Sunday, December 20, 2009

Snow Day

It wasn't a big snow yesterday, but enough of a blanket for the dogs to bounce around in. I let the two of them loose in the backyard and let them be just dogs for a while. Micron had a blast on his first snow day.

At 12 weeks, Micron is now wearing his puppy cape at the office. My co-workers are nothing less than awesome about working together to raise the CCI puppies in the office. I work with two other puppy raisers and Micron is the ninth CCI puppy to be raised in our building. So most folk understand how important it is to reinforce calm greetings and to ignore the pup if he's over-excited. For other co-workers not familiar with CCI, the yellow puppy cape is a signal that this isn't just another cute puppy to tousle about the head. 

Micron is starting to grow out of his baby face. He's getting his feathers on his legs and I need to pay attention to around his ears to make sure that long fur isn't matting. He no longer fits on the postage scale, so we use the electronic scale in the fitness room instead. On Thursday, he was 23.2 lbs. -- bigger than a bag of dog food.
He took on the stairs at work last week, mostly just going up though. He'd get to the second floor and then look down like somebody just played a horrible trick on him. By the end of the week, he did finally get the courage to try coming back down. Now he wants to chug up to the second floor every time we walk past the stairwell.

I'm attaching a link to the post of a 5 minute video created by Alex Lowry, an film student in California. He put together a documentary showing the final steps of the breeder/caretaker as she prepares the 8 week old puppies for their trip to the CCI regional centers. This shows Micron and his eight littermates, and spotlights Marti Madias, the BC for these pups. Pretty cool stuff:  A pup's journey to greatness.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Inga update - Month One

Inga's report for her first month in AT (advanced training) at CCI came in this week. Of the six to nine months of AT, it's the first month that's the biggest adjustment for the dogs. They've moved into a entirely different environment while being introduced new behaviors. So as a puppy raiser, it's not good to get your hopes up too high when you get that first report card.
Inga is the first CCI puppy that I raised. I was told to expect to see her react in different ways than when she was with me -- and that is indeed true. Her already dominant personality is now a bit elevated with her CCI playmates and her trainer says she is easily distracted. This may be just a maturity issue, but of course this could also be just who she is. Her trainer will be working with her over this second month and we'll get a better idea by the end of January.
Regardless, anyone can see this is an amazing dog. Whatever Inga decides to do, in the end she will change someone's life for the better. We just have to wait to see how. My life has changed profoundly just having been her puppy raiser.
This month's AT report came early due to the holidays. The next update won't be until the end of January. I'll have to be patient over this long wait. Keeping my fingers crossed that she hits her groove before then.
The photos for this post are Inga wearing her rosette at her matriculation in November (top) and getting a snootful of her personalized cookie made by fellow puppy raiser, Esther (right).  Esther generously makes these cookies for all the matriculating pups. It looks absolutely yummy, but I don't have the heart to actually eat the thing [~sniff~]. I'm sure Esther understands.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The joys of . . . oh crap.

I just love puppies. A lot. Of all the amazing things about being a puppy raiser for CCI, one of the top benefits is getting a new furby every 14 months or so. They're cute and cuddly and have bladders the size of a field mouse. I do know the drill -- after naptime, after playtime, and such. They just gotta go. And Micron is a live-for-the-moment kind of guy. Just when I think we might have a schedule happening, turns out I'm expecting too much of the little fella. It's ok, really. Even his puddles are adorable. We'll get there; he's just a baby.
Micron handled himself remarkably well at the office this last week. My co-workers are wonderful about letting sleeping puppies lie. A few folk were disappointed to stop by during Micron's naptimes, but we still enjoy just watching him sleep. Even though he has a sweet setup with a cozy crate, he prefers to sleep in the middle of my cubicle or right under my chair. A cube neighbor, Jean, got the cute shot of Micron sleeping on the legs of my chair.
Since he's on a 3-meal-a-day feeding schedule, Micron gets a lunch hour like the rest of us on the cube farm. I got a shot of him showing off his noon meal to his new friend Kel, a CCI COC (change of career). You'll see a gate separates the two of them. The thing is, Micron really likes Kel. And Kel is more of a people dog than a puppy dog, if you know what I mean. Kel is the like the guy down the street that stands in the doorway in his skivvies and yells at the kids to get off his lawn. He just doesn't remember what it was like to be a puppy. But he did want that lunch kibble.
That about covers things for week two. I'm including a final photo of playtime between Micron and our family dog, Jager. Jager's role in life is to be a professional victim. He seems to be ok with his martydom and totally owns it.
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