I always have a list of experiences I want to have with my dogs in the back of my mind. Some of the items on this list are more realistic than others. Little did I know the “Blizzard of 2015” would afford me the chance to fulfill one of the experiences I’ve thought about since puppy number one.
Due to the impending snow, the TODAY staff made reservations for Wrangler and me to stay in a hotel to ensure we could make it to work in the midst of the storm. I have always wanted to do an overnight stay at a hotel with one of my pups-on-program. The hotel environment provides many great socialization opportunities and helps to teach the pups to be adaptable – an invaluable skill for a guide dog.
Wrangler settled right in. The hotel was “pet friendly,” and our room came equipped with a water bowl and a cushy dog bed; of course Wrangler was an especially big fan of the latter. During our stay, we took full advantage of all the hotel had to offer. We practiced skills and body handling in our room, rode in an elevator for the first time and went down to the lobby to practice settling.
A short walk from Times Square, we even ventured down to look at the lights as everyone cleared out in preparation for the forecast “blizzard.” At one point, the hotel staff surprised Wrangler with some gifts, everything from homemade dog biscuits to a brand new I love NY doggy t-shirt. I guess free swag is all part of being a celebrity puppy.
Though Wrangler will definitely miss the comfy hotel room dog bed and practicing his polite greetings with the concierge, he is excited to get home to Westchester to his big brother, Vincent. Now I can finally check “hotel stay” off my list of positive socialization outings for my pup.
By Guiding Eyes staff member and puppy raiser Saxon Eastman