Riley and I spent some time on the computer over the weekend, looking at the 4 Paws for Ability website. I told her the story of 4 Paws Founder Karen Shirk, and how a black German shepherd named Ben saved her life, and how she founded 4 Paws as a testament to how much he helped her when she was ill. I showed her the page about the children Karen has adopted from all over the world. We looked at pictures of the outside play structure and the training room at 4 Paws. We looked at pictures of other kids with their dogs.
We gazed longingly at all the dogs in training, wondering which one we'd be bringing home with us soon.
It was so fun enjoying it all and connecting this way. I asked if she had a guess as to which dog she will get and she said, "Maybe if they think I'm an amazing kid, they'll give me Stryker, because he looks just like Ben."
Squeezing her tight, I assured her they'll think she's an amazing kid, whichever dog she gets.
Then she asked,
"Mommy, will my dog make mistakes?"If you've read this blog at all you know Riley has a huge problem with perfectionism, thinking she has to know things already (instead of learning them gradually). Many things do come very easily for her, but when things do not she can quickly fall apart.
I told her the dog would certainly make mistakes, just like everyone does.
It is going to be wonderful to see all the dogs in training. Maybe they will help Riley see learning as a process.
May they make a lot of mistakes.