It was such a thrill to share the last two weeks at CCI training camp with Forrest. This was the longest time Forrest has been away from home in three years, that wasn't in a hospital! The days were jammed full of fascinating lectures, intense training sessions, and challenging practice sessions. The first time Forrest got to work with Toliver was late in the second day. Forrest's commands were muffled and monotone. Toliver melted onto the floor and refused to budge. Somehow the clairvoyant and talented CCI instructors saw something connect between the two of them. They told me later that Toliver is such a smart sensitive dog... he thrives on lots of enthusiasm and encouragement. They knew Forrest's story and saw in Forrest his potential and determination to succeed. 10 days later, Forrest was able to motivate and encourage Toliver through a complex series of behaviors and a challenging obstacle course, off leash using only verbal commands! Their performance took my breath away. And thus their incredible relationship.. based on clear communication, trust, and respect was forged. There is still much for them to learn about each other and about life together, but theirs is already a magical, heart warming friendship.
And speaking of magic, wait until you hear the story of their match from Toliver's CCI puppy raiser....stay tuned.
With love and gratitude for our fellow graduates and all of the incredible people and dogs that make up the CCI family.