Sunday, June 9, 2013

Internship-Day 5

Sorry this post has been delayed a few days-I was very eager to get home on Friday and pick up Alba. I sat in traffic for almost 2 hours and didn't get home until around 9pm. Saturday I had a new leader meeting in Modesto for about four hours. I am becoming a co-leader for my puppy club and had to attend this training meeting. I also took Alba bowling on Saturday afterwards and out to dinner with my family. She was AWESOME. I seriously could go on for hours about how much Alba has improved in the last month and how fun she is to take places. Love that golden girl! Her and Newport are back with their puppysitters. I didn't realize how much I missed Newport until this morning when he hopped up on my bed and curled up with me for about an hour. His morning routine is to wake up, shove his soggy black puppy lips onto my face to wake me up, and then he hops up onto my bed and curls up right next to me (and when I say right next to me, I literally mean it. Imagine a 90 pound black lab smashing you against the wall in a twin bed. He also ALWAYS has to have his head on my pillow). So to sum up, I had a really good weekend. I enjoyed seeing my family and pups again. I'm not really one that likes to be away from home, so this Internship is a pretty big step for me.

So, onto what I did on Friday at GDB. Started off as any other day, dishes, acceling kennels, going to the morning CWT meeting. There was only one CWT in Kennel 1, so after I finished rinsing K3 I headed over to K1 to help her out. I washed, rinshed, acceled, and rinshed the breakfast dishes as well as the enrichment kongs while Jessie and Shannon did the kennels. Most of the dogs in K1 were out on routes with their trainers, so it was pretty quiet. After that I took a short 10 minute break in the lounge, and went back to K3. Jessie, Mitch and I took 3 of the medical walk dogs on a 5 minute walk around campus. Then when we came back we ran some of the dogs in the back east block of K3. We ran almost all of the girls on our side. We pulled out the swimming pool, kiddie play structures, jolly balls and eggs, and a ton of Nyla knots. The dogs had a blast, and most were pretty good. A few had to be put on long lines and one or two put in time out in their kennel. We let them run for about an hour. Then we put them all back and cleaned up the pool and toys.

When we got back inside, Jessie had me do a health check on one of the dogs, and then we took 2 of the dogs for a walk. After the walk it was time for lunch, so we doled out the stuffed kongs, turned of the lights, turned on the classical music, and headed out.

After lunch, we took a working guide that was boarding for a few days to the bathing room for a bath. A couple of tours came through as we were bathing her. The tubs have a non slip mat on the bottom, and are the kind you would see at any pet grooming facility. There are special shampoo's for different coat types and even a special one for black labs who tend to get dandruff (or maybe it just shows up more). They have a hand held dryer as well as the kind that hook onto the cage doors in the bathing room so you can stick a dog in there, set the dryer to 60 minutes and go do something else while the dog dries. They put tags on the doors with the dogs name, what kennel they are from, and what time they were put in there in case they are done and someone walks by and notices and wants to put them away. The dog we bathed wasn't a fan of the dryer, and it was hot out anyway, so we just towel dried her really well and put her back in her kennel.

We then started getting infromation and kennel cards ready for incoming dogs. These being dogs returned from Foster Care, returned from adoptive homes for whatever reason, guides boarding, etc. They get all their info and stuff ready so that when the dog gets there, they just pull their stuff out of their little slot and the dog is ready to go. They do the same thing for dogs leaving. Jessie showed me the data base they use to look up certain things on dogs, like their drop reason or ID number. She put in Alba's name, and up popped Alba's info and my info, as well as a list of every single Alba there has ever been at GDB! It was really, really cool. There must have been at least 15 or 20 Alba's that have gone through GDB so far. The last one before my Alba was a cross I believe.

