Black lab and lady cuddling on ground

“The journey of life is sweeter when travelled with a dog”

Where oh where does the time go?  One minute it’s 30 degrees and in a blink of an eye we are putting our snow tires on. In the last 5 weeks, the leaves have changed colour, the days are shorter, we gathered with our families to give thanks and enjoy some amazing food, we have even gained an hour of sleep.  Temperatures have now dropped and you can feel snow is not far off.  But if you are a young, adorable carefree guide dog puppy…what new things have impacted your life?

black lab sitting in front of fall decorations with fall bow on

Well all the CNIB guide dog puppies have grown just that much bigger.  Keller jumped 8 pounds last month and now weighs 48.4 lbs.  People have commented in the last few weeks on her size so she has definately gone through a growth spurt.  Although when compared to her brothers….she’s still on the small side.   I’m thinking she still has a little growing to do.

But don’t be fooled by the almost full-grown size. She is behaving like a rebellious teenager!  But here’s the good thing…this phase should only last a few months.

black lab waiting a doorway

Like many typical teenagers, Keller has decided to test her boundaries in this phase. Although she has always respected the rules of no furniture, she has now discovered she is tall and strong enough to jump up herself on sofas and beds. Like a teenager with headphones on…she sits in complete denial at your calling as if she cannot hear you and just looks up at you like “what’s the problem?” Other shenanigans include dumping over her water dish again..just so she can make a mess with the water, back to chewing on tea towels and shoes, and a new growling to get you to play with her. (I’m familiar with growling from teenagers, but that usually involves some kind of chore.)

Keller has maintained her outings to the grocery store, the mall, and foolishly a trip to Homesense on a Sat afternoon while the store was packed to the brim with breakables and people. I clearly didn’t think that one through. Although she remained well behaved, I’m finding she is hesitant on slippery tile floors.

I brought Keller when I donated blood last month and once again she charmed the nurses.  This is a great test for her behaviour as I can only hold her with one hand and really couldn’t go after her if she decided to wander.

Keller and her brother Ulysses went on a field trip together in October.  We headed to the Aurora GO station for their first taste of public transportation.  First we rode a GO train a few stops to Bradford.  Then we boarded a GO bus to head back.  Keller was hesitant to board the train but followed Uly who jumped up with no problem.  Both dogs were quiet and calm on both vehicles but couldn’t resist a quick meeting in the aisle of the bus.

yellow lab riding GO train


yellow and black lab riding GO bus


Bathing a dog is one wet messy job!  Bathing your dog outside makes this task a little easier.  And bathing with more than one set of hands helps keep the less than enthusiastic canine in place. We took advantage of one of the last warm days of the season to give Keller her last outdoor soap down.  As you can tell, it’s not her favourite thing to do.

black lab getting a bath

close up black lab getting a shower


But after that last spray of the hose, you know to get out of the way quickly…or look out.  You will get your shower!

black lab shaking off water

And what would October be without a little fun on Halloween.  You all know the Beanie Babies, those adorable cute little stuffed animals, with the bright red “ty” tag hanging from an ear or collar.  How cute is Keller as her own little beanie baby. Jaime joined the fun as a Beanie Baby cow. Of course it wouldn’t be right unless I did a group shot that included Ms. Frizzle and Riverdale’s Cheryl.

black lab wearing beanie babe ty tag

black lab as beanie babyblack lab posing with 3 teenagers in halloween costumes


Although I could go on with more photos and stories, I will leave you until next time.  I realize my puppy raising time with Keller is half over and I try not to think about the spring.  Until then I will enjoy this puppy and her antics. We continue to help her be the best well mannered puppy and future guide dog who we know will do great things for someone.