Dreaded turn-in day.
The minute you get your new charge, that lovely and naughty little pup, you know — KNOW — the countdown to turn-in day starts. I’ve done this more times than I can remember and I’m still surprised how hard it is — and how the date sneaks up on me — even after 14 years.
Today, of course, was Levi’s Big Day.
For him, this is a fabulous day. This is the day he’s been waiting for (without even knowing it). Today’s the day he goes off to college! Late night parties, studying for tests, making new friends, finding out what he’s going to do with his life.
For me, turn-in day is a mixed day.
I’m happy that he’ll get to learn more, do more, see more, play more, work more. I’m sad that he won’t be doing that with me. It’s totally selfish. My dogs are happy — no more teenager in the house who jumps on their heads, butts his way into everything, interrupts their sleep, steals their couch space, etc. You get it: the only sad one here is me.
Turn-in itself went well.
We ran Levi through his paces, talked about his current level of each behavior so the organization has reasonable expectations. Levi did fine through all of that, even though the last time we’d worked together was before Christmas. He got some fun playtime in with our previous service dog, Schooner, which, of course, made me double happy.
All was well until they leashed him to leave. (I hate leaving the dogs, so whenever possible, I prefer for them to take the dog on a field trip or something so I’m not literally walking out on them.) Levi’s a happy guy, willing to do anything, but when they went to take him out of the building, he looked back at me and gave me a “Huh?” look. A “Shouldn’t you be coming with us?” look.
“Kill me now,” was all I could think.
I gave him a happy smile, kissed his head, and they cheerfully called his name. He wagged his tail, caught up to them, got a treat, and trotted on out to the car, happy as a lark. He didn’t think twice. I was panicked.
I hope you’ll forgive me for not having a dog-training video ready this week.
It’s ready, actually. It was done a few weeks ago. I just don’t have the umph to put it up. You’ll see it next week, it’s about out-of-sight stays. If you haven’t guessed, Levi is the star. I’ll be ready to see it next week, but to see it today — that’d be a tough one. Hahaha, such is the life of a puppy raiser.