Hi all. I apologize for not posting an update sooner. Between the Jewel-at-School situation, last-minute school supply shopping, and my oldest daughter's departure for college yesterday, life's been more than a bit crazed. I'll begin where I last left off:
The slingshot handed us late Thursday afternoon worked much better than expected. By Friday afternoon, the school offered to meet with us before classes started to discuss our "misunderstanding," and finish up last-minute preps before Jewel arrived.
Jewel's trainer, Jack, P, Jewel, E and I attended the Monday meeting. We learned A, B and C were no longer required before Jewel was allowed at school. We held a mock fire drill to see how Jewel would do when an alarm sounded. To say the alarm was loud would be an understatement. Didn't seem to bother Jewel. She nudged her nose against E, tilted her head from side to side, and stared at us staring at her, almost as if she wondered what everyone found so interesting.
Tuesday was the official first day of school. E, Jewel, S and I navigated the crowded sidewalk to S's 5th grade door, escorted S to her classroom then wound our way through the halls to E's class where we met up with Jack. After the teacher took attendance, Jack introduced Jewel. E's classmates asked lots of great questions, and seemed to relish having the scoop on Jewel before anyone else.
Later that morning, the entire middle school gathered for an assembly to hear about Jewel and meet the new teachers and principal. Jack's presentation was excellent. He talked about service dogs, and involved the audience in a discussion about how dogs can and do help individuals with disabilities. In addition, he talked about how Jewel helps E, and how her classmates can help keep Jewel on task.
After Jack took the last question, and the gym erupted with cheers, the principal said a few words then donned her teacher hat.
Ok, everyone, she said. Let's see what you learned. Can you touch Jewel?
No, hundreds of voices said at once.
Can you feed Jewel?
Who's in charge of Jewel?
Meanwhile, E was grinning ear to ear, and Jewel just laid at her feet, seemingly unconcerned with all the fanfare.
P did dog duty at the school yesterday while I moved my oldest to school. Again, Jewel did extremely well.
So far so good.