I’m really loving this fall weather! Fall means squirrels, cooler weather, leaf piles, squirrels, pumpkins, hiking… and did I mention squirrels?! On my walks, I see lots of squirrels and Margaret has me practice “look” and “watch.” Speaking of walks, it seems like the motto this month is not pulling on the leash and paying close attention to Margaret throughout our entire walk. At first she had to remind me every few steps to “watch,” but now I’m getting the hang of it. Margaret wants me to let everyone know that she is very proud of the improvement I’ve made with walking. I never want to miss anything when we’re walking, but like I said, I’m learning to pay more attention to Margaret. Now every few steps I check in with Margaret. She says this will come in handy when I partner with my veteran!
I was very busy this month with training classes and outings. In class we went to a playground, a hardware store, and even to Ms. Jennifer’s field. At Ms. Jennifer’s field we practiced coming when called with distractions, like yummy smelling treats and seeing all of our dog friends. Margaret says we need to work on this. I still go to many different stores with Margaret to run errands. My favorite store is still the pet store. I have been going there to look at the cats and sometimes I can even smell the cats without getting too silly.
This month I was able to spend five days with Jean and Morgan. Even though I see them in class, I love getting to spend some extra time with them. They took me on long walks and they took me to the agricultural park a few times, where they took me as a puppy. They spilled the beans to Margaret and told her I got a little too excited when I first saw the animals. They took me back another day and I behaved better. Morgan and Jean also took me to Costco, to the Rio a few times, and out to dinner. Since they come to class every week, they know all the skills we practice. We worked on going up and down steps correctly – stopping after each step and bracing, as Morgan would step up or down. Jean and Morgan also helped me master the “paws-up” skill. Now (only when I’m told) I’ll paws-up on a table, chair, wall, and even Margaret’s lap. 🙂
Margaret went to get her flu shot so of course I came along. I’ve never seen so many people make such a fuss over me. When we were in the waiting room, many of the nurses came to visit me. Later, when we were in the exam room, waiting for the shot, I heard some nurses and doctors outside the room talking about how exciting it was that a service dog was in the office. Before we left, I was informed that I was the first service dog in the office – no wonder it was such a big deal for them. Good thing I was on my best behavior!
Another fun outing this month was a pumpkin patch in Germantown. Margaret and I met up with some friends from College Park. I saw lots of farm animals including goats, pigs, and sheep. I went on my first hayride and it was so much fun! We got to sit in a big cart with tons of hay and the cart took us to a field with pumpkins. After everyone picked their pumpkin, we took another hayride back to the festivities.
Later we went out to dinner and then Margaret dropped me off at Jennifer S.’s house for a few hours while she went to Field of Screams. I had such a big day that I took a power nap at Jennifer’s house and then we practiced going up and down stairs. At first I tested my limits and tried to zoom up the stairs. Jennifer would not have any of that, so we walked up and down one step at a time.
At the end of the month there was a Halloween party at Hero Dogs. All of the dogs were dressed up. I dressed up as a racehorse and Margaret was my jockey. If any of you are wondering, the number 38 on my horse blanket represents the number of years that Archibald Henderson served as Commandant of the Marines. Here is a throwback from my Halloween costume last year and then my costume this year!