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Thursday, December 24, 2009

A letter home

Dear Mom,
It's me Gabrina! I'm sorry I haven't written home yet, but I have just been sooo busy studying at college. There are so many new things to learn and so many things to do. I have a kennel mate! Kennels aren't so bad when you are with friends! And they hung toys at from the top of my kennel so I will learn to look up. I love love love playing with the toys up there. I also get to have kongs with food in them! You remember how much I love food dontcha ma? Not everything at college is fun; I also have to work sometimes. But don't you worry, I love working! My trainers here use these things that click. And every single time I hear that click noise I get food! That's right, click = food! It's like when you say "nice" only at college they make that click a lot! I also get to go for walks on this moving sidewalk! It's like the sidewalks at home only it is black and moves! And instead of my trainer walking with me he/she just gets to stand there and I get to walk walk walk. Let me tell ya, it's lots of fun! I am learning all kinds of things about being a guide dog. Right now I'm in phase 8 of my training. I'm not sure what exactly that means, but phase 8 is tons of fun! That's why I have been here for 4 whole weeks. Don't worry mom, nothing is wrong with me, 8 is just my favorite! I am learning how to ride on an escalator! Do you know what an escalator is? It's stairs that move! Normal stairs are fun, but this is taking stairs to a whole new extreme level! I just stand there and go up up up! And then I walk off. It's fun! There are some crazy people here at college mom. Sometimes my trainer ties something around her face so she can't see! And then she makes me walk! It makes me nervous, but I work super hard to make sure she doesn't get hurt. Maybe next week I'll give phase 9 a shot. I hear there are some fun things coming up! But for now I'm going to relax and enjoy my Christmas! I sure hope you have a fun Christmas even though I'm not with you. At night, when I don't have a human to cuddle with, I really miss you mommy! I wish you were here with me, but I know you have to be at school with our friends. Make sure they know that I said hi! Oh and one more thing, I just wanted you to know that I have been a very good girl and I think that Santapaws is going to bring me something good!

I love you!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Phase 8 again!

Gabrina is in phase 8 again! Being the worrier that I am I can't help but think, "what if something bad happened to her!" I mean she could be sick or hurt! My baby! But I also know that Gardner graduated after being in phase 8 for 3ish weeks. So who knows.

That was kinda a pointless post, but oh well

Maddie and Betsy 

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Gabrina is flying threw the phases. She is in 7 already. That's 7 phases in a month and a half! Way to go baby girl!

On a sad note, Gilligan was career changed. And Gilly has been CC'd as well.

But let's end happily..Gardner graduated on the 7th!! Congrats big boy!

And Garth is in 9!

A big thanks to Mandy for forwarding the phase report to me! Our CFR, Barb, got sick last night and hasn't forwarded it to us yet.

Go Gabrina and Garth!

Maddie and Betsy

Saturday, October 17, 2009

to come home or not to come home

No Gabrina isn't CC...

I have been thinking more about what will happen if Gabrina gets career changed. The original plan was that she would come home and live with me as the best pet ever! But now the more I think about it, she wouldn't be happy living here. She loves working and hates being home alone. With school and 4-H and all the other things I'm involved in, Gabrina would be kenneled most of the day. She really hates her kennel. She never really barked in there, but boy did she pout. And when she would come out she didn't want anything to do with me. She was mad. Also, if Gabrina came home it would basically put an end to my puppy raising days. I couldn't continue raising and have to say no to Gabrina's big begging eyes when I got out the puppy vest. She would hate me for "replacing" her with another puppy. At the puppy truck she growled when I was cuddling her and Besty tried to get my attention too. That is the only time she has ever growled meanly. She is a dog who wants all the attention. I wouldn't be able to put her through the pain of being "replaced".
So where does that leave Gabrina if she gets CC? My grandparents really want her. If she gets CC for a simple thing that they can deal with, she will probably go to live in Denver with them. It will be hard at first knowing that she is my baby and I can't have her, but it is what is best for her. She would have an awesome life with my grandparents. My grandma is a nurse so Gabrina could become a therapy dog and go to work everyday. And my grandparents love going on walks and hikes. She would be living the good life!

But let's just wait and see what she decides!

Maddie and Betsy

Thursday, October 1, 2009

First Phase Report!

Gabrina's officially on the phase report! Yippee! Phase 1! She should move right through 1 though, it's only medical examinations and I'm quite certain that they got all the medical examinations ever discovered done in the 3 months she's been there! Go Gabrina go!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Happy 17 months!

