A very important job that I do for my mom is picking up things that she drops. And she drops a lot of things! Some of the more common things that she drops are paper clips, her pen or pencil, a credit card, silverware, coins, and even paper.
My mom’s hands and arms don’t always work as well as they should. Especially on her right side. So this means that holding onto objects can be difficult, especially the small ones. Thus resulting in lots of dropped items for me to retrieve!
Before I was here to help my mom (and Buffy before me), she often dropped things that she couldn’t reach. As the object fell to the floor, she just looked and thought… oh no, how am I going to get that?
Sometimes she could use a special reacher to grab it. But using this was often awkward. And hard to grasp many of the objects she dropped. Sometimes she would even drop the reacher!
Other times she just had to wait for my dad. And if she dropped something while out in public, she had to just sit and wait for someone to be nearby, so they could help with picking it up.
Picking up my mom’s dropped pen!
But now she has me to help! So she doesn’t have to wonder how she will get the item. Or wait for my dad or another person to be available.
Have you dropped something that you couldn’t reach? It can cause a feeling of helplessness. And having to repeatedly ask a friend or family member to help can feel imposing.
But you know what? I willingly pick up anything my mom drops. No matter how often it happens! And never get annoyed when asked to pick an object up. Even if it is the tenth time that morning!
I have some different ways that I can deliver a dropped item to my mom. One way is to rest my chin on her lap, so she can easily reach it. She tells me “visit” when she wants me to give the object to her this way.
Doing a “visit” to give my mom the dropped item!
Another way I can deliver the object is to step up onto her footplate with my front feet. This gets me closer to her. Which can make it easier for her to reach the item, especially if it is small. For this way of delivering, she tells me “step.” This is both mine and my mom’s favorite way!
I can also put my paws up on my mom’s lap to deliver the object. For this, she tells me “lap.” But we seldom use this way for me to give her something she dropped. But I do get up on my mom’s lap for snuggles!
Sometimes my mom is at the counter doing some light meal prep. And she drops something. And by now you know, I can get it for her! But this time I deliver it differently.
Putting my paws “up” to give my mom a spatula!
To make it easier for my mom to reach what I’ve picked up, and to save her from maneuvering her chair, I can put my paws up onto the edge of the counter and give her the item. When I hear her say “up” I know to put my paws right up on the edge of the counter.
As I mentioned above, many of the things my mom drops are small. And sometimes even tiny like a paper clip. But she sometimes drops bigger or heavier things.
One time, when she was getting some things out of the refrigerator, she dropped a bag of baby carrots. A whole bag right there on the floor!
And you know what? I picked up the bag and gave it to my mom. Without trying to eat any. Even though I love little carrots!
An important lesson I was taught, while with my puppy raisers, and later during my professional training, was to not eat any food that was on the floor. Do you know why this might be so important?
If I didn’t have good manners and tried to eat random food that I saw on the floor it could be dangerous. I could eat something that wasn’t good for me. I need to wait for my mom to give me the cue “get” before I pick anything up for her.
When we go out to eat, my mom has me go under the table and lay down. Have you noticed that there are sometimes crumbs of food on the floor at a restaurant? They usually smell yummy! But I just ignore them and go to sleep! My mom has even dropped her fork. Which I had to pick it up, without eating any of the food that also fell.
I’ve told you in many of my posts how I give independence to my mom. Being independent means being able to do things without the help of others. Because of my mom’s disability — and the limitations that it has imposed — she has difficulty doing many things by herself.
Being able to help my mom, and being able to have her be more independent, makes me feel very important. And makes my mom feel more confident. Because she doesn’t have to rely on others quite as often to help her. If you ask me, I would say we make a good team… me and my mom!
My mom and I made a short video for you! I pick up a variety of items and show you the different ways I can give them to my mom. Enjoy!