Thursday, July 5, 2012

More Dogs, and Our Fourth of July

We usually visit grandparents on the Fourth of July, but with the holiday falling in the middle of the week this year, Kai not wanting to miss any school (or more accurately his school’s afternoon social activities), and an opportunity to sit for more dogs, we decided to stay at home this year.

After our success hosting a dog over the weekend, a pair of Miniature Pinschers stayed with us for four days beginning Sunday afternoon.

Becky and Lucy were quite different than Kix. Whereas the toy poodle was mellow and quiet, these two were high strung. They barked every time I walked into the room. Forget that, they barked pretty much any time anyone moved. And when you have a boy like Kai who can be a whirlwind of movement and emotions, you can imagine how much barking we heard over the past few days.

There were times when it seemed like an endless loop. Kai would do something to get the dogs excited, and their barking would get him to laugh and run even more, which in turn would rev up the dogs further.

Fortunately, all the barking did not bother Kai at all. He was not scared at all, and actually rather seemed to like it. While they did not fetch balls for him too often, I think the barking satisfied some of his desire to interact with them.

As with Kix, Kai insisted on going along on every walk with the dogs, even with the oppressive heat we’ve had the past several days.

After a day or so, Becky and Lucy started to feel more comfortable in our house. Oh, they still barked, but they warmed up to us, allowing my wife, especially, to hold and cuddle them, something they resisted at first. They even were able to relax around Kai.

Kai was also excited about the Fourth of July holiday. This boy loves his holidays and this one was no exception.

He helped Mom make the cake for the little cookout we had.

Quite festive, don’t you think?

In the afternoon, we found relief from the 100-degree heat with a visit to the local pool.

And after that, we had friends over for our cookout. Kai enjoyed playing with their kids. Although Kai doesn’t interact with other kids the way typical children do, he looks forward to getting together with these boys.

After eating, Kai wanted to do water balloons. Usually, I am the one who does this activity with him. On this muggy evening, I did not feel like running around and getting soaked, so I was grateful that one of the boys agreed to do this with Kai.

Aidan is very understanding and patient with Kai. On this occasion, when Kai started to get frustrated that he could not get the other boy with the balloon, Aidan stopped running to allow Kai to connect. And then they took turns soaking each other with the hose.

When it was getting dark, we went to our town’s fireworks display. Kai was excited (I feel like I am writing that word a lot, but it is all true). He even wore his Uncle Sam/Yankee Doodle hat.

We found a good spot for viewing, and Kai occupied himself with the iPad while we waited.

And once the fireworks started, he provided a play-by-play.

“That’s a giant one!”

“That one looks like an eye.”

“That one looks like a Pok√© Ball. That’s my favorite.”

As Kai was speaking, I recalled the time when therapists worked to get Kai to say even one word to describe something. Now, he was prattling on with ease.

Afterward, it looked like we would be stuck in the parking lot for hours, but my wife knew of the rarely used back way out and we escaped the traffic and avoided car agony.

Back home, we lit up the backyard for a last bit of fun.

It was a fun, busy, Fourth. And now that the dogs are gone and Kai is back in school, it sure is quiet around here.

Ahhh. ☺


  1. I am glad Kai had a good time. Children and animals...once they get to know each other...almost always have a good time together. Wow...that is a bright is Kai's smile :)

    1. I am amazed at how comfortable Kai is around dogs now, after having been so scared of them before.

      Haha, Kai really enjoyed seeing sparklers for the first time.

  2. Wow!! That cake looks *amazing*!!! I'm glad the barking didn't bother Kai. He looks so cute in his hat!!

    1. Thanks! They did a great job with the cake!

      Yes, I was very surprised that the barking did not bother him... I know so many kids on the spectrum are sensitive, and Kai is too in some ways, but not when it came to barking, apparently. :)

  3. Your post made me smile!! There were so many things that could have caused your son anxiety (ours was a bit messier than yours) and he looks like he handled himself well! The picture of your son holding the sparkler shows so much joy!

    1. Kelly, Kai has a long history of being anxious over so many different things, so it was really nice that he did not have any anxiety over any of these things the past few days.

      He has a great smile, which he showed a lot the past few days. :)

  4. Yuji-
    I posted today about our 4th of July...thought you might want to check it out. It isn't like yours I'm afraid. See what you think...

    1. Kelly, we were thrilled our holiday went well... especially has we have had special occasions that did not go like that.

  5. Oh how fun! I'm glad the dog sitting is becoming a wonderful experience! I think I missed how you are getting the dogs...did you advertise or are they just people that you know going on vacation?

    Your fourth looks like it was very fun. Stay cool! We're sweltering, too! But I'm only venturing outside when absolutely necessary!

    1. Betsy, we advertised. My wife loves dogs, and it is so wonderful to have them around. It is great that Kai looks forward to having them, too.

      Heat finally broke for now. Hooray! Stay cool!

  6. happy 4th of JUly
    loved the stories and the pics
    AMAZING cake


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