Sunday, August 24, 2008

A New Beginning

On Friday the puppies were fluffed and buffed. Bev took a few last photos and both Bev and Herb got in a few last cuddles. The foster homes, who have been anxiously awaiting these five little puppies, were all ready for their new arrivals. Everyone met at the Helping Paws training center and the foster homes cuddled and played with the puppies wondering which one would be theirs. Finally it was time and the puppies were given to their new home. There were lots of smiles and laughter as the puppies started the next phase of their life - service dogs-in-training. Over the next two to three years these special families will work with these dogs daily at home and in public. They will attend weekly training classes where they will learn the skills needed to train the dogs over 70 cues, starting with basic obedience skills and socialization and progressing to specialized service dog skills such as opening a door, turning on and off lights, getting help, retrieving items, and the list goes on and on. When the dogs are ready to graduate Helping Paws will give these dogs to an individual with a physical disability. The love and time the foster homes invest in these dogs will help someone else live a more independent life. What an awesome gift and what special people these foster homes are. If you would like to follow these dogs on their new journey, consider sponsoring a puppy through the Blue Coat Benefactor program. For more information on this program and on Helping Paws in general, please visit the Helping Paws website; A new website is currently being developed and will be released in September.

Bev and Herb returned home without the puppies but thanks to Herb's creativeness, there will always be a reminder in their yard of Sheba's first litter.

The Week in Review

This last week was really busy for the puppies. On Tuesday they made a trip to the Helping Paws training center for puppy testing. Each puppy went through a series of 10 different tests. Puppy testing helps the Helping Paws staff determine which foster home will receive which puppy. On Wednesday the puppies took another car trip, this time to Inver Grove Heights Animal Hospital. They received their first shots and had a microchip inserted which they all took really well, especially considering the size of the micro chip needle. Dr. Windsor gave them all a clean bill of health. Here are a few photos of their last week with Bev and Herb.

Seven Week Portraits