I bought a dog, a gorgeous, playful and extremely friendly cocker spaniel. I don't know why, it was just a spur of the moment thing. I really didn't put any thought into how Nick would cope with having a puppy around the house.
Sometimes I think, oh what the heck.... my son is autistic and I am tired of putting his needs first. I want, therefore, I shall have! Perhaps this is not the best attitude to have but I do like to be a bit reckless at times? It makes me feel alive and reminds me that I am my own person, not just Nick's mum.
So, we now have a dog and I am pleased to report that Nick is okay. They are not best friends and they both irritate each other immensely. The dog lies at Nick's feet and ends up being pushed away, or, as I have observed on many occasions, Nick will find a dog toy and throw it out the door. Today, no toys in sight, so Nick picked up the dog bed and threw it outside. Gotta love the thinking..... anything to get rid of the dog!
I laughed at myself the other day. The dog was nibbling on Nick's shoes.... which in itself is very naughty, however, this time the shoes just happened to be attached to Nick's feet! My boy was a little bit stressed, so I tried to explain to him what he could do.... "Nick, you need to stamp your foot and say NO!". Oops, he can't say NO. Need to make another plan there! :)
We have been doing the whole puppy training thing and we humans are doing well. The dog isn't doing too badly either. The dog trainer said that we shouldn't be walking the dog out in public until he is capable of walking by our side comfortably and obediently. Sigh, but people, I have to tell you...we live near the sea and we have a lovely long promenade that is just crying out to be walked on. Anyway, don't let on.... we have been sneaking down there and taking our walks.
Personally I think that *dog*, *kid* and *beach front go together nicely. Our weather is conducive to every day walkies and the drive to the beach takes all of ten minutes!
The dog is so good, he tends to stick with us and if he does stray, he comes back when called. Nick is also not so bad. He starts off at the beginning of the walk all grumpy and frantically signing "finished". Half way through he is content and beginning to smile.
The actual walking can be a bit fraught and this is only something I have learned in the last week. If you think about the mix ~ one adult with one kid and one dog (who in reality is still a puppy). The kid is tall, lanky and covered in spots. The dog is boisterous and dead keen to get that nose working.
Both Nick and the dog listen to me, they stay with me, they crowd me. They are with me.
All is well.... until..... someone waylays the dog. Oh boy, this dog gets a lot of attention. It is very nice, although extremely distracting and of course the dog gets over excited.
Oh, and Nick has also discovered people! He now gravitates towards people, he invades their body space, he will reach out to touch them on their shoulder. Eeek, this is all very new.
Picture the scene if you will. Dog gets tempted by three adults who are sitting down at a beach cafe. They are showering him with affection and offering water. I check Nick, he is standing there patiently. I thank the adults and gently try to extract the dog. I turn and see that Nick has gone! Oh damn.
I see him in the distance (he has moved like greased lightening). Slightly ahead of him are two girls on a skateboard, wearing the tiniest denim shorts and bikini tops (just have to mention here that it is mid winter!). Oh shite, I quickly drag the dog from his adoring audience and run off after Nick. He is getting closer and closer to the girls. They sense him and stop to look. They then see me and the dog. I get to Nick and give him a big hug, saying to the girls "sorry, sorry". Bless them, they were so cool and so nice about this big kid who was practically on their skateboard. In fact, they immediately turned their attention to the dog......... phew, the relief!
I have to be honest and admit that I have some good laughs over my son and the dog!
Although it has to be said, by the end of our walk I was very frazzled. I dragged them both off to my favourite cafe. I gave Nick my phone to play with and I ordered one cappuccino and a bowl of water for the dog.