Thursday, October 2, 2014

First Report!!

I was sitting on the couch waiting for my daughter to get off the bus, watching my son make a cheese quesadilla while texting my best puppy raising friend, when the text read I just got Helaine's Report!  This was shocking news only because it was coming an entire week ahead of schedule. Dashing to my computer as my daughter was walking into the house, I didn't see an email from Canine Companions. Refreshing like crazy produced the same result. Nothing.

Fast forward 60-minutes and we were walking back into the house from a dental appointment for my daughter knowing that the email had been sent, but the report document is not readable on a phone unless you have a certain app which I do not have; we could not wait to read the news.

The news was good. He is showing his Instructor all the knowledge of Basic Commands that he learned while with us, and he is learning new Advanced Commands from her of Retrieve, Hold, and Push. All the positive selections had been marked, with no negative selections made, so far so good. I jumped down to the free-write that his Instructor Amanda had shared:

Kolby has completed all his medical and behavioral evaluations and is settling into the kennels nicely. He is easy to motivate and gives good eye contact during training. Kolby is a quick learner and is responsive to his handler. Kolby does get distracted at times, but he can be easily redirected. On his first field trip to Barnes and Nobles, Kolby did very well and was confident throughout the entire trip. During play time, Kolby plays well with other dogs and is easy to manage. 

In shock, I continued to read it a few times. I had always classified him as needing me, and not to sound boastful, but it was evident by many that Kolby had attached himself to me during his 18-months with us. What I had thought would mean a "Oh, this sleepover has been fun, but I'm ready to return home now..." had not happened and his view of kennel life and school was fitting him well his first month.

I can't pretend that I wasn't a little in disbelief for this aspect of the report. The "can be distracted, but easily redirected" was no surprise. I was truthful in sharing that feature on his monthly reports from me to Canine Companions throughout our months together. Kolby takes in the world - he has to know what's up, and not in a fearful way, but in a confident way that says he's ready for anything to come his way to handle. But offer him his name and he's back in tune with his handler.

So there I sat, the first report complete. The first moment fading of opening the document and reading it for the first time and feeling the pull towards being in the same room as Kolby, and wanting it to return repeatedly to feel that connection again. The wait returns ... his second report will come in another thirty days.

I am so proud of Kolby. No matter if he decides to leave college before Graduation, he made it his first month on solid ground. I am so proud of him. What a great accomplishment for a puppy who I thought needed me. I am glad that he is flying solo and enjoying his college experience.

Love you, Kolby.


  1. Oh my - all the emotions that you must experience with this report! Your family is such an example to me of love and service.

  2. That first report is a killer to wait for, but it sounds like it was worth it! Woohoo! Kolby's report is AMAZING! So proud for y'all!