#SAGApupLennox is One Year Old!

We finally got back to the vet for a weigh-in! He weighs 28,3kg and he’s just over 57cm tall.

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This was our last weekly weigh-in at the vet… Last Friday I got the email all puppy walkers dread – Lennox’s intake date.
The “intake date” is the date that your puppy needs to be back at the training centre to start their advanced training, and next Monday April 14th is the date.
We have less than a week left with our sweet boy. Lennox, Legend and Lenny have the same intake date and they have been allocated to Guide Dog Mobility Instructor Joel. We will get a monthly email from our puppy’s trainer to let us know how he’s doing, and then we’ll see him again when he’s ready to qualify with his new owner.

And today the 2013 “L” litter puppies – Lennox, Legend, Lenny, Lotus, Libby, London, Lola and Lucy – are a whole one year old!

loves to carry the food bowls around

loves to carry the food bowls around

fast asleep with his head under the bed

fast asleep with his head under the bed, as usual

home after a week at kennels!

home after a week at kennels!

snoozing in the sunshine

snoozing in the sunshine

such a good boy in the car

such a good boy in the car

snuggling with housemate Penny

snuggling with housemate Penny

watching the early morning activities at the little mall we frequent

watching the early morning activities at the little mall we frequent

waiting outside the Pick n Pay early in the morning

waiting outside the Pick n Pay early in the morning

Apart from a few school visits (Reddam House & Crossroads) and the SAGA Fun Festival, Lennox and I have made our usual shopping trips and car rides.
He also had a bad bout of kennel cough which he has thankfully gotten over, and he spent a week in SAGA’s kennels to ensure that the routine and people are not completely new to him when he starts his training – reducing any stress he may experience.

His training continues to go well, and apart from distraction issues with children and dogs (not aggression) we think he’s ready for his training.

We are going to miss him something fierce…

Stay tuned for regular updates!

SAGApupDonate

You can find SA Guide-dogs for the Blind on Facebook and on Twitter.
Follow the #SAGApupLennox hashtag on Twitter or find the Raising Lennox page on Facebook.

#RiddickPup Is Two!!

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Our precious Riddick – AKA Riddicklepickle, Riddinkabonk, Ridonculous, mommy’s precious & daddy’s boy – is TWO YEARS OLD TODAY!!
Happy birthday sweet boy!!
♡♥♡♥♡♥♡

A Visit To Crossroads School With #SAGApupLennox

Crossroads School does a lot of fundraising for SAGA every year, and SAGA tries to ensure they have a couple of visits with puppies a year.
As Lennox still gets very excited when he’s around children, the school visits are an important part of his learning curve.
Sitting quietly and calmly and ignoring the children as they speak to him and touch him is the aim of the exercise.

Mobbed!  Sitting quietly and calmly and ignoring the children as they speak to him and touch him is the aim of the exercise.

Mobbed! Sitting quietly and calmly and ignoring the children as they speak to him and touch him is the aim of the exercise.

Lennox in his jacket, waiting for the break bell so we could join the grade 0s on the playground.

Lennox in his jacket, waiting for the break bell so we could join the grade 0s on the playground.

Mobbed!  Sitting quietly and calmly and ignoring the children as they speak to him and touch him is the aim of the exercise.

Mobbed!
Sitting quietly and calmly and ignoring the children as they speak to him and touch him is the aim of the exercise.

The kids loved Lennox's "high five" trick!

The kids loved Lennox’s “high five” trick!

Puppy Ulundi was the youngest pup in attendance at the school visit.

Puppy Ulundi was the youngest pup in attendance at the school visit.

Stay tuned for regular updates!

SAGApupDonate

You can find SA Guide-dogs for the Blind on Facebook and on Twitter.
Follow the #SAGApupLennox hashtag on Twitter or find the Raising Lennox page on Facebook.

A Day At The Annual SAGA Fun Festival With #SAGApupLennox

Today at SA Guide-Dogs Association for the Blind, Lennox took part in a puppy race, a puppy fancy dress (as a rocker), and the puppy walker demonstration!
I really thought we stood a chance in the Fancy Dress competition as he looked really cool and we were dressed as a pair… but we were disappointed.

