Monday, June 11, 2012

DAY SIX (Sunday): Match Point

Laughter is the Best Medicine: The Benefits of Humor and Laughter  (click on this!)

No truer words have beens spoken!  Following this statement, I should never, EVER be sick.  Maybe this is why I have such a strong immune system.  All of these years I thought it was the flu shot I got at the beginning of a new school year.  Who knew?  Depending on how well you know me, posting this link may or may not seem out of context since this is a blog about Zachary and Twinkie, his new service dog.  I can promise you, though, if you ever saw us at the Kohl's in Beavercreek, OH last night, you would understand the context of this link since there wasn't much else I could do BUT laugh...and laugh hard!!!   :)   

So, we had decided that after dinner I would take Twinkie to Kohl's while Joe took Zachary swimming.  Afterwards, a couple of the girls were heading out to Cheesecake Factory for dessert and a drink.  Nice!  I could definitely use a drink.  :)  It's a solid plan.   We completed a very successful track when we got back to the hotel tonight, we ate dinner, and Joe had work to do so he was thrilled with the prospect of me leaving for a few hours!  :)   All good, right??!!  I thought so and left the hotel with Twinkie pretty confident that I'd be to Kohl's and back in about 30 minutes.  We don't need to stay out in the community for hours, but 20 minutes or so each night is helpful and necessary in terms of your public access success.   Depsite the fact Twinkie was pouting about the fact she had to put her harness on, we were off to Kohl's....

We get in the truck.  No traffic. I didn't get lost basically driving in a straight line from the hotel to Kohl's.  Got a parking space just a couple in from the entrance.  It was still sunny and early enough to get to Cheesecake Factory.  LIfe is good, and we were all set until Twinkie flat out refused to get out of the truck.  I'm not talking just a little hesitant; I'm talking Twinkie would not even look at me and stand up much less exit my vehicle.   She decided to stage a silent protest and play the game, "I can't see you.  I can't hear you."  She essentially gave me the finger with all four paws.  Cute dog.  Point one for Twinkie.  I didn't laugh in front of her, but this is definitely where all of the laughter began! now what??  I tried everything I could think of.  This is the third time we've gone through training.  Surely I can figure this out on some level.   I didn't want to correct Twinkie and make this a negative experience so I was showing her all of the love in the world....and the Bill-Jac.  She quickly tapped me out of all the Bill-Jac and Pupperoni I had.  Still no success.  Not even close.  UGH!!!  After 7 minutes of practically begging Twinkie to get out of the truck and looking like a lulu bird standing outside of my truck, I wound up calling Jennifer from 4 Paws.  She gave me a few suggestions while we were on the phone.  They sounded good and I was hopeful, but Twinkie was still one up on me and refusing to budge.   Another point for Twinkie.  Jennifer offered to meet me in the parking lot at Kohl's so we could address this little "issue" we were having.   Point one for Mommy...well sort of.

Twenty minutes later Jennifer arrived.  Now this has become a serious "match".   Prior to her getting there, she had me take everything off Twinkie except her training collar and flat collar.  For a brief moment Twinkie forgot she was staging a silent protest and perked up when she saw Jennifer.  Then she seemed to process the gravity of the situation and started to dig her paws in.   I mean this both figuratively and literally.  Twinkie meant business...but so did Jennifer.  It was a draw.  So, we open the door to the truck, and Twinkie is less than enthused.  She wouldn't even make eye-contact with us.  However, the two of us spoke in the happiest, squeakiest voice we could.  We wiggled our bodies doing a happy dance and tried to coax her out of the truck with absolutely no success.  Twinkie was still not impressed and not willing to move.  Another point for Twinkie.  

So our side show continues, and much to the delight and amusement of the spectators in the Kohl's parking lot, we started more squeaky talk and doing the happy dance outside of the truck again.  I actually had to yell across the parking lot to the guy staring at us laughing that this was my son's service dog, she was refusing to exit my vehicle and we weren't high.  He seemed to buy into this because he eventually made his way over to us laughing telling us he figured there was a dog in the truck.  Seriously, buddy??  What gave it away??  The fact that we were holding onto a leash and using the word DOG??  LOL  Good times, friends.  Good times.  Humiliating me...yet another point for Twinkie.  

Well, now  all bets are off and Jennifer moved passed the passive "let's not stress her out and make this negative"  spin on it to physically removing Twinkie from my truck.  We tried to entice Twinkie with a tennis ball which she loves, however, she still wanted nothing to do with us.  Seconds later, before Twinkie even realized what had happened, Jennifer hoisted her out of the truck and onto the pavement.  MAJOR point for Jennifer.  Now the whole squeaky talk and happy dance resumed and so did the side show for the residents of Beavercreek, OH.  We had Twinkie jump back into the truck and out to the tennis ball.  She did wisen up a little bit and started to willingly leave the truck as long as we bounced the tennis ball outside.  We wound up over correcting Twinkie and following this process  over and over and over and over.  For a brief moment I felt as if I were back in my classroom.  LOL  This was definitely a Discrete Trial session.  

Well, as only my luck would have it,  once we put Twinkie's harness back on THE WHOLE THING STARTED AGAIN.  This dog is going to be the death of me.   My personal fave was watching Twinkie go as far back to the other side of my truck as she possibly could and sit in Zachary's booster seat in a solid, logical effort to avoid exiting the truck.  She is too smart for my own good....sound like a little boy we happen to know!!??   :)  Twinkie clearly felt a false sense of security up until Jennifer practically climbed in the truck and hoisted her out...again!  I can't make this up, people!  LOL  Another point for Jennifer.

After approximately 30 minutes or so of addressing this situation and having Twinkie jump in and out of my truck and walk in a heel around the parking lot, we called it a night.    I drove back to the hotel ponder the events of the evening.  The conclusion I came to is that Twinkie is a tough nut to crack, and we should consider working with an ABA therapist when we get back home with her!  LOL  Oh, wait!!  That's gonna be three years!!  Maybe I won't even need to leave my own house to complete my field hours.  

A few minutes before this whole debacle ended, I asked Jennifer that with all of the dogs 4 Paws has placed if she's ever had to come to a parking lot to assist a client.  As expected, the answer was "No."  Hearing that one little word was most definitely the MATCH POINT for Twinkie.  Let the laughter continue....

...and the unconditional love grow!  


  1. LOL! I almost had this happen in February! We could NOT get Omri into my mother's truck one morning at the hotel! I finally hoisted him up into it & talked to Jeremy once we got to 4 Paws. Jeremy & I spent nearly an hour working with him...occassionally still have some issues, but not typically.

  2. Sounds like about 5-0 in favor of Twinkie. But my money's on you in the long term.

    1. LOL Thanks, Aunt Terry!! Twinkie is a pip, that's for sure. She's making me work hard.