Sunday, March 4, 2007

Oh Where Has My Big Dog Gone?

Well, all, there hasn't been a whole lot to post on, mostly because... we haven't had a dog recently. A week and a half ago, Paige went back to the guide dog school for her breeder evaluation. Our school keeps its own breeding colony, and sometimes if they see lines they like or want to continue, they will keep that litter intact and then evaluate them (males now at 12 mos and females at 15 mos).

Paige will have her heart, eyes, and hips checked, as well as a temperment test. The temperment test is the other reason we didn't want to blog about it immediately - we had concerns. Don't get us wrong, she is sweet as can be and not an unfaithful bone in her body can be found, but - she doesn't like the crate. This was brought to our attention by other puppy raisers who have watched Paige (hi, Jenny!) and discovered that she refuses to get into the crate. After seeing this for ourselves, with just a week and a half left before Paige left for her eval, we were concerned. The pups are transported by crates in vans.... and if Paige (all 75lbs+ of her) refused, there may be problems.

We spent the next week and a half feeding her in the crate, putting her toys in the crate, and having a very sweet friend of ours with a crate in her SUV come to help Paige practice. She will now go in the crate - she isn't really happy about it, but she will go in. And as the guide dog school says, it's not the stress, it's how they recover from it.

We heard last week - Paige passed the temperment test. This means that yes, she did get in the crate (hallelujah) and she recovered after she got out. This means she will go on to have the rest of the medical tests.

And then we wait. If her hips, eyes, and heart are all perfect, it is POSSIBLE (and only possible) that she could be made a breeding female, to have little guide dogs rather than be one herself.

(Paige and her brother Palmer. Yes, she is the bigger of the two.)

On a side note, even if she is perfect, she could still be fixed and turned in for training. Both of our boys before were kept intact (14 mos and 16 mos respectively) before the school decided that they wanted them in for training rather than as potential dads - even though they were sound medically and tempermentally. The ironic thing is, it seems that we will always have a dog that is kept in tact - Voight, at 14 mos was quite the ladies' man, and Liam, at 16 mos liked to sniff EVERY blade of grass before choosing to get busy. They couldn't help it, it was being an intact male. So having an intact female - heck, why not?

And speaking of boys...

Tai, who is not quite seven weeks right now, will be home on Friday.


Sarah said...

Good luck Paige! We're keeping fingers and paws crossed that you will become a good guide dog mom :)

Can't wait to hear all about Tai!

Sarah and the I's

Hobbes Dogs said...

Good luck to Paige!

Patience also has a brother Palmer, and a sister Page.

Sam, Patience, and Juneau

Erin & Rei said...

Good Luck Paige! Rei is also a Breeder Evaluate

8675309 said...

OH how I MISS my precious little Paiges!!!

I am almost as excited for her return as I am for Truman & Tai's arrival. (Almost.) :)

And I'm glad she's more cooperative with the crate time now...ever seen those cartoons where someone tries to put a cat in a bathtub? Never seen someone so leg-locked in my life. Hee hee....