesome and boring misery :).

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Vance is Graduating!

Yep! That's right! My boy has finally found his partner and will be graduating next Saturday!

Ava and I as well as my Mom (who is flying here and driving out with me) will be heading out next Thursday sometime. A puppy raiser meet and supper with the new partner is scheduled for Friday night. I don't want to miss that!

Vance is my third pup I have raised for KSDS (we all know the fourth will be here soon ). He is the second one trained as a guide dog; my first pup is a service dog.

Gotta get back to work on his puppy book. Its almost complete.