Saturday, December 19, 2009


One Puppy Tooth Remains

During Holly’s teething and mouthing period, her adult teeth grew in and the puppy teeth fell out. A few puppy raisers have been able to save all their dog’s puppy teeth. During a playing session today, one tooth came out and we able to retain it, some of you may have grimaced. The removal of the tooth took place when Holly went after one of her play toys. When the chewing dislodged the tooth, she left the toy and came to me. I went to rub her jowls, as I usually do when she comes to me on her own, and found a trace of blood. “Oh Holly what happened!” After examining her, I saw that she had dislodged a puppy tooth. Bleeding had stopped and she was back to being herself in a few minutes – well after the photo opportunity for the blog page. The last picture of the set shows the one puppy tooth remaining.


Turbulent Moments

All good intentions hit turbulent moments, I apologize that I let Holly’s site be one of those items that had to be put on the side line for daily updates. I can assure you Holly was not put second to anything. 2010 should start with a roll of blogs that covered the last few months; pictures were cropped, java script was acquired and tested, and blogs were composted. Please hang in here with me as I get these items together and uploaded.

Sunday, September 6, 2009


A good brushing

Today was the first day grooming wasn’t a fight! Ten minutes of grooming time was accomplished without blood draws, “leave it”, or aggression towards the brush. Madaline called Joseph with excitement to inform him of Holly’s acceptance or behavioral change. Let’s see how long this lasts. There has been a few “Get Busy” regressions, or we are realizing Holly hasn’t learned “Get busy” on command, we just had it timed right most the time and the last two days our timing is off.

Thursday, September 3, 2009


Hot weather

The last few days have been in the high eighties. It appears Holly doesn’t handle heat well. In the vehicles she would not behave in a manner we were accustom to until the air conditioned cooled air was blowing from the floor registers. In the home she has been very lethargic and only interested in sleeping in or next to her water dish. Well, this is Oxnard; of the 510 more days she has with us there will probably only be ten days of heat like this. I hope she is not a dog adverse to cool days and nights.

Monday, August 31, 2009


Today is clothing!

The light weight fabrics worn because of the last of the hot summer days, gives way to catching Holly’s eye. Holly awoke this morning with a hunger for clothing! Yes, “leave it, leave it, leave it” – Those two words became the vocabulary of day. After saying it so much they became the day’s motto. It didn’t matter if it was denim, rayon, leather, or cotton lace, Holly wanted if it was on someone as an article of clothing. On the floor by itself, Holly was ok, just don’t put it on.

Completed the first GDA Monthly Report (link to follow once posted). Even here, Madaline and Joseph didn’t agree on the level of progress made. Joseph prepared the report, so he had the last editor corrections.

Sunday, August 30, 2009


Is there only 24-hours in a day!

Much of the morning was just the same old routine to other days with Holly in our lives now. The list of new things to expose Holly to is growing as fast as the days seem to be losing available time to complete what one starts out doing.

This afternoon was the Ventura chapter of GDA puppy raiser meeting at Boccali’s in Ojai for an early dinner (4:00 PM). The weather, food, and camaraderie with the dogs and raisers established this as a must do again event. Holly had just awoke from a nap therefore was full of energy, and with all the other dogs to introduce herself too and being the center of attention to many as the new little puppy arrival she just had a ball. She had tired herself out by the end of the event, so napped on the drive home! What a life! Does she know what lies ahead of her when the “puppy breath” fades to dog breath?

Saturday, August 29, 2009


Back on track.

What a day this was. Madaline doesn’t put Holly down on the ground much – wait until Holly is 18 pounds. Madaline is going to need to break this mothering habit; Holly loves it. As with most of the outings, if Madaline is present, Holly gets carried: in one’s arms, in the shopping cart, in the vehicle, etc. Not so with Joseph – walk, walk, and more walking. Holly hasn’t realized, although overweight, Joseph is a walker; long walks, miles of continues walking. After Holly receives her required shots she’ll be attending some of the hiking programs too.

Back on track here – smells and sounds are the focus at this young age. Holly began the day as if she was going to show us how much she had been taught and remembered. To add to her knowledge base we started off with the recycle center – smells it had. Noises not much today. Madaline carried (that motherly issue again) Holly to the drop off. Then returned to the truck and waited while Joseph finished up the drop off processing. Sounds are something big to Holly. Where we live, when the air current is just right, you can hear the train that goes through town. When this has happened, Holly sits down and does that head tweaking thing as to listen a bit more intense and analyze the sound. Same goes with the kids on bicycles, kids playing in the school yard across the street, and noises from vehicles accelerating and braking at the corner of the street (three houses away). The Harley events are going to be a big test – Holly is not crazy about those Hogs that currently travel the street. Holly does the head thing when electronic equipment transmissions are audible. Blenders, vacuum cleaners, and power saws fail to bring around the excitement Holly usually has when new sounds are introduced.

