July started off with a visit to Susan L. and her family for the fourth of July weekend. No, I did not go to any fireworks displays. Susan is smart and knew that fireworks displays are not good places for dogs, no matter how brave they are. I did get to be in a parade that weekend: Susan told Stacey I was very well behaved. Also, there was an extra dog at Susan’s house when I was there; you know, another visitor like me. Sometimes this dog does not get along with other new dogs. We did just fine together; I won her over with my charming ways.
I am always learning something new and wonderful during big dog class and then Stacey continues to train with me at home and when we are out and about. We have been working on direction changes while walking on leash. I have to really pay attention to what Stacey says and what she does; she is very unpredictable! One minute she wants me to heel and then she suddenly wants me to be at her side; she makes sudden turns and about faces. We change directions for no apparent reason. Sometimes she wants me to go behind her to make the position change and at other times she wants me to WAIT so she can go in front of or behind me so she is in a new position to me. It’s bewildering at times. It keeps me on my toes; actually, for me I have to say my paws.
Stacey had to have some work done on one of her cars, so I took several long walks on busy Gude Drive. There is a sidewalk, so it was safe for me to be there as the cars, trucks, and motorcycles zipped by. I remained calm and attentive, for the most part; there were a few scents that got a bit more of my attention than they perhaps should have. Stacey was nevertheless very pleased that I was not afraid of the traffic.
I think the biggest thing in July for me was the great puppy swap. Almost all of the Hero Dog puppies arrived at our quarterly meeting with our own puppy raisers and we left with a different puppy raiser. Stacey said it is a good way to find out if I am having issues or problems in a particular area. It can also be a time when you hear about what your puppy does well! I know for me it was fun to be with a new family in new situations. Basically, if you feed me, walk me, train me, and play with me I can be happy just about any place I am. They did say I was a very good boy but they also confirmed the stuff Stacey had warned them in advance I might try to get away with. They were prepared, so not much furniture lounging, grabbing and “going,” or jumping on people for me!
The end of the month started as the beginning did, with fireworks. Let me explain. The last weekend of the month I made another visit to Grandmother’s assisted living facility. I got to visit with folks with their walkers, wheelchairs, and canes. After lunch at a restaurant, we went to the movies again. We saw Max – you know, it’s the movie about the war dog who comes to live with the family of his soldier after he gets killed.
That part was very sad. The movie had lots of barking, motorcycles, fast cars, bikes, clapping, and shouting; all of which were fine with me. What Stacey did not know was that there was a fourth of July celebration in the movie, with fireworks. I can now personally testify that I do not like fireworks at all. I did not bark or cry; I was so scared I shook. Thankfully it was over very quickly. Stacey felt bad, so she gave me extra treats, I think to make it up to me. So July came in with a bang and out with one too. Perhaps August will be more quiet.