One day my puppy raisers said they were going to go to Hero Dogs HQ, but they couldn’t take me with them! I was very disappointed of course. They said they were going to learn pet first aid so they would know what to do if I got hurt. They learned a whole bunch of information and I feel safer now that they know what to do in an emergency.
Hero Dogs quarterly meeting was this month! First, we all met at the Hero Dogs field. It was so much fun to run around with all the Hero Dogs! I especially enjoyed playing with Annie… she is so pretty! Then, it started to get dark and we went to Hero Dogs HQ. At the meeting we welcomed all the new humans and puppies and went over very important human information. After all the boring human stuff we worked on “pull” where I tugged on a rope, “take it” where I picked up sneakers or phones and handed them to my puppy raisers, and “go,” which was a new command I learned where I go to a target and bring it back to my puppy raisers.
I went on a big adventure to my first pumpkin patch! I saw big round orange balls everywhere! The humans called them pumpkins. I was told to “leave it,” which was very difficult to do, as they smelled very similar to my breakfast! The long strings on them looked delicious to chew on, but I was told to “leave it” again. I did get to ride in the wheelbarrow though and it was amazing! I even met some scary witches and I pretended to be a human skeleton! I practiced many of my skills and learned so much!
I got to see my girlfriend Ceili for the first time since we graduated from Puppy 2 class. I missed her so much! She is so beautiful… I wonder what she’s doing right now? We chased and played ball until we couldn’t any more! We shared a water bowl… had some laughs… it was really a great first date! – I mean play date! – I mean… uhh… playtime… yeah… I can’t wait to go back and visit!
For one of our Hero Dogs classes we met at a shopping center. It was very distracting! There were a lot of smells and little children I wanted to play with. We practiced “stay,” “wait,” “come,” “under,” “step,” “leave it,” and the most difficult thing was staying in a “sit” when another dog and human came up to me. I love going out with all my Hero Dog buddies and learning new skills!
I’m not sure if I told you, but my fish brother Poncho turned 5 years old this month! I had a great time celebrating with him!
Oh! I almost forgot! The best part of this month was Halloween! My puppy raisers carved my face on a pumpkin and my paw prints on another! I celebrated my first Halloween dressed up as Yoshi. Christen was Mario and Brendan was Luigi! They looked really funny with fur above their lips! I even got a special treat of my favorite pureed pumpkin and frozen peas in the shape of a jack-o’-lantern! I saw all these kids come to the door dressed as other silly characters. It was amazing… I don’t think my tail stopped wagging for a while!
I am now ten months old and 56 lbs! I finally learned “stand” and I am pretty good at “touch-hold,” “say hello,” and “lap.” Happy Autumn!
In Hero Dogs class we had a field trip to what the humans call the grocery store. I learned how to walk behind a shopping cart and how to avoid getting my paws rolled over by learning “back” where I walk backwards. Then we went to the curb and I learned “step” where I go up a step two paws at a time. I had a difficult time going up… I thought the humans wanted me to hop over the curb, but when we did “step” on the way down I started to understand that I have to take it slow down the stairs and not run down them like I normally do.
This month I went to my first fair! I had so much fun! I got to ride a tram from the parking lot and smelled all the air going by! It was very crowded and there were so many yummy things on the ground so I had to “leave it” often. Then I met many animals I had not seen before. There were cows, sheep, goats, pigs, horses, and ducks. I enjoyed my trip so much! Lots of people and children loved asking about my training and me. I was so tired after the fair that I fell asleep right away!
I have been making many trips to the Hero Dogs field for playtime! I love running into everyone there! I love chasing Zephyr, Miri, and Hero Dog Libby. Sometimes I am really lucky and run into Ms. Jo Anne’s Beau, Hero Dog puppy Archie, or Hero Dog Grant and Java.
Towards the end of the month I went on my first puppy vacation at the Dickins family’s house. It was an awesome time! I played with their two big Bernese Mountain dogs Mack and Daisy, although they often seemed to have more fun snuggling and relaxing. Every day when the human boys came home from school they would take me out to play in the fenced backyard and we had so much fun. There were also three cats, but they weren’t that interesting. I had a chance to take it a little easy and not focus too much on my training. It was nice to kick my paws up and see what being a pet dog was like for a week.
