A very important job that I do for my mom is picking up anything that she drops. And she drops a lot of things! Some of the more common items that she drops are paper clips, her pen or pencil, a credit card, silverware, coins, and even paper.
As I’ve told you before 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 she would often drop 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. Other times she just had to wait for my dad or Eric to help her. But she doesn’t have to wonder what she will do or wait until someone can get it for her anymore because now I am here to help her!
Here I am in the grocery store picking up a bag my mom dropped.
Have you dropped something that was just out of reach and you couldn’t get it? 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!
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.
Here I am doing a “visit” to give my mom her phone when she dropped it.
Another way I can deliver the object is to step up onto her footplate with my front feet. This gets me closer to her and is sometimes 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!
Sometimes my mom is at the counter doing some light meal prep and she drops something that she needs me to pick up. To make it easier for her 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 that she wants me to deliver it this way.
Here I am doing an “up” just after I gave my mom a spatula that she had dropped.
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 even 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 advanced 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 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.
Have you noticed that there are sometimes crumbs of food on the floor at a restaurant? When we go out to eat my mom has me go under the table and lay down. If there are crumbs I just ignore them and go to sleep! My mom has even dropped her fork and I had to pick it up without trying to eat the food that also fell.
I’ve told you in many of my posts how I give independence to my mom. Being independent means to be 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 like I have a very important job. Picking up the many things she drops keeps me busy… and happy!
My mom made a short video for you that shows me picking up some dropped items and the different ways that I deliver them.