Monday, June 22, 2009

Here we gooooooooooooooo...........

Denise came down to our house for a visit today. Mom thought she was going to take Bond back to Brigadoon today, but that wasn't the case. Instead, Denise worked with Mom on training Bond and Pippin. She gave Mom pointers, told her what she needed to work on, and showed her how to do it. Mom has a LONG way to go, and hopefully she'll figure it out. :) Bond is here as a permanent fixture in our lives. Bond will go back to Brigadoon a couple of times this summer while I'm in school or at camp. Mom's friend Jennifer was here as well, and that was a big help. Now there are a total of 3 people who know how to handle Bond. This has given Mom a little bit of relief knowing that there is someone else who can help and give encouragement.

It's hard to believe that we are here. That this is actually happening. Thank you to all of you who made this happen! It's hard to believe that we're really here. We have a long way to go, so there will be a lot more blog posting as we go through the training process. But as for now, here we go!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Bond Day 3

Sorry I didn't post yesterday. It was a long and tiring day! By 9:00 Mom was DONE!!! Yesterday was more of the same. We took a trip out to Costco to get out in public. This time Mom tethered me to Bond. I didn't mind it, and she liked the added security of knowing I wasn't going anywhere. Mom also spent some time yesterday working with our other dog Pippin. Working on getting his energy level down, and making sure he stays down when she tells him to. They are also working on a "place" command. Denise says that if she can put both dogs into a down position then the energy level will come down and that will hopefully get rid of the dogs trying to play together. This is a bigger undertaking than Mom originally thought!

Day 4 is half over. We went to church this morning and that was a pretty good experience. I don't think he was used to the loud music. :) He went up to junior church with me, and Mom explained to the kids that they couldn't touch him, and the reasons why, and all that good stuff! It's hard to tell a bunch of people you know that they can't touch your dog. About half of them understood without an explanation, and the other half really didn't "get it". So for all of you out there who think service dogs are really cute (and they are)--please resist the urge to touch them. Pretend like they aren't there--please--it will make the handler's job much easier! The rest of the afternoon will hopefully be spent relaxing. Pippin is taking a nap with Dad, and Bond, Madison and I are about to go outside to play.

Denise is coming tomorrow morning to work with Bond and Mom on some more training stuff. I'll let you know how that goes.

I hope you are all having a nice Father's Day. If your dad is still around make sure you thank him and love him. I've got an awesome dad, and I'm so thankful for him!

Happy Father's Day,

Friday, June 19, 2009

Bond Day 2

Well we survived day 2! This has been a lot more work than any of us expected. Don't get me wrong, we didn't think this was going to be a piece of cake; however, any of you out there who are thinking about getting a service dog I have a message for you: THIS TAKES A LOT OF WORK!!!!

I thought I'd give day 2 a grand entrance at 4:00 this morning! Yup, I woke up and went to Mom & Dad's room to play on the computer--well there was a problem with that (well there were lots of problems with that, but the one I'm going to tell you is this). Bond came with me (which is what he is supposed to do by the way). With Bond coming with me, that meant Pippin (our golden retriever who is 1 year-old--for those of you who haven't been following the blog) woke up, and was quite excited that there was someone to play with. Mom woke up to the dogs romping around--which is a BIG no no. She put me and Bond back to bed and locked the door. I stayed up and they finally had to get me out of my room at 6:30 because of my persistent knocking. Dad got up and took me and Bond on an errand and then out to breakfast at a local cafe. Bond was really good--sitting under the table, and I got to enjoy a big old cinnamon roll.

When we got back Bond and Pippin started playing again so Mom kept having to separate them. She didn't realize how hard it was going to be to keep them apart. She ended up calling her mom to see if she would take Cameron and Madison (she figured if she got rid of 2 it would be a little easier)--Grum (my grandma) took them and Pippin so that Bond would have a chance to hang around with me and not be distracted by everyone else.

So we spent part of the day at the house--Bond following me around, and then we went to Target, the grocery store, and off to horse riding. Bond has never been around horses so it was a new experience for him. He did pretty well (picture 3), and he watched me most of the time. After Pippin and the brother and sister came home, it turned out to be a fairly mellow evening. Mom didn't have to separate the dogs from playing too many times--I think Pippin was exhausted from running around with the dogs at Grum's house.

