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As part of our Puppy Love Month campaign, we asked some of our Puppy Raisers to write a letter to their puppy’s future handler, sharing a snapshot of all the work (and love) that goes into future Assistance Dogs. Janet is currently raising Oak, and recently shared a letter with us.

Puppy raisers help build strong foundations for our puppies who have the potential to become future Assistance Dogs. By raising a puppy for Dogs for Better Lives, you will become a part of a team dedicated to helping others. Changing the life of a family in need to live a more independent lifestyle with the help of the assistance dog you helped raise.

Interested in becoming a Puppy Raiser? Visit our Puppy Raising page for more information or to apply.

To: Oak's Future Person/Handler
From: Puppy Raiser Janet & Puppy in Training, Oak

Dear Oak’s future Family,

Oak is an enduring dog who will love you to death! He loves being with you, but he’s not too clingy.  He’s a dog who loves to have something in his mouth – usually it’s a stick, unless he can find a toy to carry. While with me, he would constantly take the toys out of the bin and litter the kitchen with them.

Like an oak tree, Oak is a strong dog who loves to meet everyone, so hopefully he won’t pull anymore when you get him. Oak needs to get his zoomies out to help him settle down.  He would run circles in my fenced in yard before breakfast, carrying his rubber ring. If he doesn’t have his ring he finds a stick to carry and eat if I let him. He’s learning Leave it, but he finds it hard to leave a stick!

Oak loves his crate and doesn’t mind being in it. When he comes out, he will stop with his front paws just outside of the crate doing a stretch or maybe it’s a play bow, it’s very cute. I’ve never had a dog do that coming out of a crate before. Speaking of the crate, when I put his food dish in, he will wait while I close the door and then say OK! He’s very polite.

Every month we go to My Dog’s Place for training. He loves to go. He thinks he’s there for a playdate, and wants to go meet all the dogs. We have been working on sit and down stays, as well as come when called. This is his 3rd class, and we will attend until he goes back to DBL for his formal training just for you. I hope he will be well behaved by then, and will happily do what he has been taught just for you. I will miss him, but I know he will be loved, as he is a very loving dog.

All my best, Janet and Oak.

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