My job as a service dog varies day-to-day. Some days we might stay at home. While other days we might go to an appointment my mom has with one of her doctors. And sometimes we might venture out to do a few errands.
I like the variety of our days. It is nice to get out and do things with my mom. But I also enjoy those quieter days where we stay at home.
I have been home with my mom for about six weeks. I’m settling in nicely. And adjusting to my new routine. It is different but in a good way!
Always watching my mom!
When graduating from Team Training my mom was encouraged to take things slow. And not set her expectations too high during those first few weeks.
Well, her expectations did need to be high for making sure I followed the rules, didn’t misbehave, or get into trouble, and responded appropriately to the cues she used. But the expectations that I could just seamlessly fit into my new home and life needed to be reasonable.
We both needed time to adjust to the newness of the whole situation. My mom had to get used to a new service dog. And the ways I would be different than Buffy.
I had to get used to a new home. With new sisters and different routines. And learn the things my mom needed help with. I also have to get comfortable with the way my mom does things.
And what her expectations are. Which in some ways are different than my trainer. And before that my puppy raiser.
Buffy and I enjoy being with each other!
Have you noticed how different people have small, or sometimes big, differences in the ways they do something? Things that in many ways seem similar at first glance? Like maybe their tone of voice. Or their mannerisms. Or the way they move about.
I was used to my trainer’s voice. And the words she used to encourage me. And the ways she let me know that I was doing things just the way she wanted.
So hearing my mom’s voice is different and has taken me some time to get used to. She speaks more softly. And uses different words to encourage me. Although she does try to remember to use many of the same words my trainer used.
But sometimes she forgets. And sometimes I’m not sure exactly what she wants. We are both trying but sometimes we make mistakes.
My mom and I know that it will get easier and more comfortable. We are listening to each other. And will find ways to communicate in ways that we both understand. And there will be a strong bond and s deep trust that develops. But it will take time.
Overall my first six weeks with my new mom and family have been quiet and very nice. I have been to a few appointments with my mom and to the grocery store a few times. But these outings were all spread out and short. We didn’t do them all in one day!
I like laying with my dad on his recliner!
At home, my mom and I have spent time getting to know each other. And what we each like. We have snuggled and played with my toys! And we have done lots of training sessions and fun games.
In many ways taking it slow has been easy. This is because there are still many restrictions on dining and shopping in our area due to COVID-19.
As Buffy has shared with you in the past and has told me, my mom and dad enjoy going out to eat. And shopping, especially at the bookstore. I can’t wait to go on these outings!
My very favorite thing to do is work and help my mom. I get very excited when we get to do some training. And I am loving some of the new things my mom is teaching me. For some future posts, I will have to share some of these things!
In between helping my mom, training, and snuggling I get to play with my sisters. Every day my dad takes us all out into the big yard. He throws the ball and frisbee for us. And you know what? Much to my mom’s surprise, I can run faster than my sister, Roo!
I think my mom is quite special and a perfect partner for me. And she has told me that she thinks the same of me! We are going to be a great team! Even though it will take some time for us to dance as one.