This week I’ve been continuing to familiarise Chance with the types of places and environments he will be visiting when he is placed with his recipient. On Wednesday I took Chance to church. We are lucky that we have a church close by in Princes Risborough where we are welcome to take the dogs along to the daily service. Church buildings can be quite large and echoic, so it is good to get the dogs used to church and meet some of the people if possible. And obviously it is important the dogs are quiet during the service! Chance was happy with his visit to church and settled well despite me getting up and down for the readings.
We also visited a school this week. It was Chance’s second visit to a school – we visited Brimble Hill School in week 12. The recipient I have matched with Chance works in a school so it’s important that he gets used to being around lots of children in a busy learning environment.
We wandered around the corridors meeting lots of the pupils and Chance got a lot of “awwww” comments as we passed. We brushed up on our geography skills while we settled in a class and Chance got used to relaxing even though I was moving around the class as if I was teaching the pupils. We will be visiting the school again next week as part of his Partnership Assessment (PA) – the second and last main test of his advanced training.
I also had a nice surprise in store for Chance this week. When our dogs pass their Foundation Assessment we invite their puppy socialisers to our training centre to visit them and see a demonstration of all the soundwork skills they have learned. Keith and Sallie Dixon – Chance’s puppy socialisers – were delighted to accept the invite and Chance was even more overjoyed to see them again. When he set eyes on them he did a bouncy happy jig around them for about five minutes!
Once he had calmed down a little we all went for a walk together and I talked Keith and Sallie through all the training Chance has done so far. We then went into the training house and Chance showed off all his soundwork skills.
Volunteer puppy socialisers are vital to the Charity. They give our puppies a loving home from eight weeks of age until they are around a year old and ready to start their soundwork training. Puppy socialisers introduce our dogs to different people and experiences and teach them basic obedience such as sit, wait and recall. They are visited regularly by their puppy socialising trainer who also runs fortnightly puppy training classes and advises them on how to raise a future hearing dog. Chance's puppy socialising trainer was Karen Rigg. I was hoping to show you a picture of Karen but she was a little camera shy, so you'll have to use your imagination!
From everyone at Hearing Dogs for Deaf People I’d like to say a massive thank you to Sallie and Keith for all the time, effort, training and love they gave to Chance.
That’s it for this week folks. Make sure you come back next week to find out how Chance gets on in his Partnership Assessment. There will also be a special extra edition of the blog where Sallie and Keith answer some questions about Chance when he was a puppy – cute photo warning – so keep your eyes peeled for that too.
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Sponsor a puppy
If you'd like to sponsor a dog like Chance through their training program to become a life-changing hearing dog puppy we have two gorgeous pups available for you to sponsor right now. You'll receive a welcome pack with pictures of your chosen puppy plus lots of goodies, then you’ll receive regular updates as they progress through training.
This gorgeous little yellow Labrador puppy is Isaac, who is hoping that you will sponsor him as he trains to become a hearing dog.
Isaac is an adorable, chunky puppy who loves cuddles and enjoys playing with his toys. He is a fast learner and already showing signs of great potential for the future.
This adorable yellow Labrador puppy is Indie, who is hoping that you will sponsor him as he trains to become a hearing dog.
Indie loves going out for walks and meeting other dogs, and he is a fast learner, enjoying learning the basic commands.