We did it.
On Monday and Tuesday, Paige, J.P., Karina and I returned to Canine Companions for Independence to complete the training that was put on hold while J.P. was hospitalized for a shunt revision and a gastrointestinal bug.
We returned to CCI on Monday and met with a trainer for a bit of a refresher course, and we went through two lectures and learned a few more commands, including behind, here, tug and push.
They were all commands that we could put to use in our daily living, and Karina performed them well. Tug and push can be used with drawers, refrigerator doors and even regular doors if they have a strap attached to them.
Before returning to CCI on Monday, Paige and I completed our final exam and several quizzes that we had missed during the second week. The final exam was extensive and took several hours to finish. We passed it with flying colors.
The only other major hurdle to completing training was crossed on Tuesday, when Paige and I met a trainer at Altamonte Mall for our Assistance Dogs International public certification test.
Because Paige and I are both considered facilitators, each of us had to complete half the test. The trainer looked at how we loaded and unloaded Karina from the van, how she acted in public, whether she would try to get food from the floor, how she reacted if her leash was dropped and what happened if the trainer was holding her leash and Paige, J.P. and I were out of sight. She did great throughout the test and we passed.
We also went back to CCI after the test for our certification card and to sign our new contract. We watched a few other lectures and learned two more commands, light and switch. That is how Karina can turn on and off lights in the home.
I’m so glad we’ve completed our training. The last few weeks have seemed like a whirlwind — as if we’ve been pulled in many directions all at once.
J.P. is looking better now. He has his new wheelchair. We’re done with canine training. Karina is settling into our home, and It finally seems like things are settling down.
On top of all of those things going on at once, we had an opportunity to see some of Paige’s relatives from Kentucky over the past few days. They visited to see our niece, Hannah, graduate from high school in Keystone Heights. Congratulations, Hannah!
I haven’t seen Uncle Freddy and Paige’s cousin, Alan, in several years. We had a great time relaxing and spending time with them. Karina also got to meet Brinkley, who is Paige’s parents’ golden retriever. They got along well.
Another workweek begins today, so life is definitely getting back to normal. After a nice run this morning, I’ve been working on getting the pool deck set up for summer and some time to chill and read. Let’s hope we can stay on the straight and narrow and avoid detours for a while.
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