Thursday night we arrived in Florida. We arrived late so I got to spend one more night with Darby. We cuddled in the morning and then went to My Angel With Paws to drop him off. I was most worried about Darby being overwhelmed by all the other dogs because as much as I have tried, he has not had as many dog exposures as I would like. He was a little shy but did great! Eventually he went into the kennel with the other advanced dogs that we just called in. Instantly they were all best friends.
Later that afternoon I showed what Darby could do. Chris goes through a list of things that eventually a service dog should know and asks if your puppy can do them and then we show how he does them. Darby did spectacularly! There are a few gaps in his training but over all he was fantastic. There were a few things I wasn't 100% that he could do and oh boy did he prove me wrong. One was a "Stand-stay." I don't think I have ever had him stand and stay. He stands and he stays but don't think I have done them together. I was able to leave the room and he was still in a stand in the same spot when I came back!!
Saturday morning I came to join puppy class. When I got there all the dogs were running around. Darby ran over to me to say hi then quickly ran back to play. He was having a blast and my heart stopped hurting just a little. I did some of the class with Serena then asked if I could do some with Darby. We were working on working in a small area with all the dogs off leash. Darby has never been to a formal puppy class and he has never been around that many dogs and asked to stay in a heel, heck he has never worked off leash around dogs except Serena. He did it and he did it great! We even switched dogs with people and he worked off leash with other trainers while I was making all sorts of happy noises for the dog I was currently working with.
Serena also needs a shout out. I asked if anyone would like to work with Serena while I worked with Darby and a husband of a woman with a service dog said he would like to. He doesn't have very much training experience and admittedly said he didn't know what he was doing. He was able to work Serena off leash all over the place and have her do all her commands. She was teaching him and it was awesome!!
After puppy class I put Darby back in the kennel (it really is a bunch of runs attached to a large field and they can go where ever they please. They are only put in crates at night). I was hesitant to put Darby back in the kennel because if he didn't want to go my heart would be crushed. We walked over there, I open the kennel gate and Darby went right on through and was like "HEY FRIENDS!!!!" Oh did I feel better. I will see him for the next couple of days then Tuesday night I will have to say goodbye for good. He is having a blast, he is doing awesome and I can't wait to hear about him with his future person whoever that might be.