Do You Know What A BABL Is?

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K9s For Warriors has a rich history of rescuing and training BABLs. With their sharp wit, innate enthusiasm, and gentle demeanor… they are highly trainable, which makes them great service dogs. BABLs have a very high success rate at K9s For Warriors and excel in the unique roles that they are hand-picked to fulfill. Dozens of BABLs have been paired to many deserving veterans throughout the years. A distinctive canine classification, BABLs live by the work hard – play hard mantra. Warriors that get BABLs as service dogs are very lucky, as these dogs are passionate about serving but also take great pride in their sheer ability to “be cool.”

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Due to a long past and many generations of BABLs being selectively bred for their working genes, they have a natural drive and temperament for accomplishing important tasks. They are honored to stand by their warriors’ sides. The minute their vests are strapped onto them, the mission to serve is their only focus!

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I can only hope that Slider will grow up to be a BABL – following in the pawsteps of the others preceding him. Freedom, Dell, Falcon, Deuce, Dozer, Beemer, and Jake are just a few of my personal favorite BABLs! But there have been so many more!

So, what is a BABL you ask?

A BABL is a Bad A** Black Lab.

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Without BABLs, K9s For Warriors, and the world, would just not be the same.

Do you know a BABL? Post a comment!

WHY Raise A Service Dog?

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This is WHY!

It’s been almost a month since I began fostering Slider. So far, it has been a great experience. Since I took him in, I’ve been getting asked a particular question… A lot!

“How can you love and care for a puppy only to give him up in a few months?”

My reply? “How Could I not?”

Here are my reasons WHY I am able to do this:

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I want to – once again – experience the bond that people and animals share. I recently saw a graphic online that said the following: “Anyone who says diamonds are a girl’s best friend never owned a dog.” That couldn’t be more true! There is a special feeling that comes along with caring for a dog and although, technically, Slider is not my dog – he still makes my heart smile. I had a golden retriever when I was five; his name was Oreo (the name doesn’t make sense – I know). I didn’t have him long when I left the gate to my backyard open. He ran away, and I never saw him again. It was a traumatizing part of my childhood. As an adult, I raised a German shepherd by the name of Deacon. He is in his golden years now but is still thriving; however, he lives with my ex-husband. I could just buy a puppy to have all to myself. I don’t want to do that though. In a few months, I will proudly bring Slider back to K9s For Warriors for his official training. It will not be easy, but my heart is in this because I believe in the cause. Until then, I will provide the best home for him I can and enjoy the way he makes me feel as I do that.

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I want to value the contributions of others. I work on the administrative side of K9s For Warriors, as the Education Manager. What I do is very important… I spread awareness through my creative talents. I love that! But, this amazing organization is a success because of the hard work of every department and employee. I have only been in the puppy-raising program for a few weeks, and I’ve already gained an extra appreciation for my counterparts. I am in awe of the dog and warrior trainers. The patience and knowledge that they exercise on a daily basis is inspiring. I think respecting the strengths and talents of others makes us better people – personally and professionally.

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I want to do more to save the lives of our veterans. My grandfather was in the Navy – he was a master chief. My father was in the Marine Corps. I am proud of them and the other veterans out there. I accept that my time with Slider is temporary.

But I look at it like this:

The love that I give him now and the things that I teach him now are going to help him be the best service dog he can be, later.

What I do now is going to save a life. I can sacrifice the joy Slider gives me because the veteran he will serve sacrificed so much for me and other Americans.

I am very excited to experience all the emotions and hard work that goes along with this process! It will be worth it…I just know.

When I first brought Slider home, I was told by the Director of K9 Operations, “Do Not Bring This Dog Back Bedazzled!” (haha)  I understand why he would say that. I am serious about raising this dog though! He is gonna be an awesome service dog!

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Thoughts, Brett?

 

Faux Paw (Pas): Chewing Shoes

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Yup – that is the face he makes when he gets in trouble!

Having Slider in my home has made me very happy. He has a wonderful personality, and for the most part behaves well. Slider is eager to learn and please but still enjoys a bit of puppy mischief. I have to say… it keeps things interesting.

Yesterday, there was a casualty in my home as a result of a faux paw (pas) made on Slider’s part: teething puppy could not locate a toy, so he ventured into my closet for a shoe. I heard him chomping away, and realized that he was very happily devouring a pink, satin high heel.

I removed the shoe from his grasp and redirected him, giving him a Kong ball instead. Then, I sadly threw out the heels – as nothing could be done to save them. What is funny to me is that I was not upset with him. I loved those shoes but love him more. Situations like this are just a part of puppy-raising, and I am willing to embrace it all – the good, the bad, and the “chewy!”

Taking care of him is hard work. I have to make sacrifices in order to provide him with what he needs. It is worth it to me though. He is going to be an awesome service dog, and I am proud that I get to help with his development.

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Surrendered Then Saved

Slider, a seven-month-old labrador retriever, is one of the newest puppy recruits, training to become a service dog at K9s For Warriors. Slider came to the 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization as a surrendered canine, which essentially means the family he once knew no longer wanted to care for him. Being ignored is difficult… being neglected is painful… but being thrown away by the people who are supposed to love you… UNIMAGINABLE! I cannot fathom how someone – human being or animal – could ever recover from that! I believe that Slider has though.


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My name is Samantha, and I am the lucky girl raising Slider. When I first met him, I was very surprised by his demeanor. It seemed he should have been anxious and confused when he was brought to Camp K9, but he was not AT ALL! Instead, it was almost like he had come to terms with the fact that his former family didn’t want him, and he was ready to push forward… accepting the mission of becoming a service dog. He was really cheerful and silly, the type of dog that I prefer. He passed his evaluation with the K9s Intake Coordinator, and we were sent on our merry way together.

I took him to Walmart with me before going home to my Jacksonville, FL, apartment. Because he is training to become a service dog, he can go in any public place with me that I choose. I slipped his red training vest on, and took him inside the store. At first, he was afraid to step onto the glossy, reflective floor. But with encouragement and affection, he quickly overcame his fear. Walking around with him felt right. He was very well-behaved in public, and wore his vest with pride. I have no doubt that he will be a wonderful PTSD service dog. His story started out dismally but will end happily. Slider will live with me until he is old enough to move into the kennel at K9s For Warriors. At that point, he will begin his formal service dog training.


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Slider and I (Samantha)


Every Dog Has its Day

Slider’s will be the day he graduates from K9s For Warriors.

He was surrendered but saved, and now he is focusing

on training to save the life of a veteran.


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Slider and K9s Warrior Trainer Ranger