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The Plaza

Wayne and I have been meeting every Friday to do paperwork and pay bills I need to do. He and I are trying to get my Court Fees paid and this past Friday my bus pass so I can get around.  I had taken my disability papers to the Plaza to show them and had forgotten my treat pouch, which normally I am pretty good about putting on my hip.

Malcolm has grown very used to my wearing it lately and having a treat to pop into his mouth with all of the doctor's appointments I have.  He's even gotten used to the amount of new training I have been doing. See, I have been teaching Malcolm to retrieve my rescue inhaler and how to cuddle better and we are about to do some refresh work on the harness.  He gets a lot of extra training where he earns a bit of his meals out of my pouch.

I was tired and the Plaza is noisy and newly laid out, which confused me. I was trying very hard to come to terms with it when an old classmate, Karen, started talking to me and she tends to talk under my hearing range.  She's a nice enough lady, but was brain injured at birth and tends to still relate to me as if we were in the 6th grade. Her conversations with me are about people I don't know, she gets angry if a dog she remembers I had has passed on and I didn't tell her, even though I haven't seen her in 20+ years, and this time she saw me in the Plaza and asked why I hadn't kept in touch with her.

I don't know how to tell her it's because I find her extremely stressful with her anger outbursts, her clinginess and her idea that I never grew past 14 years of age.

So, Karen is talking to me about some picture she took of me and Max when I was in the powerchair and I am trying to keep track of if the ladies at the customer service desk have called me up and there are dogs in the room, at least 3 small dogs I can see and one large dog and I am keeping track of them.

Malcolm has also noticed the dogs.  He is alert, but staying at my side and able to focus on me and to  my amazement he's checked in to see if I have a treat pouch at one point.  Nope.  Crude.  Okay, well, we can do this Mom.  He is quiet and keeping his cool and his ruff is down, even with the big dog moving in our direction and within 8 feet of us.

I did move Malcolm from beside me to jn from of me and asked for eye contact, which he gave me.  I have been working on it with him, both in play and with food games, but this was a dry run with nothing but our bond working.  I praised him and gave him a big smile and praised him.

In the end, I didn't get my bus pass.  It seems that I am not proven disabled with my disability paper because it wasn't issued recently.  They want the MOST recent one and the lady at the customer service desk actually walked away.  Exactly what does she think SSDI means?

I left, walking past two dogs with Malcolm within 2 feet and he ignored them and then outside past a dog by 2 feet and he ignored it and again a second dog by 1 foot and he ignored it.  I was so impressed with him!

Remember when I said that all of the work we've been doing with the treats for the doctors appointments has really been paying off. While carrying that treat pouch every time we see a dog I give him a treat, be it in the car or on the street.  It sure paid in spades.

He sure has matured into a great helper!!!

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