I just can’t believe that in a month I’ll be going to college to become a Hero Dog! Robin said the other day that she can’t believe it either. I’m now just about 17 months old, so it is time to leave my puppy raiser’s home. I’m excited because with all this nice weather I’ve been going to Jennifer’s field to play with the other Hero Dogs and some of their friends. Some of the dogs are already in college, and some are new puppies who have just been with their raisers for a short time. Some are just like me and are going to be going to college soon. At Jennifer’s, we run and chase each other in the field until we are so tired we have to lay down and rest for a few minutes. Then someone jumps back up and we chase each other again. When I get home from all the playing I just want to take a nap.
I’ve gone to some other places too during the last two months. We went to Brookeville Animal Hospital to visit the animals that they have in the field. I saw a very shaggy pony, some sheep, and a llama. They were interested in us too and came over to the fence to see us. They sure don’t smell like dogs. We also went to a place called IHOP. I went under the table and waited quietly while Robin and Mark ate their breakfast. The waitress didn’t even see me because I was so quiet. She said that she didn’t know I was there. I saw her, though. I watched all those people eating their pancakes. I also went shopping with Robin and Mark at the hardware store. There was not much room in that store for me to walk around. There was stuff everywhere, so I had to be very careful and practice my “follow” and “go through.”
I will be in a parade on May 18th. That will be a very new thing for me. Right after the parade we are going on vacation to the lake. I’ve been to the lake twice since I last wrote in my diary, but that was just for the weekend. I’m very accustomed to the long ride and I don’t make a peep until we get there. This time I’ll be going on some boat rides and probably go swimming. That will be my last vacation at the lake before I go to college. After my vacation, I will be all rested up and ready to see all my friends at Hero Dogs. So many people come and go each day while we are in the kennel that we are never lonely there. I’m going to work hard with the trainers that come each day to teach me and to help me practice my Hero Dog skills. It will be exciting to learn some advanced service dog skills.
I hope that everyone will come and visit me at the Hero Dogs open house on June 15th!
Our Hero Dogs class went on another field trip. I just love going to all these new places with my other classmates. We went to the 4-H club and met all of the people there. I got to practice my friendly greetings with so many different people. We told them all about Hero Dogs and showed them what we can do. I showed them how I shut drawers and cabinet doors. The other Hero Dogs turned on lights and retrieved things.
I also took a trip to Costco, which is a really big store with lots of different smells. I walked all over the store and practiced my “stays” and not sniffing at things that were on the floor. I walked nicely with the shopping cart and stood quietly at the check-out register. I heard people tell their children that they could not pet me because I was a “helper dog.” I think they said that because I looked so professional in my service dog vest.
I also got to spend the night again at the Hero Dogs kennel. I had lots of company there with the other Hero Dogs to play with.
I love the snow and the cold weather. It doesn’t bother me at all. We walk 2 miles almost every day. My puppy raiser worries that I’ll be cold and sometimes puts a coat on me. I don’t mind because I think I look rather handsome in my coat. One day she even put boots on my feet because she was afraid that the salt on the road where we walk would hurt my feet. The boots on my feet made me walk really funny at first but I got used to them very quickly. I’m like that, new and different things don’t bother me at all.
I got to go to the fire house in Rockville for one of our classes. I walked into the ambulance and back out again and all around the big fire trucks. I met a really friendly fire fighter and his co-workers and friends. He put all his firefighting gear on including that funny looking mask that covered his face. I didn’t care at all and just wanted to say hi and get some ear scratches from everyone. I like to go new places and meet new people.
December was a special month because I had my birthday and turned one year old. I got a special birthday cookie to celebrate!
We had lots of company at our house over the holidays. I waited in my crate until it was time to come out and practice saying hello politely to our guests. It is so hard for me to keep my self-control because I love new people and just want to say hello with a lot of gusto.
Before Christmas our class got to go shopping in a clothing store. I walked quietly and carefully down the aisles of clothes. Some children came over to say hello and I practiced “staying” quietly in my down position. Then we got to go to a restaurant and practice our restaurant manners. We even had to ignore French fries that were dropped on the floor. Now that’s a hard thing to do!
I started the month of by going to the ALS Walk with Robin. It was so much fun. I saw so many people, all sizes and shapes. A lot of dogs where there too. Guess what, Keyote was even there and let me take my picture with him. Our Hero Dog class goes to a lot of fun places now. I got to go to the MALL! I went into two different kinds of elevators and up and down some really long steps. Where ever I go people always say I’m so beautiful and well mannered. Robin says I’m still all puppy though. I got to go to Natalie’s house over Thanksgiving. She has two HUGE dogs that I made friends with. I really wanted to make friends with her three cats but they were not so sure about me. Natalie took me to a restaurant too. Then something really special happened. I got to spend the night at the kennel with the other Hero Dogs. I know that someday I’ll stay there longer so that I can learn the special skills that a Hero Dog needs to know. I can’t wait. But, for now I hear we are going to the library this week for our class trip.
