Here is the second update we received about Kai:
Our handsome Kai is nearly fully grown now. He still lives with Volunteer Puppy Trainers Sharon and Peter, who adore him. “He is stuffed full of energy,” Sharon tells us. “It’s just as well because he has a very active life! We’ve been to craft fairs, birthday parties, barbecues, walks in the wood, train rides – all sorts. We even visited the National Film School, where Kai met Gromit!”
Peter pipes in: “He’s always impeccably behaved. He’s very pleased to see everyone and will calm down quickly.”
Our Volunteer Puppy Trainers are often like proud parents with their puppies, and Sharon and Peter are no exception! As Sharon says: “Kai loves everybody, family, friends and strangers – and we love him too.”
Off to big school
Sharon and Peter have been bringing Kai to our training centre for puppy classes, where trainer Katie puts them through their paces.
Katie loves Kai too! “I enjoy his enthusiasm as he never seems to get tired of learning,” she tells us. “He is doing well with his nose nudges. He is also doing really well with his journeys on the bus and train, and visiting shops in town.”
These are two important areas of Kai’s training. The nose nudges are his response to hearing a sound. If he’s being trained to alert to the doorbell, and he nudges Sharon with his nose to tell her about it, he gets praise and a treat. This is how he’ll tell his eventual deaf partner about these sounds.
The journeys and visits are also important. A deaf person needs to know Kai can accompany them anywhere they want to go. We also want to make sure Kai is happy and relaxed in those places too. The great news is: he is always happy and relaxed!
Katie is quite certain she knows why he’s doing so well. She laughs: “It’s because he enjoys it! He’s a fun-loving dog that loves to play. This will make him an ideal hearing dog.”
You see as far as Kai is concerned, his training is a game, one that he’s really good at and gets lots of praise for. What a nice life! When he’s partnered with a deaf person, this love of life will help them reconnect with their family and friends.
What’s next for Kai?
Kai has almost passed his Puppy Three Star Award. These are the milestones we use to assess a puppy’s progress, and it tells us that he’s able to focus and learn for himself. However, he’s still a bit of a teenager! So, he needs to pay attention to the person he’s with rather than what’s going on around him.
Katie is helping Sharon and Peter to teach Kai how to wait patiently instead of getting excited. They’re a great team, and we’re sure they’ll manage it together.
So there you have Kai! Katie thinks he’s wonderful. “He is a confident chap who loves attention from people and other dogs,” she tells us. Sharon agrees: “He really loves meeting his doggy friends in the woods to play.”
He’s such a playful, happy chappy, and he’s doing so well because of your kindness in sponsoring him. We’re all so grateful for your support. From all of us at Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, thank you from the bottom of our hearts.