Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Dog Summer

This was the first summer Inka spent with us. We had the entire vacation to adapt, get to know and fall in love with each other.

We had a couple of uneasy moments. In first days, Sebastian poked his finger in Inka's eye unintentionally as he was passing by her, and she did not even flinch or duck to avoid him. That made things more difficult because I had to have them supervised when they were together. Then when Sebastian did not want to walk, he got very upset and it looked hopeless for a minute because he was grabbing Inka's tail and face same way he was grabbing therapists, teachers and my own hair faces and hands during his tantrums when he was younger. But this behaviour did not last long. Now things go much smoother. We walk go for regular walks all together. Inka makes us get out more. With her, every outing is an adventure. Yes, it is sometimes more difficult since we are not always coordinated, and depending on Sebastian's moods, I have to be in control of two and not just one unruly creatures. But Inka brings a calm and rhythm and enthusiasm to our endeavors.

We visited the farm couple of times, and Sebastian seemed to be interested in goats and other animals more than ever before.

Yesterday, I saw Sebastian for the first time hug Inka. He approached her several times. He was giggling and putting his weight on her, and reaching to her face and ears. She patiently stayed put, and when it was getting too much for her she would just move a bit - she seemed to enjoy Sebastian's awkward attempts at showing affection. Inka - the best dog in the world!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Inka is Now Part of the Bunda Family

Our family expanded. It is official, and we have papers to prove it. Inka stands now for a hefty 30% of our family members. She is also the best behaved.

I will never be able to describe or even fully understand what happens at the Lion's Foundation between humans and dogs. I will also never be able to express my gratitude to the people that work for that amazing organization, with a devotion and charisma difficult to match anywhere else. The impact dog guides have on people's life is unmeasurable. There are no scientific instruments to detect the change in the quality of life that dogs bring. But we all can feel the impact of what they do.

My gratitude extends to all people involved in breeding, raising and training the dogs. They selflessly contribute countless hours to welfare of dog recipients. Foster families raise the puppies till the one year old and ready for training. It must be heartbreaking to raise the puppy for a year and then give it up. Professional trainers, volunteers, fundraisers, administrators, and not to forget the cafeteria staff - all people I have met in Oakville at the Lions Foundation - are kind smart, patient, and have a sense of humour that was able to lift up many awkward situations. We had quite a few belly laughs, and bonded with our benefactors. The trainers were patient with their trainees, both the canine and human kind. Here is a link to pictures posted on Facebook from our June training session in Oakville.

Have I mentioned that I feel grateful? I do. Thank you Lions Foundation of Canada!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

At Queen's Park - day 86

When I was driving on the familiar, stressful route to Queen's Park I felt the same way I did two years ago, and a year ago, and whenever I was going there. It was like moving back in time. Amazingly, not a lot had changed there. Buses spilling pictures snapping tourists, familiar guards who still remembered us, manicured lawns and indifferent statues.

We cheerfully joined Ontario Autism Coalition protesters at the edge of the lawn . Things were going great for a while but we were very close to fast passing cars and buses, and fire trucks and ambulances, and sirens were going by often and it startled Sebastian a bit.

We went up away from the traffic, and joined picture snapping tourists for a while.

We came back to hold the signs and get people to honk at us. Sebastian decided after a while he had enough and let me know about it in a way that could startle people who are not familiar with him, but he calmed down as we started waking away from the traffic. It was time to go home.

Inka was a star all the way, though it was not easy for her to keep from being distracted: there were a lot of squirrels running around, new fragrant grass, loud sounds, and all those friendly people!

On our drive home I was thinking my old familiar frustrating thoughts, and I thought that sadly, unless protesters start doing something outrageous we will never get attention of the media and politicians. I think we need to get advice from somebody with fresh and ingenius ideas.