Sunday, August 09, 2009
#7 - I just want to be able to grow up and help like you
"When I grow up, I want to be able to train a therapy dog. Will you help me," he asked?
"You betcha'" I said.
His arms and legs don’t move very well because of the Muscular Dystrophy but I know that he absolutely fell in love with Sadie the minute he laid eyes on her. He can’t pet her like the other kids, but he sure loves when Sadie licks him.
We have watched Kent grow up over the last four years. He was finishing the last couple of years of grade school and now going into high school. Kids with MD need both loving parents and their wheelchair to move around. He needs a lot of help from his mom to move from the hospital bed to the chair where Sadie could get at him. There were times when I think this was hard for him having us watch, so I always tried to get Sadie to do something else like putting her in a sit or a down so that Kent didn’t think we were staring at him.
I think this is another hard part of being a long term volunteer when you see the same kids coming in and out of the hospital. I would much rather visit with them at a birthday party at their house then see them back in and not feeling well.
I have to tell all of you that Sadie really likes to lick men’s goatees and beards. I think that they tickle her and she loves it. This past year it looked like Kent was trying to grow his first mustache. That was very cool. So, back to me helping him train his dog….
Kent has a little Chihuahua dog that he thinks would be perfect as a therapy dog like Sadie. He can’t do all of the training and wanted to know if I would help. Of course I would.
When you have a relationship with kids that have MD, the topic of life expectancy may or may not come up. Since I was never sure if Kent would ask me about this, I went to the MD website and found out that "most boys with your disease live into their mid-20s, some even longer."
We last caught up with Kent as he was conducting his own fundraising to help himself get a service dog. He made his own Photoshop picture of him at his high school zooming around the track in his wheelchair, in five different wild costumes.
I love that Kent asked me if I would help him train his dog and I love that he wants to help others. I love that he went out and composed his own photo and was taking his own fund raising into his own hands. But I think the thing that I like most of all about Kent is that he said, "Donna, when I grow up... .
I wanted to put my arms around him, give him the biggest hug and tell him how "grown up" I think he already is.