A new behavior disruption command that we introduced to Twinkie after we got home last week was "LOVE". Everyone should experience the happy, calming feelings that love can create, so I thought calling this command "LOVE" was most appropriate when I considered what a special love they have for each other. When we give Twinkie the "love" command, we want her to lay down and cuddle up next to Zachary so he can either pat her or lay on her/with her. Just like with any other command, Twinkie is expected to move into this position no matter where Zachary is sitting...the couch, floor, bed, backyard, wherever. "Love" will be used as a form of behavior disruption when Zachary is struggling with something emotionally. It will frequently be used, though, when Zachary is already calm and relaxed so he can associate these same feelings of calm and relaxation with Twinkie . Trying to explain to Zachary that Twinkie will make him feel better when he's already stressed and trying to process negative emotions is more than he can manage. Less is more at that moment. However, if we can give Twinkie the "love" command and she's just there for Zachary without us needing to say anything else, he can lean on her as he needs to both literally and figuratively.We started introducing this command with lots of yummy cheddar star treats and guiding Twinkie's body to the position we wanted her to be in each time. It took a little bit of time and lots of practice for Twinkie to understand exactly what we were asking her to do, but she did it!! Twinkie is 100% on board with her newly learned command and happily follows through with our request each time. Zachary is so happy, calm and content to feel the "love"....Twinkie is just as happy, calm and content. :) What's really neat is that Twinkie will sometimes lay next to Zachary and show him the "love" without our prompting.
This morning (Monday) while I was in the kitchen I didn't hear either one of them which likely meant that they were doing something they shouldn't have been. :) But, when I peeked around the corner and looked into the living room, this is what I found...
|and more "LOVE"|
Zachary gave Twinkie the "love" command so she'd get on the couch with him. He calmly and quietly laid on the couch with her for about 15 minutes. He didn't even ask me to stop taking pictures which he usually does.
He was in that happy place we call LOVE.
Make You Feel My Love (Adele) (click here) After I took these pictures, this song was playing on my iPad in the background. This is when "love" makes you cry.