Class of 2016, welcome and woof.
I will be at Trinity until early October. Then, Iâ€™ll go back to Lackland Air Force Base to train for work as a search dog. My time here has been great. Iâ€™ve walked and played with a variety of students, and Iâ€™ve successfully ignored so many more.
If you know me, you know I donâ€™t share my toy. I would like to share some advice, though.
Eat sensibly. I learned this one the hard way. So many temptations â€” from banana peels to aluminum foil; so many upset stomachs. Better to eat in moderation and walk away from what you know isnâ€™t good for you.
Exercise regularly. Iâ€™ve accompanied students on many, many walks the last 11 months, and we always seem to return happy. Iâ€™m ready for a nap. They are ready to study.
Get plenty of rest. I work and play hard. I also sleep a lot â€” like 16 hours a day. You only have two legs, so maybe you need half as much shut-eye.
Donâ€™t clutter your kennel. You need a lot less stuff than you think. Of course, pick up after yourself (and thank you, everyone who has picked up after me).
Practice smart health care. I eat right and get plenty of exercise (see above), plus the government provides common-sense preventatives that ultimately contain health care costs for me. (I wish I could gargle with warm water and salt. I wish I could sing while washing my paws.)
Show respect for others. Iâ€™m independent and headstrong, which is good in my line of work. I have also been a bully, testing peopleâ€™s patience and their grip on my leash. Turns out, when I respect that my handler, too, has places to go, we travel farther and have more fun.
Search. Seeking is my destiny. Â At Trinity I have practiced finding things everywhere â€” Central Receiving, the Laurie garage, meeting rooms in upstairs Coates, everywhere. As a student, you should ask questions and look for answers. Retrieving facts? Thatâ€™s easy. Finding solutions? Thatâ€™s hard.
Especially, find what you love. When I go to work, my handler will reward me for tasks well done with a toy. Not food. Not money. The toy might not seem like much to you, but it represents all good things to me. I know youâ€™ll need an occupation, too, when you graduate, but donâ€™t let that be your only reason for working hard. Love what you do here at Trinity. Find your own reward.