*as of 8/6/2019
Hello there, (said with a syrupy southern drawl). My name is Delta and I'm as laid back as a lizard laying out on a rock. My handler, who calls me his "Little Cowboy," says that I am a very special yellow Labrador puppy that is going to save someone's life someday--I can't wait! Everyday I am becoming more confident and secure while always holding onto my child-like qualities because I know that these are things that make me special to everyone (being lovable, playful, gentle, analytical, and eager to be of service). You just don't know how great it is for everyone around you to love you and treat you like a big bungle of joy every time they see you! If I could stay a puppy forever I think I just might. My favorite things to do are playing in the water outside, chomping on my little furry squeaky bird, devouring a new rawhide until it looks like an old wet sock, taking sniffy-walks, playtime with my other buddies (dogs), and wrestling with my silly handler who makes us both laugh and act goofy. I make my handler feel safe like he makes me feel safe too, and he says that is going to be very important in my life as I get older. I will say that I am not a big fan of sunlight/heat, even though I do like going outside and playing (that will probably change as I grow). I'm learning how to walk on the leash pretty well right now, even though my legs are a lot shorter than the older dogs. But, you better believe I'm going to be running past everyone like a field and track star when I get longer legs and can leave 'em all in the dust! I will admit, I am a total ham when it comes to the picture thing and letting everyone see how handsome I am. Two hands in and lovey-hugs from strangers always makes my tail wag! Oh! And of course, an extra bit of kibble gets my tail wagging too! My handler is teaching me how to be polite in public and stay near him when we are on our way somewhere. I don't think he realizes though, I'm the one that is actually teaching him new things everyday. If I can make someone happy everyday of my life I think that everything for me is going to be just fine, friends. So, if you happen to see me, the "Little Cowboy" out and about, remember I am going to save someone's life!
Follow me on Instagram @super.duper.delta
From Delta's Handlers
"Sometimes we start to live our lives the right way after having lived it the way in which I had for many years, (selfishly and poorly), so when you begin to fix yourself, as I always refer it, there’s things that you can’t learn on your own about yourself and that’s how having Delta makes me feel like. Through him I can now learn the fundamental principles on how to value life around me, just as I always should have been; not to mention the true sense of the word 'bond,' (trust)." - Keith Erickson
See Delta's Progress Below
Howdy there folks! I bet you missed me all month, but don't you worry 'cause me and dad are doing really good, considering the COVID-19 thing has been a pain in my paw. :) This month I'm learning a few new things that may surprise ya (besides my getting more and more handsome, wink) I'm learning how to remove gloves. By the way, I like this more than the socks thing. Also, when my playtime with my friends is over, my dad holds up my hardness/leash and says, "Delta, time to recall buddy" and I know exactly what that means so I come right over to him like the big boy that I am. You should see how silly-excited it makes him when I do something he's proud of. :) And I thought I got excited over my good bowl. I'm kidding, my dad is silly sometimes but he's the best ever. I also learned how to come over to him with my toys at playtime (unless of course I am trying to get the old man to chase me!) In a couple of weeks I get to go out into the real world again on weekends. I can't wait to show everyone how more mature and confident I have become. I'm going to be an awesome service dog that's for sure!
We got these new toys this month and boy did it feel like Christmas when Kate and Nicole bought us tons of presents. I got a green ball that actually makes noises when it rolls! I play with it by myself sometimes and my dad laughs so hard because he's never seen my have so much fun. He lays on the floor with me and we play bat the ball to each other with our paws--yes, dad has paws too. :) My brother Koa and I have been hanging out a lot lately and I even gave him my old/smaller harness 'cause his old one was purple and everyone thought he was a girl. Now we both have blue and I think it's cool. I still love my rawhides of course, but can you blame me? I am, however, a cowboy. :)
May 2020 Update
Howdy there, my amazing friends, both dog, and human alike. :) I know that this COVID-19 pandemic has done a lot of damage to many of our neighbors and loved ones, but please stay strong and compassionate towards one another because I have a strong feeling that we're going to be greater than we ever were once all of this is over. I haven't been able to go out with my puppy parent on the weekends, but I think she knows how much I love and miss her because I tell her in my paw-prayers every night before it's my bedtime. I turned one year of age this month (yahoo!) and Keith threw the best birthday party for me, ever! He made me a cool hat and gave me a big cake shaped like a milk bone (I don't know how he knew what I wanted, wink!) I'm a teenager now and it can be a lot of pressure at times because they (humans) expect me to be well-mannered. However, I still get my playtime with all my friends so I can't complain. I'm learning how to come back to Keith when he calls me—you should see how proud he looks when I come back to him and stop playing with my friends. And I thought I get all excited and silly. I still love my rawhides and even though I'm learning how to chomp on them slower, I think it's my favorite pastime by myself. My new play buddy is Parker—he reminds me of "Fozzie Bear" from The Muppets. Labradoodles are fast by the way. Sometimes he lets me catch him so that we can wrestle. I'm not the fastest doggie in the bunch, but boy, I'm the biggest! Remember folks, love a little stronger and we will all get through this. Don't you worry about me. :) I'm going to be OK—I'm "destined" to save lives, remember? Roof, roof!
