Growing up is hard work. I’ve had to learn so much…so fast. I think it’s probably a bit harder because I’m not only going to have a job one day, but I’m just so excited about everything in this big shiny world! I’m only 13 months old and still getting it all figured out.

Our weekly puppy classes are designed to help me learn to be calm and attentive – no matter what. I’ve gotta give it to the trainers who are helping Cathy and Chris learn how to teach me the “service-dog-ropes”…they come up with the craziest places for us to have our classes. And, apparently, the noisier, the better.

For example, this month, one of our classes was at a place with lots of skating rinks and guys playing hockey. I was pretty excited about all the fast movement, and I couldn’t believe the whack those pucks made as they hit the boards. But since I’m a Canadian dog, Chris said more hockey games are probably in my future. Cathy had to be on her toes to keep me from jumping up and down, cheering (barking) for…well, whoever was closest to me! Not very service-dog-like, I know…but it was so exciting!

We have a lot of quiet time too. Cathy says she’s never seen a dog who liked to watch TV in the evening. If there’s a dog in the show…well, I’m just glued to it.

And then there was SNOW! OMG! One day the entire world changed overnight, and I was in dog heaven. So soft. So fluffy. So cold. And…oh, those snowballs! But, since I live on the “wet coast” of Canada – it was mostly gone in a couple of days. I can hardly wait until it snows again.

We spent a lot of time indoors practicing new service-dog behaviours. Things like “go in,” which means I should shrink myself up and get under a table, or bench on a bus, or a desk. It’s such a challenge to keep all 75 lbs of me and my tail tucked under so I don’t get stepped on in public places. Cathy says, “that’s the one that will really impress folks”…once I get a lot better at it.

Christmas was merry and bright – because I got a new toy and some special treats and we did a lot of car trips to visit people. I love love love car rides.

I’m going to be learning the basics for a few more months. If I’m a very good boy and I work very hard, I’ll probably enter advanced training (where I find out what job I’m going to be best for and learn specific skills) in 2023. I can hardly wait!

Happy New Year!!

Submitted by: Cathy Demers and Chris Wright