Thursday, October 21, 2010

It's All Happening So Quickly

So, as I announced yesterday, our family's moving to Missouri and since our school happens to be Guide Dogs of Texas...Alfie's going to leave us and stay with another raiser until advanced training.  I spoke with my supervisor, Larry, on the phone today and it looks like things are arranged for Alfie to be picked up Monday.  BIG SIGH...

But today, I don't really want to dwell on goodbyes.  I'm excited to hear that GDTx' first pick of raiser for Alfie said yes!  I don't believe I've met her, and don't even know her name.  What I do know is that she's not only raised puppies successfully for GDTx (before I started volunteering there), she's also an experienced animal trainer of another type:  she used to work with marine mammals at Sea World.  Sounds like a great place for Alfie, don't you think? 

Alfie's sitting, smiling, looking up, in front of a rack of publications at the library
From dolphins to doodles!

 Things have been incredibly hectic around the house.  One of the reasons I went ahead and arranged for Alfie to leave so soon is that he's been picking up on all the stress and upheaval as we pack, meet with realtors, etc...nothing severe, but he's been having some tummy issues.  Poor guy, he has no way to know or understand what's going on!  That tends to make me feel guilty, which he also is probably picking up on...a vicious cycle.  Also, although he's been going places with me, I obviously haven't had the time to devote to his obedience work and training like I normally would. 

I was clearing out a cupboard today and prepping it for refinishing (hence the dust on the floor)...came back and guess who was inside?

Alfie's curled comfortably inside the cupboard area under the sink
They'll have trouble selling this house:  Severe doodle infestation under the sink!

So many fun Alfie memories.  Two stand out today:

One of the most entertaining (and useful) things about this guy is how naturally good he is at finding things.  When we misplace something, he can often find it for us.  Wednesday night Charissa was getting him ready for our walk and noticed his leash wasn't hanging on its peg.  After asking Alfie where it was, she thought of looking in the garage and opened the garage door.  Alfie darted in, threaded his way through piles of boxes (you can definitely tell we're packing!)... then he turned around and pointed his nose up to the top of a particular stack...the leash was way at the top of a stack of 4 boxes.  There was no way for him to see it -- I'm guessing he either smelled it, or remembered its being left there earlier.  I'm sure it would've taken us forever to think of looking there if it hadn't been for Alfie's help! 

Alfie can also get very excited during play and will occasionally chase, and catch, his tail.  I used to worry that that meant he was too high strung...but as time went on I realized that he seems to be mainly doing it to make us laugh!  I imagine he'll outgrow that eventually.  I've always wanted to catch it on video but when I get the camera out he stops!  Go figure.


Amanda said...

I'm going to miss hearing about Alfie's training. I hope you will keep us updated on him as he progresses through training.

It might be a little early for this, but have you thought of raising with another organization in Missouri?

Elijah and Dembre said...

I agree with Amanda. I'll really miss hearing what's going on with Alphini and I know you'll miss him.

Yeah, are you planning to raise for another organization in Missouri? I don't think GDB has puppy raisers there, but CCI does.

1000 Goldens said...

Oh Alfie, I feel so sad :( We are going to miss you so much but know you have some very important work to do. We send you our love!

Maddie and Jorinda said...

I'm gunna miss Alfie! We all need some doodle in our lives!
Good Luck with the move!

Becky said...

Oh my-- going to miss Alfie and YOU!! Hope you will keep us updated on you and your family as well. What sweet memoriesand best wishes in this transition time. Love from Becky and Cricket

Sierra Rose said...

Alfie! We miss you already!!!! Sounds like things are happening sooo quickly :( Awwwww.

Hugs and snaggle-tooth kisses,
Sierra Rose

Alphini's Puppy Raiser said...

Yes, Amanda, I'll update the blog with any Alfie news I get!

As to raising in future -- I am taking things one step at a time right now. I remain very interested in service dog work...who knows? It is SO rewarding.