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Doggie Boot Camp, Prologue. Great doubt, great hope, great effort.

May 5, 2013

Days like today drive me nuts.  Little worked out as planned.  ‘Tis to be expected, of course.  That’s the way life is, sometimes.  As usual, I started the day with a reasonable plan.  T’was not to be.  Alex was a handful.  Lots of whining, fists clenched in anger or frustration (it’s difficult to tell the difference with him), a few short-lived temper tantrums–in public, no less.  It’s days like today that make me especially wistful for Alex’s service dog to enter our life.

Here was the plan:  wake up at a decent time, not too early, not too late.  Breakfast.  A quick trip to the local children’s museum.  A bite to eat for lunch, then a car ride to our hotel home away from home for then next 13 days in suburban Dayton, OH.  Who could possibly derail this bullet train of sensibility and order?  Alex could, that’s who.

He began by whimpering.  Insistent.  Was he hungry?  Thirsty?  Did he not feel good?  Was he wigged out that he slept in a closet the night prior?  (He slept well, I might add.)  Yes, being in a different home must be unsettling.  But he has been here before.  And when we finally pointed the car eastbound for the relatively short two-hour drive (he’s done 5 hour drives easily), Kat had to wrestle his protective helmet onto his head because little fists can cause big bruises and large tear drops.

It’s almost as if his behaviours today were a crescendo to a softer, calmer, longer passage in our lives, the full effect courtesy of Merrows, Alex’s service dog.  Or not.  I love not having answers (hah).  Isn’t autism swell?

So, tonight, we made it.  Tucked into our extended-stay hotel.  Drew asleep on the pullout bed.  Alex asleep in the closet.  Pantry and fridge stocked.  Clothes neatly put away.  Our feet are at the starting line, we’re ready to run.  We have beer and wine, too, for afterwards.

But then, when I think about the events of the day, I have my doubts that our new furry four-legged friend will do much to ameliorate them.  But, she could.  Hope.

Now it is up to us.  Kat and I showing up at 4 Paws For Ability tomorrow morning, Drew and Alex tagging along.  We will meet Merrows, that darling 13 month old Golden Retriever with the wise, patient eyes and shiny strawberry hair.  Hopefully her tail will be wagging, she won’t mind if we gush a little bit and rub her behind her ears.  We can’t wait.

After the introductions have been made, there’s lots of work for us to do together.  4 Paws makes it known that keeping a service dog a ‘working’ dog is not a simple task.  We, as the dogs’ owners, will be responsible for keeping the skills Merrows has–sharp, and helpful.  Kind of like learning a different language–and practicing it.  Much to learn there, too, for us.  Effort.

Because Alex is worth it.

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From → Alex, Autism, Family Stuff

2 Comments
  1. Brian permalink

    And with today’s sunrise (sorry, I know it’s raining there) perhaps a fresh new start. Now go hug that big hairy fur ball and we wish you a better day with a smile or two.

  2. Doug Peart permalink

    Power on my friend, as always you have the best interests first. Good luck to Alex, the family, and the newest member.

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