It was a hot day here in Oxnard today. Holly is not one for heat – Unusually tired and always laying flat on her tummy when she could find a cool spot – except for one place. I hate to use a drive-through. Madaline convinced me to today. We were concluding the four hours of morning activities and heading home. Holly was hot, we had given her lots of water and "get busy" breaks at each stop, so a quick stop at a drive-through, saving us the need to get Holly out and outfit her with the coat would be much easier. Things worked out for the better, my dislike for a drive-through was reinforced but since we had to park the vehicle and it was hot. We took advantage of the sprinklers that were running – Best enjoyment Holly had all morning. Those individuals that passed by comment on how Holly was enjoying herself. What a dream she is to dry off. Yes, we have a doggy bag with us with everything from A to Z in it just for Holly’s care.

The afternoon was filled with naps and routine playfulness after a brimming morning.

Friday, August 28, 2009


Starting week two!

Day eight was really a workout day for the Whittakers. Holly, although a good girl, was very trying on Madaline. Not once did she “get busy” on command – therefore the kitchen floor has been cleaned several times today. If only we could convey to Holly learning the “get busy” act grants her more freedom to roam the house. Tonight was movie night – not for Joseph and Holly. Holly was not going to sit through a movie. Now home, she is asleep. She showed signs of tiredness as the reset of the theater party gathered to say their good-byes after the show.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Nothing special to write about today. Putting in a poor man’s pool this weekend for Holly, watch for pictures.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Madaline went off to the violet club meeting so Joseph was in charge of the lead. Holly didn’t want to go for a walk this evening. Great if we stayed on the yard and played, hitting the sidewalk was not tonight! After an hour of playing with the toys in the house, out like a light. Eye’s don’t even open when rubbing her. Now don’t we all wish we could sleep so well?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Holly is showing signs that she knows what needs to take place when the physical urges come upon her. During the lunch feeding Holly needed to “get busy.” She stopped eating and headed to the door, waiting momentarily for Madaline to open it. Without stopping to sample (rarely done – Leave It, Leave It, Leave It), Holly walked quickly to the location we have been working with her. Good girl Holly!

Grooming has started – Although each day has had some interaction with the brush, today was a full body work over! It going to be a few more workouts before the brush isn’t a play toy.

A week doesn't go by that the Whittaker’s don’t stop by a garden center. Yes, Home Depot is on the routine. This time only one plant was purchased, but Holly was there checking out the items.

A pattern we have noticed, Holly likes to sleep with her head resting on something. Be it the towel bunched up, a foot of the end table, a foot of the office chair, or a person’s foot.


Just a day with toys

Holly was just a big kid today. A few mishaps – looks like she is becoming so involved playing she forgets that she has a bladder that becomes active after a good workout with the toys - you get the idea.

Speaking of toys, today Holly started interacting with her toys; not just waiting until she was handed a toy to distract her from the carpet, shoelaces, hands, etc. Holly has a toy (given to her) within reach everywhere.

Holly appears to like distracting noises. At square dance this evening, the sounds of the shoe heals on the wood floor kept her ears peaked and eyes staring.

If today’s crate time is any indication of how she will be in the future with crates, there will be no issues to write home about.

It is after midnight, everyone is quieting down for the evening. The last “get busy” has taken place and now rest for everyone in the house. Last night Holly slept from midnight to 5:45 AM.

Sunday, August 23, 2009


Sunday, isn’t this a day of rest?

Today was to be a crate training day. We hauled the crate to each of our stops, yet the only time Holly was in the crate was while we played with her in it and during a 20 sleep session. We are home now as the evening is coming to a close. File folders now wrap a few items Holly would not leave alone. Giving Holly items to chew hasn’t seemed to make a difference on that she deems Ok to chew on.

We have come to the conclusion that just like all infants, human or animal, the free stuff really turns out to be the most enjoyable to them. We have spent a few dollars on play toys for dogs at the local stores. Yet it is the free football received from the AIA conference that she likes the most (that is as of today and what we have handed her).

Holly is coming along with “get busy.” The landscape lighting looks great at night – plants highlighted, walls of the house are washed with a warm glowing effect, and paths traveled are visible. That was until we started taking Holly out to “get busy.” We can relate to the visually impaired here. Small black item, against dark green, illumination less than that of a full moon, wow! Now it is Holly, a bag, and a flashlight for those evening “get busy” exercises. Also, looking forward to Holly sleeping through the 4:30 AM to 6:00 AM period, been caught in the morning irrigation cycle – The “get busy” activity is cut short and I start my day a lot earlier than planned.

Saturday, August 22, 2009


A Good Day

If the remaining 540 days go like today, Holly will be a joy to raise. Six hours (not consecutive) had been spent driving places.

Holly learned by the end of the day that if she wanted to interact with strangers, she would have to sit before they could come up to her - she is doing a lot of sitting on her own.

Joseph spent a whole lot of time updating the family’s calendar with Holly’s appointments, training schedules, and reporting dates.

Friday, August 21, 2009


Day One.

