Mia has continued to train with us and go on many outings in preparation for her job as a service dog. Just last night she went to party at our friend's farm. There were other dogs, a cat and many children there, so Mia was challenged a bit. She stayed on leash and sat by the bonfire while we roasted brats and visited. Everyone has the same questions. What kind of dog is she, why is she small and won't it be hard to give her up? We have our answers pretty well down by now. She is a Chocolate Lab, her father was small, and yes, it will be hard to give her up, but we are very happy she is able to be a service dog, doing what she is trained to do!
So now we are down to the wire...tomorrow is the first day of team training. This means Mia will go to the Helping Paws center and work with the teenage girl she is matched with every afternoon for three weeks. They will work on cues, rewards, go on field trips, and learn about caring for a service dog. This includes Mia's grooming, health care, and learning the rules that determine what a service dog can do in public. Team training lasts for three weeks. What a lot to learn in such a short time.
The first 10 days Mia still comes home to our house, but on October 20th Mia will go home to stay with her new family. Graduation is the 29th of October at Hopkins High School at 7pm. What an exciting time for all of us.