Friday, June 26, 2009

The Grass is Cut and Green on this side of the Fence

A New Stress Reliever in my life...we are paying someone to mow.

Greg is stressed at work. Trying to mow before work or after (he sometimes work nights) has been so tough - especially with it too hot and humid at times to mow - or raining at the wrong time. Couldn't find a neighbor kid and who knew? We found a yard service that is so cheap. Good thing for Greg as he has more and more to do at work and here due to my limitations.

Good for me because I get concerned about how much is going on in life and what I can't do anymore to help. Yes indeed I liked mowing and did it even with MS. Problem is it got so when I mowed I would nap Yes 5 hours after I would be so wiped even with breaks. Tried to mow just a bit at a time but then in heat I can't walk well. Now I am too weak in my arms to push a mower, to wobbly to walk etc etc. No kids at home to mow so this is it.

This was hard for Greg due to the money (we thought it would be more expensive) and because he feels it is his "job" to do outside work and he needs the exercise. For now we are trying that solution.

ABOUT EMMA - With a service dog you at times need to go back and review what they learned sometimes. Like in a skill you don't use often. Other times when they stop being enthusiastic you might have to reinforce more with both verbal praise, physical contact, training treats or a combination of these.

Well I knew i wanted to go to a movie today with friends. Lately I have had trouble when out to get Emma to go to the bathroom on command. Here is why (I think)

1. She is a very routine person so most times she goes at specific times in our yard.
2. So there isn't that often she needs to go in public.
3. So I think I stopped saying it very often.

So yeah for going back a step. Now I am saying go now and treating at home and yep it worked great before the movie.
I don't think everytime she goes out I will need to do that in the yard (that seems to be automatic) but I will do it some.
Like yesterday I did NOT take her in the backyard to go potty in am time. I went to front yard as we went to get into the car and said "better go now" and then treated and praised her.

Sue K at Helping Paws taught me long ago that when you have problems with a behavior - back step reteach if necessary and reinforce more. Sounds simple but Emma is so good to do so much of her behaviors daily without treats very often that I think I sometimes find different cues (commands) that I need to pay more attention to.

She was great through the movie My Sister's Keeping but looked up once as I was almost sobbing. I had read the book and seeing it on screen seemed so much more emotional. One of the ladies we went with had not read the book and commented that the six of us who read the book were sobbing at the first scene. She kept wondering what all was going to happen if we were crying so hard.

Like all movies the book shows the depth of the story more. I recommend the book and the movie to all. Bring some tissue though. We left the theater puffy eyed. The acting was superb we thought.

Time to feed Emma supper and do some finishing touches on our supper. Greg might be home by 6 tonight and yeah got off early enough to do some grocery shopping. He will be glad to have that done. The lawn is mowed. Maybe he will relax tonight. Plenty of projects for Sat and he works Sunday but I am not sure how many hours yet.

Thanks for reading the long note. Mary


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