Humor is Excellent Self Care!
I needed something that would take my mind off of parenting 3 children with Autism. I needed some "me" time or a hobby that I could enjoy and use to relax. So, the answer I thought was a cute little puppy. I searched long and hard for "the perfect dog". Finally after searching a number of possibilities, I decided on a breed I thought would be perfect! I was thrilled. We got our dog. It was the cutest thing I had ever laid eyes on (besides my children of course). The little puppy grew into a big fluffy bundle of joy! A wild big bundle of joy. So, I enrolled him in "Doggie Obedience School".
It wasn't long before the Lead Doggie Trainer approached me and asked to speak with me after class one day. After all the other Owners and their dogs walked to their vehicles, I was curious to find out why the head of the group had felt the need to speak to me. Perhaps it was that my Dog "Chester" had tipped over the table with all the doggie treats on it and wildly proceeded to gobble up what all the dogs were supposed to receive for good behavior that session?
I braced myself for a stern request that I "keep better control" over my wildly enthusiastic "Chester". But before the Trainer spoke another incident crept into my mind: Chester did not seem to like to play with the other dogs. Chester would cower and curl up in a "doggie fetal position" when other dogs came near him. It was embarrassing. Little tiny dogs apparently intimidating my much larger Chester to the point of him whining and "playing almost dead" instead of returning their friendly tackles or happy game playing during "no leash time". Ah...That's right I guess Chester did tip over the Instructor's treat table/equipment table at that time as well, but not on purpose....Chester was just escaping from the "free for all" with the other dogs.
"Dawn." The Instructor paused, trying to think of the appropriate way to convey what she was feeling. "Your dog...."
"Chester" I said with a smile.
"Yes..." she said. "Chester." Now looking concerned, she continued, "Chester needs to be taught how to play appropriately with other dogs."
Tears of unbelief and thoughts of, "You have no idea lady, what you are doing to me right now." Welled up in my eyes. I was thankful for the large sunglasses I was wearing.
The Trainer continued, "I suggest Play dates! Yes, ask other Owners if you can meet them in a park with their dog a couple times a week. You need to teach your dog how to play and develop appropriate social skills with other dogs.
"OK...Thanks....Great idea.... I'll...get right on that..." I weakly replied. Trying not to loose it...I stumbled to my car, let Chester in...and drove off.
Now self narrating my life I yelled to myself, "Excuse me!?!? I have 3 children with Autism! And now...What is the first feedback I get, that I am sure has NOTHING to do with the "A" word?
Dawn, your DOG IS AUTISTIC! YOU NEED TO HAVE PLAY DATES.....FOR YOUR DOG!!!
NOW, this is a funny story. It was not funny at the time. I laughed as I told it to other parents though! Oh, Thank God for other parents!!!