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  • (light cheerful music)

  • The service dogs in training from Doggy Do Good

  • have a big day ahead of them.

  • It's beach day!

  • The sun, the surf, and boundless distractions

  • that could cause any of these dogs to flunk

  • out of Service Dog School.

  • This is Puppy Prep.

  • ^(light cheerful music)

  • None of the pups are more excited to smell that ocean air

  • than eight-month-old Golden Retriever, Luke.

  • He's been hanging out by the beach since

  • he was only a couple months old.

  • ^His half-sister, Remmy, is also excited,

  • maybe too excited.

  • It's all right for her to take a second

  • and adjust to the new sights and smells,

  • but when it comes time for work,

  • Remmy's going to need to focus.

  • For these puppies, the first order of business

  • at any new location is to sample the local grass.

  • While they're not supposed to chew on the foliage,

  • it's easy for the pups to sneak a bite

  • when the trainers have their backs turned.

  • And the trainers turn their back frequently.

  • Having this many puppies around draws attention,

  • and people are excited to learn about the service dogs.

  • But Nelly and Remmy are taking this chance to mess around.

  • (dogs barking)

  • The dogs aren't supposed to go on the sand after 10:00,

  • and while special exception can be made for service animals,

  • there's no shortage of other activities by the ocean,

  • like the playground.

  • The playground offers a multitude of different surfaces,

  • sounds, and experiences.

  • All of this builds confidence,

  • getting the puppies ready for anything.

  • ^First one up, six-month-old Chocolate Lab, Benelli.

  • Climbing on rocks and walking on sand may appear simple,

  • but it's actually building the puppy's comfort

  • on a variety of surfaces.

  • Wherever Benelli goes, she needs to be focused

  • not on where she's standing but on what her owner may need.

  • Good girl.

  • After breezing through the different surfaces,

  • it's time for something that will really disorient her.

  • Good girl.

  • The slide.

  • While Benelli's future owners may never actually

  • take her down a slide, it's important she has confidence

  • to handle all kinds of new experiences.

  • At first, she's nervous, but with some coaxing

  • and the promise of treat...

  • Good girl!

  • ...even a puppy like Benelli

  • can find her courage.

  • Now back on firm land,

  • the trainer is sure to praise Benelli up,

  • building a connection in the puppy's mind

  • between bravery and reward.

  • Fresh off the excitement of the slide,

  • Trainer Paul tosses his keys to ensure Benelli

  • still knows it's work time.

  • - Good, get it.

  • And she happily does her job.

  • Benelli, great, get it.

  • Benelli, get it.

  • Good girl.

  • There's still one more slide for

  • Benelli to attempt.

  • (dramatic drumbeats)

  • The spiral slide.

  • That is, if she can get up to it.

  • With a bit of a running start...

  • - Benelli, jump.

  • - [Narrator] ...she makes the leap.

  • - Good girl.

  • Her lesson from the other slide

  • has her excited to try this one.

  • Having never seen them before five minutes ago,

  • slides are now simple for the six-month-old Chocolate Lab.

  • Woo hoo hoo!

  • Good girl! Good girl.

  • Back with the dogs in down stay,

  • Karen tries to refocus Remmy.

  • She tries to get the Golden to heel,

  • and focus in,

  • but the eight-month-old won't settle down.

  • This isn't good.

  • Remmy's future owner will count on her,

  • day in and day out.

  • And, it looks like Remmy's lack of focus

  • is starting to spread.

  • Luke, get back!

  • Come on, Karen's trying to focus on Remmy.

  • Kaya, are you serious?

  • Come on!

  • Kaya, no!

  • All three Goldens have the sillies now,

  • even usually dependable Luke.

  • Kaya has to refocus, and quick.

  • It's her turn to walk the playground.

  • ^The eight-month-old enjoys jumping on different surfaces.

  • Good girl!

  • Good girl.

  • Come on, let's go.

  • The straight slide.

  • Good girl!

  • Good girl, Kaya!

  • Good girl!

  • - [Narrator] And when it's time for the spiral slide,

  • what was a tough jump for Benelli

  • is an easy hop for Kaya.

  • But, what goes up must come down,

  • and Kaya's confused how that's supposed to happen.

  • When Sandy, the owner of Doggie Do Good, leads the way,

  • Kaya eventually figures it out.

  • She's immediately praised for her bravery.

  • Good girl!

  • Good girl!

  • A second attempt down the slide...

  • (laughs)

  • Oh, look at you.

  • Oh, no.

  • Good try, Kaya. Good try.

  • Good girl.

  • Good girl, Kaya.

  • - [Narrator] But, what's important

  • is that Kaya's conquered her fear, and admirably so.

  • Back in the down stay,

  • it looks like Remy has finally calmed...

  • Oh.

  • Relax, Remmy. It's just a bird.

