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The Dog Experiment: The Conclusion May 5, 2009

Posted by hopeauthority in Autism, Children, humor.
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Sorry, I left you all hanging after the mid-April report on the rocky beginning of the dog experiment (See April 14 post for recap.)  After much reflection on the 10 day fiasco trial, I’ve decided we are not ready for a permanent pooch in the house…yet.

First, my guide dog training days lead me to expect a perfectly behaved dog and Fabio still needs enough of my attention that I don’t have the time to train a puppy the way I’d want it to be.

Also, I’d be too worried about what trouble Fabio would be getting into while I was outside with the dog doing its “business”. And then there’s the issue of keeping Fabio away from the dog’s food and slobbery toys.

And then there’s the potential for allergies…Fabio has so many food and seasonal allergies and sensitivities already that a permanent dog may be a problem.

And I really had to watch Fabio and Rodney closely when they did play to be sure Fabio was gentle and played correctly.

And I was getting confused trying to keep track of when everybody last peed and pooped!

So, those are the generic reasons we aren’t getting a dog right now.

But back to the experiment, already in progress and going awry at last glance:

I consulted my dog behavior experts for help after the dog kept pooping every time I left him alone. Oh, and he also jumped up on the furniture…or your lap if you were sitting on it. And, uh, humping jumping on Fabio. 

Other quirks: He curled up and slept like a kitten on the front passenger seat of the car, but shook uncontrollably when placed on the floor of the front passenger seat. Wouldn’t stay in his freakin bed at night either …because he wants up on the bed. And, if you dared to leave him alone on a floor of the house for two seconds, he’d bark. Oh, and he licks feet and flip-flops. Ewww.

Did I mention he won’t  poop in the rain?  Well, not outside anyway. Not even when I’d hover over him with a golf umbrella. Did I really do that?! And did I mention that it rained almost every freakin one of the 10 days we had Sir Rodney?!

Of course I’d never tell Rose all these things about her little boy dog.  She’d either never believe me…or be crushed. And I love my friend, Rose.

So in addition to sending her text messages and photos … in Italy… of Rodney having fun, I planned a memorable homecoming.

Did you all hear the story about the lion cub that was raised by two men and then returned to the wild where it became the leader of a pride of lions? Then, after quite some time of not seeing the men who raised him, the men stepped into the lion’s “space” again. The lion, spotting the men, charges toward them. As the camera rolls, no one knows whether it’s going to pounce on them. Then, in a dramatic moment… and to the tune of Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You”… this playful, loving reunion takes place! Major tear-jerker.

I never saw this video, nor had I heard the story, until Rose shared it very casually over Easter dinner. A mental note was made. Ten days of hell followed and Rose was on her way to come get Rodney. Gee, did it look bad that all his stuff was packed up at the front door? 

So the stage was set. The You Tube song cued up for the chorus. The dog held back from view. Rose enters my apparently deserted house and calls out to me…conspicuously out of sight. After a few seconds that felt like an eternity, the silence was broken as Whitney broke into song: “And I-I-I- will always love You-oo-oo … I will Always love You …”

Then I simultaneously released my hold on Rodney and watched the magical reunion unfold.

Rose was hysterical crying … and hysterical laughing … as she hugged her little hairball. I also captured this moment on film so I can make fun of her for years to come.

And so I can watch it the next time I ever.even. think. about getting a dog.

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Happy Birthday to My Best Friend, Lisa February 28, 2009

Posted by hopeauthority in Autism, special needs.
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2 comments

Today I celebrate the anniversary of the birth of my very best friend. We’ve been best friends since our college days in 1980.

Lisa and I are not alike in many ways, but are alike in the most important ones. We live on opposite sides of the country, but still talk to each other all the time. Sometimes once a day. Sometimes 14 times.

I celebrate her here because I know that the women who come here are among a rare group of people who actually understand the importance of friendship. And you will celebrate her with me.

When your child is diagnosed with autism, or some other special need, many of the people you thought were friends fade away. Even family can disappoint us.  The loneliness, isolation, and hurt is often unbearable. If you are lucky, you are left with one true friend who does her best to understand your challenging life and who listens with an open heart and mind.

For me, that is Lisa. 

And to underscore what an amazing woman she is, I will add that  she has supported me while carrying her own unbearable burden. She is raising her 6 year old son alone after the sudden and tragic death of her husband 20 months ago.

It amazes me how incredibly close you can feel to someone who lives a whole country apart.

Happy Birthday, BBF. I love you.