Tuesday, December 8, 2009

SSD Holiday Party

The holidays started early for the service dogs. Last week, we held our annual holiday party. Puppy raisers, partners of service dogs, SSD staff, and of course, the dogs got together for food, fun and a little socialization for both people and dogs. What a great time!

We started off the evening with a huge potluck buffet. Each person brought a dish to share. As more people arrived, it became a puzzle to fit all the food on the table - and it was all delicious! While the people ate, the dogs waited under the table or at their handlers' feet. Even the little puppies! A great display of how well our puppy raisers are doing with their dogs.

After dinner, it was game time! The dogs and their handlers got a chance to show off some of their skills in D-O-G. In this game, dogs and their handlers form two teams. The first team chooses a dog to perform a trick. The other team needs to find a dog that can also do that trick. If the other team cannot perform the trick, they get a "D." The goal is to NOT spell the word "dog." We took some videos of the dogs and their handlers playing D-O-G:

SSD Gideon picked a quarter up off the floor. It seemed like this trick was going to be too difficult for the other team to counter. But then SSD Dutch came forward. Instead of picking up a quarter, Dutch picked up a dime!

SSD Midge challenged the other team to perform a "hold." This seemed like a pretty routine trick until Midge's handler revealed the object the dogs had to hold: a hot dog! After Midge held the hot dog in her mouth for a few seconds without eating it, the other team had to find a dog that could do the same thing. SSD Pearl stepped forward, and she held the hot dog, too! Great job, Midge and Pearl!

SSD Graham Cracker was able to step up to the plate when the other team challenged him to walk between his handler's legs and sit.

Even one of the puppies from our most recent litter, SSD Slate, was able to match some of the tricks. When the other team challenged him to do sit-ups (going into a sit from a down position), he proved that while he may be a puppy, he was more than ready for this challenge!

Slate is being raised by a puppy raiser in our Northeast Division. We're very glad they were able to come to Harrisburg to enjoy our SSD party with us!

If you'd like to see photos from our holiday party, visit our Facebook page.

We have a wonderful evening of good holiday fun! If you'd like to join us next year, become a puppy raiser! Applications are available on our website.

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