Wander around the office these days and you’ll see some new faces, but you’ll also notice a four-legged friend tucked under Media Coordinator Josh Schoenblatt’s desk. Meet Herman, a four-month old yellow Labrador (with a fox red color) who spends his days and nights with Josh as he trains to become a service dog. Josh is a puppy raiser for Puppy Jake Foundation, an organization that selects, trains and places service dogs with military veterans. The organization’s mission is to improve the physical and emotional well-being of wounded military veterans through well-bred, socialized and professionally trained service dogs.
Josh will spend between 18 and 24 months intensively training Herman. His first step is to socialize Herman, which will build the foundation for teaching him how to handle any situation the veteran will experience. Herman will learn how to sit, lay, pick up objects, ignore food on the floor, push handicap-accessible door buttons, walk along side his companion and more. Herman will not learn tricks, but instead he will be trained to focus his attention on Josh, which will transfer to his veteran upon graduating from the program.
While Herman is in the office, Trilix employees aren’t allowed to pet him unless Josh requests our assistance for a training exercise. As difficult as it is to not play with the adorable pup, we follow his training instructions and let him be so he can focus on Josh. Herman naps and quietly plays with toys in a crate under Josh’s desk, but as he grows, Herman will learn how to lie quietly without toys, even when Josh isn’t at his desk. If you have any questions about the foundation, visit its website (http://puppyjakefoundation.org), or talk with Josh. Please join us in welcoming Herman to the office, but remember, if you spot Herman while you’re here, you can look but please don’t touch!