Hello, PHC friends! I have been a very bad blogger, it’s true. I’ve had my new guide dog in training for a little while, and I have yet to introduce her to all of you.
So without further ado, I present to you my new puppy, Diamond. Diamond is a black and tan German Shepherd, and she just turned 8 months old. She comes from a wonderful breeder in Pennsylvania called Eichenluft Working German Shepherds.
Her breeder did a wonderful job selecting Diamond for me. I said I needed a people-oriented dog who wants a job. The dog must be okay with children, other dogs and be good on different surfaces. Also, the dog needs to be solid around loud noises and anything strange that might come up in our day-to-day travels. Diamond has all these qualities, and she’s also super smart!
She has bonded quickly with me and really wants to learn and work. She loves to work so much that she has started to whine with excitement when she realizes we’re going out, so we’ll have to work on that a bit. However, I think having a dog who wants to work a little too much isn’t really a bad thing, at least for me!
So far, she has gone to classes with me (I started my fall semester at the university), attended a formal dinner party with me and been onstage with me during a musical performance. Oh, and of course she flew home with me in the cabin of an aircraft for the first time! I have worked her in the park, down very busy streets and through airports.
We have also, of course, visited a few coffee shops because, let’s face it, puppies are tiring, so their humans need lots and lots of caffeine! She has handled all these situations about as well as I could expect at this point in her training. She isn’t perfect— what 8-month-old puppy is? But she does try very hard and has tons of potential.
Before I picked her up last week, I didn’t really know what to expect from her. I bought her sight unseen, remember, so while I knew how she was progressing in her basic training, I hadn’t actually met her myself. I have to tell you she has surpassed my expectations!! The service dog trainer who worked with her for the past month did such a good job that, after she gets spayed this week, I’ll be able to really get started teaching her how to be a guide dog.
In sum, Diamond is definitely a keeper! I’ll be sure to keep you all posted on her progress and our adventures together. If you have any welcoming thoughts or questions for her, leave them below in the comments and I will be sure to pass them along!