April 2020 Update
Howdy there again, my friends. Talk about one very unusual month where everyone's going bonkers, trying to stay healthy. This coronavirus really is taking a toll on our beautiful world. :( The best that we can do as my handler tells me before bed every night, is to be positive and pray for everyone's safety. This month really rolled by quite fast, but I have learned a couple of things. For instance, I take Keith's socks off now. And believe it or not, I am "gentle" while doing it. :) I gotta admit, I'm often feeling quite rebellious in my teenage stage, but I'm doing my best to control myself and behave with good manners. My handler, I call him dad, is patient with me and talks me through it when I am feeling frisky. There's a platform board in my gym with a hole in it—I just learned how to drop one of the colored balls into the hole. By the way friends, I'm still on this darned kibble diet, however, I understand why I needed to lose a few pooch pounds. I run a lot faster now that I'm light on my paws, that's for sure! Still not a big fan of the light switch, but I try sometimes when my friends are doing it. I am definitely still a fan of chew toys and rawhides—in fact, I hear the word "rawhide" and my attention is on you like crazy. Treats? Hmm, believe me, there's nothing in the treat category I don't know about and enjoy! My friends and I still run around outside and chase each other but what I really enjoy is playing basketball and soccer with dad. He's funny and calls me "Shorty Pants" every time we play with the basketball in the gym. I think he's just jealous 'cause I got all this hair and he's bald like the basketball. Next month is going to be challenging with all these worries 'bout coronavirus, but I still plan on sharpening up on all my skills as a service dog to be. :) Stay positive folks! And, love one another more now than ever!
March 2020 Update
Howdy, everyone! :) I hope that your February has been as awesome as mine. Even though it's been quite a busy few weeks with my dad over here, we've still managed to work on learning new things together. The older that I get, things around me seem to be changing. My dad says that it's more "me" than the things around me. It's something they call "maturity." Either way, I'm already bigger than most Labrador Retrievers at my age and my body is going through "teenage stuff." Dad said I can grow up all that I want but I'll always be his little cowboy even when I'm taking up all the space on the bed. :) Dad has also been teaching me how to remove a sock from his foot and honestly I have nothing against my dad's foot but the thought of putting my mouth on a sock that I cannot chew on doesn't much appeal to me. Perhaps that will change the older I get. Besides, I've never seen dad take his socks off with his teeth. You should see how big I've gotten. All the other dogs in the program love to run and tumble with me because I'm like a playful lion. It's super cool when they all dog pile on me.
My dad got me a new toy, (a blue monkey), this month and it's got to be the best thing ever! I grab it in my mouth and toss it in the air. Then I dance around it and bark sometimes. Dad thinks it's hilarious and just laughs. Besides spending time with my blue monkey. By the way, his name is Pete. I still love spending time with a rawhide. If I had it my way I'd be laying on a beach with water splashing on my paws while I gnaw on my rawhide (dipped in peanut butter, of course). My big buddy Carson left us a couple of weeks ago, but I still have eight other buddies here that play with me so I get lots of exercise. Lately, I've been playing basketball and soccer with dad in the Gymnasium. He may be taller than me, but I'm younger and faster than him. :)
We had a really cool event last month where we honored veterans, deployed troops, and first responders in the community. I even got to sit on the podium in front of the audience. I feel proud of myself when I'm walking in public on my leash. I know how important it is to have really good social manners out in public. Next month is coming so fast. Maybe I'll try harder with the sock thing and now chew it up! I'll also be working on identifying a bunch of objects. It's always good to have a big vocabulary even as a dog. :) Until next time, roof! Roof! Roof! Ruuuuuff! (Translated to I'll see you really sooooooon!)
