We have had so much going on that I don’t even know where to begin.
I guess we will start with our latest puppy in training Gabrielle aka, Gabby. Gabby was recalled into formal training a few weeks ago. We always get asked “is it hard to let them go?”, and the answer is yes…but no. We get VERY attached to all the puppies we raise. Some we connect with more than others, but how can you not get attached to a dog that is basically with you 24/7, that you watch learn, grow and mature?
But on the flip side we get very excited to see how our pups progress through formal training and anxiously wait to see if they will make it through and graduate. We definitely got very attached to Gabby while she was with us. Even though she was a transfer puppy and we didn’t have her during the first half of her training, she quickly wiggled her way into our hearts. We got Gabby about two months after we lost our big goofy boy Eli to cancer. There was a definite void in our house. Who knew that a house could be so quiet with only two dogs?
When Gabby arrived she brought with her some of the same goofyness that Eli had, along with a mischievous side like Eli as well.
She had a lot of energy but lacked self control which in turned caused a few behavior issues that needed some work. As we worked hard on helping Gabby learn how to control her impulses we started to see in her a dog that really wanted to be right and please you. She became very sweet, loved to cuddle, got along great with Ricki, Ozzy and the cats. There was definitely a time where we were unsure if she would be able to go into formal training. She made great progress as she matured with her impulse control, but we had a few other behaviors that we had to work on as well. She had some relieving issues to work out and some body sensitivities with wearing her puppy coat.
Gabby is a great example of how patience, positive reinforcement, consistency, maturity and time can really make a huge difference. She worked really hard at trying to understand what we were asking of her behavior wise and really surprised a lot of people. It was very bittersweet dropping her off for formal training. We had bonded so much with her as we worked through her issues and she just fit so well in our house. On the flip side, we were excited and proud that she had come so far and made such big improvements to make it back for formal training. So to answer the question “is it hard to give them up?”, it’s complicated.
Once again our house seems very quiet with only two dogs and we miss our goofy girl, but the feeling of pride we get when we look back and remember how far Gabby came with her time with us is amazing. There is no feeling better than seeing the puppy you once had is no longer a puppy, but a mature dog loving their new partner and loving the job they are doing. Now it is still too early to know if Gabby will graduate as a guide, but the fact that she is back in formal training still amazes us. The dog we handed over for training was a completely different dog than we picked up as an 8 month old puppy.
Check in on our Facebook page or our Twitter every Thursday to see how Gabby is progressing in formal training.
stay tuned, we have been very hard at work on some big changesas we progress as a non profit! And of course everyone wants to know when the next puppy is arriving, well you will just have to wait a little bit longer for that announcement