Says Quinn: Remember when Snoopy returned to Daisy Hill Puppy Farm for a reunion?
Earlier this week I had a similar experience.
When I was a puppy, my brother Dakota and I went to NEADS, the National Education for Assistive Dog Service, based in West Boylston, MA. From there we went to the prison in Portland, ME, as the first puppies in Maine’s Prison Pup Program to be trained as service dogs. Once a week a trainer came to train the inmate who would then train us.
When I was nearly a year old, I went back to NEADS for further training to be Ellen’s Hearing Ear Dog. My trainer was Brian, and I love him but he worked me hard!
After several weeks of learning to respond to the alarm clock, stove timer, smoke and fire alarms, doorbells, and the name “Ellen” so I could alert Ellen. Then Ellen came to NEADS to train and bond with me.
That was 11 years ago. Ellen and I have been the best team.
Over the past 11 years, I’ve done a lot of traveling all over the US and Canada, made hundreds of friends, enjoyed concerts, festivals, theater, movies, and baseball games, and scomped up some gourmet food people happened to drop on the floor. (Sitting under the cheese table at cocktail parties is the best spot for this!)
I’m in really great shape, if I do say so myself. My hearing, however, isn’t what it used to be. So soon, Ellen is going to need a new Hearing Ear Dog and I get to stay with Ellen at Birchwood Inn and become her pet.
This week we drove to NEADS to talk about the new dog. I recognized NEADS right away and jumped up and ran to the door when I heard Brian’s voice for the first time in 11 years.
So I am going to retire. Oh, not yet! It will most likely take 9 to 12 months to find the perfect dog for Ellen. And when the new dog arrives at our Lenox Bed and Breakfast, I’ll get to sleep in, roll in the snow and lie in the sun. I’ve had a good run.