Hello! To all from the Sudsy Campbell Kingdom! I tell you I’m way glad to see you again before the snow flies! You’d just not believe what an awesome rest of the morning, and afternoon we’ve had! Between having a great breakfast, and chat on the phone with a friend, a great dozy nap, and some good free reading time, and then a most fabulously amazing sudsy shower ever it has been the best day so far since the Mudslide a week ago today.
After we’d gotten settled i the living room again with a hot breakfast, and all the other necessities of the day, the phone rang. It was our good friend Mike, and so we enjoyed a great chat solving none of the world’s problems, but probably causing a few more instead, and then Campbell and I settled down for a great winter’s nap. I’d taken him out in the yard for a mid-morning sniff, and before we knew it, without meaning to we’d walked half way round the house. “Dang! Bubba, I went on auto pilot. Well, not hurting too bad, and just as far one way as the other, so come on.” And on we’d gone. Slow but steady Campbell made his way round the house, with Claud and I hopping along beside him.I realized as I walked, that Campbell was enjoying taking his time, and simply stood patiently sniffing either the ground underneath his big sniffing nose, or simply holding his face up into the wind scenting all the most awesome smells coming along in the stiff cold breeze. At one point the wind was so strong it blew his ears back from his face, and I laughed in spite of how I hurt, at the way he snorted loudly into the fierceness of it. “I love you Puppy” I said happily, as we made our way carefully down the drive. Campbell carefully matched my pace, and as we made our way onto the porch a moment later I marveled at how quickly he’d learned what I needed to do there. As we came upon the place where we would step down from the driveway onto the porch Campbell slowed our already creeping pace to a bare crawl. I carefully put Claud the Quad firmly onto the porch, and after testing to make sure he was solidly placed, I said, “Campbell! Forward!” Didn’t matter that he was not wearing his harness. Campbell knew darn well what time it was and what was expected of him. He carefully went forward, slowly stepping from the drive to the porch. He stopped once down, and stood waiting for what I’d want of him next. “Sit!” I said firmly, and he sat. “Rest!” I said gently and a bit shakily, this next part still made me nervous. The trick was for Campbell to stay at sit and rest until I came completely from the drive onto the porch. The first time I’d done this, he’d stood when I started moving, and nearly pulled me off my feet. Someone suggested that I put him in harness, so he’d know to remain seated, but I believed he could, and should learn to do it without. So I persisted, and this time as I stepped onto the porch he remained perfectly still until I said, “OK Campbell Forward.” Something else I’d learned, or remembered, was that Campbell would not get up from rest until I said “OK” Seemed to me that Drew had told me “OK” was his release. I don’t know if that’s a true memory, or if that’s something I’ve taken from something I’ve heard read, or learned someplace else, and mixed it with training, I just know 9 out of 10 times if he’s seriously obeying he doesn’t get up till I say it. So this worked. “YAY! Campbell! Good! Awesome! Boy!” “Bang! Bang! Bang!” Went his tail onto the side of the house as we walked slowly to the door. When we got there I was thrilled almost to tears, when he stopped and sat on his own, and then when I opened the door and said, “Inside” and he went in and stopped waiting to see what next the tears fell. “Sit and rest Bubba” I said softly and stepped into the door.
Once that was done, a true nap was in order, so I fell to sleep after giving Campbell a whole lot of love and praise for our work together outside.
After about about an hour’s dozing on the loveseat with a cup of coffee growing cold, and a book reading to itself, I roused myself and decided a bathroom break was in order. Draining my nearly cold coffee from the mug, I slowly reached for Claud. I’d learned that if I reached too fast, and accidentally hit him with my hand, he’d fall over and I’d have to get up to find and pick him up. “Slow and steady wins the race, keep an easy pace.” I sighed, “One more damn phrase of training, it is true.” Finally on my feet, I made my way slowly through the house, stopping by the kitchen door, and depositing my empty cup just inside onto the counter as I went. Finally into the bathroom, and done with what I’d came for, I decided to try out my idea from earlier in the day. Earlier as I’d been hobbling round the yard, with Campbell and Claud the Quad, it had come to me that I could put the big wooden kitchen chair that sat by the toilet in the bathroom into the tub, and use it as a shower chair. I’d checked, and it looked about the right size and width. As I gripped Claud’s handle and stood from the toilet I decided, “No time like, “Right here, and NOW! Woolf!” And picking the chair up I carefully sat it into the tub. I slid it into place, pressing it this way and that making sure it was not sitting in any imbalanced way. When I was sure of it’s placement, I turned on the shower, and put the curtain in place to let the water heat. While it did, I took Claud and went in search of all I’d need in and out of the shower. First thing was first. Check the front door lock, and get my phone from the table I’d dubbed my “portable command center.” When I’d gotten all my stuff together I made my way back toward the bathroom, stopping to kiss Campbell as I went. “Be back all clean in a bit, if this works right Bubba.” He was not interested, and all I got for my trouble was a snore. He was curled happily into the chair we’d fought over since its arrival sometime back, and was snoozing the proud sleep of a Labrador who has sat guard till he cannot. Satisfied that all was in order, I made my way into the bathroom, and after settling the rest of my things, and starting my book, the most wonderful experience ever for me, began!
When I stepped into the tub, I was a bit uneasy. What if the chair slipped? What if I was wrong about how I thought it fit? What if I fell from it out of the tub? I took a deep breath, stepped completely off the floor and into the tub, and after I was sure of my balance, placed Quad the Claud to one end of the tub, and closed the curtain. As I did, I sank carefully onto the char, and was delighted to see that what I’d believed would be, was so. As I settled onto the chair, leaning slowly back against the tall back I began to relax, and soon as the water from the handheld massager ran over my aching muscles, I honestly believed I’d found just a small slice of heaven. “Oh! AWW!” I sighed, and began to listen to my book. Soon I was lost in the pure bliss of showering, and washing my hair. As I became engrossed in the plot of the book I was reading, I wondered why I’d never done this before. I’d been having balance issues long before the knee issue. Was I so dumb that I didn’t realize there were things I could do to make life a bit easier right here in my house? I suddenly wondered if somewhere round the same place Claud had been found if my mom’s old shower stool might be lurking, and decided to ask my dad. Then as I got out a little later, using Claud the Quad to steady myself, I decided I could most likely get someone to install grip bars if I bought them, and asked. Most likely Aaron could do it. “Silly girl!” I chided myself, “You’ve had answers to allot of your difficulties right in front of you, and never knew it.” As I dried and dressed a little later I felt more relaxed and at ease than I’d felt in quite sometime. I began to make lists of things I bet I could research and get help with. I decided to start using some of the I&R (information and referral) knowledge I had acquired from my time at Contact Concern, and I decided I was gonna come away from this experience with a whole knew way to survive, and be successful doing it.
Now, as I lie here resting on the loveseat after what has been a busy but wondrous day so far, I am happier and more content than I’ve been in a while. I’m grateful for all I’ve experienced thus far, and I don’t mean just this week. Things are clearer to me now than they’ve been in a long long time, and I feel a new day dawning just over the hill.
I hope yall will keep on with Campbell, Claud, and me and let us all three see what we might be.
Until next time this is Campbell AKA Bubba Claud the Quad, saying keep’em straight up there, and blessid be.
You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need.