Indie was very popular among the girls and boys at LES on Halloween. Indie was a unicorn and I was her unicorn tamer. We had a very fun time on Halloween! Indie enjoyed seeing all the other unicorns in the building as well as all the other costumes! Everyone looked great!
It was an exciting day back in September! Indie posed for her first school picture! Her pose was presidential and pristine. She took this memorable opportunity to find just the right pose, making it somewhat difficult for her helpers to understand just quite what she was doing. She knew all along where she needed to be and how she wanted the finished product to look. Posing for the camera is nothing new for Indie. But this pose would go down in the history books of LES and she nailed it! We wouldn't expect any less from our beautiful Indie Anne.
Indie visited students at the library for a week in October. The librarians read to the students of dogs who help. Students also enjoyed looking at Indie's blog. Indie enjoyed meeting students while they checked out their library book. It was a fun, busy week for Indie!!
Stay tuned for Indie's next post! What will she be for Halloween????
It is always fun to hear students interacting with Indie. I especially enjoy hearing a student say to Indie, "stop looking so cute," as the student is petting Indie. This phrase and the students expression on their face always puts a smile on my face (and Indie's face too). Not only are common phrases coming alive when petting Indie, but nicknames for Indie are becoming popular. Indie 500 and Lazy Bones Jones are just a couple of nicknames for Indie that make me laugh.
Indie has become quite the staple at LES. If I am walking down the halls of LES without Indie, students are asking, "where is Indie?" Just ask your student this same question and I am sure they will know the answer. The answer is that she's sleeping! Indie does enjoy her morning and afternoon naps. I guess it is all working out because if a student wants to see Indie, its will be a relaxing time for them both.
Indies recent success story at LES is of a student not wanting to go to school. The student saw Indie waiting for them and the student had no problem getting out of the car to meet Indie. The student and their family were happier knowing everything was going to be okay. The day was off to another good start! No matter sleeping or awake, Indie's success rate of bringing happiness or calmness to LES continues to boost.
Students are no different than Indie in helping with the success of LES. Students help remind LES staff to slow down. No matter if the student is in a hurry to get to class or to leave school, they always have time to pet Indie. I know, Indie is popular, but its nice to see the students willingness to put their own agenda aside to focus on what makes them happy. Remember in the busyness of life, slow down to do what makes you happy!!
Download the file below to see what makes Indie happy!
I was at a community event recently, without Indie, when I told a student, "hi." That student excitedly asked me, "Who are YOU and WHERE'S Indie?!" This moment was amazing and exciting for me (I was also laughing so hard), because Indie had done her job and made a special connection with a student in one week!
At that same community event I had many students ask, "Where's Indie?" It's very exciting to know that many students have made a connection with Indie. She has been supporting students with all the emotions that come up during the first week of school; happy, sad, fear, anger, disgust, and surprise. She definitely is an effective coping tool for students and staff, no matter their current emotion!
Indie's typical school day is busy with greeting students and staff in the morning, getting belly rubs from students during the day and seeing the students home when the school day ends. In between seeing students, Indie slips in a nap or two, or three, or four. Indie is a very lazy puppy!
Okay, so "where was Indie?!" Our little Indie Anne was at "respite." Respite is a place to go to get some rest. No better place to catch some rest than the principal's home! I have a feeling Mrs. Harding and Indie both were taking advantage of respite!
We already need respite after one full week of school? Yes! This week is busy and many emotions turn up! Making time to rest and relax to prepare for the week ahead is beneficial so we can perform our best!
Now that Indie is well rested, she will be ready and excited to see Mr. Wilson on Monday morning! Every morning her and Mr. Wilson have fun greeting students as they enter the school. I know there will be more connections made this week, and the learning and fun will continue as it always does at LES!!!
In the back of our heads some us might be thinking, "when is our next school break," as we frantically and excitedly prepare for the 2018-2019 school year. Speaking of preparing, Indie has been very busy preparing for her final exam, the first day of school! Her semi-final already took place at enrollment and she did phenomenal! She met many students and found that they give good belly rubs!
In many ways, Indie has a lot in common with most students who are preparing for this school year. There will be new students, preschoolers, and kindergartners that will become part of our Tribe for the first time this year, just like Indie! Indie will be quite surprised come Thursday when she sees students at school! Imagine the students surprise when they see Indie at school! The moment will be memorable for everyone.
Even if you are a fifth grader who has been in the school district ever since you were a kindergartner or if you are a new student, it doesn't matter, we all are excited for a new year, a new beginning. We all (students and adults) have expectations and anticipations going through our head for this upcoming school year. Sometimes these feelings can make us anxious and we might begin to have butterflies in our stomach or frogs in our throat. If this is the case just know we are all in this Tribe together and will support one another! If you need to grab a quick drink of water, go for it! Water is the best way to wash the frogs down and to settle the butterflies! For those of us who have no worries for the first day of school, you are an inspiration!
In closing, Indie and I are looking forward to the students and staff members in the Fort Larned School District in having a safe, healthy, incredible learning experience for 2018-2019 school year! Go Indie Anne, oops I meant, INDIANS!!
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.