August 24th was Puppy Pick-Up day for us at PADS in Burnaby. We made the trip down and back in one day to pick up our newest bundle of fluff: PADS Birdie II. Thank you so much to BC & Alberta Guide Dogs for sharing this sweet puppy with us from momma Spoof’s litter, sired by our very own PADS Zegen.

Also, a big thank you to Predator Ridge for sponsoring and naming Birdie. And here I thought she was named after a bird, not a golf term!

Birdie spent the month settling into her new surroundings, getting acquainted with her new mom, dad and two cats. She mastered sleeping through the night right away, but her mom has forgotten how often young pups need to go outside to “better go.” Her teeth are razor sharp, and she is slowly learning not to bite and to be gentler. She’s a bit of a firecracker with her jumping and biting and needs to be redirected. For now, I’m sporting at least one new wound a day on my arms or legs! All will come with time.

We’ve had a busy month taking Birdie out in cape and introducing her to the world. She’s been a hit wherever she goes: grocery store, coffee shop, chiropractor, Yoga by the Lake, brunch at the Bohemian Café, weekly dinners at DunnEnzies and visits to the local brewery & cidery. She has also milled about and trained with her PADS peers at weekly puppy classes, church, and local park, where we gathered for a walkabout and a settle.

She had a productive loose leash walk, side by side, with her 7-month-old mentor PADS Jax, along the Kelowna waterfront, who showed her the ropes on how to walk past other people, children, bicycles and strollers while holding composure. The two pups rested at a Bistro for lunch, settling nicely before heading back to the car.

Birdie also met other Pads pups: Beans, Odie (released from PADS), Athena, and Ky, one on one for a walk or a productive yet gentle playdate. Socialization is key for the young ones so that they learn how to interact with other pups.

The week when our PADS puppy class was cancelled, we met up with Jax and Scotia in Andrea’s (PADS sitter) backyard. We first practised dog distraction, sit, stay, jump on, go in and recalls. Afterwards, the pups were rewarded with gentle play so that Birdie could practise socialization.

Birdie also donned her new bumble bee-coloured life jacket and tried out two water activities: kayaking and paddle boarding. She settled quite well in the boat, eventually napping to the sound of the water. And her sturdy legs held her quite well on top of the paddle board, only slipping into the water three times without much of a fuss on her part. Well done, Birdie!

Van camping with family and their young pup is coming up at the end of the month, and we’ll see later how that goes!

Submitted by: Chris Buitinga