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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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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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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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Thanks to the Target volunteers who volunteered at the training center today and stuffed the Wag Walk and Run race bags and helped with spring cleaning.  You guys are awesome!

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Last Friday the Helping Paws training center was filled with puppies and smiles. The “Reindeer Litter” was ready to start their journey as service dogs-in-training and the new foster homes were more than ready to find out which puppy would go home with them. It is so fun to watch the foster homes as they receive their puppy and seem to fall instantly in love. These foster homes will give the “Reindeer Litter” their permanent names and these puppies will now join the “Class of 2014”. Thank you to all the well-wishers who attended. The Keeley puppies, Nick (now Quincy) and Nora (now Britta) were there with their new foster homes to meet their new classmates.

Thank you to those involved in getting this litter off to such a good start; Jessie for donating Lambeau’s stud services and the Martiny family and Elise for the amazing job they did raising this litter.

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Three of the Goldens in the Monday Awesome (or not so much so) Adolescents classes turned one on March 28th.  Happy Birthday to Major (foster home trainer Marie Heikkila), Carmen (foster home trainer Kristie Niemi) and Aida (foster home trainer Katy Shannon).  Thanks to Katy for the homemade biscuits!

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Helping Paws recognized the foster home trainers for 4 graduating dogs, and 5 career change dogs, last week.  The balloon table decorations represented black and chocolate Labs and Goldens.  Aida and Carmen, Awesome Adolescents, demonstrated their prowess at Sit and Look Cute.  Percy and Cricket showed off their new skill Under.  And Ripken gave us a picture

of a Big Dog.

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Two more litters celebrated 1st birthdays.  The Lola pups (Boomer, Percy, Cricket, Tate, Dexter, Sheldon, JoJo and Cowboy) turned one on April 16th, and the River pups (Winnie, Cash, Zephyr, Tango, Abraham, Boone and Turtle) turned one on May 4th.  Party hats and treats ruled the day for all!