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 exhausted Stearns Family!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Alec's Service Dog: Meet Rafi

Meet "Rafi" - Alec's 4 Paws Service Dog!  We will be meeting him in less than two days!  The journey to 4 Paws begins tomorrow.  Follow along with us as we post photos and (hopefully) video, and narrative of our training experience!  We are so excited that this day is a reality!  <3

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Waiting Game

As of tomorrow morning...March 19th, the Stearns Family will be meeting Alec's 4 Paws service dog in 12 DAYS!  Also, sometime in the next week or so, the March/April class will be receiving their service dog matches by e-mail!  Once we have the dog's photo, name, and story -- we will be posting to share with everyone!  What an exciting time!  STAY TUNED :)

Monday, March 3, 2014