The Amazing Owen
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Wow, it' incredible the extensiveness of this. Which I can imagine would only make the family bond with the right dog even tighter.
Comment By Kristen At 3/23/2011 10:34 AM
Love the pics!
Comment By Angel Spangler At 3/23/2011 11:03 AM

Original Entry:
Jigsaw at Home
OK, so I don't have any pictures from today.  Leil took some and hopefully when she gets a chance she'll be kind enough to share them with me so that I can share them with you.

Today Jigsaw came out to our house for the first time to see the home that she will be living in.  We mostly went through all the same exercises that we had before, but it's different every time you're in a new place.  She also got to meet Chris for the first time today. We knew that he'd love her, after all she has four legs and fur and that's pretty much the only qualification you need to meet in his book.  She seemed to make herself right at home, was happy to eat and drink here and had no trouble snoozing right there with us all.  Owen was happy to have his hands licked again, and again laid down next to her.  Owen missed most of the training today because he was exhausted and we had to put him out for a nap.  (Owen's meds really keep him awake, so it's an extra Clonidine at lunch to make him nap every few weeks when he just gets overtired because overtired = more seizures). We all went on a long walk so that Jigsaw could survey the whole of her new domain.

Jigsaw also got to meet Bob (our mostly Malamute mutt) for the first time.  He tried to go all Alpha Male on her, which earned him being tied up for a while.  We've had other smaller female dogs come to stay with us for a few days in the past and he always settled down after the initial newness wore off - we are hopeful that he will again.  If not, he's going to have to get used to being tied up while Jigsaw is out to play.  Bob is going to need a refresher in his training too to remember his better manners.

The meeting with Cloud (the cat) went better - they acknowledged each other's existence and then went their separate ways without incident.

Sammy got to sit down and brush Jigsaw's hair today - which I think they both enjoyed very much.

We worked a lot today on just getting Jigsaw used to the house, and on the logistics of handling her and Owen at the same time. We had a few rocky moments here and there, but by the end of the day I think both of us were feeling more confident.  I get nervous when others are watching what I'm doing - I'm just a perfectionist that hates to get anything even slightly wrong.  But Leil and Elizabeth are kind and patient.

The current plan is for Jigsaw to come to our house again on Thursday afternoon and then if all goes well she can stay here from Thursday afternoon to the next Tuesday when our next training session is scheduled.  Then she'll go home with Leil again for a couple of nights for us to have a break and to see if we are missing her terribly when she's gone or breathing a sigh of relief that she's gone (not likely, but always possible).  You see at this stage we still have the option to say "Whoa, this is way more than I thought it was going to be and we can't handle it".  In which case they would find another partner for Jigsaw.  The trainers can also still say that they really don't think it is working out and take her back as well.  These are rare cases, but everyone wants to be sure that the partnership is a positive thing for both the family and the dog.

If we do realize that we are missing her terribly and she is missing us during that break and if all is going well with the training by next Thursday, then she will move in with us.  We still have a lot of training after that.  We have to work together in school which we are hopeful will begin next week.  We have to pass our Level III test which says that we have mastered working together in the home. Once we have passed the Level III then we start working out in public places like malls and restaurants until we can pass our Level IV test so that she can go with us everywhere.  Then we'll begin a 6 month probation period where we have passed all of our tests and she's really ours, but there is still the option of her being pulled out if things aren't working out. After that we will finally say that we have graduated and she will be ours completely.

So, that's where we are now.  I know that I already miss her, even though today was a lot of hard work. 


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