I’ve just finished up 6 months of growing and learning as fast as I can. I’ve gotta say, life as a service-dog-in-training is a hoot! Cathy and Chris (my puppy-raisers) have been taking me all kinds of cool places and making sure that I’m learning what I need to know to be a great service dog one day.

I went to a lake in the Okanagan for a few days and for the first time spent the night outside of my kennel. It was hard to settle on the floor of the camper, but being able to settle anywhere is an important service dog skill. Chris is very patient with me while I get the hang of it. I’m not swimming yet, but my buddy Hunter (a chocolate lab) is a good role model. I still like to devour things I shouldn’t and I really loved the lake weeds I found – my tummy didn’t love the weeds though. I paid for it later. Ugh.

As part of my training I need to rest quietly under a table when in a restaurant. Easier said than done. Do you have any idea how much yummy gum is on the under side of those tables? Cathy and Chris need to employ every trick in the book when we’re out in public and restaurants, where food molecules are everywhere – are proving to be the hardest for me. My nose sure can get me in trouble.

One of my favorite events of the month was getting together with 6 other PADS puppies and their hoomans. They dropped by our house and we all practiced walking nicely our our leashes, using each other as training distractions, as we headed to the beach. I sure wanted to horse-around with all those other pups but Cathy said I had to walk nicely even though I was surrounded by happy dogs. I did pretty good, all things considered. Once we got to the beach we all got to play in the ocean. Such fun!

Last weekend, Chris (who is also a volunteer for Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue – what a guy!)…was marching in the Ladner May Day parade. It was a spectacular training opportunity for me, as Cathy had me sit patiently and watch all the floats, clowns and other crazy stuff go by. It was going very well…until the bag pipes started playing – LOUD! It freaked me out. Cathy says “That’s ok. It’s not my favorite sound either!”

That’s my Pupdate for May. Keep smiling!

Submitted by: Cathy Demers and Chris Wright