Saturday, 22 September 2012

Written with a dog across my feet...

Ok I am going to be honest, the starting of school hasn't been the best. I've damaged my back from an unavoidably heavy backpack, the lessons are picking up momentum and stress is at an all time high. However, throw a dog into the mix and you get an unusual result. No panic attacks in lessons, which I used to be very prone to, and develop a way of being able to forget things temporarily and focus on studies. However when things were at their worst last week Laila got a bit strange, she did several woof's in lessons and other public places (I think its an over exaggeration to call it barking) and was very tense on the school field as a cat went by. This made me even more stressed- on top of all this is my beloved dog going crackers?! Tracey, our guide dog trainer came to school one morning to help us out, and after a talk with my SENCO came to the conclusion that I was stressed, so Laila was stressed. She also explained that unfortunately 'putting a brave face on' doesn't work with dogs, so there's no fooling her. Thinking back, it's a rather cute concept that the barking and tenseness around the cat was just her trying to look after me and not let anything stress me out more. Also her total trust in my emotions is rather worrying, if I'm stressing, she's stressing, simple as.

So we've been working together on that one, but that's not what I'm writing this about. I'm writing about the link between my messed up teenage brain and whatever is going on in her little canine skull.  Laila is a queen of procrastination, food time? - Guaranteed she will want a huge drink. I can most certainly relate to this (I should be doing shakespeare work right now). Also she is not a big fan of eating, another definite similarity to myself.

Secondly she is very stubborn, just like me. If she wants to make a point she will, if I miss feeding time by a minute she runs to me, runs to the kitchen and repeats until I get the message.

Caring, If I'm upset she will find a way to get as close to me as possible. Even if i'm in bed she will find my foot under the duvet and lick it until I get out and onto the floor to give her a proper hug.

Dependent, I was trying to explain this the other day without sounding like a control freak and failed miserably. But I will try again. It's a bit like when you are a little child and get a present at christmas and it is all yours, you know how it works, how to play with it, and what it's imaginary voice sounds like. I know Laila, and I know how she works and she knows how I work. I like being the one that she listens to, and that she doesn't care what anyone else is doing much. It's nice to be needed and wanted basically.

She is also eternally grateful for near enough everything. Just now we were playing in the garden and after she had collected her toy from the other end of the garden a few times she dropped it mid-run and came up to me and nuzzled against my leg to tell me how good it is that we're playing and thank you. See there I go again... she is probably just thinking woof woof woof but I give her a voice, it's a connection you see.

We do everything together, I just love her I really really do.

I know it's only been a tiny time that I've had her but it's made just such an immense difference. I've just realised as well that these things aren't necessarily guide dog things, nothing about independence in there. Of course I love her in her working capacity also, but she's a dog with a job and I love that dog. This article was inspired by this video that I was pointed towards today:

Let me know what you think in the comments and I would love to hear your guide dog stories too (or just stories).

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