Early in the month I got to participate in a “puppy swap.” I went to stay with Jennifer (Hero Dogs’ head honcho) while my sister, Mae, went to school with Molly so she could meet all the 3rd grade Junior Trainers. I hear the kids were fooled by the switch-a-roo and didn’t even notice a change at first, which is understandable since my sister and I are both so good looking and well behaved.
After that, I got to see all my Hero Dogs buddies at our quarterly meeting. While there, I started to learn a special targeting skill where I not only touch Molly’s fist with my nose (old stuff – I’m totally awesome at that) but now I have to hold my nose in place on her hand until she gives me the release command. I’ve been practicing with her a lot, and I’m getting pretty good. I like it best when her hands smell like chicken or bacon…. Mmmm! After the meeting, several of us went out for pizza with our puppy raisers. It was quite a tall order to ask 6 puppies to be well mannered with all those good smells and fun friends hanging out under the table together, but we managed to do it. I hope we get to do it again after the next meeting!
During the Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend I stayed with a puppy sitter family. They were great, and it was a lot of fun to play with their dogs. I also got to make my first feline friend while I was there! A special thanks to the whole family for having me – I hope I can stay with them again sometime.
I have continued to work hard in class this month. I’ve been learning to “stay,” which means I have to hold pretty still and ignore all the fun stuff going on around me. It’s not hard to do at my house, but I find it a little tougher when we practice outside during our walks. I’m getting really good at “pull,” where I tug on a fleece rope connected to a handle of an object, and I’ve been very helpful by opening doors and cabinets for people. The kids at school like to practice this command with me.
Speaking of the kids at school, they have been teaching me to be very patient by putting treats on my paws and telling me to wait. If I hold really still, they can get food to stay all the way up on both arms! I’m very good about not eating the treats until they tell me to. As a reward for my good behavior, the Junior Trainers often read me bedtime stories as I get ready for a nap during the day. This has become one of my favorite things to do.
Thanks for reading – I’ll be sure to check in at the end of February to let you know how things are going.