Dear Sponsor, Since the last time I wrote to you a lot has been going on in mine and my handler, Amber’s, life – it has been very tough on her, but I must say I think I’ve been doing a good job at looking after her. Amber and I have returned to university for her 2nd year but our accommodation told us two days prior that they wouldn’t be accepting us because they wouldn’t allow me; even though they had said they would be happy to have me because I am an assistance dog. We ended up finding new accommodation: we are very lucky. 2 There is so much space to play and do training (which there has been a lot of).
One of my biggest accomplishments is that I can find ride on the escalators without getting scared. As we are leaving in London, there are lots of them! It took a lot of training and treats but I finally managed to conquer the moving stairs. Amber was so proud of me she picked me up and started laughing; even the man behind us clapped his hands and said well done to me. Now I am so excited to go on the escalators.
Another huge element of my training has been working on my reaction to people clapping. Amber had started to notice that whenever people would start clapping I would suddenly jump up from my down stay and start looking around, which became an issue in lectures. Every time the clapping happened Amber would feed me treats and give me good words of encouragements, and I’m almost there now. Whenever the clapping happens, I don’t get up from my down-stay but it can cause me to look around. But I always look back to Amber for reassurance. My alerting to Amber’s high heart rate has been a lot better since coming back to university. Amber’s saying I’m recognising it a lot more now, seems like the scent training has been paying 3 off. I go straight into doing deep pressure and this has meant Amber has been able to finish her days at university instead of having a panic attack and going home.
I am loving my time as a university student, and I’ve made lots of friends including two
friendly guide dogs on campus. When Amber meets their handlers at the library, there is a special area for us to play in and we all get to share toys and play with each other – it’s my favourite part of University. Hopefully next time, there will be lots more adventures to tell you. Lots of licks and kisses,