I’ve now turned 8 months old! I have no idea what that is in “dog months,” but Cathy and Chris figure that I’m old enough, and my training has improved so much that I’m going even more places than ever before. Ah yes…the month of June was full of great new adventures. 

Cathy took me on a ferry ride to Victoria early in the month. It was a great chance for me to practice my “settle” in the ferry terminal food court. Did you know that service dogs are not allowed to scavenge food on the floor? And, do you have any idea how hard it is not to be tempted by all the delectable bits people drop when they’re eating? I can tell you first-hand…it’s really hard. It’s one area Cathy says I have the most room for improvement. 

Cathy and Chris live close to an amazing beach, and I finally got to try out swimming in the water over my head. It seems I’m a natural. Zero training required! (I’m a lab, after all). That said, for some reason, I still hate walking through puddles and will go around them every chance I get. Go figure—one of life’s mysteries. 

Because service dogs go everywhere with their clients, I need to be extra well-behaved in all public areas. That’s why Cathy is constantly training me in public places like the mall. I recently discovered the huge aquarium at Bass Pro shop. I loved watching the salmon swimming around. But when we turned a corner, and I was face to face with a taxidermied full-size black bear…well, let’s just say that I alerted everyone in the store to the potential danger. I don’t usually bark at things, but sometimes a dog’s gotta do what a dogs gotta do. 

I went on my first overnight boat trip. Chris said he’s delighted that I have “good sea legs” (I didn’t get seasick at all!), and he was impressed at how relaxed I was on the boat. He’s also hoping that as I get older, I won’t be quite so curious as to whether or not everything in the boat is good to eat. I tend to try things out to see if they are edible – whether I think they are or not. Cathy says, even at 8 months old, I’m still a bit of a puppy brain.

Most service dogs in training don’t get to go on boat trips, so I’m making the most of it while I’m living with Cathy and Chris. I plan to relax, try very hard to be a good boy, and learn all I can see to prepare for my important job as a grown-up service dog.

Submitted by: Cathy Demers & Chris Wright