September 17, 2012
_X_ Harness, with embroidered “Service Dog” patch _X_ Collar (Red) _X_ Slip leads (2) _X_ Raised feeding stand with two bowls (Large) _X_ Love (Lots) Yep, we’re ready for moving-in day.
September 13, 2012
Who can forget a first kiss? My very first: fifteen, at the beach. First with my husband: second date. First of a college roommate’s: she threw up on his shoes. Each memorable. Each pivotal as well, marking a turning point in the relationship. When Sir Thomas leaned in for a surprisingly delicate and unslobbery show of affection, I knew I wanted more time with him. He’ll soon be coming home with me. But not as insta-service dog, all programmed to my every need. No, like with any strong partnership, we’ll need time to begin the dance of making room for one other, disrupting routines that reveal our charming as well as annoying quirks. And just as best friends and lasting marriages, we’ll gracefully step around toes and occasionally trip over feet. I’m sure we’ll face things we’ll need to work out. I can’t predict what they’ll all be. I’m pretty certain […]
September 11, 2012
While we’ve a ways before officially graduating, Sir T and I have progressed to the next level: A ride. Literally, he bounded into the back of my car eager for an outing. There’s something disconcerting having such a large being in the back. Please may there be no road-rage, drunken, texting, drivers out there while I am, I thought. I eased forward the way I did when we first placed our son in his car seat: slowly; aware of every oncoming, turning or backing up vehicle; frequently glancing in the rear view mirror while talking, cooing, reassuring. We ventured up the street a half mile and back again. Figuratively, Sir T circled and settled in as soon as we left the driveway. He popped up to a sit, though, during my spectacularly slow 180. His head filled the entire rear view mirror. “Lie down,” I said to his reflection in my […]
September 6, 2012
My previous canine family members have included working breeds – Shepard, Border Collie – but none of them actually had to work. I required that each sit for a cookie. That maneuver was more about earning a treat – a kind of doggie ‘please’ – than about drawing on their skills. I did teach one dog to lie down and roll over when I pointed a trigger finger at him, a game many guests enjoyed. I’m learning that a working dog – such as a service dog – doesn’t do tricks. A working dog does a job. And when that working dog is Sir Thomas, he look to me as his boss. When I think back on past jobs, my best bosses were the ones who made clear what was expected of me, let me know how well I performed, and offered guidance for new tasks.The least effective bosses played games, […]