October was a fun month for me. I got to go to Carol’s house for 10 days while Robin went away. It is good for me to stay with a new family and learn that the rules are the same at their house and my house. Carol had a nice big beautiful yard with lots of different smells. I think other Hero Dogs had been there before me because I recognized their scent. Robin picked me up and then I went straight to the puppy meeting, where all the puppies and their raisers get together to learn about all of the new things coming up at Hero Dogs. I think Robin’s dog, Buddy, missed me while I was gone because it was really boring for him without me. I picked up a toy as soon as I got home and waved it in his face so that he would play tug with me. Up above is a picture of that, so you can compare to my early ones, to see how much I’ve grown over the last 8 months. Later in the month all the leaves fell off the tree, and I helped Mark rake them all up. Can you find me in the picture? I thought I was invisible.
Thank goodness for September and cooler weather. I really enjoy my daily morning walks since it isn’t so hot anymore. I got to go with Robin to work one day and see all her friends. They can’t believe how much I’ve grown. I get so excited that I jump on every one because I’m so happy to see them and that’s not really allowed. I am trying very hard not to do that and it helps me if people don’t pet me when I’m jumping. It reminds me that I have to keep four feet on the floor.
When Robin does the laundry I like to help her. She didn’t teach me this I just started doing it one day. When she’s ready to take the clothes out of the dryer I reach in and pull them out and hand them to her. She says that helps her a lot.
We got to go to a new place during our weekly class. We went to the Metro. I’d been there before with Robin but this time I learned the right way to go through the gates and how to get on the elevator. I also have learned how to go up one step at a time and do the same coming down. We even practiced getting on the metro train and sitting under the seat so that I’m out of the way. Guess what, I found a pacifier under the seat and I picked it up and gave it to Robin!
I also attended the wine event at Sugar Loaf Winery where I got to meet the brand new Hero Dog puppies Annie and Jack. They are so cute and very tiny compared to me. I can’t believe that I was once that small. I’m sure I’ll have more fun next month. I heard Robin say I’m going to a puppy sitter’s house. I can’t wait to try a new home out for a week.
I had such a fun month in August. It all started with the Hero Dogs golf tournament. I got to go and see all the other Hero Dogs there and ride in the golf carts all over the course. I hope they raised a lot of money because I sure had a lot of fun being there. They even had all the Hero Dogs demonstrate the neat things we can do. I picked up a cell phone and gave it to Robin in front of everyone there. I can do a lot more stuff too but that was all that I did that day. We took another trip to the lake and rode in the pontoon boat again. I get to visit the neighbors there and their little dog Ginger. She’s not fond of other dogs but I think I’m growing on her because I’m very sweet to her so that she’s not scared of me.
The best thing all month was the “cruise in” at the Jimmy Cone in Mt. Airy. I got to ride there in the Corvette! It was a fund raiser for Wounded Warrior so we were there to show our support to that group and introduce ourselves to the people there. They even had a band playing music along with all the neat old cars. I can’t wait to see what new stuff I get to do next month.
I’m seven months old now and really look like an Adult dog, well almost. Robin and Mark went to a wedding so I got to spend some time with a puppy sitter named Jill. We had so much fun at her house because she has another dog, Rosie and lots of dog toys. She took me on long walks and I got to see new places. I continue going to my Hero Dogs classes each week. We practice new things now because I’m getting so grown up. We even had one of our classes at the Safeway parking lot so that I could practice going through automatic doors and walk nicely with a shopping cart. I’ve been learning to walk up and down the stairs one step at a time.
Robin and Mark took me back to the lake with my friend Buddy. We got to go on the boat a lot since that was the only way to keep cool. One day recently Robin took me to the Mall. It was too hot to be outside so it was nice to be inside with the air conditioning. I think a lot of other people had the same idea because there were children running around everywhere at that mall. I rode in an elevator that you could see out of. That was pretty cool. I hear we are going to do more fun stuff next month. I’ll keep you posted!
My mom took me with her when she was working one day and I got to find out that she helps people as well as pups! I met a very nice patient that she helps. We got to sit out on their porch and relax.
We also went back to the lake! It was HOT, but luckily I got to swim around in the lake and feel the air blowing through my fur when we were riding on the boat, so I kept cool.
Hero Dogs threw a big party! There were a ton of people and I got to meet just about every single one. All of my fellow hero dogs were there too, everyone from the oldies, like Lady Liberty, to the little pups like Dolley. I don’t think I was ever that small.
Then my mom and dad went away for a little R&R and actually left me behind! Well, they left we with Bev and Dan, two really nice people who said they would puppy sit me for 10 days. I don’t think I’ve ever been away from Mom for so long. But it was really fun and I had a great time.
My Mom has been taking me around with her to buy things and sometimes it takes forever. She bought a car and a new phone and I figured that we had just found a new place to live because we were there for so long. I mostly just did what Goldens do best – stretch out on the floor in the middle of everything, but there were a lot of people to meet when we were getting the phone. One lady came up and wanted to know all about me and what Hero Dogs was. Most people just wanted to say how adorable I was, which was nice too.