I would like to wish a very happy 17 month birthday to the G litter. Well actually they will be 17 months tomorrow, but tomorrow is a very busy day. As of today all the littermates are in formal training!

So let's recap on these beautiful babies:


Gabrina was recently dropped from her breeder evaluation. She had a cough with collar pressure. It sounds like it wasn't too serious and shouldn't effect her training. So good luck in formal training Bina I know you can do it!


Gardner has been in training for 3 months now. He had a slow start and was in phase 1 for over a month. But now he is in phase 8. I know your family really wants you back home, but you would also make an awesome guide! Good luck in whatever you choose to do!


I only got to meet you once, but you are beautiful! You look and act so much like Gardner. It's amazing. Garth is hanging out in phase 7. Almost there!


You are so much like Gabrina it's amazing! Not only do you look exactly like her, you act like her too. And man do you shed like her! You are in phase 8 last week and I'm sure you are doing awesome!


You had a rough start to life. You were supposed to be raised in Utah but were a bit of a handful so you got transfered to Colorado. I know your raiser worked very hard with you! You went back for formal training today, so I wish you luck!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Good News or Bad News?

I guess it depends on how you look at it.

I got news last night that Gabrina isn't going to be a breeder. Her report said: "
CUT: Cough with collar pressure." So she doesn't get to have babies, but she is going to be spayed and enter training at the next recall. I know there is a recall coming in the end of next week, but I'm not sure if she will go into training then. I don't know how soon she will enter training because she does have to recover from her spay surgery. This news is pretty exciting for me because I really think she would be a much better guide than she would be a mommy. But it's also a little disappointing, I was looking forward to raising one of her puppies, even if it meant overlapping. I just hope that having a cough with collar presure won't keep her from become a guide.

But I have to be competety honest. When I saw "CUT" my first thought was that she was career changed. I was super excited because I thought she was coming home. I know that she is going to become whatever God meant for her to be, wheither it's a guide, a K9 buddy, or a pet. Maybe she'll catch up to Gardner in training and we can go watch both of them graduate!

Good luck in training my Bina!

Maddie and Betsy

Sunday, September 13, 2009

two more pictures..

Here are two pictures that make me want to cry...
[Night before recall]

[Day of recall]

Gabrina goes to school

I was looking over my blog and realized that I never posted the pictures of Gabrina at school.

One day during study hall my friend and I walked around the school and took pictures of Gabrina.
I promise no puppies were harmed in the taking of these pictures:

There you have it. Everyone at school loved her!

Friday, August 14, 2009


That's right, I finally got news on Gabrina!

Here is the email I got from my leader today. I don't feel like rewriting it...
During the meeting Wed we heard from Barb (our CFR) that
Gabrina and Leola are in the final stage of breeder evaluation.
It is not yet a "done deal". The testing will take a week or two.
We'll hear for sure if they become breeders.

Congratulations to Gabrina and Leola's raisers. Job well done.
To be chosen as a breeder is considered a higher
prestige than simply being a

We will not know if they are going to be a one-time
breeder then become a guide
or not (yet)
That is often determined after the 1st liter.

That's all I know for now, but I'm happy to hear something!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Still not training

I just got the phase report (they sent it out early because CA Funday is Saturday) and there is still no Gabrina. At least two other dogs that went back with her for breeder evaluation and training were on the phase report this week. Now I'm really thinking that she is going to be a breeder. I have some mixed feelings about this. I know that being a breeder is a big honor. It means that more or less they think she is the "perfect" dog. She is going to make a huge impact in many peoples' lives with her babies. They will grow up to be potential Guide Dogs. Her puppies will improve the lives of their puppy raisers, their trainers, and their eventual care takers. Gabrina will make a bigger impact on peoples' lives than most Guide Dogs will. But I can't bring myself to be excited for her. I honestly don't think she will be happy as a pet dog. She likes to work too much. It's going to be disappointing for her to have to stay home all the time. Her keepers are going to have to take her to a lot of "dog accepting" places. And maybe even get her certified as a therapy dog. Now don't get me wrong, I think she'll make a great pet and mom, but I just always pictured her as a guide not a breeder. The best part about her being a breeder would be raising her puppies! I am determined, even if it means overlapping puppies, to raise one of her babies. I know that Gabrina puppies would be adorable and very well behaved just like their momma! And I would get to submit names..something I have always wanted to do!

