Monday, April 11, 2011


The QC Times made it to the reunion yesterday.  Here is a link to their article:
This reunion is for the (therapy) dogs
Someone with the Bettendorf Schools made a video and posted it on their YouTube page:
BCSD Therapy dog training

Sunday, April 10, 2011

A fun and eventful weekend!

The weekend started off with Alex competing in two events at the Eastern Iowa Special Olympics.  Kade spent the first few hours of the competition with Alex.  Kade was well behaved, but there were so many athletes and families that come up to him and wanted to pet him that he ended up getting very nervous and fidgety.  We were concerned, so to be safe we took Kade home.  Kade was able to spend the next few hours at home working to get the peanut butter and treats out of a Kong in his kennel. 
Alex did great in both events (softball throw and 50M walk) and got 1st place in both to earn a trip to the State Games in Ames next month!
Today we were able to see Sarah and Megan at a small CARES regional reunion.  CARES is in the area to do some re-certification for the Bettendorf School District, so they decide to send out some 70 invitations to all the families with 3 hours of Bettendorf, IA.  As a result there were 25 dogs at the gathering.  It was a nice event and we were able to see many dogs from the area, including one that had been working for nearly 10 years!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

A GREAT Bonding day!

Today was a good day from start to finish.  Alex was awakened by a pouncing Kade on his bed.  Alex's reaction was a smile.  After breakfast we were out the door for school.  The boys worked together well today and Alex's teacher saw moments of bonding she hadn't seen before.  After school Alex was very proud of his accomplishments with Kade throughout the day.  They are walking together much better and Kade is responding to Alex's voice better also.
After supper, Alex went down to the basement (his mancave) and watched some TV.  Kade layed down by him and they stayed together, hanging out, for about an hour and a half.  We've used a leash to keep them together in days past, but tonight no leash was used.  Kade knows Alex is "his boy" and has become very attentive to him.  Alex is finally seeing Kade for the great buddy he is!
Now, both boys are in Alex's room for the night.  Kade is still tethered to Alex's bed to keep him in one spot at night, but we don't think it will be for much longer since the time in the basement went so well today.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

First dinner out

We had our first dinner out with Kade. We traveled to Fulton to Manny's, our favorite pizza place. Kade traveled well and the boys did a great job. Jen commented that Kade is doing better now than when we went out for meals with class, and I would have to agree.

Friday, April 1, 2011

One week in the history books

I does not seem like it has been a week since Alex and Kade were on stage at The Brown Grand Theater stage for graduation!  Overall, the week has gone well.  We had some adjustment issues when Kade first arrived in the house, but we seem to be heading the right direction.  The boys were together all day Wednesday and Thursday at school (no school Friday due to teacher conferences).  CARES, Inc will be in town in a few weeks to certify some of the school staff for the therapy dogs and two of Alex's teachers will also attend.  It sounds like Alex and Kade may also attend.
Kade finally made it to the local vet for his first visit and as suspected during training, he has an ear infection....actually he has infection in both ears.  We now have some ointment to try to cure the yeast infection, and some drops to use weekly as a preventative to keep them away.
Kade is doing much better at following Alex around the house and staying with him as long as I am not around.  We hope to start working on getting him to sleep in Alex's room soon, but first we have to get Alex to agree.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Great start totheir first full day at school

Kade and Alex are off to a great start this morning during their first full day together at school.  Mackenzie helped out by setting up a new kennel in the classroom for the times when it does not make sense for Kade to be with Alex, and Mom spent a few hours in class with the boys at the start of the day.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

They are starting to bond!

After struggling the first few days to determine the new family chemistry, and with help and advise from the great people at CARES, Inc, we are starting to see the boys bond!
It is amazing how well Kade behaves when he has his vest on.  He knows who his "boy" is and responds amazingly well to limited voice commands.  Here are pictures Jen took today during Kade's first few hours at school with Alex today.  The plan is to have Kade at school all day tomorrow!!!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Home at last!

After a short stop in Kansas City to allow Alex to show off Kade to his Aunt Julie's family, we are now home.  Kade is unsure of what to think of the house.  We have not given him full run of the house or yard yet, but there are signs that he is settling in.  Here is Kade waiting for Alex to finish getting ready for bed.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Packing up and heading home

Now that training is complete and Alex & Kade graduated, we are packing our things this evening to get a timely start to our trip home tomorrow back to Iowa. We will be making a stop in KC so Alex can intruduce Kade to his Aunt Julie and family.  Tomorrow will be a long day as we will have 10 hours of car time plus all the stops.

The blogging will reduce now that training is over, but I hope to keep up on this to allow our new friends from CARES to see how Alex and Kade are bonding and progressing.  We are looking forward to the CARES reunion on April 10 in Bettendorf.  Sarah and Megan said they sent out about 70 invitations to those who lived withing 250 miles of the QCA.


This is the graduating class for the class of March 25, 2011.

Training is offically over!

