Friday, October 28, 2011

A Long Time Apart

This is the longest Eli and I have been separated and, honestly, I'm very worried about the effect it may have on his training.
My husband and children brought Eli to the hospital to visit me. He behaved excellently and made me very proud. I wish I could have shown him off to everyone.
I have been told that Eli does spend time at home wondering where I am. Where I am is in the hospital. I have been in the hospital for four days so far. Thankfully Eli does not seem to be overly anxious at home without me. He is handling his supervised separation well, but does keep an eye out for my return. Poor little guy.
It seems he and I will be a little more busy upon my discharge. We will have to work that much harder on reinforcing skills. Eli is very smart, though. I know he will pick everything right back up. It is what Eli WANTS to do. <3
*??)  CRySTaLLyNN                          
?..??..*??) ?..*?)
(?..? (?..` ? God understands our prayers even when we can't find the words to say them.*??)
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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Service Dog

I think Eli is pretty proud of his accomplishments. Not only is he a Canine Good Citizen, but he has been registered with Active Dogs and has met the requirements to become a member of the International Association of Assistance Dog Partners.
Eli is growing into himself. He is eight months old now and has already accomplished so much in his service dog career. Everywhere we go, people are amazed at how well-mannered he is. Of course, we are constantly questioned because people do not believe such a tiny dog can be a service dog. Thankfully, we received his official service dog badge with all of his qualifications noted. Eli's official vest is still being made, but we are hoping to receive that within a week or so. We even have a small AKC Canine Good Citizen patch to stitch onto his vest so everyone can see his award.
Eli is extremely smart and very aware of what is going on with me. I still sometimes think of how nice it would be to trade-in my "grandma cane" for a service dog that could assist me with mobility. However, I cannot imagine life without Eli at this point. He wants to be with me and is genuinely disturbed and focused on finding me if I am out of his sight. If I go outside for a moment without him, I am sure to find Eli sitting in a window watching me.
The staff at my neurologist's office absolutely adore Eli. They cannot get enough of him there! The MRI technicians got a kick out of how he missed me while he sat with my husband during my test. When I was finished, one of the technicians stated that she "had to see" Eli's reaction when he saw me again. He did not even have to see me. He heard my cane and immediately perked up and began wagging his tail with excitement. In the waiting room before one of my appointments, Eli allowed the caregiver of another patient to hold him and love all over him. He was friendly with her, but definitely did not take his eyes off of me. I was so proud of him.
Eli and I could not make this session of Agility training. I am excited to participate the next time the class is offered, though. While I do have some control over Eli, when we are outside and there are things to distract Eli he does tend to lose focus. Agility training will, hopefully, strengthen that focus. I am looking forward to anything we can do together throughout Eli's lifetime of service dog reinforcement. I know Eli feels the same way. 8)