Hello again friends! I can’t believe it’s time for me to write my July blog already–the summer is just whizzing by! I am now 5 1/2 months old and weigh a little over 50 pounds–all that napping is paying off! I have also lost just about all of my puppy teeth. It seemed like teeth were falling out every day! My new teeth look really nice and my raisers were happy to hear I won’t need braces! Ha ha!
The month started off with a real “bang” because of the July 4th holiday. A lot of neighbors were shooting off fireworks but the noise didn’t bother me at all! Some of the things I have been working hard in this month include meeting people calmly. I just get so excited when someone looks at me but I’ve been told that it is rude to bark and jump in the air. It’s hard containing my excitement but I am working on it with my raisers. I don’t have this perfected yet but I am getting better every day with practice.
My puppy raisers had my quarterly evaluation this month with Becca and she told me I am doing really well! Becca taught my raisers 6 new commands to work with me on: look, turn, take, pull, back, and place. I am catching on quickly and I can tell my raisers enjoy training with me because they always get excited when I do things correctly. I finished up my first round of Puppy 2 class and I will be going through it again starting in August. It is important for me to have a strong foundation with the basic commands. I also need to work on being calm around the other puppies–I have the same problem with them as I do with people!
The biggest excitement of the month was the quarterly puppy swap. Every quarter the Hero Dogs in the puppy program swap puppy raisers for one week. This helps teach us flexibility and reminds us rules are the same at every house! For the week of the swap I went to stay with HD Bartley’s puppy raisers and HD Maggie came to stay at my house. It was an exciting week and visiting new places was so much fun!
I went on a lot of new and fun adventures this month as well. My raisers try to take me to at least three new places each week. This month some of the new places I visited included the Monocacy National Battlefield in Frederick, MD, Walter Reed Medical Center, and I participated in a children’s story time about service dogs at the Finksburg Library. I also had the opportunity to go to work with my buddy Tahoe at Marriott International. He showed me what his daily routine was (he does a lot of walking with distractions everywhere), we took a walk around the grounds, ate lunch in the cafeteria, and I met a ton of people. I also had the opportunity this month to help represent Hero Dogs at the Damascus Motors Car Show. I did a great job showing off my skills and my puppy raiser answered a lot of questions. It was so loud with all the revving engines but the only one that bothered was my raiser!
I ended the month with a trip to the Catoctin Wildlife Preserve and Zoo. Boy did my nose go into hyperdrive when I walked through the gate! My puppy raiser took it slow with me and we stopped and sat every so often while I took in all the new smells and sounds. After the first trip around, I settled down and got back to focusing on my raiser instead of the other animals. I was pretty curious and the only animals I didn’t like were the vultures. My raiser could tell I wasn’t happy so we left that area immediately and went to see bears instead! On our way out we stopped to talk with one of the zookeepers and he explained to my raiser that vultures emit an offensive odor to repel other animals–it keeps them away from their food. Very interesting but I would have told them the exact same thing if they had only thought of asking me!