Friday, October 29, 2010

Puppies, part 2

Well I emailed back and forth with a representative of GEB for a few days, asking as many questions that I could think of. My decision is this:

I will not raise for GEB.

I'm not going to go into reasons, except that they have very different style/technique of training than I am used to. This is not to say I am set in my ways and refuse to try different techniques, because that's false. I've been doing positive reinforcement with Fala and it's going well. However, the techniques GEB uses, to ME, do not seem beneficial or helpful to the guide dogs in training. When I asked the representative about this, she did not write back. So... I made the very easy decision not to raise for them.

Am I bummed that I won't be raising in the near future? Yeah, of course I am. I was excited at just the possibility. But I am not sad with my decision. I know it's the right one.

So, back to enjoying Fala and being excited for the day when Jake and I get a little puppy of our very own. :)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Well, for those of you who may not know, I used to raise guide dog puppies for Guide Dogs of America, back when I lived in California. I started when I was 12, and raised 5 (and a half) puppies for the program. My last dog was the famous Camry, who became a breeder for the program. It was around the time she was selected for the breeding colony that I became a trainer at GDA. That put all puppy raising on hold.

When Jake and I got married, we tossed around the idea of puppy raising. we weren't planning on doing it for a while. We still had two dogs and a tiny apartment, and making it three would be absolutely insane. Plus, I was happy with my two girls. I didn't really miss the whole puppy raising scene.

Fast forward 7 months. I now live in Maine, I have 1 dog and 1 kitty, and I am getting The Itch. That all familiar puppy itch that a puppy raiser knows only too well.

I have different responsibilities now and, as much as I would like to, I cannot just jump back in to the puppy raising scene. The only guide dog school I could raise for is Guiding Eyes for the Blind. I have looked at their website SO many times. I have talked to Jake about it occasionally, but never deciding anything. I talked to him again last night and he said I could email GEB with my questions.

So this morning I found the email for the Regional person in Maine. I emailed her a huge email full of questions that I had. She replied, and of course, i replied with another gigantic email.

While things are still up in the air, and Jake and I will have a lot of praying to do, I am excited at this possibility. I would SO love to be a puppy raiser again. Of course, I have to keep my head on straight. Jake's job pays the bills, yes. But if we want all the "extras", I'd have to get a job. Plus, I want a job! So if I were to raise a puppy, it would be back to the "well I can only take such and such job that will take a puppy". Or, I could just crate the puppy during the day. Who knows.

All this to say... maybe, just maybe, there will be a little puppy, in a little puppy in training jacket, in my house someday.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Jake works ten hour days. He gets a 15 minute break around 9am, and then his lunch break. Usually, during his 15 minute break, he has coffee (always!) and some form of snack; pop-tarts, scones, cookies, etc. Well we are short on groceries this week so we couldn't afford to buy pop-tarts, and didn't have enough butter for scones (it takes 8 tablespoons, and I usually double the recipe!), and I just didnt feel like making cookies. But I hated the idea of Jake sitting during his break with no snacks! Enter donut holes. I've been wanting to make some for about a week now, but I was too intimidated by the whole frying aspect that I kept putting it off. I searched around on the internet looking for recipes that I already had all the ingredients to. I found one that sounded simple and had good reviews. So today I finally tried it. They came out pretty well! The first batch (I put five blops of dough in at a time) came out burnt and underdone. So I turned the oil down. Once I figured out the right heat for the oil, my job was simple. I would put five little dough balls in at a time, fiddle around doing other things for a few minutes, and turn them occasionally. Then I'd come back, take them out of the oil, wipe the oil off a bit, then roll them in cinnamon and sugar.
They are so yummy! I think I put too much cinnamon in the actual batter, so next time I try these I'll do less. But that's my only complaint. I am hoping Jake likes them. I know cold donuts aren't the best, but my personal belief is that anything is better than nothing! Quite a few were made out of the mixture, so hopefully there will be enough to last the next two days of his work week!

Monday, October 18, 2010


The Lord has really been speaking to Jake and I recently. Lots of changes need to be made, and we need to start now.

Life can be rough sometimes, there's no denying it. It is how we handle the rough times that makes all the difference. I am human. I am a sinner. More often than not I do NOT rely on God to get me through hard times. How stupid I am! God has made it so clear to me that He is the only way to happiness. I can have a place to live, animals to love, a husband to adore, and still be unhappy and unsatisfied. God HAS to be in the center of it.

Jake and I do not have a lot of money. We have enough to pay our bills and make rent, and to buy a few groceries every weekend, and that's about it. It is hard for someone like me who previously never had responsibilities but had a good paying job, to learn how to stretch the money and pay the bills on time and make sure there is still food to feed the husband when he gets home! But I can not do it on my own. The Lord asks that we offer Him our money, ask Him to be in control of it. That is the only way our money will ever truly be in safe hands. But my logical, reasonable self (hey! It's known to show itself once in a while!) says "But how can we give God money when we do not have any for ourselves?" Trust. Faith. It's HARD. But God rewards those who trust in Him.

Just this past weekend Jake and I were needing two stamps for two bills we had to pay. All the post offices were closed and stores only sold books of stamps, which we can't afford. We went into another store and asked the cashier if she stold stamps. "Yes," she said "but only in books." A lady was in line next to us and asked "How many do you need?" We said two, but we didn't have any cash. The lady smiled at us and ripped off two stamps from her newly bought stamp book.

The Lord is good. Jake and I have a long way to go with our lives. We have a lot of learning and a lot of growing up to do. But if God is for us, who can be against us?