After puppy number three, I wanted to take a break. The emotional journey with Yellsea was a tad overwhelming. Well my break lasted all of a week and I was longing to have a puppy again. I knew that I really wasn't up for raising again right away so I puppy sat some of the more difficult dogs in the region. 2 months after Yellsea left my PE called and said she knew I didn't want to raise again but there was this cute little 11 week old puppy that needed a home just until a permanent raiser could be found. It was a yellow male that no one wanted. Well how could I say no to that...she obviously had known I couldn't turn down a puppy as he arrived the next day with Faith's new puppy Scotch. As you all know and some of you have experienced this...Puppy with no home became puppy number 4. They set me up. lol. It was perfect as I like to have one of everything ( already had MBL, FBL,and FB&T) plus I prefer males. The M405 litter was born December 14, 2005 to parents Regina-raised in our region- and Cooper - his mother was raised in our region. The litter consisted of 4 yellow males-Maestro 2M405 (Mork), McDuff 5M405, Malcolm 6M405 (McGee) and Mogul 7M405 (Cliff). 4 black males- Mike 3M405, Murdock 4M405( Jackie), Maverick 8M405, and Mario 9M405(Mackie) and 1 lone black female-Marcie 1M405 (Zoe). Regina was sent to Minnesota Guide Dogs and whelped the M405 litter under their care. When the pups were old enough they were sent back to GEB. When the pups tested two were put into a different school's training program (I want to say they were kept with the Minnesota Guide Dogs but I don't know for sure), one was put into the PBB program, one was released and the rest were sent to puppy raisers. There were lots of name changes in the litter. Regina's foster got to name a puppy , one was changed because of difficulty in flow, and one was a special named puppy ( someone donated a certain amount of money and in return was able to chose a name for a puppy in program. This is what the -s means after a dog's name
Faith and I met at a team member house late on Feb 28th to wait and pick up our new charges...Faith's GSD and my little yellow boy. We walked into the house and fell in love with the two handsome boys relaxing in the kennel. I found out that my puppies name was Mork. His name had been changed that morning and his paperwork had both names; Maestro crossed out and Mork written in pen. I never found out who named my dog and wasn't even 100% positive that he was an actual special name till he went IFT. You are not always told that yout puppy is special named. Sometime GEB changes names for different reasons so you never can tell. We played with the puppies for an hour or so then headed home.
The next day was puppy class. My 4-H group and I had volunteered to run the class so it was interesting juggling on semi no sleep (not the puppy's fault nervous mother syndrome as my mommy likes to say). We did a mock CGC ( Canine Good Citezen test) and I handed off my new little boy so that I could run the class. After class we got to visit with Mackie who was being raised by Regina's raiser and we also got pictures of all three new puppies together.
Mork was such a sweet calm puppy. He was very laid back and relaxed. I was very surprised by his attitude since I knew both sides of family, other Regina puppies and his discharge sheet talked about him being a difficult puppy and not the type of puppy for a first time raiser. He was really not what I was expecting. He was immediately loved by my family...this is a rare and great accomplishment since my family doesn't not like male dogs as a general rule and usually take time to adjustment to any new puppy.
March brought on 4-H March Dog Madness at Cornell University. Mork was amazingly well behaved for such a young puppy. He rode well in the car with another pup in training- half brother Puma, was good in the crate when left alone, and walked well on leash. We had a great day. We were asked to participate in a photo shoot. That was fun. We also got to be introduced to new footings, traffic and distractions. He handled it all in stride and behaved like a little champ. It is a good thing I had hold of the leash and was watching him close because he had some fans that would have taken off with him if I hadn't. lol.
In April Mork went on his first puppy swap to his brother Mackie's house and in return of course I got Mr. Mackie. Mackie was the type of dog that I was expecting with the background info that I had on the litter yet after Mork I was expecting something similar which I did not get. Mackie was not a bad puppy in fact he was relatively good as far as puppies go. Just different and had a strong stubborn streak. Cute but annoying.Mackie went with me to an agility show with my 4-hers. He was a very good puppy there and was the highlight of many of the teen aged girls. We also ran into Faith who got to work him a little and see if some of the issues his raiser and I were seeing she saw as well. He was good with other dogs and with being in the kennel but he was a stubborn little man-which he continued to be up till he left.
