RJ had a lot of training this weekend!

Meet RJ! I had the amazing pleasure of tagging along and shooting some photos of RJ and his type 1 person Lori this weekend. R.J. is going home with Lori today, another AMAZING Canine Hope DAD! R.J. is another puppy that I have had the pleasure of seeing raised from the very early stages of training to being placed with his family. And now, one of my FAVORITE things to do is to go and snap some pics of the new team on their going home weekend.

R.J. and Lori

A small group of us headed over to the LA Arboretum for some training and pictures. Are you sensing a pattern here? 🙂 And by small group, I mean 9 dogs. Glory, the newest Canine Hope-ful was in a carrier.

It’s not often the black dogs outnumber the yellows. L-R RJ, Jedi, Noah, Able, Ranger, Major & Raven
Glory! How cute is she?!?

We also had the pleasure of meeting the Colosi family, out here from Florida for training, and their type 1 son Joey, who is Stella’s age. They are working with Ranger, who will hopefully be placed with them this summer.

Joey and Ranger

The weather at the Arboretum was perfect. And spring is in the air! The cherry blossoms and Magnolias are blooming and then of course, is the peacocks…

It is always an exciting day when your DAD is finally going home with you. These dogs have so much effort and time put into them, and by so many people. Each dog has a puppy raiser/trainer that spends a majority of time with them for their first year (all though they do go to different trainers for specific work like real time scent training with an actual diabetic or fetch/hold) and RJ spent most of his time with Stefanie. She was on hand all weekend. The work that Crystal and her trainers and puppy raisers do is incredible. They share their lives, their families, their outings, and their homes with these dogs, knowing at some point they will have to say goodbye. Obviously, these dogs are being raised for an amazing, life saving job, so the work is absolutely worth it, but I’d imagine (I know how attached I’d get) that it still is hard.

Stefanie (with her current DAD in training, Able) and Lori with RJ

Stefanie isn’t real happy in front of the camera, but I’m willing to take a little heat. I love this picture of her with Able and our very own Raven and Major.

And of course, Stella and I were there with our pups. I try never to miss an opportunity to bring them out and have Stella work with them. This session was different then most, as it was a small group, so it was a little more laid back and conversational. They had a pretty intense training session the day before, and we were heading off with a huge group the next day, so this was a nice easy day.

On these training sessions, Crystal has already given instructions (the days and weeks before) and gets to observe the team in real situations, and make tweaks, or suggestions, or reinforce proper handling. These dogs have all got it, it’s us, the people that need the most training.

Crystal and her daughter

The emphasis for me was to capture R.J. on his going home weekend. The great thing about the Arboretum, is everywhere you turn, there is another gorgeous setting

This is the face of type 1 diabetes

And of course we had some fun with the dogs too… our homage tho the Beatles

And the pups in the rose garden

Then it was time to pack up and say goodbye. We are so happy that RJ is heading off to be with his person! Congrats you 2! Looking forward to watching you 2 get stronger and stronger!

Team Blackdogsrule

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