Kal finished his Service Dog Training at three years old and is working regularly now. When he's not working, he spends his time chasing balls. This journal shares stores and information about his life and his search for The Ultimate Stick. (Scroll down to see past stories and posts.)
Kal has learned to swim! Took him to Holland Lake last week and he helped me walk a short way along the trail, providing stability and bracing as needed. When I got too tired, we found a spot where the lake was shallow for a good ways out and I discovered that my fatigue and pain are noticeably reduced when I am in the water. Took off his vest and let him play around and he learned to swim quite well. Knowing that shepherds are often not strong swimmers, I had brought a dog life-vest to help him stay afloat and get comfortable int he water. Though he was doing well without it, after a while I put it on him just to give him an edge up. I don't know if he interpreted the life-vest as a working vest and thus thought he was working now, or if he would have done this anyway, but after I put the vest on him, I ventured a little deeper out into the lake for some swimming. He would let me get about 20 feet away and then he would swim straight to me. As soon as he got to me he would herd me around and push me towards the shore, clearly trying to lead me back to land. A couple times I grabbed the handle on his vest to see what he would do, and he hauled me back to shore under his own power.