Canine Companions dog (we can’t call him a puppy anymore), Miller, has almost completed the first three months of professional training. In this time, he’s been building on the commands he learned as a puppy, as well as learning the working commands that he’ll put into use if he succeeds in the program and is matched with a child, adult or veteran with a disability.
Miller’s days in professional training have been filled with excitement! He starts the day with breakfast and then hits the books with his professional instructor, Kim. Miller thinks she’s great – a top-dog, one might even say. They spend each day practicing a mix of familiar and new commands. Every morning, Miller looks forward to practicing his favorite new command, “pull.” These sessions are half training and half workout: Miller gets to go for a trot while his trainer holds onto his specially designed pull-harness so that he can help propel her in a manual wheelchair. As a finished command, pull can help individuals who use wheelchairs by relieving strain on the shoulders and freeing a hand to hold items as they head towards their destination. For his part, Miller thinks the practice sessions are a blast!
When Miller is not working with his trainer, he gets to play with other dogs in professional training, nap or be pampered with a grooming session. What a lucky dog!
If all goes as planned, and Miller continues the path to become an assistance dog, it could be just a few more months before he meets his future graduate and gets to work enhancing the independence of a person with a disability. Until then, Miller will continue his daily routine full of his favorite things: eating, sleeping, working, snuggles and play.
Celebrate 10 life-changing years at the Northeast region’s Miller Family Campus (named for Canine Companions national board chair and Miller the dog’s namesake, John Miller) on November 10 at Diamonds in the Ruff.