My mom was reminded this week that sometimes I don’t remember everything that I was taught. Or maybe, instead of using remember, I should say… I get rusty with skills I seldom use.
When my mom has appointments with her doctors, she stays in her wheelchair. And I lay right beside her. And oftentimes, for some procedures and tests, she also stays in her chair.
My favorite place to lay is next to my mom’s wheelchair!
But occasionally, they need to take my mom out of her chair because they need her to be laying down. As for CT scans or some more invasive procedures.
In these cases, I can’t always lay right by my mom’s chair. But instead, I need to be off to the side. So I am out of the way.
When my mom knows she will need to be out of her chair, she brings a special mat for me to lay on. It is one that she had made for Buffy. But now it is mine!
My special mat, made by my mom!
And she also brings it along when she is having long appointments, where I can lay by her chair. Because she wants to make sure I am comfy!
Early on in our partnership, my mom did a lot of training with me on the mat. She wanted me to learn the importance of staying on it if I were not right beside her. And wait until she told me “release.” Which means I can get up and move off the mat.
Even though my mom makes an effort to practice some of my less often used behaviors and tasks, she sometimes doesn’t get to them all. This is what happened with my mat behavior.
So when we were at her recent appointment, I forgot the importance of staying on my mat. Although, even if I had remembered, I still might have felt the need to check on her to make sure she was okay!
I watch my mom closely when I am away from her!
I was in the same room as my mom and the techs. With the doors closed. So I was safe. But my mom was distracted when I got up from my mat.
She did tell me “bed” which means I need to get on my mat. And I did it right away. Because I realized it was where I needed to be.
So this week we have been doing some extra practicing with the mat. And refreshing my memory for just what I am supposed to do. Which I have loved because I got extra treats during our training sessions.
Practicing staying on my mat. And watching my mom!
My mom has also reviewed my list of tasks and behaviors. She has made notes for some that we need to practice more often. So that I’m sure to remember them since they are ones I seldom use. But I need to be proficient when needed.
Even though I am a fully trained service dog, my training never stops. Whether I am learning new tasks, practicing my known tasks, or refreshing seldom used tasks, I am always doing some type of training.
And to keep everything fresh and fun, my mom adds in the training for the tricks and various sports dog behaviors. As I’ve said before, I love all of the training I do with my mom!