:P

The day was absolutely wonderful! There was a brief rain storm at about 11:30, and then it was blazing hot all day! Perfect!
Lennox got a nip on his nose from a grumpy Guide Dog O’Reilly, who doesn’t like puppies in his face, but its not serious and we’ll be doctoring it with Bactroban until its healed.
My darling husband also got some really cool pictures of Lennox and I together too!

 

Stay tuned for regular updates!

SAGApupDonate

You can find SA Guide-dogs for the Blind on Facebook and on Twitter.
Follow the #SAGApupLennox hashtag on Twitter or find the Raising Lennox page on Facebook.

A Visit To Reddam House With #SAGApupLennox

Lennox and I visited the stage4 learners at Reddam House this morning, and came home with a boot FULL of food, blankets, toys and treats for the SA Guide-Dogs Association for the Blind!
It was a wonderful visit and Lennox got loads of attention and cuddles.
Thank you very much to teachers Colleen and Tanya for having us visit your stage 4 learners.

Stay tuned for regular updates!

SAGApupDonate

You can find SA Guide-dogs for the Blind on Facebook and on Twitter.
Follow the #SAGApupLennox hashtag on Twitter or find the Raising Lennox page on Facebook.

An Update On #PuppyPenny

Our Penny has been with us for 11 weeks now, not quite 3 months.
She’s come a really long way.

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At night, when she gets tired of me kicking her in my sleep, she goes and sleeps on the couch.

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Does she look comfy or what!?

She is still very vocal, settling down for a snooze is accompanied by groans, yawns are squeaky if she thinks you’re looking at her, and if she wants attention she’ll start with soft growls and yips, and turn it into loud barks and howls if she’s ignored. She greets us with barking and howling when we come home too.

She is VERY affectionate and VERY needy. When she’s lying on the bed with us she has to be right up against one of us! You actually have to push her off you and off the bed.
She is finally breathing normally! The first few weeks she was here she breathed very fast, even when she was asleep. The stress of being rescued and then re-homed obviously took its toll, but she’s well settled now.

Penny still makes a terrible racket when you play with her and the other dogs. She is learning “quiet” – largely because I literally turn my back and walk away when she barks for no reason. I am also benching her (tying her leash to the gate in this case) and then throwing a toy for Riddick, going to praise Penny only if she’s quiet. Hopefully this will teach her over time that I want her to be quiet when they play.

Her dominance behaviour has subsided, thanks to her human family and her dog family, which is great.

She also no longer bolts through a door just because its opened, but we still do a “SIT STAY” every time I go to a closed door, come in from outside or go outside from in.

She is a lot less nervous around sticks and brooms, and the pooper scooper is not a problem at all – I can even touch her with the handle while we’re in the garden.
Raised voices and perceived violence still sends her scampering though… She is less and less afraid of young men as she gets accustomed to seeing them and they don’t hurt her.
She is also less nervous of the maid, but the vacuum cleaner and plastic shopping packets still make her jumpy.

And did you know – laughing at something your puppy does is the same as praising her! Penny followed me into the walk-in closet and barked at herself in the mirror, I laughed and thought it was funny.
She now follows me in every time and barks at herself in the mirror, tail wagging furiously!

Her “SIT WAIT” for food is also vastly improved. She’s such a fast learner!

House training is much better, but still a wee bit of a challenge with Penny (pun intended) especially with the rain! She will tell you when she wants to go busy for a piddle, but if she has to wait too long she heads for the lounge floor.

Her affectionate nature and her obvious pleasure at being around her people is very sweet.
We still have a lot of training and conditioning to do with her, but she’s a very special part of our family and she adores her new daddy!

If you are looking for a Lab of your own to love, why not contact Labrador & Golden Retriever Rescue and give a forever home to one of their waiting dogs.

#SAGAPupLennox Is Forty Eight Weeks Old

Shoowee… I am really trying not to think about the fact that Lennox will be a year old in just FOUR WEEKS!!

We still haven’t been able to get to the vet to do our weekly weigh-in thanks to this crazy rain! It hasn’t let up in almost 3 weeks and apart from horrendous potholes everywhere, there are very few functioning traffic lights, which means everyone forgets the rules of the road!

