Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sawyer Nightingale

It has been a long time since the last post, but better late than never right? This one is written by Ian. I am Somer's dad, and Sawyer's trainer. Somer has been away at college since last fall and Sawyer and I have stayed busy working on preparing him for the next part of his life- that of a companion and service dog for someone. Someone-we don't know who yet-that even now may be dreaming of the day that a dog like Sawyer comes into their life, and from that day both their lives will be forever changed for the better. Training Sawyer has been a labor of love for me and although there were times that it seemed too difficult, or challenging, or frustrating, the look in his eyes as he stares at me with his head resting on my lap and the knowledge of what he will mean for someone that has difficulties and challenges and frustrations that I could never imagine, washes all of my doubts away. It has been a privilege to be part of this grand experiment! But enough about me-on to the star of the blog!

I work as a veterinarian, and Sawyer accompanies me daily. I have noticed recently that he appears to show a great deal of concern and empathy for animals that are not feeling well. It started when I brought home a dog named Ruby after surgery for monitering. Sawyer immediately planted himself next to Ruby's kennel and would not leave her unless I called him away. He stayed that way all weekend, taking breaks but always going back to check.

Then he started doing the same thing at the clinic for the
animals recovering from surgery. Here he is with a
little kitty that just been neutered. As soon as the cat was put on the heating pad, Sawyer went over and sniffed at him, and acted concerned. Then he plopped down and rested by him until the kitty started moving and we moved him into a kennel.

Then this weekend I had to do an emergency surgery on a cat,Cali,that had something stuck in her that needed to be removed. Sawyer stayed in the surgery room while I did the procedure, then took up his position next to her during recovery. He did the same after we went home, actually preferring to stay next to Cali's kennel than spend time with me. When I closed the door to the room she was in because she was starting to be a little unhappy with his presence, he just waited outside the door. When we returned from church, he could not wait to get in the house and check on her.

It seems to me that this concern he has for sick or impaired animals bodes well for his ability to be there and provide comfort for his person, especially if they are hurt or in some other way in need of solace. It comforts me to know what care and concern he will show them. A true canine Florence Nightingale.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Busy Bees

Things have been very busy for the Drummond family this season. I've been busy with school and college applications, and my parents have been busy with the main-floor remodel. Sawyer, of course, has been busy growing and learning and finding new ways to cause trouble.

Luckily for all of us, school is out of session and the remodel is just about done, and we're all ready for a much needed break (except for Sawyer, he'd be content to grow, learn, and cause trouble until the end of time).

Here's a "halfway" picture of the house. Since then we've added counters, kitchen appliances, and some furniture...

Sawyer seems to have adjusted to the new furniture quite well. He's even been able to leave the presents alone!

This Christmas, I'm certainly grateful for this pup!

Thursday, October 15, 2009


On Tuesday my parents and I headed to California to visit colleges. Unfortunately, Sawyer didn't get to come along, but he did get to stay with his twin brother, Dempsey. We all miss him, but were very excited to see him featured on Dempsey's blog! Click here to check it out for yourself!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Bow-Tie Boy!

Ever since school started, both Sawyer and I have been very busy. Since my last post, Sawyer has paid visits to many local video stores, hardware stores, and special events. When it was time for the great Minnesota get together, Sawyer, faithful citizen that he is, did a wonderful State Fair demo of all his skills. He also went to his first Tail Waggin' Dinner (Helping Paws' big annual event).
Most recently, Sawyer accompanied me to many of the 2009 Breck homecoming events. He was blessed at the school's blessing of the animals, and got to see his first soccer game (which he loved, though he couldn't figure out why he wasn't allowed to score any goals). That night, when I was getting ready for the big dance, Sawyer was a little jealous that I got to get all dressed up, so we traded his collar for something a bit fancier.

I think he would have liked to accompany me to the dance itself, (or at least help me eat dinner) but I'm afraid this is as far as he got. He did look rather handsome though!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Blame it on school

As you've probably noticed, with school starting I haven't had time to update the blog for way too long! Sorry to disappoint once again, but I thought this might be a good time to share, (if you haven't seen them already) the blogs of some of Sawyer's littermates! I have links to them on the right-hand side of the page, and recently Boston and Dempsey's blogs, (titled "Boston's Marathon" and "Pawl's Paws") have both had some great class updates. I promise to have a more satisfactory update ready soon, but in the meantime enjoy these other blogs!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Slippin' and Slidin' and Generalizin'

In the last week we began our kitchen remodel-a giant undertaking since it involves tearing up much of the main floor of our house. For Sawyer this primarily means that he's been displaced, since the room with his kennel, toys and food is all part of the remodel. So, last night we had to put his kennel into the next room, and boy did we hear about it. You wouldn't think simply changing the location of a kennel would be such a big deal, but he whined for a good five minutes after being put to bed, and he usually doesn't make a peep. Just goes to show that for dogs, any sort of generalization is difficult; which is why it's so important that as trainers we vary everything surrounding each behavior we teach them, (location, our body language, time of day, etc.) so that they can be successful no matter what the situation.

One bonus of the remodel that my brother and I discovered today is that the floor covering they put over the wood to protect it is extremely slippery. After watching us slide around on it, Sawyer was eager to join in the fun and would happily try to chase us, unable to get a grip on the floor and sliding right past us. This floor situation also made our recalls today a lot more fun:

Saturday, July 18, 2009

40 lbs in 5 months

I keep reiterating the fact that I can't believe how fast Sawyer is growing, and I thought I'd just give a quick visual representation:

The night we got him...

and now.

Time flies when you have a growing puppy in the house!