Monday, June 20, 2011

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times"

This past weekend Canine Affair (our training hall) hosted a C-WAGS Obedience and Rally trial for which I served as the C-WAGS Advocate (or Representative). With the potential for hot weather and because I haven't been working much to get ready, I wasn't sure I'd be competing. 
About 4 or 5 weeks ago, we found out that Brent's father, who lives in St. Louis had inoperable (terminal) lung cancer and that he had 6-8 months to 1 year to live. At that point, he was living at home and had gone to see his doctor. When he was dissatisfied with what his doctor had to say, he decided he needed to go to the hospital. Once there, he was diagnosed with a very aggressive, untreatable cancer and it became quickly apparent that he would never go home again. Brent's mother has been in a nursing home for about 10 years with advanced Alzheimer's and he is an only child with a very small extended family that hasn't been close for many years. As a result, everything fell to Brent and suddenly we were trying to pay their bills, make living arrangements for his dad and take care of his mom. Unfortunately, his dad's health declined quickly and two weeks ago, we were told he had 2-4 months left and he immediately went into hospice. Brent decided to spend a last father's day with his dad so we made reservations for him to go there Friday (the 17th). He was scheduled to land at 8:00 in the morning but we got a call 5 hours before (at 3:00) letting us know that his dad had passed away peacefully in his sleep. Brent went there but instead of getting to see his dad, he had to make arrangements for his funeral, talk to the lawyer, go to the banks and the nursing home to see about his mom etc. 
For all sorts of reasons, it's been a stressful couple months for us and although I've made time for continuing our service dog training, I haven't been working on anything related to competition. Despite that, I decided on Saturday to try Level 1 Obedience with Hardy. Brent and I also used FaceTime to be together while making the funeral arrangements which made it an emotional day. Although we hadn't worked on all of the exercises, Hardy got one Q. On Sunday, I did Pro, Zoom 2 and ARF rally with Laurel and although she was worried about me, we got 3 Qs with 2 firsts & 1 second place. At the last minute, I decided to try Zoom 1 with Hardy. He was really on and we won the class with a 98/100! I have to admit that I was surprised and very proud of him! And he has requested that I not come out of the ring telling everyone how surprised I am when he does a good job! Funny boy!

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