Wednesday, December 17, 2008


WOO! She's made it this far! Only ONE more month to go! Hang in there Tyanna!!

The next report will be a phone call no matter what - either telling us she is being released, or she will be graduating. This is so nerve-wracking! I am actually very surprised she has made it this far, only because I kept telling myself not to get my hopes up knowing the slim chances of reaching graduation, but she's so close! The report was overall pretty good, there are still a few behaviors they are keeping an eye one. Her trainer reported a significant decrease in her "bone sharing issues".

Keep your fingers crossed!!!

I miss her watching me...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

November Report!

I just got Tyanna's November report. There are many more positive elements, which I'm very excited for! They have her working on behaviors with wheel chairs now. She is currently classified as "second semester" meaning she has made it half way!! Her instructor noted that she has been seen growling at dogs trying to take bones from her, which is bad. On a positive note, she responded to the corrections. CCI thinks it has to do with reorganizing the pack because a whole new string of dogs just arrived in the kennels this month. Hopefully that improves. It's something that I have NEVER seen her do before, so that was definitely a shock. I'm really hoping she cleans up her behavior...quickly!

A picture of her as a puppy was featured in the CCI North Central Region Newsletter with an article called "The Cuteness Factor." I took the picture on Photobooth through my computer, so it's backwards. But you get the idea. :)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Tyanna's Third Report

I got the e-mail with her report attached early this morning. The only thing that has changed is her breeder status...she was spayed. I am completely fine with this decision - I never really saw her as a breeder, and didn't have my heart set on it. As far as the report goes, nothing has really changed. She is still showing signs of dog distraction, and has started licking her handlers. The report this month was really slim because of Team Training, so there isn't too much to say! Hopefully these issues can be figured out! Her trainer said that Ty is making improvements in all of her "downfalls", so it's still a waiting game!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

No Report Today!

I was supposed to get Tyanna's second monthly report today, but nothing came! It's Team Training Week, so all the trainers are SUPER busy making perfect matches and working with the graduates, so everyone is probably a bit behind on their paper work!

I will let you all know as soon as I get it!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Taken From Colby Akins (CCI PR)

On her thoughts about turning in a CCI puppy:

" is entirely possible to leave a small piece of your heart in an entirely different state miles and miles away. But the wonderful thing about leaving that piece of your heart is that you know it's out there somewhere, spreading your love and passion somewhere that you physically aren't able to reach."

I couldn't agree more.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Second Update

Tyanna's second update arrived in my inbox last Wed, and I have finally had time to share it with you!

Overall, the report was mediocre. They reported about her dog distraction (which we all knew about), but said that it has been improving over the past month. I think the kennel stress is getting to her because they noted some behaviors that I have never seen her display. I am hoping that she will adjust and let herself shine :). She passed all of her medical exams, and is still a potential breeder, so we will see! The reports aren't very detailed, and they note more of the bad than the good, so I'm really not going to let it bother me, especially because dog distraction was something I had been working on with her since the first day home. She's just a social butterfly...

Hope all the training is going well! Enjoy your pups!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Turn-in post/First Tyanna Update!

Hey guys! So I finally have a few moments to sit down and write!

Turn-in was AMAZING. The graduation ceremony had me bawling more than the matriculating portion to the ceremony. When we first walked into the building and saw all the CCI capes, I felt so reassured that I had done an amazing thing for this small (but so important) community of CCI. 2 minutes into the ceremony I was already bawling. By the time they called our names to the stage/showed the slideshow video, I was gone. I recovered myself in time to see the graduates take the stage, but then I REALLY lost it. I never knew I had that many tears inside of me!

After the ceremony there was a greet and meet room with food, CCI gear, and lots of people and puppies! I met up with Kara and Jen II, and found Tucker, Tyanna's brother! He is SO SO much bigger than her! It's crazy!! He made my 52lb baby look like well, a baby! It was interesting to see how they interacted - I feel like they knew who each other was.

After eating a bit and chatting, we went out in front to take some pictures, then headed over to the kennels to say goodbye. We took a few more pictures in front of a CCI sign, then went inside. I met with her trainer and answered some last minute questions about her, took off her vest, GL, and collar (that was the hardest part), said goodbye, then gave her the command to enter her kennel.

Closing the door was the worst. But, she soon met her roommate Wyatta and forgot all about me :). I then finished up talking with the trainer, and said my final goodbyes. Walking out of that room was incredibly hard. I just wanted to keep turning for one more glance.

