The last 2 weeks have been very busy!! First was the 4th of July. This is the second 4th that I actually sat out and watched the fireworks. This year was better than last year. Sally and I went out on the back deck and watched them. I think there is someone in my neighborhood that must have a class one license, there were some really big blasts. We did alright though. There were a couple of times that I got a really strong smell of sulfur and it made me feel really uneasy. Sally was a champ though!! I guess she sensed the uneasiness and stood up came over and put her head on my leg and nudged me to pet her. As soon as my uneasiness settled she laid down at my feet and put her head on my foot to let me know she was there. It was nice to be able to watch fireworks again. That Monday I decided to take Sally to Petsmart and get her a spa treatment for helping me so much. It was rather interesting when we walked in and I asked for a walk in appointment. At first they told me that I could come back in 3 hours. That really shook me up!!!! But when I explained that Sally was a service dog they gladly assisted me right away. Watching them try and get Sally to get up on the table was an entertaining sight to see. It really showed me the difference knowing the commands makes!! Sally did really good and the gal that took care of her even commented that Sally was one of the better dogs that she has worked with. She didn't care much for the dryer but she tolerated it great!! She even tolerated the nail grinding and didn't wiggle around she just stood there and let the gal take care of her. Quite a difference from the wrestling match that her and I have when I try.
Tuesday we went down to Ft. Stewart with Jeff, and the Army guys down there. It was really good to see the Army guys. Did I really just type that? It seems like they are getting a really good handle on the program there. Jeff did outstanding!!! The commissary in the morning was a little trying but he made it almost a half hour. In the afternoon we went to Lowe's and Walmart. At Lowe's I could see that Jeff was getting a little anxious with the fact that Terry told him we couldn't leave until he found nails. Caroline was being a little difficult but Jeff worked through his anxiety and Caroline's difficulties like a champ. At Walmart Jeff and I went off on our own and got the dogs some treats. Jeff did outstanding there. Here in Jacksonville Walmart is one place that most of the service members I know don't like to go anyway. Though down there it wasn't nearly as busy as the "old" Walmart in Jacksonville it is still a stressful place. Jeff was starting to really use Caroline to help him. Watching him reminded me a lot of the things that I was going through when I was doing my transfer training with Sally!! Keep up the good work Jeff!!
While down there I met Matt. His daughter is getting Corina! Matt is just getting started with the transfer training. I think he is in for some real surprises. He talked that he had other dogs before. One of the things I had an interesting time with, was my history with working with dogs. I had to relearn commands and understand that the way I used commands and the way Sally understood the commands were different. Good luck Matt and have fun you really got a sweetheart of a dog.
While there I only had 2 real stressful times. One was at the commissary when Jeff first had problems in there. Thank heaven that Terry was there. I was really anxious about where Jeff stopped at the first time. I felt really exposed but between Sally and Terry we made it and were able to help Jeff. The second was at dinner that night. The restaurant we went to I sat with my back to the front windows, and front door. Felt a little anxious but the Army guys that went with us I felt would let me know if there were any real problems. I let Sally relax a little bit and used the Army guys instead. Did alright until a couple came in and they sat them down right behind me. What was worse was the sat the female immediately behind me. That made my anxiety launch through the roof. I kept eating and even moved my sunglasses, that Allison complains she rarely sees me without, so I could use the reflection to watch my back a little more. I managed to finish eating and sat there a few more minutes but finally had enough. Sally and I got up and went outside. I had a cigarette, Sally and I walked around the restaurant, and I talked to her and even took a knee and petted her for a little bit. While doing this my anxiety decreased enough to where I went back into the restaurant and sat back down. I moved Sally and had her "Pay Attention", and put her at "Alert", and moved my glasses so I was relying on her to take care of me. Real quick THANK YOU to the inmates that trained her with these commands!!!!!!!!! I did it!!! We sat through the rest of dinner and no one was even aware of what was going on or why we got up and left for a few minutes. THANKS Sally!!! Terry Matt and I met with a woman from a newspaper inn Savannah, and it sounded like she is really into trying to help a lot. I got a good laugh out of her though. She asked me if I had ever thought about trying to get Sally into the Dock Dog contests? I don't think I could ever get her excited enough to jump into the water unless I could find her a Butterfly shaped training dummy. Then I think she would just walk to the edge of the dock and then look at me and wonder when I was going to jump in and get it for her. Those that know her will understand what I mean. It turned out to be a really good meeting.
Thursday came around and I got to watch Terry spring a real surprise on Jeff. We went to the Hotel Jeff and his parents were staying at and they met us outside. I could see Jeff was not really looking forward to the days events. Little did he know the surprise he was getting. Terry told him that since he did so well the day before that he was getting a break and also getting the chance to take Caroline home for the night and Terry would pick her up the next day. It was really neat to watch Jeff's face light up. I reckon it was the same way mine did when I got to have her here at the house on my own. Afterwards Terry, Matt, Jeff and his parents and I parted ways. It turned out to be a really good week.