Wednesday, November 11, 2009
We're winding down..........
Above: Jerry and Lilo having a bit of a problem with "Push/Open" -they were not meant to end up on opposite sides of the door!
Left: Pina and I enjoying a glorious fall day by Lake Ontario on our final group outing
My anxiety/anticipation level was quite high before coming to Oakville, and now it is mounting again as departure time looms! I know precisely how I want things set up for Pina in Kitchener (naturally wishing that the set-up could match exactly what I have here at DogGuide School but knowing that it can't!) David and Andrew have done their best to meet my specifications, but there has been some frustration and miscommunication on all sides! I'll just take a deep breath, and sort things out when I get home!
I no longer remember what we did this morning - I think we did a circuit of various commands, and Tracy demonstrated the "Steady" command which is to be used sparingly and only when absolutely needed whereby the dog stands rigidly to be used as an aid to balance or to get up from a fall. Our class did play a small prank on Tracy - Diane arrived without her dog (having hidden Zeke in Alex's room just opposite our classroom), waited for Tracy to notice that Zeke was not with Diane,and then Diane faked having forgotten her dog in her room on the third floor! Diane was the perfect one to do this, having, at various times over the past three weeks, lost earrings, her keys and even a tooth!
After lunch, we went over the contract that we are to sign with DogGuides Canada, affixed our signatures and now we and the dogs are a legal "team"! We then went on our outing - a trek down Wilson St. to a lovely little park overlooking Lake Ontario. It felt very good to be out in sunshine and fresh air!
Our class had our own special "pre-Grad" dinner this evening, having set up a private "dining room" in our classroom, far away from the noise of the kitchen, and the other groups and dogs. We invited our trainers, Tracy and Paulette to join us for pizza, pop, and Joannie's mom's apple crisp. We then presented them with a gift from our class - a card and a lovely orchid for each one. As Chris, Alex's mom, explained to them: "Since you are entrusting us to take care of the dogs that we have been given, we thought that you should both have something "live" to take care of!"
I had written a personal message for each of my classmates, Tracy, Paulette, and Chris, on "Thank You" cards featuring a sweet picture of five Lab puppies and decided to distribute them at our party tonight. Tomorrow evening may get a little crazy with all the graduating dogs and students, staff, the foster "puppy" parents of all our dogs, friends and family, and frenzied packing for those who are leaving very early Friday morning to fly home to various parts of Canada! The time here has gone by incredibly quickly!