Guide Dog Lomax, the “Number One Son” of my own personal Labrador story, turns seven years old today. SEVEN. That’s unthinkable to me. I’m assuming this is a taste of how parenthood feels (you know…parenting those *two*-legged beings, an experience I’ve yet to have). Does time really not accelerate? Because it sure does feel like it.
As far as I know, Lomax is still out there working with his partner, keeping her confident, independent and safe. And so is his equally SuperDog-like brother, Guide Dog Liam. Those are some handsome boys, and smart, too.
Happy birthday, fellas. We love you, miss you, think of you often, and are very proud of you.
The holiday food parade continues! Our South Bay puppy raiser group also holds an annual potluck in December (also a good one). We have lots of other festive traditions too, including a puppy gift exchange; donation opportunities for a local animal shelter; and a tear-inducing video full of photos of the previous year’s puppies-in-training, breeders, and working guides (that one’s rough, let me tell you — it’s been almost four years, but the sight of Lomax in harness at his graduation gets me EVERY FREAKING TIME).
Our group is huge, and our area leaders work really hard to put on a nice event — even going so far as to set up decorative photo backgrounds for puppy-posing pleasure. Jethro was happy to jump into the little red wagon, but wanted out just as quickly, so we had to be pretty speedy with the camera:
But I knew that already.
Poor Jethro. The night before he turned just 9 weeks old, I noticed the right side of his little muzzle was swelling a bit. At first, I thought maybe he and Truman had just played a bit too rough and he caught a big-dog tooth to the snout.
But Jethro didn’t want to play or snuggle or do anything else, instead opting to stagger over to his kennel to put himself to bed at 7 o’clock, which was unusual. The swelling on his nose got a little worse, and he started to look like he’d been in a puppy bar fight (if you know of a puppy bar somewhere, by the way, I beg you to take me there), so I called the GDA after hours emergency number. These things never happen during normal business hours, after all. That would be too convenient.
Between me and the person who answered, we figured it was probably a spider bite. They’re apparently happening in crazy numbers this year; the school has even had to have extra spraying around the grounds, and a lot of dogs in the program have come in to the vet department having suffered similar incidents. I am NOT a fan of spiders. This happened to Lomax once, and it scared the daylights out of me because by the time I could get him up to the school for treatment, his eyes had swollen shut and his head looked like a pit bull’s. The question was, can you give a not-quite-9-week-old puppy Benadryl, the way you can with older dogs? The vet tech gave permission, so off I went to the drug store for some Children’s Benadryl. Fortunately, wee Jethro slurped it right up and went to sleep.
The next morning, Wolf and I drove him to GDA for an exam. Poor pup had a yeast infection in both ears as well! His little immune system was working overtime. He got a shot of Benadryl, a gentle ear cleaning and some ear meds…but unfortunately, no 9-week vaccine (which would have just been too much all at once, considering he weighed in at just under 14 pounds). He was a champ at the vet department, though, charming the techs and being generous with sloppy puppy kisses despite the ordeal. And it didn’t hurt that he got cookies afterward.
I think he’ll be okay.
Five years ago today, I took over raising Lomax from his first puppy raiser. I picked him up after a GDA obedience class, on Saturday, September 24, 2005. My first dog. He’s now a guide.
And today, Wolf and I are picking up Jethro. Right now, as you’re reading this, we’re probably sitting in a little room at GDA with other puppy raisers, half listening to the pre-puppy-pick-up lecture and giddy with anticipation.
I can’t wait for Wolf to hold the little guy for the first time. I can’t wait to introduce Jethro to Truman. I’ll post a few photos as soon as I’m able.
It’s a sweet day.
Today, unbelievably, Guide Dog Lomax is six years old. Happy birthday, Moofdog!
I’m one week away from my six-month wedding anniversary. Among the many things I am foolish enough to have believed I would be able to do by now:
1.) Get the thank you notes out. Emily Post says I have a year to do this, and now I understand why. Still…I’d like to get them written and mailed before I have to start thinking about sending out Christmas cards.
2.) Be entirely unpacked. Grandma used to say that after a move, you should unpack the kitchen and bedroom/bathroom stuff immediately. Whatever’s left packed in boxes six months later should be left in the sealed boxes and given away, because clearly, you didn’t miss it. Alas, I do not subscribe to this philosophy. I do indeed miss my Jedi action figures and my craft supplies and my Post-It flags and the box of 3×5 cards on which I have written many of my favorite recipes. But life gets in the way of efficiency sometimes. For the record, I am also hoping to have the bulk of this done before…mmmmmmChristmas…?
(Please let me dream, people.)
3.) Get back to regular blogging. Holy cow, I have been busier than the proverbial one-legged man in a butt-kicking contest (another gem from Grandma). Truman has been here through all of it, and I’ve missed many an opportunity to regale you with his nutty adventures. I know I’ve promised updates and not delivered — including wedding photos (another thing I can’t seem to get done by the six-month marker, unbelievably)!
This is just a note to say that YellowDog and I are still alive and kicking, and continuing to settle into this new life with the Wonderful Man Who Loves Us Both More Than We Could Ever Have Hoped. If there are any of you still hanging in there, clinging to the idea that I might someday return…many thanks! We’ll be back, I promise. And next spring or summer, the puppy raising madness will begin all over again.
And on a happy note, today is Lomax’s fifth birthday. And in honor of The Moof, who is living the guide dog life somewhere in Tennessee, I smile and give thanks for the many blessings God provides in the lives of everyone involved with Guide Dogs of America and other service dog organizations all over the world.
Today is Lomax’s birthday…unbelievably, The Moof is FOUR YEARS OLD!!! Somewhere in Tennessee, there is a smiling blond dog in a black harness, guiding a smiling blond woman.
Happy fourth, little man. 🙂