As service dogs we are constantly training – socializing, learning new skills, working to master old skills, attending events, and keeping ourselves busy. When it is summer and the weather is so humid, what better way to combine all these things than a trip to the movie theater! I went with my puppy raiser and her mom to see this movie “Bad Moms” – why Becca would want to see such a thing, I have no clue, because she is a terrific mom! She gives me tons of love, teaches me lots, lets me experience so many exciting things, and always keeps my belly full. 🙂
It must not have been exactly what it sounds like because there was quite a bit of laughter in the movie, but I mostly stuck to staying settled on my “place” and checking in on Becca every now and again. The sounds, darkness, and movement of people don’t bother me – the popcorn, on the other hand, is tempting but I am learning it is not for me to eat. There was a day later in the month that my puppy raiser did not have to be at work so she and I went to see “The Secret Life of Pets.” I was curious about the first few barks in the movie, but being on my best behavior I didn’t make a peep, and for the rest of the movie I just tuned it out and rested.
Early in August I took a very fun trip down to Annapolis where HD Grete’s wonderful puppy raiser and her family were staying for the week. I had so much space in the yard to run around with her son’s service dog, Chloe, and a pool to hop in and cool off. I love water but normally only stay until where I can touch the bottom; however, every once in a while I like to take a lap or two! I hope I get to do something like this again because it was a lovely afternoon. 🙂
My puppy raiser had an intense four-week graduate school course this summer twice a week. I usually stayed home so that Becca’s mom or dad could give me exercise and play, but one night I went with her to work with two other classmates. I had met them before and was all for trying to get them to play with me while the three of them worked on an assignment – I did “lap,” tried to lick them, etc., but eventually Becca told me to settle and I played with my own toys and bone.
Then the most exciting thing happened towards the end of August – I went on an airplane to Colorado! You see, I am a flying professional… or so I like to think. Maria at Hero Dogs brought me all the way to Maryland from my home of Spain. That was a LONG journey but she says I was perfect. If I remember correctly, I was a baby and I slept a lot… sounds like what the human kind do too. Anyway, I was equally as good on the long flight.
I started out at BWI going through security, waiting patiently in line, and then my puppy raiser took all my gear off so I was only wearing a leather slip leash – I felt naked in public without my vest! Nonetheless, I behaved perfectly. I stood next to Becca while she put her stuff through the scanner and sat and waited while she went through the metal detector first. With my gear back on we were off to the gate where I met lots of people! We met a man who said I helped lower his blood pressure as he does not like flying; we met a man with two pit bulls at home and me smothering him with kisses reminded him of his dogs; and we met an awesome young Veteran to whom I gave a card to contact Hero Dogs. He said he has been looking into getting himself a service dog because he says, like my puppy raiser always says, dogs provide individuals with something that other humans just cannot.
I settled right on the plane in bulkhead seating and slept a lot! The turbulence, change in pressure, and people walking back and forth didn’t even bother me. I stayed curled up at Becca’s feet, but luckily Becca’s parents were in the row with us, so I did get to stretch out mid-flight!
The day we landed in Colorado I spent a little while sniffing around the hotel room and playing in the room. Then we were off to Becca’s brother’s house before dinner. Boy did I love meeting him for the first time – I licked him and circled him, and I flopped over for some belly rubs. I played at his house and in his fenced-in yard, met one of his roommates and his girlfriend, and we headed out for dinner. The manager of the restaurant commented, as I was walking out, that he didn’t notice me until partway through our dinner and was very impressed with how I behaved.
The next morning we were up early and went for a nice long walk and watched the sun come up! The fresh and cool air was so lovely and there was no humidity! Now that was awesome. After my walk and after Becca got ready for the day, it was time to drive in the car for a bit to Estes Park, Colorado. We met my grandma’s (Becca’s mom’s) aunt and uncle who they had not had a chance to see since she and my grandpa (Becca’s dad) got married! They have a Labradoodle at home who loved meeting me as well.
After settling at lunch (there were two other dogs around but I ignored them), we walked around the town for a bit – boy was it crowded! I did my best to heel right next to Becca and keep my focus on her. People in Colorado love their dogs so there were several around. I lost my focus briefly, but with some “watch” I got back to focusing. We service dogs are dogs after all, not robots!
For dinner we went to the restaurant where Becca’s brother, Josh, is a Sous Chef. During Becca’s last trip to Colorado, HD Ruby went to dinner here, so upon my arrival the staff already knew of me. Of course Josh is so proud of what Becca does that he has shows some of the staff pictures of HD Ruby and me, and they know to ignore me or to ask to pet me. I was so exhausted from the day that I used Becca’s purse as a pillow and rested underneath the table.
On Day 3 of my trip we went for another morning walk to get my energy out and then had to drive Becca’s dad back to the airport – I guess we had to let him get back to work. Josh had to work that day so Becca, her mom, and I went to Pearl Street in Boulder. It has tons of shops and restaurants and they let me walk around for a while. There was so much to see and take in – nothing bothered me. We stopped to take a picture in the exact same spot Becca took a picture with HD Ruby on her last visit and watched a street performer. After walking around downtown Boulder for a little bit, I settled on my “place” for lunch on Pearl Street. We spent some more time adventuring around town and then back to the hotel for a nap. Once Becca’s brother got off work the four of us went to dinner and then called it a night.
Day 4 – we went to one of Becca’s favorite places: Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater! Instead of our normal walk around the area the hotel was in, we drove here and it was beautiful! Quite a workout too. We parked and walked up a giant set of stairs, through some of the park, and went into the amphitheater. We started at the bottom and went all the way to the top. My puppy raiser said something about the higher altitude making it harder than normal to breathe and get adjusted, but I had no problems. 🙂 Becca brought my long line, and in the large open parking lots that were empty I got to run and venture off to sniff.
Later that day we went to downtown Denver for a bit and I got to see Becca’s grandparents again! They are from South Carolina, but were on a National Park tour, and had an overnight stay downtown. Becca, her mom, brother, grandparents, and Josh’s girlfriend all went to dinner in a popular restaurant. Walking downtown was a breeze for me, although I wasn’t too keen on pottying on the cement, so we found some mulch by a tree. I’d much rather hold it and wait for a more suitable surface!
The next morning, I knew we were off to the airport to fly back to Maryland when I wasn’t given breakfast, since it was going to be several hours before I could potty again. Just like coming to Colorado, I took a shuttle from the rental car place to the terminal, went on the underground tram, and had quite a doozy getting through security! At the first stop we went to, Becca saw one of their K9 dogs. She remembers a TSA agent telling her with HD Ruby that their dog is not necessarily dog-friendly and wouldn’t be polite, so they sent us to the other side to the other security checkpoint. Upon arrival, they told Becca the same thing she had just heard. So up an elevator and across the airport again we found the third, small checkpoint. Two other service dogs were there but I just looked at them. After what felt like miles of walking we made it to the gate. Before I knew it we were home and I was curled up in my bed. 🙂
After coming home it was back to work and our normal routine. This month was so jam packed and fun, I can’t wait to share about September next month!