Birdie turned 9 months on April 2nd, is doing well with her core commands and has settled nicely into a routine. Tick meds have been administered, and we are waiting for her first heat to arrive.

After hiking at Predator Ridge, Birdie’s sponsor, we took a picture of her in front of the entrance to Birdie Lake Villas, her namesake. She once again practised walking on the open grate at the front entrance to Sparkling Hill Resort & Spa.

The kids all came to our house for Easter, including our month-old grandson. Birdie and our grand pup Jeff had fun watching them hunt for chocolate Easter eggs in the house, a tradition even 30+ year-olds still enjoy.

The 14 pups who attended our PADS graduation Okanagan watch party were very well-behaved. There were also two PADS service dogs in attendance in their blue capes. We all clapped and cheered as our 8 Okanagan grads were honoured for their achievements. I hope that I, too, will have a graduate someday.

We had 4 PADS puppy classes this month, all full of great training scenarios. While working on restrained recalls, Birdie faltered and jumped into a PADS raiser, Carol’s lap! The car loading class was a great success since Birdie was having a bit of trouble jumping into the car. Now that I know the collar grab technique, she jumps in easily. After class, we practised getting 3 dogs to jump up into the back hatch and pose for a picture.

Birdie also enjoys getting together with her PADS puppy pals. She has weekly walks after class with her PADS buddy Jax and sometimes PADS Gherkin. Our backyard playdates with PADS Phoebe or PADS Jelly are a good opportunity to practise some training and to have some fun and play. We went on a special hike at the Rose Valley Regional Park with our 11-pound grandson strapped to me in his snuggly while the baby’s parents went for a mountain bike ride.

Birdie and I had fun going through the automated car wash together. The scrubbing bubbles, sprays of water and strange mechanical noises had her on alert, but she was not afraid.

We attended a Blood Donors clinic once again in Vernon, where Birdie received a “Proud donor” sticker for being a good puppy and settling nicely at my side.

On the last day of the month Birdie and I lined up at the bank to pay the tax man. She is a great joy to take everywhere I go about town, be it grocery shopping, yoga, coffee shop or dinners out. People always comment on how calm she is.

In the next coming months, there will be a big change in our lives, we are moving residence to Salmon Arm, and Birdie is coming with us.

Submitted by: Chris Buitinga