Friday, April 24, 2015

3 weeks left...

3 weeks left with Battier. The time has gone by so fast and she's such an amazing puppy. I was lucky enough to be given this wonderful puppy to raise in December 2013. Battier was born on October 15, 2013 to Tosca II (Golden Retriever) and Orent II (Yellow Lab) and has 5 siblings: Brubeck (New Jersey), Brad (Ohio), Bernie (Atlanta), Beatrice (Dallas) and Bert (Orlando). 

Battier came home in December and never had any problems. She might have had 2 accidents in the house, but as our contract trainer always says...if a puppy has an accident, it's our fault for not taking them out. 

Battier was very easy to train and leaned commands quickly. She is a very food motivated puppy, but also does great without food. I think she gets that food drive from her lab side. 

Battier has never barked, she will not speak. I've heard from the puppy raisers of her siblings that they will not speak either, it's interesting. Battier's mom Tosca doesn't speak either. 

Battier LOVES to play fetch. Her favorite toys are her West Paw toys, Chuck-It balls, tennis balls and stuffed toys. She has a great fetch drive, but also will sit and wait for the release to get her toy. 

Some of Battier's favorite words other than her CCI commands are: 

READY- She knows something good is about to happen. 
COOKIE - Treats are coming! 
ICE - treat of ice. 
FOUL - this tells her to give a hug while someone is standing, she only does this on this command. 
SWIM - time for the pool or lake! 

Battier's nickname is Batts. 

Battier has always liked to watch TV, I think sports are her favorite. Of course if animals are on TV she enjoys that as well. 

I've taken over 6,000 pictures of this pretty girl! She's still ready for the camera. 

Battier has been all over California/Nevada: Sacramento, Lake Tahoe, San Francisco, Half Moon Bay, LA, Anaheim, Palm Springs, Rancho Mirage and more in-between. We also flew across the country to Miami. 

One of my favorite trips was our trips with CCI friends and 2 other CCI pups to Disneyland. We had an amazing 3 days! Battier went on a few rides: Jungle Cruise, Small World, Pirates, Buzz Lightyear, Ferris Wheel (non-moving) and the Tiki Room. We walked around and took a lot of pictures! There were characters to take pictures with and of course lots of "fans" that found us around the parks. 

Another fun trip was when Battier was 4 months. We went to a convention in LA where my Dad was the Chairman. They put us in the Penthouse, only 4 rooms on the top of the Westin Bonaventure, the suite was about 2,000 sqft and had 2 floors. It was also on the 39th floor! We had to go to the 5th floor for the "hurry" spot. She was SO good and we never had an accident. We also went Universal Studios when it was closed for just our group! There were only about 500 people in attendance at the park, since the park was only open for our group I felt confident in bringing Battier at 4 months. She was perfect. We went on the tram and then she joined us on the Transformer ride, Universal has kennels at every ride, but the person at the ride said she would be fine. The ride is like a car that goes on a track, but not fast. There's some loud sounds and fire. Battier did great and we have always said that she can do anything if she handled that fine! It was an awesome experience for Battier and Universal was so great with the puppies in training. 

Battier attended to basketball camps that my friend Jason Thompson (JT) put on in Sacramento. There were around 300 kids at both camps and Battier did great with all the kids and basketball bouncing everywhere. The kids and coaches knew to only pet her if I was there and everyone followed the rules very well. 

We've been to a lot of BBQ's with friends, Battier loved partying with everyone. Playing ball or swimming with friends was fun for her. She also would curl up and take a nap. Starting at a young age we would play pong next to her. This was a great way to have her practice her down stays while ping pong balls are going everywhere. She can lay under the pong table and be fine. 

Battier has never done anything bad, she follows the rules because she wants to. She really is the nicest puppy I have ever raised and I've raised some amazing puppies! 

I'm going to enjoy these last 3 weeks. Lots of fun, hugs, love and of course working on her skills to make sure she's the best she can be when she goes off to college on May 15th! It's amazing that there is someone out there that is waiting just for her...I know she's going to make us all so proud of her! 

Good-Byes are starting...

We have 3 weeks left...Battier has started saying good-byes to friends. One of her best friends is my friend JT. They've known each other since Battier was 2 months old. When she was 3 months old she attended a big Super Bowl party at his house. We've had some great BBQ's and pictures! The one of Battier jumping into the pool was at JT's house.