After the nice puppy vacation I was happy to see my puppy raisers again and get back to training and going to Hero Dogs classes! At the end of this month I turned 9 months old and I weigh 54.6 lbs.
August has been sooo much fun! I graduated from Junior Hero Dogs Class and I started Big Dog Class with many of the other Hero Dogs. It’s a lot more work, but I love to work! I am getting better at “Stay” and “Place” and I just learned “Say Hello” where I rest my head on someone’s hand. At my first class we learned “Look” and “Watch” where I can look at what I want, but I have to stay focused on my puppy raiser when I am around distractions. I practice “Look” and “Watch” a lot on our daily walks and I think I am getting pretty good at it.
In the beginning of the month I went to my first Hero Dogs Annual Golf Tournament! It was so much fun to ride in the golf carts and see all the other Hero Dogs. I met Hero Dogs Amber for the first time and I met Beau the hearing puppy that will take over when Hope retires to help Ms. JoAnne. I loved watching the humans hit these little white balls. I think they call it ‘Golf.’ I actually love watching it on my puppy raiser’s TV so it was super awesome to see it for real! Towards the end of the day I went into this big room and demonstrated how I can pick up keys and return them to someone who dropped them.
This month has been a great month for all sorts of walks. I’ve explored so many parks, lakes, and rivers! I visited Lake Elkhorn, Centennial Lake, Wilde Lake, and Patapsco State Park. In the state park I walked over a swinging bridge! I was a little unsure when it started bouncing, but my puppy raiser gave me food and assured me that it would be fine! I enjoyed the wonderful views of the water below. We walked for a while and then I went under a big tube with water trickling through it! It was so much fun and I got to play in the water! I also practice “Hup” on rocks and platforms in the parks.
Both of my puppy raisers’ birthdays were this month and I celebrated by writing a poem to them!
I have been making many trips to different places and stores lately (Wal-Mart, Target, Home Depot, the pharmacy, and pet stores). My favorite so far has been Target. While I was walking by, a little girl went over to her mom and said “Mommy, mommy! Look! It’s the Target Dog!” I was so flattered; of course I am not the Target dog, but my red vest and Hero Dogs Logo looks a lot like a target. I felt like a celebrity dog!
Towards the end of the month I went on a road trip to Virginia to “The Dog Days of Summer” at The National Museum of the Marine Corps. I met so many people and I loved showing everyone all the things I can do! I also met Hero Dogs Archie for the first time and he was so playful! Of course my Hero Dogs friends Teddy, Mae, and even Maverick (with his veteran partner Ethel) were there too! I went inside and saw all the awesome displays. I was so tired by the time we got to the place where the humans sat down to eat that I “settled” and went right to sleep on the cool floor.
Oh my! Did you hear? Dog flu has been going around lately, but no Hero Dogs have caught it! Just like people get flu shots so did all of us Hero Dogs! We had an influenza clinic… I mean PARTY and it was so much fun to see everyone! I didn’t mind getting my shot at all! After we were all done with our immunizations we practiced “Leave it” where we had to ignore the human food (egg McMuffin) that was on the ground. It was very tempting, and it smelled McAmazing! But I prefer my food better and I didn’t even try to take a bite!
My first summer is almost over, but I am looking forward to cool walks in the fall! My puppy raisers tell me it will be so much fun! They say there will be lots of pumpkins and I love pumpkin in my Kongs! Until next month!
July has been a big month for me because I have learned sooo much! I celebrated my first Fourth of July playing ball in the backyard and Becca came over to help my puppy raisers learn some new tricks! She taught them “place,” “take it,” and “give.” I am pretty good at all of them now. I love to get things and bring them to people because I get yummy snacks! I can retrieve keys, shoes, TV remotes, cell phones and even my leash!
