Happy New Year Everyone!
I had so much fun over the holidays visiting old friends, making new ones, and learning along the way! Plus I spent some time growing – did you know I weigh 80 pounds now? My puppy raisers say I’m growing up so fast.
Early in the month, I had play time with my buddy Oliver. He spent a week at my house and it allowed me to work on my training by watching and learning from him. He’s about six months older than me, so I learned lots of new commands while working with and observing him.
The last two weeks of the year, my puppy raiser parents were out of town, so I spent time working with two of the MADE trainers. They had other service dogs in training with them, so I had playtime with my friends and a variety of group and individual training.
We went on several outings to places such as Target, Best Buy, and Home Depot and I had to learn to be patient until it was my training time, while my other service buddies went through their commands. It was hard because I really wanted to play, but I behaved pretty good for 8 months old!
I love picking things up and carrying items around, so I’ve been learning fun commands like “get it”, “bring it”, “drop it”, and “take it”. I know I’m really good at these types of commands because I receive lots of praise and affection when I listen and follow directions. I even helped one of my trainers do laundry! She would point at the clothes in the dryer, tell me to “get it” and then either ask me to “give it” which means I put the item in her hand, or “drop it” into the laundry basket. I try really hard to be a good helper, since I know this will be my job in about a year!
My trainers put a new kind of leash on me this month, called a “gentle lead”. I’m still getting used to it, but I think it will help me really focus now that I’m learning so many more commands.
I just returned home to my puppy raisers and was so excited to open my Christmas gifts from my sponsors! They gave me a huge, comfy bed with my name on it and a very special signature frame with pictures of me at different stages in my training. Everyone signed it with words of encouragement and praise on my good work; it will be cherished as it follows me through the rest of my training and eventually, with my final matched placement home. I really appreciate their thoughtfulness!
Photos courtesy of: Made In Texas Assistance Dogs
Keep Up With Denver – CLICK to read his past letters.