Last week I was surprised to receive Dante's second Advanced Training report. Canine Companions' training schedule goes by semesters. Each semester lasts three months; between each matriculation/graduation. Normally, dogs are in training for two semesters, but sometimes three if they do not make a match during Team Training. This past weekend was Graduation, so that means that Dante has officially made it through his first semester!
Dante has started learning to work alongside a wheelchair now. He is working on "get" -- to retrieve something off the floor, "hold" -- to hold something in his mouth, and "push" -- to push drawers closed/buttons, etc. They are also doing sound work with him, so that means Hearing Dog training could still be in the picture.
Dante was a tough puppy to raise. He is very independent, energetic, and off the charts smart. He knows how to challenge, and will take advantage of you if the slightest chance presents itself. I have hoped and prayed he would mature and these issues would fade in a new place, with many new things to learn, and under the guidance and experience of professional trainers. Unfortunately, these issues are coming up again. The only thing that surprised me was that they said he is showing some slight signs of stress while training as well. The comments in his report also said that they are keeping close attention on him, but are concerned about these issues.
|Odina & Dante right before their first flight to Orlando for Turn In.|
In all honesty, it was disheartening but not surprising to read his report. I know that CCI and his trainers are giving him every chance they can. I know that they want him to succeed as much as I do, and are doing their very best to steer him in the right direction. I also know that each Canine Companions dog chooses their own path, and whatever Dante chooses to do will be the very best place for him.