Partner is officially a breeder for Guide Dogs for the Blind!
We can't be Partner's Breeder Custodians because Guide Dogs will call and need him down at the campus to be bred to an in-season female at a moment's notice and we are simply too far away for it to work.
Right now GDB is looking for the perfect, loving family for him where he will live as a pet (A well behaved pet). It is his new family's job to take him to his "dates".
Once they find him a new family he will get a graduation date! At his graduation instead of presenting him to his visually impaired handler, I will be presenting him to his new family.
I have had a few people ask me if I was disappointed that Partner is going to be a breeder and not a Guide Dog.
I am THRILLED!
Although Partner won't go on to help a blind person directly, he is capable of producing hundreds of offspring! His puppies will go on to become guide dogs or even breeders. Indirectly, he will be helping countless people!
Very few male breeders are chosen each year and it is not only a huge honor that he was chosen but also a testament for what a rock-solid dog he is!
So what now?
Now I wait...
Partner will hopefully be bred sooner rather than later and 4 months after he is bred I will be picking up my very first grandpuppy!
I have this guy 3 days a week to try and get him through some issues. So far so good! He's doing great and I'm having a blast!
So, 3 weeks ago, I sent Partner back to San Rafael.
I have heard that he has been pulled for breeding pending his final medical exams!
This is great and hopefully means that he has passed all of his behavior tests and they are just waiting on the more extreme physical tests before passing him as a breeder.
It will most likely be weeks before we hear anything more.
Oh well, no news is good news for now and I am crossing my fingers that he passes these last few tests because I am dying to raise one of his puppies!
Lots and lots of puppy sitting! So far, since Partner's recall I have gone only about 2 full days without a dog! It has been awesome working with some of the other dogs in our group and it's great to have something to keep me busy while I am waiting to hear about Partner.
The other day I received the news that Partner will be leaving me on July 21st.
I am going to miss him so much but I am really excited to see where he ends up! He is still unaltered and will go down as a potential breeder. Because of this, I am waiting on getting my next puppy until I know for sure what he will be doing. If he does make it as breeder I am going to wait for one of his puppies!
No matter what he ends up doing with his life, I know that someone is going to love him to pieces! He is SUCH a lovebug.
Last Friday our meeting was located at one of the bike trails near us!
It was a beautiful day and perfect for a walk!
We also got a chance to meet our club's newest member: Omar.
I'll admit I stole him for a bit...
So cute! I think I'm getting Puppy Fever! I'm already excited for puppy #6!
For the first half of the walk, I gave Partner to a new member to handle.
He seemed to really do great with her. He was on a head collar so she really didn't have to worry about him pulling or being distracted by dogs at all.
It was pretty impressive seeing him working so well with someone else- especially someone with less experience. He is just now starting to get to a point in his training where I feel comfortable letting other people handle him.
The second half of the walk, I took him back, removed his head collar and just enjoyed the nice walk with him. We didn't see many other dogs that weren't from our group on this half so I didn't have much of an opportunity to work on his dog distractions.
Even though I didn't get a chance to work with him around other dogs, it was still really great to go on such a nice, relaxing walk with the group.
I have been debating whether or not I want to get back to blogging for the last several weeks.
I started this blog in the hopes that I would take more pictures and keep better track of all of the wonderful times I have had raising these puppies but somewhere down the line I got lazy and stopped posting!
Now, of course, I am mad at myself because I have so few pictures and written memories to look back on from Partner's early life with me.
So now I have decided that I want to try get back to posting for my own personal reference.
So for starters....
Carrie graduated way back in November and moved to Colorado with her amazing handler :)
Unfortunately, shortly after arriving in CO it was discovered that she had a torn ACL. They think it happened during her training- somewhere in between her original health evaluation in the beginning of her training and being placed with her new handler.
So just after becoming an official Guide Dog, Carrie had to undergo surgery for her torn ACL and a few months of bed rest.
Luckily she is now fully recovered and back to guiding!
Partner just celebrated his first birthday a little over a month ago!
He is a wonderful dog! He's about 65lbs right now.
He comes to college with me still and is coming to work with me.
He still hasn't shown any fears at anything I have thrown his way so far which really surprised me. From everything everyone told me about raising the Goldens for GDB and getting a chance to work with a few of them myself before getting Partner, I was definitely expecting a dog whose confidence needed to be built up gradually. Instead I got a sturdy puppy whose over-confidence is actually what we are working on.
Partner has so many amazing qualities! I trust him home alone more than I did with any of my other puppies. There have been a few days where it hasn't been possible for me to take him and he is stuck at home for up to 8 hours alone. I have never come home to any messes and he has always just been laying near the door waiting for us to get home.
He walks well on a leash, is relaxed and easy-going in public, can sit still for long periods of time and still has the get-up-and-go to be happy when it is time to start moving again. He is a little bit dog distracted but is correctable and can be redirected.
He really is an incredible dog and I am so happy that I have been able to work with him!
As his recall date nears, I realize that I really only have one major issue to work on with him: Barking. Partner's only real issue that I see (Occasionally dogs get Career Changed for reasons that their raisers didn't even realize was an issue) is that he has some separation anxiety. The strange thing about it is that it is inconsistent; sometimes he barks immediately after you leave him locked in a room or kennel and sometimes he is completely fine.
I have started bringing him to work and instead of letting him play with my coworker's dog in a separate large outdoor run, I have begun locking him in a kennel. Sometimes he barks and sometimes he doesn't... I'm hopeful that a few weeks of being in a dog kennel while I'm working will prepare him for when he does go back to GDB for his formal training.
Within the next 1-3 months we will get a recall letter letting us know when to bring him down to Guide Dogs. He is still on breeder watch so he will more than likely go through breeder evaluations upon his arrival.
For now, I am just trying to spend as much time with his as possible! I can't believe he is already almost 14 months old!