We have not heard anything about Maggie yet, but it has only been a week. We hope she has adjusted to 24/7 “kennel” life at Guide Dog Foundation. I am sure she thoroughly enjoys the company of all of the other dogs at the facility (I believe they have about 100 dogs onsite). As soon as I hear about Maggie, I will let you know how she is doing.
Now for Marcia…she just steals your heart and makes you laugh. It is impossible to wake up to a bad day with Marcia! First thing in the morning, she is the happiest dog I have ever seen, and just has the sweetest greetings. When she wags her tail, her whole body wags, and those perky ears just make you smile. She has her routine down already…up when we get up, goes out to greet the morning and do her business…then a mad dash back to the door already salivating at the thought of eating breakfast. She follows me to the laundry room as I fill her bowl, then watches as I put her bowl down. She sits there until I give her the “OK” command to eat…very polite. Marcia has had to learn several new commands that we at SSD use vs. what she learned at Guiding Eyes…but she has adapted and learned well. Her biggest learning curve has been learning “clicker” training…but it didn’t take long for her to figure out that a “click” means “I get a treat”, then to associate that with doing what I want her to do. She has it down pat now! She is very smart!
Since Marcia’s walk in the woods, she has had lots of other experiences. Marcia has been to church (every one now knows and loves Marcia), to the mall, to BJ’s, Target, TJ Maxx, out to restaurants, and visiting relatives. She was even introduced to my daughter’s family dog…Jingle Belle. Everyone loves Marcia (including Jingle Belle), and she is very, very good with her greetings. She hardly ever takes her eyes off of me (maybe just to give a kiss), even if she is surrounded by children. It is truly amazing to watch, but that is very good service dog behavior.
Marcia loves to “play/retrieve” with her tennis ball and rubber ducky (some of Maggie’s favorite toys). She is very good in coming when called if she decides to take a detour and explore.
I would say Marcia has adjusted very well to her new surrounding, and I am sure is happy to once more have some stability and consistency in her life. She had a wonderful year of stability with Colleen then off to the kennels at Advanced Training at Guiding Eyes where she finally let them know I won’t make a good guide dog; then off to a new state, new home, new people…you get the picture…Marcia had a rough and confusing few weeks, and now it is time to settle down for awhile. We really love her and are enjoying her immensely.
Below are some pictures of Marcia playing with Jingle Belle at the grandkids’ home.