May 08, 2014

Matchmaker, Matchmaker

Made us a match!

Of the two dogs I mentioned as possibilities yesterday, it  is . . . {insert drumroll}. . . Dog #1.  Anticlimactic. Not enough info. I know.  They have restrictions on use of social media to talk about this until a certain point in the training process and picture and a name and all the juicy details of the budding relationship will be divulged soon.  So it is just as well that I can't get my pictures to upload yet.

But I can say that something magical is truly in the air.  Bridger and this dog have a connection that has elicited a response unlike anything I have ever seen from Bridger before.  Every time we enter the training room and wait patiently in the chairs for the portion of the class when we practice handling with our specific dog, Bridger will ask over and over, "Where is {insert dog's name}? I want him!"  This dog continues to lay his head in Bridger's lap in his wheelchair and Bridger just squeezes all the love he can into that head.  When we are working on commands, Bridger will just wrap his arm around the dog and hold him tight.  When I was giving Bridger a break from his chair and had him sitting on a cushion next to me, his dog was laying on top of him.  Bridger looked up and exclaimed, "He is MINE, aaalllll MINE" and gave him repeated hug after hug.  When that love fest was over, Bridger used the dog to hold up his iPad while he relaxed watching his movie on it [Frozen, for the umpteenth time], and his little hand was reflexively rubbing up and down the dog's back soothing Bridger as much as the dog.

All of the above is just the icing on the cake to what the dog will really do to assist Bridger in life, and I hadn't anticipated how sweet that icing would be.  In the past, Bridger hasn't paid more that a few minutes attention to a dog -  if he would touch it at all, or assuming the dog would even pay that much attention to him.  He now has a best friend, that will never leave his side.  

A feeling that hit me straight from Heaven to my core early in Bridger's life is that he can feel emotion perfectly.  I have focused much of my attention on filling him with the emotion of love, directing him to the emotion of happiness, helping him find his favorite emotion of silliness, and managing his emotion of frustration.  Now is the time that I can attend to his feeling of loneliness, which will hit him in the coming years more that it probably should to a little 7 year old as the rest of the ambulatory world takes off to go chase their interests and passions and he remains.   But now wherever his limited path  will take him - or at times, dead end, he has a best friend to be with him.

We have a match made in Heaven.  Truly.