This afternoon we attended a graduation ceremony for guide, autism and service dogs. There were a total of nine graduates. The dogs were from 3 different litters, C, E and F. When I looked out over the group I realized that all 9 of the dogs were Wally’s puppies (he has sired 51 in total). It was wonderful to see how his genes have been passed on and how successful they have become. The E-Litter is the first litter that has had all puppies make it through the training program and be successfully matched with a partner.
Sam and Ebony
One of today’s graduates held a very special place in our heart. Ebony was our foster puppy from 2007-2008. She and I learned operant conditioning (clicker training) together. She was amazing. I got her at 7 weeks old and in her first week with us she learned her name, sit, down, come and she could retrieve a set of keys. By the time she was 5 months old she could retrieve or carry anything, take off my socks and help me undress, empty the washer and dryer , and turn on the light switch. At 5-1/2 months old she flew with me, in the passenger cabin, to California to attend Clicker Expo.
There was nothing that Ebony couldn’t learn how to do and she loved to work. Just before she left us, I taught her how to paint. I would hand her the brush and she would make strokes on the canvas. Many of her original pieces of artwork were sold at a charity auction. I presented her partner Sam with a framed print of one of Ebony’s best works of art. She painted it during the summer of 2008 when the Beijing Summer Olympic were on TV….to me, it has a real oriental feel to it
Ebony with her paint brush
Another one of our previous foster puppies, Charly and her partner Larry, came to today’s graduation ceremony. Charly graduated a few years ago. We were lucky enough to be able to get a picture of Ebony and Charly together with their partners.
Larry & Charly with Sam & Ebony