Charlie Bear here. I’ve never been on a bus. Have you? Mom Peep’s friend Kimi Yokota is a puppy raiser for CCI Canine Companions for Independence. Thanks, Kimi, for letting me share one of your outings.
The OCTA Service Animal Training is held once a year on the first Saturday of October and offers service animals the opportunity to ride the OCTA Orange County Transportation Authority bus. Kimi’s service dog in training, Bowen, got to experience riding a kneeling bus (with a ramp), hear the sounds the bus made, learned how to ride and walk on slick floors, and how to enter and exit the bus calmly. His biggest issues were trying not to slide around and tucking his long body under the bus seats so his paws or tail didn’t get stepped on.
The buses stopped periodically so the dogs could practice getting on and off. Some dogs are startled by the smell, sounds, movement, or floors on the bus. Puppy raisers watch their dog’s reactions so they can help them if they need it. If Bowen had reacted to anything, then Kimi would know what types of things to work on so he’d be confident in Professional Training.
After about a 20 minute ride they finally stopped at their destination, Knott’s Berry Farm!
Knott’s Amusement Park has partnered with OCTA for the past few years, and graciously allows the raisers and their dogs entry into the park for free for even more training around lots of people, costumed characters, and excited children. And don’t forget those important pictures with Snoopy or Woodstock.
If you are a puppy raiser and live in the Southern California area, look into attending OCTA service animal training next year.
Woofs and Wiggles to All Service Dogs in Training!
More power to you guys (and next time, invite me along so I can get a picture with Woodstock).
For more on Bowen and Kimi’s adventures: www.bowensdogblog.wordpress.com