Buddy . . . striving to become a Working Dog!

Hi Every Buddy! Oh boy! I studied and studied and worked very hard to be really good, and I think I made Mommy real happy! So much has happened I don't even know where to start. I had one busy social calendar, let me tell ya! I got to met gazillions of new friends and went on tons of new adventures!

My week started out as usual with lots of training at Steve's every day. We practiced on all the hard drugs so I will get really good at finding all kinds of that bad stuff. Marijuana is getting pretty easy, so now we are working on heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine. I can really start to find 'em all much easier since I've been studying real hard. Pretty soon we are going to start looking in cars and real unusual places for them so I can be ready for my certification testing. (I don't know if I should pass that dumb old test or not cause I don't wanna have to go away.

My trailing work has been getting much better. We hardly use food at all any more. I'm doing close to a quarter of a mile at a time, with lots of turns and different areas of woods, grass, and even a few road crossings! I like these cause I get extra food at the roads to help me find the way. Now about all my new friends. I think last week I got petted by no less than 1,500 people. Honest, no lie! My Mommy (and especially my Daddy!) said it's not good to stretch the truth, so 1,500 might even be an underestimation!

Last Thursday, Steve, his German Shepard Dog "Holmie," Mommy, and I got to go do a demo at an Elementary School for about 300+ kids. It was my very first demo with Mommy and I was kinda scared. First I had to stay in the truck while Steve, Mom, and Holmie did some stuff. Holmie got to show the kids how well trained he is in obedience and drug work. (Holmie is my idol. He's eight years old and has lots of drug busts to his credit. He even showed the kids how he can do push-ups! Cool!) Once Holmie did all his good deeds, it was my turn.

Before Mommy took me in to the school, she had to tell the kids all about me so they would know not to scare me. I can't believe it, she told them everything! I thought they would all laugh and make fun of me. When I came in the door, I stuck my nose in and s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d as far as I could without going too far in, to make sure there were no monsters in there. As soon as I stuck my head in, 300 little voices went "Aawwgghhhh, he's so cute!" That was it man, I was in there! They didn't even laugh even one little bit! I loved it! Mommy and Steve told them all about how five weeks ago I wouldn't even have come in the door, much less be able to show them all I knew.

First I did a little obedience for them. I did it really wel because I was really focused on Mommy as my security blanket. After the obedience, I showed them all how good I am at finding drugs. Steve hid a box of marijuana up on the stage and I had to go find it. They were very proud of me cause I did so well. Then guess what? All those kids clapped and clapped . . . for me! Awgh shucks! Once that was done, I showed the kids the only trick I knowed. I can't do push-ups like Holmie, but I give the bestest hugs in the whole wide world! Mommy kneels down, then I put my feet on her shoulders and hug and hug and hug!

When I got all done showing my stuff, the best part happened. Mommy let me walk through all those rows of kids sitting on the gym floor so they could each pet me! It was a little overwhelming at first, but I stayed right with Mom and she reassured me. Pretty soon, Mom just sat down right in the middle of all of 'em with me. Last I saw Mommy, she was somewhere at the bottom of that pile of kids. :) Me? I was loving every minute of it, wagging my tail and washing lots of little faces.

Then we got up to walk through the rest of the crowd, and that's it happened. I met my very own special friend. She was a very pretty little girl in a special chair with wheels under it. She was so cute! I went right over to her, sat down next to her special chair and put my big paw very gently right in her lap. Well you shoulda seen her smile! She isn't able to talk to humans, but she sure told me how wonderful she thought I was! Her teacher got a very special picture right about the time that she was smiling and trying to pet me. I was petting her at the same time and my smile was just as big. I would love to have someone like this as my forever friend. We could tell each other all our secrets and not get laughed at ever!

The next day was Saturday, and we got invited to do a demo for the Golden Retriever Club of Central New York's "Fun Days" near Cortland, NY. Our new friend Rue Chagoll invited us, and we had a blast! That club is filled with very nice people. Almost all the dogs there were rescued from bad home situations to go and live with these nice people. That sure was nice of them peoples.

Even though the weather Gods were mean to our parents that day, we Goldens thought 32 degree temperatures and SNOW was really fun! I got to do my demonstrations, Steve came along with and explosives detection dog for a demo, and then we Goldens got to eat cheese balls! Yup. Mommy entered me in the "Cheese-Ball Glutton" contest (the Golden Retriever that catches the most flying Cheese-Balls wins). Well, I didn't. Mom kept throwing Cheese-Balls at me and hitting me right between the eyes! I kept trying to keep my eye on the ball, but I ended up getting cross-eyed! After getting hit with about fifteen of them, I decided the best defense is a good offense, so I opened my mouth! Now I Get It!! Here I thought that Mommy was still mad at me cause she was throwing things at me. Well, I ended up catching a mere two when the time was up, and nobody would believe my story that I didn't know the rules! That's OK though, Uncle Rue said I could come back next year, and I'm really gonna practice up for that one!

Sunday brought another road trip and adventure. Mommy got invited to be a judge at the Cuyahoga Valley Golden Retriever Match in Ohio. And guess what? "Judge Mommy" didn't even send any puppies to jail! There sure were some beautiful little Golden babies there.And guess what else? All the winners got really cute little stuffed aminalz to play with! Maybe some day I could do good enough at a match to win a cute little stuffed aminal. I wanted to sneak a couple of 'em in the truck when nobody wuz lookin but I didn't want to take toys away from those cute little puppies!

Mommy took me along to get "socialized." She let all the show doggy folks go over me after the match so I could get used to it. I wasn't scared one little bit this time. They looked at my toofs, petted my back, touched my tail, and even told me what a pretty boy I was. I made lots more good friends that day too! The club then asked me to do a little drug dog and obedience demo when we had lunch. I did a really good job. I had a wonderful day, and tried to suck up lots, so Mommy would be extra proud of me. I gotta keep trying to do that whenever I can so Mommy won't send me away. I hope it will work.

Well guys, it's getting to be way past my bed time and I don't want Mommy and Daddy to get mad at me. I still have lots more to write so I'll see if I can write again sooner to tell you all the other things I've been doing lately. Please make sure all you Golden kids out there give yer Moms and Dads big hugs every day so they know how much you love 'em! That's my plan! Until next time, Stay Golden!

Love and Sloppy kisses, Yer little buddy . . . Buddy
(Send comments or questions to Mary MacQueen)

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