January 4, 2000
Vicki wants to know how big Little Lord Alfie is because her Zinde is getting so big. She is already 50 pounds and only five months old. Must be the Lab part of her, as Alfie is 50 pounds and seven months old. (And, just think, I thought he was looking kind of chunky!)

Zinde's favorite thing to do is sleep  . just like Vicki's Irena. And, she's a Velcro Fooling around in churchpup just as Irena was. But, she is not that keen on shopping. Zinde has been to Wal-Mart several times now, but simply hates shopping. She gets a bored look on her face and looks at you as if saying "can't we leave yet?" Zinde is a good puppy though, and does wonderful on her trips to McDonalds. Vicki says she doesn't even try to eat the French Fries on the floor! And, she's also a kid magnet and adores them as well. This picture was taken this past Sunday from Church.

Vicki also shared a cute story about her own Breeze, the first Golden that she can call her own. Breeze just loves tennis balls. She is always kicking them under the gates though, and then getHi, I'm Dallas!s upset that they are on the other side! Vicki thinks she just likes to see how well she has trained all the 2-legged family members (that is- how quickly they fetch the ball for her). Well, Vicki's dad spent almost all of Christmas day making "Breeze's Ball Return." Now with this ramp contraption, when Breeze kicks the ball under the gate, it rolls back down to her. And, Vicki says she really likes it. What a nice first Christmas for her.

Vicki's family is also a Foster home for Delaware Valley Golden Retriever Rescue. This is truly a family that understands the importance of animals in our lives. They have had a wonderful guy named Dallas, (shown here) who hopefully will be adopted soon. Zinde, of course, loves him. And while Vicki would love for her family to adopt him, I can well imagine how busy the place already is with all the animal activities already going on.


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January 9, 2000

Vicki showed her rabbits at the PA Farm Show on Friday night so she decided to bring Zinde along for the weekend. She was wonderful! It was a great time to socialize her because there were crowds, loud noises, slippery floors, and distractions. She was perfect, though. Everyone kept joking that Zinde was such a *big bunny* so Vicki made her some bunny ears! Maybe she brought her good luck 'ribbonscuz Vicki won Best of Breed and Best Opposite Sex with her Rhinelanders!the girls

Zinde was also perfect the next day at the Farm Show. Vicki had lots of people asking training tips from her and wanting to know how she had such a perfect five month old puppy. The state troopers Zinde and kept stopping Vicki so that they could pet her. They visited EVERYTHING at the show, including all of the animal exhibits. That includes chickens, ducks, pigs, cows, sheep, steers/bulls, horses, and more. There were LOTS of people there (more crowded then Vicki had ever seen it!), but Zinde handled the crowds like a pro.

The girls also poopedwatched the high school rodeo. Zinde slept during most of the rodeo. The only time she woke up was to watch the calf roping! She woke up when it was getting ready to start and went back to sleep after it ended. She thought it was funny seeing the calf run around the arena.

To add some excitement to the day, just as they were getting ready to leave the state troopers started evacuating the building because of a chemical spill! There were alarms sounding and fire trucks and lots of people crowding out of the building! It was another good experience for Zinde! They went to Cracker Barrel for dinner and Zinde was an angel again. However, she was happy to get back home and see Vicki's other dogs!



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May 27, 2000

Vicki has a A First Woobienew puppy in training!! She had told her leader (and puppy placement manager for The Seeing Eye) that when Zinde was old enough (six month minimum), she would like another Golden puppy. Well, she got a call on February 14th (Breeze's birthday!). So peaceful and angelic (in sleep only!)

There was a puppy for Vicki if she was allowed to get it. (Well, I guess she was allowed to take on another charge, 'cuz she sure has become a fast member of the family!) Echo was an 'extra' puppy that they didn't have a home for, as they are short on puppy raisers. Now, how could she turn down a seven week old Golden baby? So, Echo arrived on February 16, 2000. Echo was born in Oklahoma on December 27, 1999. SZinde and Echo loving each otherhe isn't related to any of Vicki's past or current puppies. She came from a litter of four females and four males.

Echo was never afraid of the 'big dogs' and has been playing with them since she arrived! Look how she and Zinde are forming a special bond. Let's hope Echo's oh-so-bad behaviors don't rub off on Zinde. She remins Vicki of Irena. Although she is a confident puppy in some areas, Echo is also sometimes noise sensitive and afraid of some objects. But, at 5 months of age, there is still plenty of time to work on these problems. Gotta go check out this dishwasher!