Once that was all finished, Jessie took me with her and one of the dogs from K2 to the massage room. Now this place was really cool! It looked like a massage room for humans. Complete with a little water fall, soothing music, dim lighting, and scents. She put the dog on the padded table and began working out his muscles. She showed me on one side, and then let me do the other. Most of the dogs in training at GDB get a massage every now and then, especially the ones that become sore from training. They also do Reiki sessions in there, which are supposed to channel the dogs good energy and "vibes" or something like that.

Jessie then took me on a tour of the new student residence building! Boy is that place nice! Especially the fireside lounge. The graduation room is magnificent, too.I think that's where we will be on Saturday for Keith's graduation.

After that we took some dogs for cemetary walks, checked suture sights, did medication, fed dinner and did the dinner dishes, and cleaned the kennels again. Then it was time to hit the road and go home. To my real home!!

I had a wonderful first week at GDB and I can't wait to see what's in store this week!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Internship- Day 4

Before I start talking about today, I just realized I forgot to mention 2 important things that I did yesterday! First, Jill in the Vet office took me out to lunch yesterday afternoon, which was AWESOME! (Thanks again, Jill!) She lives fairly close to me back home, and I am actually going to be house/dog sitting for her this month! She has a Career Change named Chief who was raised in my club, as well as a pet yellow lab named Fancy who is absolutely adorable. So that was super fun! And then after I was done for the day, I met up with a puppy raiser from the area that I met on Facebook! She is the owner of retired breeder Heloise and raiser of Heloises' daughter, Omaha! We went to the Northgate Mall and looked around Forever 21, and then we went out to dinner at BJ's. It was really fun (and delicious!). And it was also really nice to see a puppy in training again. You know how we puppy raisers act when we see a working Guide? (OH MY GOD, is that a working Guide Dog?? I have to go say hi, or take a picture, or ask who the dogs parents were, and where they were raised, and if it's their first Guide Dog) Or is that just me? Well anyway, that's how I acted when I saw It's just been really weird seeing all of these dogs....but no puppy coats! The other end of the Guide Dog spectrum I guess you could say.

So, back to Day 4. I arrived at GDB at 7:30 again and went back to Kennel 3. Everyone was cleaning kennels so Shannon, kind of the head CWT I think, had me start preparing breakfast. I had never done this before, so I assumed it was the same as the dinner feeding schedule. WRONG! The special feed dogs are the same, but all the other dogs get 2 cups of food, unlike at night where they are either 1 or 2. Luckily I caught this mistake before wetting all the 1 cup bowls. Shannon was super nice about it and helped me quickly fix it. (Which I'm glad of because I wanted to die...I HATE making mistakes!) Some of the trainers came in from 2 and 3 to help with anything that needed to be done, which I thought was super cool. Everyone at GDB, regardless of status, walks to the other kennels after their own kennel is done to see if any help is needed. To be honest, I was pretty star struck by the trainers. I closely watched the way they fed the dogs, and tried to imitate what they were doing (YES, I'm that weird!). They had their spiffy training jackets on with reflective images of Guide Dogs, leashes wrapped around their waists, clickers hanging from their waists and full bait bags strapped from their hips. Yes, these people are like movie stars to me, people that I hope to be like one day in the GDB world. After they left, Shannon had me accel the front and back east kennels. Taking care to fully accel each kennel, I really started to think about everything I was experiencing at GDB. I don't think I had fully taken in the fact that I was HERE, at GDB doing what I have dreamed about doing since I receieved my first puppy back in 2010. And now, my foot's in the door, and I'm starting something that may very well turn into my career one day! I stopped for a second to listen to everything that was going on around me. The sound of the accel foaming through the nozzle, food pans clanging together as they are collected to be washed, a chorus of clickers clicking and numerous "what a good boy!, "such a smart gir!," praises from the many dedicated trainers, and the laughter and happy banter of CWT's, Volunteers, and everyone else in between came together to create a joyful GDB orchestra!  Now that's an orchestra I'd like to listen to everyday.

