- Name: Calvin Leon Graham – “Calvin”
- Breed/Color/Sex: Labrador retriever, yellow, M
- DOB: December 31, 2012
- Current Status: Therapy Dog
- Donor: Milltowne Labrador Retrievers (Mario Cilia & Betty Dust)
- Puppy Raiser: Christen W. & Brendan B.
- Puppy Sponsor:
- Puppy Scholarship: John Prusak
I started the month with my visit to the USO at Walter Reed. It was so much fun because my friend Radar met me there! I was so surprised to see him and happy to have a buddy help me greet everyone. While we were visiting with everyone another dog came in wearing a vest that matched what many of the humans there wear, and a pink necklace too! She was VERY pretty! Christen started to get quietly excited! She said “That’s Bobbie!” She seemed to be as excited about meeting her as I am about eating peanut butter and chicken. I have never heard about Bobbie before so I was surprised she knew about her. Then, Bobbie and her human came over to us and said hi.
Bobbie told me that she works at the Walter Reed Hospital as a therapy dog. I told her that’s what I want to do someday! She told me if I work hard one day I will be able to visit there too! Now I know why Christen was so happy to see Bobbie and her human. I sure hope I will get to meet more Walter Reed therapy dogs!
Valentine’s Day was fun! I took some photos wearing a red tie and surrounded by red hearts so I could send a photo to my girlfriend! I got a new toy that Christen calls “mustache” and every time I hold it in my mouth she laughs a lot. I’m not sure what the big deal is, but it sure is fun to play fetch with. I also got a heart shaped cake with peanut butter and pumpkin icing! It was so yummy!
It snowed again! I’m not complaining because I’m a Labrador and I love snow! I love to dig in the snow, I love to catch the snow, and I love to play fetch in the snow! Snow is so awesome! Brendan and I built a snowman together! I even wore the humans' silly hat that I think would have made a good toy. After running around in all that snow, boy was I tired. I love to come inside and snuggle with Christen and Brendan by the fire. Nice and cozy!
Our first therapy dog class this month was productive! We worked on practicing for the Canine Good Citizen test. We practiced walking by another dog and ignoring them, sitting nicely while being petted, and staying in place when our human leaves the room for a while. We even practiced putting our heads on people’s laps, but I’m a pro at that!
Christen worked a lot with me on “Hold” this month. I am proud to say I cannot only hold my Nylabone in my mouth without munching on it, but I can now hold keys in my mouth without chewing them! This is a really big accomplishment for me as I have a really hard time not chewing things in my mouth. I have also been practicing putting the recycling in the bin as well as carrying my bag of food into the food room, or as the humans call it, “the kitchen” when it’s time for my meals.
My second USO visit this month was very special because we got to bring Jeremiah with us! I am proud to report he did a great job! We got along great and we made so many people smile. There were three of us Hero Dogs that day; Radar the therapy dog, Jeremiah the newest service dog in training, and myself. Jeremiah made a great first impression! A human with a uniform let Jeremiah wear his hat! Everyone laughed and said he looked very cute! When I was working on my commands Jeremiah wanted to try too! When I would “Sit” he would too! He is a very smart little puppy and he already knows to “Get Busy” outside, which seemed to impress all the humans that visited with him. Everyone wanted to take pictures with Jeremiah and he did a great job spreading the word about Hero Dogs! At the end of our visit at the USO, Jeremiah couldn’t stay awake and neither could I! In the car we both took a nap until we dropped Jeremiah off. That was so much fun. We have to bring a puppy with us again soon!
The second therapy dog class this month was great! I already know “Hup” to jump up on something or over something, but this time I “Hup” over a bar. I learned “Crawl” where I do “Under” for a long distance and I learned “Around” where I have to walk around an object like a chair or a laundry basket. We also learned “Spin” where I run really fast in a tight circle and “Weave” where I make a figure eight between a person’s legs. I have worked the most on this last trick we learned called “Say Your Prayers” where I sit, put my paws on a chair, and put my head down on the chair too. I haven’t perfected it quite yet, but after a week I think I have the basic idea and I just need to work on my form.
Although I don’t mind the snow my humans tell me it’s time for spring! That’s fine with me because I love every season. I’m looking forward to longer walks and green grass!