Whew! Well, recovery took much longer than originally anticipated . . . but it feels like things are pretty much back on track. It is funny how a few days away can just throw everything off kilter.
Well, hard work reaps its rewards, and this week has some big ones! We have had our very last Service Dog private tutoring session . . . while we will still be going to classes, Cura will officially graduate from the Service Dog program on Friday. We will be celebrating with a little gathering of people who are in the Service Dog Program along with Nona Ear Rubs, Fuzzy Face and a few other people who have been involved in Whoopee!!'s transformation into Cura and our development into a smoothly working partnership.
I am VERY excited! It is going to be a lovely evening and it will be the first time all of the Service Dogs in the program will be together in a non-training situation. Okay, yes . . . ALL situations are a training opportunity, but this is a real social event where all the dogs will be working instead of the focus being on practice or learning (but never fear, I am sure there will be at least a few helpful tips passed on during the evening -- Rick and Heather just can't help it and I love them for their dedication. It really helps me to get the guidance 'in the moment' and have the added benefit of them illustrating things if it is needed instead of just explaining a situation after the fact and working on it later. This allows me to really understand what I was doing wrong in the moment -- how was I feeling; what exactly did I do or not do to contribute to the problem; what is going on in the environment that could be (or definitely IS) contributing to the issue -- all of these things and more are important and can easily be overlooked after the fact.
In addition to graduation on Friday, this week is also a Playdate week! Yay! Cura gets to romp around with some of her friends, dig holes, and let her doggie hair down. She really enjoys these sessions -- more so if the weather is not dodgy -- though with it being monsoon season, who knows what the weather will be like. Still, getting out and playing with her friends is an important part of Cura's 'down-time' so we will brave the weather unless it is ridiculous. There will be an added treat this time -- her podmate from the Shelter has been invited. Cura and BB have been in classes together, but this will be the first time since Cura was adopted that they will be able to socialize together off-leash. It should be a wonderful thing to see and I hope that I remember to bring my camera so that I can get some of it on film -- otherwise, you will all be subjected to phone quality images!