So after I finished with the outside kennels and doing the breakfast dishes, I was assigned to another CWT named Addie. The first thing we did was run a group of dogs in the community run. She let me pick some of my favorite dogs, and then she added some she thought would play well with everyone. While she was putting dogs out into their outside access part of the run, I did quiet work with the dogs. They do this everyday to try and keep the dogs calm and from barking up a storm. We load our bait bags with cookies and say "quiet" and hand out treats accordingly. Not unlike the idea behind food protocol with puppies in training. Once I had gotten the dogs calm and quiet, Addie started letting them out two at a time so they weren't all overwhelmed with eachother. She also showed me how to take a stool sample, because one of the dogs had some questionable looking poop in their run. They keep these nifty feces collector things in the box in each play yard. They keep them out there so they don't have to run inside the kennel to grab one if the dog is in the play yard or something. You pop it open, dip the end in the poop, and drop it off at the clinic. While Addie did this and took the sample to the clinic, I worked on quiet work with the remaining dogs waiting to be let out. I got them sitting calmly and quietly by the time Addie returned, and we began adding more dogs to the pack in the play yard. Only really experienced CWT's are allowed to have more than 6 dogs in the play yard at once. We had 6 dogs in the run with us. All females, 3 blacks and 3 yellows (happened to work out that way....I picked 2 of the black girls and Addie added the rest). We each held what's called a Shepherds crook, which looks exactly like what those sheep herders in Scotland or something carry around. Only these are tall, more than 5 feet, metal, and painted red. They aren't neccessarily for hooking dogs around the neck. In fact, most of the CWT's don't do that because if not done properly, it could harm the dogs neck. They are more just an extension of your arm to get in the middle of rough play, or they bang the ends on the ground to get the dogs attention. We also put some of the dogs on long lines if they are exhibiting bad behavior and we can't catch them. We don't attach them to their training martingale collars though. They have black regular pet store nylon collars that we put on then attach a long line to. The ropes are white fabric type material and aren't actually that long. Probably about as long as the leather leash at it's full length. We also brought some toys out, and Addie told me they ALWAYS have more toys than they do dogs. This prevents resource guarding and all that. The toys that have are the Nylabone knots, Jolly Eggs, and the Jolly balls with the balls inside of them. After letting the dogs play for a bit, we put everyone back and cleaned up all the toys.We then started doing some of the Medical walks, which are priority walks as well. The kennel has a chart with every dogs name on it and two boxes next to their name, marked "AM" and "PM". Each dog is supposed to get a Community Run and/or walk twice a day. I say "supposed to" because sometimes they don't get out twice, but they do always get out at least once a day. The dogs marked with a green dot mean these are the dogs that need to be walked first. These include any high energy dogs, ones that need to lose weight, or ones that have been spayed or neutered and need their daily 5, 10 or 15 min walk depending on where they are in the recovery stages. We took 2 5-minute walks, and then me and another CWT named Mitch took 2 dogs on a long cemetery walk. Then, it was time to set up the kennels for nap time. We locked everyone in, turned off the lights, turned on the classical music, and then Addie started telling me about other enrichment things they do for the dogs in the kennel. One of them is spraying different scents in the kennels. Like Orange, Lavender, Almond, and she said they even have one called Maple Syrup! We walked down to the CWT office and Addie let me choose a scent. I picked Lavender since it was nap time, and it seemed like a calming scent. We went back and I sprayed it throughout both sections of the kennels. It really did smell relaxing! The dogs started falling asleep as we were leaving the kennel. I put the scent back, and then it was time for lunch!

