Thursday, March 19, 2009

Last training Day....

Today was our last day of training. We met at the AIA center and did two tracks. Actually we did two indoor tracks and one field track. I handled the dorm track and Koolio did awesome both times. I tend to want to lead instead of allowing him to lead me, but with time I think we'll work it out. David did the field track and Hannah and I hid back in a wood pile. Koolio is spot on. He's a fabulous tracker. We then broke for lunch and met back at 4paws for a final question and answer session. Jeremy went over just about everything we could possibly need to know. I feel confident that we have been taught as much about handling Koolio that was possible int he 10 days we've been here.

Tomorrow we will meet at the mall and take our access test and then go to 4paws to sign paperwork and graduate. I cannot say enough about 4paws. The staff is incredible. EVERY ONE of them made the experience pleasant and as perfect as possible. I did not meet a single person that didn't go out of their way to help in any way they could. Oh, and they "get" our kids! Awesome! It really is an amazing experience. The training is alot of fun. Not a single boring moment. It is actually quite a hoot at times. LOL! Anyway, if you're thinking about getting a dog from 4paws for your child I would 100% say that it is worth every moment of time, energy, and money!

I get so emotional when I think about the past 8 months of our lives and all that has happened with Hannah and then Billie. I know that God's timing is perfect. I KNOW it. We're experiencing that perfection. Billie passed away less than two weeks before we left to come to training. Wow! I just realized it was a month ago today! Getting Koolio has been a welcome distraction. He certainly doesn't replace Billie in any way, but he sure is aiding in the healing from the loss. Losing Billie was a HUGE loss and always will be. I still can't imagine life without her. Anyway, I don't want this to be a mourning post. I just wanted to acknowlege that God has perfect timing!

So many people had a part in this that it keeps us in awe. We didn't get here without all of you and your support and contributions! Thank y'all so much! Truly, this has been lifechanging for us. We LOVE this dog! This dog adds a level of independence to Hannah's life that would not be possible any other way! She loves her Koolio! I will try to put into words all the things this dog does for us as soon as I can get some time. We will be hitting the road running when we return to Texas. It's back to school on Monday. Doctor's appointments right around the corner too. Life never stops!

We're ready to be home again. We'll miss all these fabulous family's we've gotten to know. As I've said before the most amazing thing in all of this to me was being among people who "get it"! Hannah's acted out in ways she's never done before and there has not been a single strange look or shaking head. I can't tell you how liberating it is to be among these people for 10 days. For a few days all the behaviors were the norm. I've sighed a huge relief more than once! LOL!

I apologize because I feel like I have not articulated this experience to the best of my abilities. Even though it's been amazing and exciting, it is incredibly tiring. I know I have not done it justice. Just please know that we are VERY thankful we got this opportunity and are VERY aware that we wouldn't have had it if others hadn't cared! Thanks!

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