Cura and I have been together since 2009. We want to thank all of you who followed the early days as well as those who popped back on occasion during the long hiatus. Training was done, the days passed, and we were settling into our life together.
Fast forward: Cura is slowing down and a new member of the family is in training. On top of that, we are all busy with our new calling . . . Running the Training Department for Paws and Stripes. Join us on our journey!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Officially "ON DUTY"

Well, it has become very clear that I am not a very good tweeter!  I had every intention of providing frequent Twitter updates on Friday to keep everyone posted throughout Cura's midterm and you can see from the sidebar how successful THAT was!  LOL!

The day went very well.  We rode the train and spent the day wandering around window shopping, had a meal, spent time in a Tavern.  A good time was had by all.  Previous to the midterm, I had to perform my own evaluation of Cura's skills that Rick and Heather would review after Cura had completed the midterm.  Final result?  Cura 'exceeded expectations'!  Go, Cura! 

In addition to passing the midterm, the fact that there were several times that Rick and Heather did not see the communication exchange between Cura and me even though they were paying attention to that type of thing was very satisfying.  Sometimes, my signals were very subtle, but there were also times that I didn't actually give a verbal command or even a proper hand signal.  There really were times where I just thought that I wanted Cura to do something and she did it!  I must admit, when Rick and Heather first introduced the concept to me, I was skeptical.  Okay, who am I kidding, I was more than skeptical -- which is why I called it mind meld in the first place.  StarTrek, here we come.  Now, here we are, a few months later, and mind meld is becoming a reality.  Rick, Heather . . . I owe you an apology!

We were out for twelve hours!  It was a very long day for both of us.  I may be used to very long days, but I am very seldom on the go for twelve hours straight.  Saturday, all Cura did was eat, go potty, and change sleeping positions and locations!  She was knackered!

So, after such an impressive performance, Cura and I passed the midterm with flying colors.  She has been taught all of her absolutely essential skills and can perform them in strange and distracting locations.  Her training is not complete because there are some other skills I want her to learn that will be convenient and will probably become essential in years to come.  But, with the successful completion of the midterm, Cura can now wear her Service Dog ON DUTY patches instead of her Service Dog IN TRAINING patches.  She is now officially ON DUTY! 

Just think . . . one year ago, she was considered unmanageable/untrainable!  What a great year!