Saturday, June 13, 2009

Making the Rounds with Coco

Coco and I have been enjoying the training and growth of obedience school. We have gone to two events this spring. I was so happy to see how Coco was when she met children with disabilities who were in wheel chairs. She noticed the joy a child expressed when they laid eyes on her. When we walked over and I told her to greet she sat and cupped her rear into the wheel chair. Coco got as close as she could get, and then ever so gently she gave the nearest hand sweet little kisses. It was so beautiful, to see the love and joy she generated wherever she went.

At one point three very tall males, a father and his two teenage sons, encircled her. They just melted when they saw her. She greeted them with the same tenderness. I was so happy to see that she wasn't afraid or intimidated by all of the attention she received by the people we met at our first ever fundraising event. We had such a great time meeting people and talking about service dogs and service dog training. It was such fun.

We recently went to a fund raising event for the Ray Graham Service Dog Foundation. She was a charmer and sweet as could be. I started to have a difficult time standing so we left after two hours. There was another wonderful service dog there and a woman and her family who were from Japan who loved Coco too.

It's funny. I remember thinking that a service dog was going to open up my life because I would be able to paint outside or go to an art festival or be out around people. When I was feeling overwhelmed I could focus on my service dog and maybe I would be able to leave the comfort of these walls that keep the world at a distance and get another small piece of my life back. If I got disoriented or dizzy from walking on uneven ground she would help me to stay balanced. Now I am realizing that even with Coco, I still have limitations to consider when making plans. I will need to figure out how to pace myself at events even with Coco.
What hit me at this event was that Coco was actually taking me out into the world. So far, she has taken me to some wonderful places and we have met some really nice people.

Today I was still in a lot of pain and could barely stand on my feet. When the rain eased I opened the door and asked Coco if she wanted to go outside. She just stood there and looked at me and then went and got her new bone and gave it to me. Something she did once before when I slammed my finger in the screen door.
We went back to the couch and I stayed off of my feet and just relaxed for most of the day. As the sun was starting to set we went for a walk and had a really nice time. We didn't do much training today. We just enjoyed being able to walk together. She is such a love. I am so grateful for her.

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