February 2020 Update
Howdy therrrrre, my friends, family, humans and canine companions. What an awesome month it has been with the 2020 New Year and all. I was wondering at first why everyone was so excited for January 1st to come; I realized later that it was kinda like a "fresh start" where people can start over for the past year and make new plans/ commitments they (humans) refer to as "New Year resolutions." I'll be honest, at first I thought I would have to give up some things I really really realllllly love to do, like eat rawhides and chase my soccer ball at mommy's house and boy did I got right into "doggy panic mode." My dad said, "don't worry little cowboy, it just means we nee to set up some new things for you and me to accomplish, like goals." Boy, that right there cooled my jets an let me relax again. What can I say, I love my rawhides and bunny ball :). So, even though I learned how to open cabinets, retrieve pill bottles, and walk like a champ on my we-leash, this month is all about stepping up my game and really digging my cowboy boots into the ground (work hard that is :)). I think I'm going to try learning how to remove my dads socks from his feet without being tempted to munch on them like one of my toys (Dad wouldn't look good with his toes hanging out through the holes I chew in them :)). My girlfriend, "Pink," thinks I'm growing up into an awesome service dog, but said I better not get a big head about it 'cause she thinks that I could go all "Hollywood" on her and stuff :). I am definitely growing fast-- and my dad has been taking very good care of me. You should see me play soccer and basketball with him. Nothing really changed with my favorite things to do-- playing with all my friends outside off-leash like we are playing tag, chewing on my raw-hid until I'm pretty much tuckered out and exhausted :)- and, playing soccer/ basketball with my dad when he's not working. I had a brand new foam zip-up disc that I loved chasing, but that is chewed up now (don't work, I have a real frisbee now :)). I may not be "air bud," but I can still run around the yard like the energizer bunny. :) Well friends, I'll keep ya posted on my progress next month. Stay tuned for an update and don't mind the dust. It's Super Duper Delta the Cowboy riding off into the wind chasing that milk bone wagon!
January 2020 Update
Howwwwdy! There my human and canine friends. :) Boy was this a month to remember. They had this event called Christmas tat seemed to last forever, but one things for certain- I wish Christmas would last all year long because it was filled with love, happiness, lots of presents passed around. I got all those things even from a lot of perfect strangers. And people seemed to be much nicer to one another during this time. I told my dad that I wanted a milk bone truck (full of milk bones of course), but he said that it was out of the question-- thank you Nicole for tipping my dad off that I could loose a few pounds. This month I learned how to open a cabinet and retrieving medicine that was inside, but I still need to work on not getting too excited once I've got the medication bottle in my mouth. I get so excited when my dad and everyone is watching me proudly. :) I've also started to use my nose to turn on the light-switch on our teaching box, which reminds me, I need to ask my dad for a light switch of my own inside my crate. This next month I'm going to start off the New Year by accomplishing the light switch, being gentle and on track with brining the medicine bottle back to Keith, and losing a couple of pounds (I really do want that milk bone truck next Christmas). So folks, if I can tell you any words of wisdom from a dog's world, I would tell you that in 2020 all of you should take the world in a little slower. Enjoy the smallest of things around you and love one another as if each day were your last. Life is short and I'm definitely learning and also teaching my dad that there's so much good in the world when you are working for it.
This month, I got a pretty good ochie! The doctor said that I had to take it easy without two weeks of off-easy playtime (yup, I was devastated, but took it like a big boy). So, I spent much of the month longing and spending time with dad on weekdays and Mom and weekends-- I guess you could say that I spent December being more human than dog. Looks like I have a new girlfriend, too. Her name is "Pink" and mom put her foot down on that one 'cause Nala was too wild for her taste. Nala is still my body, but my heart belongs to Pink (What can I say, I'm a sucker for a girl that can wrestle me down and tickle me). I use to love chewing on rawhides, but boy am I chewing them up like crazy when I get them. Dad said he should find me a tractor tire to chew on :) I guess he calls that, "sarcasm" and is meant to be funny? Anyway, if anyone wants to sen me a rawhide or two, don't be shy. It's still my favorite treat! Until next month, roof! Roof! Roof! (that's translated as "this little cowboy is out!") :)
December 2019 Update
Hello there all my two-legged and four-legged friends. :) Boy! It feels like the months are just flying by, and you should see how big I've grown (I've actually grown into the big paws that I was born with :)). Three tiny brown Labradoodles moved into the neck of my woods this month and I've been learning how to play gentle with them-- but, my favorite little buddy is Finn who is a chocolate Labrador. Everyone says Finn is going to be big like me when he grows up, but we all know there's only "one" Delta. :) This month I've been focusing on my social behaviors, like how to act out in public. I can easily say I'm getting the "perfect gentleman thing down."
