Friday, May 2, 2008

First School Day, Distraction Practice, Dinning Out

Chimi and I attended our first Individualized Education Plan meeting today as a team. (I serve as a surrogate parent in my school district behalf of special education students who are in Office of Children's Service custody.) While we were at the meeting, the 5th grade Language Arts teacher shared that her class just finished reading a story about an assistance dog and asked if Chimi and I would be willing to visit her class after the meeting. I told her that we were not prepared for a program but we would gladly visit. We took a picture with the class and promised to come back in the fall to present a program.
Chimi and I also helped out at a garage sale. The sale was great distraction practice - sites, sounds, and smells - barking dogs in neighboring yards kids with toys and an impromptu fundamentals of baseball lesson. The baseball activity was the seemed to be the hardest for Chimi to ignore. A few times he tried to get involved but with persistent correction, redirection, and praise for the most part Chimi remained in a controlled down position as a spectator. I was a little surprised by a child that seemed to be teasing him with a toy. I could not see it but Chimi did and so did the child's mother. The little girl asked me why Chimi would not sit still and about that time the mother noticed the toy the child had and told her to leave the dog alone. I feel like some people either expect too much out of Chimi or treat him like a plain dog. They do not understand that it takes time for Chimi to trust and to transfer his training from his trainer to his partner.
After the garage sale we went to New Orleans themed restaurant for fish and fries. I picked the restaurant because I felt like we would not draw too much attention in it but then I fell coming in the door! Chimi had a busy day!

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