Thursday, April 21, 2011

Northeast Puppy Raising Program is ready for takeoff!

The puppies in our Northeast Puppy Raising Program are ready for takeoff! Or at least they're ready to take on the airport.

Yesterday, SSD Cassie, Ben, Burnaby and Nubble were joined by SSD Cabo, Yukon, Scotia and Phoenix from Central Pennsylvania for a public outing at the Wilkes-Barre Scranton International Airport. Most of the dogs from our two locations had never met before, and it was great for them all to be around strange dogs.

All of the dogs practiced loose leash walking to enter the airport. After going through several automatic doors, the dogs then practiced the elevator and stairs to get to the second level. There we met with a member of airport security who guided us through the airport.

SSD Yukon walks up the stairs next to her puppy raiser.

First, we took the dogs to baggage claim, so they could experience the noise and movement of the suitcases moving along the belt. Once the belt stopped moving, the dogs gave very nice down-stays.

SSD Cassie stays in a down by baggage claim.

After some more stairs, we were allowed to go through security. The dogs had to wait patiently while their puppy raisers removed their shoes and placed personal items in the bins, and then the dogs had to walk calmly next to their puppy raiser when the security guards waved them through. After going through security, the dogs practiced nice down-stays and unders while their puppy raisers put their shoes back on.

SSD Nubble practices "under."

The airport can be a very challenging place for a dog, especially with all of the people, luggage and noise. We were lucky that the airport was relatively quiet while we were there, making it a little easier for the dogs on their first outing to the airport. The dogs did very well, although they were tired by the end of the outing!

SSD Ben is ready for a nap by the end of his trip to the airport.

Thank you to the staff at the Wilkes-Barre Scranton International Airport for being so friendly and welcoming to us!

Look for more posts about our Northeast Puppy Raising Program every month. And don't forget that you can always follow the adventures of SSD Nubble as he learns how to be a service dog!


  1. That looks like it was an awesome outing. I so wish I could have gone!

  2. These dogs are so special. They are an incredible help to their owners. Their   service dog vests hold everything that may be needed by their owners.