Maggie’s Christmas update


Maggie had a great Christmas…lots of new experiences.  She got a new ball and loves chasing it and bringing it back.  Sometimes you have to “trade” a stick for the ball, but she is pretty good about giving it up for another turn at running after it.  She also had the great experience of meeting a bunch of new people and new dogs!  My brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Steve and Laura, have two VERY BIG English Sheep dogs to whom Maggie was introduced.  At first, she paused and sized up these giant dogs, but soon was wanting to play with both Rascal and  Caspar,  and she showed no fear!  This was another big step in socialization…getting comfortable around other dogs is important for her.  On one of her walks, she met another dog, but this time we just looked.  One little surprise she had on another walk was seeing her reflection on a shiny truck door parked along the street.  I am sure she never did figure out who the cute little puppy was in the door…she was quite surprised at first, then she looked for a while, cocked her head and decided to move on.  I got a good chuckle out of that.  She attended our big family gathering on Christmas day and was a BIG hit…she loved meeting all of the extended family (about 60 individuals) and did very well…and boy, was she tired after that.  As far as her basic training is going, she is doing very well on her loose lease walking, waits for her “OK” verbal command before diving into her food, and really seems to be housebroken already!  After her first two “accidents” in our house, there has not been another incident, so I would call “housebreaking” a real success so far.  Last night she slept ALL night, and when she awoke this morning, she just started chewing her bone…no whining or crying.  This is a remarkable little puppy.  Last night she fell asleep on my lap during an hour and a half movie…very content and calm.  The morning always brings a re-energized puppy ready to greet everyone enthusiastically..it’s hard for her not to jump up on everyone, but she is learning that she gets much more attention with “4 on the floor”!  She seems to be a quick learner, and I think she is heading to be a great Service Dog.

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5 Responses to Maggie’s Christmas update

  1. Bolts says:

    Phil I think you got a real special 4 paw.. it seems as if it has been too easy so far. It usually takes months to house break them to a point where you are at ease…Great job so far. I am already thinking about the day she goes to her call of duty. Can you be sure that she will be loved, protected, and cared for at the same level she experienced as a pup? That would so hard for me.

    • pmbender says:

      Never fear…our organization is very particular about how the dogs are placed and CARED for. They are checked on frequently and if they are not being maintained, groomed, loved and healthy, they are removed from service. They have done that in very few cases (but have done it) because of their careful placement. They even check up on us to see that the dogs are well cared for. we have mandatory training classes (weekly) where they see the pups, and mandatory vet visits. When the pups are full grown dogs, we still have the vet visits and every other week training sessions. They are so careful about these dogs, that I have no doubt the dogs will live a happy and content life. It costs about @20,000 to train the dogs for service, but if the dog wants to be a pet and is stressed out being a service dog, they are placed as pets. So you can relax! And you are correct about the housebreaking…I was a bit premature. After I posted the blog, she wet THREE times in the house…it was as if she read my blog and said “your expectations are way too high for me”. She’ll learn and is still pretty good about waiting until outside. I’m adding a link to our organization so you can read about it. You can also click on it under Blogroll on the right side of this page. http://www.keystonehumanservices.org/susquehanna-service-dogs/default.php

  2. jessie says:

    Maggie is adorable! Nothing like a new baby to love and shower your love upon! (I had a friend Maggie who transistioned to heaven this last spring so perhaps her mellow spirit has transferred to your Maggie). The pics of your grand children w/ her are priceless!

    You two sound very happy w/ this fluff ball of joy……………..and knowing your are doing a service for someone else who will really need her in the future is a very selfless act of love. Having worked for Tri-County Assn for the Blind in Harrisburg I know first hand how important these dogs are for the vision impaired.
    Hugs from NC,
    Jessie

    • pmbender says:

      Thanks Jessie. We are really enjoying this experience so far. She is just so nice…but still all puppy! Next time you visit, you will see her in a more mannerly state and on her way to getting prepared to serve. I know already, giving her up will be one of the most difficult things I will ever have to do!

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