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Yesterday, at 12:30, I met and took home my 18 week service dog prospect Samhain as he arrived in my state from the south.
Apparently, he’d never been leash or collar trained. We had to bring him straight home without a bathroom break because the collar we bought was far too big, and he had an accident in the house. His nails are extremely sharp, and I’m still nursing countless scratches. Hopefully we can get an appointment to get them trimmed today.
I took him on a walk where he understood the collar and leash quickly. He got to meet some people in the neighborhood, including a baby who he was amazing and gentle with.
Night one was hard. I was left as his sole caretaker for 3 hours, where we had another accident and just overall chaos. It was extremely hard for me, and I ended up shutting down as soon as help arrived. He doesn’t understand the TV. He’ll bark at his reflection in it when it’s off, and bark at absolutely anything that moves when it’s on.
I’d completely run out of spoons, so my mother joined me in sleeping in the living room with him asleep snuggled up against one of us. He slept for 4 hours! Bathroom breaks woke him up, but after a bit of playtime he’d come back to sleep with us. He never left the couch.
The morning was hard for me. I was spoonless and dissociating badly. I had to get help caring for him as I physically couldn’t. He had an accident in the house, but we got him outside. After, I crated him so I could collect myself because I was shutting down. He barked and whined at first, but soon settled right down and laid there. I got to pull out the carpet, vacuum and set up a playpen for him all while he silently watched.
He still hasn’t fully met the cats, only barking at them through the baby gate. But today on his walk, I really saw the amazing dog he’ll be. He’s learned what “come on” means, and will run to my side for a treat. He barely pulls, and never enough to strangle himself. I had him refocusing on me with a cat, a dog and multiple people. After refocusing a few times on the big things, he’d just walk right past. He got to meet young children, and once again was so gentle.
Right now, he’s sleeping in his playpen despite the door being open. I’m tired, but excited to see how much more he progresses.
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