When I moved to a new town, I wanted to make some friends and meet some people and I saw and ad in the paper for Puppy Sitting. So I called and it was about raising a puppy in my home that would eventually be used for a guide dog for the blind people. So I was really excited about doing that and signed up. They had to interview me and see my home where the puppy would be staying. Well I passed the inspection and then a puppy became available. It was a yellow Labrador retriever and her name was Joy. I have never trained a puppy to a cage but I had to cage train Joy. She was very good. I had to leash train her and take her to puppy school to get her socialized to other dogs and learn all kinds of obedience training. It was all very educational. When you train a guide dog, they have to learn to walk a few steps ahead of you when they heel, which makes sense since they have to lead their people. Normally, dogs are trained to heel right beside you and stop and sit when you stopped. But these guide dogs had to be trained to stay standing up. That was hard to do but we figured it out. They have to learn to lie down on command and that was hard for Joy but she eventually learned to do it. It took a lot of work and time to even do the simple training. Whenever I took Joy somewhere in the truck, I had to tie her to the floor of the truck so she would learn to lie on the floor and not sit on the seat. I didn’t like that but it all made sense. I had to take Joy everywhere possible. I took her to the grocery store and just about everywhere I went. Of course I had to get permission to take her into places but just about everyone agreed to let the dog come in. They had a little blanket that they wore to tell what they were doing. We even went to the library and out to lunch. At lunch, they have to be taught to lie under the table and not move. When they got older, they were taken back to the main training place to get the final training which included lots of voice commands and hand commands, for crossing streets etc. It really was quite an experience and very enjoyable. Some of them made the final cut and some of them didn’t according to their personalities and willingness to do all the steps.
I am back for a return visit. I don't want to "tease" you but I was entertained by your spelling of "heel" as "heal." At least, I presume the command "heel" means to walk at the person's heel. The word "heal" means something different. But not less appropriate if one stretches meaning to include the way a guide dog is a healing influence for those who are blind (sight-challenged?).
Speaking of "healing" dogs, you may find it interesting that our grey got sick last weekend, with an infection at the same time her primary caregiver was hospitalized with a kidney infection. We figured it was triggered by separation anxiety. But it had real, unpleasant visible aspects.
Anyway, after a Sunday at the emergency vet, she (the grey) has "healed". And her mistress is home from the hospital and "healing".
Finally, the innocent misuse of the words "heel/heal" made me smile as it reminded me of a cartoon I once saw in which a dog was placing its paw on a human's forehead. The caption said, "HEAL!"