Sunday, June 28: Day 9
Two days a month (most months), there are ‘graduate support classes’. They happen on a Friday and the following Sunday. During team training, they only have a Sunday class, which is what we did today.
We arrived an hour before team training to share our journals, and to be honest today’s was a very hard one for me. We were supposed to talk about our friends’ and family’s concerns and questions. To be perfectly frank, my family has asked nothing beyond ‘How would a service dog help you?’ (as if they couldn’t imagine, usually – sometimes in tones of incredulity that suggested a service dog couldn’t be any real help). Most of my friends have stopped at the same question, though I suspect that some of you stopped there to be polite. The only other questions that I remember fielding involved where he would sit in various places (at school, on an airplane). I have the vague impression someone may have asked me about grooming him, or cleaning up after him. To be fair, the boyfriend never really had any concerns because he assumed that of COURSE he would help me with the dog, so questions of the dog’s care didn’t even need to be asked. The most memorable ‘event’ with a person about me getting a service dog, I don’t count. My crazy then-roommate (who decided I was a hypochondriac because the doctors hadn’t been able to offer me a diagnosis at that point) railed on me for half an hour as I prepared food about how I shouldn’t be getting a service dog because other people ‘really’ needed it, and I should get a dog from the pound, etc, so on. It was really quite horrifying, and it may very well have made me more reticent to talk to people I know about the service dog beyond broad strokes in my journal.
To be perfectly honest, I can’t remember a whole lot about what we did at the graduate support class, other than to say that we had a LOT of graduates there – there’s something of a tradition of wanting to see how the new teams are doing. It was an obstacle course again today, which included a minefield – an area strewn with toys and people-food to tempt your dog into misbehaving. I have to say, for only having one week of training, I thought we did pretty good. We were not the fastest team, but we were one of the most consistent – Hudson rarely refuses to do things for me, and does not often need to be begged into doing much (except retrieving items he doesn’t like!)