with the people who receive our service dogs. While the frequency and type of communication varies, we do make a significant effort to make sure that placements are going well, that dogs are healthy, that the relationship is working.
Today, the following texts were exchanged with the sailor with whom Gabor is placed:
"be proud of Gabor. he and i went to a movie last night by ourselves. it was fun"
"I'm proud of YOU. Hugs and kisses to Gabor!"
"i will tell Gabor as soon as he takes a break from his new bone. he eats them, but they are the only thing i have found that lasts more then 10 minutes. thanks for the kudos.
"Send photos! I miss having his silly mug around."
Ask and you shall receive!
Apparently, texting me wasn't enough. I received an email on December 9, 2010 sharing this:
I am very gratefully to all of Gabor's puppy trainers. He gets a lot of attention when we are out and about. His calmness is a stand out. Both kids and adults comment on his obedience and appearance. I take him to our local Pet-Smart for grooming once a month. Words I am getting accustom to hearing include; what a beautiful dog !, how well trained he is (I never take credit for this except to say I have great friends in the field of training service animals), and of course the most popular words are "may I pet him?"
We go to ---------- Naval Base for groceries a lot. As to be expected there are a lot of young (pre-school) children there. Most mothers are good enough to help me by explaining to their children and husbands that Gabor is working and not to interrupt him. Yet this still gives me an opportunity to engage in short conversations (which is way beyond anything I have done since getting out of the service in '75). I thank them for their understanding and am looking forward to a time when I can let the kids pet him.
I figure it will be another 3 to 6 months before I can be confident in my relationship with Gabor and his willingness to keep his attention on me so that kids petting him will not be such a distraction. I see progress every week !
Taking all of this into consideration it is I who am grateful to you for the training and care given to Gabor. He has made a tremendous and welcome chance in my life. Kudos to all the people who helped in his upbringing. By the way I should mention Gabor wants to be a lap dog !