- Name: Hero Dogs COL Ruby Bradley – “Ruby”
- Breed/Color/Sex: Labrador retriever, black, F
- DOB: June 14, 2014
- Current Status: Hero Dogs Graduate, partnered with Veteran Jeremy L.
- Donor: Wes-Hens Labradors (Rhonda Hensley)
- Puppy Raiser: Rebecca P.
- Puppy Sponsor: Pearson-Rappaport Foundation
- Puppy Scholarship: The Lancelotta Foundation
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When my mom (puppy raiser, Becca) sent me off to K9 college, I thought it was going to be all Pupachinos and pool parties. Boy was I wrong! First thing I had to do was take off my freshman 15. For those who know how much I enjoy all my meals and treats, knows this was a struggle for me. It might have taken a little bit of time, but I finally got my summer body ready.
Not going to lie though I still try to steal treats from whomever is wearing a treat pouch by doing what I refer to as a swan dive, but everyone else says it's more like a dive bomb. Potatoes pototoes, right? Hopefully the Veteran I get paired with doesn't mind a gorgeous, big headed, black lab digging nose deep for every last crumb in the treat pouch!
Jennifer and Becca knows a girl can't be too prepared when it comes to training for the possible needs of my future Veteran. One of the skills I've been working on is alerting for PTSD. Some Veterans tap their foot, shake their leg, or crack their knuckles when they are feeling anxious due to their PTSD. I'm learning to use my nose or paw to get their attention and have them focus on me instead. Who wouldn't want to focus on the most glamorous black lab in the kennel, right?
During my outings, I'm working really hard at staying close to my handler at heel and side. It's really important for me to master this skill especially in places such as the grocery store where there is so many yummy smells and things to eat. As a service dog, my job is to be well behaved while out in public and to assist my Veteran with any task he or she needs. Most of the time my Veteran is just going to need me to stand, sit, or lay by their side as they shop. Whoever said patience is a virtue never had a Labrador Retriever!
I'm happy my mom still loves me no matter what my flaws might be. I always give her my famous wiggle butt whenever I see her! She even bails me out of K-9 College from time to time to go to fun places like the movie theater and the pool with my sister Hero Dogs Clara. We saw the movie "A Dog's Purpose," which is all about dogs! Another fun place my mom took my sister and I was the airport to greet "Operation Welcome Home". It was an amazing socialization opportunity for me and I imagined that one of the service members walking by could be my future Veteran. A girl can dream.
This "smart cookie" has but one wish, to be paired with my forever Veteran soon. Keep your paws crossed my wish comes true soon.
The happiest wiggle butt,