There are now four black Labradors living in the kennel (plus a yellow Labrador and a Golden)! We are all very hard workers, but I like to think that I set a good example for my new neighbors – Hero Dogs Annie and her sister Hero Dogs Mae. It’s amazing how different each Labrador can be in size and shape… just compare me with Hero Dogs Jack! Anyway, Annie and Mae are closer to my size, and I think they both have great potential to be service dogs. This opinion is coming from a hard-working dwarf Labrador (that’s me, in case I am being too subtle).
Recently I’ve had the opportunity to play with a few of my good puppy friends who I see less frequently, including Dolley! I have also had a blast playing with the other kennel dogs in the snow, ice, and mud this winter, although I admit that I love to play with toys just as much, and it’s especially fun to chase and be chased when one of us has a toy that we are playfully trying to keep away from the others! Plus, we all enjoy interacting with Betsy the kennel cat, who you can see behind me in this picture.
I am typically the first one in my kennel when it’s time for breakfast. Well, it helps that I can see the kitchen window from my kennel, but still, among the six current kennel dogs, Radar and I are the most prompt about waiting exactly where we’re supposed to be. Everyone else often waits at the gate until they know breakfast is coming.
During this second phase of training, everyone is expecting a lot from me, now that I’m almost two years old. It will be my birthday next month (February)! In the mean time, I’ve been trying to find the difference between heel and side, but have not yet been able to manage without a hint from somebody’s hand. It’s still a little confusing to me, but I am trying to listen carefully, and hope to master that skill. And it’s practice, practice, practice: holding an object in my mouth, putting my paws on a lap while I hold it, and learning to settle.
Then there’s that manicure moment, where I need to stand still while someone files my nails. All of us at the kennel have also been working on our behavior when visiting the veterinarian: having our heads in a head lock, being still while we have our ears, eyes and mouth examined, and even handing over a paw in case we need blood drawn. I hope that when I have to do it for real that all that good training will see me through any scary moments. I am much braver than you might think, though!
Outings are always a great break in the kennel routine, and I’ve been to restaurants, grocery stores and pet stores – guess which place I liked best? Also, one of the highlights of the winter was spending a bit of time with Jennifer.
Also, I was very excited to hear that my puppy raisers will be sharing their home with a new Hero Dogs puppy named Murphy, often called Murph by his friends! Sometime soon Murph and I will have to swap stories about how much we love our puppy raisers and what a great job they’ve done – after all, Murph puppy is now my foster brother!