When we got back from lunch, I was assigned to another CWT named Jessie. She is super nice (As are ALL of the CWT's I've met so far. Seriously, they are so awesome.) She had already been cleaning K3, so I was sent over to K2 to see if any help was needed. I scooped a couple of runs, and rinsed pee out of a few others, but there really wasn't that much to do. K1 was done by the time i finished rinsing, so we went back to K3. She got out one of her project dogs, a sweet yellow female, and I did the body check on her, and brushed her teeth and cleaned her ears. Then she said we could take some dogs for a walk in the cemetery. She took her project dog, and I chose a big yellow male that is in breeder evals. Seriously, this dog may have the biggest head I've ever seen. I had been working with females all week, and it had been a long time since I had handled a big yellow male like Keith, so I couldn't resist :) We had a nice walk and we talked about eachother; where we're from, what we want to do, etc. Jessie lives in San Fran and is a CWT that is going to apply to be an apprentice instructor. I told her some stuff about the puppy raising end of GDB, and it was alltogether a really fun walk!

We put the dogs away, and then we decided to take a few dogs to the grass paddock to play. I picked a spunky little black female who's in breeder evals, and Jessie took a sweet yellow breeder. On the way there, Jessie introduced me to Jason, one of the mobility instructors, and none other than Mr. Keiths trainer!!!! I was so ecstatic to meet him and hear what he had to say about Keith. He said that he is a big goofball and such a sweetheart, and that he was glad to meet me! That totally made my day.

The girls had fun playing, and were very tired when we put them back in their kennel. Jessie had to answer a few emails and do some paperwork, so she asked if I would like to bring a dog into the kennel office area to cuddle with while she finished her work. I picked a sweet black female and she hung out on my lap with a nylabone until Jessie was finished.

After that, Jessie showed me how they refill the accel bottles. You have to wear gloves and goggles to do this. We take the empty container and go to an outdoor storage area in the back of the GDB complex. There are all these big, plastic, blue barrels full of accel. There's a pump attached to one of them, and you have to literally pump it out of the barrel. Once that was done we started prepping dinner and doing afternoon medications. Jessie showed me how to give ear medicine to one dog, eye medicine to another, and we also checked suture sights on 4 different dogs. Then we wet the food and started serving everyone!

We both did the dishes together, and then we went down to the vet clinic and Jessie showed me how to pick up medication, log it into the book in the kennel, and then right it down on the board. Jessie had the night shift tonight, so she took her lunch at 4. She said I was welcome to leave, or I could stay and walk dogs for a bit if I wanted to. I stayed and walked a little black female who is recovering from being spayed. She's a 10 minute medical walk, so we took a short, relaxed walk around campus. It was a nice end to a really good day at GDB :)

Tomorrow is Friday, which marks the halfway point of my internship! It's already going way too fast! I also found out where Keith is going today! He will be living with a man named Ronald in Forest, VA! Far away, but praying he will stay in contact to make up for distance!

Random note, but a month from today I will be 21! And I don't look a day over 12! ;)

Internship-Day 3

So, I obviously got lazy last night and went to bed instead of doing this. But honestly, the lack of sleep had caught up to me to the point where I was falling asleep while taking a shower. So I am glad I postponed it until now. So without  further ado.....

My day started just as the last 2 days had. Arrived at GDB at 7:30, just as the inside of the kennels were being hosed out. I grabbed a squegge (sp?) and started on the back west kennels. If i haven't mentioned it beofre, every morning they hose down the inside of each kennel. This includes the little office/food prep/medicine cabinets/everything else area that sits between the front section and back section of each kennel. There are drains in the floor in that area, about 4 or so of them, and then in the kennels there are gutter type things that all the water from the kennels drain into. Makes cleaning extremely easy I might add. After that was done, breakfast was served and I washed, rinsed, and acceled 31 bowls before heading out to the west section to start acceling the outside part of the runs. Someone had already scooped the poop and rinsed the pee out, so Collier had me accel the front and back sections, as well as the entire front play yard. this took me about 20 minutes I would say. Then I went back inside to let the accel sit for awhile and I rinsed the acceled dishes and set them up to dry. By then it was 9am and time for the daily CWT meeting.

