You've made amazing progress since your latest surgery several weeks ago. I hadn't seen you in over a month and was shocked to see how strong, fast and witty you were when I returned. Your gait is stronger, your voice is clearer and louder, you come up with funny retorts quickly, and overall you have more energy than I last saw you.
Despite the progress, it's still pains me to see you frustrated so often. We talked the other night about how you felt more like "you" and more independent. You've come a lot further toward independence these last four and a half years, and I can only imagine how hard it must be to have Tami, Mom and Dad, and others around you keeping you safe and reminding you to complete tasks, take meds, etc. Just know that we are here for you, through thick and thin, and with each year you're able to do more and more. As many docs remind us, frustration can be a motivator and an important step in TBI recovery. I hope one day you'll be tackling life on your own, but until then, lets cherish the good moments, and work through the tougher ones together.
I want you to know how much it's meant to me to see your and Toliver's relationship grow. If I can help someone else have even part of that, all the work with Martin will be well worth it. I know it will be bittersweet and challenging to see him matriculate into "college" in a year and a half, when I turn him in for Advanced Training. However, I've seen how you and Toliver help each other grow, and I know Martin can do the same for someone else. Thanks for inspiring me to take on the challenge of puppy raising for CCI, I wouldn't be here without you. There's still time for people to join the CCI Dogfest Team you and Caroline created, the "Middleburg Labradorables." Anyone that wants to join the Sept 12th walk in Arlington or donate can click the "DogFest" link on the right side of the blog, or click here.
We had many fun outings this week, including the National Geographic Museum(it's amazing, check it out!) in DC and an awesome afternoon at Chuck E Cheese. By the way, I think Chuck E Cheese should be the national service dog graduation test.. with the lights, sounds, pizza smells, and boatloads of manic kids, that place is a superb test! Tollie had a cool head as always.
Building endurance for the Dog Fest walk.
A toasty get together at Salamander; Martin's first exposure to fire!
Tami and Forrest take on Guitar Hero at Chuck E Cheese.
Forrest and Toliver inspecting otoliths at Nat Geo Museum.
OUCH!! Arapaimas hurt, who wants to visit the Amazon?
Passing out CCI Fundraising invitations around Middleburg.