Echo's main problem is her barking. She is very vocal and has an opinion about everything! I met her at the 3rd Annual East Coast GoldenFest, and couldn't believe all the noise she was making. Our Alfie has just started to bark his presence, and he is almost a year old. Vicki has tried several methods unsuccessfully, so she is going to contact her leader again for more ideas! Echo is also a real little troublemaker who is very mischievous and prone to get into anything if left unattended. Irena, the beauty

Just look at her inspecting this dishwasher, like this is a place she's allowed to go. I wonder how Vicki's mom handles all this young ones, coming to her house to learn good manners and all.

And, don't try to think that gates can contain her. Oh, no, not for this crafty little thing. Even Zinde can't believe what a devil she is. Vicki thinks that her personality and some of her expressions reminds her of Irena.

Vicki should be hearing soon if her Irena was matched! She had her town walk on April 10th and Irena looked just wonderful! She filled out a lot from when Vicki returned her, but as still as beautiful as ever! She did great with her guide work too! We know how proud that makes Vicki feel, as she puts in so much hard work with these pups. Boy, we are so proud to know her, and know that The Seeing Eye is so fortunate to have her doing such wonderful work for them.


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May 29, 2000

Vicki had her Golden foster boy adopted on Friday, so the house is a bit quieter now! Echo is such a 'mommy's girl.' She's another velcro pup though not as bad as Zinde! Zinde is like Irena when it comes to being attached to Vicki, while Echo is her little social butterfly! When she's on leash in public, she acts like
an angel. Never even lets out a little bark (only saving that for Mom at home)! Echo loves going to church,  always right in the middle of all the kids giving out lots of kisses (more like washing their faces!). Vicki thinks Echo is so Mellow Zindeexuberant about life, while Zinde is more the calm puppy! She sits so nicely for petting  and is so very mellow!

On April 22, 2000, Vicki's puppy club went on a trip to Philadelphia. Echo
barely made the age group for being old enough to go! She was the youngest
puppy there (and Zinde was the best behaved!). Echo was only 16 weeks at the time, but she was excellent too! The group rode the train into Philadelphia (about a 45 minute ride) and got off at the Gallery Mall where all quickly exited to take the puppies 'Park Time'. Then, the group went back into the mall and walked through it. Vicki actually went into an art museum with the puppies and they were all well behaved.

They ate lunch under an overhang and than continued on to thWhat a big group!e Ben Franklin Museum, but were denied access (though having received permission previously!). So, they all left and went to the Trolley Museum. The puppies got to climb on and off the trolley and it was a lot of fun. Finally, the group had to return to the mall to catch their train ride home. Echo was so tired by the end of the day that Vicki thought she'd have to be carried for the last part. But, miraculously Echo made the journey! There was about 25 people and 15 dogs from the club that participated.

The 'best' part about the trip was that it rained ALL day. Everyone was soaked and the puEchops were drenched. In fact, Echo's belly was black because her legs were so short! It was a really fun day and Vicki and her pups even stopped at McDonald's on the way home.

Vicki also went to the Bucks County 4-H Round-up and participated in the Speech Demonstration Meet again this year. She received a BLUE RIBBON with a score of 97! This year she did her talk on Dog Training, using Breeze as her demo dog (because she was Vicki's 4-H dog obedience project). Breeze did a good job and didn't embarrass her like she kind of expected her to do (you know, those I want to embarrass mommy moods!). Vicki was very happy with the score considering she didn't even write a speech and only winged it. She really knew what points she wanted to make (the same ones she makes when talking to folks on the streets!), and just talked about what she loved! Her little baby Breeze did everything she was told to do and even did her sit high (stand on back legs) and walk (walk on back legs) commands well.

Well, Vicki told me she had to sign off due to having to go clean up woobie guts. We all know lots about that problem. It seems she bought her Golden girls a bunch of new toys on Saturday. Vicki was honestly surprised that they lasted this long! And, get this, only one has been destroyed so far!


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June 3, 2000

Vicki received I graduated!!a letter today saying that her Golden Irena had been matched! She's with a 24-year-old women from Texas, who is a college student. Irena is this young lady's second dog guide from The Seeing Eye. Doesn't she look just beautiful here in her working-girl harness?

Vicki received the following handwritten letter from Irena's trainer at The Seeing Eye. It's so hard for her to give up these puppies but it's worth when she receives letters like this one. Although Vicki is crying a bit now (and I must admit to being teary eyed myself), they are tears of joy for her baby girl. She is so very glad to know that her darling Irena is happy.

