Partners and Paws Summer 2021


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Hello Everybody! I have some pretty great news to share this time. I’ve now learned all of the commands and tasks required for me to become a full fledged Saint Francis Service Dog! What’s even better is that with the lifting of COVID restrictions, the focus of my education and training is shifting toward socialization. Boy, do I love the sound of that! For a girl like me, it’s got ‘fun’ written all over it. Before you get ready to join me in tucking tail and zooming over this wonderful news, let me fill you in a bit about what socialization really means… It turns out that socialization in my program IS a lot of fun, but it’s also a lot more complicated than just meeting new friends and hanging out. Similar to higher education for people, there is a balance between the “academic” part of training, where I concentrate on learning all sorts of vocabulary and really cool skills in a classroom-type setting, and the socialization part, which involves learning all about what’s out there in the “real world.” The real world includes a huge variety of living things, unique settings, and endless combinations of situations. Training and socialization go hand in hand throughout my training process. Since my trainer and I were limited in how much we could “get out there” toward the beginning of my training, we’re now doing a bit of make-up work, and I’m loving it!

My trainer’s goal is to introduce me to as many real world experiences as she possibly can. In the last few months, I’ve traveled by boat and airplane, and seen a hospital, a hotel, and a Harley. I’ve met little kids and live musicians, come nose-to-nose with giant carp, and even enjoyed sunsets in Sarasota. Experiences like these allow working dogs like me to get ready for our future partners in a lot of ways. Practicing what I’ve learned in class when I’m out and about with my trainer has helped me learn to focus on my person and my job, regardless of what’s going on around me. Every new adventure helps me to feel more comfortable and confident in unfamiliar situations and settings. By the time

I’m done with all of my training, I’ll be ready to comfortably and confidently apply everything that I’ve learned whenever my partner needs me and wherever we venture together.


“Every new adventure helps me to feel more comfortable and confident. ”


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