This is the group of other students that received their service dog this week as well. It has been a joy to get to know these kids and their families. I think for me that has been the best part of this experience. I do not know many families with individuals in their family that have disabilities but the last two weeks I have had to opportunity to be with these families. When we show up for class and everyone looks a little exhausted we all know what we have had to go through just to get to class that morning. We all understand that we each are caretakers with hopes and dreams for the kid we love. Watching each of these young people learn to take charge of their dog and see each of them develop a new perspective of responsibility was amazing! The dogs were carefully placed into each individual home and were given the perfect owner to serve. Each of these kids with all the difficulties they may face in life as they grow were awarded a dog that would never judge them, would never leave their side, and would become a best friend.
During our outings we learned how important it was for Diesel to listen and obey Peter’s commands. We learned the importance of consistency and encouragement. We learned that Diesel was not a robot but was a dog that would require patience, time, and relationship. We learned that Peter needed to view himself as being in charge. And I learned to let go a little more. I learned that Peter could actually take command and I could sit back and watch although at times it was difficult for me.
I have learned that this will be a journey for me as well. This journey will require me to trust Peter a little more. It will push me to see that Peter can take the lead without my constant assistance. It will push me to allow Peter to develop as a leader. I definitely need this. I am becoming aware that I struggle to trust in the process of allowing Peter to lead his own life. Why is it so hard for me to pry my fingers off of the lives God allowed me to raise? Why does enmeshment happen without us even realizing it? It is so easy to point your finger at someone else that you may see as having enmeshment issues but then you pull away and you see you are just as bad, that hurts a little more. When we deeply love someone we want to help and assist more than we want to let go. The act of letting go is more difficult than I have been prepared for. I am surprised it is such a challenge for me. Maybe it is for everyone.