Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Marshall's new training lesson

In recent days, I've been working on training Marshall to "touch" Bo. Having no children of my own, Bo (my other dog) is the only other moving target I could think of. But initially I had to keep Bo on a leash to keep him in range.

It still takes a little while for Marshall to remember what I'm asking, but once he gets it, he has the "touch Bo" down. (He'll tap Bo on his side with his nose). Now I'm trying to increase the distance and add then hope to add "search" . It's only been just two days, so I'm early in the process.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Ethan

On Saturday, I met the most amazing young man. Ethan. An austic teenager, with a passion and gift for drawing pictures of dogs. I met Ethan when his mentor tapped me on the shoulder to ask if Ethan could draw a picture of my dog. I agreed.

Ethan presented me with a notebook of pictures of dogs of all breeds drawn with precision in comic-book fashion. Many of the pictures were takes off of movies. My favorite drawing was entitled PAWS. A picture of a dog, I can't remember the breed, maybe a doberman or a rotweiler with large jaws ready to grasp the poodle swimming above the water -- i.e. a play on "Jaws."

Ethan did his best to draw a dog who wouldn't sit still. He told me Bo should take an obedience pill. He did an amazing job. When he was done, he signed his work and presented it to me.

Later when I spoke with his mentor about Dogs for Autism, I learned that Ethan has found a place for his gift. He works at the local animal shelter and draws pictures of all the dogs being adopted and gives them to the adopting family. Ethan is working with a bloodhound on search and rescue training.

I was truly humbled to meet such an inspiring young man, which helped me see a glimpse of the potential of what Dogs for Autism just might give to a family and an autistic child-A hope for independence and finding a special place in the world.

Ethan has so much to give the world and I was priviledged to be a recipient of what he has to give. This inspiration motivates me all the more to invest in the puppy I've been priviledge to raise.