The big activity this week was going to Clyde E. Lassen Veterans Nursing Home in St.
Johns. It was a combined meeting for both puppy groups, so we were able to see pups from the other group that we don’t see that often. The groups did visit with the veterans separately as to not overwhelm everyone.
Most of the veterans were happy to see us and wanted to pet the dogs. One veteran had an aid bring out a photo of his dog, a beautiful pup named “Bella.” We had a chuckle over “my” Bella and his Bella. Because Bella still tends to be a little mouthy, I was careful to hold her head when the vets wanted to pet her. She loves to love on people; just doesn’t realize that she loves like a 50 lb puppy!
The nursing home was really very nice. I was quite impressed with the layout, cleanliness and the smell. (It didn’t smell like a nursing home.) In preparing for this blog, I came across this article: Veterans Nursing Home Set To Open In St. Augustine. Here’s a link to their Facebook page.
I was lucky enough to get to hold onto Macho’s leash (it’s really not as tight as it looks), and Victory’s leash on Saturday while Kristen and Barbara took Bella on heeling exercises. It’s good for the pups to have different handlers every now and then.
There’s more “articles” below, but first – More puppy pictures!!!
(After all, that’s why you look at the blog, right?)
90% of the puppies training to be service dogs for a veteran are rescue dogs. Some, however, are breeder donations. 2 breeders have recently donated pups to the program.
Ty (bottom) and Grace (top) are Goldendoodles who were donated to K9s For Warriors by Countryside Doodles in West Virginia. These pups are very lucky as their raisers are related! They’ll get to spend time with one another while growing up.
Pups in the program always get new names when they reach Camp K9. The names are chosen by whomever is sponsoring the pup/veteran. The volunteers for KFW were given the honor of naming 2 pups, which was done by voting. Grace (the pup at the top of the photo) was one of the pups named by the volunteers.
The Puppy Platoon
These 4 Golden Retrievers were donated to K9s for Warriors by the folks at Honor Therapy Dogs in North Carolina.
From their website:
It was our distinct privilege to be the breeders and initial trainer of the Presidential Golden: “Liberty”
“Liberty” was the only golden retriever to ever reside in the White House. After her arrival at her new prestigious location, “Liberty” romped through the front lawns fountains and rose beds. We spent three (3) months training “Liberty” and working with the President in the oval office, with Betty in the private quarters after her surgery, and enjoyed celebrating “Liberty’s” first birthday at a big party with Susan on the White House lawn. We are proud that a golden of our breeding was a source of comfort, solace and comic relief during a time of great difficulty and upheaval for our nation.
The KFW Goldens Bravo, Delta, Echo and Tango come from a long line of service dogs.
Also in the news…. New Orleans Saint’s quarterback and his wife donated a dog to K9s for Warriors. “Brees” (the dog) recently graduated with his warrior, U.S. Air Force veteran April Sandlin, in July.
A few more photos of Bella for you!