The last day of camp is always bittersweet. We have some of our most memorable moments, because the dogs are by now used to working with us and trust us to help them through strange spaces, and we can do things like visit public beaches or — as we did today — visit senior care homes and interact with the residents. Imagine trying to do this on Day One, with the dogs fresh out of the shelter! But today everyone was happy, peaceful, and enjoying receiving kibble from complete strangers.
We also visited Full Tummy (without the dogs), to meet the people and animals who benefited from our bake sale fundraiser.
Then we showed off everything we’d learned in the last two weeks in our graduation ceremony! Despite rain bucketing down and rattling off the barn roof, everyone did very well, both dogs and kids. We’re always so happy to see how everyone has grown and changed in only two weeks.
Afterwards came the sad part — we had to say goodbye. Some of the dogs, including Xena and Harry, were adopted right out of the graduation ceremony! Some of the dogs, including Girl, had meet-and-greets scheduled after graduation. Anyone who did not get adopted does not need to worry — Pet Rescue by Judy is there for them until they do find their forever home, which will be EASY with all the work our campers have done with them!
It’s hard to say goodbye to the campers, too. We all learn so much from each other. Hopefully we will see you all next year!
Today started off with some more work on “down” (adding distance, duration, and distraction) and recalls, as well as some loose leash walking along Colonial Drive. However, we stopped by 10:30 am because the big hit of the day was canoeing/kayaking, with the dogs, at Kings Landing!
After an hour long bus ride we loaded up, three to a canoe, with either two or three dogs with us. There were some people with us who did this trip last year and remembered how to canoe with a dog, and there were some new people who had never even canoed before. Everybody worked together and now we all know how it works!
Kings Landing has a big open space with clear water, a sandy bottom, and a rope swing that you can grab onto and let go and land right in the deepest part of the pool. It also has about a mile long loop of quiet river along which you can canoe and occasionally see wildlife. Everybody at least tried the rope swing, or jumping off the dock, and everybody ran around in the sandy area with their dogs. The larger dogs seem to like the water most — poor AnnaLesa, with her short little legs, did not like being in the water as almost everywhere was over her head!
Many campers took the chance to canoe around the little loop and saw some alligators and turtles and fish and all sorts of birds from the safety of their boats.
On the way home, we stopped at Twistee Treat (for one bus) and McDonald’s (for the other) and everybody got some ice cream. The dogs slept almost the entire way home — what a day!
Tonight we have a SLEEPOVER…and tomorrow morning, graduation day, starts promptly at eight!