We lined the puppies up on the old settee one by one. As they put the seventh pup in place it dawned on me that they looked like piano keys. Together they will grow and make beautiful music for the person that they grow up to assist.
The puppies are now seven weeks old, a perfect age for a puppy. Eager to learn, curious about their world and still ever so sweet and cuddly. On those giant paws rests a world of hope and dreams for people waiting for an assistance dog to help them with every day tasks.
Their best friend at the beginning of life is a littermate. Together they wrestle and chase and play. They do everything together. They learn what it means to be inseparable from their best friend.
Part of growing up for an assistance dog is learning to work together, to collaborate in a sense. And, at seven weeks, if collaborating means sitting together these guys have it down. They are ready to learn.
They will leave the secure nest of their litter mates at about nine weeks old and they will move on to their own personal trainer. They will start their life off learning the ropes of an assistance dog.
The puppy trainer becomes a mentor of sorts to the young puppies. For nearly 18 months they learn the basics, they learn how to become the best companion to their person they can be. They grow up to be the best dogs they can be.
They learn to make beautiful music together with their new companion.