So that's where we're at. There isn't anything planned for tomorrow, but Mom is thinking about some sort of outing--we'll see tomorrow what she has in store for us. Right now though I need to go to bed--I was up early this morning--and Mom REALLY needs to go to bed! I'll try to blog tomorrow too!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Bond's first day

Well, it's one of the days we've been waiting for--Bond's first overnight visit. We met Denise at Costco this morning, and we walked Bond around and did a little shopping (specifically to replace the toilet paper I destroyed a couple of days ago--if you don't know the story just scroll down). After that Denise came to our house and gave Mom and Dad a crash course on dog training/what to do/and a whole bunch of other information. Mom's head was spinning about this point, and she was jotting down a bunch of notes...poor thing. We needed to get Bond some treats and a little more food so Mom convinced Denise to take us down to our local Country Store (she really just wanted an excuse to have one more lesson of going out in public--little did she know that would be the easy part). Once done with The Country Store Mom dropped Denise off at her car and decided to take me on a couple more errands. We went to the grocery store to get me some chicken strips because I was starving. Then we went on to Costco to get Bond a doggie bed, and then to Pet Smart to get the remaining supplies. Bond and I did pretty good. We went home and took a rest, and then left again for swimming lessons. Again, Bond did well--he watched me swim the entire time. So that was the outing section.

Now for the home section--HOLY COW! Mom knew it was going to be work, but didn't realize the weight of the work. First of all, she's a perfectionist and doesn't want to mess anything up--so that doesn't really help her all that much. Then there's Pippin--our sweet, HYPER golden retriever. He was so excited at the prospect of a new playmate only to find out that the playmate isn't there to play. So now that we're at home Mom has to make sure that Pippin and Bond don't play, that Bond pretty much ignores Pippin, that Cameron and Madison ignore Bond, and that Bond hangs out with Aaron (and makes sure that Pippin gets some attention--but Bond can't see that). She's pretty much decided that she needs to be cloned, so if any of you out there know how to get your hands on a magical cloning machine let me know.

What about me and my reaction (because that's really what this is all about right)? Well, so far pretty good. My biggest complaint is that he's in my space a lot--but apparently that's what is supposed to happen...I only escorted him out of my room twice today--the rest of the time I tolerated him :) In public I hold onto his vest and just hang out. It's going to take a while to get this whole thing flowing. This is only day 1, so we'll see how tomorrow goes! I think Mom is going to find a place for Pippin to hang out tomorrow though! I'll keep you posted!

Me and Bond hangin' at Costco

Me and Bond hangin' out in my bedroom

I'm peeking at the camera from around Bond's behind...

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Visit with Bond in 4 days!

Bond is coming for a weekend visit in 4 days! Denise is bringing him down on Thursday and giving Mom a crash course on what to do over the weekend! I have swimming lessons, horse riding and church, so Bond will go all of those places with me (and who knows where else we'll go).

Mom is VERY excited Bond is coming especially after the trouble I got into today. She had just told my dad that it was too quiet when she came upon my masterpiece of destruction--THE BATHROOM. It's been a while since I've had a "good" disaster (the minor ones aren't always worth noting--if it's just dumping shampoo out, but not smearing it everywhere, it's not a disaster--just an inconvenience). Mom hasn't figured out how I did it yet, but I flooded the bathroom and then "toilet-papered" it. Little clumps of toilet paper were everywhere (and I mean EVERYWHERE). Lets start from the top: the sink (and the toilet as well) was full of water with toilet paper in it, followed by the counter covered in water (with water pouring over the sides). The drawers and cabinet were full of water (ruining the contents of the drawers and 23 rolls of toilet paper that were under the sink--but who's counting?) There was standing water in the cabinet as well as all of the water that was absorbed into the towels. Moving to the outside of the cabinet--toilet paper wads all over it. Finally, the floor--1/4" of standing water that was running out onto the carpet in the hallway. She's got most of the mess cleaned up, and I just saw her stealing a few bites of my sister's chocolate muffin drizzled with chocolate syrup--doesn't she know that is going to ruin the workout she did earlier? Oh well--it probably made her feel better :). So there you have it! I'll be sure to keep you posted on how it goes with Bond. I may even try to blog daily--that's only if I have enough time in between making messes!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Bond coming for a visit

Bond is coming for a weekend visit on the 18th (NEXT WEEK!!!)--this will be our first overnight(s) visit, so we are all excited and not sure what to expect. Denise will come on Thursday morning and walk us through what we need to know! It is surreal that after a year and a half of waiting, this moment is here! Keep your fingers crossed that Bond and Pippin will get along, and that Bond will be able to focus on me and not be distracted by a playful golden retriever!!! I'll keep you posted!!

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