Monday, March 31, 2014
3/31/14: Day 1 of Training
Today was our first day of official training at 4 Paws for Ability. It was so exciting to meet Alec's service dog, as well as the other families and their dogs. What we were not prepared for was Alec's reaction to Rafi. He did a lot of talking about Rafi and showed interest prior to the trip, but once he met his dog, he needed to be forced to pet him and didn't want much to do with giving him treats or attention. His behavior was out of control and we needed to go to the play area outdoors. Thank God there was a playground and outdoor trampoline.
After talking to the trainers, we are only going to bring Alec to training when it's absolutely necessary. There is at least one other family that needs to take this approach as well. As the handlers, Bill and I will need to concentrate and learn all we can while we're here. One of us will always be at training class. The bonding process will take longer than we hoped, but we need to be educated handlers.
We also have a very upset little Dayna. Reminding her that her dog is Buster (at home) isn't really helping. This is a hard time for her :(
Toward the end of the day, Rafi decided to move closer to Alec and then gave him a lick/kiss on the hand. That was a nice little moment and so desperately needed :) We are told that we have a resilient dog, and we are confident that he will be able to handle Alec. However, he is such a sweet and gentle dog too. The perfect combination!!!
Signing off for today...an exhausted Stearns Family!