Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Good Luck, Zinfandel!

The time has come for Zinfandel to say goodbye to all of us, here on the blog and hello to In Formal Training, a.k.a 'college'. We will miss her terribly and Kristi is hoping she finds a way to stay out of trouble, quickly, now that she won't have someone to care, train, exercise and groom on a daily basis. This sweet girl loves to work and is most happy when learning something new or putting her current skill set to use. She learns quickly and is happy to please. She can be strong-willed, too, which is good for a working dog. She has a great balance of obedience and stubborn. She will have her medical testing finished by the 18th. Results of those tests should be back sometime in February. She will work with the training staff or prison puppy raisers. She will be getting settled in the Canine Housing Unit, learning a new routine and showing her skills and personality. Assuming her tests come back clean, she will then be placed into one of the assistance branches, guide, service or social. She will then learn the skills needed in that discipline. She will then be trained specifically for the partner she will end up with. Then she will train with that partner and leave KSDS with her new partner and start her new life as an assistance dog. This process will last anywhere from three to 12 months. At any point, from the day of turn in (Jan. 7) to graduation day she can be released. We are praying that does not occur, but know Thy will be done and will wait for word from KSDS.
In the meantime, enjoy some of her previous posts, going back to when she was just 8 weeks old and coming 'home' to us.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas From Our Home to Yours

Zinfandel celebrated MN Christmas on Saturday. Here are a few festive pictures. May peace, joy and love fill your homes this holiday season!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Monday, November 11, 2013

Pups Days 2013

It was an awesome weekend! We had so many great training sessions and lots of good socialization for the dogs and people. Thanks to all the KSDS staff who worked hard to put the weekend together and worked a full weekend. Thanks to all the puppy raiser board members and others who helped make it so great for the rest of us puppy raisers! It was great to meet all the new raisers.
At the KSDS, Inc. duplexes. 

Outside our overnight accommodations.

Blowing off steam at Banner Park.

Playing a game with sister Chardonnay.

Getting ready for our first training session.

Sisters hangin' on a break.

Playtime after training all day.


Monday, October 28, 2013

Guests from Colorado

We had our good friends, Greg and Valerie visit us in our new home in MN. Zinfandel had a blast taking them for a hike in the woods at Carver County Park, going to the Casino and hanging out in the back yard. Much better than working on the house!

Photo Bombing the pretty picture.

Being told to stay during a washers game.

Holding a stay sort of.

Playing the slots.

Down Under at the slots.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Our 101st Post

A happy fall day, before the snow starts flying, today!

A Visit Back to Colorado

Resting at gma's and gpa's after a long drive.

At the vet checking on an ear infection. We got to see ANGIE!!! YEAH!

Fall colors in the mountains. 

Driving back to MN!

It was great to see everyone and be in Colorado in the fall.

Monday, September 23, 2013

A Fall Outing

Zinfandel checking out the swine pen while I decide if I like this chair or not.

Halloween Costumes for Sale

I smell BACON!

Sitting in the punkin' patch.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Only Dog Things

Zinfandel has never grabbed, chewed or shown any interest in human items. As a puppy, she never took anything that wasn't a puppy approved item. We even left stuff on the floor, on tables, etc. She just always seemed to  know, that's a 2-legged dog's item and these are mine. Which for most puppy owners/raisers that's a miracle and nothing to complain about. What we have found is that it makes training her to do tasks, she may do one day for her partner, harder. It's been with lots of patience and time we got her to know it was ok to pick up a pen or keys or a phone. Her uncle Steve worked with her on the remote, last year. So these things are now routine. I decided, yesterday to work her on laundry, to give her mind a new challenge. She just wasn't sure it was ok to put her mouth on those nice clean clothes in the dryer. By the end of the load she learned that tugging the item out, handing it to me and waiting while I folded that piece and then doing to again when commanded was ok and what I was wanting her to do. She even stuck most of her body all the way into the dryer to get that last pair of shorts. But she definitely waits until she is commanded on each piece. Too funny.....
Happy Fall

Friday, September 13, 2013

Why Am I Surprised?

I am amazed that this 18-month old yellow lab can still surprise me in how smart she is. She has shown amazing ability to learn quickly, especially words. Any new toy that comes into the house she learns it's name by the second time we play with it. She enjoys working and looks so hard towards you when you are teaching her something new. She is a smart pup! Today, we were grooming after our daily walk. This has become our habit, since she was able to leave the yard at 15 weeks. We go for a walk/play and come home and get groomed. She knows what 'over' means (to flip her hip over), but she really doesn't like doing it. We have incorporated it into her play, so she knows how to do it. But on command, especially while grooming, not so much. So, I've gotten in the habit of having her, 'stand' and 'turn around' when I'm ready for the other side. Today, she was laying down and I did her whole left side. I commanded, 'stand', she looked at me, like hmmmmm should I? And I'm thinking, 'oh no, here we go on a backslide!" Then she did an 'over' and gave me a look of, that's really what you wanted, right? So SMART! And Stubborn! If she had no fear, I'd say a perfect Guide Dog in the making. But, we're pretty sure if she makes it IFT it will be service or social. But I digress and that's a long way off.......
Swimming in the back yard pond.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Zinfandel is Home - Finally!

We are moved into our new home and most must-do before we are settled projects are finished or wrapping up. So we should be able to get back into training, outings, walks and more exercise. We all need it! We have heard about pups from the two litters, prior to Zinfandel's, heading back to formal training at the end of next month, so we better get crackin'!
On a sit/stay, at the front door, while I walk across the street to get the mail.

Lots of exploring to do in the 1.6 acres back yard.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Getting Ready to Move Again

As you all know, we sold our home in CO and moved to MN in June. We have been working hard to get our home in MN ready to put on the market and move to our new, (and hopefully long-term) home in a different city in MN. So Zinfandel has had to be very patient with all our house projects. But she has done well and we have managed to get back into some training the past couple of weeks. Yesterday, we took a break from working on the house and went searching for furniture for the new home. Good training!
Helping with plumbing!

Approving the selection of this table.

Not sure about this table.

You'd think she was at home, if it weren't for the price tag. 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Dog Days of Summer

Zinfandel finally understands why it's called the dog days of summer. She sure has been having fun. With gma and gpa in town. It's been boating, fireworks, more boating and lots of fun!

Minneapolis Aquatennial fireworks - the 4th largest display in the country. 

Fireworks don't bother her, she LOVED watching them for 20 min!

Riding the waves of the mighty Mississippi.

Monday, July 15, 2013

KC Visit

Zinfandel and Kristi took Lee's mom back to KC on Friday. We then headed over to Brian's on Saturday. Zinfandel and Chardonnay played and played and played. We then went to a PR/Graduate play and training session. Zinfandel did well with all the dogs of various ages and sizes and attitudes. She rocked on the distraction training, (remote controlled car moving around her while she was in a sit/stay or down/stay, with and without Kristi nearby, dogs weaving in and out and different handlers). Needs a bit of work on strange things touching her back. (We used baby toys during the training.) More playing with her sister and then headed back to MN on Sunday.
Sisters riding in the car.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

She can cuddle!

Zinfandel is not a cuddly dog. She is fine with a pet or two, but no cuddling, hugging, or goo-going over her! But the other day she curled up in Kristi's lap for a few minutes. It was so sweet.

Learning to work in the MN heat!

Down/stay in the shade while Kristi loads groceries.

Working the streets of downtown Minneapolis. 

Down/under at a lakeside restaurant.

Bedtime after a long day's work.