Well, the summer is over and, boy, have I got a lot to tell you. At the beginning of August, Shari (our new PW Supervisor) and Mom and I drove to Houston to meet a representative of Paws With a Cause. The representative was very impressed with me and on August 19th I said goodbye to Texas and flew to the Paws training facility in Michigan! Well, like so many other college students, when I got to Michigan, I sorta ended up 'changing my major'. The OFC results of my hip x-rays came back as mildly dysplastic, which means I wasn't acceptable for Paws or any other service groups. (A service-dog has to have *extremely* good hips because they need to be able to work full-time for as long as they possibly can.)
BUT don't start feeling sorry for me yet! US Customs people came by the Paws facility while I was there and they got permission to test me for *their* program (my x-rays met their requirements). So guess what I am doing now! Yup - I'm in Virginia learning how to be a Customs dog. Their training program takes 11 weeks, and I get to learn how to find all kinds of drugs, plus maybe money or food or other things that people try to smuggle into the country. And do you know what the best part is??? They train us to identify smells by associating them with finding a TENNIS BALL!!!! I get to spend the rest of my career as a working dog looking for tennis balls to play with. Is this a dream job for me or what?
Since this will be my last letter to all of you, I just want to thank everybody for their support of Aggie Guide-dogs and Service-dogs and of my preliminary training. Your donations help make our Puppy Walking program possible. Thank you so much, from Mom and I both.