And now, since I live, breathe, and sleep dog, I now commence my tradition of writing dog. It should be noted that I almost put--in my litany of the emersion of the dog--that we eat dog here. I hastily deleted it, as it thrust sad images in my head, further blotting out turkey and gravy with home made cranberry sauce and that extremely tasty and so glorious cream cheese cloud.
Cream cheese cloud warrants a paragraph--a section even--in itself. When I came here my first time, it was my absolute favorite of all desserts, and I don't know why a forgot about it until tasting of the ambrosia. It's not cream cheese--cream cheese is boring compared to cream cheese cloud. Close your eyes, and travel with me now. If necessary, take your computer and/or wireless keyboard, get into a comfie chair and dream. Note: if you're not blind, like most people reading this, close your mind's eyes. Picture cream cheese. Ok now picture it whipped into a white blizzard frenzy. Picture this frenzy collect into a mass, much like whipped cream. Add some sugar to that exquiziteness, and put it onto a plate in a glob. Glob isn't a good word for THE CLOUD, blobs don't exist here, they must be well-shaped, and ornately decorated. Make a little hole in your cloud and let goodness rain forth from heaven ion the form of cherries. Thinking of this, writing about this, dreaming about this ... cloudy tastiness, puts a smile on my face every time and always transports me to my happy place. Perhaps the cheese cloud has been expertly engineered by the nicely underappreciated dietary staff to help us people who are due to get their second dog forget all of our worries and float off onto a cloud of bliss.
Anyway, moving on. I'm sure I'll talk about breakfast, lunch, dinner, and ... and ... ok I'll stop now.
Last night, we had the general rules and regs lecture along with other things I'll describe further down. We also talked about the mindset that those who are here must have, not only for you to adjust and work with your new dog, but most importantly, for the dog to get used to working with a real human. All this talk I've been spouting about the amazing food is all well and good. I'm enjoying meeting all of the new people in class. The most important thing however, is that I'm here to work with a dog. I think of it this way. I'm going to try to be as focussed as possible because my life simply depends on it. If I am lackluster in my learning and working while I'm here, and if I slack off on some things, it could be detrimental. I'm here so that I can trust a dog to not go when I tell him/her to. What I mean is that the dog has to trust me to follow my commands to get us where we need to be, but we've got to build up a rapport as a team enough so that if I tell the dog to do, and a red corvette speeds out in front of us, intent on killing us, the dog will not let us move forward.
After introducing each other, which always takes longer than you hope it will but is still really enjoyable, we got our first set of equipment--a new wire brush and comb for grooming, a very new feeling leash, and a steel cable tiedown which clips ont a ring by the bed. I'm not the only one that's not from close by here--we've got people from California, North and South Carolina, Missouri, and even Arizona, but most people in this class are from the northeast.
After the meeting, I got intoa spirited discussion with a few of my classmates about disability advocacy, learning science, what I do and have done with chemical engineering, and of course, dog stuff. Oscar is the Spanish speaking instructor, and he hung out with us to talk shop and tell us how he teaches people who speak Spanish. It's truly amazing how lucky we are to live in a country that allows dogs into most public places.
Fun facts about the Spanish speaking dog training process: There's someone in our class who doesn't speak much English. She's from Puerto Rico, aand lives in a relatively small town outside of the capital. Apparently, it wouldn't be a good idea to work a male dog in that area because of street dogs, bent on competition and general mayhem. Also, Oscar teaches the dogs in English, and they respond to English commands and not Spanish ones.
Today will be a really busy one. We've got to do two Juneau walks, one around here I think, and one in town. Then, in the afternoon sometime, we'll actually get to play with one of the dogs from the kennels. There's always a chance that it could go to someone from our class, but last time this didn't happen. We'll go over things like corrections and how to very generally handle a dog.
Tomorrow is the big day, so I'll be buckling down getting myself ready mentally to get this new creature of amazement. I'm still not ready, and I'm still having anxiety about having to get used to getting a new dog, but I'll be ok ... I better be ok, there's no turning back now.
I smell breakfast, and the dogs are barking in the kennels, so it could be time for them to eat. I know there's definitely a breakfast in my future, that's for sure.
More when I have it.