Numerous activities took place today. Much of this post is from memory of the day, I never stopped to write notes. I foresee there are going to be a few missed post days from time-to-time. We knew Holly would spend many an hour sleeping, she did. That sleeping period is where I projected time would be available to write a few words, take a break, and enjoy her company. Well, I was mistaken. I had gone to bed late last night since we were working on small projects: getting the house in order, making sure the car was loaded with the camera, towels, and directions to the GDA center.
While showering this morning, I recalled Mindy (the Ventura Chapter Area Leader) stating we would want to exchange contact information with the other puppy raiser receiving litter mates. Recollection of those days working for Business Cards Tomorrow (the fun times with Tippy Tan and staff). Once out of the shower, I whipped out one of the 12-up templates and started pounding the keys. Time is ticking, no black lab puppy pictures. Hit the clip art collection and hope I recall the fun pieces. Even in black and white, the printer is slow when in a rush. I had now finished drying off, grabbed a bite to eat, and dressed –“It’s 9:00 AM, we told Donald we’d pick him up at 9:00”, Madaline was calling out. Grabbing the second printed sheet as it emerged from the printer and a pair of scissors, we were out the door and on our way.

Traffic to Sylmar was very light for a Friday morning. It is not often I drive when Donald is in the car; what a back seat driver he can be. Madaline read the GDA Puppy Manual out loud on the drive there. She and I had read it more than once. However, since it is the “Operator’s Manual” and Holly (though a puppy now) is a working dog not a personal pet there are lots of rules that we need to refresh ourselves on as we undertake this new volunteering assignment.

Louise of GDA spoke to the six other families that will be the H litter puppy raisers. This litter was born on July 2, 2009, seven puppies: Hamilton, Hank, Hayden, Heidi, Holly, Homer, and Honora. Many thanks to Mindy and those of the GDA Ventura Chapter. Much of what Louise spoke on was reinforcement to what I had heard/learned while attending/socializing at the monthly chapter meetings. Louise did a great job of not making the folder of papers look like a home mortgage refinance loan package. Future posts and links will be developed in weeks to come – when I start implementing the directions or completing the forms.

As a group, we were taken down to the nursery and the puppies were brought out to be handed over. GDA had given the puppies unique hair trimmings to identify who they were. After receiving the puppies, we as a group returned to the grass area (out of the direct sun) to bond with the puppy we had received and perform the towel rub on all the other puppies to create a scented comfort towel of all the litter mates for the first night away from the family. I may have mentioned the towel in the Tomorrow is the big day (20 AUG 09) post. The afternoon concluded shortly after that with individual pictures of the puppy raisers and their assigned puppy for GDA’s use.

The drive home was smooth. Whining by Holly took place a few minutes after we got onto the freeway; lasting only minutes while Holly made herself comfortable in Madaline’s lap.. Today was the only and last day she was able to sit in Madaline’s lap. Madaline called it bonding. Having had puppy sat Eddy just three weeks ago and experiencing the need to have the dog on the floor; Holly would need to begin the same routine. The floor location does have its perks, front seat leg well has a whole lot more space than Madaline’s lap.

Arriving home was relief time – nothing happened. Lunch was served and consumed! Immediately after lunch time was another relief time. Nothing really took place in the 12 minutes out. The manual states give 15 minutes. Sure enough, after coming back into the house, after 12 minutes outside, a dump. A long quiet time came soon after. The learning curve includes both parties –the puppy and the raisers.

Joseph and Madaline did go out to eat with Holly after she awoke. Holly did great, slept most of the 40 minutes. When Holly decided to awake, Joseph didn’t want to wait and see what may take place. The bill was paid and home they went.

So far the day has been really easy, just filled with small catching up. The leaves that usually gather on the lawn were raked during Holly’s long sleep period; as was the removal of the kitchen trash can from where it has sat for thirty years, quick release clips were put on the leads and tie downs, pictures were taken and are being edited later this evening (battery needs recharging!), phone calls on how Holly and the rest are doing came in. You get the idea.

Holly is asleep again, Madaline may be. Madaline didn’t sleep well last night and tomorrow is another big day; back to Sylmar for a class. We are going to rack up some mileage over the next two years.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


Tomorrow is the big day.

Louise of GDA called Joseph on Monday August 17, 2009 with the offer of accepting a puppy. It was like the stork calling to inform you a child was available. When Louise stated they would need to pick the puppy up that Friday and a name would need to be submitted by Wednesday, Joseph's immediate reply was wow! This is like telling an individual the stork was in flight with their baby.

You can see, Joseph and Madaline gladly took Louise up on the offer. The original names submitted were Harmony, Holly, and Hula. Harmony was in current use so Holly was chosen as the the assigned name.

Joseph, Madaline and Donald will pick Holly up at 11:00 AM from the GDA center in Sylmar. It appears all the litter will be dispersed at that time. Pictures will be included in the blog of the event. The current e-mails are suggesting that towels be taken to gather the other litter mate scent, an effort to ease the removal of Holly from the pack. Friday night will be her first night away from the birthing group.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Subscribe to Posts [Atom]