Our Journey Raising Two Children with Special Needs

This blog chronicles our life raising two children, Nicholas 15, diagnosed with Prader-Willi Syndrome and Weston 18, diagnosed with Autism/Asperger's/ADHD. It's the ups, the downs, the joys, the sorrows and most importantly, the beauty of living a life less perfect, a life more meaningful.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Like Children, Like Dog

I like to watch The Dog Whisperer with Cesar Milan on the National Geographic Channel. In many of his episodes, he talks about how the family dog and his/her problems are often a direct result of the behaviors and attitudes of the owner.

An incident at home this weekend made me realize that Cesar is absolutely 100% correct! Our dog, Muffy, is truly a representation of both my children.

Muffy is a pure bred Beagle. She speeds around our front yard like Mario Andretti doing laps at the Indy 500. She stops only long enough to remind us she's there.

"Aaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrooooooooooooo!" she barks in true hound-like fashion, then proceeds to do laps around our yard in the opposite direction. Her energy is limitless. She runs, she jumps, she barks, she gives you a kiss. Her exuberance is unmatched. She is without a doubt, a carbon copy of my son, Weston.

She is also however, like my youngest son, Nicholas.

Yesterday, I visited a local store in our area called Nason's. Nason's makes the most unbelievable and delicious chicken pies, baked beans and other homemade goodies. I wandered through the country shop and found myself pulled in the direction of a most wonderful smell. There, on a shelf, was a stack of warm, freshly baked cornbread, one of my husband's favorites. The powerful smell of corn and flour brought instant images to my mind of a thick slice of warm, golden cornbread smothered in melting butter.

Since Nicholas has been diagnosed with Prader Willi Syndrome, our house is always void of these kind of delicacies. I decided it was time for us to indulge and bought a loaf that felt like it weighed 5 pounds.

Once I got home I placed the loaf on the counter.

"Mummy, I need your help!" Nicholas shouts from upstairs. I go to attend to his bathroom crisis and later return to the kitchen.

I stop cold in my tracks, my mouth hangs open, I am horrified.... as there on the floor is my now decimated loaf of homemade goodness. Yes, Muffy had eaten through the plastic wrapping and proceeded to devour an entire loaf of cornbread. Five pounds of flour and sugar stuffed into the belly of a small, anxious hound. Strewn across my kitchen floor were millions of tiny bits of paper and the few remaining crumbs of my coveted cornbread.

Muffy was now feeling sick and hiding in her crate. My initial response to Muffy's bold charade was immediate anger. But as I looked inside her crate something diffused my rage. There under her blanket was a hidden "stash" of the last precious remnants of my cornbread. It was then that I realized, my exuberant, hyperactive dog, was also just like my child diagnosed with Prader Willi Syndrome. Her drive for food, her insatiable appetite, her ability to cleverly conceal food, was exactly like my son, Nicholas. And although Nicholas is not food-seeking yet, I realized, Muffy's pilferage of my forbidden treat may be preparing me for what is to come.

Cesar was right.
Like children, like dog.

"The Sneak"


Lou said...

Your post made me smile, and I enjoy Cesar as well. In my house we live with ADHD and Autism. We certainly are not boring. After many years I have come to think that all cats are sensory seekers and our dog is definetely adhd. :D

Lisa said...

Thank you Lou, I think our cat is a sensory seeker too...

Gina said...

Nice post, sounds like my Pug-Beagle (aka Puggle) though my chihuahua picked up my mother's lust for peanut butter cups (caught him trying to be stealth dog & sneak a cup from the bag as we were preparing treats for my son's teachers, then found the 'evidence' in his cage).

We found a couple of books that explain a lot "All Dogs have ADHD" and "All Cats Have Aspergers" My Puggle will actually stop mid potty break to check out the truck driving by or a butterfly...
My son has Aspergers & sensory processing disorder. (The chihuahua & Puggle BOTH have some sensory seeking behaviors).

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