The Doni Co-Op – Part 1

Posted July 24, 2019 by growingupguidepup

service dog, service dog law, service dog etiquette, guide dog, puppy in training

We have had the privilege to build a lot of relationships with service dog people on the internet. Growing Up Guide Pup has been a fire starter for new ideas, experimentation and pushing service dog culture for almost a decade. When Colby Morita, the founder of, contacted Matt about donating a puppy to Brigadoon Service Dogs, Matt had to immediately contact Denise and inform her of the unique opportunity at hand. Growing Up Guide Pup and Puppy in Training have similar missions and so we saw this is a special opportunity for all three of our organizations to work together and follow a puppy growing up and developing. It is very unique that a service dog organization would welcome such a progressive idea and this just one more reason why Brigadoon Service Dogs is amazing and has grabbed our heart.
Over the last 17 years we have had a lot of puppies come and go through our home. We have had both service dog puppies in training and we have had rescue puppy fosters. But recently we had a chance to be part of facilitating the transport of a service dog puppy from a AKC breeder/donor to an service dog organization for the first time. We have known Colby from Puppy in Training for a few years and have always respected and supported his work. He recently had a litter of golden retriever puppies and after a talk with Matt, he offered to donate a puppy to Brigadoon Service Dogs. We were super excited to help facilitate this as we watched the recent “D” litter grow and develop on the Puppy in Training social media platforms. We had no idea which puppy was coming, but we knew it was going to be a great puppy.
Last month we were told that the puppies were close to being ready to leave their mom. We needed to figure out how to get the puppy from Southern California up to Bellingham, Washington. We looked at our schedule and decided that it would be best for me to fly down and then fly back to our house, keep the puppy with us for a little bit, and then figure out how to get her to Brigadoon as soon as possible. Matt stayed in the Bay Area. I had a flight to Los Angeles booked first thing in the morning and I made it to the airport with what I thought was plenty of time. But once I checked in for my flight, I noticed that I left my cell phone in the car and I had to go back to the parking garage to get it. Not a huge deal but once I grabbed my phone and went back to get into the security line, I was getting pressed for time. The security line was moving very slow. The x-ray machines that TSA screened people with was down and they stopped people halfway through the line for the detection dog to inspect everyone. We walked two people at a time past the dog and then to a line for the metal detector. The interesting part was that the TSA agents were a little confused why the pet carrier I had was empty. All of this slowed me down enough to miss my flight by 2 minutes. I was worried about getting on another flight that would make it possible for my return flight to be made on time now. With the help of the ticket agent I was put on another flight going into LAX that left only 20 minutes after my original flight, but my original flight was going into Santa Ana Airport. I made the new flight no problem. As soon as I landed I grabbed an Uber to take me to the Santa Ana where I was going to meet Colby and receive the puppy. It was about a 40 minute drive and I got there with enough time to make my original flight home. Phew!
Colby met me at the airport and we had a few minutes to catch up. He told me a little bit about the little female. She was absolutely adorable, and so tiny! I told Colby her name would be Doni. The stipulation was that her name needed to start with the letter “D” since this was Colby’s fourth litter. A week prior we had already discussed naming options with Denise over dinner and she made it clear she didn’t want us to name the pup after her. We all talked and agreed we should name the pup after Donald, the new Brigadoon president. Although she is a female and Donald obviously is not, Doni was a perfect solution. After a quick hello and goodbye, Doni and I were off to tackle through airport security. Little Doni was only 8 weeks old and 8lbs. I felt that the safest way for her to travel was by pet carrier. I was concerned that she would not be accepting of the carrier since she had never been in a bag style carrier before according to Colby. To my surprise she quickly settled in and didn’t make a peep. Once we got to the x-ray machine I removed Doni from the carrier. The “oh my god she is so cute” and “look at that cuteness” comments began. Doni was super calm as I carried her through the metal detector. All the TSA agents wanted to pet her which she was more than happy to allow. Once through security Doni was gently placed back into the carrier and she once again settled right in. Since the gate wasn’t too far away and my flight hadn’t starting boarding yet, I thought I would see if Doni needed to potty one last time. The gate we were at was only about 20 yards away from the pet relief area. Being that Doni was only 8 weeks old and wasn’t fully vaccinated I was a little apprehensive to put her down in the pet area. There was a small patch of fake grass, but plenty of concrete too. I had some potty pads and I was able to lay those down so her feet didn’t actually come into contact with the ground. She quickly peed, which I was ecstatic about! A minute later we were back in the carrier and ready to board our flight.
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Issued By growingupguidepup
Country United States
Categories Business
Last Updated July 24, 2019