Our SAGA Puppy Development Supervisor is coming on Thursday again to see how Lennox’s walk on leash is going. It has improved (you may remember we had to work on getting him to walk neatly on my left again after I gave him a longer leash to get over his dog distraction) and he does it perfectly for the PDS and for the trainers at SAGA… But we haven’t been able to walk as often as we should be… Holding thumbs it continues to go well.
And when she leaves she’s taking him with her, to spend a week in kennels as the puppies do during their first year.
This week long stay- which has to include a weekend- is so that the puppies get used to the sights, sounds, smells and routines at kennels so that when they go in to start their formal training with the professional guide dog instructors, they do not get overly stressed.

Last Sunday we spent the day at Hobby-X at the SAGA stand with Lennox. They had a couple of items they were selling raffle tickets for, and we handed out loads of flyers for the SAGA Fun Festival at the end of March.
Lennox was really well behaved, although we had a couple of incidents where he wanted to run and play with the other puppies in attendance.

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Lennox and I outside Hobby-X

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Lennox doing a fabulous SIT-STAY outside Hobby-X

Stay tuned for regular updates!

SAGApupDonate

You can find SA Guide-dogs for the Blind on Facebook and on Twitter.
Follow the #SAGApupLennox hashtag on Twitter or find the Raising Lennox page on Facebook.

#SAGAPupLennox Is Forty Seven Weeks Old

Shoowee… I am really trying not to think about the fact that Lennox will be a year old in just FIVE WEEKS!! I cannot believe how quickly time has passed!!

We still haven’t been able to get to the vet to do a weigh-in thanks to car trouble and rain and traffic and and and… Its very frustrating ‘coz I love seeing how our puppies grow.
Lennox is now eating 1 cup of Bob Martin dry puppy food in the morning, and 2 cups at night. He’ll get the same amounts of adult food when he goes back to SAGA for training, so he’s getting used to his future routine already.
He’s also stopped growing and he’s the perfect shape for a grown up Lab.
And he’s 57,5cm tall at the shoulder.

We have been working on Lennox’s SIT-STAY and DOWN-STAY training. He has to SIT or DOWN where I tell him to, and then STAY as I walk away until I call him over. He has to stay even if I am talking to the other dogs or doing something else, so now I make him SIT-STAY or DOWN-STAY and either walk away – repeating the STAAAY with a raised open palm as I do so – or stand next to him and throw toys for the other dogs, crooning to them and offering them cookies.
He’s getting better and better at it, but when there are treats on offer or I a, cuddling one of the other dogs he battles to stay put.
:D

We had security guards trying to chase us out of a couple of shops this week.
I have to work really hard not to get angry with them, especially of its a shop we already have an arrangement with and visit frequently. The owners and managers of the establishments are quite happy to allow access once you speak to them – which I try to do in advance – but the security guards can be a nightmare.
I keep reminding myself though that SAGA’s reputation is on the line whenever we’re out in public, and that when he’s wearing his jacket we’re representing them.

With all the rain we’ve been having this week, house training has been a bit of a problem with Penny, our adopted 8 month old LabX, but Lennox will wait until he can get outside, as does his “big brother” yellow Lab Riddick. And luckily Labs don’t really mind getting wet so they’re happy to go into the garden for busies if its still raining lightly.

Our SAGA Puppy Development Supervisor is coming next Thursday again to see how Lennox’s walk on leash is going. It has improved (you may remember we had to work on getting him to walk neatly on my left again after I gave him a longer leash to get over his dog distraction). He does it perfectly for the PDS and for the trainers at SAGA… :P

I think I am going to miss Lennox’s wagging tail more than anything else when he leaves… I swear it has a magical power and it makes me smile every time!
He wags it so hard when he’s pleased with himself that his whole bum waggles from side to side! Its as if he’s taken his training not to bark when he’s excited and turned into tail wagging instead. He still wags his tail furiously while he eats, and he wags it even faster if you talk to him or say his name.
His happy face and bouncy-run when I say he can come to me after a DOWN-STAY or a SIT-STAY is just too sweet for words.

Hells bells these puppies really do creep deep into one’s heart don’t they…

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Lennox and Penny

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Lennox still likes to sleep with his head under the bed

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Lennox in the queue with me at Makro.
Please note there’s no tension on his leash – I am pleased as punch with how well he behaves in shops!
He does battle not to sniff the floor in the butchery though…

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asleep under the table at the Wimpy

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Lennox and I waiting in Jaded Ink for my son to get his lip piercing done

Stay tuned for regular updates!

