The tables buzz with excited lunchtime chatter. Mindful of the time, I finish my meal, return to my room, freshen-up, brush my teeth and excitedly head for the library. We’ve been directed to meet the instructors there at 1:00 PM where we’ll learn a little about our individual dogs prior to receiving them mid-afternoon.
We each take a seat around a long table. I choose a middle spot, across from the instructors. We quickly go over the feeding, watering and relieving schedules…
Now, for the moment we’ve been waiting for as a class. The instructors begin in alphabetical order—Thank God I’m an “A”!
Suddenly, my mouth goes dry, my heart rate quickens, and I feel my palms beginning to sweat…What if they match me with a male dog? I’ve never had a male dog before…Can I trust that this match will work, even if I’m not paired with the dog I think I want? I remind myself to breathe, and that the folks here are professionals who have been matching people to dogs for a very long time.
Larissa begins: “Donna, you’ll be getting Wella.”
Time stands completely still, allowing me to take in her name.
“Wella,” I say to myself, and softly repeat it aloud, “Wella”—I love her “W-name”. Larissa was right—I wouldn’t have guessed it in a million years.
Time begins to move again and Larissa continues the introductory info: “Female black lab, 54-1/2 lb., 21” tall.” I got just what I asked for—a small, female black lab with a great name!
Larissa concludes with Wella’s date of birth, and the names of her parents.
One by one we’re given the same introductory info about each dog: Kimi receives a yellow lab named Galena; Michelle, a black lab/golden cross named Nikki; Stephen is paired with black lab, Murray; Bonnie, with yellow lab Glenn; and Sharon with black lab, Christopher. One by one, I observe the same response as each dog’s name is announced:Each new handler pauses for a second, as if to take it all in, then as if on cue, every last one of us repeats our new canine partner’s name aloud (at least once)—typically with a thoughtful comment like: “Hmm, I like that!”
Class is dismissed. We return to our rooms where we wait (impatiently) for the instructors to individually present us with our dogs.
I lie back on my bed and stare at the ceiling. I’m imagining Wella and what she must be like.So far, all the physical characteristics and the name are exactly what I’d hoped for. What kind of personality will she have? Will she like me?
I can tell this is going to take a while. I need to distract myself from the stagnant time, so decide to phone my daughter, Lindsey, who is currently apartment-bound recuperating from a fractured foot. My entire family has been most supportive of my efforts toward getting a dog, but Lindsey is the most demonstrative by far.
We catch up a bit. She apprises me of her latest mobility progress. I fill her in on the adventures of the previous day’s flight, and give her a FaceTime tour of my room.
(To Be Continued.)
Copyright (C) 2015, Donna Mack Anderson. All rights reserved.blog 9.17.15