As expected, April was another busy month for me. Taking after my namesake, I am heavily engaged in training for what Brent and Jamie call BUD/S. For my Michael Murphy, BUD/S meant Basic Underwater Demolition/SEALS Training and was among his first and hardest tests. For me, BUD/S means Basic Uber Dog/SEALS. Like the real BUD/S, my training is making me bigger and stronger and smarter every day. How big? Well I’m barely 5 months old and I’m already 47 lbs! And just like the real BUD/S, when I misbehave or am not paying attention, Jamie makes me do push-ups. For puppies, that means a lot of SITs and DOWNs to work out some of my energy.
Similar to Navy SEALS, service dogs need to be adaptable to all kinds of sights, sounds and situations. Consequently, Jamie and Brent continue to take me on new and interesting adventures. In April, we went to Home Depot, Lowes, Pet Smart, Pet Valu, the Pennsylvania Dutch Market (oh the smells!), the car dealer, Hooters, and the Fort Meade Commissary and Exchange. At the car dealer, one of the men that works there walked by and then stopped and came back with a smile and asked Jamie if I was a new puppy, since he remembered her in the waiting room with Hero Dogs Grant about a year ago. They both laughed. Grant really did leave big shoes to fill.
We also had a great outing to the National Arboretum. Jamie, Brent, Java, and I went for a long walk and took pictures by the flowers and cherry blossoms. Hero Dogs Grant warned me about the arboretum because he said he stuck his nose in the koi pond and the fish tried to suck on it! Lucky for me the koi pond was under construction. I know a SEAL is supposed to be at home in the water but overly friendly fish may be pushing my bravery a little.
Brent and Jamie also had a party and invited friends with young children to the house. They said I needed to experience children and learn how to play respectfully. I had a great time that evening and Brent and Jamie said they were proud of me, particularly since Java got put in “time-out” for misbehaving.
Apparently, even healthy puppies have to make lots of visits to the vet. Grant told me that Dr. Marcie and Brookeville Animal Hospital would treat me like a VIP – Very Important Puppy. He was right. I like Dr. Marcie and the other people there, even if they sometimes give me yucky medicine and shots.
As always, we go to training every Thursday night. There, we learn new skills from Jennifer and Becca. I enjoy that because it means I get lots of treats. But of course my favorite part of training is the playtime. I really like playing with all the other puppies. And Grant was right again – Golden Retriever ears are the tastiest!
So, another busy month is complete and I’m tracking right along in my training. Tomorrow, I hear we’re going to Hershey Park to see other Hero Dog teams and discuss our capabilities with the American Legion. I’m cleaning and pressing my service dog vest (with my Murph the Protector patches) so I look my best in uniform. I’ll tell you about this adventure next month.