May brought news of Yellsea's graduation. Since I did not have very much notice and I was being slightly superstitious I called upon the help of a former raiser (raised Tashi). She of course readily agreed since her house felt lonely after her pup left for IFT. When I returned home after graduation I had a hard time getting my dog back from the sitter. They absolutely loved him. He was only their second experience with male dogs and the first was not so good. He was reported to have been an excellent puppy with their other dogs on walks and sleeping in. The raisers mother informed me that Mork slept in my friends room at night in his kennel. Since she was sleeping late she went in to let the puppy out only to find that the puppy was not in his kennel but sound asleep on the floor near the foot of the bed. He had not touched a t thing or had an accident. What a good boy! So started him sleeping out of the kennel (which proved to be a bad thing as he started to becoem a yodeler when in the crate-his problem was an easy fix however!).
I started to become more and more involved with my region. Someone had to step up after Roberta's death and Faith and I were taking on that role. We began to be counted on for class involvement, eval staffing, as well as behavior evaluations of some of the dogs in our region. Finally we got told that we were now what was called junior team members. This is were Mork came in very handy.
Mork became sort of a pass along dog. He was sent to raisers who needed a break from their difficult dogs, new prospective raisers who needed to complete their puppy sitting, and was used many times as demo dog for different presentations about GEB. Mork handled all situations excellently and was a region (and out of region) favorite. He was the dog that I had for the least amount of time throughout his raising life as everyone would fight over who would have him next and I would have to fight the other raisers to get him back. LOL!
Mork was my first experience with out of region switches. In June I did a switch with Puma who was the first puppy being raised by one of my 4-H kids in the Catteragus region. Puma is a Morky half sib so it was cool to similarities and differences.
In July, I got to sit for Sassy, GEB's first poodle, for a few days.
She was being raised by the AC for the Erie Region so I took her while they went to AC workshop. It was a bit of a joggling act as Mork was still at my house for the first two days and then he was going back to Puma's house because my family and I were going on vacation. Sassy was a cool dog. Her behavior and personality was a cross between the three breeds used by GEB. She had excellent obedience skills and house manners but she was very suspicious of unknown people and some times other dogs. We took them -Mork and Sassy swimming and Sassy came out of the pond smelling pretty-kinda like perfume- while Mork smelled like wet dog...HMMM!
In September, I did a switch with Ranger. He was raised by my friend in Central region. Her second dog-first was Osaka. I love getting the GSDs. My family will not allow me to raise one so I get my GSD love through puppy switches and sitting. Ranger's sister Rasha was being raised in our region so puppy class was cool as we got to put siblings together. When we returned Ranger and picked up Mork I got to participate in one of the Central puppy classes which was fun but the best part was that I got to spend time with Mork's brother McGee- being raised by the Central AC. The boys were very very similar: body build some of their personality and color. It was difficult to tell them apart. WHOSE WHO?
I had decided to go back to school in the fall. I changed my major from nursing- which I hated- to vet tech- which I had vowed I was not going to do since the age of 8 (My Dad is a Veterinarian and teaches vet tech. My mom is a Vet Tech although that is not her job now. So ya I didn't want to follow in my parents' footsteps...). So with August came heading back to school to try my hand with my new major. I applied to and won along with 2 other teen raisers the first annual GEB scholarship. It was definitely a sign that I was going in the right direction with my life. Winning the scholarship brought new adventures for Mork. He got to meet prees people and learned how to get professional photos done. Mork accompanied me to all my classes including my labs.
My first semester Mork had loads of different experiences. My class list included Intro to Vet Tech and Intro to Vet Tech lab were he was the major subject for vet techs practicing restraints- physical and mechanical, lifts, nail trimming and a lot of other things. He was also used for the Intro Lab midterm and final because he was such a laid back guy as opposed to all the dogs we got in the kennels. ( Alfred State has an agreement with the local SPCA and Humane Society. They send us their dogs and cats we get handling skills, practice with blood draws, kennel work, radiography, anesthesia,and other stuff and they get a free spay/ neuter of the animals so they have a faster adoption rate.)
He also attended Farm Animal management and yes you guessed it he also attended Farm Animal lab! He really enjoyed going to lab because he got to see all sorts of animals. Oddly enough I have no pictures of him with any cows yet that is what we spent the most time working with. My favorite memory of FAM class was the day we were learning about sheep. My teacher borrowed Mork to demonstrate how to rump sheep. It was HILARIOUS!!
He also attended Anatomy and Physiology part 1 Lecture and lab, and Chemistry but not to chem lab. He was such an awesome boy. He was loved by everyone and was missed if he didn't come to class. We pretty much lived on the third floor of the AG building when not in class or out with friends. We hung out in my dads office (he teaches and is the director of the ASC Vet Tech program) so Mork got office experience as well. You could always hear teachers or students saying "there goes the Dork!" It was harder on them then on Mork and I when puppy switch time came around especially since Mork was traded so much.
