the eval: week two

Day Six & Seven
This time I was at a place called Hall & Hermosa's (or 3 & 4 to staff). Most of you should be up to date on what happened to me there the morning of from my Owie post. The rest of the day was spent in learning about the dogs and routine there. I walked and worked with various dogs there on their training. Yes that includes Dwayne who bit me. In particular I really enjoyed the work I did with Julio (whom I kept calling Don Julio for some odd reason) who was a shy one. I was really pleased that he responded well to me and even started to come up to the gate when he heard my voice. The other shy one was called Ranger. He took a little more work in that he was a 2 steps forward 1 step back kind of shy dogs. The sad thing that set apart the second day was when Julio's run mate had to be put down. Her name was French Hen. She was a lab mix dog who graced this earth for sixteen years. And she was a tough old broad too! She arrived at Best Friends two years prior with cancer, suffered a snake bite, a bout with pneumonia, and finally lost the fight to a cyst on her spleen that had begun to bleed. Due to her advanced age it was inoperable. I got to say goodbye to her before she was assisted in crossing the Rainbow Bridge. This is one of the other occupational hazards for the caregivers. It really is a crime that dog's don't get to live as long as we do.

Day Eight
I was back at the Fairway for just one day. This was a true pleasure because, even though I'd been gone for almost a week, I was able to settle right back into the routine without too much issue. Most of the day was routine with the exception of one thing. Today I got to see the trainers/caregivers do an "Intro". The easiest way to explain is that this is where two (or more) dogs get to interview each other as potential new roommates. If all goes well then they'll live together until adopted. This Intro went well and they got along well. The standing resident had to learn some new boundaries, but adapted quickly.

Day Nine & Ten
My final two days were spent at a place called The Clubhouse, and I'll start off with the first day being smoother than the second. Most of it was shadowing and learning the routine. Many of the dogs here have very special and very specific needs. There was something special that I was allowed to witness. I promise that I'll post about it later on when I've had more time to process it. I was told that I'd done an excellent job on my first day. My second, well, lets just say I made a few mistakes. Nothing major, but I was jittery given that this was (possibly) my final day. It's the waiting that kills me. Early in the morning I was told that I had an exit interview with one of the managers at 3pm which only made the day seem that much more longer.

3PM Exit Interview with the Manager
I arrived early and made my way into the office. She gave me a summary of the reviews from everyone I worked under as well as those in passing during my eval period. First she covered my strengths, and then weaknesses. Everything was in line with what I'd thought and felt about my experience level. In short I was offered the position of Dog Caregiver, and I graciously accepted. We agreed on my start date, and I returned to the Clubhouse to finish out my day.