It was an exciting Friday as team training at Canine Companions for Independence drew to a close.
The day began with a grooming session for Karina in preparation for Saturday’s graduation at SeaWorld.
The 11 recipients and their families attended a luncheon with the people who raised the puppies that are about to become graduates.
Much more on the very special luncheon in a moment, but first the latest on J.P.’s ongoing hospital stay: I think the vomiting has lessened, but his blood work is showing high sodium levels.
One of J.P.’s many diagnoses is diabetes insipidus, which means he doesn’t retain the proper amount of water in his body. His doctors believe the high sodium level is likely caused by excessive vomiting.
The sodium level means he’ll be getting numerous blood draws, so another super IV line was placed Friday.
His neurosurgeons don’t believe there is a problem from their standpoint. They think the vomiting may be the result of the pressure change in his head.
So back to the big luncheon at Canine Companions: I met Karina’s puppy raiser, Valerie Habeeb, and Katrina went bonkers when she realized Valerie was there. It was a very special moment that illustrated the bond between the dogs and their first masters.
The luncheon was very emotional at times and showed the impact these two weeks had on all of us. I thanked the staff and the other recipients for their support and understanding while we dealt with J.P.’s surgery and recovery.
Our class gave a gift to the trainers in the form of a carpet dog. It’s what we used during training so we weren’t constantly correcting real dogs for no reason. It was complete with eyes and a tassel for a tail.
The Knights of Columbus also presented a check to Canine Companions for $6,000. Very nice.
After the luncheon, Valerie came to the hospital to meet J.P., and we brought Karina with us. We learned more about Karina as a puppy and how much she enjoys people and attention.
It was a very special time, and we vowed to keep in touch and possibly meet again later this year.
Karina also got to see her new home for the first time and had a staring contest with the cats. Luckily, there was no fur flying.
I’m wiped out from this day. Much more tomorrow from graduation.
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