Friday, March 12, 2010

2 Months :)

It just dawned on me that today, marks two months that I have been on the waiting list. Hopefully only 1 year and 4 months left to go YAY:)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Application Process

So the next day after the fair, I went home and wanted to apply for a dog. While doing research I was shocked at how involved the application was. The more I thought about it, it had to be. If you are accepted they give these dogs to you fully trained (knowing about 40 commands and free of charge)

To my surprise the application process for me went very smooth and quicker then I expected. I quickly filled out the application to hopefully receive an application. The CCI staff made it very clear that at anytime my application could be dropped and there was no guarantee that I would be excepted into the program. So while I was very excited for every new step in the process I always made it a point to tell myself I could be denied. So after I filled out the application for an application I waited on pins and needles hoping to get some good news in the mail. About three weeks later I opened my e-mail with an application. WOW I thought to myself I made it through step one.

So I wasted no time filling out the application and it turned out that I need a trainer assistant (someone who would also learn to handle to dog for brief times if I was not able too. My mom stepped up to the plate, thank you MOM. So we both had to fill out applications asking things like how would a dog benefit me, what were my day to day activities etc. (if the application was excepted I would then be contacted for a phone interview.

Three weeks later I got a phone call they wanted to do a phone interview with me I was so excited scared that I would not have made it that far. The phone interview was about 30 minutes asking me questions again similar to the application but they also asked things like would I be able to handle the dog on my own and would I be willing to use a crate etc. At the end of the phone interview came a question that shocked me "If I were excepted onto the waiting list and when I went to team training (a two week long training course, where you are matched with a dog and you and the dog learn to work together and bond) would I be okay with the possibility of a "no placement" if they see something wrong?" I was very honest with them and told them I would be hurt but it's something I would have to except. The phone interview went well but it had to be reviewed so I was back to waiting again.

To my surprise a few weeks later I received mail from CCI with medical forms. YAY I made it through to the next step. So I quickly made an appointment with my doctor and she happily filled them out for me. :) Mailed those back I was almost done with the process if the forms were excepted I had the final and biggest thing ahead of me yet the personal interview. So it had to be the middle of October something came in the mail from CCI. I was at school when I got a call from my mom I was so excited yet nervous so I had her open it they wanted to do a personal interview with me. They would call my the make an appointment the first part of the year.

So I was back to waiting again, the first of the year had came and went by this time it was like January 5th. I was getting nervous and almost getting ready to call them to see what was up. To my surprise I had an e-mail from a gentlemen asking if he could do a home interview on January 12th. (CCI usually does the personal interviews in groups but sometimes they do home interviews so you are able to get on the waiting list faster if excepted.)

January 12th came it was a lot of fun, asked me tons of questions, gave me a chance to ask questions. And even went as far as testing my ton of voice for giving dog commands and praising the dog. It was hard to do it with no dog there but it is something I was always remember such a fun and funny time. At the end of the interview things looked like they were going to go in my favor but I still had to wait for one more review of my entire application.

More waiting, but at least this was the final time before I knew if I made it on to the waiting list or not. Three weeks went by and I hadn't heard anything, I was waiting for the mail every day and nothing I was starting to get heart broken. I finally called because I could not take it anymore, I called and the lady said "congrats you have been excepted onto the waiting list" I nearly dropped the phone and after we hung up hugged my mom and cried. I had made it.

So now comes more waiting! I am on the waiting list as of my personal interview date so 1/12/10. The average wait is a year and a half but it will be so worth it to have a chance at team training and hopefully get placed with a dog.

So things might be a bit slow as I have a long time to wait. If anyone has any questions e-mail me and I will blog about them. So as it stands most likely the next time I blog I will be off to team training to hopefully be matched with my new furry best buddy.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

What made me decide to apply for a service dog?

I get asked that question a lot. I had thought about the possibility of having a service dog for years. I went to try to apply years ago at 17 but I dropped my application due to information I was not happy with. It made me sad but I went on with life. It was not until the Monterey County Fair in August of 2009 that the thought to apply again came to my mind. The thought came to my mind because while at the fair I met Lacy a dog being trained by Canine Companions for Independence . I asked if I could pet her and such enough her trainer said yes. So not a moment later the trainer gave Lacy the "visit" command and she had laid her head in my lap for pets. The trainer and I talked a bit and she thought I would be a good candidate to apply.

After the visit I thought to myself it sure would be nice, to have a dog by my side to help me with things like, opening doors, picking up items that I drop. Most important to me was for a dog to help me do these things in public. Also it would be great to have a dog by my side as a confidence boast and to have a friend at all times. I then talked to my mom about applying and to my surprise everyone was okay with it,

More tomorrow of my adventures of the application process with Canine Companions for Independence!