Thursday, December 30, 2010

Big Day for Al

Today was a pretty big and busy day for Al. First we headed to Raleigh, picked up my sister at my brother's apartment, ate lunch at Wendy's, dropped my other brother off at the airport, and then, on our way home, he experienced something he had never done before. (The picture might give it away.) He went to...THE MALL. Today we took Al to the mall for the first time, and boy was he excited. He wagged his tail at all the people, was interested in all the smells, and tried, but failed, to get the little pieces of trash on the floor. We headed straight for The Shoe Department to me new shoes for fencing. It wasn't as easy or fast as it might seem. We headed up the elevator, went all the way through JC Penney, and kept going straight until finally we made it to the store. Al behaved well as I tried on shoes and was even willing to pose for a picture in front of the shelves of shoes. Although he was REALLY excited, he behaved well and listened to me. We met a few people who greeted him and asked questions, which was nice. Overall it was a really fun and successful day! Until next time...

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

White Christmas!!!

We had our first ever true white Christmas in Elkin this year and Al absolutely loved it. It snowed earlier in the month and when I first took him out in it he loved it. I attempted to throw a snowball at him but he just caught it in his mouth and ate it! The day after Christmas we took him down to a fenced in baseball field at our local park. We made sure all the doors we closed good and let him go and he went crazy. He couldn't get over the excitement and he still hasn't gotten used to the snow. When he smells something on the ground but can't see it because of the snow he'll dip his nuzzle all the way into the snow trying to find what he is smelling. I love my big, over 70 lb. baby and I can't believe that he is already 9 months old. He's improving with training, but sometimes he just doesn't want to listen. I'm trying really hard to make him a good potential Guide Dog and I know, one day, if he gets matched with someone, he'll love him with all of his huge heart just like he does with me. Merry Christmas everyone! And Happy New Year! Until next time...

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Recently Al had another friend over. Her name is Lexie and she is 6 months old. From the moment she arrived Al was excited. They were friends at first sight. They played with each other every day and even took naps leaning against each other. We took them both to NC State for a football game and they loved it. Lexie sat on my lap for a few minutes and loved watching the game. They were very sad to say good bye and love it every time they see each other.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

New Visitor

We've had a new visitor in town, or at home, for the past 2 weeks. Al has absolutely loved it! At first all they did was fight and play with each other but as they got used to each other we'd find them snuggled together taking a nap or simply content to watch for anything unusual outside. Recently, we went to NC State to see a football game and we took both puppies. Besides being adored by tons of people, Al and Lexie did wonderful, and I even let Lexie sit on my lap for a while during the game. Lexie made a friend though, a human one. Not long after we sat down she decided to curl up under the feet of the man sitting beside me. She had a great time at the game and she was admired once again at the restaurant we went to. Finally, when we got home, both puppies were ready to the sack, and so was I. Until next time...

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Today, I got Al back :) and our group went to the Amazing Maize Maze. We split into two groups to see who could do the challenge and get through the maze the fastest. Our team, Team K9, consisted of me and Al, Ellen and Lexie, Liz and Sparkie, Ray and Angel, my mom, and my dad. The other team, who didn't have a name, consisted of Suzette, Ali, her dad, and Rudy, Charlie and his raiser and her daughter. The other team quit early, saying they were giving their dogs a break. Team K9 found the first puzzle piece really fast and after getting 8 out of 12, all of our group quit except me and my dad. Together we found the last 4 puzzle pieces and made it out victoriously in a total of 2 hours. Mind, it would have gone much faster if it had just been me and my dad, but it was still fun when we had the group. And, most importantly, we beat the other group, so...WE WON!!! Go Team K9!!! Afterwards, I took a bunch of great pictures of Al around the place. I'll be posting some of the best in the next few blog postings. All in all, it was a great day, and I'm SO excited to have my baby back! Until next time...

Sunday, October 3, 2010

It's time to say goodbye...for the first time

After having Al and Sparkie together for a week, it's time for Al to go to Sparkie's raiser, Liz's house. It's the first time Al has been away from home at all. :( I am very sad about that and though I have Sparkie for another week, I still miss my baby. The picture is one I took when they were playing/fighting. I think it's kind of funny because Sparkie looks like a monster dog with those yellow eyes. They had so much fun playing and had incredibly sweet moments where one would put his head on the others shoulder when they were taking a nap. I can't wait to see Al and get him back on Saturday when we do the maize.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Hanes Mall

Today we took Al and Sparkie to Hanes Mall to go shopping. We went to Aeropostale and the Food Court and they did really well, for the most part. Al was a little pully but I think that it had some to do with the fact that it was his first time at the mall. Tomorrow we'll be celebrating my 16th birthday! I'm very excited. Until next time...

