Saturday, March 5, 2011

Girl Scout Cookies

Today at Schreiber Pediatric Rehab, Chester had one of the best days ever.  Not only was it his day to see Melissa, (one of his MOST favorite girls)  it was the day his Girl Scout Cookies arrived.  Melissa is a Girl Scout.  Weeks ago, Chester ordered peanut butter cookies from Melissa.

Upon arrival in the Physical Therapy Room, Melissa and Mom opened the delicious peanut butter cookies.

Chester....guess what we have for you? :-) they said.

His tail was thumping, he was almost in their laps (ok, he was), and could hardly wait for his new treat.  They gave him a bite. He had never had Girl Scout Cookies before.  Never.  Until now.  HE WAS IN HEAVEN. And he was a mess.

Mess meaning......he became obsessed with those cookies.  I had to hide the box under my coat.  He stared at my coat.  He would not respond to the word CHESTER, or WATCH ME or LEAVE IT or PUPPY PUPPY PUPPY or a gentle tug on his cute little leash.  All he could do was glare with great longing at the coat. 

Maybe we shoulda given him the cookie at the end of therapy? Melissa and mom asked :-). 

Finally, we hid the box in another room.  That helped, and gradually, miraculously,  he was able to re-focus, and get to work with Melissa (one of his most favorites, did I mention that?). Chester gets LOTS of treats when he is doing physical therapy work, and as LUCK would have it, I ran out of his used-to-be favorite-treat  before he and Melissa were done.

SO, I asked someone to please sneak into the room where the box was hiding, and bring me ONE, just, ONE Girl Scout Cookie. I broke the yummy peanut butter cookie into tiny pieces ~~~ and began to treat him for jobs well done.  OHMY, it was like he kicked into high performance gear, and was Mr. KPETS  with extra pizazz and charm.  What we won't do for cookies... 

Anyways, when that cookie was gone, we still weren't quite done with therapy work.  Melissa & Chester had a few more exercises to do.  I found a few pieces of dry doggie treats in the bottom of my pouch. After giving him one of the dry boring treats, he paused, then coughed, sorta like he had a hairball stuck in this throat.  And then he looked at us, barking one time, with an attitude.  Obviously, he was not in the mood for inferior treats.  

Melissa's mom said, Chester are you being sassy?

Therapist replies Definitely sassy.

We all burst out in laughter -- that belly laughter that is so good for the soul.  It was a  good way to end our therapy session.  Chester proudly escorted Melissa to her car, and before he trotted away,  gave his favorite Girl Scout a very peanut-buttery thank you smooch.

Laughter and Girl Scout Cookies ~ a  Dee-li-cious Day.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Writing Class

My friend Karen and I are taking this Beginning Writer's Workshop at the Local Literary Guild. We're a small group, and the people that I've met don't seem too "beginning in their writing skills" if you catch my drift.  Talent with a capital T.   Last week I took Chester to class, unannounced. My buddy and I had an evening appointment with KPETS  pretty darn close to class time, and pretty darn near the Literary Guild Building in downtown Lancaster. So, rather than take Chester home and be late ~ well,  I took Chester.

Our instructor had never had a canine in his library classroom, but he was open and welcomed the boy.   Chester took the initiative to greet everyone with a tail wag. He personally made contact with each one.  And when a student arrived sort of late...well, he was the one to get up  and say hi, welcome to class, glad you're here. Mr. Hospitality himself, good boy.  He then settled at our feet, under the big table, and snoozed for the remainder of the evening.

It could have been my imagination, but, class seemed a bit warmer, friendlier, more relaxed.

Fast forward one week....Tonight, no Chester.

"Where's the dog? Where's Chester?  We told you he could come to class :-).  He was such a calming presence."  Everyone chimed in.

All agreed...bring the dog. Please...

My 3rd graders used to like to write stories with Muffin, (our previous golden girl), she made writing stories...easier.  Kids smiled as they gripped their pencils...and the writing slumps, when your brain takes a vacation to Mars,  didn't seem to last as long. When her tail wagged, it was like she spread Tinkerbell-joy-dust throughout the room.   From math to language to recess, it was just a better day with The Muffster in our midst!  
So, next week --- think I'll bring Chester.  Guess what works for 3rd graders, works for older-than-3rd-graders too.