Golden Lab
San Diego Ranch

Hello people! Drew here. I graduated from the prison program, and currently, I am living at the San Diego Ranch. Life has been good. I’ve grown into one good looking boy! Or at least that is what everyone says… When I got to the ranch, I was assigned to Trainer Girl Dominique pack. I like all the other dogs and love my trainer girl. At first, I could not stop using my sniffer while heeling, I wanted to know every unique smell in the ranch. Trainer Girl said this kind of excessive sniffing can cause issues, I was also hyper in DPT and had a VERY happy paw for alert. So we had to make a couple of adjustments. I was already responsive to basic obedience; it was just a matter of fine-tuning some of my tasks. After working with Trainer Girl for only ONE week, my heel was WAY better and I was no longer excessive sniffing all over the place, my DPT was calmer and I was already learning signal instead of alert, to fix the heavy paw. After the second week of training, I had signal down! No hand cue and all. Bossman was very proud of Trainer Girl and me. And even Trainer Girl was impressed with how fast I learn. DPT was also better, still excited, but I was not squirming as much. This is so hard, but I am improving! I am learning to chill and merely enjoy the moment without getting too hyper. Since I am improving so much and my basics are looking good, the hoomans think I am ready for the next level of training! I heard the trainers say something about mobility, and after that, we started playing fetch during training. I didn’t know what mobility meant but I like this new stage of training; and according to my trainers, I am a natural. For now, we are working on the basics of structured fetch. I get to play, but there are more rules compared to when we play fetch during break time. I gotta do a stay and hold it WHILE she throws the toy, then I get released to retrieve the item, and when I come back I have to sit and return the item placing it on Trainer Girl’s hand. I am doing pretty good with the whole structured fetch thing, there is just one part I am struggling with. Either I sit or return the item; I cannot sit with the toy in my mouth. It just feels odd to me, and I have to drop the item. Trainer Girl says I’ll get there with a little (or a lot) more practice, and Boss Man said we can work on turning structured fetch into advanced retrieval! I will learn to retrieve all kinds of items! Even metal things like keys or slippery things like pill bottles! I am excited to keep learning this and other mobility tasks! I heard I will learn to open doors, cabinets, drawers! I love this idea; I like to be of help and cannot wait to be helping my person one day. Little Angel Drew, mobility service dog! That’s gonna be me! But before that, I gotta go to the vet. Even though my training is going awesome, a month ago I started whining. I whine in the crate and also while heeling. According to Boss Man, it is the hormones getting me crazy; so after the vet takes care of that (whatever that means) and I get a vacation to recover, I’ll be back! Ready to train and ready to work! So come back to get an update soon! Love, Drew (09/27/2020)

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