Monday, September 27, 2010

This past weekend

So, this weekend was pretty busy for Al. On Friday he traveled to NC State to attend a companion animals class with my sister. They let him run around, and, of course, he had to say hi to everyone. On Saturday, we went to Charlotte for Al's very first meeting at Microsoft. He behaved pretty well, and did the commands. We took home Sparkie, a 1 year old lab who we've pet sat before. We'll have them both for a week, then Al will go to Sparkie's raiser, Liz, and Sparkie will stay with us for another week. Al is loving having a friend around. Oh, yeah, and happy 6 month day on the 17th!!!! My baby is growing up so fast! LOL. Until next time.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Charlotte Train Meeting

So, today we went to Charlotte for another puppy meeting. We rode the train and walk around downtown Charlotte. Al was pretty well behaved except for a little whining and some pulling. He almost fell into a fountain and got himself a little wet, but I think enjoyed it. He got very excited when someone brought out water for all the puppies, but didn't have any problem sharing with his brother. Afterwords, with all the dogs tired out, we went to Sonny's where, of course, I got chicken instead of barbecue. We stopped at Petsmart on the way home and got Al a new leash. It has a handle that doesn't hurt your hand, which I love. We also got him some apple flavored treats that smell amazing. Overall it was a really good day. Until next time...

Sunday, September 12, 2010


Al got to go to another football game on Saturday. We went to Boone to see Appalachian play Jacksonville. Al was very excited at first but settled down once we got in the stands. He enjoyed all the people but didn't particularly like the gun shots. I think he's done with football for a while. Until next time...

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

NC State

We took Al to Raleigh on Saturday to go see NC State's first home game. We left home at 11 o'clock, stopped a couple times on the way and ended up getting there at 3:30. We met up with the band, and my brother and sister, then went to wait outside the RBC center for the gates to open. Al was very excited at first, then got really hot and tired and loved going inside for a few minutes to cool off. We finally got in the stadium and Al loved seeing all the people and new things. Once we got to our seats, he immediately settled down and loved laying his head on the seat in front of him. He was very popular amongst the crowd around us. He was petted often and I even let someone give him a cookie (treat). He was very welled behaved the whole day and even was fine when we went to IHOP at midnight. Although it was a very long day, it was a great exposure for Al and I'm sure he can't wait for the Appalachian game we're going to this Saturday. Until next time...

Monday, August 23, 2010

5 months old!

So, Al is 5 months old as of August 17th! He is HUGE! Everyone that meets him can't believe he is only 5 months old. As soon as I can, I will post new pics. I'm sorry that I haven't posted anything for a while.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Al is going to see me in a play this weekend. Our community is doing the play Annie. I'm only in two scenes, but I'm sure he'll enjoy it anyway. My little boy is growing up so fast. He's already at least 40 pounds and he's only four months old. He is going to be so big! He's getting so much better behaved but he still has his moments. I just hope it shows at meetings how much he has improved.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

There's nothing better than taking a long walk barefoot with a dog that is actually walking good now. We took a pit stop along the way and ran in the meadow in our neighborhood that is claimed by no one. It just goes to show that the blind person isn't the only one who gets something out of what we do. We do too. We get a relationship with the dog we raise. No matter how long we keep them, we get attached. From the moment I met Al, I was already attached. As he fell asleep in my arms I couldn't wait for all the other moments I would cherish. And although he's not perfect and sometimes doesn't do what he's supposed to, I love him, and I wouldn't trade him for anything. If you ever consider raising a dog, I say, do it because you can't base your choice on the fact that you'll have to give that dog away someday. You have to say, what will I get out of this and what will that person that you're dog gets matched with get out of what you did. Yes, it's not all about you, but it sure helps to know that you were part in helping someone else.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Yesterday we got Al a new toy, and, like all the other toys he has, he loves it and was SO excited to get it. This morning on our walk we encountered a cat. He was a little hesitant about approaching it, so I tried to keep him going like it was no big deal. I didn't get to close to the cat and when we turned around he tried to run, but was unsuccessful because I kept a tight grip on his leash. I think cats are the only thing that he is afraid of.

Friday, July 23, 2010


This week Al has been to Wendy's and Arby's. He was a little pully and it took him a little while to settle down, but besides that, he did great. He's getting so big and he's gonna be SO big when he gets older. Tonight we're having a cook out to celebrate my sister's birthday so I hope he behaves.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Airport Meeting!

