I hope Helen writes some more. She is not short of experiences to write about. She is also one of the wisest people I know. She knows about all sorts of things such as mysterious ailments, side effects of medications used for people with autism, and how to navigate mysterious processes in order to get support for those with a variety of needs.
OMFG. It's laugh or cry, really. I hope Alex is OK.
At an autism course I went on we really got a sense of how lightly we had got off when we heard the tales of the people with the escape-artist poo-smearer. It might sound casually funny but I think they were really close to breaking. The mum spent an hour running through a forest chasing the child whilst carrying her baby, unable to gain on him, at one time. Like something out of a horror movie, really.
Helen has got to know the Poisons Centre people well over the years. Most things are locked away but it just takes an unguarded minute. But what makes me sad is the lack of respectful and appropriate services and support they have experienced over the years. Some high points/good people but lots of very low points and people who should never be allowed near vulnerable non-verbal people. And constant surveillance.
"You have no idea of the smell.."
Oh yes, I do.
Cleo the pound puppy, part springer spaniel they said. The other 99% was pure unbridled eat absolutely anything Labrador. Nothing was inedible...the most horrific being the still live mice and birds the cats had caught and given to her, the messiest was the tinfoil wrapped smoked kahawai remains which went straight through her...
But the most disgusting was the rotten duck eggs.
Little known fact...ducks will quite happily lay their eggs whilst swimming along. Said eggs sink. Said eggs become exposed when the pond dries up in late summer. Said eggs became Cleo snack. The smell of broken very rotten duck eggs reached the forty metres or so from the pond to the house.
Then, That Dog bounded in bringing the concentrated odour with her...overjoyed with her find and desperate to share her delight. Ah, the way a dog will almost smile...a green smile in this case.. with the odd bit of blue shell. And the smell. Fan forced by panting dog.
The large finger full of toothpaste I used to clean up her mouth she looked on as a equally delightful dessert.
Cleo has gone now, along with her predecessor Beth. Both dogs distinguished themselves as being remarkably patient and tolerant of the many foster children we cared for. Many of these children had never learned how to behave with animals, and we soon learned that the first 'house rule' we had to impart was that we don't touch any of the dogs, cats or chickens unless they make the first approach. Despite that of, of course, there were the inevitable assaults on said pets by some of these damaged children. And neither dog ever retaliated. And never bore a grudge. Once the child learned to treat them with respect, the dogs would approach them and allow the child to play. Or just cuddle up with them on the couch.
The only growling a child got was a kid in a wheelchair who knew better than to try and run over the dog's feet. His family had dogs and he knew the rules, but I guess he had to give it a go. Beth knew it was deliberate...and gave the lad a growling and a front castor a bit of a chew. Apologies ensued and they went out for a play.
Ben speaks about the 'escape artist'...we had a couple of those come and stay for respite. One or two we had to decline, we simply couldn't keep the child safe with bog standard farm fencing and gates. And a 100kph road.