Buffy asked me last week if I wanted to write a post for her blog. That sounded scary and a bit overwhelming! I surely wasn’t ready then. And am not quite sure I’m ready now. But I think I should be brave and try!
Have you ever had to do something new that has felt scary? It sure can be hard to push through and step outside of our comfort zone. Isn’t it? But my mom said it was sometimes good to do this because it helps us grow and learn new things. So here we go!
I have gone through several changes over the past few weeks. And they have been difficult. But I am now starting to see that there is a lot of good things happening because of these changes.
So many changes about to happen!
Toward the end of last month, my trainer brought me and some of my buddies into the large training room. The room where we had been many times before to learn new tasks and practice known tasks.
But on this day things were different. There were people in the room that I had never seen before. Who were they? And why were they here?
Then my trainer and another trainer started doing things with these people. They were telling them about the proper ways to handle a dog, how to give the cues, and how to motivate and praise. And then they got to meet us and work with us a little bit.
It felt strange and awkward to work with people we didn’t know. Their voices and handling skills were very different from our trainers. And they seemed hesitant and unsure. But in a way, it was challenging in a good way for us to work with others.
Soon the day was over and we went back to the comfort of our kennels. And the routine was familiar and reassuring. A nice way to end a day that had been filled with wonder and uncertainty. Maybe this day would just become an odd memory.
But that wasn’t to be. Because the next morning my trainer and the other trainer brought me and four of my buddies back into that training room. And those same people were all here again. Along with a few other people from the school that I knew.
We were waiting in anticipation of what was to happen next!
I didn’t understand what was going on. I just wanted to have a regular day of training with my trainer. But there was the excitement of anticipation in the room. Everyone seemed eager for what was about to happen.
Then my trainer took my leash and started talking. She said that I was matched with Brenda. And she walked me toward the lady in the wheelchair. My trainer seemed excited and happy. And Brenda seemed excited and happy. So I decided I should be excited and happy, too!
Meeting my new mom!
I didn’t know what all of this meant. But I trusted my trainer. I would later come to realize this person was to become my new mom. My buddies were each given to their new person. And we all spent a few minutes together with no expectations other than being close and being loved.
We went for a walk around the school. And did a few training sessions. But it all seemed so strange. My trainer was close by and I really wanted to be with her. Although it did feel a little bit okay to be with this new person.
Our first walk together!
Over the next few days, we did more practice sessions and went on some field trips. We played and spent time relaxing in the dorm room. It was starting to feel more comfortable. But maybe this was just temporary. And I would be able to go back with my trainer.
I was used to my trainer and the way she did things. My new mom’s voice was softer and the way she told me things were different. She was used to the way her retired service dog, Buffy, responded. And knew just what she needed.
Tugging open a drawer!
But she didn’t know what I needed yet. And I didn’t know what she needed either. I think it was hard for both of us. Adjusting to new things and the differences between the known and unknown are hard . . . for everyone! It takes time.
And then all of a sudden things were about to change again. We were going to leave the comfortable setting of the training school and our dorm room. My mom and I were about to venture out on our own. Without the reassuring presence of the trainers.
We headed out for what was to be a very long drive. I was with my new mom and brother, Eric, but my trainer wasn’t there. We had said goodbye back at the school. But I didn’t realize at the time we were really leaving her behind.
Sleeping during our long ride home!
We had a long but enjoyable ride home. We stopped a few times for me to stretch my legs. And to eat dinner. My mom was eager to get home. I would be meeting my new dad and my new sisters, Buffy and Kippy and Roo. I’m happy to say the introductions went well. And was a great start to a new beginning!
I think this blog writing stuff is not so scary and might even be fun! There are so many things racing around in my mind that I want to share. But I think this will be a good time to end this post. And organize my thoughts for some upcoming posts. If Buffy will let me do more!