May was a big month for me! I had my first walk-and-talk with our trainer, I took my first airplane, I met horses, and I learned to swim (well, I learned to splash). 

The trainer said I did a very good job staying focused on my raiser at my walk-and-talk. Still, I was a bit scared of being in high places and going on stairs (Spoiler Alert! I’m already doing better). She recommended we have high-value treats for me when there are many distractions (I’m not complaining). I have to keep working on my tuck-sit and down mechanics. 

Not long after that, my raiser took me on a big trip, and we went on 4 airplanes. The first time was a bit scary during take-off; there was a lot of noise, and my ears felt funny. But my raiser was there with kibble to reassure me that I was going to be okay. By the time we flew home, I knew I was safe and was able to settle nicely under the seat in front of us. I also learned to use the pet relief areas at the airports. I was hesitant at first but then figured out that it was the best place to go. 

On the trip, we visited Toronto to see my raiser’s family. They had a good staircase for me to practice going up and down without the distractions of a mall or outdoor smells. They also had a big german shepherd named Loki. Loki and I had lots of fun, and we learned to turn off inside and have quiet time in the same room. We got to go to the beach on Lake Ontario, where I got in the water for the first time. I wanted to pull my paws out of the water at first, but Loki showed me how it was done. We then went to Halifax, and I stayed with more dogs! Looloo is a tiny and feisty shelty who kept me in my place, and Maggies is an old black lab (just like me!) who helped me be calm at home. My handler also took me to a barn where I met horses for the first time. We went through the barn once slowly so I could sniff around and get used to everything, and then we did a loose leash walk. I got distracted a couple of times, but my raiser said I was a champ at staying focused even with the horses and new smells. 

Throughout the trip, my raiser had lots of outings with family and friends to different restaurants, parks, and events. It gave me a lot of opportunities to meet people of all shapes and sizes and practice my off switch. 

It was a really good month, but I am glad to be back home on my own bed.

Submitted by: Siobhan