My prayers of last month have been answered.
Noelle, our guide dog puppy, has improved greatly. Now, there are moments when I can see the possibility of her morphing into a future seeing-eye dog who will be of great service to someone for eight or nine years. My husband and I often marvel at our great luck in getting such a lovely puppy, or perhaps it’s just that our expectations have plummeted.
Since I last wrote, Noelle has lost many of her baby teeth, been house trained and sleeps through the night. Joy! She has mastered climbing stairs in the prescribed manner of placing her two front paws on the lowest rung until commanded to move, though, going down remains a bit tricky as she tends to leap off the top step.
She has also learned how to get on and off escalators, how to sit in front of a door until allowed to enter, to wait until her front paws are wiped, to ride an elevator and to walk fairly well on her guide-leash with no stopping to sniff at blades of grass or chomp on fallen pinecones. In addition, she rings a bell when she needs to go outside to relieve herself and she has learned to eliminate on command. Boy, oh, boy … we have come a long way.
So is she perfect? Hardly. She still loves to bite our hands and has a bad habit of launching herself vertically at us when we least expect it.
The chewing of objects continues unabated and we suspect she thinks that her name is “leave it.” Still, we are on our way and there are definitely moments each day when we think she is the best!
– Tara Douglas is fostering and training Noelle for B.C. Guide Dog Services