June has been a busy month!
I’ve been going to training with the Big Dogs twice a week now. The Big Dogs are the dogs that have been through Phase 1 of their training (the Puppy Raising stage that I’m in now) and have moved into the kennel at the Hero Dogs facility. Attending class with the Big Dogs in advanced training is so much fun. In this class, I use the skills I learned in my puppy classes but there are a lot of distractions and I need to pay attention to my puppy raiser. Sometimes this is really hard because I want to play with all my friends.
We practice the skills we’ve learned in more real life situations. One class, we practiced walking, sitting and standing in a “Heal” or “Side” position. I would have to stop and stand close to Robin’s side if she stopped walking. Then I had to wait nicely when she stopped to talk to another puppy raiser. Sometimes we even go on outings to public places to practice these skills, just like I hope to do with a veteran someday. There are so many things to learn, not just for me but for my puppy raiser too!
One class we worked on the “Wait” command. There are a lot of things I need to wait for such as my food, water, toys, treats, going outside, and coming inside. And, while I’m waiting, I need to have eye contact with my puppy raiser! I seem to spend an awful lot of time waiting!
Another class was spent on “Stay”. I had to “Stay” on my place while there were all kinds of distractions going on. People around me were knocking, clapping, and doing all kinds of crazy stuff. My puppy raiser and I are practicing this at home a lot! Attending the Big Dogs class is really good motivation for us younger pups to work hard to one day be as smart as those Big Dogs!
In addition to my Hero Dogs training, I’ve been practicing many different types of stairs – both indoors and outdoors and walking on different types of surfaces. My puppy raiser and I go on walks every day and practice ignoring things like squirrels, bunnies, birds and other dogs. Sometimes when we are walking at the park by the Elementary School, we walk over to the library across the street. One day they were having a special event and there were tons of children there. Of course, they all wanted to pet me. There was also this big creature there. Someone said it was a penguin. Since I’d never seen one before, I had my picture taken with it!
The folks at the Chestnut Ridge Firehouse were nice and let some of us Hero Dog pups come in for a firehouse visit. I “Hupped” into a Rescue Truck and a School Bus. That was so much fun. The fireman was so nice. He put all his gear on for us and demonstrated all the possible loud noises. While we were there, a few of the firemen took off in one of the fire engines and blew the horn and siren. It was really cool!
My puppy raiser and I also did a demo for the Wesley United Methodist Church’s Vacation Bible School. There were a bunch of kids there that were really happy to see me since they worked hard all week to raise money for Hero Dogs! Thank you and good job to the kids at Wesley United Methodist Church!!!
Until next month…. Honor