Monday, November 2, 2009
Week Two has begun..................
Photo captions: Piña sporting her new "leathers" - the SSD (Special Skills Dog) harness which she must wear in public to legitimately be allowed public access anywhere, and Piña and myself at Tim Hortons - my first French Vanilla Cappuccino in a week!
And so begins the second of my three-week Oakville "holiday"! Piña and I both had a good night's sleep, and she then acted as my back-up alarm clock! I had set the alarm for 7:00 am, awoke at 6:50, and drifted off again, only to open my eyes just before the alarm went off to see my dog waiting patiently at my bedside! What a good dog! (We are into a great deal of positive reinforcement here.) In class this morning, we reviewed "Stay", "Fetch", "Give", and "Push" - she did well on all four commands. Good girl, Piña! Just before lunch, they opened the gift shop for us to browse - the items here are not for the dogs (we have an outing to a pet store later this week, or next, for them), but for the humans, and to support Lions' Foundation. I did my part by purchasing a tee-shirt and a squall jacket. After lunch.............ta da!........we were "let out"! The group excursion (read "caravan" or "wagon train"!) consisting of two scooters (one large, one small - mine!), two electric wheelchairs, one manual wheelchair, and a walker, six dogs, six clients and three trainers made quite the procession down Wilson St. to Tim Hortons, where the humans were treated! For me, that treat was preceded by my second "melt-down". I just found it too overwhelming and frustrating to be a part of that large of a disabled group trying to fit into small spaces! I am far too used to being "Ms. Independance"! Fortunately, my little emotional reaction passed relatively quickly, and having fresh air and sunshine for a change was wonderful! We came back, had a break, and then reworked the "Fetch" and "Come" command, before being assigned 15-minute playtimes for after supper, where we can take our dogs, one at a time into the large "gym" area, and let them go crazy with toys, allowing them to be just "ordinary dogs" for a while, instead of "working dogs". Dinner was special, in that Chris, young Alex's mom, had overheard Jerry talking about it being his birthday, and had gone to buy a birthday cake for him, which we shared with everyone in the dining room. It was then that I learned....gulp!....that I am the elder stateswoman of our "motley" crew, being some seven months older than Jerry!
I'll report on playtime tomorrow - I think we will both be too exhausted after our workout tonight.
P.S. Almost forgot! My friend Barb made an excellent suggestion in an e-mail to me this morning. I should either drop the "d" in my name to become "Lina" to rhyme with "Pina", or I should change Pina's name to "Pinda". It would make it all so much easier, don't you think?