August also brought with it the NY State Fair. Of course I went but I only went on the weekends. Mork did come along. I aged out of 4-H last year so there was no dog show for me but I did sit in the Cynology booth for 4 days. At the fair, I got to see Wendy again. I met her when I had Wren at the fair. She is blind and at the time her mom was worried about her well being so she came and talked with me for about 3 hours. With meeting Wren her fear of dogs subsided and she made the decision to get moble and apply for a guide dog. The next year when I had Yellsea she came back to visit me and told me that she had applied and was accepted into GEB's training program. Well my weekends at fair were waiting anxiously to see her again and meet her new partner. What a great day to she them working down the croweded isle making their way to my booth. We sat and talked for a long time and then she removed Tessa's harness so that I could meet her and so that she could meet this years trainee. Mork was awesome with state fair as I knew he would be.
September brought 4-H dog camp. It is a camp for 4-Hers to relax after the show season and have fun with their dogs. Wren and Mork both went with me. I taught one of the fun stations. We demonstrated the touch game as well as spin right and left. The second part ofour station was kinda like a quiz game were they kids were split into teams and had to answer questions correctly to win candy.
September through December was filled with school activities, teaching 4-h obedience classes and going to puppy classes. Mork was his goofball self and was always making me laugh. He LOVED water. He was my very first labbie who would voluntarily get into the water. Varsity and Wren refused and Yellsea would go in if encouraged enough but Mork lived to be in the water. He spent hours chasing the water round and round the kiddie pool we had in the back yard or he would dunk his head into thee water bucket then drip or shake all over the nearest person. he loved to swim and would retrieve favorite toys from the water. Our region holds an anual pond party were all the dogs can swim and the raisers have a picnic. I was so excited because I finally had a dog that would go in the water but alas...he had hot spots during that period of time. Mork taught my 4-h dogs obedience and agility skills(no jumps of course). October we had another evaluation in which he had a stellar preformance.
Christmas final brought a break in our busy schedule. We had a quiet family Christmas and a lovely GEB Christmas pary where we got pictures with brother Mackie. I also was a tad camera happy and took lots of pictures of Wren and Mork as well as the other home dogs. Here are some (a lot) of the better ones.
January brought the spring semester in school. We began classes in A&P2, Parasitology, Pathophysiology, Management, and Small Animal Nutrition. Mork again came to classes. January also brought another eval. I found out then that Mork did not need to attend as his Eval DVD had already been sent to GEB as he was to be put on stud watch. GEB requires eval DVDs for potential broods and studs to be in to the Directors 6 months before the dog heads IFT. He went to evals anyways just to go but he was not taped. My PE saw that he tended to get bored do we started to teach him different things such as touching different objects which he seemed to like. We also got his IFT date which made evals an even sadder occasion. I decided at evals that I would get another puppy before Mork left because I knew he was going to be really tough to let go.
Feburary went by super fast and before I knew it March was here and his IFT date was only days away. March 7th was Mork and Makcie's last class...I was very happy that Mork was going to travel down to GEB with not only Makcie but McGee as well. Mork's last class was not all sad as it was also the first class for puppy number 5. March 17th was the day that the M boys were to catch the van to GEB but unfortunately I already had plans for that day so I had to say goodbye to Mork a day early. He spend his last night in Allegany county NY with his brother Mackie so it was not all bad.
I sat nervously by the phone on March 20th, the day of the boys test, waiting for news from my AC. I have "spies"(haha jk guys) down at GEB and they were all tight lipped about wether or not they did well at IFT. Finally around 9:45pm my AC called to let me know that Mork had passed and was still on stud watch, Mackie had passed and was in training and McGee had passed and surprised everyone and he was on stud watch as well. YEY. I found out later that night that one of my friends down at GEB actually worked Mork for the test which was really cool. (All 6 of the M boys passed their IFT tests and are in training).
Mork stayed on stud watch for 3 weeks. I got an email from my PE. It said "Jane has kept semen from Mork and sent him to trn ,He did well but just a little to laid back to keep out of training to be a stud so he will have a dual career :-) ~RB". I was slightly disappointed at the news that he wouldnt be an official stud but was also really happy as I knew that he needed a job so it was a good decision. I think that al ot of the disappointment stemmed from the fact that he would be at the training school when we were at the CDC for eye clinic.
Mork is as of last report in phase 2 of 4 in training and doing well. He is still my goofy boy and makes his trainer laugh. Last report says that he is still at his water bucket antics *GRIN*. I hear my periodic unoffical updates from my friends which make me happy. I'm glad that he is doing so well. I will post his training reports seperately. Check back soon for more updates on the M boys.
Mork the Dork on a puppy switch