Friday, May 29, 2009

Just thinking back to way back when...

I just watched the movie "Marley and Me" and it made me remember all of my good times with Tyanna. I miss that girl so much, especially on days like these. I'm so so so proud of my baby girl :). I can't wait to raise again and experience the pure awesome-ness and joy these dogs bring to life!

Sunday, April 19, 2009


Today is Ty's second birthday! Jackson's mom said he and his sister have been counting down the days. I sent a package in the mail with two of Tyanna's favorite things for her second birthday: a sterilized bone and liver treats.

Happy birthday, baby girl!!

Here are some pictures Jackson's mom sent me a while ago (click on them to see the full image - i'm not sure why they aren't working):

The first picture makes me laugh because I have about 15 pictures of the exact same thing. The second photo is Jackson's younger sister who absolutely adores Ty! It looks like she got a new pink collar :).

Friday, March 20, 2009

Thank you card from Jackson and his sister

Today in the mail I got thank you cards from Jackson and his sister! I scanned in Jackson's so you guys could see his great artwork and thoughtful words. I was tearing up reading them in the middle of my student center. DEFINITELY made my day :).

In case you can't read it, it says:

Dear Maddie,
Thank you for giving me Ty. She is a good dog. You are nice. You are cute (haha). You are my friend.



Saturday, February 28, 2009


**i'm having issues with the pictures. click on them and you can view them in a new window**

I'm sorry this post is so overdue! School has been keeping me quite busy and midterms start next week, so I thought I would write this before all my exams began!

Graduation was AMAZING! Getting there was quite interesting: Train from school to home. Car from home to CCI. Car from CCI to home. Plane from home to school. Phew. It was an exhausting weekend, but definitely worth every second!

When we first arrived, the instructors told us to make sure we try to avoid the dogs we raised until it was the proper time to see them. My parents and I were waiting in the lobby and right when I saw Ty I knew it was her. We hid around the corner until her trainer took her from her new family and brought her into a separate room. It was so cool seeing her walk in with her blue vest on and her new family by her side. She looked so happy and just like the same baby I had raised (no, she hasn't grow a bit! Still hovering just above 50lbs). After all the dogs were there, the instructors let us into the room. All the dogs were in a down-stay...a cute mushy pile of heroes! Then one-by-one the dogs were passed out to their raisers. Tyanna who is SUCH a mellow girl got as excited as she does when she saw me :). It was so nice to have her back in my arms. She smelled the same, felt the same, had the same looks, mannerisms, everything! She has matured, but over all she was exactly how I remember her. I will admit, after being away from puppy raising for 6 months and not having a dog next to me at all times, it was weird to look down and see her staring back...but I LOVED it.

After the reunion, I took her outside to "hurry" and then we took some pictures....and she definitely still has a huge disliking for having her picture taken. Whenever she sees the red auto-focus light go on she turns her head. It's funny at first then just plain annoying! Between her hating pictures and the reflective strip on her vest and the inability to use flash in many places (flashes can cause a strobe affect which affects children with autism), the pictures aren't that great.

What made me laugh was when I got on the ground she just plopped herself in my lap like she always used to. It was so funny to see her do the things I have missed so so so so much.

After the pictures my family had lunch with Ty's new family. They are absolutely amazing! Their family is everything I ever hoped and prayed for. I'm so excited for Tyanna to start her new journey with them! I gave Tyanna's new partner (Jackson) the picture book I made him and he and his sister loved all the 'baby Tyanna' pictures!

After lunch was time for the ceremony. As always, it was absolutely incredible. I met up with Kara and her SD Jen II. They came home from college just to be at graduation with me! It meant so much! We had a great time crying and laughing together as the dogs were presented. Going on stage and handing over the leash was incredible. It was very emotional to have to say goodbye to the baby once more, but this was definitely a happy goodbye. I will keep you guys updated as I check back every now and then!

As you can see, Jackson's younger sister adores TY! She loves to practice the "shake" command :).

I want to thank everyone who has been reading and contributing to this blog over the past 20 months. You all provided such a network of support, advice, and encouragement. I couldn't have done it without you all! Once I'm out of school, I will definitely be back to look out! I'll be sure to keep tabs on your blogs and puppies until then!

Monday, February 16, 2009

graduation post coming soon! soon as my econ test is taken!

Thursday, February 5, 2009


Tonya from NCR called today and said Ty has made a match! I am not allowed to give any specific details yet because anything can change at any time. :( However, I can tell you that she is currently placed as an ambulatory skilled companion. I can't wait for next saturday!!!! Yay for a Valentines graduation!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

a little bit more detail

I talked to Ty's trainer today and I got a few more details about her class, the expectations, schedule, etc.

There are 15 dogs going into this Team Training. The on-site class will consist of the 'regular' skilled companions and service dogs and the off-site class will be the ambulatory skilled companion dogs. The trainers are hoping to place Ty in the off-site class. The individuals in that class are kids with developmental disabilities and autism and a facilitator (usually a parent). In addition to the 'regular' set of commands, these dogs have also learned the "nudge" command. This is used to help focus the kids and break repetitive habits. Both of these classes will graduate together at the graduation/matriculation ceremony on Valentines day. Tony said that the latest they would be calling the PRs would be Friday, but she's pretty sure that she will be able to get a call to us on Thursday around 4pm. This is going to be a long week of waiting!!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Hello everyone! I have exciting news!

Tonya (Tyanna's trainer) called today. She called the house, and my mom wasn't home to pick up, so she left a message. Unfortunately, due to weather in Ohio she was out of the office so I can't call her for more details until tomorrow after 4pm. However, she did leave me with some exciting news (although not a lot of details). She confirmed that Tyanna will be entering the February Team Training Class (which begins Feb. 2). Tonya said that they are looking at numerous possibilities for her, but are hoping to place her as an ambulatory skilled companion (i will explain that in more detail after I talk to tonya tomorrow) in the off-site class. They are running two classes this february: one at the CCI campus, and the other at an off-site location just for space's sake. Both classes graduate on Valentines day :). If she is placed in the on-site class i will know feb 4th. if she's matched in the off-site class i will know the 6th. if i don't get a call those days then she is either being released or being held until the may TT because she didn't make a match.

i will give you an update after i talk to tonya tomorrow!!

keep your finger crossed!!

here is a video that i love of cole and ilia, his skilled companion dog.

Monday, January 19, 2009

The countdown is in the single digits...

I'm working on not getting my hopes up - but there are many "housekeeping" things that need to be done in case that day comes. The biggest of them all (above the bus tickets, missing school, etc) is putting together a scrapbook of Tyanna's growing up. This is where I am turning to you guys - the network of puppy raising friends that know what it's like and how it feels - something that my parents and close friends can't identify with. I'm having trouble putting this book together on many levels. Any ideas where to being [or end]?

Actually, any ideas would be welcome. :) Thanks so much for your support. Let's still keep our fingers crossed!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

wow, i can't believe how fast time flies.

tyanna has exactly TWO weeks left in training. no matter what happens, i'm so so so so so proud she has made it this far!!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

20 days and counting

if tyanna can make it through these next 20 days she will be graduating! keep your fingers crossed!