Saturday, June 13, 2009
Well, Cura has been 'home' for just over eleven weeks now (adopted on March 26). She is a VERY quick study (probably quicker than I am) and is in training to be my mobility dog. She is already in the beginning stages of learning her specialist skills. I have been asked by our trainers, Rick and Heather, to share our journey and I am finally getting around to honoring the request.
So, now for a bit about Cura . . .
First, you should know that she spent about 13 months in a shelter under the name of Whooopeee before she adopted me. While the shelter was a wonderful facility, any shelter situation is stressful for an animal. Although she is only supposed to be about four years old, she developed some grey on her muzzle during her shelter stay and is frequently mistaken for being much older. Well, until you spend some time with her anyway -- she is certainly 'young at heart'.
Rick and Heather introduced Whoopee and I in February of this year (2009). After some discussion with family, it was decided that getting a service dog was a good step and Rick and Heather had been asked to begin the search. We bonded immediately and the process began.
First order of business from my perspective was to figure out Whoopee's name. Her shelter name not only didn't seem dignified for a service dog, but also didn't seem to be her 'true' name. After some thought and research, I settled upon Cura Aebon which is Scot's Gaelic for 'Ebony Protector'. She took to the name (I call her Cura) very quickly and has settled into it nicely.
For the rest of February and much of March, we spent 2-3 days per week together for several hours getting to know one another and working on the basics that would be necessary for her to have in order to be with me 24/7. She needed to hit the ground running as soon as she came home -- and she did.
Since she has been home we have had a number of new experiences together and I could write a novel about them. But, instead of re-hashing the past, I think we will just move forward from here. We hope that you enjoy our journey as much as we do!