Something new in the mix… Violet, a six-month-old Australian Labradoodle, owned and bred by Sunny Goodwin of Berkshire Hills Labradoodles, is joining our gang of English Setters here at Bridgvale Farm. Violet, aka Lillian, is the daughter of Alice and Keifer (from Alice’s very last litter). Violet is being trained as a therapy dog – and she is learning very quickly.
I first met Violet at Sunny’s Puppy Buddies Group when she was four weeks old. Here in Puppy Buddies, a group of about 8 people gather in the “puppy playroom” once a week to socialize the young pups. Prior to this socialization process, the pups had been living inside Sunny’s house where they were born in her bedroom and spend those first few weeks with their attentive mom. Sunny’s own family members start to handle the pups over the course of the first four weeks – at which point they are moved to the “puppy house” where they begin to receive a variety of stimulation set up in their play room. By the time these pups are ready to go to their new homes at nine weeks of age, they have had quite a special life – all the socialization and stimulation a pup needs to development a well-rounded temperament.
In addition to knowing firsthand how Violet spent her first two months of life – handling her myself in Puppy Buddies, I have had both of her parents in my Therapy Dog Training Workshops where they showed great promise as future Bright Spot Therapy Dogs.
With this knowledge, I’m 99.9% certain that Violet will be a superb therapy dog. My future plan is to have my sweet, affectionate English Setter Lily and fun-loving, sociable Violet trained and ready to take over when James – my very special, current therapy dog is ready to retire. James is eleven years old… and visiting is a tiring job. When he’s ready, he deserves to enjoy his retirement years relaxing on the farm.
So, now, the rest is up to me… thus, the training begins. Stay tuned… I’ll keep you posted.