Thursday, September 21, 2017

4 Paws Meetings

You wouldn't ever think a meeting is interesting. Well, these kinds of meetings can be. As a member of the 4 Paws for Ability puppy raiser crew, we have to attend meetings on campus and once a month, go to Xenia for a monthly meeting. Every Monday at 8 p.m. in the Bear Cave, Polar Paws meets. I love going to these meetings because you pick up on a trick or get some answers and then afterward, puppy play times! Four of our lucky puppies get to run around together to their heart's content or until their foster parent wants to leave. It's a lot of fun to be able to watch all of them play together and how excited they get when we go to the Bear Cave.

The monthly Xenia meetings can be way more interesting though. It is a two-hour long drive to get to the building and to get parked. I love driving a lot and when there is a puppy riding with you, it makes it a lot more fun. I usually end up driving down to the meetings and I almost always have a puppy in the car with me. My roommate and I go down together most of the time and we jam out to music. Whoever the lucky puppy is, typically ends up passing out in the backseat completely unaware of how bad our singing is. When we get to 4 Paws, there is a room off to the side of the main entrance where the raisers have to go in at. It's a big room and they do all the classes for the placed puppies and all the classes for the raisers at. As a raiser, we are not permitted to be involved with these classes unless we are on staff there. The meetings go over three things. We cover any problems we have with the puppies, a new trick or command, and then we gather any supplies needed for the next month. Almost everyone gets one bag of food and monthly medicine. Sometimes you can meet other puppies while you are waiting on the meetings to start. I was able to meet Rayne from the Video Games 2 litter. She is Saber's sister. She looked so much like Saber that I was shocked that it wasn't her. Our monthly meetings only last two hours and when we get our supplies, we are able to go.

The rides back to campus usually consist of a nap for either the puppy or the passengers. RossCo was one of the most memorable nap takers. He had just gotten neutered and had to wear a cone to keep him from picking at his stitches. He had scooted so close to my car door that his head was straight up in the air at a 90 degree angle. He was completely passed out and snoring.

These meetings may seem boring to some people but, they hold a lot of good memories for me.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Give Back Day

I know when I have a puppy, people typically come up and ask us if they are allowed to pet them. I usually will say yes and to fill the silence people will always do one of two things; talk to my puppy or ask me questions. My puppy usually gets the rundown of how cute they are or how sweet they are. We will sometimes get praise on how calm they are. When people talk to me, I usually get asked a lot questions. Basic questions are usually how old are they, what breed are they, what's their name, are they in training and finally, how do you give them back?

I want to explain to you what give back day is like.

Give back day is one of the hardest things to do in the world. This has been your puppy to care for and look after. You've fallen in love and know who they are and what they can do. You're nervous of seeing them fail or not be able to do what they were meant to do. You sit with them throughout the meeting. Everyone goes over problems with their puppies and what you can do to fix them. You know your puppy is perfect (at least in your eyes). You're tearing up about how much you two have gone through. You've had them since they were a baby and now they are all grown up.

The meeting is starting to wind down. You're starting to think about what is about to happen.

The meeting ends. The people in charge start handing out papers for your new puppy. You first look at the name; is it cool, interesting, dumb? You then look at their date of birth, are they fixed, their breed, and everything else listed on the form. You look down to your current puppy thinking that no one will be able to replace them.

The people in charge start asking who is ready to go back. You're thinking "I'm never going to be ready." You give your puppy one last hug and one last goodbye wishing them good luck. You start to head toward the front of the room to hand them off. It's heartbreaking to watch your baby walk away. They look back at you and you're about to lose it.

The rest all go back and everyone is silently crying to themselves or talking about the new ones about to come out.

The first puppy comes out. It's a tiny little thing. Everyone immediately lights up. The mood of the room suddenly lifts. You're thinking about the loss of one of your best friends but, you know that they are off to do great things and you have a new puppy to take care of. You have to show them what to do so they can live up to the legacy of the ones before.

I always say that give back day is one of the hardest things in the world, but you know that wherever your puppy ends up, you'll never forget them and you know they are going to do great things. If you get lucky, you can sometimes go to graduation for your foster. You can see what they have accomplished and you can meet their forever family. You can see how much they will make their family's life so much easier. You give them their last and final goodbye with a smile on your face.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017


I don't know who has all meet my newest child but, you are about to learn about who she is. If you have been following my blog posts regularly, I typically post things relating to my foster puppies in 4 Paws for Ability. This week I am going to introduce one of the newest members to the ONU family, Edwena or Ena for short.
Ena's siblings and mom

Ena is a retriever lab mix. She comes from the Paw Patrol litter. Her mom and dad are Kendy and Eggster. She was born December 29, 2016 which, makes her now eight months old. Her sisters are Zende, Sabina and, Bettina and her brothers are Tracker, Seabee, Smiley, Raimundo and, Robo.

How can you say "no" to this face?
Ena is a very loving puppy. She loves to take naps and snuggle. She is very attached to whoever is watching her at the time. She has climbed into the shower with me one more than one occasion because she was not able to see through the shower curtain. She is fun-loving and energetic. She loves to play with squeak balls and tennis balls. Ena will make sure that we play together when we get back to my apartment. She is also very curious about the world. She loves to stop and stare at the ducks as we are passing by, or she will stare out the window and whatever is going on. It's very hard to resist her when she gives doe-eyes.
Naptime in mom's arms

She is still learning in her training. She has been getting better at her basic commands such as, sit, down, heel, come and, her implied stay. We have trouble staying in place sometimes because Ena just wants to come and be cuddled. Most times when people come pet her, she will lay on her side and bring her one leg up so they can pet her belly. She loves her belly rubs. Feel free to come and ask to pet her! I'm sure she would love it. I hope you now know a little more about Ena!

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Babs and Her Cartoon Litter

I don't know how many of you know, but I am a puppy raiser with 4Paws for Ability. I help socialize puppies who will become future service dogs. I have worked with four dogs during my time in the Polar Paws program. I have helped raise Babs, Boo, RossCo, and Saber. Babs was my first foster and she was from the Back to the Future litter. Babs went on to become a breeder dog for 4Paws. Boo was my second foster and she was from the Monsters Inc. litter. I was sad to hear when she failed her evaluation, but she is now a fabulous flunkie and is enjoying life as a pet. RossCo was my third foster and he is from the Mascots litter. He is currently still in training on ONU's campus. Saber is my fourth foster and she is from the Video Games litter. She will be going on to advanced training very soon and I will soon have a new puppy to add to my list.

I wanted to share with you all about one of the most exciting things I have personally experienced as a puppy raiser. Babs was able to have her first litter of puppies! She was my first foster and I was very close with her. It was very exciting to be able to hear that she was now a mother and that I had the opportunity to go and visit them all.

      She had nine babies overall. There are seven girls and two boys. The girls are named Sofi, Bambi, Peppa, Zatanna, Leela, Pickles, and Magica. The boys are named Jiminy and Muttley. If you can not tell already, they are the Cartoon litter. They are lab retriever mixes and they were born on August 15. They were all well over a pound when Babs had them so, they are very healthy babies. I can not wait to be able to see them grow up. I am hoping to help raise one of them when they get old enough to come out into the college foster program. Here's to hoping!