I am in the process of being trained to train service dogs by the trainer who is training Keen. Wow, I will be surprised if anyone understood that… I myself got lost. Anyways, due to to the fact I am also being trained, I helped train Keen. He stayed with me for a few weeks while he was still in training. Let me tell you, those few weeks were the most frustrating weeks of my life!
I know that he is just a pup and is going to test me to see if I’m really the pack leader. But those “tests” that he does were the most frustrating things he did! And that’s why I was so relieved when my trainer took him back for “in depth” training. Man am I glad she did because the things he can do now are amazing!
He knows how to act in public, of course, and that alone is amazing. Then he is able to alert me if I’m getting anxious by pawing my leg. And if I’m too far gone to understand it, he jumps up on me and licks my eyes. That works very well to snap me out of it. When I’m in that state I can’t seem to feel pain or people touching me, but a dog licking my eyes works every time. I don’t know why. And if that ever happens, but I’m still not snapping out of it, he goes to get help.
Along with that, since I’m a sixteen year old girl, he is also protective of me (and probably because of the pit bull in him). But not like, nobody touches me sort of thing, but when he sees someone that may be threatening or they approach in a threatening way, he’s not afraid to get them to back up. The trainer and my parents don’t want to train it out of him because, sadly, it is not unheard of a girl being hurt or such. But I can get him to stop if it ends up not being a threat.
And he is also able to hold things in the store for me and give it back to me not damaged (he even carried a banana for me and it wasn’t bruised at all by the time we got to the car). He’s also able to take off my coat, shoes, socks, and gloves! I’m supposed to get him sometime soon. The trainer said that he was ready. And the reason being because he was told to grab his vest while my siblings and I were staying in a hotel with my trainers family, and he brought the vest to me instead of the trainer or any of the other five people in the room.
The trainer was very proud of him, and quite frankly, so was I. The things I plan on being able to do? Well, I will be confident enough to take the permit test and then the drive test. Driving is when I’m most anxious. I’m afraid the light will turn while I’m still in the intersection (that is when I usually begin panicking), or that I will get lost, or that I will get in a crash.
But man do I love driving in the country (where I live now). There are only stop signs and the only thing you really have to watch out for is wildlife… And that is another fear of mine… Driving in the country when it’s dark. Yeah, I usually don’t drive in the dark. But I will be able to do anything I want to when I get Keen!
I will also be able to finally take my GED. Which the lady that’s setting it up keeps postponing it… I think she is unsure if she should test me without my dog. Ergerbrainbutts! (<– a made up exclamation of mine)
Nevertheless, I believe this year is the beginning of the rest of my life!!