Dear Vicki,
I would like to take some time to thank you for raising such a wonderful dog. Irena has gone to a nice young woman from Texas. She loves Irena a lot! They make a great team together.
Irena was a lot of fun to train. She has such a great personality and is very low key. She does love to play with other dogs but otherwise was very low key. She was very easy to train because she learned new concepts quickly. She has a great work ethic and this is what makes her such a good guide. She loves to work and she is very good at it. Irena is going to make this woman very happy and give her the independence she is seeking.
Thanks again for raising such a wonderful dog. Irena and her new mom are a great match and work very well together. She really loves Irena and Irena is very happy. Thanks again for all the time and effort you put into raising Irena.
Shannon (Irena's trainer)


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June 9, 2000

Last night, Vicki got a call from her puppy leader about having Ivy come back to be her forever dog. Ivy has been retired, so of course Vicki was the first person to be called. That is the policy of The Seeing Eye, as it is with most service groups. Retired animals are always offered to their original puppy raisers. Vicki would have said YES! right away, but she had to ask for permission from her parents. Fortunately, she was given 48 hours in which to decide before needing to call her puppy leader back.

Vicki's mom was eager to have Ivy rejoin the family (Vicki knew she would be). But her dad wasn't home to ask—and she knew he'd be the one that would have to be convinced! Well, Dad got home from work late that night (after 11 pm) so Vicki was unable to get to talk to him. But, that just gave her more time to prepare her case. Vicki had to make him forget about everything Ivy chewed up (she was her worst chewer)! She gathered photos showing Ivy behaving. And, she found ones of Ivy and Karma (their German Shepherd) together. Karma typically doesn't like the puppies that come to be trained, but she and Ivy had been best friends! Vicki also knew that Dad always mentioned how he wished Karma had a friend!

Well, this morning, after finishing her paper route, Vicki popped the big question to Dad. He said YES! right away. Poor Vicki—she had worried for nothing. Now she needs to call her leader to find out when she can have her Golden girl return to her. Ivy will be celebrating her fifth birthday on June 17th. Maybe, she will get a special birthday party when she comes home to Vicki. This will really be fun, as Vicki will now have both grandmother Ivy and granddaughter Zinde.

It was a very tough day 3 years ago when Ivy left her puppy raiser Mom. Vicki is just on Cloud Nine as she truly can't believe her baby girl is coming home. Ivy was Vicki's very first Golden baby. In fact, Ivy made her fall in love with this special breed. Vicki is crying now, but they are only happy tears.


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June 15, 2000

On June 14th, Vicki got a call to come pick Ivy up the next morning. When she got there, she was told to wait in the 'adoption room' while they went to get her. Ivy had just had a bath so she was still wet. She came trottOkay, okay, I love you too!ing down the hallway (off lead) and into the adoption room, and then Vicki yelled, "IVY." She was so excited to see her first mom, remembering her as if 3 years of being apart were merely a moment in time. There was no doubt about it. Ivy remembered her and nearly knocked Vicki over. (And, she hasn't left her side yet.) Ivy was rolling around the floor for about fifteen minutes before finally calming down. Adoption papers got signed and everyone finally headed home.

On the way home, Vicki stopped at Burger King for some lunch. The lady at the drive-thru thought Ivy was adorable and was petting her through the window. She than came back with a couple of chicken nuggets for Ivy. Since Ivy's now Vicki's forever dog and not a Seeing Eye pup, she was allowed to have the nuggets. Of course, this smart girl thought it was a test at first and ignored them. But, Vicki finally did convince her that she was allowed to eat them. And, she did!

When they got home, Vicki's family German Shepherd went crazy. She usually is The whole gang -- five girlfriends for sure!bothered by the pups-in-training, but Ivy used to be her best friend. You could tell she remembered Ivy by the way her tail was wagging! Vicki's girls were eager to meet the new dog too. Well, all but Breeze who was too busy playing with her tennis balls! She's not jealous at all, and was even kissing her at one point. Ivy has that effect on other dogs as she is so very mellow. Of course, younger Echo is a touch jealous right now, but will get over it.

Vicki has big plans for this retired seeing eye breeder dog. Ivy still demonstrates excellent obedience skills, so Vicki hopes to begin doing obedience and agility work with her. She should do fine, just having had her hips retested and finding out that they remain excellent.

