Notre Fidele Ami

Sunday, January 30, 2011


Saturday the 29th, was the first time the dogs and their handlers were tested to see how they were progressing. Our AC (area coordinator) Jocelyn Hargrove and her obedience assistants, Carl, Betty, and Peggy were very informative with their suggestions, and helpful with their demonstrations. I came away from the class knowing I need to concentrate on giving a command only "ONCE" then if needed, to follow through with a correction.  Keep the command "short and sweet" don't use a sentence when a word or two are more affective.
All ages and levels of dogs together
Spring Valley park, Altamonte Springs, FL
Three youngest dogs in their class, Patriot, Clem, and Shirley
Betty and Peggy instructing the class
Carl's group being instructed in the shade
A much needed recess for the little ones
Patriot, practicing a down stay
Patriot, a walk out on the dock
Patriot, comfortable with his surroundings

Later in the day, Patriot had his first meet and greet the public.  Bill Brown of The Villages, Orange Blossom Lions Club ask if Patriot could participate in their annual "White Cane Day."  The Lions Club's many fund raising activities help support the Southeastern Guide Dogs mission to partner a visually impaired individual and a guide dog.

Bill Brown of the Lions Club, Patriot, and Bonnie
at Spanish Springs in The Villages, FL

It was a good experience for Patriot!  The traffic noise did not seem to effect him, he was confident, no shyness and he really liked the children :)
"GOOD DOG"  pat.....pat

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Patriot's offical Southeaster Guide Dog photo taken at 6 weeks

It's been a busy couple of days, Patriot went to the Vets for his 12 week vaccinations. Dr. David Gunderson of Lake Square Animal Hospital in Leesburg, was pleased with his overall condition.  At 12 weeks he now weighs 25.7 lbs and growing, what a handsome pup he is, along with such a great disposition to boot!

On our way home from the Vet's we stopped for lunch at a small restaurant.  Patriot did well, his leash issues are steps.  :)
Putting into practice his down/stay

Tuesdays outing consisted of a visit to Lake Sumter Landing.  We took the handicap ramp down to the wooden walkway along the lake.  Patriot was very curious about everything.  On our way back up we took the stairs, he managed nicely.  Next a walk around the Village's square, stopping at Starbuck's where Patriot was an immediate hit, we were made to feel welcome and invited to come back anytime.

The weather turned bad, so we headed for home, made it before the thunder and lighting started.  We observed Patriot during the storm, he did not over react and that is a good thing! 

"GOOD DOG" pat.....pat

Patriot's Harley colors, a gift from one of his biggest fans

Saturday, January 22, 2011


Patriot had his first bath today, it was an experience for both of us!  He "did not" care for the hand held sprayer, so I reverted to wetting him down with a pitcher of water, also rinsing him off the same way. Using the hand held sprayer is something we'll gradually work into using baby steps or should I say puppy steps.

Overall I think he liked the experience, he reminded me of a wet baby seal.

He did enjoy the towel dry after the bath, but the hair dryer on low he wasn't quite sure of.  At this point, grabbing the end of the toilet paper in his mouth he escaped from the bathroom and proceeded to rip roar through the house.  What a clown!

Brushing his teeth, now that's another story, he reluctantly submitted to the process.  Thank goodness for tie downs or he would have been out of there!  The toothpaste is made especially for dogs and claims to have a chicken flavor, Patriot wasn't buying it.  Sooo I tasted it myself..........I wouldn't buy it either!

Tonight is ear cleaning, the thought of this cause visions of havoc to pass before my eyes! 

Friday, January 21, 2011


Patriot at 9 weeks old

Patriot  12 weeks and growing

We've been working on our "issues" of leash management, Patriot has yet to comprehend that I am the leash manager.  I'm looking forward to the time we take a nice long walk with no tension on the leash.

  We've been working on many exercises this week, such as walking on different type surfaces.  So far we've done smooth, metal grates, gravel, wood, and rain puddles.  Rain puddles were the most entertaining, he excels at rain puddles! We took a walk in the rain, Patriot didn't mind getting his feet wet, just wanted to lick the man hole covers.

Practicing his "under down"


Sunday, January 16, 2011

First Day of School

The first day of obedience class was very informative, great information, and some interesting demonstrations.  We met other Puppy Raisers, some are repeat raisers, others like myself, it's their first time. Thank goodness I'm not the only newbie!   The dogs were at all levels of training, enjoyed seeing how the older dogs and younger ones interacted with each other.  

Patriot and Archie

Patriot's sibling Shirley is in his training group, It will be interesting watching them grow and mature. I wonder if they remembered each other.

Patriot and Shirley

On the way home from class we stopped for lunch, It was Patriot's  first experience going into a restaurant.  He did well, but soon was tired of the new surroundings and took a nap.

First day of school can be very tiring

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Patriot sporting his stars and stripes

Patriot had an appointment for his canine flu vaccine this week, the Vet thinks he's a great looking pup and doing well, but feels we need to keep an eye on his weight gain. It's not good for him to gain too quickly, it's hard on the joints, and harder to take off later.  "Weight gain," one more thing we have in common!

The car ride to and from the Vet's went well, he's a born traveler! The photo below shows him on the floor of the passenger area, he's in the tie down mode for safety.

Patriots full of energy! I should have great biceps by the time we get leash management under control.  This is one area that I'm having difficulty with him, looking forward to our first obedience class this weekend.  Crate training and house breaking are going well.  He's in his crate at 10 PM and is good until 5:30 AM.  No winning, no fussing, this is fantastic!  "GOOD DOG" pat...pat

Does well on golf carts

Plays hardy

Great office companion

Naps well

Monday, January 10, 2011


This is my first attempt at blogging and our first time being a puppy raiser, we are in the learning process (that's including the puppy)

On October 29, 2010 a black, male, Labrador puppy was born, the Dame was Griffin and the Sire was Gunner.  The puppy was the first born of the litter and the largest.  On January 3, 2011 we brought this puppy home, at that time he was weighing close to 19 lbs.

His name is "PATRIOT"

Our Journey has begun

It has been a week since Patriot has joined our family.  It's like having a baby in the house again.  Feeding schedules, getting up during the night, potty training and toy boxes are again in our lives.  There is also much laughter at his antics and amazement of how smart he is.  This next 14 months are going to be an experience!

We hope that you will share this journey with us.