Yesterday, I got Tyanna's first update. The first and last always come by a phone call. My parents and I had agreed earlier that all updates/news would go to them first because I don't want to get horrible news right before walking in to a huge final exam or anything of that nature. So, to say the least, I got a brief overcap from my mom about what was going on, and I have to call back after noon today to get the bigger picture, and the trainer has a few questions for me.

Overall, the report went well. They said that her class of dogs is one of the hardest that they have seen in the past 8 years, and they have already released a good number of them (hang in there Ty!). They were EXTREMELY impressed with her behavior around food (they dropped it all around her and she didn't even look), as well as her behavior in the pet store. At the park she was a bit too sniffy, and on the playground she was hesitant with the stairs. This worries me because I walked a jungle gym with her at least twice a week, so I hope that kennel stress isn't building up in her. That's just about all I know for now...I will give another update after the call today!

ps - she is still on breeder watch!!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I Know, I Know...

I'm not forgetting about the official goodbye post. College has got me busier than an entire swarm of bees. I leave tomorrow! So if I don't get the post in tonight, it will be coming from my new dorm room!

I'm still missing my baby tons, but time has definitely helped to heal the wound. Thank you so much for all your support. There is nothing like the words from a fellow puppy raiser because you guys "just understand".

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Saying Goodbye

I think I have put off writing this post as long as possible. i leave for college on Thursday and I know I will be incredibly busy until then. To put it bluntly, I miss my baby SO SO SO much. I have such a heavy heart right now. I'm feeling completely shelfish about the way I feel, but for some reason I forgot how much it hurts to say goodbye. I emptied the house of all her stuff because I couldn't stand looking at it. The things that are sentimental I kept, but stuck them in a drawer out of sight. I barely made it through one of my favorite stores today that I used to bring her to. I'm not used to being alone like this, as weird as it seems. She's always just been there. I know the first few days are the hardest (especially when I don't have a new puppy to distract me), so I'm hoping that every morning I will feel a bit better.

I get my first update on her progress August 27th. She is still a potential breeder, so her first few weeks in the kennels will be breeder evaluation stuff. I'm anxious to see how it goes! I will post pictures of the big day soon, it's still hard to look at all of them.

These past 14 months have been an absolute blessing. I couldn't imagine spending them any other way. I will love you forever Ty baby.

Expect a real "goodbye" post soon.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Packing Up

I thought I would drop a quick note before we start packing up the car for the drive to Ohio. We will be driving half way there, sleeping in a hotel, then driving the rest in the morning.

I just wanted to thank everyone has has helped me over the past 14 months - you guys were great with any questions or concerns I have had. I REALLY appreciate it. I will post as soon as I can with pictures and stories from turn-in. Keep us in you thoughts! I will be thinking about all of the "blogger" turn-ins tomorrow!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The End Is Close...Too Close

I can't believe I only have 2 more full days left with my baby. It's scary to think how fast these past 14 months have flown by! It's just something I cannot seem to get my mind around.

On Tuesday Tyanna and I were photographed by a professional photographer. It also happens that he is a yearly donor to CCI's annual Chicagoland fundraiser called "Day at the Races". He takes some excellent photos of pets and their people. Check his work out at On the left hand side of the page there are options for "People & Their Pets". I will get to see the photographs this Friday, and choose which ones I would like printed. Yay!! I can't wait!

Waiting for the photographer.

"Sharing" the back seat of the car.

Today was a busy day for Tyanna because she got to help me get some stuff for college. This meant consecutive trips to Costco, The Container Store, the mall, Walgreens, and Target. She did fabulous and I couldn't have been more proud of my girl!

Other than getting ready for our next adventures, we have just been hanging around enjoying each other. Monday was my last day at PetSmart for the summer. Now that my days are more free we've been having a blast. Enjoy your puppies!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Is it just me?

It seems like everyone is turning in puppies on August 16th!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Time flies when you are having fun...

...and that's exactly what we have been doing. Eight days left and no regrets.

The past month has been a busy one. I have been averaging about 37 hours/week at Petsmart. Pile on top of that friends, family, babysitting, and of course Tyanna, and you get one busy college bound teen! The past month has been full of adventures and new experiences. She got EXCELLENT reports from a couple puppy sitters which has definitely put my nerves to rest a little. Yesterday my friend and I when on a 5 hour shopping trip in the very urban town of Evanston and Tyanna did FABULOUS. I was very impressed with her! She is definitely ready to go back which is completely bittersweet. Although, as sad as it is to say goodbye, at the same time it is SO exciting to see what path they choose in life. I know that no matter what Tyanna chooses, she will make somebody EXTREMELY happy. :)

I also haven't been taking many pictures recently which is really sad. We have just been so so so busy. I never thought summer could get like this! I will try to update a bit more frequently up until "the day" (August 16) with more pictures and the goin-ons. My last day of work for the summer is the 12th, so I will have a few full days with the baby.