Ivy has not stopped smiling and wagging her tail since she was picked up! While she has some white around her muzzle now, her eyes still remain incredibly beautiful. And, we know inside that little Golden brain of hers, that she is feeling such comfort and contentment to be back home with her forever mom!


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September 20, 2000

We just found out today that baby Zinde is leaving for The Seeing Eye on Monday the 25th. It seems like yesterday that she she had just arrived.


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October 2, 2000

Well, Vicki is back from her incredible four-week trip to Peru's Amazon Jungle in July. And, Zinde and Echo both survived the month without her (and she survived without them!) Vicki says this was the most amazing trip of her life! She learned so much on it, but misses it something awful as she felt is was "the most incredible place on earth!" Vicki still sleeps in her hammock every night (she has it hanging in her bedroom). Golden Breeze likes the hammock too!

A week after Vicki returned, it was Zinde's first birthday so she had a birthday party for her (Doggie birthday cake and frosty paws ice cream). At the recent Grange Fair in August, Zinde was Vicki's perfect girl. Everyone kept telling her that ZinWhat a baby face!de was the best behaved dog there (which she already knew!). Zinde left for The Seeing Eye last Monday so Vicki is anxiously waiting for the reports on how she is doing. Vicki and The Girls!!

Echo, here, is pretty good too. But, Vicki is waiting for the 'brain fairy' to visit so that she will become a Great girl. Echo just needs to mature some as she is such a baby. Just look at her baby face here. Echo is a very sweet little girl though and is great with little kids!

Vicki's own Golden Breeze is still her bratty self, as she is simply too smart for her own good. And, Ivy is doing well. Retired from being a mom, she is now so happy, running off lead and taking walks and going on car rides. To add more Golden fur to the picture, Vicki also has a three-year old female Golden foster dog from DVGRR.

Vicki should be getting a new Golden pupper very soon! Another girl to add to this incredibly happy clan. How lucky can ya get!


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November 27, 2000

Vicki has been very busy lately. October was elections month for 4-H and Vicki was elected President of the Hilltown 4-H Club, President and Treasurer of the 4-H Teen Council, News Reporter of the Seeing Eye Puppy Club, News Reporter of the Sheep Club, and Secretary of the 4-H Board of Development Fund. All of Vicki's girls are doing well. Zinde returned to The Seeing Eye and has begun her training as a guide dog. Echo has matured a great deal and may be better suited to becoming a therapy dog. She's very much in tune to peoples' feelings and seems to be able to tell if someone needs a kiss or a nuzzle. Echo loves physical contact and would loved to be hugged all day long.

Breeze, who is Vicki's very own Golden, has been her dad's favorite (her granddaddy). This is the same man that use to claim he wouldn't act like a fool when it comes to a dog. But now, Breeze eats breakfast with him every morning sitting in a chair next to him. She gets served her dog food while he eats his oatmeal. He said he didn't think it was fair that Breeze should have to eat by herself. While Vicki's other girls go downstairs to her bedroom in the morning after she has completed her paper route, Breeze prefers to stay upstairs to eat
breakfast with her granddaddy. Calling her 'his little princess,' he claims she's not spoiled—just treated how she deserves to be treated. Breeze is still crazy about her tennis balls and is hardly ever seen without one!

Ivy is as happy as ever. She always has a big grin on her face and her tail is always thumping! She could clear a table very easily with her tail! She enjoys going for walks, car rides, sleeping on the bed, and teasing Breeze by stealing her tennis balls. Vicki also still has Casey, a rescue foster Golden. A very happy girl, Casey has come so far since being able to share in this special family. Vicki says she would adopt her in a heartbeat if she didn't already have two "keeper girls" as well as her Seeing Eye pups.

Just in case this household wasn't busy enough, there has been a new Golden addition from The Seeing Eye. Vicki has been waiting for this special pupper, as this was to be one of her Blair's Golden puppies. Unfortunately, there was a mix up and it turned out that the litter were actually crosses—not full Goldens. There were only two pups and they got assigned to other raisers, so Vicki had to wait for another puppy.

Vicki decided to get a female Golden from The Seeing Eye's new breeding line. Well, she is now glad she waited because she has received a Golden angel. Her name is Ilsa, which means "G-d's Promise." A gorgeous blonde, all of Vicki's girls have taken to her.

Echo loves her to death and is playing the role of the proud big sister. Breeze doesn't pay much attention to her, but Ilsa thinks she's great and is always following Breeze around! She also loves to sit on top of Casey (which this sweet girl has thankfully tolerated). In less than 36 hours, this tiny gal has stolen Vicki's heart. A beautiful little girl, she is gonna be a heartbreaker for sure!

