PitaPata Dog tickers
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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Big Fat 0

For the fourth week in a row, Kyle is in phase 0. That's still the medical evaluation stage of training. Phase 0 normally lasts 1-2 weeks, so that alone was cause for concern.

Additionally, all of Kyle's littermates are getting career changed. So far, three, maybe four, are cc'd. Kermit returns to formal training this week, and Keegan is unaccounted. Those odds aren't tipping the scale in Kyle's favor at all.

With these two factors combined, I panicked and called my leader. She placed a call to my regional leader. I'm assuming my regional leader called the Oregon campus because I had a logical, but sad, explination for Kyle's stay in phase 0 within a couple of hours.

It turns out that Kyle cut his paw open on an outing. Until it heals, he cannot go into training. My poor boy! I wish I could give Kyle a giant cuddle right now. He's got to be going stir crazy without exercise. Kyle is the energizer bunny.

All I can hope is that Kyle is getting obedience work and some other form of entertainment while his paw heals. If any of Dutch and Gracie's puppies are going to make it as a guide dog, I have full confidence that Kyle can do it. He was born to be a working dog. A hurt paw cannot keep my boy down.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Under the Bed

Rio's new favorite room in our home is the bedroom. Rio voluntarily heads up the stairs to hang out alone. It's an odd change to have such an independent puppy after needy Kyle.

Last night I headed upstairs for Rio so that we could go to a friend's house. This is the sight that greeted me.

(Rio asleep with his rear on the dog bed and his front under the human bed.)

I have one seriously weird puppy. Rio's antics constantly make me laugh.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Nearly Wordless Wednesday

(With the help of my friend, Rio can do a pretty good chihuahua impersonation!)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Becoming a Cuddle Bug

After almost two months with Rio, it's amazing how many things I'm still learning about the boy. Now that Kyle is in formal training, I have way more time to spend with Rio. My favorite realization is that Rio can be a much more cuddly puppy than I previously thought. If you haven't picked up on it before, I love cuddly dogs!

(Rio laying on my lap.)

The day after Kyle left, Rio started sidling up to me and pressing his body against my legs the way Kyle used to do every morning. He'll also peer at me in the morning to get me to wake up. When I sit or lay on the floor, Rio will come and lay next to me. He even puts his head in my lap to request an ear scratch when I'm busy at my desk or table. I love it!

I already thought Rio was the perfect puppy. Now there is icing on the cake!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Phase 0

Kyle is on GDB's phase report!

Kyle     45X7     LAB     M     0

Basically, seeing Kyle's name on the phase report means that he made it to campus safe and sound. Phase 0 is the medical evaluation phase which means that Kyle hasn't started formal training yet. Hopefully by next week he'll start climbing the numbers.

It completely made my day to see that little 0 by Kyle's name. I miss my boy, but I'm thankful he's getting the chance to learn everything we spent the last year preparing for. Go Kyle go!

In family news, two of Kyle's brothers are in formal training. Kearney is in phase 1 and Kendrick is in phase 7. I love watching them progress too.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Adios vs. Chao

In Spanish there are several ways to say goodbye. Most people know the term "adios." However, in Ecuador where I learned Spanish, adios is a permanent goodbye. You'd only say that word if you knew for certain that you'd never see someone again. Thus, I cringe anytime I hear the term.

Instead, I prefer the term "chao." This word is a much more informal goodbye. I love the friendliness of this term that is more akin to "see you later." Chao is a goodbye that I can handle.

Saturday afternoon, I took Kyle at the puppy truck. This morning Kyle should be arriving at the Guide Dogs for the Blind campus in Boring, Oregon. Although Kyle is no longer in my home, there is no way I'd ever say adios to my boy. I couldn't do that. Our paths in life have diverged, but we both have big adventures ahead of us in the next few months.

With tears in my eyes but a smile on my face, I say chao to Kyle. He's ready for all the excitement formal training has to offer him.

In the mean time, here are a few final shots of my big boy.

(Kyle in the car on the way to the puppy truck. I love his clear brown eyes!)

(This is the final shot of the four of us together for now. I'm hoping we'll get another one at graduation. My fingers are crossed.)

 (Kyle spent a good portion of the day in my lap, but we needed one more cuddle before goodbye.)

 (Kyle with his little brother Rio. This is a great shot to capture the contrast in their personalities. Kyle: "I'm not taking a picture. They bother me." Rio: "Aren't I cute!")

(The drivers asked me to put Kyle on the truck, and I lost it. I love this boy!)

(One final shot of Kyle in his kennel on the puppy truck. Kyle, I hope your journey went smoothly and you are enjoying new adventures in Oregon.)

Good luck Kyle. You are going to do wonderful things in life. ¡Chao!

Friday, May 13, 2011

The Way Life should Be

While my students and I are dreading Kyle's recall, all Kyle knows is that today is the best day of his life.

(Two students petting Kyle at once.)

All day long students and coworkers have been stopping by to pet Kyle. He's gone outside for every class period. We've made him the center of attention by taking his picture with each class. After school, students played with him in the classroom. Kyle even got to (accidentally) run free on a practice field for a few minutes.

There couldn't be a better dream day for Kyle. The world finally revolves around him, and he loves it. With only 25.5 hours left until recall, I'm more than happy to spoil my boy for one last day.