I’d like to introduce… sweet baby Chase, the mobility service dog in my home.
He is a *pit bull* and if you have something to say about “those dogs” I would like you to stay tuned for a brief thought on the subject…
I can hear one of my friends now chuckling and saying something along the lines of, “Gwen, you must be able to accept all points of view in the blogosphere because you will run into all types!”
In fact, I may have already been told this incredibly true and tempered wisdom.
Okay, so, yes…
I did hear these wise words…
If you all haven’t figured this out yet, I’m at times a *tad* hardheaded and don’t necessarily hear things the first time I’m told.
Also, I have definite opinions about some things, including this.
Nazi’s believed certain physical features were indicative of inferiority or superiority, ability, and intelligence.
Don’t be like them.
Don’t judge “pit bull type dogs” because you believe some cockamamie bologna about their jaws locking and because you saw a news report once about some asshat human who did not raise their dog right.
Chase is terrified of the tiny cat in the house and when she denies him entry into whatever space he wants to go into because she’s being bossy he cries.
Also he doesn’t like thunderstorms and hides wherever I am when he senses one coming.
He is currently laying obediently beneath my leg and stump as I write this keeping them warm and elevated.
He did give me a concussion once, though, when we both went for the same spot on the couch at the same time: his head is harder than mine.
Chase was little when he started training and he knows how to do mobility things for amputees already but he was never trained for working with a wheelchair.
I spent so much time in the last seven and a half months not allowed to leave the house that the idea of training Chase in basic wheelchair etiquette let alone wheelchair mobility seemed like just about the worst thing I could imagine attempting to train him in on my own. Just because I’m in a chair doesn’t mean I know what “typical” skills are for wheelchair mobility but I knew he would have to adjust to not stepping in front of the chair, heeling to a wheel instead of a leg, working on a loose leash, and answering oral commands without any leash signals. Because I had no intention of training him today, Chase did not wear his vest when we went out for a walk, just his collar.
My greatest hope for this outing was that we would not crash and die in some epic event worthy of the 11 o’clock BBC World Report so all you readers worldwide could be shocked and saddened by the news of my sudden and unexpected death together, sharing the oneness afforded by a televised announcement somewhere between something about North Korea, something about President Trump, and some feel good report about a flamboyance of flamingos discovered far outside their natural wintering zones having fled the strangely freezing cold weather in their normal January habitat for warmer weather someplace in the Rocky Mountains.
Little did I know how eager Chase was to do real work.
At the first indication of difficulty for me in pushing myself he started to pull… and pull… and pull.
I discovered relatively quickly that I could steer my speeding chariot reasonably well at speed by shifting the weight of my stump rather like a rudder in the water. I also discovered how clever my pooch is:
Left! He pulled toward the left.
Right! He pulled to the right.
No pull. He stopped pulling and heeled.
Slow… He slowed.
Sidewalk! He found a curb with a ramp.
Wait… He paused wherever we were.
Usually I thought it was that the human wears themselves out taking the dog for a run.
Not Chase and I.
He wore himself out taking me for a run.
I guess it’s time to do some real work with my good boy.