Vicki is so happy with this little baby girl. She's very smart as well and quickly showed an ability to go up a flight of stairs and go down a few steps! She has also discovered the special Golden joy of killing woobies. Vicki bought her girls a few more (to add to their already large collection), and Ilsa has enjoyed trying to kill them, even though one of them is the same size as her!



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December 15, 2000

This past Sunday was just another "day in the life" for Vicki, but you decide if you could handle all the ups and downs.

After paper route and racing to get to church by 9 a.m., everything seemed to be going great. Vicki and her oldest sister, Amanda, are teaching the 4th grade Sunday school class where everything is going quite well. Echo enjoys going to Sunday School. The kids want her to do everything too  They had an activity in which they were tracing the kids' feet, so of course, Echo also had her feet traced! She even gets to join in on the games!

After church Vicki rushed home to change and get what she needed in her car before heading off to her Seeing Eye Club's Christmas Party. Unfortunately, the 45 minute drive resulted in puppy Ilsa getting carsick, with poor Vicki trying to clean it up during traffic lights! Then, Ilsa began to drool heavily, so that by the time they arrived at the church, her coat was drenched. Being the trooper that she is, Vicki really didn't care too much.

Vicki's girls were angels during the entire meal. During the annual Puppy Pollyanna (gift exchange), her loves got a new Nylabone and two rubber toys (that Breeze has already claimed as her property!). To combat Ilsa's carsickness on the drive home, Vicki had her window rolled down to make it cool in the car. This seemed to do the trick. Of course, Vicki was chilled to the bone as it was snowing! Yet,  she was far more concerned about her baby puppy girl.

This past Friday was another interesting day. Vicki's mom was baking cookies and she was getting ready to take Ilsa to the vet to get her 11-week-old shot (DHLPP). Believe it or not, but this precious girl is already getting big, now weighing 15.7 pounds! As Vicki was getting her paperwork together, all of her girls were gathered around — watching Mom making cookies. Suddenly, Vicki's mom dropped the yellow food coloring. Being the oh so helpful girl that she is, Breeze picked it up and bit it, sending yellow food coloring all over Ilsa. She then dropped the food coloring container and Ilsa grabbed it. Vicki wrestled it away from her and whisked her now yellowish/orange spotted puppy to the vet for her visit. The vet's office got a good laugh over the story. Of course, Ilsa then got a bath when she got home.


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December 22, 2000

On December 18th, Vicki received a postcard from her Zinde. She's been at The Seeing Eye for almost three months now. This is what the card said:

"My trainer, Matt, calls me 'Mellow Yellow.' He loves all the puppy pictures you sent and he and I are having fun. Matt says I do phase out a little and I love to sniff but I am working on it everyday. He says I am a real cutie and that I love going to town to walk around and do my job."  Love your puppy, Zinde and trainer Matt

Vicki had her puppy club Christmas party last Sunday. Unfortunately, her leader called on Tuesday to say that one of the puppies came down with tracheo-bronchitis and if any of the girls started coughing, then she was to take them to the vet immediately. Echo coughed a few times while in Sunday School and then again the next day so Vicki got her to the vet immediately. Thankfully, it just appears to be a mild respiratory infection but Echo is now on antibiotics so that the other girls (Ivy, Ilsa, Breeze, Casey & Karma) don't get sick as well. Echo, who now weighs 60 pounds, will be one year old on December 27th.

Baby Ilsa is getting so big, now weighing 17 pounds! She gets her 13 week shots on Friday and then she can go places with Vicki. Ilsa is such a smart puppy and so adorable! The second week, though, she and Vicki were having some dominance issues. Can you believe it? This little 8-pound bundle of Golden fluff thought that she could be dominant over Mom. Ha! But, this has passed and Ilsa is Vicki's sweet little girl once again.

Vicki received a lot of rain on Saturday night and her basement room was leaking after the storm. Besides mopping, a fan is used to dry the floor. It seems that Ilsa simply loves the fan. She sits in front of it with her mouth open and her ears flapping in the breeze. What a silly puppy she is!

Casey, the family's last foster dog, is now back at Vicki's home. Unfortunately, the adoptive family didn't work out so she is being fostered once again at this busy doggie playground. Casey was so happy to be 'home' again and couldn't wait to wrestle with Echo. She just loves being 'one of the girls.'



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