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!