Schein is a Canine Companions for Independence (CCI) puppy, which means he is no ordinary dog.
Schein is being raised by Sallie, a volunteer puppy raiser who will care for and train him for 18 months. He’ll then go through Professional Training and ultimately find his “furever home” with a human companion who needs his help.
Read our “Pupdates” every month to learn more about Schein and Sallie’s adventures!
Thinking back on our travels this summer, it’s been wonderful to see just how far Schein has come with his training.
All of his different experiences have helped him to stay calm and attentive, and he is making great progress with the 30 commands that he needs to know before matriculation. Schein has developed into a very sweet, sensitive, and kind dog. My family and I are thoroughly enjoying our time with him.
As summer draws to a close, Schein and I spent time visiting with my family across the country. In August, we flew out to Denver and watched my great-niece.
The airport in Denver is enormous, but Schein wasn’t intimidated. He has become quite adept at air travel. The first time he ever entered an airplane months ago, he was nervous about the small gap between the jetway and the cabin and refused to move forward over that gap. (Eventually, I gave him a treat and he hustled across quickly.) Now, he readily enters the cabin and makes himself at home on the floor at my feet. I usually put a blanket down for him so he feels comfy and cozy and I typically choose a seat that has a bit more room so he’s not uncomfortable. On flights, he is well-behaved and generally sleeps the whole time. When we land, I gather all my things and Schein waits so patiently for our turn to deplane.
Many of our fellow passengers were surprised to find out that I had a dog with me on our flight. That is best compliment Schein can get!
Becoming “invisible” is a big challenge for a CCI puppy and takes months of practice, but is very important for Schein’s future as a service dog.
While in Denver, my six-year-old niece wanted to handle Schein wherever we went out in public.
Of course, I supervised closely. Schein was very cooperative with her and followed her commands very well. It’s good practice for him to work with a different handler from time to time. That way, he learns to follow commands when hearing a different voice and learn to interact with a different sized handler. He has to respect his handler and follow directions to the letter no matter the situation — even if he’s bigger than the person on the other end of that leash. Good job, Schein!
While we were in Denver, Schein and I were guests in a home that already has a pet — a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel named Henry. Henry was intimated by Schein’s size at first, but once he found out he could boss Schein around, he certainly asserted himself! Schein took this all in stride and let Henry tell him where in “his” home Schein was allowed to go. The kitchen where Henry keeps his food bowl was off limits!
Next, we stayed with my nephew for a week. He and his family have a miniature Schnauzer named Lucy. She was so exited to have a guest, especially one who was very eager to play tug with her. Schein, in turn, loved playing with Lucy and sleeping with her at night. Schein is watching Lucy eat her dinner here. She likes to graze and eat whenever she is in the mood and this is a concept Schein cannot relate to at all. He cleans his bowl completely at every meal.
Watching Schein interact with my family and their dogs has been so special. It’s hard to believe we only have six more months together! He’ll matriculate in February 2018 before heading into professional training and becoming a special part of a new family.