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!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Senior Pics (round one)

A few weeks ago I had my first senior photo session, and (of course) I brought Sawyer along for the fun. Sawyer loves cameras, and he did pretty well considering he is still a puppy. Here's a sample of the pictures:

Favorite for sure :)

It's hard to believe, but he definitely looks bigger now than when these were taken. I can't believe how fast he's growing!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Fraidy cat, er... dog

In my last post about Lola's visit I eluded to the fact that Sawyer seems to be afraid of the pool. A few weeks ago my dad and I decided it would be lots of fun to take the puppy for a swim. However, thirty minutes into the swim lesson I found myself still perched on the bottom step, my hand full of partially soggy treats, with Sawyer barely placing his two front feet onto the first step. Even my Dad gave it a shot, having no more success. We've decided that the steps are the problem; it would be much easier for him to wade into the water on a beach. But until we can find a beach that allows dogs, Sawyer is definitely not a water dog. (We may have to make a trip out to Hudson for a playdate with Rugby and Benny so that they can show him what swimming's all about)

Saturday, July 11, 2009


This is long overdue, but a few weeks ago Lola came to our house for the weekend and I FINALLY got the pictures on my computer!

Sawyer loved having a playmate, and Lola was hesitant at first, but soon enough she was just as eager to play.

They definitely tired each other out, which was a huge plus, (tired puppies are well behaved puppies!)

We had some pool time...

Which Lola was cautious about at first...

But quickly learned to love :)

Sawyer on the other hand wouldn't go near the water, (I think we finally found what he's afraid of-but more on that later)

By the end of Lola's visit, the two were best friends :)

Sawyer was definitely sad when she had to go home.

Monday, June 22, 2009

A Trip to the Farm

A few weeks ago Sawyer got to visit some horses! A couple of my dad's employees have their own horses and we thought it would be a great experience for him to meet them. He wasn't particularly spooked by the large creatures, (though when is Sawyer ever really spooked by anything?) and my dad got some good pictures:

Monday, June 1, 2009

Vacations Galore!

As I'm sure you've all noticed I've been pretty lax on the blogging lately. Well, luckily I have a good excuse: I got to spend two weeks in Panama on a school biology trip! Not only that, but my parents got to go to New York for my brother's graduation, and Sawyer got to spend a few days with another Helping Paws family. My trip to Panama was incredible to say the least, but the one thing I missed most was definitely the puppy waiting for me at home, (sorry Mom and Dad). I thought about him pretty much constantly and finally emailed my parents asking for an updated picture of him. Now, I knew that he would be growing a lot while I was gone, but imagine my surprise when the last memory I had of Sawyer was this:

And the picture I got from my parents was this:

Luckily, when I got home I discovered that he definitely learned a lot while he was growing, and for that I'm thankful! I promise more updates soon, including some pictures of Sawyer's first encounter with horses!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

What Does He Do?

Whenever I tell someone that I've just started training a service dog, the first I always hear in response is, "Oh wow! That's so cool!" Followed quickly by, "So, as a service dog, what does he know how to do?" At this point in the conversation I'm always a little embarrassed and respond a bit sheepishly that Sawyer's still a puppy, so we're really just trying to teach him some good manners right now. Once they've heard that my dog can't really do anything extraordinary (yet, that is) they tend to lose interest.

However, I started thinking about this recently and I realized that even though Sawyer doesn't know how to answer the door for me or get me a coke, he's doing some pretty cool things already. Taking account of the fact that he's only about three months old, it's pretty great that he already will watch me like there's no tomorrow, sit on cue and come when called (in a fairly distraction-less area anyway). In addition, he's just recently perfected putting on his service dog pack when it's held out to him, going into the kennel on his own and, on occasion, stick his nose into his gentle leader.

These things might not seem like much on paper, but I would venture to say that Sawyer's already a lot better trained than some of the full-grown dogs I know. This has truly made me appreciate the Helping Paws program, because not only am I training Sawyer, they're training me to be a good dog owner. And that's something that I'll take with me for the rest of my life!

Photo taken by Kristin Schaack

Monday, April 27, 2009

Where in The World is Sawyer?

I realized that I've been sorely lacking in the pictures department, so I figured it was about time I put some new ones up! After all, the best part about a puppy is the fact that it's so darn cute, right? Anyway, one of the things that Helping Paws focuses on is getting the puppies used to lots of sights, sounds, smells, etc. And while Sawyer is still too young to be taken anywhere pet dogs aren't allowed, he has definitely found lots of places to explore.

He's explored the snow...

Made a few trips to the vet clinic, (it helps when your dad is a vet)...

Reached new heights...

Discovered the bathtub...

Tried to help out with chores...

Gone to prom, (or at least the pictures beforehand)...

And he always makes himself feel welcome wherever he goes!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Where Has The Time Gone?

The time with Sawyer here has really flown by. For me personally, I've been so busy with school, friends and a new puppy that I feel I've barely had time to breathe, but it's been a lot of fun so far. He's learned a lot very quickly, for instance he will consistently hold eye contact with me for 8-10 seconds, he's already learning to walk on a loose leash and he's gotten a lot better at responding to his name (unless of course there's a really interesting smell on the ground in front of him). However, I think my parents would agree that the greatest improvements have been in his bladder control. While he's definitely not potty trained yet, this past week there have been a few instances when he went to the door when he had to go out instead of spontaneously leaving presents for us on the floor. It still is nowhere near perfect, but he's definitely making strides in the right direction.

ps - I know I've been lacking in the picture department, so I'll try to get some up this weekend.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Back to the Daily Grind

This past week we've definitely gotten into a routine with Sawyer. His day generally starts around 5am when my dad gets up and takes him out, plays with him, trains etc. before he leaves for work. Then, I get up at 7 and entertain him until I leave for school. He spends his mornings at home with my mom and his afternoons with my dad. When I come home from school I try to get my homework done as quickly as possible in order to spend time with him in the evenings. And, finally, he usually goes to sleep for the night around 10:30. Luckily, Sawyer makes sure that this routine never gets old. He's always finding some way to amuse, (or frustrate) us. Stay tuned for the next post, titled "Sawyer the Gymnast Puppy."

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Yay For Sleeping!

Big news: Sawyer officially knows what it means to sleep through the night! Of course, it's an easier concept for him to understand than to carry out, but he's doing rather well, (or at least so I'm told by my parents, I sleep through the night regardless of his barking). Tuesday night was our first success, I don't think he got up until around 4, and this morning he slept until 5! I know this is still pretty early, but it's a big change from his first night here when he was whining every half hour.

Here are some pictures from Sawyer's adventures in the great outdoors!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Tom or James?

Lots of people have commented on Sawyer's name, often making the joke, "Is his first name Tom?" Actually, the inspiration for the name Sawyer came not from Mark Twain's trouble-making young star, Tom, but from the TV show LOST's bad-boy heartthrob, James 'Sawyer' Ford, (although my dad, not a fan of LOST's Sawyer, insists that this is not the case). The name was originally my mom's idea over a year ago, when we first started looking into Helping Paws. The name clicked with me instantly since Sawyer has always been my favorite character on the show, and I had been waiting to get my Sawyer ever since. However, my mom recently commented that our puppy, whoever he's named after, has some remarkable similarities to Tom Sawyer. For instance, we can tell already that he'll be a big, blond boy, and he certainly loves adventure. So what do you think? Do we have a Tom or a James?