August 21, 2011
Beacon is doing very well! So well, in fact, that he is the star puppy in our group. Even with all the other pups in training romping around at our meetings, Beacon will sit and stay. He does want to get up and be part of the mischief, but he has mastered listening to our command to stay no matter what may be going on around him! He has also mastered the art of holding more than one toy in his mouth at a time... (see picture #1) and posing for early morning pictures (see picture #2)
Beacon continues to do well with his training with few exceptions. He does not like to go up open stairs... (see picture #3) but we are continually working with him to overcome this. Last month was also puppy camp for Beacon. He went to live with another raiser family for 5 days (see picture # 4). The family loved sweet Beacon immediately and were very impressed with how well Beacon followed commands and, after a little exploring around their home, settled right in. This was a great time for Beacon (not so much for us though - we all missed him terribly!) as he learned to live in a house with another dog and follow commands given by others. Beacon went to the vet (ear infection) and while he did not gain much weight, he grew taller. Of course, he was the vets best behaved client and, as the vet commented, 'as handsome as ever!'
What summer would be complete without a trip to the farm? Beacon loves the farm - lots of wide open spaces to run and play, other dogs to play with, a lot of new farm animals to meet! Beacon especially enjoyed hanging out in the shade provided by the bean canopy (see pictures 5 & 6). During this trip Beacon discovered that melon straight from the field is a wonderful and delicious treat. Each time we called him away from the melon patch, he would look at us, while squinting, almost as if he was thinking 'awww shucks, why are you forcing me from this field... this is too good to leave....'
Our Area Coordinator told us that Beacon may be called back to Southeastern Guide Dogs to being formal harness training on October 13th. It is still tentative but we need to start preparing ourselves that our time with Beacon may end sooner than we expected. Sometimes I feel he is ready to head back - knowing his commands, walking so beautifully without pulling and wanting to work - but at other times, I am not so certain. I know the trainers understand the pups are still not fully mature when they head back in for training and are very generous with allowing them extra time to adjust to the new environment and learn new handlers but October seems like it is just around the corner.
How far are you from the Southeastern Guide Dogs campus? I will keep you posted about Beacons in for training date and, as time gets closer, see if we can come up with a plan to have you all meet before sweet Beacon heads back to the Southeastern campus.
I hope you had a great summer!