Well, everyone that knows me will tell you that my favorite pastime has anything and everything to do with food, but let me tell you something; I really love playing with my soccer ball on the weekends and walking around on top of my trampoline. I still love chasing Nala around, however, she's either getting faster or I am getting slower, because that girl is like chasing a road runner. :) I hope all the girls that I end up chasing after in my life won't be able to run that fast. I'm excited about next month; I'm going to learn how to turn on a light switch and maybe try opening a cabinet door. Yahoo! Yep! The little cowboy rides again! :)
November 2019 Update PT. 2
Another month gone by and I just keep getting smarter, more handsome, and boy does my handler teach me so many things that are going to continue building up my confidence. I love a good rawhide, however, I seem to be chomping them up a whole lot faster than I used to with these big teeth I have now. I still run and chase the other dogs that live here with me, but Nala, who is another lab, is probably the best wrestling partner that I have here. We run, tumble and pounce on each other. I will admit I might have a teeniest weenie crush on her. :) Anyway, the "We Leash" thing is funny; my handler thinks that he is walking me, but the truth is I'm actually walking him now. :) I have learned how to carry a bag lunch or anything else in a bag all the way back home from where ever it is that we are. That right there makes everyone smile and say how cute I look; I try. :) I'm eating much slower and gentler these days, which is a good thing because I want to always be polite out in public places with my handler/ recipient. My handler asks me "touch please," and I touch my nose to the designated spot (lucky me cause I've been getting treats, too). This week, I was introduced to an empty pill bottle for teaching purposes. This, however, was a bit tricky at first cause that was what my handler used to keep kibble in. I realized right away though that I was being taught to retrieve this empty bottle for a reason; so this week I am going to practice going and getting it for Keith. We love and take of each other pretty good, so I always want to accomplish things even if it takes a few tries. id you know that humans and dogs can actually communicate better than most humans actually do? I think it's because all those technology gadgets that distract humans; a dogs life sure is a to less complicated. I don't eat yucky things off the ground anymore like I used to as a bitty puppy; I learned that it can get me really sick if I eat the wrong things. This month is going to be awesome and I can't wait to learn so much more.
November 2019 Update PT. 1
I am working on leash-walking with my handler, knowing my left from my right turns, how to identify people by going and retrieving them in the event of an emergency, "yes" and "no," so that I am always given a choice in what I want to do or need, searching under things/objects by using my nose/senses, and by my being able to learn these skills I am becoming more and more confident with myself in the world. I know this is very important! And guess what? They brought in a "Wobble Board" for all of us to play on and I jumped right on that thing like I was a professional surfer! So, I guess you could say I ain't afraid of no wobbles. I plan on learning more things this month like how to open a door maybe, or how to identify different pieces of clothing so that I can help people get dressed that have a hard time with tasks like that, and maybe how to drive a car. Hey! We all have dreams, right? Boy! Do I love a good rawhide. Sometimes I can lay there for a few hours just devouring a brand new rawhide until it is nothing left. I love to run around in the grass and chase all the other dogs, play tag with my handler, and I am afraid of absolutely nothing. I guess I could say that my all time favorite pastime is taking a nice long nap, but all of us dogs love to do that anyways (grins). So, let's just say that anything to do with getting love and attention from new people that I get to meet is probably the best because everyone loves a handsome little cowboy like myself. My favorite threat varies; one day I could totally go for a nicely cooked green bean from my weekend Mommy, and the next day I could be craving something normal like a piece of kibble from my handler who loves to spoil me with treats. All in all, and everyone can tell you this, I am a very laid back dog that enjoys just taking in the world around me and doing it all at a calm pace. Can't blame a dog for taking his time right?
October 2019 Update