Holidays with Puppy Parents
It’s the holiday season for Paws for Purple Hearts San Diego and we are celebrating in style. 2018 has been an amazing year for our team here. The highlight of the year was moving into our new facility here in Sorrento Valley. We are now fully operational and have a lot going on. From raising and training our top-notch services dogs, to providing our innovative Canine Assisted Warrior TherapyTM to reduce PTSD and TBI symptoms, there is never a dull moment. This activity also means there are plenty of volunteer opportunities to help us serve America’s Warriors. During the holidays, our puppy parents are extremely helpful, as they can take our dogs for an extended time. With a big group of dogs, it is not always easy to find each one a home with a puppy parent, especially because our dogs will typically need to spend a week or more with their puppy parents over the holidays.
While our dogs are with the puppy parents they do lots of fun and exciting things. Our dogs experience things at puppy parent homes that help them make progress in their service dog training. Plus they get some down time to just play and act like normal dogs. Exposure to puppy parent family dogs and relatives helps build socialization skills. It is good for our dogs to interact with a wide variety of dogs and people. During the holidays it is likely our puppy parents will have extended family in their home as relatives converge on their homes to visit. One of our puppy parents here in San Diego is spending time with their Aunt and Uncle in San Diego. Our dog George is spending the holiday at their place. We are happy that he will be experiencing the time in their welcoming home. The holidays are also helpful because our puppies gain exposure to all the decorations around. It is very important for a puppy to get used to these interesting sights and smells and textures. Trees with lights on them. Cookies and baked goods. Decorative animated figures such as a snowman or Santa. We want our dogs to get used to them and eventually to consider them “normal,” as we are raising them to keep their cool and focus when they are serving their Warrior. We always go over the importance of exposure to our dogs, when we teach our puppy parent about the services we provide, and the training behind it. And that is why we are so grateful to our puppy parents and the volunteers that have made a difference in our lives and our dogs’ lives. To our beloved puppy parents: We hope having one of our dogs in your home has made this year’s holiday one to remember!