Professional Training is Right Around the Corner 

Canine Companions® puppy Wes is starting professional training to become an assistance dog in just a few months. It’s important to reflect on some of the most important ways that his puppy raisers, Christa and Steve, have prepared him for life as an assistance dog. Much of their job as volunteer puppy raisers focuses on socialization – introducing Wes to experiences he may encounter in the “real world” by a partner’s side.

All Canine Companions assistance dogs must learn to be adaptable, not just in their schedules or routines, but in the actual experiences that may be brand new every single day. Whether Wes’ future has him in Disneyland today and a hospital recovery room tomorrow, or sheltering in place, Christa and Steve have been prepping Wes to be successful in whatever comes his way!

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Oh the Places You Go…

Wes has had a breadth of experiences, thanks to the careful planning of his puppy raisers who recognize how important it is to keep Wes engaged and socialized. So far Wes has met new people, gone to farmers markets and learned to be able to resist distracting squirrels and dogs at the park. As he continue to grows up, Wes is ready to take on anything that comes his way!

Wes has traveled by plane, bus, trolley and car! “Wes seemed to particularly enjoy the Light Rail rides, especially when we were able to get a seat with a good view of the train,” says Christa.

This allowed Wes plenty of time to do some serious people watching and even squeeze in a nap. With the frequent stops that the train makes there were always new people coming and going, which made it very interesting for Wes. The trolley was a tougher experience for Wes to work through.

Changes + Challenges = Growth 

“It had a swaying motion that he hadn’t experienced before. He was a little anxious on the first and second rides but by the third ride Wes handled it like a pro and was comfortable enough to take a nap.”

Wes’ puppy raiser says that he handles change well, thanks to lots of different experiences and a love of naps. Whether in a busy dentist office or a quiet day at home, he’s happy to keep up with the pace of the day. While he has a love of people watching and asking politely to say hello to new friends, Wes is well on his way to success, wherever his path takes him.