Dear My Joanie and My Billy,
MYs! I have so much to tell you! College is so exciting, I absolutely loved my first month and one half here! Time has grown wings and is flying by as fast as the speed of light. It is hard to fathom that I arrived here on April 4, 2017. It seems like yesterday! Thank goodness for my BAE Systems scholarship!
There are so many intriguing and inspiring things here like the school cat. It turns out that Betsy – that is her name – is the Hero Dogs Kennel Ambassador. She sometimes likes to play with us canines but we always have to abide by her rules or she will have nothing to do with us. She is everywhere, and even spends time in the frat house! As our Ambassador she has developed quite the stare. It is best to jump out of the way before the sting of the stare hits even if it is from across the room. She is a Cool Cat though.
I have many friends here – human and canine. And I understand that there are a few humans whom you have asked to share extra hugs with me. So I have been happily receiving a multitude of hugs! This big boy knows what is good.
You know how I have always been excited with each new day. Well, I still find each new day a wonder but I have had to settle into an entirely new routine. I have learnt that I am no longer an only child, and that the universe does not revolve around me – even though it probably should.
MYs! The most difficult lesson during my first full week of college was being patient and quiet in my kennel while it was one of my buddies turn to venture outside the frat house. The Dean had a discussion with me, and it was then that I realized I am no longer your only child. This was an eye opener but I understand that jealousy is worn poorly on anyone – human or canine.
This semester I am studying “Impulse Control” with an emphasis on patience. I am doing rather well but there have been times when I have had to study extra hard. I so want to please.
It turns out that my thirty foot return throw to our wonderful kennel help leaned more towards impulse than thought. I only imitated the human throw! Even though it was humorous, I suppose I should have returned the ball just as you had taught me; I am to poise the ball in my mouth until gently placing the ball into the human hand because that is probably what my future Veteran would prefer. I get it. But it was just so much fun, and just between us I think that our kennel help was rather impressed!
And do you remember how all of the small humans raced around me at home while I laid peacefully on my place? Here, remaining calm and patient on my place is even more of a challenge. I have already told you about Betsy’s presence. Now imagine her active along with all of my happy fellow canines – it made the game of ‘remaining on my place without speaking nor with excitement’ rather challenging. I have only improved with this exercise.
Remaining patient before walking through doorways can also be quite a challenge around here. After all, who knows what is waiting for me on the other side of the door?!
I had to sit and wait silently before leaving my kennel, after leaving it, before the door opened and after the door opened to a field! All the while knowing that the Dean of our college held a ball in her hand! I did it, I Did it, I DID IT!! Yippie!! It took every bit of self-discipline that I could muster. And I got to play ball!
In addition to my studies I received an eye exam. I studied for this and received a perfect score! I visited the grocery store without you for the very first time but thank you for taking me to the store for class Thursday night. I did my very best for you!
Thank you for coming to my Thursday night classes, and for tucking me in after class! I will always love that.
Thank you for taking me to the Laytonsville parade. It was a lot of fun.
And finally, thank you for taking me to my John Poole Middle School demo! It was wonderful to spend the night prior at home with you, and the demo was great fun.
I especially loved it because they loved me – but of course, I am Louie.
From Louie with Love
You rock!! Remember what ET told you in February: ‘Believe in your dreams’!
We observed your brain’s growth and your enhanced patience during your brief visit home. Lying down while answering the front door was always difficult for you but you did it superbly, and it was noticed not only by us but by the doorbell ringer as well.
Your classroom demo! ‘Find it’, put all your toys away, and ‘come’ from the back of the room; not unusual for you except for the fact that a foreign canine with a prosthesis was seated close by. What wonderful manners, Louie!
Our time at the festival – you always performed ‘under’ beautifully at dinners but this was with four of your buddies under the same table. You were a perfect gentleman.
And ignoring the foreign canines while walking the parade route was wonderful behavior especially with the one small canine sitting in a baby stroller two inches from your nose.
You also executed your lessons superbly at the grocery store, dropping boxes into the cart and onto the conveyor belt, and walking around poles and through doors properly.
But your most heart warming action was on the party bus ride back to Hero Dogs when you opened your kennel door and tip toed through the dark bus to the front bench to sit with me. I loved that more than you will ever know. Even though it could be considered impulsive I think that you gave that move much thought before acting.
Louie, what awesome instructors you must have!
No worries about the challenges big guy, we are proud of you.
Your Joanie and Your Billy