This blog is about half-brothers, Titan and Max. Titan was born on September 14, 2000 to Whistler and Jackson. He was one of five in Whistler’s first litter. Titan is Whistler’s first Leader Dog graduate followed by his brother, Dustin, who lives with his partner in Mexico. Sister, Morgan was pulled as a breeder and has had two or three litters for Leader Dogs. Jacob and Genna live the life of luxury as faithful pets. Max came along two litters later on December 27, 2002 with Drummer as daddy. Mary and Mark Woloweic host Whistler as breeding stock for Leader Dogs. Max’s litter, known as the Christmas litter, gave Leader Dogs nine great puppies. Eight are Leader Dog graduates while Austin, who had cancer at an early age, is companion to a little boy in Michigan. Mary left voice mails of the Christmas litter whining for Whistler to feed them. It is awesome having a sound byte of Max as a puppy.
Titan lived with puppy raisers, Diane and Jim Prieskorn with Jason and Laurie in Livonia, Michigan until he entered the Leader Dog program on October 4, 2001. He was quickly picked up by trainer, Sue Horne, and matched with me on February 13, 2002. Titan was named by Jason after the ‘Remember the Titans’ movie. Diane and family usually raised German Shepherds; but Jason had requested a Golden Retriever so he could assist in his raising before completing high school. Titan is a vocal Golden Retriever speaking the woo woo language and carrying woobies (toys) around in his mouth.
Max spent his first year with experienced puppy raisers, Dave and Lori Johnson, in Blair, Nebraska where Dave has operated a veterinary clinic there for twenty-five years. Max is named after Dave’s mother, Maxine, who had always supported him in his veterinary career. Max entered the Leader Dog program on March 4, 2004 where he was picked up by trainer, Art Fleming for formal dog guide training. Max was issued to Wil on July 7, 2004. Dave and Lori taught Max to ‘smile’. He actually pulls his lips back, wrinkles up his nose, and shows his teeth on command. All dog lovers recognize his smile while non-animal people think he looks mean. Wil and I enjoy the different reactions to Max’s smile.
Max and Titan met for the first time on July 17, 2004 while Wil was still in training at Leader Dogs for the Blind. In Rochester, Michigan. Since e arrived home on July 29th, Max has fit into our household as if he had been here forever. He and Titan love each other and get along extremely well. I feel sure that it is a rarity to have sibling dog guides in the same household. We know that we are truly blessed with two Whistler babies in our lives.