Letter from Dia – May 2015
It’s me, Dia! I’m excited to write you again. Can you believe I’m 18 months old now?
I have exciting news! I recently moved in with my Boarding Family in Delta to be closer to the BC and AB Guide Dog instructors while I complete advanced training. I miss my Puppy Raising Family and they miss me, but they knew I was ready to take my training to the next level. I hope they continue to be proud of me!
I’ve really been enjoying advanced training. My days are busy and full of adventures. Monday to Friday, my instructor Jaime picks me up in the morning and I return just before dinnertime. My motto is, “train hard, play harder”. Jaime tells me she loves my enthusiasm and energy, and she thinks I will do well in complex situations. She says I have excellent intuition and perform well under pressure. She also says I am great at remembering routes which is an important quality to have as a Guide Dog!
Advanced training has been wonderful, not only because I love the training, but also because I am training with my siblings, Lois and Bear. When we are out training, I try my hardest to be the one chosen for the first walk. When Jaime opens the van door I stick out my head as far as I can as my way of saying “Pick me!” Sometimes I am so eager to train, Jaime has to encourage me to take a break.
I am a very friendly and happy girl. My exuberant personality draws people to me and I stand out in a crowd more than my siblings. I love when people stop my instructor and ask questions about my special blue jacket. I’m glad people are interested in what I am doing and how I can help someone with a visual impairment.
My instructor is stepping back from giving me detailed direction and is allowing me to navigate on my own, including in busy places. I need to learn to work independently and think for myself. Once I become a real working dog, my partner will rely on my good judgment in all sorts of situations.
In my next letter I will write to you about completing the final stages of my training. If all goes well, I will be matched with a recipient. I will travel and stay with my new prospective partner, and with Jaime’s hep, we will practice real routes my partner regularly takes. Jaime will also teach that person how to take care of me so that we can enjoy many healthy happy years together.
I want to mention again how much I appreciate your support. Through your commitment, pups like me are able to get the training we need to become life-changing dogs. Thank you!