August 29, 2012

Welcome Home, Detour!

I have to confess, blogging everyday during training was in my plans...but I didn't realize how tired I would be by the end of every day. Class from 9:30-4:30 every day (including 2 practice sessions of tracking Thor) then going back to the hotel to practice more obedience or work out in public with Detour. It doesn't sound too bad when you think about it, but trust's exhausting.

Don't get me wrong was the most rewarding thing I have ever done. Detour really is a super-dog. He can track Thor anywhere and find him... each day we practiced with one adult (changed each time) walking off with Thor to hide. Then the person handling Detour would give him his "talk up" (get him excited to play the "tracking game") and off we would go - Detour is one strong dog so you really have to be ready for that yank when he gets to the end of the tracking leash!!

Detour in a "down" at the mall - strangers
could step over him and he didn't even flinch.
What a good boy!
He's amazing out in public - we've practiced tethering (Thor wears a belt that has a "leash" attached to Detour's harness) and it was the best thing since sliced bread. Thor tried many times to wander away because something caught his eye...Detour kept him where he needed to be. When I'm shopping and have to stop to look at something, or pay at the checkout, Detour lays down and acts like an anchor point. Thor can't move Detour and is made to stay within that 3 foot distance that his tether strap allows (the strap is adjustable, and I can make it bigger as Thor grows).

The flight home this weekend was pretty brutal - the first flight we boarded and waited about an hour before they asked us to get off the plan due to mechanical issues. Here we were stuck in the airport for a few more hours waiting for repairs. We missed our connecting flight in Minneapolis so they re-routed us. Instead of getting into Vancouver at 11am, it would be 3pm. Finally we get on the plane again and take off...mid flight they tell us we won't make it time for our connecting flight...again. So they re-route us....again. This time we will have a 6 hour layover and not make it to Vancouver until 7:30pm.

6 hour layover in Minneapolis. These two
were champs though!
...we arrive in Vancouver by 7:30 and wait for our bags. And wait...and wait...and no bags. The airline put us up at the Sheraton for our troubles and promised to deliver the bags as soon as they arrived. We got to the hotel at about 10pm and by this time still had no dinner. After a quick bite we all fell asleep for a few hours, waking up to a message that our bags were at the front desk. wasn't both bags. Just they boys' bag was there....mine was still lost. To make a really long story a little bit shorter...they didn't find my bag that day and we ended up leaving Vancouver at 4pm Sunday.

...we got home at 12:30am Monday. To say the least we were all very exhausted. Thankfully, my bag was found and flown to me at home.

Thor wanted to lay down with Detour,
so he made it more comfortable with blanket & pillow!

We've now been home a couple of days and Detour and Thor are settling in nicely. Detour follows him around everywhere and they love to snuggle up close and watch cartoons. Detour is loving his fenced yard where he can run and play without a leash...finally!! (he was always on a leash at the hotel outside)

Detour enjoying the freedom to run and play!
(don't mind the pile of toys, we have some construction
happening on the house and had to move things out of the way)

A special thanks to Caitie who fostered Detour when he was a puppy - helping him to learn his obedience and become the special guy he is today!
Caitie, Thor, & Detour at Graduation.
Mom, Thor, & Detour @ Graduation Day!
*Certified Service Dog Team*
Thank you all so much for supporting our journey to get Detour - he is a life saving & life-CHANGING miracle for Thor...he is already much calmer and happier around his dog. We could never have done this without all of you.


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