Today it was the day that we were honored with a house visit from the foundation, whom my daughter got sir Oliver from. We knew that around week 6-7, they would come over, and see how the dog is doing and how the adopting caregiver is doing with the dog.
Somehow, in anticipation of the visit, it felt like we were going to be checked. And that brought all kinds of thoughts to the surface, that were going around in my mind all at once. Things like: what if they think we are not doing okay with sir Oliver? What if the direction we haven taken with sir Oliver is not appreciated? And al of this with an undercurrent of not being good enough to guide a laboratory dog.
I had no thoughts about sir Oliver being taken away from us, because deep down I knew we were doing a good job with him. He has become more stable and balanced, as we have, as his caregivers. Though still this doubt was there of being criticized and not living up to the expectations of the foundation. Which was more like a mind contortion of reality, because I had put rules and expectations in place and not them. So in a way I was afraid of not passing my own test of which I was pretending it was not me administrating this test.
All of that had happened in my head before the moment they arrived. Afterwards while reflecting back on the visit with my daughter she had been feeling the same way, being nervous and afraid to fail the test.
When I opened the front door, there were 2 men in their sixties standing in front of me, while we were expecting one man. They were cheerful and kind. It was the first time in 6 weeks we had other people in the house than our family of 4. Sir Oliver took it very well, we had no idea what to expect, we know he is curious about people and dogs. We knew already that they wanted to walk our afternoon walk with us, so we left the house as soon as they had entered.
We had agreed that my daughter would walk sir Oliver, since she is the official caregiver on paper. My daughter has not yet recovered from her flu/cold, so she asked me to walk sir Oliver, which I did. I was a bit nervous hoping sir Oliver would not react to my slight nervousness. Nothing to worry about, he was such a good boy, he walked as relaxed as possible. We now and then stopped to discuss a point and sir Oliver would not pull the leash. He was a real star in his own show.
One of the men asked if he could take the leash and walk sir Oliver a bit. I was surprised and understood his motivations at the same time, simply making sure they had placed a traumatized Beagle in the right family. While walking with the man, sir Oliver was his exemplary self. We had such a great time, the men stayed for over 2,5 hours, discussing everything of our interest.
Then they had to officially ask my daughter if she wants to keep sir Oliver in our home, so she could become his official caregiver. There was no doubt, but a wholehearted yes, from her. I couldn’t agree more. It’s been 6 weeks and sir Oliver is in our hearts, actually he already was when we brought him home.
It is really cool to have such a foundation and it’s volunteers to our disposal. Sometimes little things can make big problems and having some cross-reference from people who had/have lab dogs themselves is very valuable.