Dorian's Statistics:

Male black Lab
DOB: Jan. 7, 2012
Litter:  Maggie x Bob; 11 puppies; black or black and tan
Tattoo: 7B12

Puppy Raiser:  Jenny Cole, received @ 15 weeks
Origin of his name:  Named for Marine staff sergeant Dorian Gardner, who was wounded in Afghanistan, October, 2010.

IFT:  April 20, 2013 @ 15.5 months. 

Dorian is our 7th guide puppy. I picked him up from Southeastern Guide Dog School on the same morning that CeCe went IFT (In For Training) after I told CeCe good-bye. With gangly legs and an open, inquisitive face, Dorian was an "older" puppy weighing in at a hefty 29 pounds. I chose him because his father, Bob, was also the father of our 5th puppy Emmy, who was so special and sweet. 

Dorian's litter at the guide dog school, with mother Maggie. Several of Dorian's mates are brown and tan. Wonder which is little D?

Early Stormy Days 
We drove home to Virginia, a 14-hour drive, just the two of us. He did not like his crate and let me know it! Getting home very very late that night, there was a storm raging outside. Next morning Dorian and I awoke to a horrendous crash that shook the whole house. A large oak tree had fallen just outside my bedroom, taking out the power line plus a large corner of my fenced yard (lucky it hadn't hit the house!).

Dorian hanging over part of the downed oak tree that fell the first morning at his new home.

No power, no water, no heat, no lights, no fenced yard, rain....and a brand-new puppy! Oh, fun! As it turned out the power was out most of the day and through the next night (this was a regional problem affecting a huge area). That night I sat on a blanket on the floor, reading to little Dorian out of a book with a flashlight. It was rather cozy and Dorian enjoyed the snuggle. Our first day together, what else do you do? A rather auspicious beginning for the two of us!

Young Dorian on his tie-down under the kitchen table. This is where he spent much of his early days until he earned the privilege for more freedom in the house.

Because Dorian was an older, active puppy from his first day with me, I decided his whereabouts in the house needed to be monitored closely...He dreaded his crate so I tried to make it his "Happy Place", by giving him all his meals and treats inside. But for the most part, little Dorian spent the lion's share of his time on a tie-down, anchored to the kitchen table leg, ensconced with his blankie and some puppy toys. There I could keep close tabs on the little guy while I slowly taught him the time-honored dog rules of our home. Incrementally over the days and weeks, I allowed him more freedom and the ability to roam. But he had to earn my trust.

Dorian often has an open, inquisitive expression. He's a smart little fellow and loves to learn.

Back at Southeastern Guide Dogs in Florida, 1 year later......

Dorian (left) and brother/room mate Holden (right) at the Receiving Kennel, April, 2013.
Watch out, trainers! :)

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