Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It's Off to School We Go

Hi, it’s Ben and Dakota again. We hope you had a great Christmas and a Happy New Year. Life has been hectic since Dakota came home with me, so I thought I would bring you up to speed on what has been going on in our lives.

First, missing a week of school was fun, but the catch-up has been painful. The school work I missed, swimming every evening, basketball practice, working with Dakota as he shares all of these new places has been a pretty big hill for me – but like Dakota, I am a trooper and we have gotten a good schedule down.

The week Dakota and I returned home was a school holiday, so Michelle, Dakota and I went and did things I like to do and went places I like to go. So, movies, putt-putt, friends were the things to do and Dakota loved every minute of it.

When we first went back to school, it was like Dakota was a rock star. We had trouble getting up and down the halls and from one class to the other. Thank goodness for Michelle!! She has and continues to be a hero for both Dakota and me. It has gotten better now that everyone is used to Dakota being around and people have learned that “please don’t pet my dog” means “please don’t pet my dog”.

I think Dakota and I are bonding great (and my mom and dad think we are too). The alerting is coming along well, too. Over Christmas break, my mom dropped Dakota and me off at swim practice and ran a short errand. Usually, I put Dakota in his spot, not too far away from the pool, and he hangs out quietly, watching me and resting during the 1 ½ hour practice. This day though, Dakota got real restless and caused enough of a stir that one of my friend’s mom came over and told the coach that Dakota didn’t like something and she should get me out of the pool to check my blood sugar. Sure enough, my blood sugar was 331 and I needed insulin. After that, Dakota was fine. I was so proud of him!!

Over the Christmas holidays, I hung out with friends and family, and Dakota was wonderful. He got excited going new places and seeing new people, but all the while keeping his eye on me. On Christmas Day, we went to Nannie’s house and Dakota was perplexed by Polly, the African Grey Parrot. Luckily, we avoided all of Polly’s attempts to show Dakota how hard he can bite and Dakota was the perfect gentleman.
Until next time,
Dakota and Ben

Sunday, November 22, 2009

It Really Happened

What a wonderful week! Dakota and I were formally matched at Guide Dogs of Texas and we started our work together. A week full of getting to know each other, what to do and what not to do - but most important, just being together and starting a relationship that will help me feel more confident about dealing with my diabetes so I can concentrate on what I need to do - being a 12 year old boy!!

The staff and volunteers at Guide Dogs are awesome! They made me and my dad feel right at home and took great care of us so we could concentrate on the work at hand. Our work ranged from learning about how Dakota has been trained for an Alert Dog, continued obedience training (for both Dakota and me), and getting out in the real world to work through all the issues that may (and will) come up.

This week, Michelle and I will continue the training. That means more hours of slaving away at the movies, putt-putt golf and going out to eat - it's a tough life, but I'm up to it.

Until next time,

Dakota and Ben