I’ve just spent the day at work, so I thought I’d share my amazing job with you all. My work is also part of my writing, I get the honour of spending my life with some of the most amazing characters ever – my beautiful Labradors. So here is a quick look at my life with Labs ‘n Life.
I am so lucky, I have the best job in the world. I get to take my dogs to schools and work with students to train them. At Labs ‘n Life we work with at risk youth to train our dogs as companion dogs for students in the autism spectrum. We see MasterCard moments every single day. Our dogs are the vehicle to achieving amazing successes for kids who often have never been successful. We work with some really rough kids, but they fall in love with the dogs, who are just adorable. It is amazing to see the students grow in confidence and become responsible, compassionate individuals. It is so hard to put into words what Labs ‘n Life achieves on a daily basis, so I thought I’s give a few examples:
I once had a student who was often picked on at lunch times, he usually retaliated violently. One day he was suspended for his actions, but he begged and pleaded with his teacher to be able to come and explain to me why he would not be in his Labs ’n Life sessions. Amazing, so he told me what had happened. I asked him what Obi does when the pups decide to muscle up to him. He thought for a moment and said, he just turns his back and walks away. So I left it at that. A week later the same kids had a go at him. This time he held his head high and just like Obi turned and walked away. He took the upper hand and soon the bullies gave up. All from watching an older, wiser dog deal with pups.
At the beginning of a new program I like to describe my dogs so students can see if there is one with a similar personality to themselves. My description of Tug – one of our future companion dogs generally goes like this:
He’s the hooligan, who likes to sit up the back of the classroom he knows what he needs to do, but likes to act the clown and make jokes. He talks when he should listen and loves to make people laugh. However if he is focussed on the task then he is quite capable.
I had a student pipe up – “He’s just like me!”
Needless to say they were a match made in heaven and had a highly successful program. In fact I credit this relationship with both the student and the dog gaining some much needed maturity.
I have students who wouldn’t say boo come out of their shell to a point where you can’t stop them talking. Kids who won’t go to school because they suffer from anxiety in crowds present their dog at the Royal Adelaide Show, because they love their dog so much. Others who go awol for days, but still turn up to Labs ‘n Life because they are responsible for their dog. There are so many other stories, I’m sure I will share more over the challenge.
No wonder I write about these labradorable creatures! So many amazing stories to tell!
For more information about Labs ‘n Life check out my page here on this blog.