Friday, June 14, 2013

As Kyra Grows

It’s been awhile – sorry to all of those who are eagerly awaiting Kyra and Hero updates. Well, let’s start with Kyra.

So, Kyra accompanied me on my trip back up to Flagstaff and was, of course, a sweet, loving puppy the entire ride. I was concerned that she would struggle with a long ride at such a young age but she was fine. We had to pull off a couple times when she became fussy and obviously had to use the bathroom, but overall she just wanted to cuddle.

Once we got to Flag, it was time to drop her off with our co-raising family: Dave, Lisa and Andrew Foss. Let me just pause in my Kyra anecdote to mention this amazing family. The Fosses have raised two puppies that are now working Guides: Kent and Fresno. And then they stepped up and raised Hero for about 5 months before he went back to school. Long story short, I couldn’t do any of this puppy raising thing without them and I am so grateful that we are raising Kyra together. My Guide Dog family is amazing!!

Anyway, Kyra meets her other family and it is obviously love at first sight. She loves them and has the best of care. Which is great, because soon after we dropped her off, it became apparent that she had a female issue that was causing all her weird peeing episodes. The Fosses were awesome in dealing with that, and I am happy to report that Kyra is now a completely healthy, happy puppy on the road to being potty-trained.

During the past two weeks, I’ve seen Kyra twice at our weekly meetings. She is growing so much and is learning quickly! I think that she is an incredibly smart and observant pup. She knows sit (when there’s food involved) and is becoming very responsive to her name. She is still very eager to please and loves attention and cuddling. It is impossible to not love her. I am so excited to watch her grow!

My weekly update from Dave mentions that she is doing quite well with housetraining, has no problems with the stairs, is being introduced to her Gentle Leader, behaves well on a tie down, has good leash behavior for her age, and climbs in a car by herself. He also referenced to her many quirks, including her confusion at whistling, her tendency to get wild when she’s sleepy, and how she likes running water and eating ants.

I’ve noticed that Kyra has an essential level of confidence. Nothing fazes her. Everything is new and exciting and she explores without a fragment of fear. She is so curious and willing to learn. She loves other dogs and plays really well. Kyra loves to play tug-of-war with the older dogs and doesn’t nip on them as much as the typical puppy. She also loves people and becomes strongly attached in a short amount of time. When she takes food from our hands, she is very gentle and patient – only using her tongue and not stretching for the treat. Overall, I think Kyra will be known for her giant personality in her tiny body.

As for Hero, he is still in Phase 0. I don’t know much about him, except that he has recovered from being neutered and is very happy, as we would all expect. I miss that dog every single day but I can’t wait to watch him change the world and live up to his name. 
Hero in his training days with CocoPup Salsa, now in Phase 6 of training!