Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Spring Babies

Springtime means new life and babies.  On Sunday, Duty Dogs welcomed a new litter of puppies.
Icy, the dam

We've been eager for this breeding between Chilbrook Dreamlover (Bailey) and Chilbrook Black Ice (Icy).  Dog breeding is a wonderful study of genetics.  In order to get chocolate and yellow pups, both parents have to carry the gene for each color (remember the Punnett Square from high school biology?).

Bailey, the sire

Our other Mama dog, Jackie, does not carry the gene for yellow, so all of her litters have only produced black and chocolate. 

 BUT, Icy carries the gene for all three colors, so we finally have some Bailey Juniors!
Puppies started arriving on Sunday afternoon, catching us by surprise.  We weren't expecting them until the end of the week.  Although it was Icy's first whelping, thankfully it wasn't ours.  We knew how to jump into whelping mode and quickly got the new Mama situated in the whelping room.  Her first pup, a black male made his appearance shortly after 3:00 and the last, a yellow male finished up the pack five hours later.  No complications to report from this whelping.  WHEW!

The final tally was seven little bundles of sweetness-- three blacks (2 male/1female), three yellows (2 male/1 female), and one chocolate female.

As we expected from this sweet tempered dog, Icy took right to being a Mama.  She's so devoted to her pups, it's hard to get her to come out of the whelping box to take a "break" and get a stretch.  Mother and babies are doing fine.

Puppies will be available at the end of May.  Contact us if you're in need of a pup to train for service work.  But you better hurry-- they're going fast!

Monday, April 4, 2016

A MAJOR Event Part 2- "Placement"

So, what does "placing a service dog" look like?  After 20 months of training, we certainly don't just knock on the door and say, "Here's your dog.  Have a good life!"  Ridiculous!

Fortunately, Marie lives within an hour's drive to our California home.  This allowed us to take Major for several "sleep-overs" and weekend visits prior to his official placement.  Because of that prior experience together and time spent in Marie's home, this final placement visit was accomplished in a weekend.

Jeremy, Hannah, and Major flew from Wyoming (our present home) to California on a Friday afternoon.  Major did a fantastic job on the flight, especially considering that they first had to fly to Minneappolis (so much for direct flights!).

On Saturday morning, they arrived at Marie's house in the morning for a day of training and "transferring of the leash."  The agenda was to sharpen the new dog/handler team in the area of Public Access.  So, the crew hit the road and went shopping!

First stop was the grocery store, followed by the hardware store to pick up some supplies to make an elevated dog bed for Major.  The team did great together.

Of course, all that shopping makes you hungry!!  The ONLY option for lunch was a Becker favorite-- In 'N Out Burger.  A protein-style burger is a fine choice for a diabetic, BTW.  Major behaved perfectly tucked away beneath the table, dreaming of french fries but sampling none.

After lunch, the crew returned to Marie's home to debrief while Jeremy assembled Major's "place" (his elevated bed).  Hannah went over the "Owner's Manual" we had compiled for Marie-- a reference spot for training tips, service dog laws, traveling protocol, and such.

Feeling very satisfied by the fruit of the day, Hannah and Jeremy left the new couple alone for the evening.

On Sunday, the crew reunited and spent the morning at Marie's church.  This generous, caring body had supported Marie in obtaining her service dog through their generous contributions.  They were very eager to see the team together, finally!

Another lunch together and some final wrap-up back at the house proved that this new team was well on their way to success.  Jeremy and Hannah departed, but were on-call to return should any needs arise.  None did.

In the months ahead, the new team will develop their special rapport and style and Duty Dogs will be just a phone call away to help trouble-shoot any issues that come along.  That's our job.

(This post was written in conjunction with Part 1, but got lost in drafts!)