On Friday, August 10, 2018, we celebrated the next step in Foley’s journey to become an assistance dog. Foley entered professional training at the Southwest Training Center after participating in a full day of exciting and emotional activities.
Foley said goodbye to all his friends, human and canine, on Thursday and then hopped on the shuttle to San Francisco International Airport. The opportunities for socialization were abundant!
Once at the airport, Foley was given one more chance to “hurry” at the animal relief area and then confidently headed into the airport. Waiting in line at security was fun as Foley got a lot of attention from fellow travelers. When they had questions, his puppy raiser took the opportunity to educate them about Canine Companions®. After security, Foley walked around the airport with a wag in his tail, and his puppy raiser enjoyed seeing the smiles on people’s faces when they saw such a happy pup.
On the plane, Foley curled up in the space at his raiser’s feet. Everyone was quite impressed that he could fit in such a tight space. They were again impressed at how well-behaved he was during the whole flight. Many travelers commented on how they didn’t know he was there, which is always the puppy raiser’s goal!
When they arrived in San Diego, Foley was loaded in the car and they headed to a friend’s house where he got to enjoy his last night, snuggled in bed, with his puppy raiser. The next morning, matriculation day, Foley had a good play session with some pals and then joined the puppy raiser brunch where he had his photo taken, met his sister Flurry and his future roommate, Edison!
From there it was on to the graduation and matriculation ceremony. Foley looked great in his blue matriculation cape and walked across the stage, with puppy photos displayed behind him, to receive recognition and mark the next step in his journey. After watching the “big” dogs graduate with the people they were matched with, Foley headed back to the Southwest Training Center to say goodbye to his puppy raiser.
At the training center, Foley was given a goodie bag of treats and a last chance to snuggle. Then it was time to say goodbye and good luck. As Foley walked away he didn’t look back, showing that he was confident and ready to do great things.
We are so proud of Foley and can’t wait to see what the future holds for him. Stay tuned and subscribe to the blog for updates on Foley’s time in professional training. You can also connect with Canine Companions on social media to see weekly #FoleyFriday posts.