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The 2011 Wag Walk and Run will be held on Saturday, May 21 in Eden Prairie at the Purgatory Creek Recreation Area.  Bring your best friends, both canine and human and join us for this great event.  Check out the pictures from last years event and for more information go to the event page on the Helping Paws website.  Online registration is now open.  The first 200 to register will get a free Helping Paws water bottle.  You won’t want to miss this really fun day.

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Helping Paws had a booth this weekend at the Hands on Twin Cities volunteer fair at the Mall of America.  According to Brenda Hawley, Helping Paws Volunteer Coordinator, a lot of people stopped by to see our dogs, learn about Helping Paws and to get more information about becoming a Volunteer Foster Home Trainer.  We also gave a demo on the main stage to a large crowd of people watching from all three floors.  Check out the photos below.

Thanks to all of the foster homes, graduates and volunteers who helped man the booth and demo.  If you missed this event but would like to learn more about our Foster Home program we are holding a Foster Home Open House on Saturday, March 5 from 9 am to 11 am at the Helping Paws training center.  This is the perfect opportunity to learn more about this amazing experience and how you can become a part of it.

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The Big Dog class had a field trip at Ridgedale last week.

Here is a picture of three of the black Labs; Theo, Kaia and Libby.  Looks like Helping Paws Labs come in Large, medium and small.

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Four of the Maverick X Faith puppies were kind enough to take a break from class last week and pose for a picture.

These eleven month old service dogs-in-training are in the Awesome Adolescents class that meets on Wednesday nights.  From left to right are Liza with Rob, Dande with Melissa, Cassie with Kirk and Hope (potential HP breeding dog) with Lori.

Not only are these four sisters beautiful, but their training is going beautifully too!

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Helping Paws hosted a Foster Home Open House this past Saturday.  This was an opportunity for anyone interested in becoming a volunteer foster home trainer to find out more about the program by visiting with staff and current foster homes.  It was also a chance to see some of our dogs in action and learn how they are trained and what skills they learn.  Thank you to all of the volunteers who came Saturday morning to help with this event.

We are expecting lots of puppies this spring and are actively looking for foster homes so if you missed the open house but are interested in learning more about becoming a foster home, please contact Nancy Hiebert at nhiebert@helpingpaws.org. We would love to talk to you!

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Next time you are in the Helping Paws offices take a look under the desks.  You will almost always find one or more of the office regulars working hard.

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These three Labs are littermates and have been in class together for two and a half years.  This week they had their last class together.  This is not only a parting of the way for these dogs but also for their foster homes, who have become good friends.  Pictured below are Mary and Kaia, Joan and Bud and Pamela and Theo.  Stay tuned for news on what the future holds for them.

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The Faith x Maverick and Cheers x Truman puppies turned one year old this past week.  The Thursday 12:30 Awesome Adolescents class celebrated their birthdays with games and food.

The party started with a game of “Don’t Drop The Marshmallow.”  Our service dogs-in-training showed off their loose leash walking skills while their foster homes carried a marshmallow on a spoon.

Then it was on to the obstacle course.  At each station the dogs were given a cue which they had to complete before moving on to the next station.  This was a great opportunity to review and show off all they have learned over the last year.

Get Dressed

Under

Over

Push

Tug

Go To Bed

Roll Over

Leave It

Shake

 

 

Then it was on to the game of “Quick Draw”.  The dogs sat in a circle and were given the “Drop” cue.

Addie was going for "style" points.

 

Tanna not only dropped, she also "Got Her Leash"

After the games it was time for food.

 

People food.

Frosty Paws for the pups.

A great time was had by all.  It is truly amazing how much these dogs have learned in just one year and how mature they are.  We wish them all a very Happy Birthday!

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The two Wednesday night Awesome Adolescent classes took to the road yesterday and had a field trip to the new Menards in Eden Prairie. These one year old dogs practiced their skills throughout the store. They practiced “attention”, “loose leash walking”, “retrieving”, “drop stays” and even got to experience the elevators. Their foster homes  had fun checking out the new store.

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It is finally beginning to feel like spring and spring at Helping Paws means puppies are on the way.  Three dogs in the Helping Paws breeding program were bred and we have two confirmed pregnancies and have our fingers crossed that we will be three for three.

 

Lola, a Golden Retriever, is expecting her first litter around April 16.

 

 

 

River, also a Golden Retriever, had an ultrasound last Friday which confirmed that she too is pregnant.  This is River’s first litter also and she is due around May 4.

And last but not least, Sheba was bred last Friday.  Sheba is a Labrador Retriever and if she is pregnant, this will be her third litter.  Two of the puppies from her first litter will be graduating this spring.  Let’s all keep our fingers crossed that this breeding takes and as some of her puppies graduate and move on, her new puppies will take their place in the service dog training program.

Can’t wait to have puppy pictures to share with everyone!