Today started out with us getting our temporary ownership papers and associated paperwork.  We are supposed to get Kade to our Vet soon to get him familiar with him and to get all his current vaccinations on file. As part of the ownership agreement with CARES, we are supposed to have Kade to the vet every 6 months for a check-up.  Considering our investment, this is really not a bad idea.  We have also been encouraged to get pet medical insurance.
We then spent a lot of time talking about the laws associated with service dogs and therapy dogs.  Kade is officially a service dog and has legal access to any public place.  We have a lot of work to do to gather all the laws for Iowa and make sure we have the appropriate codes on hand to present if someone tries to deny us access.
After talking through this, Sarah and Megan spent some time going over all of our questions or concerns for taking our new pets home. Once all questions were answered, we made the trip to the Brown Grand Theatre to prepare for Graduation this evening.

The Brown Grand Theatre

More photos of the theatre

This theatre was built in 1907.

The Brown Grand Theatre

This is the location of graduation

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Again more hale, this time as we were walking out after supper!  Looking forward to heading home, except for the projected flooding in the QCA along the Mississippi!

Afternoon at the mall getting tested

After our visit to the correctional facility and lunch, the class met at the mall in Salina for their final test in public. The students had to show control of their dogs while in and out stores. Once everyone was done shopping they had to demonstrate down and stay. Once the dogs were in position, the students had to walk out of sight. Alex and I were gone for more than 10 minutes and Kade did not move. After the dogs were given a release command, they were able to move.
Next the dogs and students were lined up and the dogs were again given a down and stay command. This time Megan walked over the dogs while bouncing a ball to ensure the dogs would stay despite distractions. When Meegan was done, the students released and called each of their dogs across an isle.
Everyone was amazed at how much control they had of their dogs after a few days!!


Exciting news about Graduation

We were told yesterday that the woman who donated Kade and his brothers is planning on attending the graduation.  We are looking forward to this and hopefully she is happy with the way her dogs are being used.  Camo is going to primarily be used at a retirement home South of KC and Coleman is a mobility dog for a young woman in North Carolina that is in a wheelchair.  We are amazed at how different the three Standards have been assigned and will be working.

Today we meet some of the trainers

We leave for Ellsworth Correctional Facility (Yes, a prison) to meet some of the inmates who trained some of the dogs.  Kade and his Band-of-Brothers were all trained at Ellsworth during their first year.  We were told that the inmates  keep the dogs 24/7 for 3-4 months to potty train them and to teach them the basics.  Occasionally the inmates will teach some of the dogs funny and useless tricks, but we were told that none in this group were exposed to this.
After the prison, we will travel back towards Concordia and make a stop on Salina to eat lunch and visit a mall.  I know it may sound like this is all fun and games, but every minute in and out of the classroom with the instructors is training and/or the owners of the dogs are getting graded.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Brotherhood!

Kade has two brothers in class with him.  The three Standard Poodles were doanted by a widow in her husbands honor.  The gentleman was an outdoorsman and the dogs all have (had) outdoor names:  Coleman (lanterns), Camo(uflage), and Wade(rs).  If you have kept up with the blog, you have seen that we changed Wade's name to help Alex with commands.  Here is the Brotherhood - Coleman, Kade, and Camo.

At Head Start preschool in Concordia, KS

All the wonderful kids at the daycare.

Alex's class is going to be highlighted in the local paper!

CARES is being highlighted in the local paper because this class is graduating  their 1000th dog!!  This shows the greatness of this program.  Here is a class photo taken at the preschool.
We are supposed to get a copy before we go home.

Daycare visit after lunch

After a little more practice in the armory, the group will be heading to a daycare to practice handling our dogs in public.
Alex is having an off day after having a rough nights sleep.

More skills training

Much of today is to reinforce the basics of heal, sit, stay and come. Alex's soft voice is making it difficult for Kade, but they are bonding more and more.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Got to love Kansas!

Marble size hale!

Out on the town

This afternoon we took our first trip out on the town with Kade. We visited a nursing home and visited with the residents. Then we went to Walmart and bought Kade a new toy.
Alex did a great job and continues to get better at being the "Boss".

Alex and Kade are starting to bond

It is taking some effort to get Alex to talk with a stern voice, but we are seeing progress.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Resting after a long day

We are all heading to bed early since we had a long day and did not get much sleep last night.  Even Kade is tired!

Name change to help Alex

Jen requested to change Wade's name since with Alex's speech Wade and "wait" (a common command word) sounded the same. As a result of the request, Alex's dog is now named Kade.

Finally settled down

Resting after lunch

Let the training begin

Alex's first time with Kade.  Mom and Dad are helping out when possible so Alex can better understand some of the commands.

Alex just got his new dog.

Here is Kade!

Welcome from across our wonderful Nation!

As we prepare for class to start, many people in class stated where they are from. Their are people from Iowa, Kansas, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Jersey, Texas, and Wyoming.


Alex did not sleep well last night and was up early because he was "SO EXCITED TO GET MY NEW DOG". The hotel we are staying at is very close to the training facility and we have met a few families that are also in town for training with their new dogs.
A family member emailed me this morning and told me that something  was said about CARES in Concordia, KS last night on the 10:00 PM news on KWQC.  For those who may have seen this, we are at the same facility.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Training facility

We meet at the Kansas National Guard Armory at 10:00 AM on Monday. When we leave there on Monday, Alex's new dog will be part of our family.

Finally made it!

After 9 hours on the road, we made it to Concordia, KS. On our trip down while at a gas station in Nebraska, we met another group from Bettendorf on their way to get a dog also!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011