Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Mixed Feelings

After a fantastic week out of state with family, it was good to get home...even nicer to see my buddy again!

Alfie's in the front yard, sitting up super straight and alert with a focused look on his face
Nice to be home...how about a walk?

Of course we were all excited to get Alfie back.  My supervisor Larry was nice enough to bring him over in the morning and Alfie nearly wagged himself in two when he got in!  Sounded like he did pretty well on his vacation too.  Apparently he started off the first few days restless and testing the limits (why does that not surprise me?!)...but then he settled in, and since the Reimers said he was welcome to come back I assume all ended on a good note!  Larry told me that when he met the Reimers for a training walk one day, he was very happy with Alfie's work.  Yay!!  It turned out when they arrived at the mall for their walk, some of the guide dogs in advanced training were already there working.  Larry said that Alfie was distracted at first, but then settled right in and worked well despite the other dogs' presence.  That was good to hear!  He also did well working past a security guy on one of those segway vehicles...sounded like a pretty good outing for him!  It really meant a lot to me to hear that he did so well working for a different handler.

After Larry left I settled down to a game of fetch with Mr. Alf and a couple favorite toys...and I suddenly realized how very much I'd missed him.  Yet it was ever so slightly bittersweet, because of course I know he'll be leaving for good before too long.  I was thinking about that, and then comforting myself with the thought of what a great help he'll be to some lucky person as a guide dog...then I thought, oh well, I think I'll do something nice for Alfie to make myself feel better.  I thought:  I'll fix him a kong, and have him go to his "place" (doggie bed), and sit and wait for it...then I looked at Alfie...and he was halfway to his bed already.  He just sat there waiting calmly, like, I know what you're going to do!  I seriously don't know how he does stuff like this.  I mean, I know he reads my body language and facial expressions all the time, but this one really puzzled me (as he often does!)  It's not a routine I have to randomly fix him a treat after a game of fetch; I didn't get up or even look that direction.  Alfie just seems to have this knack for guessing my next move.  As usual, it had what was probably, for Alfie, the desired result:  it made me laugh!

Love you, Alfie, you rascal!


Lisa, Ellie and Hosta said...

That's funny - he really does have ESP! Way to go Alfie with such a good report! Whoooot!

Alphini's Puppy Raiser said...

Actually I think I may have figured it out -- I think I remember glancing up at the pantry where we keep his food & treats (not at the dog bed tho). Alfie then decided to do something GOOD to impress me, just in case I really was going to the pantry (we've been working on "go to your place" lately when people come to the door). He hit on the exact thing I was thinking of! Of course my giving him a kong with a couple treats inside has just reinforced that behavior so he's going to watch me even more closely now, haha!

Greg said...

nice blog and great pics

The Rhoton Family said...

I don't know how you do it... I just can't imagine giving them up... however, I understand your thinking... it is for a greater cause! May God Bless people like you :)

Mimi and CC Cabana said...

Alfie is going to be such a great service dog. What could be a better trait than being able to anticipate needs and behaviors? Glad you are all back safe and sound!

Sierra Rose said...

Oh Alfie!!! You sweetie! Sounds like great vacations all around and happy times coming back home. We know you will be such a gift to your person when the next chapter presents itself :)

Hugs and snaggle-tooth kisses,
Sierra Rose