Wes hit a major milestone for any Canine Companions® puppy (or human for that matter). He celebrated his very first birthday! Birthdays are full of fun and often a special treat, but they also tend to make you think about what the next year will bring and how to work on a little bit of personal growth.

“Wes is no exception and we’ve been working hard on setting our 2020 goals,” says volunteer puppy raisers Christa and Steve. “We are committed to helping Wes achieve his training and socialization goals.”

Relax more, wag more and be flexible
This year, Wes is taking a page out of Christa’s book, attending Pilates class. He may not be doing the stretches, but he is perfecting the art of relaxation by snoozing while others exercise.

Make lasting relationships
Wes has been spending his evenings having cuddles with his family and friends, enjoying the smells of pizza parties and staying up past his bedtime with Christa to usher in the new year. Of course, Wes’ friends at puppy class and those he calmly greets on his socialization outings are excellent opportunities to work on his people skills. He can also practice appropriate greetings – Wes gets excited to see his friends!


Train for the future
Christa and Wes have been taking advantage of the Phoenix sunshine to walk a mile or two to the grocery store rather than hopping on the bus. These long walks are good for his body and help him remain focused on his handler even when “public places” seem more like a walk in the park. He’s also learning that the grocery store meat aisle smells delicious, but it’s not there for his nose’s enjoyment. Small steps add up, Wes!

With his eye on the prize, 1-year-old Wes is confident and mature. He has his goals set and is ready for whatever 2020 has to offer. As a reward for his successes in personal development, he will be treated to lots of belly rubs, praise and quality time with his puppy raisers.

Click here to learn more about becoming a volunteer puppy raiser.

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