So, today the group went to the Charlotte airport today. It was so much fun! We got to expose the puppies to the sounds of the baggage claim, the crowds of people and the handicap carts. Al especially enjoyed the airplane we went on. We even barely fit in the little bathroom on the plane. After that we got a little break while we took a little ride on the carts and Al loved that! We got to go through security and we had to take their collar and leash off and I was praying that Al wouldn't run away, but he did fine. Overall it was a really good day for Al and a very good exposure.

P.S. By the way, sorry about not posting for a month. I went to camp for a week and then kind of slacked off for a while. I'll try to be better about posting in the future.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

So, Al experienced his first city wide power outage today, but he really didn't seem to notice. He just went on with his business and ran around the house. He tried to eat an oreo but was caught in the act and scolded. Until next time...

Monday, June 14, 2010

So, we took Al to Stone Mountain today. He loved the water and swam for the first time. We decided to walk a trail and on our way back it started to rain. It was raining really hard and we got soaked. He was so tired though that he slept the whole way home. It was a really fun day today and I'm sure there are more to come. Until next time...
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So, last night Al decided that he'd whine and bark until 11:30. I tried telling him No Noise and petting him and ignoring him and nothing seemed to calm him down. I took him out again and he still whined. I thought it would never stop, but eventually he calmed down and fell asleep. It just goes to show that it's not always easy. Until next time...

Saturday, June 12, 2010

More Exposures

Last night Al went to my sister's graduation and to the movies. He did great for both! At graduation he fell asleep for the whole thing! Then at the movie, he at first wanted the popcorn on the floor but eventually settled down. He's doing great with training and I keep practicing everything with him every day. I feel so blessed to have this wonderful, loving little puppy in my care for a little while. Until next time...

Friday, June 11, 2010

So, here's another picture of Al. I've been taking tons so there will be more soon. Yesterday we took him to a free lunch thing near Tractor Supply. He had fun and he especially loved Tractor Supply. We decided to get him a pillow thing for his crate, and he loves it! Training wise, he's getting better at 'down' and I've started to teach him 'heel' and 'place'. Until next time...

Monday, June 7, 2010

Sweet moments

So, Wednesday will be Al's 12 week b-day! This morning he rested his head on my shoulder for a while and I absolutely loved it! He also seems to love crawling all over me! He's also been improving training wise. He loves staying...he'll look at me with those adorable eyes and just wait until I tell him to 'take a break'. He's also good at 'switch'. I hardly have to lead him with it anymore! He loves his food, and I in a few days he'll have to stop eating lunch...I hope he does okay with that. Well, today's his first trip to the vet! Until next time...

Sunday, June 6, 2010


So far, we've taken Al to Lowe's, the Senior Awards Night, Senior Assembly, Walgreens and the Hair Salon. Despite a few whines and taking his time getting settled, he's been wonderful! He falls asleep and behaves himself, and is fine. He hasn't had an accident at an outing yet! Tonight we're taking him to Baccalaureate, so that will be the first time he's been in a church. Training wise, he's great a 'stay' and 'sit', but is still working on 'down' and 'switch'. He's loves to 'come' and I'm just introduced 'heel' to him today! This is so much fun! Until next time...

Friday, June 4, 2010

A Growing Boy

Al seems constantly hungry. We lock him in the living room so he won't get in to anything and he sits at the gate and whines...not all the time, but he definitely LOVES food. We can also tell that he's getting bigger and bigger as the days go by. He's getting harder and harder to pick up for very long. With training, he's getting the hang of 'switch' and starting to get what 'down' is. Until next time...

Thursday, June 3, 2010

You can call me Al

So, this is our new puppy, Al. Sorry about the delay, I've been kind of distracted lately. Al, is adorable, sweet, an just so incredibly cute. We've taken him to a few places and he's done extraordinarily well. And yes, he's not perfect. He loves biting random things, and, of course, chasing his tail. We've only had him for a week and a half and he's already twice as big as he was when we got him. I'm so excited to see what the future hold for him! Until next time...

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

At the most random times I think of the most random memory of Cassie. Maybe it's the fact that after she got used to our turtle pool she went crazy, or maybe it's the fact that she could run and run and run and run and even if she was breathing really hard she'd still run some more. Everytime a memory comes to mind I smile at first, then I get sad, remembering the day we said goodbye, then, of course, I want to cry, but I don't. I loved that dog so much, and I still do. Until next time...

Monday, May 17, 2010

This is Sparky. We had the pleasure of pet sitting him for 3 weeks. He was hilarious! He made us laugh with his incoordination in catching anything we through at him. I guess he was just goofy. Well, and adorable. He was a big ball of love and SO obedient. It was like he got joy out of doing what you wanted him to do. I love him and his enormously long tongue!!!

