Now that Thanksgiving is over and Christmas is just around the corner, Stacey has said it is about time we caught you up a little bit on what our fall has been like. The first weekend in October I attended an LST ship Navy reunion with Stacey, David, six WWII veterans, and their families. Being veterans themselves, they were pretty excited to meet me. I felt like quite the rock star; just picking up a set of keys and a credit card fairly sent them into a swoon. Joking aside, it was a wonderful experience. I was able to meet the base commander at the Patuxent Naval Air station, eat lunch at the officers’ mess, and visit with several young sailors.
The next day we took a boat ride, my very first, on the river. I loved it; Stacey said I was a natural. Naturally, we stayed in a hotel which means elevators and restaurants, both of which I handled well. After the reunion officially ended, Stacey and Dave took me to the Chesapeake Bay for my first bay swim. What a blast! he first time the ball went in the water I wondered why she did not throw it very far, but after three or four trips out and back I was grateful; it was great fun and very hard work for a four month old. I was a soggy, sandy mess but I slept like a babe on the ride home.
It turns out that I have had to repeat puppy kindergarten; Stacey said that all the Hero Dogs puppies have to. If that’s the case then I don’t feel bad about not moving up. There are new dogs in this class but my brother Beau and Samson attend this class too! Stacey had a schedule conflict some weeks, so Jan M. picks me up and takes me to class. She expects me to behave well, just like Stacey does. No fooling her. Even the second time around, puppy play time is still my favorite part. Miss Jan says that “my skills” are good and that I am eager and hard working. I think skills are things like sit, down, stand, wait, easy, heel, and that real hard one: not jumping up on somebody who obviously is just dying for me to jump up on them and kiss ‘em! Just keep those treats coming. One week, around Halloween I think, Jan brought me to class and tried to put some silly thing on my head and expected me to sit quietly while they took my picture; go figure. You should have seen some of the other dogs; they looked ridiculous!
Speaking of Halloween, this is my first one and I was not too thrilled at first with all the weird stuff folks were putting on their yards. One day you walk by and things look normal, and the next time there is some new shape or structure. There were things that looked like people but had no people smell and they did not move; how creepy is that?! Those were some of the biggest “ leaves” hanging from the trees that I had ever seen in my WHOLE LIFE! I have found if Stacey just brings me close enough to a new thing so I can sniff and get a better look, I am no longer worried about it.
(Hero Dogs Amber, her brother Beau, and Hero Dogs Rosie)
Stacey says this next vignette is something to share. On the last night of puppy kindergarten, I hopped into the car as normal and assumed my position on the floor. As we were on the long slow driveway approaching HD, I realized that my leash was not quite as short as usual and I decided to try to hop up on the seat. Normally, I am very good about staying in my place, but something just told me to get up there. Anyway, I was successful and I got a very good look out the window. Can you guess what I saw? There were horses all over that field along that long driveway! Well, I just had to let Stacey know they were there and let them know that I was there! By the time we got to class, Stacey was laughing lots and was saying how she should have known to walk with me down that driveway to introduce me.
Stacey has these things called concerts and trips; she had several in the last two months. I can’t really complain; when she is going out of town, I go to a puppy sitter. I have been to several recently, and it is really fun. Each place is different than my house and you never know what fun animals, people, etc. might be there. Two of the puppy sitters have had cats, all but one has another dog or dogs, and even the house with no dog was great, because I got all the attention. Robin G. has something called a teenager who plays something called “lacrosse.” I went to watch and Robin said I was perfect.
Just last week was Thanksgiving, another first for me. Not sure what all the fuss is about, lots of new smells and just kibble for me after all of it. My puppy sitter, Leigh, took me with her to Robin S.’s house. She has a big German Shepherd, who was not too thrilled about me being there. That’s not a problem. I got to play ball with the boy in the basement. Score big!!
Speaking of houses, at my house I am working on things like putting things into a basket and taking them out. I can pull the same basket across the room. Sometimes, Stacey drops a cane on the floor and I pick it up. I pull an empty wheel chair (simple as pie) and one with Stacey sitting in it. We are working on place, take, kennel, dress, paws off, paws up, counter surfing, and couch jumping up… OOPS, did I say that?
I am pretty sure that the counter surfing and couch jumping up “skills” are not ones that Stacey appreciates as much as I do. Never do find anything up there despite how good it may smell and my couch times are very, very short. She must be confused if she thinks my kennel is anywhere near as comfortable as that big couch right next to the computer. Sometimes, I pretend to be asleep on my six foot lead right next to her and then, when she is really busy on that computer, I very quietly slip onto cushioned bliss. This stolen softness never lasts long, because she must have eyes in the back of her head, but you can’t blame a girl for trying.
Stacey said that this account is probably long enough and she wants to be sure it is sent before Christmas comes!