Monday, April 25, 2011

Retraining Day 12: Home Again, Home Again Jiggedy Jig

Friday was mine and Glacier's trip home. We were packed and ready to go at 9 AM and were whisked off to Detroit airport by one of LDB's fantastic volunteers. The night before we spent a few hours sitting out in the Piano Lounge talking with the other students and saying good-bye. J stopped by briefly to give me a few things to take home. The first thing was our Identification card. The card proves that Glacier and I have graduated from a certified school and a summarized version of the ADA Access laws are on the back of the card.
Our second present was an enlarged framed photo of Glacier and I. The picture is the same one that is on the ID card. The dogs are sat on a bench beside their handler wearing a harness and the handler holds on to the dog's leash up by the dog's collar. The photo is very cute, with Glacier's ears perked up and his eyebrows furrowed because J was talking to him from behind the photographer.
Our third present was the best one out of all of them. J handed me a piece of paper saying,
"I printed this off before you got here, but since we didn't need it I thought you could take it home with you as a reminder of your hard work."
It was the Surrender form that I would have had to fill out and sign if we had determined that Glacier needed to retire. I laughed so hard and got a little teary. I put the form in front of Glacier's nose and told him that this was his ticket home. I also reminded him that I could still mail it from Scotland if he didn't behave. :)
Before  we left Friday morning, I made my rounds hugging the students and staff and thanking them for all of their support. D told me to email her any time and she would help me any way she could. I got a bit leaky again and even more leaky when I hugged Enzo's Mama. LDB had decided to send Enzo, his Mama and D home to finish their training there. Enzo's Mama was having a hard time, but they wanted to give her the best chance to be successful, so she too left LDB early. I wish her and Enzo all of the luck in the world. D told her that if things weren't working though that she would have to take Enzo back to LDB with her once the training class was over. D said that her goal was to make sure Enzo stayed with his new Mama though so we are all hoping this happens for those two.
The flight wasn't so bad, but the landing was so horrible I think Glacier may be a bit traumatized for a while. The wind was so strong that we kept dropping down really fast and then zooming in quick circles. When we finally landed, Glacier whined a bit and wouldn't stop until we got off the plane. I also thought he might have to park, so upon not finding my parents waiting for me, I told him to find the door and went out to find him a park spot. My parents arrived twenty minutes later because they had been held up on the bridge crossing from Canada to the United States. But when all was said and done we arrived at home safe and sound and Mom and Dad made steak, crab and other yummy food for supper.
So, with retraining behind us, Glacier and I will be moving forward; mostly by me implementing the new techniques the trainers at LDB have shown me. We've gotten a lot of good work in in the last couple of days and I think we're definitely moving in the right direction. Thanks to everyone for their words of encouragement and support and I hope all of you had a wonderful Easter. :)


Torie said...

Oh Jess that's fabulous! I hope that you and Glacier will continue moving forward. Don't be surprised if he tries to test you a bit out of the school, but you can do it.

They must have been really considdering retiring him if they had printed out the form for you to sign if things didn't go well.

I'm so happy though! :). Enjoy him, and remember don't be too hard on yourself if things don't go to plan.

Take care, and congrats!

browndogcbr said...

Hi Y'all!

Yippee! Jess and "Mr.G", we're sending our love and congratulations! We knew y'all could do it!

Look out they come!

I know y'all will love Scotland, despite being in a "faraway place".

Hawk aka BrownDog and his Mamma

P.S. Enjoy that good "home cookin'". Nothing beats "Mom's cookin'".

Anonymous said...

So glad to hear everything went well and you're both home safe and sound. It's been fun reading of your adventures in training :-)

Kolchak Puggle said...

Welcome home! Can't wait to hear how things go now that you are back!.

Jess and Glacier said...

Hi everyone,
Thanks a lot! I'm glad you guys kept reading, despite it being guide dog focused. :)
Brown Dog's Mama: You are so right! I've loved every meal I've had here since I've been home. :)
Thanks again so much-all of you supporting me has meant a lot.

Jen said...

Well done both of you. I'm sure all the hard work will be worth it.

L^2 said...

Glad to hear that you two made it home okay and are doing well together. And I'm so very happy that you didn't have to use that form. :) Hope you had a good Easter with your family. hugs.

Amber DaWeenie said...

We are so very happy that you guys get to stick together (but we never had any doubts on this end). Glad you are home, safe and sound.

Hope you had a great Easter.