Sunday, March 29, 2009

Home from the Getaway

Emma and I had a wonderful time at the Getaway. I wonder how many hours she spent under the round tables with the table cloth as both meals and speakers were in that hall. She also got nap time with me and some free time while we chatted. One woman surprised me. She was so persistent in thinking Emma should not be "under" the table but out by my chair? in the aisle? so she could see what was going on!! She mentioned it to me a few times.

Now under the table Emma has room (they sat 8 or more and normally only six people were there so they could see the speaker.
She had privacy. in the aisles were wheel chairs, power chairs, people walking around. I mean at times I wanted to crawl down there with her it got a bit crazy inbetween events.

I had help walking her. I only ventured out on Sat morning. Due to not realizing the alarm clock was wrong in the time we were ready an hour early. The other times to save energy or because I really had tired legs - one of the MS staff Sara happily walked her for me. What a dear. The wait staff brought water for her, I had training treats to reinforce behavior and measured out bags for her meals so that went well. She loved sleeping with me and having an entire half of the bed. She was just wonderful for us. I was so proud of her.

A lot of people remember me I think because of Emma. In fact many remember her name and not mine. We blame it on MS. Also some of the people you only see at camp or this event or both so it is not that often we meet. It is like a warm reunion or old and new friends. Very enjoyable.

For the dinner meals there is assigned seating that helps you meet some new friends though I also got time with people I knew. The individuals I was with were jus so fun to be with.

There was time for belly dancing, yoga, jewelry making and a few other things, shopping or free time. We napped right through it. But then both nights there was time to visit with others in a lounge area or in your rooms to chat and catch up on things. Tonya, my friend, stayed up till 2 am Friday with some friends playing cards!!! We almost joined them but they had several people to play. Good thing we were asleep by ll:00 or so each night. Karen from my water exercise was my roommate and we got along great. Both of us needed rest time

Emma is practicing picking up my newer cane. She grabs it a bit differently by the handle rather than the middle. We are also just practicing things like "stay" and a few things. She did great all weekend. I just find I use some cues more than others at times so then have to go back and reinforce things. She was just awesome this weekend I was so proud of her. The only funny thing she did was I used unfamiliar containers for water and food. So there was a little water in that dish and she brought it to me empty to show me it was time to eat. Can you guess what happened? She had grabbed it and dumped out the water brining it to me. Fortunately the water was on the bathroom floor - I have never had her do that at home. She normally brings the empty food dish!

I got home and napped. I haven't got much done. I have to fill out the forms for camp that arrived Sat. First come first serve on activity requests so she like to mail early if you can. Camp is in May.

I will be telling you about opportunities to support Helping Paws and/or the MS Society this spring. Remember in this economy even a small amount makes a difference. You can decide if you can contribute to one or both organizations.
Last year I only promoted Helping Paws since this blog is about Emma's life with me.

Yet the MS society is needing support. The Men's getaway was changed to a one day event, the care givers getaway was cancelled and other financial strains are changing things. Camp for example will be one day shorter. I know some of the readers know someone or have MS so I will have that info I think next week?

Many fellow campers and friends said they thought of Emma at the end of Marley and Me and hopes she lives a nice long life. I agree. I didn't get as many questions this time about what it is like to have a survice dog. Eileen wonder if you will get inquires like you do sometimes after MS events?

She was a great ambassador for service dogs...

Have a good Monday

Mary and Emma

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