October 11, 2012

Yoga Dog

Outing #2: Yoga Class How We Did: Sir Thomas, a natural yogi, got into a down-dog pose before class started. He found it difficult to relax into savasana, though. He popped up a few times from his down-stay. I realized that he was listening to me as I guided the class through poses, my voice the same tone as when I cue his commands. He couldn’t rest easy because he kept  waiting for a word he knew. I hadn’t anticpated his focus on my voice; he hadn’t experienced being in a down-stay with a string of unfamiliar words. What I Learned: Bring a chew toy not only to keep him busy but to emphasize that during class, he’s on call not on active duty. Pleasant Surprise: He’s a quick learner: By the end of the week I was teaching my third class with Tommy in attendance. He fell sound asleep. […]
October 7, 2012

Out & About

I was not a wedding planner as a girl. The date the marriage began, I figured, was not the end of a fairy tale we’d live Happily Ever After. It seemed more of a beginning where the reality of quirks and habits and miscommunication meant we’d agree to ‘Hard Work Hereafter.’ Now that Sir Thomas is home, our work is beginning. I’m discovering that, like with a marriage, with each adventure we gain a little understanding, become better partners. The yogi in me is keeping me from judging our actions and letting them be what they are, including added bits of insight and humor. Outing #1: The dentist (exciting, I realize…but, even though pictures of service dogs and their handlers often show them at restaurants, the reality is we more often have mundane errands and appointments). How we did:  ST performed admirably. He had to squeeze into a tight spot […]
October 6, 2012

Ready, Set, Go

My sister stayed with my husband and me for the first week after we brought home our son. She helped ease us into our new life of overwhelming responsibility. Ten years later, I’m feeling that way again. I recognize that same wide-eyed focus, that obsession with what-does-this-new-being-under-my-roof need? All other responsibility fades. Emails go unread, news occurs whether I read about it or not, meals get skipped. This time, I’m on my own this time with a 125-pound new arrival. Similarities exist between a little baby in the house and big baby in the house: –  The ‘baby’ and I check on each others’ whereabouts 24/7  He keeps an eye on me for security, I for him for safety. – A fully stocked bag travels with us. The size of a diaper bag, I keep it filled with a fold-up mat (for him to lie on during long down-stays, especially at […]
September 29, 2012

Thank You Service-Dog Project

Dear Carlene, I’ve been enjoying the reports of the December calendar shot. I can picture the sleigh and eight Dane deer, Santa off-screen voicing her commands. To me, the scene sums up what the Service Dog project is all about. Danes, yes. Teamwork, yes. But beyond all the skilled trainers and trainees lies a bigger story. The real story of Rudolph. As a kid, Rudolph topped my list of TV Christmas specials, second only to the Grinch. Frosty had no real issues and the Peanuts gang aaw-shucked their way through life – not very realistic. But, despite the sometimes disturbing claymation expressions, I could relate to Rudolph. He was different. As an adult, however, the TV special has lost its ranking. Rudolph was different. So diifferent that others laughed and called him names. In fact, they bullied him. At one point, even Santa asked him to tone down that unfortunate […]