I’ll save the long post for next week… but today marks 6 months since pre-match day! Hard to believe. I really didn’t know what direction they were going to go with me dog-wise: on Tuesday of Team Training I walked both Cassius and a sweet little black lab female named Nancy (who was placed in May as a facility dog), as well as another dog once (Fame, who actually ended up being COC’ed during/after Team Training for cataracts). I figured both Cassius and Nancy were likely contenders… but I couldn’t get over Nancy’s name. Natalie and Nancy… a recipe for confusion! And while I know you can call your dog anything, it just seemed a little rotten to change their name!) But Nancy walked a little fast and Cassius was all about the cuddling and hanging out in release, so I had a good idea and was not totally surprised.
If you had told me before Team Training started that I would end up with a big male dog I would have probably laughed. Didn’t seem very practical – I totally pictured myself with some tiny dainty little thing. And as much as I love Cassius… tiny and dainty are two things the guy will never be. But CCI tells you to abandon your preconceptions… and I believe them. Who knew the best dog for me is big (weighs more than half what I do! that used to be my barometer point for “too big!”), slobbery goofball of a lap dog?
I wish everyone involved in the Team Training this time around – from puppy raisers waiting to see if their dogs have been placed to students waiting for their assignments (I had the weirdest dreams the night before placement – including one that involved receiving two dogs!) to instructors trying to figure this all out – all the best. It’s challenging and exhausting and stressful… but so, so rewarding.