Monday, February 23, 2009

Emmy's Training Going Well

Bill and I received an email from Mike at Mid-Michigan Kennels with an update on Emmy's training! Emmy is doing very well or "WONDERFUL" as he put it. Emmy's brother Emu was also "career changed" from PAWS a few weeks ago and was moved to this same she's got another friend with her. Last week Emmy finished her "odor inprinting"...which I'm assuming means she's learning what explosives smell like. Then as of today she will begin "basic hides"...or finding the explosives in things when they are hidden.

We now know as well WHERE Emmy will be going...drumroll! She will be heading to Manila (in the Phillipines) to work in their airport. She will have her own handler, who will arrive in the U.S. on February 28th. He will work and train with her here for 4 weeks, before taking her back to Manila with him. She will then train with him there for 3-4 additional weeks and they will then certify as a team. She will then work with him on 747's, Airbus 330's and in the airport terminal areas about 6 days a week. These handlers spend a great deal of time on and off duty with their dogs and she will get lots of attention and love! That's all we could have hoped for.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Emmy's settled into her new home!

We heard back from Mike at Mid-Michigan Kennels, Inc. yesterday, and Emmy is doing great. He said she has settled in nicely and sounds like he really likes her (he used "sweet girl" and "really nice dog" a bunch of times). Emmy will be training for explosives detection for an airline company. Her job will be to sniff out materials used to make explosives and sit so her handler knows it's there, they leave, and the bomb detection group then enters to handle the situation.

Mike said she's adapted well to being there. She's in training with 5 other labs right now. They get recess three times a day and she loves to play around in their yard.

He didn't mention how long her training will be...but he left us his email so we can follow up with him and get more updates as she progresses.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Emmy is Career Changed

We received a call from PAWS this morning and Emmy has been career changed! As you saw in her January 15th update, the trainers at PAWS were working hard on her toy fixation...which they decided they weren't making progress on. Today, Emmy will be relocating to Mid-Michigan Kennels, Inc in Eaton Rapids, MI. There, she will work with Mike and his crew to train to be a detection dog. Mid-Michigan Kennel dogs have gone to work at places such as airports and even for Disney recently. Emmy will have an entrance exam today when she arrives and then will be training with them. We don't know much else right now, but will keep you updated as we hear things. The plus side to all of this is that we'll likely be able to visit Emmy if we want! Thanks to everyone for your thoughts and prayers as we wait to see where Emmy will go!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

First Update on Emmy

Tonight I checked the PAWS site and they have the January 15th updates posted for the dogs in training. Below is Emmy's "report card" from her trainer:

"Emmy is working on learning to pay attention and also doing a lot of toy exchange (she brings me a toy and I give her one in exchange) to encourage her to interact with me when she is playing with her toys. She loves physical praise and petting and I use this to calm her if she gets excited. Her control greetings are very nice."

Can't say that we're surprised by any of the feedback. That sounds like our Emmy!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Update on Emmy's First Day at PAWS

Good morning! We received word this morning from Julie at PAWS that Emmy did very well on her temperament test yesterday and that she is settling into the kennels well! YAY EMMY! So it sounds like all is going well for her...honestly this is probably a ton of fun for our little ball of energy!

On the home front, Bill and I are doing well...just takes time to adjust! Thank you all for your encouraging words. It's good to hear that no matter if this is your first or fifth foster puppy it is still hard...makes us not feel so bad for missing her a lot!


Monday, December 1, 2008

Emmy is at college!


Saying our goodbyes at home

"Let's go to college!!!"

One last picture in front of our building

Watching out the windows as we're driving to PAWS

"I love my mom!"

We arrived!!!

Julie takes Emmy to get her settled in

One last picture of the pup (she looks naked without all her tags and cape) before Julie gets her settled in.  Bye Emmy! We love you!

This morning at 9am Bill and I took Emmy back to Paws With A Cause in Wayland to take her to college!  Many, many tears have been shed in the past 24 hours but we thank you all for your kind and encouraging words to help us through this sad time.  We said our good-byes here at home this morning (anticipating that our lovely, energetic pup would want nothing to do with hugs and kisses once we arrived at PAWS).  She got very excited in the car when we pulled usual as well.  We met with Julie, the Foster Puppy Coordinator, who walked us through the steps of what Emmy will be doing.  There were 8 puppies coming in today so Emmy will have lots of company...including two of her sisters: Emma and Elkie.  This morning they were going to get Emmy all settled in with a bath and vet appointment and then this afternoon she will be taking her temperment test.  We'll be able to call in tomorrow to see how she did and how her first night was.  From then on, we'll have updates on the 15th of every month starting in January.  Bill and I were both SHOCKED that Emmy actually was not all that rambunctious and behaved very well allowing us to give her one last kiss good-bye!  

After that, we got a tour of the PAWS facilities to see where she will be training and living once she reaches Phase 3.  As you can probably here in the video with Julie, Phase 1 and 2 will be about 10 weeks long with 2-3 trainers working with her during that time.  Then Phase 3 can take anywhere from 6-9 months where she will work with yet another trainer on her client specific tasks.  

It was definitely very strange and sad to come home afterwards.  We spent the first little while putting away all the dog toys and things.  We are not getting another PAWS dog right now because we are unsure of where we will end up once Bill for now, we'll just have to get used to the quiet house.

We are so proud of Emmy she is such a wonderful dog.  Cheeto and Marianne...thank you for bringing such a sweet pup into this world.  This past year with her has definitely been full of ups and downs, but we wouldn't trade it for anything.  Thank you to Amy and Julie at PAWS for walking us through this.  Emmy is such a compassionate dog, willing to please long as you'll rub her!  She will be missed here in our house, but we are so excited for someone else to be blessed with such a precious gift!  

We'll keep you updated as we hear more about her progress!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Last Day Home

After church...

It snowed today!!! Emmy with her HUGE snowball we brought her!

Just the girls

"Oh Bob!"

Taking a snooze...

Today was spent together as Emmy's last day with us as a Foster Puppy.  We had a pretty "typical" day which included going to church, and visiting with friends.  Emmy did the best today that she has ever done in church.  She has always done well, but we made it through the whole service without having to get up because she was fidgeting.  Then we had our friends, Katy & JP over for lunch with their 6 week old daughter, Leila.  Emmy was VERY curious when it came to Leila and she really wanted to help when Leila started crying.  We enjoyed having them over and allowing Emmy the chance to be around more little ones!  

We're having a good night just hanging out together and then first thing tomorrow morning we head off to PAWS!  We'll post more tomorrow after we get home.