Jay Update – Oct 2018

It’s Jay here once again. Some of you have been calling my friends at BC & Alberta Guide Dogs to find out what I have been up to since May.

Thank you for asking about me and I am paw-sitively thrilled to share my latest ‘pupdate.’

As you know, I have been learning and working hard in my obedience classes with my Puppy Raiser. I had my paws crossed I would get the green light to enter the Advanced Training Program.

Well, I made it!

In July, I entered the program and moved in with my new Boarding Family in Delta so I could be close to my advanced training instructor, Danielle.

Advanced training is where all the basic skills my Puppy Trainers taught me are brought together, so I can move on to the next part of my training.

I really work best when I receive support from my handler and am being considered for the Autism Support Dog and PTSD Service Dog streams!

They know I really enjoy laying on laps and this is very important if I am chosen to work as an Autism Support Dog.

For example, laying on a child’s lap can really help prevent a meltdown with body weight by giving deep pressure snuggles.

I am very affectionate and love MY cuddles and am delighted to share when they are really needed.

My days are pretty busy and full of adventures! Monday to Friday, Danielle picks me up from my Boarding Family’s home in the morning and I return just before dinnertime.

She says I am very smart and am learning autism support tasks very well.

I am just learning how to help if a child may want to bolt. I act like a sort of anchor so they choose to stay with me instead of wanting to run away.

This takes a lot of courage and can be a stressful even for me! But, my handler is helping me take things calmly so I can be focused and provide the best support to children with profound autism or Veterans with PTSD.

Remember when I was just 1 year old? Distraction with other dogs and animals was something I had to really work on.

Now that I am an “advanced” dog, I am not fazed by pigeons flying around me in the parks, rabbits jumping right in front of me on my walk, or dogs not wearing my special BC & Alberta Guide Dog blue jacket. I think that jacket gives me lots of confidence and brings out the smart in me.

Danielle is always trying to give me new situations to practise my skills. My favorite was the Dog Days of Summer at the Vancouver Airport this past summer.

I was even on TV. Maybe you saw my photo on Facebook too? There were so many other dogs there and I made everyone on our team proud.

Nothing like getting a lot of attention and pets from people (yes, Danielle let them pet me with my jacket on)!

I would be an ambassador again in a heartbeat.

I will continue to work hard in class and polish up my skills and obedience.

I know that this will prepare me for the role of an Autism Support Dog or PTSD Service Dog.

That would mean working together as partners along with my instructors to complete my final stage of training.

I want you to know that I really appreciate your support!

It takes a lot of time and commitment by so many people to get the training we need to become life- changing dogs.

I am very excited that one day I may be able to give someone freedom and independence.

Thank you & don’t forget to mark your calendar for 11th Annual Kitz4Kids fundraiser, January 19, 2019 @ River Rock Casino! ©

Wags and licks,

Jay