Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Traveling Home from Training at 4 Paws...AND MORE!

I know, I know...you've been dying to know how things are going.  I completely understand!  I can't believe it has been two weeks since we got home.  Yes, we are alive and okay.  The minute we got home, life jumped back into the fast lane and away we've gone.  :o)  Instead of getting home on a Saturday evening and having a relaxing Sunday at home, it was off to the races Tuesday morning getting back into routine of getting kids up and ready and off to school.  Wow, I was definitely on vacation while we were in Ohio!!!

Jacey fell asleep with Dubbie nearby...

We got to the airport to stand in line for checking in and going through security.  It's a good thing we got there when we did or we may have missed our flight.  I'm grateful to have such a small airport to fly out of here in Montana because going through check in and security is a BREEZE compared to Detroit!   The only downfall that comes with a small airport, in Montana, is that it is expensive to fly anywhere! 

I must say it was a nice reprieve in Detroit by only having two flights home instead of three.  On our first flight before take off, the lady sitting behind Judd in the aisle seat told Jacey in a playful yet serious way that "they" don't allow crying on airplanes.  She said it over and over so sweetly.  I just laughed and told her, "Just wait..."  The guy sitting next to her laughed.  I was serious!  And true to form, Jacey had a fairly good meltdown in the middle of the flight.  This lady had taken a walk down the aisle and had come back in the middle of this lovely meltdown and just stood in her seat area watching me struggle trying to get Jacey to calm down.  I tried coloring, books, magazines, cookies, juice, matching cards, and all of my other tricks that I keep up my sleeves to no avail.  Jacey was seriously over-tired and sick of being confined - who could really blame her for wanting out of the plane.  I know I did!  Well, this lady continued to stare over our seats at us as Jacey continued in her meltdown.  I finally asked her, "Is there something I can help you with?!"  To which she responded, "It looks like someone could use Super Nanny."  I quickly said that Jacey had Autism and turned back around to deal with Jacey.  I was furious!  I wasn't about to say another word to this woman or it was going to be ugly.

Have you seen Super Nanny?  Who is it that Super Nanny really comes to "fix"?  Yes, the children become much more well-behaved but it is the PARENTING that has issues.  If only this woman knew.  I would have loved to tell her to give it a try for a day.  The things people say!  Judd didn't think much of her comment but I read a lot more into it than he did - hey, I'm female, what can you expect?!  Either way, I was grateful to finally have Jacey calm down until of course, the last twenty to thirty minutes of the flight while we were descending.  Judd took her for a walk up and down the aisle and eventually she snuggled into me and fell asleep for a short bit.  I might be willing to admit that I may have as well!

Going for a "walk"!

Finally...she crashes!

The last flight from Salt Lake City to Great Falls was a quick one.  But in true form, Jacey was unhappy as we descended.  It took FIVE flights and how many flight attendants before this final flight attendant gave us drinking cups with HOT, wet napkins in them to place over Jacey's ears.  It would help to relieve the pressure since she wouldn't suck on anything.  I was very grateful for someone trying to help.  Jacey would allow me to hold them over her ears for so long and then would want to look at them.  There was an older gal across the aisle from us that also gave Jacey a piece of gum.  She chewed on it for a while but I knew it would eventually get swallowed.  I was extremely grateful to the different feeling in the air on this last and final descent.  People wanted to help!

So....here we are today at the end of December.  Christmas has come and gone somehow.  Jacey and Dublin are doing great.  Jacey has really sped up the process of feeding Dublin by turning the treat bag upside down and letting it all fall out.  :o)  It is great to see the bonding continuing to take shape.  Jacey LOVES ziplock bags lately, so I will put a few of Dubbie's treats into one.  She runs around the house with him following close behind.  The giggles are great to listen to! 

Jacey continues to love Dublin's place. 
She even allows Kenna to come and enjoy!

Jacey was tethered to Dublin at the school Christmas Concert. 
She did great with him by her side!

Sasha and Dublin.

I think the best Christmas present I received on Christmas day was while Judd took Jacey and Dublin outside so he could work on our fence.  (Yes, he finally let me order all of the materials to enclose our yard!)  Dublin and Jacey were playing quite well together and it was fun to see him chase her around.  I went back to cleaning up from the morning when I heard whining, yelping, and barking.  I first thought that it was our other dog Sasha but she was in the house.  I opened the back door to see what was going on....  It turns out that Jacey had left the yard and had gone around to the front of our house.  Dublin couldn't see her anymore!  What a great gift!  Jeremy had said during training that Dublin would do that eventually when Jacey disappeared from his sight.  It truly shows the bonding is going well.  To know that I will get a warning from Dubbie if Jacey gets away....

Getting some snuggles with Dublin.

I am so grateful for this experience and for this new journey we are on.  We've done a couple of tracks with Dublin since getting home.  One was in Walmart a few days before Christmas - yep, it was interesting but successful!  We also did two in our yard on Christmas Eve.  I put our "Graduation" picture as my wallpaper for the computer.  It's somewhat surreal to see us sitting with a dog with the trainers surrounding us.  It was just yesterday that I was drooling over someone else who was graduating with their service dog, wishing for my day to be here.  I can now say that we are official 4 Paws Graduates.  We definitely still have our work cut out for us in transferring the behavior disruption techniques over to Jacey and continuing our practice tracks.  (Good thing I didn't have to track Jacey yesterday - 37 degrees with wind gusts up to 30 mph.  Jacey's scent would probably have ended up in South Dakota!) 

I am forever indebted to those who helped us get to where we are at today.  For all the donations that came in to get us to our $13,000 goal, to the donations for help in our traveling, to the anonymous donor who bought our airline tickets, and for all the thoughts and prayers sent our way.  Jacey is truly blessed!  And now her blessing follows her around the house to see what she is up to!  Thanks for making this a reality for us.  I hope to do better in keeping everyone updated as to what's going on, but please forgive me in advance for the time in between posts, as I feel like a chicken running around with its head cut off some days! 

Merry (belated) Christmas and Happy New Year!  Until next time....


1 comment:

  1. Wow. That is awesome. And I'm glad some folks were helpful and karma will give that old bitty a slap on the head one of these days:) We HAVE to get together soon!!!!