I spent my weekend in full-on prep mode for what will be a life-changing couple of weeks.
I really believe it’s almost like getting ready to bring home a baby. We know something is coming, but the specific details just aren’t available.
We spent the past two days purging, dusting, vacuuming and rearranging to make room for our newest four-legged family member to move into J.P.’s room. The staff at Canine Companions told us it will help the dog to bond with him.
In Canine Companions’ terminology, J.P. will be the recipient in a skilled companion team since he isn’t capable of giving orders to or taking care of the dog on his own. When the recipient is capable of doing those things, they’re given a service dog, which is given a bit more training.
There are also facility dogs provided to area hospitals. J.P. is quite familiar with Murray at Florida Hospital for Children.
We’ve been told that Canine Companions has at least a few dogs that they think could work for J.P. based on the paperwork and preliminary interviews. We asked for a dog that is not a barker because it tends to startle him.
The first few days will be spent working with different dogs while the trainers decide which dog will go “home” to our dormitory toward the end of the first week.
By the second week, we should be working pretty exclusively with one dog that we’ll most likely graduate with.
Readers should know we won’t be posting dog names in the blog at the request of Canine Companions. That will be posted for the first time when J.P. graduates.
We’ve got a lot of class time, quizzes, tests and even a few field trips before that happens, as well as a final week at WESH-TV as we finalize the coverage plan.
Please wish us luck that all of this comes together. Thanks a bundle.
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