  • All right. Good girl, Remmy.

  • Thank goodness you're finally starting

  • to show some self-control, otherwise today

  • could have been the day you failed at...

  • Oh no.

  • - [Trainer] Remmy!

  • Breaking from a down stay

  • to this degree is a bad sign.

  • With Karen working with Kaya,

  • Paul has to leave the dogs to find where Remmy ran off.

  • Even though they're unsupervised,

  • they don't dare to break;

  • no one wants the fate that's about to befall Remmy.

  • Lockdown.

  • Remmy now has to think about what she's done,

  • and hope it doesn't mean expulsion.

  • ^Now, it's Luke's turn to take a lap around the playground.

  • Good boy.

  • His first challenge is the rocking horse.

  • Karen is trying to get Luke to jump over it,

  • in preparation for future awkward spaces.

  • Stay.

  • Luke is not having it.

  • Good boy. Jump over it.

  • He hasn't had problems of bravery in the past,

  • so this is a new issue.

  • Over it. Nope.

  • Over it. Good boy, come on.

  • Eventually, our hero figures it out.

  • Good, good!

  • Good boy!

  • And Karen is sure to reward his courage.

  • Good job!

  • Good boy, let's go!

  • If Luke shows the same hesitation on the slide,

  • then...

  • Good boy!

  • ...well, nevermind.

  • Good job, Luke!

  • Good boy!

  • Looks like after only a couple attempts,

  • he's already a pro.

  • Good job! Good boy!

  • Good job, buddy.

  • Good job.

  • When Luke returns to down stay,

  • he finds Deacon is still getting used to his harness.

  • He's not quite sure why he can't flip

  • all the way over on his back.

  • Paul straightens him out, and it's back to down stay.

  • Okay, Remmy.

  • You've had a tough day so far,

  • so time to redeem yourself on the playground.

  • First up is the rocking horse that Luke struggled with.

  • Come on. Good girl.

  • Over it.

  • Just like with her half-brother,

  • it's a matter of confidence.

  • Let's go.

  • And it suddenly looks

  • like Remmy's lost most of hers.

  • The culprit?

  • The pirate ship steering wheel.

  • Just need a second.

  • Notice how her tail is tucked between her legs?

  • So do the trainers.

  • They're hyper-aware of the pup's attitude,

  • and this is a huge signal from Remmy.

  • Karen gets down on Remmy's level

  • and starts feeding her treats.

  • She pets her and praises her,

  • trying to show Remmy she's safe.

  • Remmy then has to pass by the wheel several more times,

  • ensuring the dog has confronted her fear.

  • Good girl.

  • If Karen can get Remmy to sniff the wheel

  • or be still next to it, that's going to be a great

  • indication that Remmy's making progress.

  • - Good girl!

  • Eventually, a sniff.

  • Good job!

  • And after a few more laps,

  • her tail starts to wag again.

  • Remmy's done extremely well, and with so much excitement

  • already had on the playground,

  • the slide can wait for another day.

  • Back on the grass, the undeniable Mr. Pip

  • finds himself in an embarrassing situation.

  • Mr. Pip.

  • Because he is by far the worst at down stay,

  • Mr. Pip has to be tied up, to the other dogs.

  • Luke seems confused why he has to babysit,

  • but he doesn't mind.

  • It gives him something to watch

  • as he snacks on the grass.

  • - [Trainer] Luke, leave it.

  • Luke, release.

  • - [Narrator] Finally, some respect.

  • Unbelievable.

  • Chin up, Mr. Pip.

  • You're still a hero in our hearts.

  • (Mr. Pip whines)

  • Another hero from Doggie Do Good is recent graduate Sammy.

  • Sammy transitioned to his forever family

  • only five months ago, but his bond with handler Bryce

  • has been immediate.

  • Sammy helps Bryce with several diagnoses,

  • including generalized anxiety disorder, ADHD,

  • inflammatory bowel disease, and bipolar disorder.

  • One way Sammy aids Bryce

  • is during Bryce's regular blood draws.

  • Before going into an appointment,

  • Sammy gives Bryce hugs and pressure,

  • helping to prepare the boy

  • for the anxiety the needles cause.

  • During the draws, Sammy gives Bryce constant pressure

  • to help him feel more comfortable.

  • Sammy knows Bryce isn't in distress now,

  • but the 18-month-old lab checks in constantly,

  • making sure, if Bryce ever needs him, he's there.

  • While Bryce's family had always had animals,

  • at first, they weren't sure about adding a service dog.

  • The support that Sammy's provided

  • in only his first few months, however,

  • has made it all worth it.

  • Someday, the puppies in training

  • will have similar bonds with their owners

  • and be just as important to a family as Sammy is.

  • Back with the student pups, it's time

  • for a long walk on the beach.