Paws off! I’m working!

March 17, 2010 at 1:33 am Leave a comment

I’ve been going to work with Dad at Cisco for a while. You may have seen me on my first day:

At first it was really interesting, because I got to meet so many new people, and they all wanted to play with me! Dad was patient and explained to everyone that I needed to be able to work in an office some day if my partner works in an office, so I needed to be left alone so I can do my job. Dad set up a schedule for me (because he’s really good at being a puppy raiser) and tells me when to go outside to hurry and when to sleep under my desk. I’m not sure why Dad gets paid so much to go to work… he doesn’t even sleep! I do all the hard work, but all I get is dog food and toys! (Well, sometimes Mom gives me money, but that’s another story.)

Lately, though, Dad’s work has been too easy. I understand how to sit-stay (Dad tells Mom I can stay for more than 15 minutes! I can’t tell time, but if Dad says it, it must be true!) and I am good at working with sleeping by computers. I am a pro at Dad’s job and have been wanting to try something new. So when I was asked to go to work with Mom, I said YES!

Mom works for a bunch of schools near our house. Sometimes she works every day, but sometimes she stays home. She calls her job “substitute.” Sometimes she doesn’t even know she’s going to work until just before she leaves! Then she rushes around getting dressed and feeding everyone before running out the door. It’s weird. (Well, at least it’s a lot weirder than what Dad does in the mornings!)

Yesterday, Mom got a phone call at 9:15 a.m. (while Dad and I were hard at work). The secretary at Mom’s favorite school asked her to come in at 9:30… yikes! So Mom rushed around and got dressed for work, then drove to school. Everyone there was surprised to see her. They didn’t know Mom had agreed to come in on such short notice! The teacher in the room where Mom was working was glad Mom was there, and even invited her in for the whole next day. Mom said “yes.”

When Mom came home yesterday, she had exciting news. The teacher she worked with likes puppies-in-training! That teacher’s wife used to be a guide dog’s partner. Now the guide dog is the teacher’s pet, because his wife died. We are sad about that, and wish we could have met the teacher’s wife. However, we are glad the dog got to stay with the teacher! And that the teacher understands access needs of puppies-in-training.

The teacher told Mom that he didn’t care that I didn’t know very many kids yet, and that he trusted that I could be a good dog at school. So, when Mom went back there today, I got to go too! (I feel sad for Dad, though. He had to go to work ALL BY HIMSELF. Maybe he slept under the desk today? I’ll have to ask him.)

The school where Mom worked today was very interesting. First, it had kids who were really little, and some kids who were really big. The school goes from kindergarten to middle school… all in four rooms! A lot of the kids were in wheelchairs! And every wheelchair was different! Some of them made cool sounds, and other ones tried to run me over. I had to watch out for my tail! The kids also used walkers that Mom called “pacers” and “standers.”

Every kid at school today was different. Some talked all the time, but I couldn’t understand what they were saying. Others didn’t talk at all. Some of the kids really liked me, but others didn’t seem to care that I was at school. One kid (Mom says she’s one of her favorites!) even hit me a couple of times. Don’t worry, it didn’t hurt. Mom says she just didn’t understand how to pet a puppy.

I liked licking the kids’ hands. They tasted so good! One thing that was kind of cool was that every kid’s hands were different. Some kids have tight, balled up fists. Others have very soft hands and can’t pet me on their own. Some kids moved their hands very fast, and others were very slow. Some hands were heavy, others were light. I liked getting pet by all of the different kinds of kids!

I had never heard anyone crying before today, though, and I was very concerned. Mom and the teachers said that sometimes, kids just cry. They said it was not my job to fix it, but I think they were wrong about that. I was also concerned about one of the kid’s A-F-Os. Mom says that means ankle-foot orthopedic devices, but no one ever says those big words at school! I didn’t understand why the teacher wanted to put plastic on the girl’s feet. I was confused and a little scared for her! It turned out OK, though, because she seemed happy to have the AFOs on.

By half way through the day, I was too tired to be a teacher’s helper. There was just so much going on! Mom took me to four classrooms and had almost 40 kids pet me and talk to me today. That, combined with the potty breaks for me and for the kids, and dodging devices used to help these students’ walk and learn, wore me out!

I’m not sure when I’ll go to work again with Mom, because we have to wait for one of the teachers who likes Mom and likes dogs to invite us in, but I am so glad I got to go today. I learned so much about kids! They are all very interesting and very different! Next time, though, I’ll go to bed earlier the night before and eat a big breakfast so I can be more helpful in the afternoon, too.

That’s all for now, friends.

Love from Sacramento,

Beale (with some editing and typing from Mom)

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