After we got back from the meeting I rinsed the front west section, which included all the kennels and the play yard. This took FOREVER because 1) I'm not very good at it, and 2) the stupid bubbles would magically reappear after I had just rinsed them off!! I then noticed that it was acceptable to leave these demon bubbles where they were after inspecting the kennels the CWT's had cleaned.Apprently they just dry out and dissapear once the water is dried up. It probably didn't take me more than 30 minutes to do this, but it was the first time I've ever acceled and rinsed a whole play yard/kennel section. Seriously, the morning CWT work is tough!

After all the cleaning was done, Collier took me back to the treadmill room to watch the second session of treadmill training. This is when they put a harness on the dog with a soft leash handle attached and the dog gets the sensation of having to pull forward in the harness. The dogs I watched seemed to be really into it. I watched a little female black lab and a yellow female lab complete their second session, which only lasted maybe 7 minutes for each dog. A big bowl of kibble is conveintly placed on the floor directly in front of the treadmill, and boy did these dogs want to go forward! After that it was time for my 10 minute break, and I happily watched the babies in the puppy play yard again!

After that, I really don't remember much about what I did...I know i took several dogs on cemetary walks, I checked poop stations, I helped prepare dinner and wash the dishes, did 3 health checks on different dogs, checked suture sights on the dogs that were spayed, cleaned the air vents in Kennel 3, helped medicate all the dogs in K3 that are on meds....OH! One cool thing I did get to do was fill kongs with soaked kibble for kennel enrichment! I soaked the food in the bowls, loaded them into the kongs, and topped them off with peanut butter and a few pieces of that kibble so we know what kind of food is in it. We also made ice cubes for some of the dogs that are a little overweight and shouldn't be getting all the food that is in the kongs. Once we give them to the dogs we take their kurunda beds out so they don't roll underneath of them, and hang these little kong shaped tags on their door that say, "I'm enjoying enrichment!" so we know to take it out of their kennels. They get enrichment at noon when we all go to lunch and the kennel is shut down for nap time. I'm totally serious! We lock all the dogs into their inside kennel, turn off the lights, and put a classical music CD on the little boom box that sits in between the kennels. And I'm not even joking, all the dogs go to sleep! It's the cutest thing!

So that pretty much sums up Day 3....and I can't believe I've forgotten to post this, but, KEITH IS IN CLASS! Found out on my first day! Couldn't be more proud of that mellow yellow boy. Graduation is the day after my internship ends, so it will be a perfect end to two glorious weeks!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Internship-Day 2

Day 2 was very much like day 1. I arrived at GDB in Kennel 3 at 7:30 and was put right to work. I started scooping the poop out of the back west kennels. After that was done I rinsed all the kennels out with water (to rinse off all the pee and poop stains). Then I went back inside and started washing all the bowls from breakfast. Risned them, acceled them, rinsed again, and then propped them up to dry. Another CWT was was stuffing kongs with soaked kibble and peanut butter, then putting them in the freezer for enrichment time later in the day. They are stuffed with different food depending on what dogs are in the kennel. Most of the are on NB, so a piece of that kibble is placed in the middle of the peanut butter that tops off the hole. This way when we take them out and give them to the dogs, we know which ones are which. The other food was a Eukanuba food I believe, and a piece of that kibble was placed in the peanut butter. Such an efficient way to identify kongs!

After I finished the dishes, Collier had me accel both the front and back kennels of the west side, as well as accel the whole front west community run. It actually didn't take me as long as I thought. I did however get the nozzle stuck as I was changing the accel hose head for the regular water one, and shot both my pant legs with ice cold water. Mind you, the morning temps in San Rafael aren't too high, especially when there's a coastal breeze blowing through. Luckily I was moving around a lot today so I dried quickly ( and thank GOODNESS no one was around to see that). After about 20 minutes, I was finished acceling and went back inside to see what Collier would have me do next. Turns out they have CWT meetings at 9 everyday, so off we went!

