So far this summer has been a new adventure for me. I moved into the kennel in mid-June, not long before the Hero Dogs Open House, and was surprised to find not one but two other golden retrievers already at college. York and Franklin, who are brothers, are also preparing for their future service dog career, and they are a great deal of fun to play and wrestle with. (My own brother, Maverick, is already living with his partner!)
I especially love playing with York and Gracie, and I really like Radar too, plus Grant and Franklin are fun to play with. I love to play chase with any dogs who are up for the challenge, and I also like to find sticks to chew on when possible. We are a fun group of dogs, I must say. Apparently we are supposed to come to the kennel door and go inside when we are called after outdoor playtime, even if there is really nice stick to chew on or even when we feel like playtime should not yet be over. I am a good girl, and I can often get a treat for agreeing to come inside.
I have continued practicing the skills that I know, and I am learning new skills! One of the newer skills I have been working on is ‘pull’ (like pulling a laundry basket across the room) and ‘push’ (like closing a drawer that shouldn’t be left open). I have also been learning about daily life here at college, like how to put our dinner kongs into the wash bucket at the end of the day. I understand what am I supposed to do, but I’m not so sure about that bucket… it’s weird. I am getting used it, though! I am surprised that us college dogs still need to eat our breakfast out of a wobble toy, but apparently it is very good for mental and physical stimulation, or so I hear.
I have been on many outings this summer, including stores and restaurants and even places in Baltimore. Of course I also attend daily training sessions plus weekly training classes with the other kennel dogs. I also went to the Hero Dogs golf tournament in early August, and it was fun to see so many of my fellow service dogs in training. I think all of the people enjoyed playing golf and making sure everything ran smoothly, and I think all of the dogs enjoyed watching and listening and sniffing at everything that was going on around us. I know I did! Gracie and I found a golf cart that was perfect for sitting in – I think she already shared this picture with you but I like it enough to show you again.
One of my favorite things to do, though, when I have the opportunity and some free time, is to hang out in the Hero Dogs office and keep people company while they work. During my training I found that I am very good at ‘lap’ which is supposed to bring the person’s attention back to me and make them feel better. I overheard someone say that I would make a great service dog for a veteran with PTSD or anxiety, because I am particularly good at being supportive. I think I agree!