Puppy coming in Winter; batten down the hatches.

While there have been a rasher of visiting dogs living alongside my own pair off and on, mostly on, for the past six months, all were serendipitous additions of various breed types and ages and issues and who came with no real warning. Nor were they selected by me for any characteristics — they just came. First there was Dolly, a rescue bichon, who went to a wonderful home to provide both companionship, service and therapy roles for her new owner, Wanda. Then Kiba/Kody came along and although he didn’t live under foot for long, his presence stirred up quite bit of action. Happy to report he is thriving like gangbusters in his new home in Erie, PA. Bosco the border collie, another victim of PTSD, was here for a good few months. A great training project, trauma rehab patient and video prodigy. But again, not a dog I picked. Bosco also found a wonderful well matched home with a great family. His adoption right before Christmas gave me a happily ever after new beginning sort of tingly experience that further reinforces how much I love my life with dogs. And the new year  began on New Year’s Eve with Luke, a diminutive papillon here for a week long board and train before moving off to The Big Apple with his new owner just 1 1/2 weeks ago.

But now I am anticipating, in mere hours, the arrival of a very carefully selected puppy, a golden retriever, from the warmer climes of Southern California. Bubbles is being kindly escorted by my trusted proxy, my sister Amy Friedman [who as the author of some award winning and amazing folk tales will hopefully be whispering them in the pup’s ears aboard the Continental flight from LAX to Cleveland]. This little pup was chosen for health, temperament and the wonderful way she was raised for her first 9 weeks.

Under my  guidance I will continue to shape a confident, happy, healthy and curious puppy  into a service dog for a little boy with autism.  I am excited to be starting out on this journey —  for the 7th time! I  have a trio of daughters actively seeking to be an integral part of the placement as well. Talk about Taking Your Daughters To Work!

I have savored each day of the past week anticipating how to set up the house for this project and take the dogs for long walks and let them in on it under pleasant surroundings. I am looking forward to having confident girl dog energy, sorely missed since Lily’s death just a year ago, as will my Lost Boys Trip and Bean.

In The Six Pillar fashion, I continue to observe the wealth of understanding my dogs have in various locations under different conditions. I know I have to practice these behaviors to keep the reliability stable and their knowledge fresh. Below, a little exercise in INCREASING DISTANCE on off leash walking on a snowy day. Hope you enjoy it.

And stay tuned for the Adventures of Bubble.