At Hero Dogs HQ we had my first puppy meeting with my puppy raisers. First we had a romp in Jennifer’s yard and it was sooo much fun. Then we went to Hero Dogs where we sat around for a while and listened to the humans talk. After that we had a great time! I was a team captain and Sammie was the other team captain. We played lots of fun games… like “wear a shirt and pull the laundry basket and pick up the toy and drop it in the basket.” I love getting together with my Hero Dogs family!
I finally finished Puppy 2 this month! At the last class we had puppy Olympics and I won puppy musical chairs! I even got a blue ribbon! That same week I began Junior Hero Dogs classes with Joe puppy and his puppy raisers! We work on Hero Dogs commands and I get lots of individual attention. I love class time with Joe puppy.
We have been making many trips to Wal-Mart, pet stores, parks, and now the hardware store. Everywhere I go people always seem to smile. I love spreading awareness about service dogs and Hero Dogs.
Toward the end of the month I went to my puppy raiser’s friend’s house. There was a fenced in yard where I could run around and an even bigger and deeper water bowl! The humans were calling it a pool. I got to wear a different kind of vest that helped me float! I just loved getting these big foam sticks out of the water and running around! I cannot wait to go back soon… I have dreams about the gigantic beautiful water bowl. I MUST go back and retrieve ALL the foam sticks for the humans.
My puppy raisers are saying I’m a teenager now… I’m not sure what that means but boy do I love the lady Labradors! I am now 7 months old, over 50 lbs and still growing!
My first summer has been great so far! In the beginning of the month we went to Wagging Tail portraits to raise money for Hero Dogs and I got to hang out with all the big dogs! I even got to see my breeders. I was so excited to see them!
The Hero Dogs Open House was a lot of fun as well! I couldn’t play with everyone so that was pretty tough, but I got to do another demonstration where I did “sit,” “down,” and “come.” I saw my breeders again, and met my sponsor’s parents and many other people. I even met Ike and Luke, his veteran partner. Luke was so nice and let me play with Ike even though he is a working dog now.
I just started Puppy 2 class and it is a lot of work! Two of my classmates from Puppy Kindergarten are in my class: Rory and Cailey. We don’t have playtime in Puppy 2, but Christen and Brendan have this thing called a clicker and every time it makes a sound I get food! I have learned “touch” where I poke my nose to their fist and “stay” where I don’t move. I always get so excited to see Tammy the teacher. She smells like delicious chicken, bacon, salmon, hot dogs, and biscuits all at the same time. I think I love her…
I went to this place called the airport for the first time. There were tons of people in long lines and rolling boxes everywhere. I got to “get busy” on this plastic grass and then we waited for Brendan’s cousin to get off this giant human-moving contraption called an airplane. It wasn’t scary at all and I got lots of treats.
I love Dr. Marcie! I have been visiting her almost every week lately and she gives me lots of pets. I have been pretty itchy and she is going to help with that so I don’t have to keep scratching and nibbling so much.
One day Christen and Brendan told me it was the first day of summer and they had a surprise for me. After a long walk on a hot day, we went on the deck and there was a giant water bowl!!! It had my toys in it so I ran right in to get them! It was so much fun!
I love going for car rides! Christen doesn’t even have to ask me to “hup” into the car most of the time. And at night I don’t even need Christen to tell me “kennel” — I just walk right in because I am dog-tired! I am growing sooo much and I now weigh just over 45 lbs! I grew out of my kennel and got a new one! Can you believe it?? I am now 6 months old!?!?
Christen and Brendan have been making sure that I don’t run out of places to visit, people to meet, and things to do!
Annie brought her class to Hero Dogs HQ and it was so much fun! The kids were great and gave me plenty to eat, but I had to work for it of course. Annie, Dolley, Radar, and Gracie did a great job showing how much they have learned!
We went on a trip with Becca, Ethel, and Maverick to the Fort Belvoir USO to meet the troops. When we got there we were told that there was a man waiting to meet us and he petted me a lot! We took a tour of the new facility and met many more people. Maverick even showed me how he pushes the button for this moving box the humans call an elevator, and I learned how to “go through” it. Christen said she was so happy to see all the smiles I brought to everyone’s faces.
A couple days later I went to the Brookeville Animal Hospital Open House and everyone from Hero Dogs was there! I have been there many times for my immunizations, but this was so much fun! There were many people there to meet and I did my first demonstration too!
