September was a busy month for me! I have been with my puppy raiser, Becca and her family, for nearly a month now. I overheard the trainers at Hero Dogs call me “busy” when Becca came to pick me up, and I have most definitely been keeping her busy. In fact, I think I heard her say that might be an understatement, whatever that means. What can I say – I’m just a three month old Labrador who is curious about everything!
I love my family just as much as they tell me they love me – even if I try to take the moss out of a tree they have in the living room, try to sneak under Becca’s bed when I’m tethered, pick up nearly every stick in sight, use my human family as chew toys, and pick up all the shoes and clothing in sight (which I am told will be very helpful when I learn to pick them up when asked and bring them).
I get to go for long walks every day, which I love, so that I can practice my “heel.” I also get to be “at ease” and explore – sometimes we take different routes, so naturally I have to try and sniff everything. Because I am a baby Hero Dog, I need a few naps during my day. I usually take them in my kennel because I don’t want to miss out on anything and I don’t always want to settle down on my own. Becca says I am awesome in my kennel, though; I don’t make a peep! Well, a few times I have cried but that’s only sometimes if I am being left at home and I hear Becca downstairs since I always want to go places with her. We also practice our commands every day so I can keep up with my super special service dog skills! I have heard the words “smart cookie” thrown around when people are talking about me. I’m not sure exactly what that means, but I think it’s a good thing!
I have been to lots of places to socialize so far: Hallmark, the grocery store, REI, Rite Aid, the Humane Society’s Dogfest, Panera, an appointment with Becca, Michaels Craft Store, Marshalls, a couple of parks, and a few other places here and there. I definitely think my favorite is this place called Loch Raven Reservoir because we get to walk through the woods and the best part is the water! I could jump and splash around all day if I were allowed. At the local park there’s a stream I always try and go in before we leave, but if we forgot to put a towel in the car, then I don’t go in because the car will get all dirty and smelly.
My other favorite thing in the whole world (besides the reservoir, food, and trying to dump my water bowl over every day) is people. Oh boy do they get me excited. I love the belly rubs and the head scratches I get. Sometimes on my daily walks, I practice “sit” or “heel” and Becca gives me treats when she calls my name. I look at her if people are running or walking by because I just cannot help but throw my head back, wiggle my body, and pull towards them a lot of times (okay, maybe most of the time). I even jumped in the air before (oops), but Becca is constantly reminding me that is not good greeting behavior, so I am working very hard on containing myself when people want to say hello.
The last thing I wanted to tell everyone about is how great puppy kindergarten is. I get to see my other Hero Dog buddies, Molly and Robbie, as well as all of the really nice people that work at Hero Dogs who give me lots of love! One week we all met in Olney to practice in public and HD Boomer came too! He is a little older than us and so smart – I can’t wait to learn some of the things he knows. So much is taught in class that Becca and I go home and practice the skills every day.
Secretly the best part of class is puppy playtime and I think all the other puppies would agree. I enjoy practicing my skills because I do really like to work; plus food is always involved so that’s a bonus! When I am in my big girl vest, Becca says I do so well for only being three and a half (let’s not forget that half!) months old. I constantly look to her when we are “heeling,” but sometimes scraps or crumbs on the ground distract me. Leaving them is so difficult, but that’s nothing that can’t be worked on!
Well… Becca says it’s time to go to the post office with her so I have to run and be an awesome Hero Dog! Until next month!