Between meeting up with the trainers and dogs from amazing tails and the dock dogs exhibit yesterday, I had a great time. I rarely leave the house, except for doctor visits. Yesterday, there was a pet expo within driving distance of my home. When I found out, I wanted to go. I love animals. I have a cat and am supportive of rescue groups.
I had never seen dock dogs live. I think that I saw a similar competition on TV years ago. Anyway, the object is for the dog to run down the dock and jump into a pool. The distance of the jump is measured and the dog is scored. Again, I am new to this so you may want to check out www.dockdogs.com.
Seeing the trainers from Amazing Tails was great. I was so surprised when they brought 2 dogs for me to work with. They actually took time out of their day at the show to try me with the different dogs and to allow me to experience what life would be like with a service dog for only a few hours. I did have to stop and rest, however; I actually was able to get around for two hours. Something I have not been able to do in so long. The dog allowed me to lean on him for balance, helped me walk, helped me get up, and at times sensed that I was starting to get anxious and would stop, look up and block people from getting to close. What a terriffic experience. After walking around, I was able to sit down and ask some questions of the trainers. They put me at ease with some of the questions that I had and made me even more comfortable.
When I was walking with the different dogs, one of the trainers asked me which dogs gate felt better. It took a couple times, yet I did realize that the gates of the dogs were different. One of them still hurt me knee, with the other, I felt no pain at all. Little did I realize that every dog has a slightly different gate. Something to look for I guess.
My mom went with me yesterday. My mom has been in the dog grooming side of things for roughly 25 years. She has seen all breeds, worked with the owners of show dogs, has friends that do agility with their dogs, and has the uncanny ability to tell the truth no matter how much it may hurt me. Even she was impressed by what she saw. She had not seen me walk for months and to be able to walk around an exhibit hall amazed her. She also could not believe how the service dog stood still and allowed me to brace on him to get up. She is 100% supportive of my decision.
Not to get into to much detail. My mom is normally very critical of me. I am usually not good enough for her and it has hurt me over the years. To have her approval on anything is huge!! She thinks that I am making the right decision. It means a lot to me that she cares so much about me being able to have more freedom. Even she talked about the potential to walk to the park near my home once again and to be able to go out to stores. There is that hope concept coming up again. Hope is something that I thought that I had lost.
The day ended with me hanging out with my parents and spending time with my husband. I am lucky to have people in my life who support the journey that I have started, and like any journey, I think I will be faced with many challenges and rewards!!!