Friday, April 24, 2009


so, yesterday we returned to our usual school schedule. we took CAYLIE for another turn at school. as always, she did so so well. one little girl who has been very scared of the dogs since we arrived this year had a huge breakthrough with CAYLIE yesterday. because this student, katie, would sit with me but refused to engage with any dogs, dad had an idea to try something new. because dad has so much experience in all of the classroom settings, he has seen some students with austism who do not want to pet the dogs with their hands but enjoy stimulation with their feet. we took katie's shoes and socks off and rubbed her feet on CAYLIE's back and she lit up! she and i began to play a game where i would ask her "ready?" and she would relax one of her legs and le tme rub her feet on CAYLIE, then she'd give me a high five and laugh and a minute later we'd go again. she started to respond to my "ready?" by rubbing her feet on CAYLIE herself. her self-stimulation was a very huge step. these are the kind of little breakthrough's that make our school visits so exciting. it's not just about the dogs, but it's about the fact that these cause and effect responses can be generalized to get the students to accomplish other tasks once they see the dog as fun and motivating. needless to say, CAYLIE did great at school again!

we also had two meetings with potential paws4vets RAD/Service Dog clients. this is a very exciting next step in the paws4vets development and both home visits went very well. we already have some potential dog matches in mind if the rest of these application processes go well. all-in-all a very nice thursday!

we're fixing to see 80+ degrees here in wv for the first time since august feels like a minor miracle! i know those of you who have joined us at the prison understand my climate woes! WYATT will be accompanying me to class, the mountainlair for lunch, and some campus errands today...hopefully i don't have too much excitement to report, but you just never know with this boy!

happy friday! : )

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