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What Our Dog Could Teach Some Professionals

What Our Dog Could Teach Some Professionals

She was planned.

She was, in fact years in the planning.

Adding her to our unique family wasn’t something we decided on lightly.

We had looked at all different types of breeds.

A big dog, we felt would be too much for our son Ethan, as he is quite small in stature.

We meet her and instantly fell in love with her.

A Jack Russell cross, we were introduced to her mother and brother.

They were both as friendly and placid as her.

We decided ‘Lola’ belonged in our family.

Lola loves our boys, all three of them.

For months now, she has been working on trying to get Ethan to love on her without any luck.

She has tried everything from jumping all over him to sneaking into his space hoping he doesn’t catch her.

Ethan doesn’t really care much for people or dogs who come right up into his space without warning.

We have explained this over and over to professionals who wish to examine him.

“You can’t just go straight in, you need to take your time and even ignore Ethan a little”, my husband would try to explain to the doctors who needed something as simple as a blood pressure reading from him.

“If you ignore Ethan, he will eventually come to you.

That could take less than two minutes or up to five”, D would add as the doctor would glance at their watch.

It’s very true.

Ethan likes his space.

If you want Ethan to interact with you or you need him to put on a pressure cup, (for example) you need to ignore him while fiddling with the cup.

Ethan will, on his own terms come over to you and see what it is that you have.

You can then show him and he more than likely will let you; it’s not an exact science but nothing ever is with our Ethan.

Professionals often don’t listen.

Professionals are understandably under pressure for time but sometimes taking that extra ten minutes with one patient can save everyone a huge amount of stress, especially Ethan.

For years we have tried to explain this and for years we haven’t been very successful until ‘Lola’ came into our home.

‘Lola’ discovered pretty quickly that if she wanted Ethan’s attention that she actually didn't have to work for it; all she had to do was ignore him a little and let him come to her.

It’s now March.

We’ve watched ‘Lola’ and Ethan closely. Three months ‘Lola’ has been trying to get his attention. Three months she has been begging for a pet, a cuddle or even just a look.

She’s a patient little dog.

Ethan slowly began to acknowledge that she was in the room by laughing and pointing at her. She would sit and wag her tail but dare not move any closer to him.

Then he allowed her to sit on the foot rest of his ‘Comfy’ seat ; which I can tell you was a huge deal in our house as Ethan won’t let anyone near his ‘Comfy’ seat.

Yesterday she crawled onto my lap. She wiggled her way across my lap and onto Ethans.

Ethan was engrossed in ‘Shrek’ at the time and didn't notice the small white fur ball cuddling into him.

Suddenly Ethan looked down and could see ‘Lola’ laying across the iPad and on his lap.

I was on high alert as Ethan could have easily presumed the dog was a teddy and tried to throw her.

Which sounds funny, I know, but it isn’t funny when there’s a real possibility of that happening.

He slowly lifted up his hand and firmly placed it on her head.

I could feel her tail wag.

He moved his curled fingers along her brown spotty ears and began to stroke them.

She closed her eyes while I let out a sigh; finally Ethan and ‘Lola’ were buddies.

Today she sat waiting for any form of acknowledgment from her buddy and was greeted with a point of his curled finger. She was happy with that as she followed him to his seat and sat at the foot of it.

I think not only professionals in the field of special needs could learn a lot from a dog like ‘Lola’ but I think we all could.

Good things, do indeed come to those who wait .

Firefly Blog

Real life stories, issues and experiences of day to day life by special needs parents and
healthcare professionals.

Ger Smyth

Meet Our Blogger

Mummy to three boys and now a mother to a fur baby, Lola. Wife to D and lover of music, books, writing and reading. Learning to be present in the present!

View Ger’s Profile

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