Sunday, August 29, 2010

5 days before we see Hardy again!

Not that I'm counting but it's 5 days until we head back up to Guelph to see Hardy and bring him  home! This weekend, he participated in DogFest 1, an overnight camping event held at Sue and John's farm for dogs and their people. According to Sue, Hardy is no longer a little pup; he is now a giant pup (and I've seen the proof on Facebook). Apparently, he was "... a perfect gentleman and helped all his dog friends to enjoy themselves in the yard. He was a good boy on the walk and was snoozing on the back porch." Sue also mentioned that he is a teenager now ... a bit of a warning, in case I was expecting him to be wonderful all the time. Apparently, she forgets that my other Lab is Laurel - Miss "No Natural Self Control" and whose brain was apparently on back order and didn't show up until she was 3 years old. So she's had a brain for a year now and although I do enjoy it and probably even take it for granted some, I do remember what it was like before it showed up. Thank goodness, Laurel has always understood the difference between when she is working and when she is being "just a dog". I'm also grateful that she doesn't act as though being a service dog is too confining; the fact is, she still makes it fun - just with a ton more control than she otherwise demonstrates. Although Laurel may not have been the easiest dog to work with and train as a service dog; I'm hoping that the difference in Hardy's temperament makes it easier for him to do the job! I think I owe it to the dogs I decide to train as my service dogs to try to choose ones who are most able to do the job with a minimum of stress. Although Laurel is an amazing mobility and alert service dog, that is probably against all odds and although I do everything I can to keep her stress levels down, I think it's important to take all that I've learned through my experience with her to make it easier and better for my next service dog candidate (lucky Hardy!).

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