|Micron at Lookout Point, the highest elevation in Dayton.|
When we’re out and about with Micron, he has folk so impressed with his fabulous manners that we sometimes get requests to train their dogs for them. Or mayhaps would the same behavioral techniques work on kids, too?
Of course, we have to gently answer with a big fat No to both queries. We’re not professional dog trainers and well, we only had one kid to practice our parenting skills on, so no profundity to share on that topic either.
So how do we know what to do with this CCI pup? Who trains the trainer, that is?
Well, our CCI family does. As volunteer Puppy Raisers (PR’s in CCI-speak) we have a network of rather knowledgeable folk that are there to help us every paw step of the way. The CCI Puppy Raiser Coordinator is our first line expert. Suzanne is just a phone call away to advise me on how to quiet a very vocal puppy or to troubleshoot a dog that can’t seem to hold his licker. (Micron’s Pavlovian response to seeing a tot in a stroller is to lick his lips in anticipation of a full face slurpfest. Not a behavior becoming of a service dog, you know.)
The local chapter group with other PR’s is something we couldn’t live without, either. We have access to folk who are raising their eleventh CCI puppy. Or their seventeenth. Or how about that dedicated couple working on pup #32. Wow. So whatever puppy nonsense may be going on in your house with the furball in your charge, you know someone else has had a very similar experience somewhere along the line.
But we’re a big group, this CCI family. A nationwide organization, Canine Companions for Independence is of the oldest and largest of the service dog providers. And truly, the connections I enjoy most is interacting with the other PR’s from my pup’s litter.
We talk, we share. Do the littermates share any personality styles? Sure, but each is still unique. To unify this extended family, fellow PR, Marianne, has coined the term dogs-in-law, and I think that fits quite nicely.
|Micron at B&N ready to show off his manners. And good looks.|
Over the past eighteen months the PR’s of the amazing M litter have been sharing photos and stories. And now, we’re providing emotional support as we prepare to return these beautiful dogs back to CCI to finish their training. This week, on either May 13 or 14, the M litter puppies will be matriculating into CCI’s Advanced Training program. We’re sending them off to dog college, so to speak.
How do we give them back? With a box of tissues and a lot of pride. And the support of like-minded people who are now part of our family.
We caught up with five of Micron’s littermates and their PR’s. Here are Madden, Mars, Molina, Madias and Meryl and their PR’s as they share some photos, thoughts and their hopes for the future.
|Madden (L) and Mars (R) together again|
|Molina at six weeks|
|Molina attending a dog show|
|Madias at six weeks|
|Madias enjoying the country life (is that a John Deere collar?)|
I’ve just recently caught up with Kim, the PR of lovely Meryl, who has created a video showing a day in the life of a CCI puppy-in-program. Spend a few of minutes to watch beauty in motion. A very nicely done video. Enjoy . . .