But she hasn't officially been least I haven't been notified. So there is still hope that she will be a guide!

On a different note...two dogs from my club are graduating soon! The disappointing part is that neither will be at a graduation ceremony. Ezra is doing home training and Dusty's partner is leaving a week before graduation. I am still very excited for them! They are both excellent dogs that will make great guides!
Also, Gabrina's brothers, Gardner, Garth, and Gilligan, are still in phase one. They have been there for a month and the other dogs that went with them are in phases 5 or 6. Any ideas as to why they are still there?

Gabrina as a baby! I think she is the one in the middle...the white one. This is what her adorable babies would look like!

Gabrina's last picture at home. This is what they would look like when they are all grown up!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Thank you!

Thank you so much Erin for commenting to tell me that Gabrina is safe and sound. I'm so happy to hear anything at all about her. Erin said she saw Gabrina during her internship and said that she has spunk. Hope that's a good thing. I love and miss my little girl!

It's going to feel weird going to school without her. And I'm really dreading having to tell everyone that I don't have her anymore. I'm going to miss her when I want to go get some fresh air. She was a good excuse for taking a little walk outside because she "needed to go potty".

Oh Where Oh Where Has My Gabrina Gone?

Well it's been almost a month since the bittersweet day that Gabrina left and I still haven't heard anything about her. With the new breeder watch program the dogs go straight to breeder evaluation instead of entering training. With this system the dogs don't get put on the phase report until they get spayed/neutered and enter training. Ultimately the puppy raiser doesn't hear anything about their puppy until they are chosen as a breeder or enter training.
I have mixed feelings about this. When I first heard of them doing the breeder evaluation before training I thought it was a great idea. There is no sense starting guide work with a dog that is going to become a breeder. But now I'm not so sure about it. I don't like that I haven't heard anything about my puppy. Everyone with a dog that went straight into training gets to find out right away that their puppy made it safe and sound. But I haven't heard a thing. For all I know Gabrina fell off the truck and never made it to California. I know this can't be true but it's just how I feel.
I think that they should have a section of the phase report that is dogs under breeder evaluation. Just so us puppy raisers know what is happeneing with our potential breeder dogs. Or they could send you a letter saying that your puppy has arrived and is being evaluated as a breeder. This wouldn't take them long and it would put us at ease. At least it would me.
Am I the only one unhappy with not knowing where my puppy is?

I leave you with pictures from the puppy truck...

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Well I decided that it was going to be crazy if I made a new blog for every puppy I raise so I'm just going to use this one for all my puppies. I have imported all of Gabrina's blogs here, but I'm leaving hers alone. My new url is

And I promise that there is an update coming soon! Gabrina is still be evaluated as a breeder.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Welcoming my new puppy!

I know this is Gabrina's blog but I thought that I would let everyone know about my new puppy! I came home with a beautiful black lab puppy. She is super calm and hasn't whined or barked once. She also seems really smart so I'm very excited to start her training.
I will post later about giving Gabrina back but for now let's just say it wasn't easy.

So without further ado..




And be sure to follow her blog!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Hello World!

This is Gabrina speaking. Mom says that this is my last chance to write to everyone, I'm not sure why but I better take advantage of it! I guess I'm going on some big truck tomorrow with my brothers. And my mom is bringing home some new dog! Can you believe it? She sends me away so she can get a new one!! But I'm sure it's only temporary and I'm going to have lots more fun than she will! Mom keeps saying all these names 'B' names. I have to say that Bella, Betsy, and Basil are my favorites.
Yesterday I got to go to a puppy meeting! Yippee! Everyone kept petting me and telling me to do a good job. I'm not sure what I'll be doing but of course I'll do a good job, I'm perfect! I was just so happy to see all my friends. I'm going to miss those guys.
Today I got to go to school again! Mom had some kind of meeting and I got to go! I slept under a desk like a good little girl. It was just like old times! And then we drove to lots of my favorite places, but instead of going inside we just took pictures! Can you believe it? And then we came home and took more pictures! I was so tired of being good! Finally I got to eat dinner. Mom said it's my last dinner at home. What is she talking about!?!?! Dinner is my favorite part of the day. And then we went on our last walk! Why don't I get to go on walks anymore?!? I don't want to leave. I'm going to miss my mom and family.
Well mom said we are going to sleep on the floor together tonight so I better go help her get ready! Goodbye all my blogger friends! I love you!

P.S. Oh I think mom is going to start a new blog and just update this one with me phases. (Whatever those are.) Because this MY blog and I don't want to share!

