Saturday, July 12, 2014


When we came home after Baldwin left, our house felt empty and quiet, even with our three, loud boys.  We had been asked to finish an older dog for a family that was moving away and could not finish him.  We thought it would be a good fit, a "rebound" dog of sorts that we would only be keeping for a few months.  Owen came the Saturday after we were in New York.  He struck me as an incredibly handsome dog with a big, English head like Jeremy loves and shiny, coarse fur.  We were glad to have a dog to fill the void, yet all was not well for the first couple of weeks.  Owen had been used to having other dogs around, and had been in 4-5 different homes in his short life due to circumstances beyond his control.  At first he seemed withdrawn, just laying alone on our cold hardwood floors and not having the slightest desire to be near us or come when called.  He had several accidents in the house and pulled on the leash which was out of character for him.  He would play for short stints, but soon give up and go off to sleep away from us again.  We thought he would not work out and that he was regressing and just not a good fit for us.  Our trainer encouraged us to give him some time, which we happily did.  One day we had Pax, the pug we petsit from time to time, come stay with us for a few days.  Owen became a different dog from that time forward, even after Pax left.  It was like a switch had flipped and he started to enjoy us, and we, him!  His real personality came to light as he would continually present his toys to us and love to be scratched.  He didn't mind the boys snuggling up to him on the floor as they played their video games with their heads on his chest and he was AMAZING out in the stores.  No sniffing, no pulling, wonderful when greeting strangers, it was magic.  He loved coming with me to work and even came to some swimming events the kids had.  We quickly fell in love with his soft and determined personality.  He definitely did not like being told what to do all the time, and we learned to give him a bit more space than Baldwin, and then he did just fine.  Originally, we were to keep him  until his IFT date in September, but it got pushed up to July and our short time became even shorter.  If you would have asked me during the first week of having him if I thought he would pass his guide dog test I would have told you no, but now I just know he will pass with flying colors!  I hope he gets a chance to show what he is truly capable of and that he is himself when he goes to New York.  He truly is an amazing dog and we know he has the potential to become a Guiding Eyes dog.  We will miss having that big guy around.

4th of July

We enjoyed a fourth of July with record cool weather at the Gilliland's home.  By firework time, it was cool enough for a sweater!  The men had a ball showing off their firework skills!