WOW! Am I ever overwhelmed! These people are such experts and are so eager to share some of that expertise with us – so that our experience with our dogs will be a success. It just brought tears to my eyes.
We are learning about the basis for “clicker-training,” and how to use it ***properly*** with our dogs. We are “earning” service dog equipment as we go by correctly answering questions. I almost blew it, so I have to hunker down and work harder.
One more thing that brought me to tears was when we were giving some feedback on the day. The question was the one best part of the day, the part we liked the best, and the one worst part of the day, the part we disliked most. My dear Ol’ Curmudgeon said the best part of the day for him was knowing I would be becoming more independent because of the dog. Oh My! My turn was next and I had to swallow hard a couple of times before I could get my voice under control. I told them my best part was clicking for Emily (one of the assistants) and giving her treats for behaviors because it was getting me ready to do the same thing for the Woof. The worst part was how cold it was to me in the room. The Ol’ Curmudgeon just shook his head – he thought it was hot in that room! SShhiivveerr!!
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Happy Dance!! Happy-Happy! Joy-Joy! Happy Dance!
Today I met Emmy – my service dog. She is beautiful, intelligent, with a goof-ball personality. She is going to be so helpful! She is also going to be fun when off the job. Such a sweetheart! She has a broad head and wide-spaced eyes, and she really focuses on you. She is a “starer” – she’ll stare at you and stare at you and stare at you! I learned to give the “come,” “sit,” and “down” commands properly – and she responded so fast! She’s so intelligent! Of course, I can’t say enough about the excellent training she has received so far. I’m babbling again, I know, but this is my hope for my future! I can hardly wait to be able to show her off to the family – AFTER a few weeks of adjustment to us!
We’ve been cautioned to not introduce any new people for a couple of weeks. I’ll be working with her a lot, and the Ol’ Curmudgeon, alpha-of-the-household that he is, is not even going to pet her. He’s going to take her for a walk at night. I’ll be exercising her in the mornings. I suspect the GoDogGo will have a vigorous workout – especially after the weather cools down some.
At the end of the session, once more we were asked for the thing we liked least and the thing we liked most about the session. I broke down when I said the thing I liked most was meeting “my Emmy!” This has been sooooo long coming! And I am just totally overwhelmed with – the things we need to learn, the kindness of the people involved, the time commitment they have made so that I and the rest of the class members will get good dogs and have a good learning experience! O-M-G!!
At the end of yesterday and today, I was so exhausted I was a “puddle.” I just hope I can continue to pace myself through this. YIKES!
And through it all, I’m praying for all my friends and acquaintances who are making this possible. Particularly my husband, the “groan” kids, the “grand” kids, and the members of the Gwinnett Woodworkers Association who have taken up this project and contributed both individually and as a group to make this dog possible!
Pictures as soon as I have some, I promise!
For now, it’s off to bed to read 3 more sections in the training manual and 3 more chapters in the textbook. Just wow! So much to learn!