Sunday 30 October 2022

A Message From Henry!


Hi hoomans!

Tis me Henry, and slothee.

Just like you hoomans, us working dogs need a healthy balance between work and down time.

At home if my boi needs me, I work. But when I'm not in coat, I can just be a puppy.

My hooman family always make sure that for every day that I work, I have a day off at home.

It is your Sunday today, so take some time to chill out and relax.

Henry out, slothee needs to sleep ❤️

Saturday 29 October 2022

Team Henry ..... School Training

This past week at L's school, we've had two Smart Pups trainers at the school training teachers on how to work with Henry.

While Henry is L's Autism Assistance Dog, Henry cannot be at the school without an additional handler, which up until yesterday was myself. It is simply unethical to have Henry at school without an additional handler.

We are incredibly fortunate in that L's school is so supportive of having Henry at school - they can see the positive impact that Henry has had, and continues to have, on L. So after a few months of organisation, the time came for the teacher handler training to occur.

Prior to the training we were told by Smart Pups, the organisation that trained and placed Henry with us, that his original trainer was not available so we would be getting two new trainers. What Smart Pups didn't tell us was that one of the trainers, Carol, was one of Henry's foster carers and had Henry with her in her school classroom as part of his initial training.

When L found out who Carol was and her connection to Henry, he was absolutely blown away that "the teacher person who taught Henry how to be a good boy at school" came to his school to train his teachers!

At the conclusion of day one of teacher training, we had one very tired puppy and very happy child. Henry was his amazing self, as usual, and the teaching support staff were buzzing from their day learning how to handle Henry at school.

The teacher handler training was a very brief version of what we were taught when Henry was placed. It is important that they use the same commands with Henry that we do. The training only allows them to be the additional handler at school, but it does mean that on the mornings when L is having a rough morning, I don't need to stay at school in future.

Simon and Carol involved L in the teacher training - he spoke with them and the teaching support staff how Henry helps him and showed them some of Henry's task specific skills. L even helped out in his classroom, showing his peers the tricks that Henry does!

 L went to bed that night a very happy camper!!

Day two of teacher handler went just as well as the first day. The teaching staff were able to experience the task specific skills that Henry does for L - the deep pressure therapy laps and overs, and the nuzzling. We use these on a regular basis so it was important that they too saw, and felt, how effective they are.

Simon made L's day by complimenting L on how well he handles Henry. The teacher handler training was the next step in L's independence, he was able to show his peers, Simon and Carol and the support staff just how Henry helps him on a daily basis.

Thank you Simon and Carol for going out to L's school, we are very grateful ❤️

Tuesday 18 October 2022

What does independence look like??

 What does independence look like? 


Both kids were meant to walk to their grandparents place after school today, but unfortunately O went home early. The look on L's face when he saw that I was picking him up from school was definitely one of "wtf are you doing here??"

We still needed to go to Grandma's as they had the puppers today, so when I asked L if he wanted to go in the car, or walk, he jumped at the chance to walk by himself.

After a few ground rules about stopping at the road he'd need to cross and looking for cars before he walked across the road, he was off. 

Keep in mind that Grandma and Dudduds is only a few minutes walk from school.

As I drove around the block, I will admit that I half thought I'd find L collecting sticks or rocks on the way, we get distracted very easily and there are some awesome sticks in the park he had to cross first!

I will also admit that I was slightly nervous, but the only way L will develop these skills is by us letting him try!!

But no, he'd run to the road, stopped and looked for cars, walked across and then ran all the way to Grandma, who was waiting out of view inside but keeping an eye out for L.

This is a HUGE step for L. A few years ago, crossing the road by himself was not something that he could do safely.

It's only a short distance but a huge step of independence for L.

One of his goals in L's NDIS plan, is around developing skills to be safe in the community - that goal has been in his plan since day dot, 7 years, 8 plans. 

Community safety is now a reality, this kid is kicking goals!!

Monday 10 October 2022

End the Stigma


Today is World Mental Health Day. The day is a global event that aims to promote, educate and raise awareness of mental health issues.

Our own mental health is incredibly important and something that we should be aware of. Unfortunately there is still.some stigma around having a mental health issue. By talking to one another, we can begin to eradicate the stigmas that are associated with mental illness.

If you ever need to talk, I am here ❤️

Let's end the stigma and talk more so that society as a whole recognizes the importance of an individual's mental health and well-being.