In all seriousness, where does the time go?! January marks 16 months that I have been living with Becca while she teaches me all the important things that go into becoming a Veteran’s future service dog. 🙂
We both know that soon I will be moving into the kennel for advanced training… or as we like to call it, college. That being said, we continue to make the most of our time together, strengthen my skills, and continue to go out and about in public, exposing me to many places, noises, and people. Of course we practice skills at home… but it’s not all work, though, because we also play, cuddle, and occasionally goof off.
I hope everyone has had a wonderful start to the New Year like I have, which included spending some of my weekends on the NCR trail. In case y’all don’t know, it is a rail trail that is no longer in use where the Northern Central Railway once operated! It goes for many, many miles, but it’s too long to walk the whole thing. We walk a couple of miles. When we go on the weekends and it’s nice out, I get to see lots of adults, children, other dogs, scenery, and plenty of bicycles. My favorite thing, of course, is saying hi to other friendly dogs and sniffing everything I possibly can!
January also meant we had another Quarterly Meeting at Hero Dogs, which is a blast because I get to see all my four-legged friends and all the HD staff who I just love. I hear people talking about important things, but honestly I tune the humans out – it’s so much more fun to try and crawl to my friends to say hello, chew on a bone, or sneak in a few licks when someone comes by me. Although it’s not all just about the humans – we also take breaks for the dogs to do fun things like work on skills. It’s kind of like what Becca says about her preschool students – they can only sit for so long before they need to get up and moving!
After the meeting we had to switch dogs for “The Great Puppy Swap”! I went to stay with HD Louie’s puppy raisers for the week, and HD Scruggs came to live with Becca. HD Louie’s puppy raisers gave me lots of love, took me on long walks, exposed me to some new things, and said they really enjoyed having me… I think it’s because Louie and I have the same dad, so they still had a pup in the same family. 🙂 The swaps are always fun to have new experiences out and about, and live with other wonderful people for the week – I hear the humans also think it’s fun to have a totally different dog for a week! As long as I get food, exercise, and lots of love, I am happy to stay with anyone.:)
The snow was so deep that Becca shoveled me a “potty area” at the bottom of the deck stairs, but since I have learned to “get busy” anywhere when I hear those words, I had no problems going any place there was snow. In the backyard I even made myself a series of intersecting pathways and along the fence line because it was a lot of work getting through all that snow! That way, running and playing was much easier when I had a way to move in all different directions that wasn’t covered in 30 inches of snow.
Due to the fact that we were snowed in the house for so long, it gave Becca and I plenty of time to work on my training. She even put together a video of a few things we did. 🙂 When the snow was too high to drive somewhere or even go for walks, we got my energy out by playing in snow and working inside. I was fine with that, because it meant all my favorite people were stuck in the house together – and I still managed to stay busy!
Finally, after several days, when the roads were clear enough to drive on, I went to the indoor pool with HD Grete, SD Chloe, and their humans, which was a blast! We all had a little bit of cabin fever, so it was nice to get out and be with friends! Swimming, as everyone knows, is something I cannot get enough of. Now, the bath I get after swimming in the pool… well, I could do without that. I try to make Becca feel bad and I sulk the whole time. 🙂 I tolerate it because of the treats that come my way!
At the end of the month I went to Athens Health Club in Sykesville with HD Boomer, HD Louie, and HD’s deputy director, Barbara, for a USA powerlifting competition that was raising money for Hero Dogs. No, we did not get to do any weight lifting. Instead, we were moral support for the men who were lifting hundreds of pounds! It seemed like everybody was so happy that we were able to come and show our support.:)
Well, I’m off to find something to keep me busy… I will be sure to check in next month for all my trusty followers!