January was very busy with lots of new activities and adventures. We reviewed puppy yoga for regular handling us pups, including brushing teeth daily. I really like this tooth brushing which Lise said was a good thing. 

We are learning many new things that will be important in building the foundation of my service puppy in training as well as for later when I become a service dog. This is so exciting, but I have to learn to stay calm, which we are always working on. Some of the skills we have learned include: luring me to my bed with treats, repeat, kennel cue, sit tuck on a platform, puppy recall, collar grab, go say hi, DMT (distraction, mark, treat) when Lise gets my attention, and I make eye contact, she says “nice” and gives me treats. Practise is important for us pups to retain our skills. 

We started off taking the elevator down to the parking garage to Lise’s car. One day, we took another door, and I went up two small flights of stairs with no problem. 

I am also growing and getting much stronger every day. Sometimes I pull on my leash when I get too excited seeing people when we go to the grocery store; I like people, especially little ones. Lise keeps a tight rein on my leash and keeps me down and close. She calms me, and I focus on her, and we carry on. Lots of people want to pet me, and they all say I am so cute. 

Near the end of the month, Lise took me to her gym, where she does exercise three times a week. There is a lot going on there, and it is difficult for me to stay calm; we are always working on it. Lise lays out my blanket, gives me a kong, and goes about her exercise routine. 

I also accompanied Lise to the lab for her blood work, another new place, but I handled it like a champ and only barked a couple of times. We also took our first ride on the bus, and at first, I was scared. Lots of different people getting on and off, the bus was full, and I found it stressful. We got off the bus in Chinatown and walked over to meet our new coach, who will be helping us both. She has more experience with PADS dogs which is good for us. We went into her studio, and I was really comfortable there, probably because it is set up perfect for her PADS dog. Lise and Leanne chatted about me, and I ran around and played by myself. Anytime I tried to jump up on our new friend, she would redirect me; no problem, all is good. 

It really does take a village to raise a pup like me.

Submitted by: Lise