DALTON'S GIFT WITH DOGS
We believe that every child is born with the seeds of talent, and that it is the child who decides which of those talent seeds to grow. Dalton has chosen to develop a talent with dogs. Lucy is the newest edition to his dog family, picked from a litter that was raised with both puppy parents on the premises and raised with lots of love and attention. Dalton was able to witness the birth, the attentive care of Lucy's parent dogs during the pups' nursing and weaning stage, and the launching of the Lucy"s litter-mates to their own new homes. This is the type of experience that teaches a child so much about life.
Most important of all, Dalton knows that dogs normally embrace parenting and welcome their pups. When a litter of pups is born, the puppy's parents become very protective and prioritize the care, safety, and well-being of their offspring more than anything else. They instinctively know how to do this...sometimes better than we humans do.
Puppy parents also know how to set boundaries with their puppies when the puppies get old enough to explore and try to exert their own
desire for dominance and control. Pup parents are guided by instinct. Most know how to balance just the right amount of nurturing with just the right amount of discipline and guidance to socialize the puppies for the role that they will play in carrying out their purpose in life. What is that purpose? To live with, love, comfort, and help care for the emotional and work or recreational needs of their humans, of course!
“A dog may be man's best friend, but a child's best friend is a puppy.”
SOCIAL DISTANCING WITH A DOG
Some families already had dogs before the Covid-19 pandemic required social distancing, working and schooling from home, and staying at home as much as possible. During this time, we saw a number of really funny jokes and memes about dogs wondering what was going on.
All of a sudden, their humans were in the house with them all the time or taking them out for walks more than the dogs were use to, or even wanted. One of our favorite memes shows a number of different kinds of dogs sitting around a conference table discussing how well their virus-plan was working in keeping all their humans home.
Another meme that circulated and made so many people laugh was the one showing a puzzled dog looking out the window saying, "Why are all the humans wearing muzzles? Did they all bite someone?"
We have celebrated all of the people employed in health care, in essential services, and in community safety during the pandemic. In the section on Gabriel's social distancing, we celebrated the children of this country who gave up so much of their quality time to stay home and do what our public health officials and government leaders asked us to.
Let's celebrate all the dogs and other pets that provided comfort and warmth to us as we dealt with the trauma associated with the Covid-19 pandemic. They deserve a special treat and, as Dalton says, "You need to listen to them."
'Don't have a dog? Consider adopting one from a shelter or rescue organization? 'Can't have or don't want a dog? Think about volunteering or donating something to protect and care for those who don't have a forever home or a special human to love
SERVICE DOGS & EMOTIONAL SUPPORT DOGS
Now that just about 100% of our adult population has experienced what is referred to as a "Criterion A Event," we all have the right to request reasonable accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act, as Amended if we need a little help with the reopening of our society and our return to work. Children who were old enough to understand the terror associated with this invisible terroristic virus might also qualify for accommodations if they need some help with their return to school or academic and recreational functioning.
Service dogs and emotional support dogs are among the many accommodations that adults who are disabled by overwhelming anxiety can request. No, we aren't suggesting that children bring their dogs to school with them or that the workplace make space for employees to have dogs by their side.
We are suggesting, however, that adults and children who are overwhelmed with anxiety associated with this pandemic, or associated with other traumas, talk with a behavioral health provider to learn more about the way that a dog can be trained to provide emotional support or life-sustaining services that facilitate full participation in society.
There is no need to spend thousands of dollars to purchase a dog that is already trained to provide a service or to provide emotional support. Many veterans with PTSD, parents of children with autism, and others have worked with animal shelters and rescue programs to adopt a dog that is a good match for the person needing help.
A good trainer can help with the canine good citizenship certification a dog needs as a first step in becoming a service dog or emotional support dog. An emotional support dog doesn't need much more than this to have some special privileges. Additional training is needed to have the dog meet the criteria of a service dog, but the cost might be worth it because a service dog has so many more privileges.
Dalton already understands the secret of dog training. He will tell you that as a dog owner, you have to be responsible and also listen to your dog. Watch your dog to learn the dog's ways of communicating with you. Listen to your dog with both your ears and your eyes so that you can both see and hear its signals.