Richee update October 2017

Hello there! It’s me, Richee!

As you can see I have changed a lot since my first baby picture! I know what you are thinking, I’m pretty handsome right!?

I must say this summer has gone by super-fast!

I’ve had a wonderful summer with the exception of some minor health issues. I recently started to experience some discomfort in my ears and went to see my puppy doctor. She discovered I had a virus and needed to take some puppy medication. Just like humans, us pups are susceptible to the odd health setback. In no time, I’ll be back to my most ‘paw-feet’ self!

Living in Vancouver there have been an abundance of things to see and do such as attending outdoor concerts, festivals, parades and participating in a variety of activities and sports. One of my favorite activities is hiking in the North Shore Mountains or exploring the trails in the Pacific Spirit Regional Park. The Pacific Spirit Park is over 2000 acres of gorgeous land located in the University Endowment Lands in Vancouver. It’s incredible that one can enjoy and balance city life and nature all within close proximity to one another!

When I am out in public, I always wear my special blue BC & Alberta Guide Dogs Training jacket, which allows me to go anywhere humans can go! This gives me a special pass to places such as grocery stores, appointments and restaurants. Being exposed to many places and situations helps me prepare for my life as a Guide Dog or Autism Support Dog. It makes me happy when people notice my special blue jacket and ask my Puppy Trainer questions about my training and future career. I thrive off of attention and am very social, always wagging my tail to say hello to everyone I meet. I am a fairly easy-going fella and do my best to remain calm and relaxed in public and social settings.

I am still attending obedience class every two weeks which is so much fun because I get to see other pups. My pals and I are always excited to see each other. Some pups need to be reminded to focus and remember obedience first, playtime second!

I am mastering the commands of ‘sit’, ‘off’ and ‘down’. I am working on not scavenging as I’m occasionally tempted by little bits of food or other items that I find on the ground. My Puppy Trainer tells me to ‘leave it’ and to concentrate on the task at hand.

I am practicing ‘find curb’, ‘find stairs’ (both up and down) and ‘find door’. To indicate that I have found the curb, stairs or door, I sit down in front of them. I’ve had a bit of trouble with sitting at curbs but with the help of my tug toy I am now a curb-sitting master!

When I go upstairs, I place my front paws on the bottom step and wait until -I am told it’s-okay to proceed. During my training I will need to master this so I can help a blind or visually impaired person identify these landmarks, or make sure a child with autism doesn’t go too far from his or her parents.

I am also working on dog distraction. I need to be reminded to not greet other pups (or other creatures!) when I have my jacket on and am out for a walk. I want to please my Puppy Trainer and I know there will be lots of opportunity to play and meet new pup friends at the off-leash play areas. When I am free running and playing tag with my friends, I know how important it is to immediately return when my Puppy Trainer calls me to her. She tells me my recall is amazing and will give me a pat on my head and tell me I am a good boy!

Thank you again for supporting the BC & Alberta Guide Dogs Puppy Sponsorship Program and particularly me! In my next letter I will provide you with more updates on my training and new adventures!

Love Richee