Sweet Baby Caysun. I had the pleasure of raising her for the beginning of her service dog career. We got that sweet pup in September of 2011.
We lived with and loved her until she had to go back to the service dog organization a short ten months later. I had a pretty big lump in my throat for turn in. But that’s the story of my life.
She was a dream to work with and picked things up so easily. She fit our family like a glove.
But she has a job to do. An important one. Much more important than lounging around keeping me company.
I had the opportunity to visit Caysun during Transfer Camp. Transfer Camp is a two-week program in which the recipient and the dog learn to work together. It’s a “get to know you” and a “show me what you can do” period that goes both ways. The dog gets to get used to her new partner, and the person learns how to work with the dog.
Caysun’s going to be a diabetic alert dog. She’s done terrific in her training, both with general service dog tasks and with the alerts. By Day 3 of transfer camp, Caysun was alerting her person pretty reliably to sugar highs and lows. It was impressive!
It was also the first time I’d had a chance to see Caysun’s completed training. In addition to the alerts, Caysun can fetch the insulin kit and bring it to her human partner. She can also alert a family member when requested (in case the person needs more help than the insulin kit can provide). Her “dog manners” are stellar: she can leave food alone that’s on the floor, her loose leash walking manners are impresive, and the attention to her person is beautiful to see.
I had mixed feelings about a week before seeing Caysun and her new person. I loved that little girl like crazy. Would I be ok seeing those two together, learning each other’s habits and quirks? I thought it might be a little like seeing an old boyfriend with his new girlfriend.
I needn’t have worried. Caysun was very happy to see me, but was also very serious about her new job. It took only a day or two of working with her new partner for Caysun to realize that this was a special person. It was fun to watch Caysun greet her enthusiastically every morning. And downright amazing when the first spontaneous diabetic alert happened. I cheered a silent cheer inside when I saw that little dog doing what she trained two years to do!