Samwise joined our family Dec 3, 2021. He seemed to settle in fairly quickly, eating, sleeping and peeing & pooping was his day. We initially had a bit of a struggle getting on top of the toileting, but Sam has mastered that and now does his Better Go very easily. I’m pretty sure kibble is the motivator for that. He will sometimes finish his pee, get his reward, and then instead of ‘sniffing’ he will move to a new spot and squat again for a teeny weeny pee and immediately look right at me for another reward!

He went on his first excursion to a local coffee shop, but would not cross through the doorway. I carried him in and he was very observant of all that was happening in the cafe. He seemed okay as long as I was squatting down at his level beside him. Since then he has been to coffee shops and a brewery a few times and has walked through the doors and settled on his mat (with food) while we are there. Samwise loves to explore outdoors. He loves nature walks and likes to sniff around and watch the birds and geese. We live in an urban area where there are many people and dogs walking. He is very interested and wants to greet them all.

Samwise had his first dog on dog experience with some PADS dogs, young & older dogs, and had a great time. He joined in the play with lots of excitement. He also visited with Sabrina & Copper, inside, and that was a bit overwhelming for him. Sam has also had a playdate with his brother Thorin. They had a lot of fun rollicking in the snow for about 20 minutes, although Sam never did get his turn on top. He always ended up on the underside of the play.

My grandson plays hockey and Samwise attended 2 of his hockey games. Well we kept the visit short so half of the games. It was a noisy environment with lots of people moving around. Samwise was a bit over-excited when we first went in but then he settled on a blanket, and seemed to relax with some kibble.

Samwise has taken the skytrain to Lafarge Lake and walked to the Hobbit House. At the station he went through the gates and into the elevators with no problem. He didn’t seem to be too stressed while riding the train but kept very alert to the sounds. Sam did an early morning mall walk before the stores opened and when it was quiet. He was very interested in everything. He met a few people and had a nice meet and greet.

He has attended a family birthday party with many adults and children, and he was overwhelmed by all of that fun. But it seemed to be a positive experience. Samwise has had visitors at his home, and he has been to other homes, and we try to practice his meet & greet but that is challenging for him as he loves to be around people.

Sam loves puppy yoga and body calming (I think mostly because of the food rewards) but still it is a nice time for both of us. Samwise has a very playful pounce that makes us laugh when he does it. He is a very curious little guy and wants to check out everything he sees.

The first month has definitely been a challenge for all of us. We continue to work on Sam’s behaviors and manners, socialization and skills, and in the last week or so he seems to have matured a little more and is a willing worker when he puts on his PADS vest.

Submitted by: Marcia Brown