He’s currently in training to be an assistance dog and is picking things up fast.As a special treat, his trainer Kathryn Eland took him to Build-A-Bear and he got to choose his own special friend. Kathryn, who is currently based in Santa Rosa, California, has been working with him since he was nine weeks old, through an organisation called Perfect Fit Canines in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Once he completes his training this summer, he will be placed with someone with a disability.
Kathryn is trying to train him for a whole range of scenarios and although he loved getting to pick up his own toy, it also means he’s ready to help his future owner pick things out when they go shopping.Mushu picked out a cream coloured bear, which almost matched his own coat. He carried it over to Build-A-Bear staff to be stuffed and then gave the heart that goes inside the bear a little kiss.
Mushu looked pretty concerned when his new friend was being filled with stuffing but he soon realises it’s ok.
Apparently, dogs can be trained to use a scratching post just like cats! Get the directions for how to build a giant dog nail file here.
Once the bear was ready, he proudly carried it out of the store.A post on his dedicated Instagram account @service.dog.mushu said: ‘Picked out a special friend at the mall yesterday. I cuddled with him all night.
‘This is an example of something a service dog paired with a child with a disability could assist in to help bridge the social gap.’
Well done Mushu. You deserve that new friend.