Well folks, we just went on a major trip. So very many miles driven so close together! We had applied for several different service dog organizations the beginning of 2011, but so many of them came back denied because Cale wasn't (cognitively) independent enough. It left me feeling discouraged and frustrated. Last summer when Cale started to bolt out of the house when he would get angry, we were told by a good friend it was time for a service dog. She also had an amazing organization to tell me about!
We applied with Canine Companions for Independence last summer and started the long patient wait for a pup. After weeks we received notification that we were accepted for a personal interview. We've missed two of them while at Walter Reed, but finally about two weeks after being home (maybe even just a week?) we received another invite! This part of the process doesn't guarantee a dog but it does bring you just one step closer. Yahoo!
We decided to drive for this trip. We packed food, loaded the car, gassed up and off we went! We had planned to leave the house by 9am but pulled out of the garage at 8! Who does that?
(Cale's must haves while traveling)
Day 2...and peace.
Day two ended and we were ready to interview!
Yes! We were ready and excited!
The day started off with them showing us what to expect from the dogs, talking to us about the program, and giving us a tour. After a break we came back and worked with the pups! It was so exciting! I felt like a little kid at the Zoo and rather than a dog it was some kind of creature! And...I'm weird. We first all worked with the carpet dog named Fluffy. Next we worked with the actual animal.
This was a time that as we went in front of the rest of the group, there were people from CCI taking notes behind us! Eeeek! I think this was the only time I was nervous!
This also gave them a good understanding of where Cale is at. Once the interaction part was over, we went for our personal interview. I wasn't too nervous for this part because although they were interviewing us and taking more notes, I was interviewing them as well! I wanted to make sure that this is going to be what Cale needs and not just a dog that will just be for him to pet.
They asked us a lot of questions and I felt like it was all going well. They did talk to us about how Cale is at a hard stage to place because he's not (cognitively) independent enough for the service dog, and most of the people that get accepted for a skilled service companion aren't able to interact with the dog as much as Cale is able. I completely understand what they were saying. I saw it too.
To finish the interview they asked us if we had any questions, Cale's one question to them was, "Do you like pineapple?" I bet they were the only ones asked this the whole day! ;)
On the way home we stopped to visit some of our adorable nieces and nephews and after our travels we finally made it back home...home sweet home!
Now, we wait for 2 weeks to find out if we were accepted. If not, like I said, I totally understand! And, I still fully support their organization! Top notch by far! We were all three super impressed!
We received this in a package today! I have to say, we have the BEST prayer warriors along with the BEST gifters! I'm always so blessed by the emails, cards, packages, and sweet words from all of you!
We love dogs...but we also very much love our cat. :)
This guy seriously brings so much joy to my life.