Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Postcard #4

We received postcard #4... the one that ends "some of my friends have gone home, but I think I will stay and try to learn more". Tai is going strong up at the school, and we have faith in him that he will continue to do well. We didn't update this when we got the postcard (a couple of weeks ago) because we were in the midst of Zoe's first flu bug and the onset of the holiday season. Still, although we won't see him until he graduates or decides to come home, it's still the best Christmas gift Tai can give us!

Happy Holidays to the readers of our blog, even with all of its inconsistency. Have the most wonderful of holidays and the happiest of new years!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Gda on TV

Watch a local news story about the wild fire, how it affected GDA and how they delt with it.

Watch the video

I don't know how long this video will be on the website, so I apologize in advance if you go looking for it and it is not there.

p.s. See if you can find Tai!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Wildfires in Southern California

First: at the time of this writing, 7:52 on Sunday, November 16, everything is fine. The Sayre fire in Sylmar is still raging, but Guide Dogs of America is still there and everyone is fine. The dogs were evacuated early Saturday morning. So, as longtime volunteers and puppyraisers, we got the email: all those who want to take an evacuated dog home, drive to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.

We jumped in the car and drove.

This is what I love about our organization: there were 70 dogs... and about 100 people showed up. The school released the in-for-training dogs to their puppyraisers, and those who weren't there went home with other puppyraisers for the weekend. That means...


Tai only got to spend one day with our daughter Zoe, before he was turned in. Tai is in LOVE with her, although he wants to kiss her just a tad bit too emphatically (pictures to follow). But he is HERE! This doesn't happen with our school - we don't see the dogs after they go in. He looks fabulous - BIG and gorgeous and so sweet. He hasn't changed a bit. We love him.

So, at the time of this writing, he goes back tomorrow. It was a weekend pass, a wonderful day and a half where he got to play with Big Sister Paige and The Brudder himself, Truman. It will be hard to give him back again, but we were able to help keep him safe, and he will continue his progress to be someone else's dog. We wouldn't change it for anything.

p.s. Kind of ironic that I finished the last post wondering how big Tai is, how he is doing, and what we/ he would do when we saw him again. I wrote that the day before we got him back. Amazing.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Tai Passed Prelims!

Just about a month ago, although it seems far too long, we got a postcard from Tai, saying that he was working left and right turns up at GDA. We got the third postcard yesterday (Zoe was asleep, so we did the quietest happy dance ever), saying that Tai had passed his first preliminary test. The trainers go under blindfold and the dog goes through a basic route, everything they have learned up until now.

He passed. Yay! (Yay also to Velo, his buddy up at the school and also from South Bay group who got the same postcard.)

Paige didn't make it this far - this was the point where she became my mom's couch potato. We are SO PROUD of Tai and there is no end to the fun of speculating on A) how big he is B) how well he is doing, and C) what he will do (and what we will do) when we see him again.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Mr. December

At our annual Halloween meeting, our South Bay GDA calendar was released. Previous stars of the calendar have included....

Jetta and Liam

Liam, Voight, and Mika

Tai and Truman

and now, introducing Mr. December....

Tai (in quite possibly the most ridiculous picture ever - we love him!!)

Another One

Today we got postcard #2. YAY!!! Tai writes that he's learned right and left turns and that he knows how to cross streets, and that they will begin higher traffic areas soon. We've been doing this long enough to know that about ten or eleven weeks out the dogs are tested... that should be soon. Tai's been in training a little over eight weeks - one week less than Zoe has been with us!

It's good to know that he continues to do well - thank goodness! I think I must have written it before about Voight, Liam, or Paige, but while WE know that Tai is a good boy, it's good to know that the school knows it too!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

While Mom's Away...

Truman is at our house, hanging out with Zoe.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Happy Birthday, Brudders!!

Happy fourth birthday to Liam and brudder Lomax!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Just a couple of quick updates...

1) We got the first postcard from Tai up at GDA. We can now pretty much recite them by heart since they are always the same (not that we are complaining, we do the happy dance when we get a postcard), but it said that Tai is in harness and learning to pull, and will be learning turns next.

2) Last Friday I had emailed GDA, asking for an update. My source said that he is doing very well, the trainers like him very much, and he has adjusted very well. Yep, three 'very's in three sentences.

I can sleep more peacefully now...between Zoe's feedings, anyway.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The two legged variety...

We are taking a break from puppy raising to try the two-legged variety...

This is our daughter, Zoe, born 8-5-08.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Where it all stands

Tai is in formal training as of 8-9-08
Paige is still a loving pet and the sweetest dog ever!
Liam has been Re-matched with his new partner.

Voight has been re-matched with his new partner.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Blog upkeep

we want to thank Jenny for helping us keep up our blog.

for more on Tai and his adventures please see Jenny's & Truman's blog.

here, here, and here.

thanks Jenny!

Sunday, January 20, 2008


We appreciate the patience some readers have had for our somewhat cryptic post a few weeks ago. We feel that we can explain a bit more now, especially with the events of this past week.
Our first dog, Voight, was matched in 2005 with a wonderful person who lived not to far from us. We saw them often, and he and his partners were even in our wedding in 2006 as our ringbearers (Voight did the driving, his partner held the pillow with our rings).
Voight's partner passed away early this year. It was completely unexpected, and we were devastated. We were asked to take Voight back by his partner's spouse, in order that Voight be kept active and in a working mindset, as well as to have the attention that he needs. So we've had Voight and Tai at home for a few weeks, and fortunately they got along swimmingly. Voight also got to see friends of his puppyhood in Mika, Jetta (his first crush), Luke, and Tallee and make new friends in Dusty, as well as see his favorite people, his aunties and unkies from when he was small. (He practically knocked his Auntie Tina off the bench she was sitting on and DID tackle his Auntie Cindi)
The decision was made by Voight's partner's spouse that Voight would return to GDA to be reassessed to see if he can be regraduated. So yesterday, we took Voight to the school. To give him back. Again. No one should have to do this twice, even when we firmly believe it is the right thing to do. But if you're keeping score, that's 3 dogs we've turned in (or re-turned in) in two and a half years.

Fortunately, we were able to turn him in as is proper, because we were the ones to take him back to the kennel , not the kennel techs. We were the ones to put him in the kennel. We were afraid that we would not be able to do those things because it wasn't a formal turn-in. And so much for Voight acting like he didn't want to be there - the big green Jollyball in his run made sure of that. He was happily pushing it all over the run, grunting with joy, when we left.

So our Little Man (his nickname from the time he was very small) is back at the school right now. We'll keep you posted as to how his assessment goes. Please continue to keep Voight and his partner's family in your thoughts.

Voight, who belongs to the "Big Tongue Happy Family"

Sunday, January 6, 2008

The Post Behind The Post

The following is a one-line post that I had meant to put up a while ago, when we had not blogged for awhile:

The posting will resume when the morning sickness passes.

Yep, you read it right.

This was the official-until-New Year reason why there was no posting for almost a month (and yes, we are very excited). Between my morning sickness, the loss of our friend, and having a puppy houseguest for awhile, things may be a bit more spotty than usual, but we hope that everyone is having a safe and wonderful New Year.

Friday, January 4, 2008

We are Overcome

Out of respect for another's privacy, we cannot blog specifically about the guide dog related loss we have suffered in the past few days. Voight, Liam, Paige, and Tai are all fine, but we are without words for the loss of our friend.

Within our community, we meet people that otherwise we would have no way of knowing, and we are devastated at the loss of future time spent with our friend. We would ask for your thoughts, prayers, and meditations for our dear friend and the friends and family that are now grieving.