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Today has been long and exhausting, both mentaly and physically. It was everyone's favorite part of class: Dog Day! I don't remember when I ended up falling asleep last night, but I was awake around 5:00 this morning, way before the official wake-up time. Juno obedience went well for a second time. I was surprised I ate everything at breakfast as I don't usually tend to eat a lot on Dog Day, or at least haven't in the past. I don't know if I mentioned: the main breakfast choice was an omlet, but I opted for eggs and toast instead. While we're on food: lunch was chicken, tuna or some other kind of salad, and I chose peanut butter and jelly. I ate all of that, too, again surprising. Dinner was burgers and potato wedges, which I did choose and again eat all of. Lunch was actually very busy in terms of a lot of people talking and such. In past classes, I don't remember it being as such. Dinner, too, was mostly low-key.

Now for the part you all have been waiting for: my dog. All throughout the morning and into the afternoon, when we were receiving our dogs' names, I was very nervous and emotions were running high. When I was told that my dog was a yellow Lab male named Dalton, I didn't know what to think at first. When all of the dogs had been paired to people, everyone left and I just sat in Alumni Hall, not really knowing what to do or how to feel. A male? I had never worked a male before. I wasn't so much concerned for the sake of my dog as I was for myself. Could I do this? I actually broke out in tears. I think all of the emotions of LivDog's retirement and my receiving my new guide hit me all at once right then. Another thank-you goes out to the instructors and Becky, (and Flyer!), for helping me through my mini melt-down. I truly appreciate it. When the knock came on my door and Graham brought Dalton into me, one second and I realized I was worried for nothing. He is a very sweet dog and I have all the confidence in the world that we will do fine. He has been obedient to me, even for only having him such a short time. He's actually getting anxious, so I'm going to end this, post it, and give him some attention. I did want to write an update all the same. I do apologize for its abruptness. A huge thank-you goes out to everyone who has taken the time to read and comment on my last few entries, especially to Olivia's puppy raisers, Jane and family. You guys are really fantastic! Tomorrow I hit the ground running, literally. We were given our harnesses tonight, and I had Dalton in a standing position to fit him with it. I brought it down close to his head and he walked right into it. I can't wait to work him for the first time tomorrow!

Date: 2011-01-13 01:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] amor-demi-alma.livejournal.com
Awww, congratulations! Sounds like you two are a perfect pair already, and I'm so glad!
I don't know if you watch Glee, but the first thing I thought of was Dalton Academy, the private school with the 0-tolerance bullying policy. Epic!! Dalton will obviously protect you with a name like that. Or, you know, I'm just a dumb Gleeky nerd. XD But no, he will, I can feel it!

Congrats!

Date: 2011-01-13 01:35 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Yes, I also think he will protect you very well and I shall thus refer to him as Dalton the Sulton! it will be fun to hear about your day together tomorrow. Enjoy!

Date: 2011-01-13 01:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] baxaphobia.livejournal.com
Very cool about Dalton! I'm glad he's being a good boy for you so far. I have had all males except for my 1st dog and they all have been sweethearts. Hugs.

Congrats!

Date: 2011-01-13 02:34 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Hi Liz. Congrats on Dalton. I really like the name. If it's any concelation, I felt mixed about getting a male too when I went to get Lava. I too, had only worked females before. I had heard male dogs were aggressive. Would I get used to saying good boy instead of good girl? Boy, was I ever wrong in my misconceptions about male dogs! Lava was the sweetest, most laid back, and the most serious worker I ever had. He saved my life more than once. He wasn't Mr. social butterfly like the female dogs were. So I could understand why you had a melt down but am glad you're over it now. Good luck! Leslie

Dog Day Three

Date: 2011-01-13 03:24 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I think once you get over that little melt down today you will do great. Like you said hit the ground running and don't look back. Glad you had a great day.
Ron & Pal

re: dog day

Date: 2011-01-13 03:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mektastic.livejournal.com
Dog day is such an emotional day and people deal with it in so many different ways.

I've been thinking about you a lot and wanted you to know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. You were instrumental in keeping me sane when I was going to guide dog school in November and I hope I can be the same to you. Just remember to be good to yourself as well as patient with yourself. Dalton is a great name. The work truly begins now.

Big hugs to you.

day 3

Date: 2011-01-13 04:03 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Hi, Liz, I know that feeling of having to go from one dog to another.I've been working with all male guide dogs and would rather it stay that way. Give it some time and I'm sure that you and Dalton will make a great team. honestly, after retiring another guide dog, it doesn't get any easier. Bibi and retired Pilot Dogs guide dog son Odie the crazy happy spirited bounty labra wolf

Date: 2011-01-13 04:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thesaxomike.livejournal.com
Congratulations on your new dog! I know it must be hard but Dalton sounds like a great dog and I'm sure it'll get easier as time goes on.

Date: 2011-01-13 04:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] charmarie.livejournal.com
Yay that is so exciting and awesome! and i like his name to, it's very cool! Good luck with training, and I am really enjoying reading about how your training is going!

melt downs

Date: 2011-01-13 04:59 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Hi there,

In my last two classes, I discovered every one hits the wall at different times. I dind't hit it with Vassar till I got home, found my last dogs bowls when I went to feed him, and then lost it. Maybe this was an early one for you, and now it'll be done. And then, maybe not. I'm convinced being a retrain is harder than a rookie, for just this reason.

Becky is terrific, and that is why she is one of my favorite people.

Looking forward to reading the next chapter,
Randy & Vassar

Date: 2011-01-13 05:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] soprano1790.livejournal.com
Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaays! That's awesome! I'm so happy for you. I need to call and leave you guys a message at some point. I'm sorry dogday was so stressful, but I'm glad your happy with your new boy. Can't wait to hear more about him.

Date: 2011-01-13 01:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] itzazoo.livejournal.com
Congratulations! Best of luck!

dog day and males

Date: 2011-01-13 03:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] toni fraser (from livejournal.com)
Hi, I got a male black lab in November from GEB. He is my first male also. My other two guides were females. The only things I had to get used to are the way he pees and the high energy. Would I trade him for anything? No, he is mine.

Date: 2011-01-13 09:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] imafarmgirl.livejournal.com
That is a cute name. Congrats. The emotions are hard. Hugs. What shade of yellow is he? I'm sure you'll do fine.

Date: 2011-01-14 03:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] abigail1024.livejournal.com
awesome for you and dalton.. i know you all will do fine.... hugs

Date: 2011-01-14 04:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] reborn-spirit.livejournal.com
I freaked out when I found out I was getting a male dog. All of my animals have always been females. Railey is probably the best thing that has happened to me. It seems a little awkward at first, but you'll more than likely end up having so much fun with your new baby boy. Congratulations!!!!!!
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