These pictures are a little out of order. But I'm adorable anyways!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Fun Things About My Puppy

For those of you who have filled this out the 'Fun Things About My Puppy' form...

How do you fit everything onto the small form? Are you allowed to attach more pages or do you just squeeze as much as possible and leave it at that?


Puppy Assignment!

I finally have word of which cute little puppy I will be taking home on Friday.

And the result is...





Now it's time for the guesses. What names can you think of for 'B'. You only have 3 days so guess fast!

My names so far:

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Colorado Puppy Assignments

I have been anxiously waiting for the puppy assignments for the Colorado July puppies to be sent out. I am taking this puppy home in 9 days and would like to know something about this little guy/girl. We got an email yesterday saying that they had the original assignments but are now changing things. And I just found out that my leader is going out of town so I probably won't find out which puppy I'm getting until Tuesday. So I was wondering if any of you get the Colorado puppy assignments from your leader can you please tell me which puppies are coming to Larimer County?

Oh and I don't really need it, but does anyone want to forward me the phase report when it comes out?

Thanks so much!
Maddie and Gabrina

Saturday, June 27, 2009


The last few days I have been going through my pictures of Gabrina. I realized that I have a ton of her at home playing, but not a lot of her in public. So yesterday we took a trip to the local sculpture park. Gabrina has never liked taking posed pictures, but I got a few keepers! And maybe a few that are calender worthy? Click on the pictures to enlarge them.

Of course we had to go to the store first (1)
The Columbine is Colorado's state flower. (5)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Red, blue, green, yellow eyes!?!?!

I have a lot of trouble getting pictures when Gabrina's eyes aren't glowing blue, green, or yellow. And when I try to edit it out I make things worse. So how to do keep your dogs' eyes from glowing in pictures?

Sunday, June 21, 2009


Hey All!
It's Gabrina here! Mom has been so busy she hasn't had time to update on what I'm doing so I thought I would do it myself.

Last week people came to visit me! Mom said these were our friends from Indiana and I had to be on my best behavior. She said they were kids from the 4H Exchange program and that we were going to have a busy week. But I was still in heat so I didn't get to go anywhere for the first part of the week :[.

They got here on Tuesday the 9th. Mom left super early in the morning and I was stuck at home with my Uncle Owen. But then late at night mom brought home two kids! Yay friends! And let me tell you, I did a great job warming up their beds on the floor and sniffing their clothes.

On Wednesday Mom left again! She shoved me in that crate and said she would be back in a few hours. Well I waited super patiently and soon my dad came home and let me run around. Boy oh boy was I happy to get out of that kennel. I got dinner! But then Dad said he had to leave so back in the crate. Finally mom got home and we played a little bit but then she said it was late and we had to go to back in the kennel again!

On Thursday I got to stay out of my kennel all day. I was so happy!

On Friday mom and her friends stayed home in the morning with me. Good thing I was starting to get worried about her. But then in the afternoon she shoved me back in the kennel and left. I don't think I like having these Indiana people here. They make mom put me in me kennel way to much! **Editors note: Gabrina was in her kennel for a maximum of 5 hours each day.**

On Saturday I got to go hiking! Yay! It was so much fun even though it was super hot outside! Mom said I my 28 days of house arrest were up and I was allowed to go places again! Yippee!

On Sunday I got to go to the top of Pikes Peak. It was super cold up there! And then I went to the Trail Dust for dinner. There were lots of little kids running around but I laid under my mom's chair like a good little girl.

On Monday I got to go to my brothers house all day! Yahoo! We had so much fun together! When mom came to get me I fell asleep on the 5 minute car ride home.

On Tuesday I had to say goodbye to all my friends from Indiana. I pretended to be sad, but I'm kinda happy they are gone. Now I get my mom all to my self! Yay!

The next few days were pretty boring. But on Sunday I got to go shopping all day! We went to Walmart and Bestbuy and Kohls and King Soopers and best of all....PETSMART! Mom said we were buying my last bag of dog food and as much as I wanted a toy mom said I have way to many at home. Oh well, while we were there I got to meet a working service dog. I statyed super calm even when the other puppy got pretty excited. Mom was very proud of me.

Now it's time for PICTURES! They are out of order but here they are! Mom didn't have time to take too many pictures!

Wow it feels so much cooler with that vest off! (Hiking the Devils Backbone!)

Going to dinner

That hike tired me out pretty quick.

Pikes Peak!