They had some quality time before JT left Sacramento for the off season!


Monday, April 20, 2015

Big Dog Airport Class

Tonight we went to the Sacramento Airport for our Big Dog puppy class! It was great! We only had 4 dogs attend, it was nice to have a smaller class, but we did miss our classmates.

Battier doing a "bed" on a different surface. 

63 lbs of amazing puppy! 

It was a pretty slow at the airport during our time there. Thanks to these airport employees that let us work the dogs around the check in counters. 

She fits! 

"Bed" on a tile. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

1 Month

As puppy raisers we know there will be an end to our journey. It seems so far away when we pick up the tiny bundle of fur at a Canine Companions for Independence campus. As difficult as it is to say goodbye to these amazing dogs, we know that there is someone out there right now that is waiting for her or him. The waiting list for one of these amazing assistance dogs can be 2 years or more. Since the day Battier was born she has had someone that is waiting for HER! I know turning her in on May 15th will be tough, she is my 8th puppy and 7th turn in and it does not get any easier. Each puppy is unique and special and they all take a piece of your heart with them. Then there is Graduation day! I don't think there is anything like handing over the leash to the new family of the dog you have raised. It is such an amazing experience and I have been lucky to keep in contact with my graduate dogs. It's so special to hear how they are doing. Canine Companions for Independence does such a great job at placing these amazing dogs just where they are supposed to be.

Battier has been the best of the best...she's such a special girl and will do so well in Advanced Training! We have been on SO many great adventures and met so many people. She is confident and adaptable to new surroundings. She loves everyone she meets and definitely shows her love when she's on a "release".

Some of my favorite experiences with her have been -

  • Disneyland with friends. We had such a great time and captured the moments with some amazing pictures. 
  • Miami! Flying to Miami and having so many plane delays, but Battier was a champ and took it all in. We landed and went straight to Shane Battier's Battioke charity event. Walking to the beach and around Lincoln Street were also a lot of fun. 
  • Watching Battier swim - one of Battier's favorite activities is swimming! Lake Tahoe is her favorite place and I tried to get her there as much as possible. She's also swam at Half Moon Bay, Newport Beach, Folsom Lake and some pools. 
  • Hanging out with friends - Battier loves a party and does very well in big groups. We've had a lot of fun times with friends! 
  • Kings games - Battier has been to a lot of Sacramento Kings games! We even went to a Kings game in Miami against the Heat. 
  • Road Trips - We've done at least 5 trips to Palm Springs (500 miles each way)! Battier does great in the car and is a great road trip buddy. 

Battier is more than ready for her next chapter. She has been prepared since birth for this and will make us all proud! I'm so lucky that I was able to raise her, she has been such an amazing dog. Just thinking of how she will be able to make someone more independent makes all the tears at turn in worth it. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Last Sacramento Kings game

Last night Battier went to her last Sacramento Kings game as a puppy in training! We had a great time and it was even better because the Kings BEAT LA!

Battier took some pictures on the court after the game with our friend Jason Thompson (JT) 

Battier also saw Kayte after the game! 

Battier's place during the game, she would just sleep at my feet. 

Halftime love. 


JT getting interview after the win. 

Friday, April 10, 2015

Big Dog Bowling Class

Tonight we had our Big Dog bowling class! This is always a great opportunity for the dogs to be around lots of sounds and people. It was packed tonight at the bowling alley, we were actually lucky that we had a lane! 

We worked on down-stays and Carly (our contract trainer) tried to bribe the dogs with food. Battier was perfect! She never attempted to take any food. There was pizza, chicken strips, cheese sticks and onion rings that were used. No dogs ate any of the food. Battier was so good and had the chicken strips and pizza next to her for about 20 minutes. 

Food everywhere! 

Carly trying to get the dogs to break. 

Pizza, chicken strips and onion rings. 

Puppa, Nilight, Battier, Louis, Opal, Nilda and Napa. 


Anyone want to play? 

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Tennis Ball Name Challenge!

How about a tennis ball name challenge?! Battier has been trained around tennis balls since she was a baby and does not react to them while she's working or not on a release. She does like to play fetch with tennis balls, but she definitely knows the difference between working and playtime. 

After we took her name pictures I moved the balls all around Battier, she did great! 

Then I had her lay on top of all of them.