SAGApupDonate

You can find SA Guide-dogs for the Blind on Facebook and on Twitter.
Follow the #SAGApupLennox hashtag on Twitter or find the Raising Lennox page on Facebook.

#SAGAPupLennox Is Forty Six Weeks Old

Once again we didn’t get to the vet to weigh Lennox… Last night’s rain meant that all the traffic lights in our suburb were out and the traffic was insane!

Last week we had an obedience training session at SAGA for the morning and it went very well.
With 13 dogs in attendance, it was obvious that Lennox’s dog distraction is greatly improved. Lennox’s brother Lenny was there, and he’s quite a bit bigger than Lennox.
We practised lots of walking obedience in a group, which meant Lennox had dogs next to him as well as in front of and behind him, and he did great. And they worked on getting in and out of the trainer’s trucks – no problem there at all! He hopped in and out, and sat inside with the door closed without stressing at all.
We also practised recall across the training field. The puppies stay in a line on one side of the field, with their leashes lightly held by a trainer or a PDS, whilst their puppy walkers walk away from them, telling them to stay. At a previously specified distance you turn around and call your pup and they have to come to you, ignoring the other dogs and people. Lennox came running straight to me! I was so pleased!
And then Lennox spent some time in kennels with another dog while we puppy walkers went to have cookies and cooldrink, having to hang onto a puppy leash.
Lennox also got to meet some children who were visiting the training centre which was good for him.

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Lennox’s brother Lenny

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puppies-in-training of all ages, 13 dogs in attendance

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me and Lennox

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Lennox taking a turn in the guide dog trainers’ transport truck

Stay tuned for regular updates!

SAGApupDonate

You can find SA Guide-dogs for the Blind on Facebook and on Twitter.
Follow the #SAGApupLennox hashtag on Twitter or find the Raising Lennox page on Facebook.

#SAGAPupLennox Is Forty Five Weeks Old

Wow… I can’t believe our Lennox is 10 months old already!

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Last Thursday our Puppy Development Supervisor came to do a walk around our neighbourhood with us again, to see how Lennox had progressed with his positive dog distraction issue.
There’s been a vast improvement, and our PDS is very happy with his progress. He’s still looking at other dogs, and occasionally he wants to do more than look but he responds very quickly to correction and he’s no longer yanking me all over the road.

Its been quite a busy time for Lennox… We didn’t get to the vet to do his weigh-in last week because the traffic lights and construction in that area have brought morning traffic almost to a standstill! I don’t like to subject him to the heat of sitting in the car if we don’t have to. And this week we didn’t get to the vet because I was without a car…
No worries – he’s the right shape and he’s sleek and shiny!

On Monday we did our normal shopping run - Pick n PayClicksKadiesMakro, and putting in fuel. Sadly we always get people screaming and jumping away from him, and security guards trying to turn us away. Some days its hard to stay patient, though Lennox doesn’t bat an eyelid – credit to him!

On Saturday we went to SAGA’s Gladys Evans Training Centre for a Puppy Walker Social. Its an opportunity for the puppy walkers to meet each other and talk about their experiences in an informal setting, as well as a chance to meet the volunteers who hold the breeding stock – so sometimes you get to see your puppy’s parents!
The Guide Dog Instructors also talk to the puppy walkers about why the correct training for the puppies is so very important. From distraction issues to overfeeding, there can be serious implications and delays in a dog’s further instruction if the trainers first have to correct a problem that started with the puppies early development.

We had an short obedience session with the dogs of all ages being walked in a circle and practising their sit-stay and down-stay, and then they selected a “best dressed” winner from the few puppies who were dressed in red for Valentines Day.

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Lennox in his Valentines Day bandanna

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walking in a circle at SAGA Puppy Walker Social

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Lennox and Quelita in the “best dressed puppy” contest

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Lennox sitting next to one of the old collection boxes

Stay tuned for regular updates!

SAGApupDonate

You can find SA Guide-dogs for the Blind on Facebook and on Twitter.
Follow the #SAGApupLennox hashtag on Twitter or find the Raising Lennox page on Facebook.
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