I started out this beautiful month playing in the backyard. I went to go fetch my dog tennis ball when all the sudden I found a white ball with red stitching! I brought it back to Christen! She was surprised and asked where I got it. I couldn’t believe it! The backyard fairy left me another brand new ball! After that I didn’t want to play with my usual ball. It was the greatest surprise ever! I love it when I find my own new toys!
This month I had a special visit at Walter Reed (WRNMMC). We visited with a patient in the young little humans section. A nurse waved us down and said there was a young patient who didn’t feel very well, but his sister who was visiting him would really like some dogs to play with. My humans and I, and Rika the German Shepherd and her human Pat, went in. While Pat talked to the older big humans I entertained the little ones.
At first I laid my head on the bed so they could pet me. Then Christen asked them if they wanted to see me do some tricks, and boy did I pull out all the stops. I did “Sit,” “Down,” “Take a Bow,” “Spin,” “Touch,” “Say Hello,” “Salute,” my spoon trick, and probably other things I cannot remember. The little boy who was sick – all of the sudden he had so much energy that he sat on the edge of his bed and his sister sat next to him. They wanted to tell me my commands. They really liked “Touch,” “Wait,” and “Nudge.” Christen helped and they even put kibble on my nose and I waited for Christen to tell me “At Ease” before I ate it. I also did my spoon trick! The little girl hugged me and just giggled, and the little boy kept doing “Wait” with kibble on my nose. Then I did “Lap” on the little girl’s lap and my head was bigger than her lap!!! It was the smallest lap I had ever done “Lap” on.
We must have done a billion things and we had a longer-than-allowed visit (shhhhh), but sometimes exceptions are made. It was one of the most memorable visits, my humans said. Before we dogs went into the room the little boy didn’t even have the energy to sit up, and by the time we left he was on the edge of his bed, talking and moving his arms. I just love kids!
After our visit to the hospital we went to the front of the tower, where there were big tents, many people, a ton of food smells – oh, and service dogs. There were two men there. One man was named Gary Sinise, who plays in a band called “The Lieutenant Dan Band.” The other man was Robert Irvine, and from what I heard the humans saying, I think he makes spicy chicken… mmm, chicken!
The next week I had my annual ACVO National Service Animal Eye Exam Event so I went to see Dr. Carey McInnis at Eye Care for Animals in Columbia, MD. This is a program that gives us working dogs a free eye exam every May to make sure our eyes are healthy and we can continue to do our jobs. This was my third time having an eye exam. I sat patiently in the waiting room for my turn. After my name was called, I walked back to the exam room with a spring in my step because I was so happy to be there. I sat on a rug in the exam room just like my “place” at home!
The doctor came in and I was happy to see her! She had an assistant (a nice lady who is studying to become an animal eye doctor with her). I walked right up to Dr. McInnis and she put on her funny headgear, then she shined a bright light right in my eyes. I wagged my tail through the whole exam! Since I was so relaxed the doctor asked if her intern could take a look, and of course I am always happy to help someone learn! Guess what!? I don’t need glasses! I have healthy eyes. She did say I have a couple extra eyelashes in a place they shouldn’t have grown, but they will probably never cause an issue. She said I was a great patient and she would love to see me next year! Thank you so much to all the doctors for donating their time to make sure we dogs see well so that we can continue doing our jobs helping others!
At Hero Dogs class this month we practiced with dog distractions. Jennifer used dummy dogs, which are toy stuffed dogs. Several of the dogs barked at the dummy dogs, but I knew better. Of course, being a bit older, I have seen this before. Then after the dummy dogs we practiced passing each other and I did very well even when tempted by Ruby. (Ohh sweet Ruby-roo…) I was more concerned with smelling the ground for food though. That is my one vice… sniffing and food! We will be sure to work on it!
At the end of the month we celebrated a day called Memorial Day. It is a day we remember all those who have served this country and lost their lives defending our freedoms. My humans and I made a video where I stood in front a U.S. flag and did my “Salute” to thank them on this special day.
Well, I think that was all for this month! It is summertime and I am so excited, although my walks are getting super hot! Sometimes I vote for inside training over outdoor playtime by just lying in the cool grass and refusing to move unless it is to go inside. Luckily my humans fill me a giant bucket of water to drink out of. I just love summer!