I’m so happy to report that since my last pupdate, I haven’t had to wear a cone! Instead, this was the month of SNOW, visitors and lots of outings. The best time of my life was last year’s snowfall. There is no feeling comparable to bounding over the edible white stuff, all while collecting a snow beard. This year the snow was nice and thick for a few days, and I galloped my little heart out. Apparently, if assistance dogging doesn’t work for me, I could be a snow plow. I supposed I’d need to move somewhere more snowy, but that would be a thought for the future. The cold weather leads the humans to put salt on the road, which isn’t kind to my paws, so, unfortunately, the fun came with a lot of foot cleaning. This is something that I’m not very fond of, but I’m becoming more tolerant each day. 

I like to think of myself as a community figure. Much of my time is spent on the bus, headed to the library or supermarket, and I went above and beyond this month. We attended an event at a high school where I saw lots of expensive robot things. Despite me being on my best behaviour, my raiser still decided to make me lie in front of a big kibble ROAN. Tell me that that is not mean? Being the mature labrador that I am, I shook off this rude act and accompanied her to an animation workshop. I practiced my settling at a really snazzy coffee shop and didn’t even explore for crumbs (the people say that this is progress). At the bank, I did my best demersal fish impression, laying ultra flat against the floor. 

I suppose it wouldn’t be a typical month if we didn’t go to Ikea for a training session, but this one started differently. Sauntering towards the sliding doors, I spotted a peculiar display. Without any explanation, my raiser instructed me to go behind it and peer through the hole. You wouldn’t believe the shock experienced when I discovered that she’d made me into a penguin! Thankfully the transformation was short-term, and I returned to my handsome dog form. Ikea is one of my favourite places as they have lots of reflective surfaces to spot myself in. Puppy class brought me out of the living room and to a car park and an ice rink! Back in the day, Jackie took me to a rink to train, but it had been a while. Balancing my curiosity and my focus was a test of my willpower, and with a few hiccups, I was successful. In the photos, you’ll see me lying in between the rink and a bench (sadly, I was too big to fit underneath it). There’s another photo of me by a tiny holiday world (I couldn’t fit in there either!). The carpark class was a bit less glamorous, and not only did I learn about assistance dogging, but also about electric cars!

Holidays seem to mean lots of visitors, but for me, it means more demersal fish, calm practice, treats, and naps. It was hard to remember how to act, but I began to get the hang of it. 

I hear that next month will be spent readying me for my “next step.” I don’t know what that means, but I’m hoping it involves puppy university… Nevertheless, the raisers have been paparazzi-ing me like no one’s business. Wishing for a new year full of food. 

Submitted by: Fiona Mak

Now a quick photo review. I hope you enjoy: 

1. Kennel naps alongside my “cheerio” toy. Settling used to be my biggest challenge, but some days were filled with lots of successes. In this case, I fell asleep with the door open! 

2. Purple bandana. See that cookie in front of me? Well – they made me wait for such a long time before eating it. Rude, but it was delicious! 

3. People photos! The one on the stairs is New Years’ eve, which I spent napping with one of my raisers. The other photo is of another raiser and my nightly reading routine. 

4. Blue toy photo. My raiser bought this toy long before I arrived, and once I met it, I found that it was way too big and boring for me. Time passed, and now it is my favourite! 

5. The great escape! My raiser closed my kennel exceptionally poorly, and with a small bump from my snout, it half opened! She has since adjusted her closing methods. 

6. Sneaky statue? I think I was very convincing! 

Nevertheless, the raisers have been paparazzi-ing me like no one’s business. Enjoy!