Just a quick update...
Many of you have emailed or called asking about Steve and Katie. They are still training and doing well. I thought I'd take just a moment to answer a couple of the most frequently asked questions:
Q1. Has she alerted yet?
A1. Yes, she has several times. However, they have to alert several times so that Steve will recognize her alert as what it is and not mistake it for disobedience. This will take more time than 3 weeks so the training will continue long after he gets home.
Q2. Can we pet Katie?
A2. Unfortunately, no. Even Jenna and I will have limited interaction with Katie for a while. We will never love on her and pet her like you would a pet. She WILL always know she is loved though. She is a working dog and if we want her to do her job she must know the difference between working and pet.
Q3. Will she go EVERYWHERE Steve goes?
A3. Yes. EVERYWHERE. On airplanes, cruise boats, mission trips (although that's more complicated than the others), work, church, restaurants, doctors' offices... you name it. If Steve can go there, so will she.
Q4. Is she ALLOWED to go everywhere Steve goes?
A4. Yes, by law and under the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) she must be legally allowed to go everywhere he goes. Out of the country trips are a little sticky, but in the States, she's allowed everywhere...even the hospital (though not an OR).
Q5. Have you found a home for Fred?
A5. No. Not yet. I had one inquiry from the listing on Craigslist, but that guy never called me back. I had one word-of-mouth inquiry, but they are kind of concerned that he hasn't been housebroken for so long. So we are still looking for him a home...keep passing the word. I know God's gonna work this out. He hasn't failed us yet.
Jenna and I will get on a plane Saturday to fly to Missouri. We'll finally meet Steve and Katie and then Saturday afternoon/evening, there will be a graduation ceremony that we will attend. I'm sure I will take TONS of pictures!
After that, depending on the time, we might leave for home Saturday evening but more likely we will wait until Sunday morning and head back in. Not sure what time we'll arrive home, but Monday will be back to normal...well...except there will be a big black dog with us everywhere we go!
One quick prayer request, pray for Steve's dad Bill. He has congestive heart failure and he has some fluid built up around his heart. And then today, he had to have his beloved dog, Gigi, put down (she was 12 and not in good health). Bill is a quiet man, but I know he has got to be lonely without Mary and now his furbaby gone. Just whisper a prayer for him when you think of it.
And now...a couple pictures of Katie...