Hi, Everyone!

There are only a few hours left in my first ever December, and I will be sad to see it go. December has been the most surprising and twinkly month of all. Suddenly, everything everywhere was decorated with lights and bells – even me! My whole world seemed to change overnight, and this made being a PADS Puppy the most fun ever.

For starters, I woke up one morning to find everything covered in deep white snow while even more fell from the sky. There’s me in the photo waiting patiently by the door to go out and investigate. It turns out the snow was so deep that it nearly came up to my nose. A guy has to do some real romping to make it through snow that deep! In a few days, the rain came, and the snow started to disappear, leaving huge puddles and dripping icicles and gutters full of gushing water. For a PADS Puppy, this is terrific stuff to navigate, and I got in some very fun practice. Plus, I’m a total expert now at towelling off politely at the back door.

Speaking of December changes, the tennis courts, where I sometimes do my outdoor training, suddenly turned into a forest! Rows of pretty fir trees filled the empty space, and the high school students would drag them about and put them on top of cars. That was a bit surprising! But everything turned out great because I got to know the students, and they would always let me in to walk through the trees and listen to the music. They watched me very closely and were very impressed with my skills and good behaviour. Now, they all want PADS puppies! Then, one day, the trees went away, the snow was gone, and the tennis courts and playing field were full of robin redbreasts. I never chase birds.

I changed, too, in December. I’m 5-months-old now. My legs are much longer, and my little shark’s teeth are gone (a few fell out on the kitchen floor.) I’ve always loved learning new things, but I love my training even more than ever now, and I really get into every session. In fact, I get so into it that, sometimes, I act a bit huffy when it’s time to stop and take a break. So, that’s a thing I’m working on – transitions.

I can do so many things on cue now that I’ve lost count, and I’m shaping new skills all the time. My favourite thing these days is “going in.” At home, I practice under my little white table, and I like it so much that, often, during the day, I go in under it for a rest. As you can see in the photos, I also practice “going in” on field trips. When my Raiser went to renew her car insurance, I practiced in the office. At first, I tried sitting under the ledge. But the ledge was too low and narrow, and the meeting was rather long, so I practiced my “settle” position instead. My favourite brain game these days is untying little rags to find the kibble inside. I’m getting so clever that my Raiser has to tie very tight knots and hide rags inside of other rags.

Oh, and our PADS Instructors organized a great Holiday Class for us at the BCAA headquarters! We got there early, so I watched through the windshield as dozens of PADS Puppies & Raisers arrived and trotted across the dark parking lot toward the sparkling Christmas tree in the lobby. It was a beautiful sight! I wish you could have seen it. My group had class in the underground parkade. As you can see in the photos, our Instructors planned great activities, and, despite our excitement, we all tried hard to do our best work.

Because of the weather, I missed my Walk & Talk Assessment at Home Depot in December, but I’ll do that first thing in January. Also, I’m attending a special event at VanCity on the 14th! So, I’ll have lots to tell you at the end of next month.

Happy New Year, Everyone! Thanks so much for listening.

Submitted by: Mikal