Puppy walking

An adventure in looking after a puppy until it is old enough to be properly trained as a guide dog for the blind.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

I was making comments on Jenny's blog about progress reports and wondering if I would see one before Christmas, as they are supposed to be quarterly. And then I got one in the mail yesterday! So I thought I would post the news and a few puppy pix from last September, when I was having a hard time posting pix with Blogger and so later went to Flickr. (Don't forget that you can click on the pix and go to Flickr to see them in a large size.)
Rockwell Sept. 14, 2005
The report says Rockwell is mixing well with his kennel mates and is enjoying the free time playing with them. He has had many sessions of obedience, playtimes and free running to get acquainted with the folks at kennels. It also says "Rockwell is showing to be a bright, responsive dog but at this stage is still quite insecure and anxious, probably due to the recent changes of handler, routines and environment." That made me feel like I wanted to run out to kennels and give him a big old Mom-hug. "Don't be anxious, puppy!" I would say. I am sure it is better that I am not there and that he has professional dog people to work with him.

The report mentions that he can be "quite vocal for attention at times". Since I wonder if I am partly deaf from his barking that I tried so hard to ignore, I can relate there! They also say that his behaviour on leash is erratic, as sometimes he is very attentive to the handler and then he rushes off to do his own thing. Does that sound familiar! I think I was developing whiplash from those sudden changes of direction. Then they wrap things up by saying he is an affectionate and fun dog to work with and he shows some positive qualities at this early stage. I too always found him to be affectionate and he even seemed to enjoy being hugged, something Uma never did.

It's kind of a mixed report but as they say, it is early days and much can happen with the right handler.
Rockwell Sept. 2005
Here is Rockwell in September of 2005. As you can see, he was already a pretty big boy and I wonder sometimes if we had got him when he was only 7 or 8 weeks old, would that have made any difference to his behaviour? He is looking out the door to the garage and wondering what Peter is doing out there, but content to just watch. Later he would go exploring.
Rockwell Sept. 2005
Here again, he was content to sit and watch the world. Such a sweetie.


At 10:19 a.m., October 18, 2006, Blogger ML said...

What a cute boy! It's so nice to get reports, but they would be hard to read and not react to. I'm glad he's doing well. He misses you!

At 3:35 p.m., October 18, 2006, Blogger 8675309 said...

It's nice to get cute postcards "from my dog," but I wish we got actual detailed reports like you do!

Sweet puppy Rockwell...such a cute little guy. I'm hoping for the best for him! Thanks for the update.

At 4:46 p.m., October 18, 2006, Blogger JuliaR said...

Well ML, I miss him too - at times! He was such a snuggle bunny, when he wasn't barking at me or hauling me off into the bushes. I hope he gets over these traits and settles into his work.

Jenny, those guys at CGDB are real pros. They are a pleasure to deal with, always very helpful and friendly but strict with the rules. As I learned from riding horses, animals do best with solid rules. So do many people, for that matter. :)

At 12:26 p.m., October 19, 2006, Anonymous Muffy said...

What a treat to get an update on Rockwell. You must have laughed to read some of those comments - sounded just like him! I had the same reaction when I read the 'anxious' comment, but then I thought how much he must be enjoying all the activity around him. So much to watch and do.

At 5:41 p.m., October 19, 2006, Anonymous zoom! said...

I know from watching the puppies grow up in the dog park that doggy maturity is a gradual thing, and at Rockwell's age they're still just overgrown puppies with occasional flashes of self-restraint and impulse control.

At 4:25 p.m., October 20, 2006, Blogger M-Fax said...

oh my god I just noticed today that during my overhaul, the puppy walking link did not make it.

not to worry rockwell, its back up

bosco is so sorry

At 7:15 p.m., October 20, 2006, Blogger JuliaR said...

Muffy, we are looking forward to the next one, where we hope he will have progressed more than these early days. And yes, we did laugh at the barking and the pulling!

Zoom, you are so right - he is just a big puppy. He has some serious work ahead of him but they won't rush it.

MFax and Bosco, not to worry!

At 5:56 p.m., October 22, 2006, Blogger Katherine said...

Great pictures! It was so nice to get an update.

At 1:21 a.m., October 23, 2006, Blogger Freda said...


Thanks for visitin' my place.

My dad doesn't think he could be as strong as you and send Rockwell or any other dog to school after livin' with them for a year. He's upset that I have to spend one two one two (2) weeks in a kennel. So am I.

Rockwell's photos are great. Reminds me of when I was just a pup. Dad's had one puppy, kinda. She was a one two one two (4) month old pup he adopted from a vet who patched her up, after she was hit by a car.

It's humans like you and Peter that reeeallys help other people and that's sooo cooools.

Glad to see that Rockwell is gettin' along at school.


At 11:38 a.m., October 23, 2006, Blogger JuliaR said...

I agree Katherine. Although Rockwell did try my patience sometimes :) I did love the little guy and am anxious to hear about his progress.

Freda, it is always fun to visit your blog. As I've mentioned before, the way you count just cracks me up. I hope you are not going to be too anxious about your folks going away.

At 3:35 p.m., November 27, 2006, Blogger ML said...

Julia - is it normal to lose a dog and then want to replace them with another dog the same breed and look? Or am I just going insane? No way my husband would want another dog as we already have one (which is his dog, actually).

At 4:31 p.m., November 27, 2006, Blogger JuliaR said...

ML, I think most people DO like to get a dog that reminds them of their "best dog", which is usually everyone's last dog. And I know for sure that people have breed preferences. Maybe we would have always preferred a yellow Lab but since that was our best dog, we would be most interested in getting another one. Since we knew Rockwell was only going to be ours for a year, we thought we would try a male, since we had had a female, as see what the difference was. Of course, all dogs are individuals, and have their own unique issues so it was not really a fair comparison. And we have only ever had the two different dogs so maybe I don't know what I'm talking about! But when I talk with people who have loved and lost a dog, they usually say they want another just like the one that is gone.

On the other hand, some people don't want to get another dog of any kind, after their beloved pet has died. They say it is too hard emotionally. But then I find that they usually DO get another dog, probably because they really miss the company, as we did. That was why the one year period that we had Rockwell was so nice in many respects, because it allowed us to get a dog but not commit to one for the next 15 years. Now that he has gone, we do enjoy the freedom of not having a pet, without the sadness of having lost one.

I feel like I'm starting to babble - do you have a more specific question or does that cover it? Or do you want to email me directly at jringma@rogers.com ?

At 9:53 a.m., November 28, 2006, Blogger ML said...

Julia - thanks for responding! Yes, that does help tremendously and it does clear things up for me.

I keep waiting for this period of mourning to end or at least get a little better, but it's not budging.

At 10:47 p.m., December 25, 2006, Blogger Charlie The Big Dog said...

Merry Christmas!

I hope you have a great Christmas and a safe and peaceful New Year!

Luv your ol pal Chucksie Bux

At 1:50 a.m., December 31, 2006, Blogger *Amy&Polaris* said...

Any more Rockwell updates? He is such a handsome boy and we would love to know how he's doing. :)

At 11:20 a.m., December 31, 2006, Blogger JuliaR said...

Charlie and Amy, Merry Christmas to you too! I hope we will get an update on Rockwell soon, in January.


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