I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and the New Year is starting out great. Ours is awesome!
We love Bobo and he is adjusting very well, considering we have had a house full of company and lots of cooking this season. He does like to jump on visitors and some think it is okay so we just have to remind them he is not allowed to do that.
I feel sorry for him because he wants to play with the cats and they want no part of him except to tease and torment him. He got slapped the second day and learned his lesson. They are declawed and know they are faster than he is and that he cannot fit under the things they can. Thank goodness he did not try to fit under the Christmas tree. He did try to catch his tail and almost wiped out the tree!
After we got back from training I spent the entire next week at school with him. He did very well. We had a pep assembly with the band and it was very noisy and lots of traffic. Danielle’s class was in the front row right by the door so we just put him between two wheelchairs so he would not get his tail stepped on.
The second day in class we took the RTA. That was an adventure alone for me. Poor Bobo. There were three wheelchairs and the bus was pretty full. He just did not have enough room and we were at the front of the bus so he could not really lie down in the aisle. He eventually ended up with his back legs between mine, his front feet on the empty seat next to me and his head on my shoulder!
We then went shopping at Wal-Mart and then lunch at McDonalds. Danielle did have a seizure there but he did not alert us. We then went to the rec center where the kids were going to swim—unfortunately not Danielle because of the seizure. However, she and Bobo lay on a mat outside of the pool area, taking a nap. It was adorable; the two of them snuggled together. We then got on the bus to head back to school and Danielle had another seizure. This time Bobo did bark and the teachers commented it was an entirely different bark than they had heard before. A bark to alert you something was wrong, almost defensively. Yea Bobo!
Later in the week the kids went to see a movie and Bobo did great. I spilled buttered popcorn on the floor and he did not move. Danielle knew he was on the floor and tried to offer her pop to him! The other students are doing well with him and it seems he will be an asset to the classroom as one student is already in charge of making sure Bobo has water. A couple of them will get to play ball with him at lunch to tire him out as long as they stay on track during the morning. We are doing the red and green bandana on him in the classroom so the students will know if he is working or not. Outside of the classroom other high school students will need to ask Danielle’s permission before they can pet him. This will engage her in conversation and help with the social skills.
The school has been awesome with this entire process. The principal held a staff meeting and we met the teachers and they met Bobo. It was a great opportunity to show them what he can do and answer any questions they may have. They are very receptive to getting some media coverage, which I am excited about so we can also get 4Paws some publicity. School starts again on Monday. I will be taking a day off every week and going to school with Bobo until we are all confident he is ready to be left there by himself with me. The teacher and the two aides have done awesome—very hands-on and wanting him to be there. We are very lucky.
We meet the bus drivers at the end of January because they are bidding on new routes and the supervisor wants to make sure that those who bid on the route Danielle is on will be aware they will have a dog on the bus. The only thing we had to watch at school is that if Danielle is in the kitchen cooking and Bobo is in there with her and she leaves to come out to the table he automatically follows her without being told free. He is doing what he is supposed to but we are working on reinforcing he needs to stay put until he is released. Our entire experience at 4Paws was awesome. I had no idea of what to expect. Bobo has made a tremendous difference in our lives and family.
My dad is in a nursing home and loves it when we bring Bobo to visit and my mom is on dialysis three times a week and on the days I take or pick her up she wants to know where Bobo is. I have been replaced!
We are teaching him to bark when he hears the seizure mattress monitor go off.
This past week Danielle was in her room playing on her bed, shaking her drumsticks and set off the alarm. Bobo and I were in the kitchen. He heard the alarm go off and ran upstairs but did not bark. We are working on that, just need to practice it more. I believe last evening he scented two seizures. He was obnoxiously licking Danielle and then he just sat in front of her, raised his nose to the ceiling and sniffed. Twenty minutes later she had a seizure. He did it a while later as well. Sat in front of the stove and lifted his nose to the ceiling and sniffed. I thought he was smelling dinner in the microwave. He then went over and licked all over Danielle. Again about 20 minutes later she had one.
Things are settling down where we are now learning his patterns so we will be able to notice different behaviors.
You are all a wonderful team and have touched so many lives. You are all very fortunate to be doing something that is obviously your passion. It shows. You help make miracles and dreams come true!
Peace to all of you!
Kim, Danielle, Mike and Bobo!
Do you have an update you’d like to share since you graduated from 4 Paws? Email it to Jessica at Jessica@4PawsForAbility.org.
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