Indie and I have had an exciting first month together! We have been traveling, discovering, and we are definitely getting to know each other! Indie has been very social this past month with having a hotel stay, going camping, taking road trips, and of course-visiting LES! She has met and made many new friends!
We have been working fiercely to prepare for the 2018-2019 school year. One thing is for sure, I can't get enough of Indie! I have so many photographs and videos of Indie! It is a lot of fun watching Indie grow and explore. I don't want to miss any of her milestones!
One important element for Indie and I is developing a trusting relationship. Indie has actually been coaching me in relationship building! She has reminded me to be patient with myself and with her. In relationship building, it is important to be patient. While building a positive, healthy relationship, a person is also working on developing rapport. Rapport is crucial in developing any relationship. Indie has come to trust me and I can trust Indie to tell me her needs.
Persistence is another important aspect in relationship building. I have been keeping the word, "persistence," at the forefront of my head while getting to know Indie. Indie thrives on my persistence. She expects me to communicate continuously with her. She enjoys receiving positive feedback and hearing what a good girl she is being. Being persistent in communicating good behavior is important in earning trust with someone. This has helped Indie and I in developing a trusting, loving relationship.
So all this relationship building talk leads to the word, "parallel." There is no denying parenting children and dogs are very parallel. However, I don't want to down play the difficulty in parenting an infant or toddler. But being a puppy mom is another type of difficult, especially, if it is something new to you.
A light bulb went off in my head a couple of weeks ago at dog obedience training with Indie. Tips and tricks I used in parenting my two children as well as tips and tricks in working with students, will also work with Indie!! For example, I asked my dog mentor how I can get Indie to come to me? She said, "act excited, call her name, start running away from her." My dog mentor showed me what her example looked like and I had a "duh" moment. Her example is exactly what I used to do with my kids when they were toddlers! Act like what we are going to do or where we are going to go will be exciting!! They will follow because they are curious! Just like Indie!
In learning how to parent Indie, I found my comfort zone was being tested and vulnerability was setting in. I believe it is healthy when we reach out of our comfort zone. When we are vulnerable, we grow! Indie has taught me so much. I am excited to see what she will teach you!
I am a beautiful black lab who is privileged in being the therapy dog for Fort Larned Elementary School. I bring comfort and happiness to many elementary students.