Ann Chiappetta

Making meaningful connections with others through writing

Dog Blogumentary Part 7: Settling In

| Filed under Guide dogs writing

Dog Blogumentary Part 7: Graduation
Hello readers, it’s the Sunday after our official graduation and we are doing great. Bailey is snoozing in his crate, a half chewed Budda bone lying next to him. This morning we went out in the cold (when is it going to get warm?) and practiced obedience and targeting the relief area and the path back to the building in harness. He did great. My recuperation is still a work in progress. Today I am fatigued and aches and pains are plentiful. Sigh.

Yesterday, though, I was energetic and ready for a full day of emotions and excitement. Our action instructor picked us up and drove us to the Yorktown facility. We got to let the dogs in the class play in the community run. Wow, it was interesting. The instructors were alert and ready for anything. The dogs were like pogo sticks and racehorses; running, jumping, wrestling, and doing it with complete abandon. After that, we went to lunch, leaving our dogs in the rooms to rest before the big event. At 1:30 we were ready to go, were escorted into Alumni Hall for the ceremony and Bailey and the dog next to him taunted one another and we had to practically wrestle them into position under the chairs. Then, Mr. Houdini tried wriggling out of his harness but didn’t make it all the way, thankfully. We met his raiser, one of the regional managers for Guiding Eyes’ puppy raising areas in Maine, for whom he was named. We got some pictures and talked about Bailey, his personality and how he responds, etc. I learned he is a strong swimmer, has been riding in cars and boats and travels well. He prefers his crate/kennel and is socially excitable with people but can quiet down with firm direction and handling. Nothing I didn’t already figure out while training with him. I also discovered he prefers to return a ball when the person sits down in a chair rather than standing up. He needs to work on his off-leash recall. This is all very workable and he is not even 2 yet – his birthday is April 25th.

Thank you, Guiding Eyes, Pat Weber, and all the people involved in Bailey’s development. This is my second dog and he is as different as I needed him to be. He and Verona get along very well, he tolerates Nikka as if he has known her for years and he and our cat are learning to give one another the personal space a cat desires for peaceful cohabitation. Thanks for reading and enjoy the upcoming holidays.

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