It’s Saturday, but it was a business as usual — at least for the first half of the day.
We got started with a lesson in loading and unloading J.P. and the dog from our vehicle, then it was off to Lowe’s with all the students, dogs and instructors.
Everyone went to Lowe’s on their own, so the dog got to ride in our van for the first time.
We went on a scavenger hunt, and then returned to Canine Companions for Independence for a lecture on daily routines.
We learned more about how to care for dog and make sure it gets daily exercise in order to maintain a healthy weight. The staff takes it very seriously, and because they maintain ownership of the dog after graduation, they can take the dog from us if it isn’t being cared for.
I don’t think I’ve talked about it much, but over and over again in class I’ve been struck by how the trainers have stressed the importance to them that all of us succeed — and that includes both humans and dogs.
Whether it is simply in completing a task at the moment or thinking years ahead, they want each of the teams to work together for a lifetime. I was told their success rate is 99.3 percent.
They must be doing something right.
Coming up in the final week of training, we’ll be preparing for graduation with photo sessions, interviews and another field trip to the West Oaks Mall. We’ll also be taking our final exam and our Assistance Dogs International test to get certified to take the dog in public.
The dogs will also be groomed for the big day, and we’ll meet the person who raised our dog as a puppy before it came to Canine Companions.
There is no class on Sunday. Happy Mother’s Day!
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