We will be making the trip to CCI the morning of the 16th (bright and early!). Coming with me will be my parents and best friend who has been there from the start, literally. She was there when I picked her up at the airport over a year ago. It just seems full circle. Plus, Tyanna has become a huge part of her life, so it's only fair that she tags along. :)

The pictures in this post were all taken yesterday in Evanston. Enjoy! Happy training everyone! I know there are a few puppies out there who are turning in soon (even some that are turning in the same day as Ty)...good luck to those puppies. You are all OUTSTANDING!

Friday, August 1, 2008

A Picture Fix For Now...

Stay tuned

Update arriving shortly!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Promised Picture Post

June 19th was our first anniversary together! It was on that date a year ago that I was driving up to the Milwaukee Airport to pick up my new baby! It is crazy to see how far we have both come in the past 365 days. Now, we are left with 52 days together!

Besides the normal errands and outings with friends, we haven't been up to much lately. We spent the last week camping with TONS of friends. That was a blast and Tyanna discovered how much she likes swimming. Sadly I didn't get any pictures!

I was talking with one of the trainers and PetsMart about Ty and her commands and she invited me to come in for a free evaluation! I figure that PetsMart may not have the BEST trainers out there, but it never hurts to have another set of eyes on you and your pup while you are working...especially so soon to turn-in!

Lastly, here are the pictures:

Friday, June 13, 2008

New Job = Busy!

I have officially finished 2 days of work at my new job...PetsMart! I am hoping that I will be able to bring Tyanna with me in the future, but for now I am happy without her...I couldn't imagine learning all that I have to while watching her! I'm picking up on everything pretty quickly, so hopefully the day when she can come will be here soon. I am also working another part-time job (only thursdays and fridays) at the Center for Ethics and Advocacy. I'm not sure if Ty will be able to come with me there. We shall see.

I'm about to run out the door, but I will post pictures soon!

Monday, June 2, 2008


I have 75 days left with my baby. Time flies! Before I know it summer will be coming to a close and it will be time to say goodbye.

On a happier note, Tyanna and I have been relatively busy and lazy at the same time. We had a few busy days, and since then Ty's life has been pretty bland with all my graduation and end of school stuff. Her life should start to pick up again after Thursday (graduation!).

We had a memorable trip to the mall the other day. There is an interesting playground that I thought would be good for some surface practice, so I decided to walk Tyanna through. There were hills, and I decided to make her stop and do a fit sits and downs just for good practice on a new surface. Well, as soon as we hit our first down we were SWARMED with children. To be exact, they were ADORABLE Asian children whose parents began to whip out their cell phones and take MANY MANY pictures of their kids with "the dog". Unfortunately they were speaking in a much cooler dialect than boring English so I didn't get much of what they were saying...but by the looks of it they were sending quite a few cute pictures to family and friends! I didn't have my camera with me, so my friend and I took out our phones and snapped a few pictures too!

These pictures only show a portion of the children. At one point I think there were 7 petting her at once. Tyanna did fabulous with this onslaught of young people. There was a little girl who was literally kneading Ty's back leg, one boy looking in her ears, and another girl playing with her vest. My baby didn't budge! She was able to sneak a few kisses behind my back though...but who can blame her?

We also had some fun on Memorial Day. We missed the parade but we made the closing ceremony. It was great crowd exposure, but unfortunately it was also the first HOT day of summer so Ty was a bit out of it.

Practicing her "up" command on some old battle artillery.

In other news, I have switched her food to Blue. For the past few weeks she has completely stopped eating her Eukanuba. I didn't want to give in because I thought that maybe she was just being stubborn, but after two weeks of barely eating I switched her food. We are still in the process of "phasing out" the old, but she is eating full meals now. This is also a higher quality food, so the switch isn't a bad one!

Hope everyone is enjoying their puppies and SUMMER!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Surprise in the mail!

Yesterday I received a very special surprise mailing! A friend of Tyanna's breeder/caretaker sent me the collar that she wore as a baby. Her BC stitched the name of each puppy into the collar. She has been meaning to send them out for awhile now, and she finally had the time to do it! CCI records birth order by means of color - Ty was the purple puppy. Ironically, she has been wearing a purple collar for quite awhile now! Below are pictures of the collar - the first is the puppy collar with her current one, and the second is an up close view of the stitching.

