Saturday, December 11, 2010

Day 11 of Training at 4 Paws - TEST DAY!

I know I'm a day off from when I should have posted about our final day of class at 4 Paws.  However, since we went to visit Don and Bonnie right after graduation and then got back to the hotel to pack up all of our "stuff", I figure you could wait.  Hopefully you weren't up too late waiting for something that never got done last night.  Sorry if you did.  I was up until around midnight making sure everything was cleaned out of the hotel room and packed well.

Jacey wanted to play in Dublin's kennel.  He wanted to join her!  :o)
(Imagine hearing giggles when looking at this picture!!!)

I was the first up for the public access test at the mall.  Judd and Jacey stayed back at the hotel while I went to work with Dublin.  Jacey woke up at 6:30 Friday morning and Judd was already up.  He gave her some Melatonin thinking that she'd be able to go back to sleep for a while.  Well, she did by the time I had to leave for the mall!  :o)  Judd was able to get some work done with a quiet hotel room. 

I met up with the trainers at the mall.  Jennifer followed behind me a ways and had to see certain things done with Dublin.  Such as walking by a stroller, having someone come up and pet him, stopping and having him sit, stopping and putting him in a down, from a down calling him to me and having him come, dropping the leash and quickly picking it back up, having a surprise "noise" to make sure he didn't spook, and I'm sure there are other things that I am forgetting, besides of course having him heel to me.  He did fabulous on our twenty minute walk.  After that, we went and found a comfortable spot in the food court for another fifteen minutes for our "restaurant" test.  Dublin took a good little nap under the table while I made a few phone calls.

Jennifer came back to let me know that we officially passed our test and that we could head to 4 Paws to do our paperwork.  Dublin and I were the first to get there and went through the contracts, vet history, and all the other needed things to be able to bring him home with us.  He got his heartworm and fleas/ticks medicines also.  He even got a bandanna!  :o)

I went back to the hotel after 4 Paws and picked Jacey and Judd up so we could run some errands.  Afterwards we went back to the hotel and were able to sit and "veg" for a little bit before heading back for graduation. 

Jacey got to play for a bit before graduation began.  Of course, she went to find the crayons! 

Karen Shirk, Founder of 4 Paws for Ability

Judd and Dublin await our turn for pictures.

Graduation was fantastic.  Each family got to go sit in front of the "4 Paws Graduates" sign and had LOTS of pictures taken of them.  Jeremy then awarded each child with a certificate stating that their dog was a legal three-unit service dog.  Afterwards, there was cake (with yummy frosting!), chips, and drinks.  Lots of visiting and more pictures.  I can hardly believe that our eleven days of training are over and done.  The time really flew by!!!  It was bittersweet yesterday, knowing that each family passed their test and having to say goodbye to new friends.

Chris and Mercy
Griffin and Nokia

Riley and Beauford
William and Pumpkin
Owen, Annabelle and Cyber

Sean and Flutter

Drake and Sushi

Matthew and Flash

Tucker and Champ

Alexander and Zoom

Noel and Kiwi

We PASSED!!!  Jacey and Dublin

Afterwards, there was cake (with yummy frosting!), chips, and drinks.  Lots of visiting and more pictures.  I can hardly believe that our eleven days of training are over and done.  The time really flew by!!!  It was bittersweet yesterday, knowing that each family passed their test and having to say goodbye to new friends.

4 Paws Graduation Cake

Jacey and Judd shared a piece of cake.

Once Dad's cake ran out, Mom was looking pretty cool!

Jacey found a lonely piece of cake on one of the chairs.  Turns out to be Crista's.
She was more than happy to share with Jacey!  :o)

Jennifer - Senior Trainer, Jeremy - Head Trainer
Christy - Trainer, Me, Judd
Jacey and Dublin

It was such a wonderful experience meeting other families that had some of the same issues that we have with Jacey.  Judd had to just about drag me out of 4 Paws because like Judd says, I have a lot more words to use up each day than he does.  :o)  We had to stick to the clock because we were again invited to Don and Bonnie's home for dinner - PiZzA!!! 

The evening was a complete 180 from our first visit with them.  I'm sure they thought we had brought a different child.  Judd and I were shocked by Jacey being so calm as she was, considering she had a nap earlier in the day.  Don and Bonnie had gone and bought a coloring book and crayons for Jacey along with a bag of foam blocks.  Jacey felt right at home there and dumped the entire bag out on the floor.  She then went and dumped the crayons out and colored/scribbled a few pages.  The pizza they ordered was really good and it was nice to see Jacey eat.  (She wouldn't eat lunch earlier in the day.)  She also enjoyed her pop!  She was entertained with the blocks and coloring, and of course was interested in sitting in my lap to do the coloring.  :o) 

Jacey brings the blocks to the table to play with.

We had a wonderful visit with Don and Bonnie.  I'm glad that we went back and that I was able to enjoy myself so much.  It was interesting because Don brought in two coyotes that he had trapped that I wanted to see.  Dublin wasn't sure what to think of them.  He got pretty shaky and his tail went between his legs.  Apparently he shed a bit in their kitchen also.  We tried really hard to make it a positive experience for him but he wouldn't go near them.  I just "happy" talked him and gave him treats.  I told Judd that it is his job to get Dublin adjusted to this considering what he has in store for him when we get home!  Dublin didn't want to go near Judd the rest of the evening which is something we are going to ask Jeremy about when we get home. 

Jacey brought lots of smiles to all of us after dinner when they brought out the ice cream.  We figured we would just share bites with her to keep her a bit cleaner.  But she had other plans.  Bonnie went ahead and gave her a small scoop in a bowl of her own.  After sitting down at the table, Jacey managed to do a quick switch-aroo with Judd who had a full bowl of ice cream.  She wasn't going to give it up either.  There were laughs over Judd trying to sneak some ice cream out of her bowl and her not allowing it. 

Don was a softie, giving Jacey some chocolate syrup for her (dad's) ice cream!

Dad's ice cream sure tastes good!

Do you think she enjoyed her ice cream?

She got really hyper and started running around the house with the bag for the blocks over her head.  She also dumped the blocks on their kitchen table.  More giggles were heard and the guys started playing with Jacey.  They attempted to clean up the blocks and put them back in their bag but Jacey would run by and grab it.  She'd then giggle like crazy as she dumped it all out.  I think she enjoyed the game!  :o) 

Anyways, we had a great time with Don and Bonnie.  Jacey needed a bath and we needed to pack for our trip home so we had to finally say goodbye.  It was an enjoyable part of our trip that I never thought we would do while in Ohio.  Thanks Don and Bonnie!  And yes, it was the same Jacey we brought over the first night...although you probably don't believe me!  :o)

Don gets a few more giggles out of Jacey before we leave.

I stayed up way too late getting everything ready for our trip home the following morning.  I think I finally managed getting to bed a little after midnight. 

Graduation day was fabulous and our evening was relaxed and very enjoyable.  I'll update you with our travels today, tomorrow.  I'm pooped! 

Have a great one...


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