We sponsor Cooper, a training seeing eye dog and here is his latest letter to us from October 2012
Hello there! It’s me Cooper -I do hope you are well? Wow I’m growing up so fast. I just celebrated my second birthday. Having a birthday at Camp SEDA was a blast -I was given a big free run time with all my friends and got lots of special attention.
And … guess what? Both my sisters officially graduated as Seeing Eye Dogs. I am very proud of them both as you have to be so good to graduate. It was a little bit sad saying goodbye but both girls had already started forming a wonderful friendship with their new handlers and they were so happy to be able to be the ‘eyes’ for them. Now hopefully I can follow in both of my sisters paw steps -paws crossed!
To be honest training has been quite challenging lately with lots of different things to remember. We’ve been training in all types of places including residential areas and in the city. We’ve been on trains, on buses, to shopping centres and coffee shops.
I’ve been learning to find traffic light buttons, seats, escalators, steps, lifts, controlled crossing points, trains, buses, doors, and many other things. I am also learning how to put all my knowledge together in order to work independently without requiring help from my trainer as much as possible. My trainer says that I have been doing this beautifully except for the times when I get a little over-excited. Oops.
I was training really well then I remembered what happened to my toes a while back and I started worrying again. Hopefully I can put it out of my mind because I’m sure they are ok now.
My trainer says that I’m a very happy and excitable dog. I love to work but I can be a bit silly at times too. One of the things I have started doing recently is smiling. You see I just lift my lips up and show my teeth -easy. I know it sounds a bit like I’m growling but I do it whilst wagging my tail when I’m super excited! It’s very funny and everyone ends up laughing at me and then cuddling me. I think it might become my secret party trick.
So apparently I do almost everything well but sometimes I’m told I work with a little
TOO much enthusiasm. As I have mentioned I do tend to get very excited when out working and sometimes I pull a little at times. My trainer says she is not concerned too much about this as she suspects I will calm down a lot as I mature.
I am looking forward to becoming a Seeing Eye Dog and hopefully my toes won’t
continue to bug me. Thank you so much for supporting me through my training
journey. I will write again soon and keep you updated. Hopefully I have some exciting news to share soon!
Until then, big cuddles and licks