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A Hero’s Journey – Following the F Litter

By March 9, 2023March 10th, 2023No Comments

It takes a village to raise a puppy, and nothing illustrates that better than mapping out the journeys of our “F” litter! It all started with their breeder caretaker, Cat, who helped DBL Breeder dog Pepper give birth to a beautiful litter of puppies. At 8 weeks, the puppies transitioned to their puppy raiser homes, where they learned the basics – and got exposed to all kinds of things that will help them in their future Assistance Dog careers.

These puppies were born with big dreams of changing lives. Where are they now? Follow along their journey below!

Meet the F Litter

Freya (f)

Entered training on our West campus in July and was recently placed in NY as a Certified Hearing Assistance Dog.

From raiser Tammy: “Freya came to our family at 7 months and was a very sweet girl who was a little bit afraid of the world at first.  She quickly came out of her shell and was amazing at just chilling in public.  She was a Daddy’s girl and won the hearts of all the people she met, even a few that didn’t really like dogs.  I had a few friends threaten to steal her so I couldn’t turn her back in for training. The three things she was the best at during her time with me was settling, side, and come.”

Felix (m)

Entered formal training at our West campus in June and passed his certification as a Certified Hearing Dog in December.

From Raiser, Ra: “Felix was a very happy, lovable and energetic puppy. He was very playful and full of energy and very engaging. He also was calm and restful when not in engaged with others or involved in an activity. Felix was a quick learner and very easy to work with.  He adapts well to different situations or people. He has been exposed to multitude of experiences. His favorite toys were sticks, although he does enjoy a ug rope as well.  His favorite treat was boiled chicken. His nicknames included Felle, Fella, and Felli boy.

Fern (f)

Entered professional training on our West campus and recently was placed as a Certified Hearing Dog.  

From Puppy Program Manager, Hannah, “Fern had two puppy raisers, Nina J. and Donna B. After being raised for a year, Fern entered training. She worked diligently with her trainer for 6 months before becoming a Certified Hearing Assistance Dog. She was recently placed with her client and has made a world of difference to her new handler!”

Fable (f)

Career changed due to medical reasons, and adopted into a loving home.

From Puppy Program Manager, Hannah, “She is now living the life as a well-cared for pet dog. Her adoptive family had an older Labrador named Diesl who she absolutely adores. When she isn’t trying to encourage him to play with her, she can be found cuddling and snoring (loudly) next to him.”

Flora (f)

Transferred to Joys of Living in Salem, Oregon.

From Puppy Program Manager Hannah, “Flora was doing so well in training that she was actually being considered for breeding until she suffered an injury and had to discontinue the program. Flora is now living the happy life as a pet dog in a home that loves and cares for her deeply.”

Falkor (m)

Career changed at a young age, adopted by a loving family in Oregon.

Frosty (f)

Frosty has completed all her medical clearances and is our first official breeder dog on the Northeast!

From her trainer, Emilia: “Frosty has always been a willing worker, on top of many other positive attributes, which makes us very excited to see the future assistance dogs we continue to raise and train in the Northeast. Frosty will be placed with one of our volunteer Breeder Caretakers soon.”

Finnick (m)

Entered training at our Northeast campus in July and is working hard in his training to become a Hearing Assistance dog.

From his trainer, Emilia: “He is a very eager worker who loves his training sessions.  Finnick loves settling with a Nylabone or running around with his other dog friends in training. He is a big cuddly love who amazes me every day with how quickly and willing he is to pick up new tasks.”

Fiona (f)

Entered formal training at our Northeast campus in July, but decided it wasn’t her thing. She was career-changed and adopted into a loving home last fall.

From her trainer, Emilia: “Fiona is an affectionate dog who loved playing with her siblings and was always down for a game of fetch while she was at our Northeast campus for 3 months. Ultimately, we decided she was more fit as a pet dog due to her lack of interest in her professional training.”


Pepper retired as a Breeder Dog in 2022 after her third litter for Dogs for Better Lives. She continues to live with Cat, her Breeder Caretaker, and enjoys her life as a pet dog.

From Cat, “If I had to describe the F litter puppies in one word, it would be ‘purposeful.’

I love to look back at pictures of their birth and watching them grow into their own precious little personalities. Some were definitely naughtier than others. For example, the “Terror Twins” Freya and Fern, who both have grown into incredible service dogs.

They are all very confident, including our little 10 oz runt, Falkor, now Buddy. Frosty, Fiona and Flora played so well together and each had similar personalities to their sweet mama. Finnick and Felix were our handsome boys and seemed to always be in everyone’s photos. Fable was always the crowd favorite with her outgoing personality and eagerness to always being in someone’s lap giving kisses.

I miss them all so very much, but I am so happy for them to lead such incredible, purposeful lives. And I am honored to be a part of their journey.”


Would you like to play a role in a future Service Dog’s journey? Become a Puppy Raiser! Our Puppy Raiser program brings people of all ages together, creating a community of caring and hardworking puppy raisers. We look for potential puppy raisers who are willing to dedicate their time to help us build a solid foundation for these future Assistance Dogs. Learn more and apply: dogsforbetterlives.org/get-involved.

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