March 20. 2009So the other night the puppy raisers were entertaining themselves with a little game they call "You know you're a puppy raiser when...." They seemed to find it hugely amusing, though I can't say I really understood why. I mean, doesn't everyone fit these descriptions? Marianne assured me that no, puppy raisers are a group unto themselves, but other humans who love dogs would find it funny too. Huh. I'll let you be the judge.For your amusement, then, I present "You know you're a puppy raiser when....."*You have crates, collars and Gentle Leaders in every size, style and color.*You accept dog hair as an accessory and a condiment.*Dog crates double as end tables.*You have more "dog towels" than "people towels" in your house (and your spouse knows the difference.)*You purchase a car based on how many dogs and/or crates it will carry.*Your co-workers know all the CCI commands and there's a chorus of "DON'T!" when the puppy dives for a tidbit on the floor.*You have photos of your puppy on your desk but none of your spouse or kids (unless they happen to be in the photo of the puppy.)*The various snacks you keep at your desk consist of chicken, liver or beef flavors.*The contents of your purse, backpack or briefcase include hand sanitizer, poop bags, a Nylabone, dog cookies, a water bottle and a collapsible dish.*You automatically wait at doorways, even when the dog isn't with you.*You attend an event because it's a good training opportunity for the puppy, not because you have any real interest in the activity.*You cheerfully sing out "Let's go!" as you grab a grocery cart, forgetting that you left the puppy at home in his crate.*You reflexively say "Good under!" when a child crawls under a bench at church.*You can scoop poop in public without embarrassment and while maintaining a conversation about CCI.*At a restaurant you can simultaneously carry on a conversation with your dinner companions and monitor your puppy's behavior under the table.*You watch Animal Planet because the puppy enjoys it.*People don't recognize you without the puppy and/or know the pup's name but not yours.*You're overheard telling your kids "Drop it" or "Leave it" or snapping "Don't!" in your best puppy raiser correction voice.*Your kids know it's bedtime when they hear you say "Kennel!"*You look for a parking place near a good "Hurry" spot rather than near the store.*You plan vacations around the pup's Turn In and possible graduation dates.*Your holiday wish list consists of gift cards to PetsMart and Petco and/or donations to CCI.*Your birthday presents are all dog-related.*You keep a ready stash of gifts on hand to welcome a new puppy, send one off to CCI College or as a graduation present.*You buy Nature's Miracle by the gallon.*Every pocket of every jacket, vest and sweatshirt has dog cookies in it.*While folding laundry you're found Milk Bones (intact) in the pockets of your jeans.*Your four-year-old can deliver a near-perfect CCI spiel, knows the proper use of all the CCI commands and can take over for you in puppy class.*You've answered the question "Isn't it hard to give him up?" approximately one million times.*You've burst into tears listening to a sad song on the radio because it reminds you that Turn In is approaching.*You've shared a full-size box of Kleenex with other puppy raisers at Graduation.
*And last but not least, you know you're a puppy raiser when your greatest joy in life is handing over your dog's leash to a perfect stranger at a CCI Graduation.
Chow for now!RossQuestions or comments? Send Ross an e-mail!Would you like more information about Canine Companions for Independence or perhaps be a puppy raiser? Call 1-800-572-BARK or go to CCI for details.