To say the month of May was busy would be an understatement. It seemed like we were just finishing an outing or training event, and then we were right back in the car for another. But I like the warm weather and all the time we are outside so I’m not complaining. And I understand that all of this training is important because when I see the older dogs, I see I have more to learn.
The highlights of my outings in May included a trip with the American Legion to Hershey Park for two days. On the first day, we visited the Hershey Gardens and then Chocolate World. Lesson learned at Hershey Gardens – take time to smell the flowers, not eat them. At Chocolate World, I got to go on a ride with Jamie and Brent to see how chocolate is made. It was fun but I thought Jamie was paying too much attention to the chocolate. Then we checked into a hotel for my first overnight stay. It was fun, and the front desk staff was impressed with my skills. The next day, we went to Hershey Park and met Hero Dogs Maverick, York, and Radar. Together, we impressed thousands of people in the park – but I didn’t get to ride any roller coasters. Brent said he thought it was because I didn’t meet the height requirements.
The other highlight in May was getting to walk with all the Hero Dogs and volunteers in the National Memorial Day Parade. In preparation for the hot pavement, we all had to practice wearing booties before the parade. Those things made me walk funny and, of course, Jamie and Brent had to video that and have it posted on Facebook. Not fair. At the parade, we met lots and lots of people and marched proudly as a group. On the bus ride home, there were five exhausted Hero Dogs sleeping under the last two rows of seats with me.
Other Hero Dogs events in May included an event for veterans at Glen Echo Park and a fundraiser/training event at Mamma Lucia restaurant in Olney. At Mamma Lucia, I got to sit under a table and watch all the other Hero Dogs try on their booties for the first time. I have to admit they did look pretty silly.
And of course Brent and Jamie didn’t limit my outings to Hero Dogs events. In May, we also visited Brookside Gardens, watched Rolling Thunder, visited the Lincoln and Vietnam Veterans Memorials, and took my first ride on the Metro. For shopping and dining out, we visited Golf Galaxy, Five Guys, Hooters, and KFC, in addition to Mamma Lucia.
And my dedicated training continues. I graduated from Puppy Kindergarten and am now enrolled in Puppy II class. We are learning how to do clicker training. That is where Jamie clicks her clicker to tell me I did something right and then gives me a treat. I like the clicker. We’re also working hard on WAIT and STAY. I think I’m learning those skills well.
As I said, this has been a very busy month for me. But don’t worry, it hasn’t been all work. I get to play every day with Java, my best friend. And, at class, there is always time to play with my other friends. I think Ari and Hero Dogs Ivy are my favorites. They like to play like I do – not too rough, but not too easy. And of course, their Golden Retriever ears are the tastiest. And, if none of my buddies are around, Jamie and Brent are always willing to play fetch with me and my big soccer ball.
So that’s it for this month. I’m now 52 pounds of Navy SEAL and Hero Dog in training. (And I need my nap.)