*as of 12/7/2020
Please excuse me if this letter isn't packed with enthusiasm. I generally do things slowly and on my own time. I love by one philosophy: it's a puppy's world, ya'll are just living in it. I do get turned up at times. My brother Diesel is my best friend. If we're within ten feet of each other you can bet we'll be wrestling and face biting. One of the things I'm working on right now is controlling that urge. My goal in life is to be a service dog. I plan on being the best service dog ever. I know there's a service member or first responder out there that's just waiting for me to change their life. My best friend, Justin, is helping me with that. We do everything together. He tells me how much he loves me all the time. I show my love back by cuddling, being patient for my food; I don't even mind having my nails trimmed or my ears cleaned. Justin's showing me lots of neat stuff. I've learned how to open doors, unzip and take off jackets, turn on lights, and other cool stuff. I'm working on my manners. Everyone says how well behaved I am, but, like I said, I plan to be the best service dog in the whole history of service dogs. This ain't the last you'll hear from me!
From Nova's Handlers
See Nova's Progress Below
Hi everyone! I have been working hard and I’ve been spending time with other people to improve my responsiveness to others. This month, Justin and I have been working on refining “go get help.” I know that’s important because as a service dog, I need to be prepared to help my veteran or first responder. I’ve also been playing a lot! I can destroy toys pretty easily so Justin is showing me how to be more gentle with toys. I’m trying my hardest! Well, I’ll talk to you all soon!
January 2021 Update
November 2020 Update
October 2020 Update
Hey there! Nova back again with an update. I had a blast with my Puppy Parent. Her friend visited with her kids and everybody said I was a star with them. They painted my toenails! Check out that picture. I'm working hard on sniffing. I get a really good sniffy walk in the morning and at night, but sometimes I want to keep sniffing EVERYTHING. I'm getting a little better at the light switch, go get help, and putting things in my handler's hand. Catch up with you next time!
February 2020 Update
I have been going home with Nancy during the week. I have gone to the dog park and grocery store. I also went to a friends house. I still jump when I'm excited and I love kids. I have had a hard time sleeping through the night at Nancy's, but the last few times I've come back, she's said I did great. My chewing is almost gone. They give me something to chew on every once in a while. I'm really consistent at retrieving items and putting them back in my hand. The we leash is really helping me not to react to other dogs. I can retrieve an item and put it in my handler's hand multiple times. I've never done that before! I'm great at following people off-leash, even when another dog passes me with a toy in their mouth. This month, I'm going to work on my checking in, sharing, and staying.
January 2020 Upate
This month, I got to go home with a new friend, Nancy! I got to make trips to a library and other places. I've been working on my chewing. People keep trying to get me to be gentle when I chew. I guess I've gotta work on my manners. For the record, they have been getting better! Like how I'm better at sharing my food and not barking.
December 2019 Update
Boy, I have a lot to update you all on! First, I went to PetSmart and the dog park. I did great! I was very focused on the food isle, so I guess my handlers will be working on walking with distractions. Next, I've been having a hard time sleeping through the night at Nancy's house. I try to take naps in new places, but I can't seem to sleep the whole night at a new house. Good news! There's been a breakthrough and now I've been sleeping the whole night. Third, we're working on keeping my composure around other dogs. I'm getting pretty great at it. There's a new command called, "come close." I get the idea, but sometimes I just don't feel like doing, "come close." On the other hand, I'm starting to retrieve items much better. I went to the top of a ramp to retrieve a bottle and gloves for my handler. I'm not sure why they left them up there... I have a confession. I've been a little afraid of Chief. He bit my paw pretty bad, but I ignored it and I'm basically over it. My biggest fear is Chief because he plays rough and barks in my face. I take turns with Diesel on who gets the upper hand when we play. It's the same thing with Roofus, Bravo, and Ned, but Chief only wants to pin me! I'm not a big fan. I'm looking forward growing up and being a shinning example of all the other dogs! Ha! I'm trying really hard to figure out how to turn on an off lights and close doors. Those two are tough!
November 2019 Update
I love kids! I am part of my puppy raiser family already. My favorite place to go is definitely the dog park. Not to brag, but I'm pretty popular there because I love making new friends. This month, I learned how to open lockers and take off socks and jackets. I can't wait for some delicious turkey and pumpkin next month!
October 2019 Update
Nova here again! So many exciting things have been happening in the program. I do not have an official puppy raiser yet, but I am hopeful. If you know anybody, let me know! But I did get to experience a construction site for the first time. That was so loud, but I wasn't scared. At school we've been learning a lot. I learned "kiss" in one day. My leash walking is better! I am pretty much a pro at patience, settle, and red/green light. Every other skill I understand, but still need to work on. I don't consider a skill being consistent until I can accomplish it with a simple question. I can't wait to conquer the world as one of the best service dogs ever!
August 2019 Update
Nova here with my first update ever! I can’t stop wagging my tail! My first month at CTF was an adventure. I explored every inch of B-yard several times over. I’m still on the look out for my new puppy parent. If you know somebody, let me know. I’m learning all sorts of things lately, like leash walking, patience, no jumping, kennel work, settle, using my nose and paws, and staying in the K9 area. I’ve also learned how to take off a jacket, open lockers, and I’m pretty good at “back up.” I can’t wait to keep learning new skills. Hopefully I’ll go on my first outing soon. I’ll keep you updated.
July 2019 Update
Hey everybody, it's me Nova. Big new! I have a weekend puppy parent to go on all sorts of adventures with. She couldn't stop telling everyone how much fun I had. We spent the weekend walking around the neighborhood and really bonding. I got my last round of shots so I'm good to go anywhere next time. There are so many new things to learn like going up stairs and getting into a car. I'm learning how to open cabinet doors. My handler makes it into a game where I tug it open. I also hear that my leash walking has improved. Next time, I'll hopefully have conquered emergency recall word, "now." That's it for now. See you next time!
September 2019 Update