Monday, December 7, 2009

My Wonderful Emma

We went to a 2.5 hour training for my insulin pump. Emma did just great. During a break she got outside for a brief time...most the time she just was so calm laying on her blanket and waiting. I will never get over how amazing it is to me that service dogs will on command lay down in the space you designate and be content there for hour or hours. She shows off those skills at medical appointments, church, movies, when i swim, among other times....she is amazing.

I am picking up for the cleaning lady. Emma is helping with that also. She is more than willing to help me when I drop a newspaper (my tremoring hands) She helps pick up anything I drop and I mean almost anything. Okay she will leave food as I instruct her to do so. But clothing as I put things away, and kitchen items, just anything. She is my great helper.

She also is so connected to me for moral support. She is at my side almost constantly. Funny sometimes I sit in a recliner but sometimes I prefer the couch or love seat to watch tv. Guess what she prefers? Yep when I am on the couch or love seat so that she can snuggle right with me. Her body touching mine. Or nap time where again we cuddle up.

Now in case your curious, Helping Paws does not train dogs to be on furniture. That was MY choice once I had Emma. If I need her to she will rest on the pillow/bed that is just for her in the living room (like when we have company) or the bedroom. At meal time she goes under the table. When we have company for a holiday if there is not enough room she will go in the corner (my dinning room is so small) or on the pillow/bed in the living room.

She makes me smile. Her facial expressions crack me up. She has a certain look when I know she "wants to" or "needs to" go outside. I know the real look and she seldom fakes me out. At home she likes to cruise the back yard but she also knows to go quickly (at home or out and about( if I say "go NOW". She knows that statement.

I am so darn proud of her handling the ups and downs of my life. My quiet days, our busy days, she handles them all just fine!!! She is skilled in all areas that I need her to be.

I am concerned that readers might have misudnerstood a posting last week when I said we practiced all day. I guess more accurately we very deliberately used all the skills and reinforced with extra treats or attention. I think Emma is so good at obeying me that I don't need to use lots of training treats (Low cal). So once in awhile I think it is good for her to get a bit more treats as we do our cues (commands) and even more than normal physical reinforcement. Remember I am a former elementary teacher. A little extra reinforcement is good for the spirit I think - it is a fun day for both of us. I did NOT mean she was working poorly with me, or would not work without this day of "practice". She just amazes me on a daily basis with her many skills!!!!

Oh yes it is starting to snow. We are sneaking out for a needed haircut for me. It is suppose to snow more tomorrow and Tuesday into Wed night. Some places will get a total of a foot of snow!!!!!!!!!! Now we are on the edge so probably will not get the full amount. (sorry Emma) but Emma will enjoy the time outside. Here is another gift she gives me. She gets me outside many times to play with her in a day or in the dark i stand and watch her play. She enriches my life in so many ways.

Everywhere we go people remember "Emma". It is funny how many will say "and I forgot YOUR name". Emma is doing just great and yes we are keeping up with brushing teeth after she had a dental cleaning. Like when I went to the dentist now I am better about flossing ha ha.

Thanks for reading this long blog....Mary and Emma

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