Friday, May 16, 2008


Before I head out for a night of fun, I decided I would force myself to sit down and write an entry. Granted, I can't remember much that went on during that past week or so, but I will try to fill you all in! Because school has been hectic (3 days left as a high schooler!), I haven't had much time to do any fun stuff with Tyanna. I am in the process of planning a trip to the Aquarium though, so that should be fun!

Recently I have switched her back to working on the gentle leader. I was able to curve her dog distraction using the prong and choke collars, and now we're back to walking nicely on a GL. We have also been practicing a lot of "appropriate greetings" with adults. She does great with little kids and teens, but for some reason, she gets SO wiggly with adults!

I am also working on her "car" command. When going into a front or back seat she does fine, but she hates to jump into a trunk or out of a trunk. It's not that she's afraid of the trunk itself, but she never thinks she can make the jump.

Looking at my iPhoto, I realize that I only have pictures from two events. The first was our trip to Claire's when my friend got a double piercing. Like most other young girls, Tyanna is a big fan of Hannah Montana, so I quickly snapped this photo.

Last night was the art fair at my high school. Ty did a wonderful job being a well-behaved puppy in training. She was great with the crowds, food, and artwork. We even had our photo taken by a professional photographer for the school...we'll see where it ends up!

Until summer officially arrives, updates will be sporadic, and life for Tyanna will be quite bland. I'll keep you in the loop!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Still alive!

I know I've been lacking in the posting right now! I just finished all my AP tests last week, so hopefully that will free up some time! Senior year is coming to a close, so I am busy busy busy. Expect a real update soon!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Tuesday was Ty's first experience at school. She came with me to my first period class, then we did a small presentation second period, then my mom came to pick her up. Overall, she did VERY well! She was a little restless during class, but I later found out that she really had to go to the bathroom, so I understand accidents though!! The students were also really good about the whole petting thing, so that was a relief! Hopefully she will be coming back soon! The school loved her!

Hmm..blogger is not behaving and won't let me upload any pictures! I will get them up asap!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

We're here, and we have an update!

Sorry for the lack of updates, I have had a horribly busy week. Sunday night my aunt passed, so we sent Ty to the kennel from Tuesday-Friday so we wouldn't have to worry about her while doing all of the funeral "stuff". I haven't taken many pictures recently, so I pulled up a few old ones to share. They are all from the past few months.

Recently I have started to take Ty with me to Church. She has done extremely well, and has gotten plenty of compliments! Right now we are sticking to the less-crowded masses until she figures out the routine. She mostly just sleeps for the hour, but will wake up when we sit/stand...whenever I stand up she looks at me like she's asking "Where are we going? Should I get up to?!" We also have to work out a few kinks the in the getting Communion aspect..she always seems to like to stretch in the aisle....we will work on that!

We have also just received permission for her to start coming to school with me! My social justice teacher invited her to our class to show an example for the other students about volunteerism and "making a difference". So for now she is only going to be coming to 1 class with me, then going home with my mom. But I have a feeling that after the teachers get to know her they will want her too :).

Today we went to a crew regatta. I was the varsity coxswain on my high school's rowing team for the past three years, but this year I decided not to take part because of my surgeries and raising Ty. Today there was a regatta not too far from my house (they are usually in other states) so we went and hung out there for about 4 hours. It was really fun and a great socialization opportunity. LOTS of dogs, and LOTS of people! Overall she did pretty well, she wasn't the best walker, but she did better than most the other dogs that were there! The team fell in love with her, and I got some of the parents interested in puppy raising, so that's always great!

Okay, for the last part of my update I have a cute story. After Church last weekend I was about to walk out the door when a little girl stopped me to pet Ty. There weren't many people around, and Tyanna was behaving, so I let the girl pet her. She asked me where I got her from, and I explained to her that she came from "special people who use these dogs to help people"...but she insisted on knowing exactly WHERE I got her from. After a bit, she finally stood up and said: "Well, I got mine from Canine Assitance, and I just want to know where you got yours!". Her dad came over and told me that she has an assistance dog to help her with her epilepsy. I'm not sure why they didn't have the dog with them, but they said that he has public access and goes everywhere! Maybe I will run into them another time! Moreover, I was super impressed with Ty because the girl was sticking her fingers in her mouth and pulling her ears, and my puppy did wonderfully!!

Sorry for the long update!!

Saturday, April 19, 2008



Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Beach Recall

Today Ty and I ventured to the beach to practice some recalls. She did pretty well, the hardest part was getting her to hear me over the loud waves. After she heard me she would come running, but it took a pretty loud voice :). Once we got away from the crashing waves it was much better, and she responded well!