Portland Training: Day 2

If you have children, you will be able to understand how strange I felt when I drove away from training today with Hope in the back of my car. I have been mentally preparing for her arrival for months: buying supplies, reading books and talking to experts.  Now, I am here to get her and, after 2 days with supervision, it is time to take her on my own.  Sound familiar?  I know I can’t compare the responsibilities of a newborn baby with a dog, but that is the feeling that came rushing back to me as I pulled onto the street.  It was that familiar voice that said, “Who is that stranger in the back seat that you have to take care of for the rest of her life?”  Of course, I didn’t have to worry about keeping her alive, but there are a lot of things to remember.  The pressures are similar.  What if I make a mistake and screw her up completely?  What if I undo all of her training?  What if I forget to feed her or lose her???

IMG_2453 I tried to calm myself and remember that we will take some time to get to know each other.  After a couple of hours back in my hotel room trying to decide what to do with her, I decided to just go for it.  We leashed up and headed outside on a long walk to dinner.  I felt good with her by my side and I think she felt safe with me.  After about 45 minutes, we ended up at a very swanky restaurant.  I put on her service pack and confidently strode inside.  No one gave me any problems and the questions from other guests and employees were very kind and appropriate.  Hope sat silently at my feet while I enjoyed a 4-star meal with a cocktail.  After dinner, we took a cab back to the hotel and had a lovely long sleep.

Maybe this will be easier than bringing home a newborn after all…

One Comment

  1. Reply
    Libby February 22, 2013

    thanks for sharing Rhoni. It brought back similar memories when we brought her home as a pup. We had never had a dog before (as adults) so we were concerned too. She’s so trusting. All these service dogs have been that way. It makes you want to do things right & carefully. You’re doing great & love to hear how it’s all going. Makes it full circle for us & we now dream of how the other pups we raise will enhance other people’s lives.

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