They mostly went over shift schedules and what not, but a guy ( who I think is the head of the CWT's or something) came up to me and said I would get to observe treadmill training today! So after the meeting we went back to Kennel 3, rinsed the kennels, did a few things on the board, and went upstairs to the treadmill room. There were about 4-5 trainers in there, with 3 dogs. This was all of the dogs first session. Their goal is to just get them used to walking at a brisk pace and going forward, In the second session, they put the harness on the dog so they have to pull forward in the harness, as they would have to do while guiding someone. The dog I watched really enjoyed it. There are people standing on either side of the dog, each holding a separate leash, and then one person sits in front of the treadmill and coaches the dog along and gives food rewards. The trainers said that most dogs don't have a problem with it, but if they are truly scared of it, they don't push them to do it. Most of the time it won't stop them from being a guide dog, but they do make note that that particular dog may also have a problem with escalators.

We then went back to kennel 3, doing the tasks on the board for another hour or so; checking suture sights, letting certain dogs out into the run for playtime, scooping poop, etc. During this time, a woman from the breeding department came in to get a dog that had been pulled for breeding and was going to her breeder custodian home, which also happened to be her puppy raiser! Collier and the other CWT Shannon asked if we could come along to see the reunion, so off we went! The dog was ECSTATIC to see her raisers again, and they were very happy to have her back as well. Collier said that doesn't happen very often, where the raisers are also the breeder custodians because you have to live fairly close to campus to be one. (50 miles or so I think). I loved seeing the reunion! We also went to a couple of different relieving stations toward the back of the campus and took the garbage bags out and put fresh ones in, and made sure there were sufficient amounts of poop bags at each station. Definitely not the highlight of my day, as those bags smelled like death, but it's just one of those things that needs to be done! On our way back from the dumpster, a CWT radio-d Collier asking if we could pick up one of our kennels' dogs from the training office. Some of the dogs are sent there if they are stressed out in the kennels or just need some quiet time. I picked up a sweet little yellow female and took her back to our kennel.

We then went back to Kennel 3, and Collier decided to take me to Kennel 2 with her to give a massage to one of her project dogs. He was a big goofy yellow lab that reminded me a lot of Keith. Collier is kind of like the massage therapist at GDB, so she showed me some of the techniques she used to help stretch out this dogs problem area, which was along his spine. She showed me that if the muscle spasms while your stretching it out, then it is not fully worked out yet. The dog nearly fell asleep while Collier was working on him, it was so cute!

We then went back to Kennel 3, and while Collier answered some emails and did paperwork on the kennel computer, she had me do health checks on 3 dogs and fill out their health charts. It was really cool because I even got to initial the paperwork....I felt so official! I cleaned their ears, brushed their teeth, and checked all over their body for any cuts or abrasions. One dog was also REALLY blowing her coat, so a brushed her as well.  Also checked a suture sight on one dog. After putting all those dogs away and completeing their charts for that day, Collier showed me how she assess a Career Change dog that is up for placement.

First she assess how well they react to having a walking harness (like the ones from pet stores), Gentle Leader, and collar put on. How they react to a person coming up to their handler, all of their commands (sit, down, stay, etc) and they are graded on a scale based on how many times Collier has to say the command before they do it, if at all. This was really eye openening because everything she tested this dog on stemmed from how well and how often his raiser worked with him. She also test him on body handling acceptance, crate behavior and tie down nehavior, but we didn't have time to do those. She also showed me how they introduce the clicker. She got out this platform thing, and everytime the dog put his paws on it, she clicked and rewarded him. Pretty soon she had him sitting and lying down on the platform as well.

The last thing I did today was help Collier brush out a fluffy golden retriever! She had slobber matted in her ears from playing in the community run that needed to be brushed out, as well as her tail and butt feathers. This didn't take too long, and it reminded me of sweet little Alba at home and how much I look forward to seeing her!

Also there were 2 10 minute breaks and one 30 minute lunch in there where I got to watch a litter of black lab puppies play! And they were baby babies! They were all so sassy and playful, it was downright adorable.

