Saturday, March 26, 2011

Lending a hand...

I am a big helper. Within 3 days of being in my new home, I have learned how important it is to bring in the mail. 
 Sometimes I am very reluctant to leave the house and the comfort of my new bed. Have I mentioned how much I like naps?
 Coaxing sometimes doesn't even work. Dad, do you have any kibbles in your pocket to bribe me with?
Okay, mom's got the camera in hand and is waiting for me at the mailbox. I'd better hurry to see what she has for me.
 First I have to sit at the mailbox. Sometimes the mail person leaves kibbles in the mailbox for me...(but not always)!
 But all dad gets are bills!
 I'm too little to get the mail by myself so dad has to give it to me to carry in.
 Look at me go!  I like to carry the mail cuz it makes me feel so big!
 Man, this letter is heavy!
As a service dog, I am learning the command "Sit". I have to sit at every door before it is opened.
I can only enter when I am given the command "Forward In".
 I am also learning the command "Give". Here, dad asks me to give him the mail. See how fast I'm learning?  I hope to trade this letter for ....kibbles!
Yes!  Score!!  That's just what I wanted. Thanks, Dad! 
Y'all stay tuned to see what I learn next.

Notes from mom and dad:
Bringing in the mail is NOT a required skill of guide dog puppies. Puppy raisers are discouraged from teaching the pups "tricks" like shake hands, roll over, speak, etc...  However, Smokey was reluctant to leave the comfort of his new home, and he was putting everything he found in the driveway and the yard, etc in his mouth.  But his overwhelming desire to please will make him a great service dog - he literally prances in the house with the mail. Teaching him this activity served two purposes -- 1) it got him off his bed and excited about going outdoors, and, 2) with mail in his mouth, he doesn't stop to scavenge the driveway for rocks, pecan hulls, bugs, etc.

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