Monday, May 2, 2011

Day One: A collection of stories

Mom's Take:

So, let me just say that there a couple of things I learned immediately my first day here at CCI:

First, becoming a good dog handler is a massive exercise in self control.

I say this because one of the first things we learned is that when giving commands, this must be done without using any gestures. All commands are verbal only, otherwise you pattern the dog to only follow commands when the gesture accompanies the commands. Uh huh--tell THAT to me, the woman who talks with her hands to the point I should consider interpreting for the deaf!!!! I did my best, but caught myself messing up a few times regardless. It's all about attention to detail, but I can adapt. I already figured out that gathering the leash into both hands will keep my hands busy enough to avoid gestures. All I can say is Darwin was right!

More importantly, though, is the fact that today was a tremendous testament to the courage, kindness, compassion and generosity of strangers. Sitting in the meeting room this morning, sipping coffee and smiling shyly at each other, the introductions began slowly unfolding the details of lives of people from all over the midwest, traveling here out of love for another person. Sitting among us there was another little boy with autism, like Jarod. Three different young ladies in wheelchairs had all journeyd back to CCI (separately) for successor dogs (replacements after previous dogs pass away). A middle aged woman who had once been a registered nurse now found herself in a wheel chair, severly disabled after an auto accident. A little boy in a motorized wheel chair who recently had his wish granted by the Make a Wish Foundation for a trip to Disney World, now found himself getting his true wish, for his own service dog. Another little boy, also in a wheelchair is spending the next two weeks driving two hours each way with his mom to make this dream come to reality. And also, for the very first time at this regional center, a 26 year old disabled veteran wounded in Iraq, will receive a service animal which will assist him and also be a source of comfort to other disabled veterans. While some are from Ohio, others cam from Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota for this opportunity.

There are many lessons to be learned on this trip to Ohio, and today's sampling only serves to excite me for what's to come.

1 comment:

  1. Wendy and Jarod,
    Thank you for letting us join you on your journey in getting Jarod's best friend.
    We look forward to hearing about your days and learning along with you! Mady loves looking at the pictures!
    Have a good time!!!
    ~AnnMarie and Mady