Tomorrow I start at 7:30 again, but Collier said that I will be working with a few different CWT's! Can't wait for another day at GDB!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Internship-Day 1!

Day 1 has come and gone, and it was just as awesome as I thought it would be! I arrived at GDB right at 8am. Still needing to use my GPS to get me to and from the house I am staying at in Mill Valley. Hopefully by the end of this week I will get it!

Anyway, so I arrived at GDB rearing to go, and then realized I had no idea where to go. Luckily, the woman I was supposed to meet in the volunteer office was walking out of the kennels as I was walking in. She asked if I was Emily the training intern, and then she took me to the CWT office where I was assigned to my CWT for my internship! Her name is Collier and she's been working at GDB for about a year. She has raised 4 guide dog puppies. I was assigned my own leash and bait bag to use, and off we went to kennel 3!

Kennel 3 is mainly for Career Changes, dogs in for breeder evals, boarding dogs, and dogs waiting for commnity placement or to be adopted. All breeds, genders, and sizes were in this kennel. The first thing I was taught how to do is prepare breakfast. Kennel 3 has about 23 dogs, so I helped prepare the 23 meals, Most of them are on Natural Balance, but some are on special food, for a variety of reasons. We quickly prepared all of the NB meals, and then we prepared all of the special foods. Some dogs were transitioning from one food to another, while others needed a special food for weight loss, firming up stools, etc. Other CWT's served breakfast while Collier and I began taking dogs into the vet. They had about 10 dogs that needed to see the vet this morning, and they only have a small 1-hour time slot to do so. They were short staffed today, and in addition to having to show me how to do everything, we were inevitably behind. I got to meet Dr. Dietrich, he's super nice, as well as the other vet. His name is Jeff I believe, but this morning was such a blur I can hardly remember anything!

After vet checks, we started on the board. This is a big list of stuff that needs to get done each day. For instance, a dog had just been spayed and needed to get out for a 5 minute walk, and another dog needed their back molars brushed. I got to do both of these with Colliers supervision. After we had done a few tasks, it was time to clean the kennel runs. We first scoop out all of the poop and put it in this weird drain contraption thing. No idea where it goes or what it does...will need to ask about that. Then, we have to spray all the runs down with this cleaner called accel (or excel...forgot to read the spelling on the label, but it's pronounced the same either way).  I did the back west half of kennel 3 and Collier did the front half. You have to spray all the corners, and then spray it all over the actual run. After that was done, Collier had me wash the dishes from breakfast. I thought I cleaned a lot of bowls at home with my 4...there are A LOT of bowls. All just regular metal pans. First you scrub them with regular dish soap, rinse them, then you fill a pan with hot water and pour a cup of accel into it. We rinsed all of the bowls and kennel enrichment kongs in it, then they were put into another sink to rinse the cleaner off, and finally propped up to dry. We then went back out into the kennels to rinse all of the accel out of them. After that it was time for a 10 minute break!

The breakroom overlooks the puppy kennels and socialization area, which is really neat. After break we went back to let some of the dogs into the community run to play. We filled a big doggie pool, and they had a bunch of nylabones and 2 jollyballs to go nuts with. They all had a wonderful time. After that we went back into the kennels and Collier went and got her 2 project dogs. Each CWT is assigned a couple of dogs to work with until they leave the kennel. I worked with a sweet little black female who's in for breeder evals. We brushed their teeth, cleaned their ears, and checked their whole body for any cuts/abrasions. Collier makes notes about how each dogs teeth and ears look, how they responded to being handled, etc. (See, puppy handling IS worthwhile!). We then took the dogs for a cemetary walk, which is right next to the campus. We saw some squirrels and a couple of deer! It was really cool.

