The big day of May 19th finally came. I was up bright and early, ready for my new pup to be brought to me. When he knocked on my door I was nearly in tears. He came in with her and had me sit down on my couch. When I was ready, he handed me the leash and I began to get to know my new furry friend.
Eva was a long, tall and slim slip of a thing but I could tell from the start that she was going to be a spitfire. She didn’t warm up to me right away and kept looking back to our trainer, but he ignored her, and the initial meeting went off without a hitch. I was given her harness and we dressed her for our first short walk.
I will admit that that first walk wasn’t the swarming butterflies and floating clouds I had been hoping for, but he assured me that it would come. During the entire week, we worked on progressively longer routes, increasing our confidence and abilities. The moment I felt it all click into place, I wanted to cry.
The next week was adding in things and places I hadn’t been to before, but they turned out giving us great exposure. We also walked around our mall, through stores where she had to weave me in and out of people, and the local Walmart where I do all my grocery shopping. We worked on difficult street crossings I never wanted to do with my last dog or even my cane, but I quickly learned that Eva had the power to guide me across the moon if I wanted her to. Those crossings that used to be so scary for me suddenly didn’t seem so bad. She learned my normal routes quickly and could identify landmarks effortlessly. She also learned to show me the crossing signal poles when she saw them, even if we didn’t need them. I was so amazed. I had never had this feeling before with my first two guide dogs. With my Fidelco’s trainer, I never felt like I couldn’t ask something or that I had to be perfect
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