In between all these exciting events Christen and Brendan took me to Wal-Mart, the local farmer’s market, and the library where I met a giant frog!
I was in my very first parade this month with all the other Hero Dogs: the Laytonsville Parade! I had so much fun seeing new things. I saw a man dressed as a bunny, horses, a marching band, hunting dogs, and clowns. I wasn’t scared at all! While I was walking in the parade I had a difficult time not picking things up on the road and eating them. I tried to pick something up and all the humans from Hero Dogs yelled “leave it!” so I decided to listen.
One morning I was eating breakfast from my Kong and I spit out a little white rock… Christen said it was a tooth. She said I would have to put it under my kennel and the doggy tooth fairy would bring me a present. Well, she was right! I got a brand new bone to chew on!
Then I went on my biggest road trip yet! On Memorial Day weekend I went to Michigan! Twelve hours in the car! I slept most of the way and I “got busy” in lots of new places. Once we got there I met a lot of people, young kids, and two dogs (Maggie the yellow lab and Shelby the golden doodle). While I was there I went into my first restaurant for a birthday celebration, where I met two very special people. Brendan’s Grandfather was celebrating his 90th birthday! He is a WWII and Korean War veteran. He told me lots of stories and thanked Brendan and Christen for bringing me, as he never had a dog in his life and was glad to spend some time with me. Then I met a little girl who was very scared of dogs. Every time I moved or went to smell her she jumped. I knew I could not let her stay so afraid, and with Christen and Brendan’s help I showed her there is no reason to be afraid of dogs. By the time she had to leave she liked me so much that she wanted to train me! Everyone said I was such a great ambassador for all dogs!
Once we got back to Maryland I took a trip to the vet! I am finished with all my shots for a while and I weigh 35 pounds now! I had my last puppy kindergarten class and graduated with flying colors! I have a one-week break and then I start Puppy 2! I am so excited to learn more!
I had a really special day at the end of the month. I met my puppy sponsors. We went with Becca, Grant, and his puppy raiser Jamie to a big building with elevators. Grant gave me a man-to-man talk about how I need to be on my best behavior and impress National Capitol Contracting (NCC). I did great during my demonstration of “sit,” “down,” and “wait.” A nice man handed Becca a piece of paper and she looked very happy. I met a greyhound and lots of people told me how cute I am. I had a great time there and I can’t wait to go back and visit!
Hi! I’m Calvin! So a really cool thing happened on Thursday at Puppy Class! I met my puppy raisers Christen and Brendan! I’ve been with Hero Dogs for a couple weeks now so we started their training right away. I think they are doing a great job so far. I know how to “sit,” “down,” “wait,” “at ease,” “kennel,” and of course my favorite “get busy.”
After class we took a car ride and I totally passed out. When I woke up we went to Petco for some things to keep me occupied. It was very distracting in there, but Christen kept me focused on her with my food and we practiced my commands. The lady at the register even told us an awesome story about her therapy rats. Then we went home, where I was so comfortable that I went right to sleep.
Later that week we went walking around downtown Old Ellicott City. I practiced my commands and it was tough to ignore all the awesome things on the ground. There were lots of people everywhere and many cars zooming by!
Another day we went to what they called “The Snowball Stand,” but I don’t understand why they call it that. There was no snow and there were definitely no tennis balls to retrieve… I am an expert on those! We had a great time and I was really good at leaving all the things on the ground alone.
On Monday we went back to Hero Dogs HQ to get more of my supplies, but mostly I was there to play with Maverick! Everyone keeps telling me I will have an important job to do one day and that I am going to be a big boy. I don’t know what they are talking about, but I hope they mean I get to be just like Maverick!
Calvin Leon Graham- (April 3, 1930–November 6, 1992) was the youngest U.S. serviceman, during World War II. Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, he enlisted in the Navy in May 1942, at the age of 12. He was wounded at the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal, while serving aboard the USS South Dakota. During the battle, he helped in the fire control efforts aboard the South Dakota, but suffered fragmentation wounds in the process. For his actions he was awarded the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart.