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Oh boy, my very first PUPdate!  Well, it’s been a full month, let me tell you.  I went home with my volunteer puppy raiser, Kelsey Smart, on September 3rd, at about 8 weeks old.  I call her MummaKelsey.  It was hard being away from my brothers, sisters, and MomSamba at first, but I’ve settled into puppy raising life well. Y ou should see how fast I’m learning!  I make eye contact lots and lots because MummaKelsey uses her clicker to tell me it’s good and then gives me kibble treats.  When she says ‘sit’ or ‘down’, I know just what to do!  As for eating, well, that’s my favourite part of the day!!  When I see or hear my bowl, I know it’s mealtime and I get REALLY excited.  MummaKelsey taught me to stay in a nice sit until I hear ‘release’ and then it’s FOOD TIME!!!!  Just when I thought I was really getting the hang of it all, she had to go make it tricky… sometimes she puts kibble in front of me, and I’ve learned that she says ‘mine’ and it stays there until I make eye contact… then she says ‘yours’ one kibble at a time.  See, eye contact is great!  It gets me treats!  She says it’s important for a service dog to make lots of eye contact with their human.  Oh and psssst, I know humans don’t like to talk about bathroom business, but I’m proud of my ‘better go now’ peeing on command!

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This coming month, I’m working on: choosing the right things to chew (like my toys, instead of EVERYTHING); ‘wait’ before crossing a threshold when MummaKelsey says ‘out’; and lots of stuff I don’t even know about yet.  Stay tuned!

The biggest thing I’ve learned this month isn’t a specific skill… it’s that it takes a village (of mostly volunteers) to raise a PADS puppy, not just my puppy raiser.  I am very thankful for MummaKelsey and her loved ones, for loving me like I’m family; for all my siblings’ raisers who I see each week at Puppy Kindergarten; for my PADS trainer, Tara, and for the wonderful volunteer puppy-sitting program that PADS has.  PuppySitter Gisela took me to my very first Thanksgiving dinner and I loved it!

Love, woofs, and tail wags from Arrow

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Submitted by our wonderful PADS Puppy-in-Training, Arrow II, and his remarkable PADS Volunteer Puppy Raiser, Kelsey Smart.