Queenie here – it’s my 18 month birthday today. No half cakes or half birthday gifts, in fact I had a very quiet, lazy day. Once a week my raiser works a night shift and so I get to have a day with extra naps. When she sleeps, I sleep. I really don’t mind and am happy sleeping on the floor or on my bed but I do wake up hungry. Sometimes I wake up and have to run around the garden for a while.

November has been a busy one. I go into school now once or twice a week and visit my friends in middle school. The children all ask questions and want to see which cues I know. Sometimes I go in and a group of children flock around me, sometimes I get to lay in the sensory room and just have a quiet time with one child. The preschool teacher asked me to go and visit her class. When I went into the classroom, the children were so sweet. They all wanted to ‘shake a paw’ then we had a snack with story time, followed by a song about a man in the moon! I was very gentle because the children were all small and had squeaky voices.

For Remembrance day we went to an outdoor service and sang songs, saw marching bands, airplanes flying over and lots of people. Crowds don’t bother me at all. Some of my PADS friends met me at Douglas college for an event where college students come and stroke the dogs to relax. They get nervous before exams so the dogs help them destress and then they do better in class. That’s amazing because all I did was sit and they pet me, took photos, and asked questions. Grandpa’s celebration of life was at a church and so I went to a sitter that day but there was another gathering at the old people’s home. I went there and visited with my old friends. The elderly people all loved to see me. They smile and smile, but sometimes they cry.

One thing that I am really not very good at is my duration exercises. I’m supposed to sit or stand, depending on the command, for ages and I really don’t want to. At home I often just lie down or go to my bed when I’m supposed to be sitting or standing. My raiser makes me practice out and about but that’s hard because I have to be on leash. We did discover somewhere really good to practice – at the ice rink. The children went skating for an hour and so my raiser made me sit and lie down while she walked around, I was not allowed to move. A whole hour of work for me whilst the kids had fun.

Something really exciting has been the Christmas lights and decorations. In Home Depot there is a huge dancing Santa and inflatable things that move. So many houses are decorated with lights, it’s very pretty. It gets dark early in the day so we sometimes get to go for walks in the dark but not often. This weekend I might go and see Santa … for more photos … really!

Submitted By: Jo Brand