In just one week, we’ll be waking up in a dormitory and beginning our training to get J.P.’s canine companion.
We’ve already received our textbook and will be studying to prepare for our classes. You must pass daily quizzes and an exam before you get the dog.
But the big thing on our minds right now is just the process of getting there.
Having a child with special needs means they can’t pack, and they need a lot more stuff.
We’ll be taking formula, feeding bags, diapers, wipes, medications, underpads, syringes, braces, a bath chair and several other pieces of equipment, including a feeding pump, a suction machine (just in case), and who knows what else.
Paige is the planner when it comes to the packing process. She asked me several days ago to take the lead on it to which I replied immediately, “You won’t let me.” It’s just something I’ve learned after almost 20 years of marriage. Really. I would start, but somehow in the middle of it, she would end up taking over.
I told Paige that I think we should just make it a team effort. Two heads are always better than one.
Hence, the packing process will begin a week early, and hopefully, it will be a smooth process without us running around at the last minute wondering if we have some vital thing as we’re trying to get out the door.
Living in a dormitory will be new for both Paige and I. Neither of us did that in college, and we’ll have only a double bed. We have a king-sized bed at home. It makes me think of “Mike & Molly.” How do they sleep in that tiny bed? J.P. will have a hospital bed.
We’ll share a common kitchen with 12 other families. We’re responsible for breakfast and dinner, and Canine Companions for Independence will provide lunch. I’m seriously considering packing the Keurig because I don’t think I can live without it at this point.
We’re excited about the entire process. It’s weird to know we’ll have a new family member so soon and know so little about the breed, name, etc.
However, I have faith in the people at Canine Companions to match J.P. with the perfect dog, and I know we’ll be ready to learn all we’ll need to know to be the skilled companion team the dog deserves after all the training he’s acquired.
It will also be cool to see the coverage on WESH-TV and WESH.com. The station should be there for unprecedented access to the training process and graduation. I’ve worked with Dave McDaniel for many years, and he’s a top-notch reporter in Central Florida. I’ll share links to the coverage posted online here.
It’s less than a week away now. Better get packing!
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