The new face of confidence

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Standing at Betsy's side, Sparkle waits her turn to perform figure-eight weaving around cones and the other Seeing Eye pups, who are standing in a big circle with their handlers.

Even though Sparkle is still a sometimes-silly pup, it struck me at Tuesday's meeting that she is developing emotionally as well as physically. Watching her calmly waiting to go through her maneuvers during the puppy-circle training session, I could see right before me the Seeing Eye dog  taking shape.

She's consistently performing the sit, down commands (the so-called puppy push-ups), where the pups perform three sets of sitting, then lying down, then sitting again.  And her footwork on the leash is getting surer and surer. 

I did have to separate her from a friendly German shepherd pup during the business meeting. She just wanted to play and play. So I moved two seats over, and she promptly fell asleep at my feet.

This morning, I took Sparkle and Porter (our former Seeing Eye pup) on their usual brisk 50-minute walk around the neighborhood, despite the rainy weather. One thing about those Labs and goldens: The rain just rolls right off their backs. 

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