The story of a boy living with Type 1 and his family's journey to raise and train a diabetic alert dog.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Bo Goes to Class with Austin

Bo 'chilling' in Austin's classroom.
Last Sunday, Austin and I took Bo with us to religion class -- a once a month, three hour class held in our church's activity center. The class is comprised of  a hundred or so seventh and eighth grade students, parent volunteers and church staff. The format consists of large group lectures and small group discussions. The students gather for the large group in a gymnasium set up with tables and chairs, and in classrooms for the small groups. They get a snack break and have time to socialize. In many ways, the environment mimics a typical school setting with crowded halls of kids passing one another, food crumbs on the floors, bells, public rest rooms, gym bleachers and classrooms. Sunday was Bo's first time in class but not his first time in the space. 

Bo handled the noise and activity beautifully. He settled under the table in the group lecture and under the desk in the classroom. A few times he rested his head on our feet in what we refer to as 'chill' position. He even alerted.

Bo hanging with Austin when class ended.
My presence continues to be a distraction to Bo when Austin is handling him. Bo will stop walking with Austin to look back for me. He did this when Austin was leaving the gym with him to go to the classroom. I was about 20 feet behind the two of them.  

When Bo alerted in the classroom, he broke place to come to me and alert rather than alerting to Austin. In talking with Helen about Bo's preference to alert to me over Austin, she suggested having Austin be the person to give Bo his high value food reward when he alerts. This week, I started bringing Bo to Austin every time he alerted and prompting him to alert to Austin. We appear to be making progress; tonight Bo alerted Austin while they were awake in bed.

Bo 'under' in the large group setting.

Bo settled at Austin's feet in the gym

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