Monday, March 8, 2010

Umbilical cord training with CAYLIE

I have been writing this blog in my head for a couple of weeks, but things with Jack have been very hectic. My umbilical cord training with CAYLIE was interesting and I learned some things I would like to pass along.

This is a two week period in which the dog is attached to the primary handler by the dog's leash. It is very hard to move, especially quickly with a dog attached. I never realized how much I do move and go until CAYLIE was with me.

The first few days were rough. She resisted moving with me and taking care of Jack was hard. We have to carry him up and down the stairs, to and from his chair and in and out of the bath. Eventually CAYLIE will help with the stairs, but using her brace is a work in progress.

One of the greatest challenges was the week I shopped for and bought new drapes. She was very patient and cooperative with me in the store. People constantly asked me if she was in training. Without Jack, (he was in school) they didn't see an obvious disability and repeatedly asked to pet her. By the second day of shopping I had had it. I went about my business and avoided eye contact by those who were watching us. It is fairly comfortable for me to tell people in public "no, I'm sorry she's working", but it was harder by myself.

So, anyway on to the drapes. After I bought them they had to be ironed, (7 large panels) and new rods hung. Poor CAYLIE, she just looked at me like she could not believe she had to endure all of that. She kept trying to plop down and fall asleep. I did feel bad for her, so I put one of our other dog's leashes around my waist and attached her leash. I also put her bed by the ironing board so she could rest while I ironed. She was so glad when the drapes were finally hung!

I gave her lots of extra love during this period and eventually things got better. I did have to break training one day and as I did I knew Terry and Kyria would understand. The kids and their health always come first. The school called, as they often do, and I went to check on Jack. He was supposed to be at lunch with a few hundred kids and teachers. His assistant had said he was just pitiful with a headache and he was exhausted. When I got to the school, I told the secretary I had to stay attached to CAYLIE but I knew she would cause an uproar in the cafeteria. I asked for the principal, but she was off campus. The secretary, (who is very kind by the way) offered to hold CAYLIE's leash for me. I decided I had to do what was best for Jack and yelling kids wanting to pet his dog would not help.

By the time I got back to the office, she had charmed everyone. I took Jack home and we resumed umbilical training.

She and I were both glad when it was over, but I have to say she is closer to me. CAYLIE had really bonded to Eliot, but after this two week training, she often comes to me first for love. That to me made it all worth it.

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