Hard at Work

Today is a work day for Maisie and me. She hasn’t worn her pack in a long time – probably a year – but if I’m going to take her away from home I want her to carry my nitro tabs, chewable aspirin, inhaler, my wallet and phone, etc. We are just beginning work on these particular multiple tasks simultaneously though she already performs them singly: carry pack and stand/stay while I’m accessing the pouches, “walk easy” (the phrase for heel that I can recall) with my scwalker, keeping attention on me/head & nose up/distractions. It’s a lot but she is capable. We are working in short spurts today until we’re both confident.

With as little outside work as she’s done in the last few weeks while I wasn’t mobile I have done more inside work. For example last night we started working on removing things from packages from a distance. I put multiple pads of paper in a plastic bag, then put it in the bathroom (the only room in our motorhome with a door). I let her watch me, and with every pad I put in the bag I showed it to her, let her sniff it, and said “pad”. Then I had her take a couple out – one at a time – and put them in my hand. She was 100%. So I went into the bedroom with her, and told her to “bring a pad”. She didn’t even need coaching, just went straight to the bathroom, pushed her nose into the tiny opening of the door, reached into the plastic shopping bag, grabbed a pad of paper, trotted back to the bedroom, and put it in my hand. That was it. 5 minutes or less and she was flawless.

I have great confidence in Maisie. She’s nearly 4 years old, finally settling down and being calm, and so great to work with. Her performance on these outside tasks give me hope that we’ll be able to stroll (me scwalking, her strolling at my side) through some small town shopping areas yet this year.

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