I have noticed that as I grow bigger, the space under an airplane seat becomes a tighter squeeze. There’s still enough room for me to fit, but the spaces don’t increase in size with me, and that’s the problem with being a growing service dog in training.
As always, my activities included visits to The Wall That Heals. I had the pleasure of meeting a Vietnam Veteran (Army SP4 Jacky Bayne) who was a dog handler for a German shepherd named Bruno. I hung out with new buddies including children in Williamsburg, VA and Ft. Hill, SC. I even had the opportunity to teach a class of 8th-graders about the price of freedom and the meaning of sacrifice. The Wall That Heals is an amazing thing.
Apparently the beach is a must-see for a service dog at some point in their life, and this month I had my chance. It’s very different from the lakes and rivers I’ve explored previously. The ocean seems to continue to the horizon and beyond.
I posed for a couple of pictures as I took in the sights, sounds, and smells. In particular, I tried to understand these new phenomena called waves, seagulls, and jellyfish. I also kept my eye on the nearby surfers!
Events this month also included the 2014 Association of the United States Army (AUSA) annual meeting in Washington, DC. I represented Hero Dogs, met quite a few people associated with the U.S. Army, and took the time to pose for photographs with military officers including LTC Good. I love my troops. Other notable new friends at the 2014 meeting included LCol Ken Butterworth of the Canadian National Defence Force, who I met during a conference with my puppy raiser’s organization – the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial Fund (VVMF).
Of course, service dogs always get a little time off, whether they are in training with their puppy raiser or just relaxing with their Veteran partner. I enjoyed a beautiful late fall morning in Leesburg, with colorful leaves everywhere. I successfully resisted the temptation of a NY strip steak. Finally, there was Halloween… I don’t understand this holiday. I headed to a costume party with all my Hero Dog friends. A heifer is not my idea of fun, and I’m sure my fellow service dogs were laughing at me. They insisted they weren’t, and many of them (including the youngest puppies) looked pretty silly too… but this costume did not fit my idea of a great holiday celebration.
November should bring colder weather and a couple of holidays. Stay tuned!