On February 5, when Ellee loaded all of us puppies into her car, my world was about to change. We went to something called the “vet’s” and we got something called a shot. That caused a little ouch, but it was over quickly. After that we went to the Hero Dogs training facility, where we were “tested.” As far as I could see, we petty much got to play with some new people and new stuff, and Miss Jennifer walked around with a clipboard and took notes. This test was to see which of the boys in the litter would become the newest Hero Dog service dog in training. I think they liked that I was friendly, curious, persistent, and not afraid of new things or loud noises. I got lots of kisses; they put a big bow on me and told me I was going to be “on the news.” By the time we got back home, we were all sleepy puppies.
On February 11, my world changed forever. Becca, Maria, Jamie, and Stacey came to pick me up and take me to my new life as a Hero Dog in training. It was a very cold day but we took a long walk just the same. Everybody was taking pictures of me.
I barely remember the car ride; I must have taken a nap. Everybody seemed surprised and pleased that I had not had an upset stomach on Becca. When I got to the Hero Dogs facility I met new people and some new big dogs. Becca bought me a new toy; it’s a frog. I keep hearing people singing about me being a bullfrog and being a good friend. The friend part is okay; I love everybody. I am not now nor will I ever be a frog!
I did not go home with Stacey that night. I went to Jennifer’s house (you remember, she is the lady who tested me. She’s a pretty big deal around here). Stacey said she really can’t write much about February 11-16 other than she knows I learned to go up and down the basement stairs and I got more shots at the vet’s office.
Stacey picked me up late that Monday and I went to my new “home” for the first time. There are two people who live there with Stacey as well as another big dog named Cody; there is also a very funny looking and funny smelling “dog” they call SJ. I think something is very wrong with this dog. When we met I barked a greeting to her and did my best puppy play bow; she made an odd “meow” kind of sound and got fatter right before my eyes. I have learned that it is best not to try and play with her. Cody, on the other hand, looks and smells very normal to me. I don’t think I am his idea of a dream come true; he has never been mean to me, but he pretends he does not see me most of the time when we are in the house. He will play with me outside in the snow; he loves to be chased. After some hard running, he will even let me catch up to him and wrestle with me for a bit.
Speaking of snow, I love it. There was a great deal of it on February 22, and I had lots of fun romping around in it with Cody. Stacey was very surprised that I was able to run so fast in the deep snow; she said for such a young puppy I have both strength and stamina. I get to go “ outside” very frequently: when I come out of my kennel, after I eat or drink anything, after I play with or chew on a toy, and after I wake up from even the shortest little nap… etc. Sometimes Stacey will mutter, “A boy puppy in February; what was I thinking?” and then she laughs.
I was not with Stacey very much this month, but she kept me busy. It is important for me to be “socialized” and Stacey takes me in the car to new places. In the few days we were not snowed in I went to Bark, Roots, and a jewelry store. At home I am learning things every day. I have learned that I get more attention if I sit than if I jump up on people. When I walk into my kennel, kibble falls from the sky; if I give Stacey what I have put in my mouth, she gives me a treat or tells me how wonderful I am. If I am busy playing with a toy and I come running to Stacey when she calls my name, she is thrilled. Sometimes all I have to do is look at her and I get food. I am also learning that if I touch her fist when she shows it to me, I get a treat. I am learning that in order to keep moving forward on my leash, I need to look back at Stacey if it feels tight. The people I live with also do not seem to like puppy teeth on their skin, but puppy licks are okay. There is much to learn!
Stacey was out of town for the last five days of February, so I went back to Jennifer’s house. I got another shot at the vet, did something that Jennifer really did not like, and went to a party at Maria’s house. I was hanging out with Teddy, Beau, and Grete when Stacey picked me up late on the 28th. I am sure we did more than that (something about a place called the USO, maybe?), but that is all Stacey knows.
Stacey and I will write to you again next month!