After that, we put the dogs back and started preparing dinner. The kennel 3 dogs eat around 3pm. Same as last time, filling bowls, handing out meals, collecting dirty bowls, washing said bowls, although we don't have to accel them after dinner. Then we administered various medications to the dogs that needed them, gave one dog a foot bath in medicated water, and made tags for any incoming dogs and took tags down for any dogs that had left (for like foster care, being adopted, etc). After that, Collier and I went into the feed room because Kennel 3 was running low on NB and doggie biscuits. This room has more dog food than a petstore! One of the CWT's in there said that at one time, GDB was feeding around 500 pounds of food a day! Crazy right?

After that was done, my day was pretty much over. I had about an hour left so Collier gave me the CWT reference book and let me go read it in the employee lounge. It had sections on picky eaters (AKA Goldens!!), signs of females in season, a poop chart complete with pictures (that was interesting lol), and a lot of other really cool information.

At some point during the day I took a one hour lunch break and went to Panda Express just down the street from the campus. I hit the snooze button so many times this morning that I didn't have time to make a lunch. We will see what happens tomorrow since I am starting a half hour earlier! Collier comes in at 7:30, so she said I could too if I wanted, and of course I said yes! Who wouldn't want an extra half hour at GDB?!

More tomorrow from the happiest place on earth! Disneyland aint got nothin' on Guide Dogs for the Blind!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Tomorrow's the day!

So.....tomorrow I leave for San Rafael to begin my internship! I start bright and early Monday morning so I will be going up sometime tomorrow. Alba and Newport have been dropped off at their respective puppy sitter homes. Newport will be spending 2 weeks with fellow club members, who are raising a black male named Roberto. I've heard Newport is being a great mentor dog, as well as hogging the bed at night! (Typical 90-pound Newport!)

Alba is with an experienced club leader in Tracy, Ca. She has lots of experience with Goldens and their finicky/quirky habits. I dropped Alba off there this morning, and she fit right in when she arrived. She has a big Career Changed yellow male named Laser to play with, as well as beautiful German Shepherd. I heard from the woman earlier this evening that Alba has been having a blast playing with Laser, ate most of her dinner (typical finicky-eater golden!), and enjoyed a nice evening walk. She lives out in the country, more like foothills,  by a lake, so this is a big change from the suburban neighborhood that Alba is used to. I'm ecstatic that she's getting all these new experiences while I am gone.

I pretty much finished my packing tonight (like the professional procrastinator I am), and only have a few things to do in the A.M. before I can hit the road!

More tomorrow after I am settled at the house I am staying at....and then it's Internship time!
And here's a cute baby Alba pic just because :)

Thursday, May 30, 2013

4 days!!

Finally got this Blog-thing up and going! With 4 days until I step foot onto the GDB campus as an intern.....I am barely getting any sleep! I am so incredibly excited to finally have the opportunity to "go behind closed doors" so to speak and really see how GDB runs. I am going to try best to sit down each night and write about everything I did, provided that I have access to WIFI.

(Probably should've opened with this...but anyway..)
For those of you that don't know me, my name is Emily and I am a puppy raiser in Modesto, Ca. I am currently raising my third puppy, a female Golden Retriever named Alba. My second puppy, a male yellow lab named Keith, is currently at GDB in Phase 8 waiting to be matched. My first puppy, a male black lab named Newport, was Career Changed and is now a certified Therapy Dog, as well as my pet. I was accepted into the summer Internship program at Guide Dogs this year, and will be spending 2 weeks in the Training Department.

I leave this Sunday morning for San Rafael. Haven't even started packing yet...that will probably occur Saturday night around 10:30 :) Newport and Alba will be going to puppysitters while I am gone; Newport to fellow club members and Alba to a leader of a neighboring club. I know I will miss them, but for once I am actually looking forward to having a vacation from the puppy raising life and doing something a bit different (although still very much centered around dogs! :)
Newport, my first puppy, in his Therapy Dog gear
Keith, my second pup and I the day before he was recalled

Third and current pup, Alba