My mom and dad got a new refrigerator recently. That means some adjusting for all of us, especially for me and my mom! Adjusting to the differences has been a bit harder than she expected but for me, not so much. I just “tug” the rope when my mom gives me the cue no matter where it is attached. Although I did need to learn a new way to close the top refrigerator door. It took some effort and was challenging but also fun. I do love to learn new things! I will tell you more about learning a new way in a minute.
The refrigerator that needed replacing was 22 years old. It was not staying cold enough which I’ve been told can be kind of a big problem! My mom has been fully dependent on using the wheelchair for 24 years. That means she had been using our old fridge for a very long time so I guess I can understand why it took her a little while to adjust. I am happy to say she is doing much better now!
Does adjusting to new things or new ways of doing things come easily for you? With the training my mom does with me she makes sure to practice all of my commands in a variety of different places and under different circumstances. That way I am confident and comfortable responding no matter where I am or what is going on around me. Maybe I should be working harder to get my mom to try more new and different things! That way it might be easier for her to adjust when changes happen!
With our old fridge, I only needed to open the refrigerator door so there was just one rope attached. The freezer part was on top and it was much too high for me to reach. The occasional times my mom had to get something out of there she either had my dad help or she used that really cool feature on her chair. Remember that one I told you about where it raises up higher? That sure does come in handy sometimes!
Not too long ago I told you a little bit about my family in My pesky little sister! post. Remember how I told you that my sister, Onyx, used to help my mom before I joined the family? Here is a photo of Onyx closing the refrigerator door. My mom told me that this photo was taken a very long time ago… before I was even born! Onyx was a great helper for my mom. I do have to say that I am very happy to be the one to help her now. I’m not sure how she would do without me!
Our new fridge has four doors which makes it look very different than before. Four doors! Who would think that a refrigerator would need four doors! It seems quite fancy to me but it was one of the few options available that would fit in the small space where the old one had been. I’m glad my mom and dad are the ones who have to worry about those kinds of details!
The freezer is on the bottom. There is a rope on that handle so I just tug it open and push it closed. I was a little unsure at first where to put my nose for closing it but my mom put a piece of blue tape on the spot where I should push. That was just what I needed and very quickly I was closing it like a pro!
Then there is a drawer just above the freezer. My mom says that is her favorite because it is the easiest for her to reach and use. Although lately, she has been having a harder time pulling it open so I may have to start helping her with that one, too. It sure is good that I am here to do things for her!
The refrigerator part is on the top and it has two doors. My mom and I did a lot of experimenting to see how it would work the best for both of us. We finally decided to put the rope on the right door. This way my mom can easily reach the shelf on the door that she will be using the most. Tugging it open was a little different for me because it was higher. I have to tug at a slightly different angle but I adjusted quickly. See how important it is that I do all that training!
This is where I had to learn something new! A way to get that door closed because it is too tall for me. To be able to reach it I need to put my feet up on the footplate of my mom’s chair. By doing this I can get close to the door and then I push it closed with my nose. I have to do a little bit of stretching so I can reach and I need to push really hard with my nose. But with lots of practice, I figured out just what I needed to do!
My mom gives me lots of encouraging words when I’m learning something new. She also gives me treats as I’m learning — and even after I know what to do! — which keeps me eager to keep trying. Hearing my mom cheer me on always makes me want to try harder! Have you ever had to work hard and do lots of practicing to learn how to do something new? It sure does feel good when you accomplish the new task!
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My mom made this video just for you! In the beginning, I show you how I used to open and close the refrigerator door on our old one. Then I show you how I open and close the freezer door and top fridge door with our new one. I love it when my mom makes videos so you can see me doing my job. See how happy I am when I’m helping her!