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Another month goes by and we watch as Roomba turns four months old and really begins to blossom! He has gained over ten pounds and added two and a half inches to his height in less than thirty days Each day I see his brain turning on more & more...and with each new experience, he grows more confident and assured- showing glimmers of what he will be able to do in his career as a guide, service or social dog someday.
One of our latest adventures was a visit to Abilene High School. I was surprised at the details that I hadn't considered that seemed to provide a challenge for us. There were the HIGHLY waxed floors! We routinely navigate different substrates- including tile, concrete, sand, gravel, asphalt, grass, etc. to avoid any surprises during working, but BOY! THAT FLOOR WAS SLICK. Also, while we were there, the teenage lunch crowd was dropping tidbits of food everywhere, a veritable Labrador Feast! I am proud to announce that not only was it not a distraction for his little doggy brain, but that he was actually sitting on a french fry during an entire conversation- focused on me and our next move instead of the tasty deep fried bit nestled under his tail. What a good puppy!
We also attended our first event as representatives of KSDS. It was a local family resource development fair, designed to increase assistance contacts for individuals with challenges and disabilities. I can honestly say that I was nervous beyond belief, not knowing what to expect but Roomba handled the crowd like a pro. We made lots of friends with grownups and children alike, but I was really impressed with his ability to reach the seemingly “unreachable”. There was an elderly gentleman on a motorized wheelchair that seemed pretty disillusioned with the entire venue until Roomba went over for a chat. After introductions, I gave the “Up!” command and Roomba loaded up on the scooter like a pro. Before I could intervene, the two new buddies were off on a joy ride at top speed and I was left with my mouth hanging open! When I caught up to them, they were both big smiles and giggles. As he headed to the exit with his wife, I overheard him say, “I wonder if I could get one of those service dogs?” and I smiled.
Someday, Roomba, you are going to make a huge difference for someone.