Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Tuesday & Wednesday

Pixie and Mavery slept great last night! At home Mavery is typically the first one up, waking the whole house up. We never heard a peep from Mavery or Pixie. Many said their dogs were up in the night so we are thankful for a quiet night.

This morning was all about the dogs diets and more commands. Mavery is getting much more comfortable and is not wanting us to even stay near when they have them up doing exercises.

One thing they did today was to have the person put their dog into the down position and then walk away. After a few moments they would call, and the dog would respond.

Remember that scene in the movie Annie where she has found the stray dog she named Sandy? The dog pound comes along and wants to take the dog, she claims this is MY dog. And they say prove it….

That is what came to mind as I watched each person start to call his or her dog to them.  As they went down the line and each person would call their dog, and that dog would respond to their person, I started to cry. Just like Annie, this is now THEIR Sandy. Until yesterday each of these people have dreamed for a very long time about this dog. What this animal could do for their lives to make it better. And like Mavery, they met them yesterday and I am sure said “You are exactly what I have always wanted!”

I know they said, YOU are mine.  And I will prove it.

So as I watched these dogs come to this new person they just met yesterday, I was beyond moved. 

And crying in the middle of a dog class is a little embarrassing! J

I enjoy being in places with so many stories. Each such a unique background and yet all here for the same purpose. 

They taught us how to get the dog to “hug” today and so we practiced a bit of pressure therapy with Mavery once back at the hotel.

Many have asked what exactly we hope to see from the dog for Mavery. And that is hard to wrap up into a few simple words.  I am happy to talk to anyone through email in more detail. But our biggest thing is that we want to see the dog be calming for Mavery.  We pray that it gives her confidence and some self control. If she detects heart changes, that of course is wonderful too.

After lunch we visited a nursing home and from there we went to Walmart as a group.  I had to laugh at the nursing home. We were in speaking with one woman and she was telling us how many kids and grandkids she has. 9 kids, 30 grandkids. We told her we have 5 and are trying to bring home more from China. She said, I didn’t have to do that to get my kids. 

What do you do but laugh.

We started talking with Mavery about Thursday, when we will visit the “Correctional Facility”. Mavery understands what jail is, so we tried to talk through that. She asked if WE would get to go behind the bars, and if the men would be behind the bars while we talk to them. 

Have I mentioned that the dogs are trained in prison part of the time? It is quite the process they go through to find out if they will be in the program. They are in homes, at prisons a few times, in homes etc.. So part of this week involves taking them to the facility to let the trainers see the dogs.

After visiting we will visit a mall and have our testing done. Passing would be good! 

We tried to drive and find internet last night (Tuesday) so I could post this.  No luck and our hotel is out again through Thursday. This might be worse than China, I was able to get internet while there! Hoping to find somewhere tonight to post. But since I am already a day behind a quick review of Wednesday.

Today they showed how to put the dogs in submissive position. Pixie has no issues with this. Some, had a bit more trouble and while it sounds SOO mean to me when they yell at them, I know it is for their good. I am certain I could have a much better mutt at home if I had followed just a few of these tips.

We went to a pre-school where the kids could pet the dogs.

Mavery is handling everything amazingly. I am counting it a MIRACLE that she has survived sitting through THREE Days of classes with out meltdowns. The teachers asked if she is always so shy. Those of you who know Mavery know there is not a shy bone in her body, so maybe Pixie is bringing a bit of magic dust our way.

If you would like to check out CARES, the organization in charge of these dogs, please visit their website HERE.  Sarah and Megan are amazing! Sarah started CARES in 1994 and has trained 1100 dogs! I was thinking today how mixed this job has to be. You see SO many needs come through. HARD needs. But then to be able to give a dog to someone and know that it changes their life for good? What a blessing! 

I am now sitting in a BBQ place with WIFI! :-) Hopefully the pictures will go up. No prison photos tomorrow but hopefully I can get some mall photos! You know us girls like to shop and I think Pixie will fit right in that area! 


Anonymous said...

Oh Shannon, I am moved to tears reading your post. I love the pictures, all of them. But, the one that has you, Mark and Mavery and Pixie is my favorite.
I love Mavery's outfit too., it is so cute.
Like I said before, when you get home and get settled please call or email me. I want to know more info about the program.

Annie Chase said...

My friend is a service dog trainer. I've been showing her the pictures and posts as I've been following along and every day she asks me if Mavery has a tether for pixie?

Glad to hear everything is going well!