Crazy self

I think all my friends think I'm crazy. I'm SO excited about this new puppy I have random outburst of excitement about how many days are left 'til we get him. Btw, that would be 6 right now. I don't know, I just can't wait for him to get her. I personally think it has something to do with the fact that my family has never had a dog as a pet and raising Guide Dogs is the closest we get. And, I love it! I love taking the puppy everywhere we go, like it's normal and, like always, I love the attention. I can't wait to take a million pictures of our new pup. Until next time...

Sunday, May 16, 2010

It seems like just yesterday...

As I look back at all the times we had with all the dogs in training that have come into our home I realize, that it all seemed to happen so fast. It's been over a year since we first got Hamlet and in some ways it feels so much shorter. I find myself thinking back to certain hilarious memories I have of all the 6 that had a little chance to get to know the Rectors. I find myself wishing I had done more of some things, like taking Cassie out on the deck with our Turtle pool, and wishing I had done some things less, like scold them when they're the least bit wrong. But in the end, it still seems like just yesterday... Until next time...
As the days count down 'til we get our new puppy, there are so many thing on my mind, but one in particular are my expectations. I already expect so many things to happen. For instance, I expect him to be an angel and obey my every command, I expect that he'll just know when play time is and when work time is. I expect everyone to love him and I expect him to love me the most. But I think that instead of expecting all these things, I'll just see what happens and do my best to help him become a wonderful Guide Dog. Until next time...

Saturday, May 15, 2010

I couldn't resist posting this pic. Cassie was playing with her brother, Toby on our deck. It's a little blurry because they were moving so fast, but to me, that doesn't really matter 'cause it's such a great face.
9 more days 'til we get our new puppy! As I count down the days I can't help but think of all the fun things will do with the new puppy. He'll swim in our little turtle pool. (Don't worry, it's less than a foot deep.) He'll be introduced to plenty of new toys and a few old ones. We'll take him to Wal-mart, the movies, out to eat, and pretty much everywhere else we go...well at least when we can 'cause he'll be so young, he won't last long in some places. I can't wait to pick him up, hold him in my arms, and cherish every moment I have with him.

Friday, May 14, 2010

This is one of the first pictures Brian took of Cassie. On the day we got her, we also met her brothers and sisters, Toby, Rocky, Spike, and Duchess. They were all so adorable and though I wasn't there when we first got her, the moment I saw her, I fell in love, well, if you can fall in love with a dog. Anyway, we raised her for 10 months, got to see her through her birthday, and cried as a trainer took her away from us. In fact, I'm almost crying right now thinking about it. Cassie will always have a very special place in my heart and on my wall.

This is Lucky. We puppy sat him after Hamlet left. He visited us for a total of about 6 weeks. I adored him SO much! He loved to cuddle, he, as you can see, loved my sunglasses, and he followed us around the house. I loved playing games with him and, of course taking pictures. Lucky was matched but apparantly walks to slow, but that okay, there will be someone to love Lucky half as much as he loves them.


This is Hamlet. He was the first Guide Dog in Training we received. We got him on August 15th, 2008. He was the cutest thing in the world and his sleepy eyes were unbelievable. He just got released from the program down at Florida and is going to a good home and he'll be in our hearts and computers forever.

Importance of Guide Dogs

Some people say that they could never raise Guide Dogs because they couldn't give it away. Well, I guess to me, if I had that thought process, I couldn't raise Guide Dogs either. I could say I do it for me because my parents don't let us have regular pets, or I could say I do it for the dog because they actually accomplish something in their life, but neither of those are the answer. I do this for the blind person. They're the one that truly benefit the most from this. They're the ones that end up with a companion to go with them everywhere and act as their eyes. So, yes, I do love the experience of raising a Guide Dog and taking it everywhere, but in the end, it's always for the blind person. Until next time...

Thursday, May 13, 2010


Hi, everyone, my name is Amy Rector. I'm 15 years old, the youngest in my family, and most importantly, I'm raising Guide Dogs!!! :D It's really very simple. You apply, get a dog, teach it basic obedience and socialize it for a year. Then you take it down to Florida, say goodbye, and hope it becomes a Guide Dog for a blind person. I will be getting a new dog on May 22! We've fully raised one dog and helped raise 5 others. Those dogs were Hamlet, Lucky, Cassie, Cindy Jae and Sparkie. We've come into contact with many other dogs and can't wait to get a new 8 week old puppy!!!! Until next time...