Today was our first day with Rocky,  our new autism service dog.  He’s a beautiful golden Labrador which we received on a grant from Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers (SDWR).

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We knew we wouldn’t be getting a fully trained service dog,  and we have four days of hands on training to complete with Cheri the trainer who is helping us. Part of the training is to go out in public with the trainer and the dog and our menagerie of a family so the Tot can get acclimated to walking around with the dog.

We went to McDonald’s with the Tot and Rocky.  Cheri also bought her beautiful service dog Dallas in with her.  Well the Tot likes the concept of having his new service dog,  but he hasn’t really bonded with him yet.  But the trip went well.

Well in the next town over as part of their winter carnival they built an ice castle and were having a fireworks display. What were we thinking?  Getting everyone in the van alone is enough to make me want to drink. A LOT… CONTINUOUSLY. ..

imageFinally we get everyone loaded up in the van and off we go.  We get to the next town and have to park up a huge @$$ hill to park.   We get to the castle just in time for the fireworks.  Of course by now Chunky Monkey is yelling his head off. You see Chunky absolutely and adamantly refuses to wear boots or gloves.  In a negative temperature area that doesn’t work out too well.  The good news is that Tommy held on to Rocky the entire way from the van to the castle.

Then when we get to the castle the service dogs were scared poop-less by the fireworks.  Then we get to the castle and Tommy refused to hold on to Rocky any longer.  Monkey Boy disappeared with the monster in law,  Then the Tot walked away without Rocky or Mommy! I had to put Chunky in the stroller and return to the van cause he kept chucking his mittens off and he was freezing.

Ever try pushing a stroller up a hill covered in slush and snow? Let’s just say I might have to start exercising more this year. I stopped for a rest 3/4 of the way up the hill and a complete stranger with a kid on his shoulder’s said “Come on man, you can’t stop now…you’re almost there! Just focus and power through it man!!!”

Thus end our first day of training with Rocky.

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