You know- that stuff that sticks not only to the strip with those tiny hooks on it (like it’s designed to do) but also to your sweater, to your couch, etc. etc.

Meet Velcro.

A friend and I drove to Sioux Falls yesterday to get him. He’s one and a half years old and FULL of energy. I’m grateful to have such a long hallway in our place here in Sisseton- I can exercise him year round by tossing his tennis balls down…and he happily brings it back, running full speed in both directions.

He is already house broken and knows sit, down, etc. He clearly needs to work on/ relearn walking on a loose leash. We started that today. I used my electric wheelchair. He just about yanked my arm off. He’s amazingly powerful for a 35 pound dog! We made it about a block and met a neighbor with a dog. She and I chatted, while her dog barked his head off. Velcro barked a bit, then settled down to a sit and a relaxed down without prompts, which was great.

His name fits him- his fur/hair is curly and collects leaves, twigs and those annoying little burrs. He also sticks CLOSELY to me…. like velcro! Clearly, this is a good trait for a Service Dog. I hope it’s not temporary and linked to some anxiety about his new living situation!

We start “Teacher Week” in school tomorrow. It will be interesting how having Velcro in my classroom all day works out. My principal is excited, and I will be doing a Canine College (how to train your dog) with Gr. 4-5 kids during breakfast break. The students will get to strengthen or develop their listening skills, reading and auditory comprehension, patience, ability to follow directions, math and science skills as they work with me on training tasks. We will use a training method that does not use scolding or anything negative, but rather uses positive reinforcement. The rest of the day, Velcro will “stick around” in my classroom. Eventually, he’ll have jobs to do, like picking up things or carrying them. The kids (and staff) will learn lots about service dogs, so there are “life lessons” in there too!

SSR (Salvatorian Sisters Residence) where many of our Elder Sisters live, just completed a fund raiser and raised over $250 that will be used for the Canine College program. I’m sure it will be fun and, of course, you’ll be journeying with us via this blog!

Thank you so much, Sisters!!!! So glad you can be part of our classroom this year!