Friday, May 6, 2011

Day Five: The Thumping on the Ground

Wendy's Take:here's a thumping on the ground. And it isn't the maid in the hall or the sound of a helicoptor flying through the air (though we have many of those during Columbus rush hour).

It would be the sound of Flash's tail wagging happily, thumping on the carpeted floor of our hotel room.

It's quiet tonight, just how the CCI folks told us to be. Dinner's finishing iith the clinks of Jarod's spoon in his ice cream dish and the fan running in the room. Kay is playing on her computer, and I on mine. The plan is to keep things low key, simple, calm for the dog. So that's exactly what we're doing.

It was a little bizarre bringing the dog back here to the hotel. Somehow my life is supposed to go on and be "normal" (whatever that is), and now we just have this dog with us. But it feels really bizarre, like there's something strange going on--like I have my shirt on inside out and I haven't noticed the tag flapping in the breeze (and I've done that one enough to know...). It's all good, but it's so surreal. We're really here. This is really Jarod's dog. This is really happening. Maybe it sounds ridiculous, but even almost a week after getting here it's all still sinking in.

On the plus side, the dog is fantastic. He's very good, very quiet and sweet. People definitely notice when you're out with this dog, lots of eyes watching what we do. I noticed that already as we took Flash on a short walk through the nearby parking lots and around some fountains, just to get him some exercise. They weren't kidding when they told us we're ambassadors for CCI.

They also weren't kidding when they said we'd have to lay in a stock of serious lint rollers. Pet hair is an issue I'll be addressing daily!

Today's agenda at CCI focused on preparing us for more in-depth training and for these first nights with our dogs. We listened to a lecture this morning on the very specific rules governing safety and public etiquette with the dogs. We will have a very, very specific group of rules we're expected to follow with the dogs when in public, and even at home with family and friends. I'll update more about that later, but CCI forces us to adopt very specific regulations. Also, part of this lecture included instruction about the kind of toys we can use with our dogs (and not use), food to use, etc. The afternoon's lecture expanded on this all by discussing the daily routines of the dogs, including feeding, toileting, grooming, practice and recreation. We learned the best way to play with our dogs safely--and part of that includes absolutely no dog parks! Like I said, it's all about the rules!

We practiced commands as Jarod said, and it included learning to pick up more difficult items from the floor, including small medication bottles, keys, and credit cards. You'd be amazed what the dogs are trained to do and how well they follow their commands.

In the meantime, it's time for me to help Jarod feed Flash and then get ready for bed. Good night to all. And good night Flash.

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