September 30, 2009

Waiter, There's A Fly In My Soup

Disclaimer: Not a fly. Remnant of a wood chip, cleverly concealed in her cheek and inadvertently deposited in the bowl.

Bonus points if you can figure out "mooti."

September 29, 2009

Volunteer as a Puppy Sitter

When I'm out and about with Ruby, people often ask me about volunteering. Our organization, Canine Partners of the Rockies, has many volunteer opportunities available, and for those who would enjoy spending time with service puppies, but may not be ready yet for the commitment of Puppy Raising, becoming a Puppy Sitter may be a perfect fit.

Puppy Sitters care for service puppies in training (like Ruby) when Puppy Raisers are on vacation or otherwise unavailable. The time commitment for Puppy Sitting can vary from a day to several weeks, and Puppy Sitters are free to accept or decline assignments depending on their schedules. With such flexibility (and no financial commitments), Puppy Sitting is a great way to be part of an important stage of a service dog's development.

While I was recently out of town, Ruby spent a few days with one of our Puppy Sitters, Lauren, and her family. Ruby had a lot of fun being in a new environment and also gained some really valuable experience spending a day in an office setting. Here she is with beautiful "foster sister" MJ.

Thank you, Lauren! For more information on Puppy Sitting, Puppy Raising, and volunteering with Canine Partners of the Rockies, just visit our website.

September 25, 2009


"Hope is like the sun, which, as we journey toward it, casts the shadow of our burden behind us."

-- Samuel Smiles

September 24, 2009

September 22, 2009

End of Summer

So we got out of Dodge for three days and we came back to find that summer is gone. Taking a flight out of Denver on Saturday in shorts and t-shirts, we were completely unprepared for flying back into frost and a dusting of the first snow of the season on Monday! Gotta love Colorado.

This quick trip was our first sans-doggie holiday in over 10 years. We really missed Kiva and Ruby. It took very many mojitos by the pool to get over it.

We actually prefer to take our vacations with Kiva. We've driven all over the country with her, she's a fantastic traveler, and has been with us to 21 states! Here she is at the beginning of this summer, doing what happy doggies do in Moab, UT.

It's been a great summer. We had lots of family and friends visit from out of town and Mr. Raiser and I celebrated 25 years together. Volunteering with service dog organizations has always been very important to me, and my commitment and love grew immeasurably when Ruby joined our household in July. Raising and training her has already brought a whole new dimension to all of our lives and Kiva accepted her with more patience than I ever could have hoped for.

I'm really excited about fall, it's my favorite season. I'm looking forward to taking the dogs on crisp autumn hikes and since we live in Colorado, it won't be long before Ruby dives into her first snowbank!

'Bye summer, we had a blast!

September 17, 2009

New Choppas

Need a dam built? She's your gal.

September 16, 2009

Trip To The Firehouse

Our most exciting outing yet! Ruby and I were extremely fortunate to be invited to visit the awesome crew at Firehouse 13 in Littleton, CO.

It was fantastic. Ruby had the chance to experience so many of the sights and sounds that she could someday encounter in an emergency situation. She got up close and personal with engines and gear, and the crew even backed up the truck and blew the siren for her. There was an abundance of stimulation, but she took it in stride, approaching it all with a healthy curiosity. I have to admit I was a very bad blogger that day and didn't take nearly as many photos as I usually do. I was way too busy being ten years old, fascinated by how cool everything was!

A huge thank you to all of our friends at Station 13. You were incredibly kind to us and gave Ruby such an important gift by adding this experience to her training. We deeply appreciate everything you do for our community.

Littleton Station 13
Littleton, CO

Thank you Lt. Chris, Lisa, Mike, Duane, and Mark!

September 15, 2009

Puppy Secrets

I get the feeling she's whispering about me, and I'd like to know just what is so funny!

September 14, 2009

National Cream Filled Donut Day

Today, and I am not kidding, is National Cream Filled Donut Day!

This is the kind of holiday that we here at Raising Ruby can really get behind. If there is anything that even approaches our passion for the puppies, it is our devotion to the donuts. Plus, it's a great excuse for an outing!

Truthfully, I prefer jelly, but there is no baked good prejudice in this home. All pastries are treated equally here.

We salute the carb-crazy, sugar-gobbling patriot who came up with this delight-filled national holiday.

Doggies to donuts, you'll want to celebrate too!

UPDATE: Now Celebrating National Cream Filled Donut Day 2010, click here!

September 10, 2009

Ruby's New Collar

Personally, I'm very excited about it! But Ruby? Not as much. She'd rather chew it than model it. Anyway, let's show everyone.

C'mon Roo, it's really pretty, no? Dontcha think?

With cute little flowers? And it's red! Ruby Red!

Such a reluctant fashionista.

Have Dinner with the Puppies!

Save the Date: Thursday, 9/24/09

Join us at Noodles & Company at Southlands Mall in Aurora on Thursday, September 24th between 5-9pm and 25% of your purchase will be donated to Canine Partners of the Rockies.

Have fun, enjoy a great meal, and meet the VIPs (Very Important Puppies) that are in training to assist Colorado residents with disabilities.

Click the flyer below for details and feel free to spread the word! Ruby says THANK YOU and she'll see you there!

September 9, 2009

September 8, 2009


I'm from the East Coast, so I guess it was just in my nature to want to acquaint Ruby with a marina. I don't know if she'll wind up spending much time on the water out here in Colorado, but I wanted her to be familiar with the strange sensation of motion while she walked, stood, and sat.

With the ground swaying beneath her, she took her first few steps (you know what's coming) like a drunken sailor!

But little webfoot found her sea legs right away and just padded around the dock, sniffing the air. She was fascinated by the boats bobbing in the water.

Wouldn't she look gorgeous riding shotgun on a speedboat? And if we tied a rope around her belly? Those ears + a good, strong breeze = Parasailing Puppy!

She had no issues walking around on the wet gravel, even though it stuck to her toes.

It was a pretty windy day and these old planks were really moving. I was a little worried that she might try to bolt and jump into the water, but she was nice and calm, listening to my voice and just swaying along with the tide.

So now that we've mastered the dock part, if anyone has a yacht we can practice on, just let us know. We're ready!

September 4, 2009

Are We There Yet?

Have a great Labor Day weekend and lots of fun wherever your travels take you!

September 2, 2009

September 1, 2009

Puppy Class: Recall

The recall command – having a dog come when called – is extremely important, so we work on that quite a bit. Ruby is doing pretty well with the recall during our practices at home, and I know her capabilities and limitations in that environment, but I was curious to see how she would do in class where she always gets very distracted by the other puppies. I had considered not dropping the leash, but I wanted to see if she would go straight for another dog rather than coming to me. Despite glancing around a little, she did quite well and I was really proud of her!