- Name: Hero Dogs C. Alfred “Chief” Anderson – “Chief”
- Breed/Color/Sex: Labrador retriever, black, M
- DOB: August 11, 2014
- Current Status: Therapy Dog
- Donor: Osprey Labradors (Carol Tuthill)
- Puppy Raiser: Jen F.
- Puppy Sponsor: Midwest Benefit Consultants, LLC / Steven Schoenbrun
- Puppy Scholarship: ENC·Strategy
First, the most exciting change in my life is that I am a big brother to a young pup! Jen, Noah, and I fostered, and then adopted, my baby brother Tucker - love him SO much! I am SOOO good with him and am diligent in teaching him my ways; he already knows the commands sit, watch, wait, down, kennel, and settle. Pretty soon I'll teach him an advanced skill or two - can't wait!
Second, the winter holidays were amazing. I celebrated my second Hanukkah with the family. Then I experienced Daddy's first Christmas at home (as opposed to overseas), and we all went to Wilmington, Delaware. There were a total of two babies, five dogs, and eight adults, and I was the most well-behaved dog there!
December was also a month filled with fabulous events. In particular, I went to the Kennedy Center for a musical! I also attended Happy Hours, brunches, a bar for wing night (it was sooooo hard to focus on work with the smell of fresh chicken around me!), and a Brazilian Steak House (this was also a difficult one). Day-to-day activities included multiple meetings, two movies, and visits to an elementary school and a human doctor's office. I also rode the metro again a couple of times!
Since I last wrote, I have mastered quite a few commands: under, leash, heel, side, pull, push, kennel, step, brace, paws-up, look, take-it, hup, and watch. (I've always been strong at all the others - but I'm amazing at these now!)
Speaking of training successes, I am getting very good at touching/pushing the handicap door button - sometimes I miss it when I try, but I'm getting better!
Mommy reminded me to share a funny "Chiefy" story with you. We were walking into our apartment building, where the doorman has a jar of milk bones on the counter. Jen said "paws-up" - but she mumbled the command, so I thought I heard "hup." Next thing you know, I was jumping up and sitting on the front desk of the apartment building… Thank goodness everyone laughed, and Jen quickly said "OFF!" - but it goes to show that I'm really good at "hup" even in strange situations!
So excited to discover what 2016 will bring!
Big and exciting news from me and my family this month! Jen and Noah are officially married! As the best pup, I helped with the last-minute details before they left for their wedding and honeymoon. While they were away, I enjoyed spending time with puppy sitter Elsa B. for a long while, and I loved hanging out with my new dog friend Buddy!
Speaking of wedding details, Dad and I pulled off an awesome surprise. Imagine Mom's delight when I showed up at their wedding, and was able to share part of their special day with them! Thanks so much to Dad and puppy sitter Elsa for arranging this surprise!!
Daily life has been exciting too! I have been attending many meetings, Happy Hours, and MBA classes with Dad. I show off my well-behaved patient side when needed, and then I turn on my charm and excitement when permitted to interact with people, in order to show them how awesome a Hero Dog can be.
My other favorite thing about September was the sports scene. I attended my first University of Maryland football games, and I am officially a Terp fan! (I wear my MD bow tie with pride.) I am also pleased to tell you that I received two - not one, but two! - new footballs as presents for being such an amazing Service Dog in Training. As I've mentioned previously, I love playing football (and fetch in general)!
Later in the month I stayed with James and Jessica B. for a weekend - love them so much! I was very well-behaved and quiet even in situations where other young dogs might be tempted to bark, including meeting their pets again (cats, bunnies, and birds); watching several deer out the window; and spotting neighboring dogs while out for a walk.
I also got to play with the newest Hero Dogs puppy "Bobby" - love welcoming the new HDs! We tumbled, played with toys, and took a quick break to pose for a picture. I think the youngest pups look up to me - not just because I'm taller than them, but also because I'm a fun playmate and because I set a good example when it comes to service dog skills.
Jen and Noah are very proud of me because I am doing EXTREMELY well in my training. I continued to further develop my skills, and at this point, I have mastered quite a few commands. These include brace, wait, sit, down, settle, relax, touch, push, pull, take it, give, heel, side, stand, and paws up. Particularly important this month was my mastery of "heel," "side," and "take it." I am still working on "hold" - but that's something that some of the kennel dogs are still working on, too, so I am ahead of the game!
I'm looking forward to meeting my scholarship company in early October, so that I can show them how well I'm doing! Can't wait!
V/r (Very respectfully),