Saturday, June 6, 2009


I was really struggling with my emotion-based decision to return Eola to Joy. Joy and I had a private discussion and things seemed ok so I asked if I could keep Eola. In considering a number of things she decided that it probably wouldn't be a good idea since I would be leaving anyway. So today was the much dreaded day to return Eola and the title of a JLAD puppy raiser to Joy.
I cried all last night and today. We arrived at our meeting spot just before 3 p.m. and waited for Joy to arrive. Arrive she did... it was very emotional between Coreena and Max getting Eva back and me returning Eola.
^New baby Peyton Lynn.^
We talked for a quite awhile about the decision that was made. Every one of her reasons I understood from her percpective but we came up with solutions to them all...
^Eola watching Aiden Friday^
All but one.
^Emily holding onto Eola's jacket at Wal-mart^

What we couldn't find a solution to was that I was planning on leaving JLAD after Eola's time with me. The reasons are various but not affecting Eola and I at this point. However it does affect Joy and her plans for the future, which is a big deal.
^Iverson's collar and 'leash' (okay, it's not really his leash but w/e)^
She asked me to make a decision, would I commit to raising for her in the future or would I be leaving? I thought about it long and hard... I chewed my lip, stared off into space, watched Eola in the car....
^Eclipse and Eola's gear on the wall^
I told her I couldn't answer that question. For one thing, I needed to consult my husband. She told me to think about it and we'd keep in touch.
^Eola on the way to Coreena's this morning, sleeping in a strange pretzel position per usual^
I said something else and I thought some more. Chewing my lip... staring off into space....
^'Bola in the car waiting for Joy^

Somehow my love of dog training came up. That's when the clincher was brought up. I couldn't make a decision because I don't yet know where I belong. Do I belong with SDs and training the commands that are so fun to train or with guide dogs with the structure but that I get quite bored with quite easily?
^Eola and Eva behind the car^

I said I didn't know, I haven't gotten to train light switches or wheelchair behaviours yet. I can't know what I prefer until I train that.
^Eva in her BeaUtiful green collar^

It was then Joy's turn to chew her lip a bit. She told me she wasn't going to have me make a decision right then, we'd be in touch, but no decision was needed. I'm dedicated to the next five months and we'll see how things go from there. Then she went to her car and got 'Bola.
^Eola on the way home^
I was in shock! I don't think I could smile any bigger! I said thank you and switched leashes back. It was decided that it's not fair for me to decide on something that I don't have a full understanding of yet and so the decision will be made at a later date.
^Eva's first meal as a CC'ed gal^

At this point (nothing binding at this point) Alex and I are both thinking we'd like to stay with JLAD. I can say that I love Joy. Sometimes I forget it's not a major organization and that there is still that amazing personal touch to it.
The first swap, just as the first turn-in, is always the hardest. We'll see how the next swap goes. I think I'm hooked though. Service dogs are my niche. Guide Dogs are Coreena's. Yes, we're twins but we're not the same person and I think that's easy for people to overlook. It will be good for us... I'm sure our husbands would like us to be a bit less attached to each other as well /wink/

I grow to love JLAD more and more every day and know the tasks we teach in the future will be so amazing and working with Eola who is a very quick learner once she's shown once. She's also a very eager learner.
Eva is doing well. Eclipse and Echo (and presumably Eola) will all be tested as well. Eclipse is the most concerning but we're hoping he's well and can work!
Eola got a Halti at Petsmart today. The GL was riding up on her eyes, despite being sized correctly and rubbing the hair off her face. The Halti (although black and not a fun color) fits her face better and will probably work for her better. My headcollar collection is becoming almost as large as my leash collection! I now have 5! (anyone need one? /wink/)
That's my novel for the night. Photos coming soon of Eola's trip to the lake last Sunday.
Ally & Eola (with Coreena and Eva)

1 comment:

  1. We're glad you guys we'll stay with JLAD! I'm sure they need people like you!