Sunday, May 6th
Long drive to Atlanta.
Monday, May 7th
Very exciting day! Met 13 dogs of all various shapes and sizes. Narrowed down my favorites to Hooch, a golden retriever and Skippy a yellow lab. I'm hoping for Hooch!
Tuesday, May 8th
Everyone was taken separately in a room with their potential matches. I went first at 10 am. Finally at 3:30 all one on ones were completed and the matching ceremony began. And……I got my wish! They yelled out Grayson and HOOCH! My face was bright red and I couldn’t' stop grinning. After each of us was officially matched we each fed our dog dinner and then said our good byes.
Wednesday, May 9th
Today was a very long day. The entire morning was dedicated to lecture to prepare us for our final exam next week. Finally after lunch we were able to take our dogs out! This proved to be a bit difficult. We put two leashes on Hooch. One short one for me and a long one for my mom behind me. Then we were given a can of cheese wiz and off we went. 45 mins later my mom had squirted lots of cheese whiz on my back by accident, but most of it was in Hooch's mouth. WE actually seemed to be working well together. Then it was time to say goodnight, the last night without my dog. Tomorrow he would be going back to the hotel with me.
Thursday, May 10th
Today was even a bigger day…Hooch came home with me. We practiced commands during the day and then at 4 pm we climbed in the car together. He hopped up in Em's seat and road next to me. Back at the hotel we practiced going in and out of the elevator. Then dinner time came and we all ate together. Hooch was all over the place until I just ignored him and he laid down next to me while I ate my dinner. Bed time finally came so we let Hooch out one more time and then we climbed in bed together. Whew!
Friday, May 11th
Hooch woke up at 6 am for his first bathroom break of the day. Luckily mom did that one. Breakfast was interesting with all the helper dogs together. At 10 am we were back at camp. The first part of the day we practiced drills with our dogs, learned how to clean their teeth, ears and toenails. Then after lunch we all headed to Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart went well except when we would stop and Hooch would lay down and just not get up. Somehow we made it through Wal-Mart with all of our items and headed back to the hotel. Tomorrow we head to the mall, out to lunch and dinner out.
Saturday, May 12th
Today was another outing day for Hooch and I. We went to the North point Mall. Before heading in Hooch did his business and then we shopped for an hour. My mom actually took us both into the Gap and Bath and Body Works and bought stuff. All was fine until we stood in one spot for too long and Hooch laid down. Getting him back up was a bit frustrating for my mom and I. Then we had lunch and talked to our trainer Chris. He gave us permission to go to the Georgia Aquarium. Before heading over we went back to Canine Assistants to let Hooch run around and burn some energy. Then we piled in the car and headed down to the aquarium. The crowds were a bit crazy, but he did great! That is until he laid down in the middle of the lobby and wouldn’t get up. Finally after several spoons of peanut butter Hooch was up. How exhausting!
Sunday, May 13th
We awoke to rain, pouring rain and Hooch had to go out. My mom took him out several times through out the day in the pouring rain. Most of the day we stayed in practicing commands with Hooch. Seems to be doing well except for the standing, which is kind of important.
Monday, May 14th
Today Hooch did amazing things! The stand issue was resolved today with cubes of cheese as Hooch's treat. Boy does he love cheese! Then we practiced teaching Hooch to "go get help". After just a few practice rounds Hooch was able to leave me run down the hallway around the corner, get mom and bring her back to me. It was cool! We also had my mom go outside a door and when I told Hooch to "go get help" he opened the door and got her. It was really neat!
Tuesday, May 15th
The veterarian for Canine Assistants came and spoke to us today. We learned all sorts of things about taking care of our dogs health. Excercise and diet are the most important so my working dog can work to the best of his abilities. After lunch we practiced telling Hooch to go get it. We put a blanket on the bed across the room and pointed to it and said "go get it" and Hooch went over, picked it up and brought it to me. So awesome! Mom had to study for the final exam that is tomorrow. Praying she passes!
Wednesday, May 16th
Final exam day - mom passed! Yeah! After that we got to work on our commands for the Olympics tomorrow. Hooch will perform tasks like saluting the flag, sneezing, go and fetching something by smell, getting me a tissue, etc. Hooch's best skills is retrieving! Wonder why……
Thursday, May 17th
Graduation day! Today was BIG day! First we had the Olympics in the afternoon where Hooch showed his stuff. Hooch's tasks were to take a hat off my head and give it to me. Retrieve a medicine bottle and bring it to me and tugged several streamers off a belt. All tasks were completed. That night was the graduation where I met Hooch's foster parents since birth. They gave us a HUGE bag filled with Hooch's favorite toys and treats. They also gave us a baby book of Hooch. I can't believe he was ever that little! The foster parents were very sweet and I could see how much they loved him. Hooch also said goodbye to his trainer Chris. Chris was very helpful over the 2 weeks getting us ready to be on our own.
Homeward bound! Finally the day has arrived for us to travel back to FL and see my dad and my sister Emma after almost 2 weeks! And most importatnly returning home with my new best friend! Once home that evening we introducted him to his new crate, dog bed and backyard. My dad and sister fell in love with him instantly! A good match for all of us!