Monday, November 28, 2011

Dogtoberfest picture

Here's a picture from Dogtoberfest of me and Oakley.

Monday, October 24, 2011


Last Saturday we went to Dogtoberfest in Dallas, NC. It was basically like any other festival, accept geared toward dogs. Everyone brought their dogs and all the booths were dog-related. It was amazing!!! We had a SEGDI tent where we just got information out about SEDGI and the Walk-a-thon coming up in March. Oakley was very excited at the beginning and wasn't very well behaved, but as the day went on, he calmed down and was great! He won third place in the Egg Race with my dad!!! He won Apple and Banana flavored treats and a ribbon. I one first place in the T-shirt race with Chance, our Area Coordinator's dog. This week we say goodbye to Waffles, Happy, Judy, and Hedwig, sisters who are going IFT (or back to SEGDI). I'm sure they'll all do great! Oakley turned 8 months this month and I feel like he's growing up too fast. :( He's a great dog, and very loving, and I wouldn't trade him for anything. As far as training goes, he learns fast, and is doing wonderfully. He's a very good listener and I am very proud of him!!! I just can't believe he'll be a year old in only 4 months. Time flies when you're raising a Guide Dog in Training. Until next time...

Friday, July 22, 2011

Harry Potter 7 pt. 2

The adorable picture above is one my brother took of Oakley actually trying to drink from an empty baby bottle. I had wrapped him up in my blanket and he looked so cute. You just had to be there. :) Anyway, this post is mainly not about the picture, but about the movie we went to see Thursday night. Brian, Hannah, my boyfriend, Oakley, and I went to go see Harry Potter 7 pt. 2. First, we went to Cookout with Oakley pulling, excited to be there, and then totally perfect on our way out. We then proceeded to the movie where he didn't want to settle down. Finally he decided it would be best to watch the movie. The seats in the theater make it perfect so Oakley could put his head between the seats and watch. It was so funny. So, for all the people out there wondering whether or not they should see Harry Potter...well, think about it this way. You're dog will love it too, so it must be good. :) Well, training wise Oakley is doing great. He is learning "heel" currently and is very good at it. He just graduated from collar to chain and is responding fantastically to it. He is still wearing the baby coat, despite being 5 months old. It still fits, but looks a little small, but the medium coat is still too big for him. This brings me back to the days where Al completely skipped the medium coat and went straight for the the large and his neck ended up being to big for the large...if only there were and XL. Oakley is an amazing, cuddly, lovable, adorable puppy, and everyone who meets him falls in love instantly. He still has the knot on his head, but I guess it could be his trademark. I'll be sure to keep everyone posted on how Oakley and his training are doing. Until next time...

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

It's time to say goodbye. :(

It's taken me a while to post this because I didn't want to cry. On June 3rd, Al went back to Florida for IFT (In For Training). I had to say goodbye to my big, 80 lb. baby. It was hard coming to terms with the fact that I may never see him again..but Oakley, our newest bundle of joy, has helped the grieving process tremendously. Ironically...the day we got Al was the day before Final Exams started last year (2010), and the day Al left was just two days before Final Exams started this year (2011). The journey with Al has been a roller coaster ride. He grew up to be a handsome, fun loving dog, who, I believe was ready to go to "puppy college." On the day we were taking Al down to our Area Coordinator, who was taking him to Florida, he did one of the most sweetest things he has done yet. I got home from school, and it was just me and him at home. I did what I had done a million times before...the simple act of sitting on the floor of our living room. What happened next is what brings me to tears as I type this. Al, looking like he couldn't be happier, got up from where he was laying, with a huge smile on his face, and came and curled up in my lap like the big baby he really is. I think he knew how much I needed that. It reminded me of the days when we first got him. He actually seemed excited that I was sitting on the floor, just so he could come and sit in my lap. Al had the biggest heart of any dog I think I have ever met. He loved everything. Yes, at times, I thought he would never listen to me, but, then, all of sudden, I'd find him being the sweetest, most behaved dog I have ever met. As I said my final goodbyes, I cried into his fur, holding on as tight as I could to him. Al and I had this special bond that words can't describe. I think I'll miss my big baby every day. I am so proud of how he turned out and I can't wait to find out how he's doing in "puppy college." No matter how much it hurts to let them go, I wouldn't trade the experience of raising a Guide Dog in Training for anything. It has taught me so much. Until next time...

Monday, May 9, 2011


On Monday, April 25th, we picked up this sweet ball of cuteness, Oakley. We met his sister LaDelia, or "Lady" and later met his other sister Kelly. The three are the most adorable trio I have ever seen and the best part is, they recognize each other! Oakley was named after an old man who died while on a cruise with his family. He is sweet, loving, happy, and has a lot of energy. Although Al was hesitant to let him into his home, he quickly realized how great it was to have another dog around. Al has helped Oakley sleep through the night, reminded him how much stronger and bigger he is, and even allowed him to climb all over him. They are a very cute and sweet pair. Oakley is in the process of learning "sit" "stay" "down" "come" "take a break" "stand" "switch" and "right about." Although he struggles to pay attention, he does very well and I am very proud of him! Al is also doing amazingly well. We found out he will be "fixed" so he will be on the track to Guide Dog hood when he goes back to school on June 4th. :( He does really well with all the commands, but struggles a bit with "heel." I am very glad that they both get the opportunity to live with another dog because it gets them used to being around other dogs besides at the meetings. Until next time...

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Senior Project

In English 3 we started researching for our Senior Project research paper. We looked up articles and I found a lot about Guide Dogs and blind people. I found out that Al will not be going back in April so my spirits have been up a lot lately. Al got to go to my band concert last Thursday. He behaved well as far as I have heard. Afterwards, many people commented on how big he is. When we took him to the vet a few weeks ago he was 80lbs. Half of his weight seems to come from his huge head. In the picture above he is sitting with his brother at the Christmas party I was unable to attend. Training is going well. He is doing great with "place" "stay" and "sit". I have been working on "heel" more and "down". He is doing great overall and I am very proud of him. Until next time...

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Saying Goodbye

There comes a time in everyone's life when they have to say goodbye to someone they love. No matter how much they don't want to let them go, they have too. I just found out today that Al might be going back to Florida in April. All I wanted to do was cry. I mean, you know what you're getting in to when you get a guide dog but you can't help loving them with everything you have or wishing they wouldn't go. I've called him my baby from the beginning and that is exactly what he is and how he acts. I'll sit on the floor and he'll come over and sit in my lap or he'll snuggle up to me when I'm watching TV on the floor. He is a dog that is full of love for not just me, but everyone he comes into contact with. Unlike us, he doesn't judge people for what they look like, how they dress or act or speak, he gives everyone a chance. We could learn a lot from dogs if we looked at things a little differently. After all, they are loyal, loving, caring, and love to please us. Al is a big giver...of pretty much everything but kisses. (Although he does kiss my hand sometimes.) He was was a big baby from the start and has grown into a huge baby, but he will always be my baby and he'll always be in my memories and my heart. I know he'll make a great guide dog or breeder or whatever he ends up becoming. He was born for this. The most important part of being a guide dog and raising a guide dog is love. We have to show them love so they will show it to others. I feel like I'm not ready to give him up, but it's not about me, it's about him and I know he's ready and I now he's not perfect but he'll do just fine. I love you, Big Al. Until next time...