Wednesday, April 27, 2011

17 Things at 17 Months

Kyle turned 17 months on Easter day. Because of the holiday, I'm a few days late getting this post up. In honor of our time together, here are 17 great memories with Kyle.

1. The day I picked Kyle up, I was amazed by his energy level and excited about his love of cuddling. A year later, those are still two of his most noticeable character traits.

2. Some of my favorite pictures of Kyle are from this day spent with my friends and their daughters. I love how much puppies and kids belong together. Kyle's starter raiser was a young girl, so he was overly enthusiastic about any young girl we came across when he was younger.

 3. Once or twice a year our puppy club visits a therapeutic boarding school. The students their love our puppies. This boy in particular didn't leave Kyle all morning. I love how much good cuddling a puppy can do for someone in need. This is one of my favorite meetings with Kyle as a result.

4. Kyle comes up with silly antics that constantly amuse me. I loved a stage he went through where he would sleep in weird positions on whatever was available.

5. Kyle is the best road trip dog  imaginable. He and I logged thousands of miles together, and he was a good sport for every one of them. I hope he goes to a family who loves to travel as much as Kyle and I do.

6. I think it is funny when humans and their dogs start looking alike. My sister snapped this picture on one of my visits to her house. Love it!

7. Kyle never gets bored of tug. Right after this shot was snapped, my nephew was on his belly as Kyle pulled him around. I have several similar pictures of Kyle and my students. Kyle is one strong boy.

8. Kyle is perfect in public. I trust him enough that I willingly handed the leash to my five-year-old nephew and let him walk Kyle around Walmart. You can tell Kyle still kept his loose leash and listened to my nephew. This dog rocks when he's working.

9. When I broke my foot last July, Kyle was a great support. Right after it happened, I went into the house and got Kyle out of the kennel because I needed puppy love to distract me from the pain. Throughout the ordeal, Kyle was a great sport and gave me extra cuddles. He even forgave the lack of frequent walks for a few weeks.

10. I seriously couldn't have written my thesis without Kyle. When I couldn't stand being cooped up indoors during the beautiful summer weather, Kyle's cuddly playfulness always gave me a much needed stress relief. I'm so glad he was part of my graduation!

11. Kyle became such a part of me that my friends started inviting me and Kyle together to things. He's game for any outing. Here we are at a corn maze. The weird smells, lighting, and sounds didn't phase him in the slightest. Not pictured are the several friends who invited us.

12. How can you be grumpy when your puppy is having fun? I woke up to the first snow of the year and would have grumbled if it weren't for Kyle's excitement. I love Kyle's new perspective on life.

13. Sometimes the biggest problems have the easiest solutions. Kyle constantly barked complaints of boredom in my classroom (or so I thought). Then, for Christmas I bought him a dog bed for school. From day one, the barking was solved. It turns out that he was uncomfortable on the hard floor.Sorry Kyle! Life lesson learned.

14. Kyle got incredibly muddy a day or two after I bathed him. I just laughed it off because Kyle's helped me learn to not sweat the small stuff.

15. This winter a "shortcut" on a hike turned our one hour trip into a five hour ordeal. My energizer bunny  was a trooper the whole time. Kyle crashed when we finally made it to the car, but he was ready to play again when we got home 15 minutes later. Nothing can slow this boy down.

16. I love Kyle's enthusiasm for chewing his bones. No hard toy stands a chance for a long life when he's around.

17. Mine isn't the only life Kyle has touched. Hundreds of students at the school where I teach have learned from Kyle. Kyle's already done plenty of service in his 17 months of life. I'm excited to see who else he will get to touch in the next stage of his adventures.

Kyle and I have less than three weeks left to make more memories together. We'll treasure each and every one of those moments.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Photo Shoot

Three weeks ago, one of my students who is a fabulous photographer volunteered to do a photo shoot with my pups. When all was said and done, she took 234 photos. A few pictures have already made an appearance on the blog, but there are still hundreds more.

To keep from delaying this post any longer, I'm just going to let a few of the pictures speak for themselves. All I have to say is that I'm raising two photogenic boys.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Mostly Wordless Wednesday

For anyone who wonders how Kyle and Rio are getting along, take a look at Kyle's reaction when I try to take his little brother away. Kyle thinks Rio is the best play toy I ever bought home!

(Kyle tugging on Rio's leash in an attempt to keep him nearby.)

Kyle and Rio are normal pups and do a fair amount of teasing each other too. Normally this takes the form of stealing toys, but it can manifest itself in other forms.

 (Rio looks like he's laughing while Kyle sticks out his tongue.)

Friday, April 15, 2011

2012 Calendar Submissions

Pictures for the 2012 GDB calendar were due today. I selected my submissions weeks ago, but I just managed to email them in. There's nothing like cutting it close. For your viewing pleasure, here are my submissions.

I love this picture of Kyle! Posing him in front of a Braille sign seems like setting him up for success. This picture is from June 2010 at a park in Idaho Falls. If any of my pictures are going to make it, I'm pretty sure this one has the best chance.

Rio's head tilt is always a heart melter. This picture is from the end of March. It's taken in my backyard on the day Rio was transferred to me.


The day Snickers came off the puppy truck, I asked his raiser if we could take a posed picture of him in Kyle's jacket. Thus this picture from August 2010.

Last month I took a road trip to Oregon with a fellow puppy raiser for Picassa's graduation. I puppy traded for Breeze since she needed the road trip experience. This picture isn't too far from GDB campus at Multnomah Falls.

I'm excited to see if any of these shots make the new calendar. I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Four Months

Rio has only been home for a week and two days, but I am already completely in love with this little pup. Guide Dogs sent me another great puppy to raise.

I could make a super long list of things about Rio. However, I'll stick to four things since he is four-months-old.

1. Rio proved himself a bomb proof dog today. During an earthquake drill, sirens and flashing lights alerted us to the mock disaster. Rio didn't even blink. He also successfully ignored 1850 students all headed to the football field at the same time. I was impressed!

 (Rio in a perfect sit on the football field with huge crowds of students behind him.)

2. Rio loves his food! He gets more food a meal than Kyle's ever gotten, but he's still on the skinny side. Even with larger portions, Rio finishes his meals before Kyle. He also makes adorable piggy snorts whenever he earns a kibble. We practice come just so I can hear them.

3. Rio loves Kyle. When they play, Rio wears out before Kyle does, so he's learned to hide under the kitchen chairs, under my bed, or behind the rocking chair to signal a time out. Rio also heads for these locations whenever he manages to snag a bone from Kyle.

(Rio hiding with a new bacon flavored nylabone under the kitchen chairs.)

4. Rio already has nearly impeccable house manners. I keep an eye on him because he's not accident free yet, and he is teething. That said, Rio is free when he's the only dog around. I love what an easy puppy he is to live with.

This past week has been so much fun with Rio. I'm excited to spend the next year or so with him!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Mostly Wordless Wednesday

(Kyle never fails to make me laugh every day. I'm glad one of those moments was captured on camera.)

Sunday, April 3, 2011


Kyle is 16-months-old, and Rio is 16-weeks-old. One year sure can make a difference in the life of a puppy. It's fun having the comparison of the skills Kyle has already mastered, and the adventures Rio is soon to experience.

(This is a miracle shot. Both boys are looking at the camera with their eyes open.)

I weighed both pups on Thursday because I wanted a comparison. Kyle weighs 62.8 pounds, and Rio weighs 34.7 pounds.

For comparison, I got Kyle at 23 weeks, and he weighed 37.1 pounds. I'm guessing Rio will be that weight within the next couple weeks. Rio still looks like a little guy to me, but apparently he's going to be a big boy!