This is a story about

This is a really interesting freewriting exercise that I learned at the Erma conference, where you free write for 10 mins but every sentence begins with “This is a story about …” It’s designed to give your brain permission to unload onto the page and give up some details and ideas you might not otherwise think of if you were trying.

The irony is that I almost like this freewrite better than the actual column it birthed. Anyway, it’s amusing so I’ll share it.

This is a story about …

This is a story about the pet therapy program at Lollypop Farm, and how I signed Scout and myself up to participate in the program, which brings animals to hospitals and nursing homes, and how pets can aid in the therapy and rehabilitation of patients.

This is a story about the AKC good citizen test, and how Scout has to pass that before he can be considered for the pet therapy program.

This is a story about how Scout had to take four weeks of classes as preparation for the AKC good citizen test, and how out of the nine criteria required he could definitely pass six and likely two more.

This is a story about the one criterion he absolutely cannot pass.

This is a story about the loud noise test.

This is a story about the practice test two weeks ago, when Bob the trainer threw a metal bowl against the cement wall and expected the dogs not to freak out.

This is a story about how none of the dogs freaked out except Scout.

This is a story about Scout almost pulling himself completely out of his collar to get as far away from the loud noise as possible.

This is a story about the next week, when Scout was so nervous to go back to class that he tried to avoid going into the building and when he did go in he was whiny and on edge, but he did it anyway.

This is a story about how Bob threw the metal bowl against the wall again.

This is a story about how Scout was so completely and totally freaked out that he bolted down the hall and started scratching at the front doors.

This is a story about how I took Scout outside the building.

This is a story about how Scout refused to come back inside the building.

This is a story about how Bob said Scout cannot pass the AKC good citizen test but should come back and take the test anyway, because he will learn from every new experience.

This is a story about how I tried to desensitize Scout to the building so he would come back to Lollypop to take the test.

This is a story about last Saturday, when we came back and walked up and down in front of the classroom until he would walk without trying to pull me out of the building.

This is a story about last Sunday, when we came back and the classroom was open, and Bob was sitting on the floor in the middle of the room.

This is a story about how quickly Scout ran to Bob and licked Bob’s face, and totally forgot that just a few days earlier Bob had scared the stuffing out of him by throwing a metal bowl against the cement wall.

This is a story about learning to trust the people that are holding your leash, and believing that even when you are totally freaked out you can try something again as long as someone you trust is holding the leash.

This is a story about how I continue to see similarities between my dog and my relationship with God.

This is a story about the way that I react to things that scare me, and how most of my life has been spent running in the opposite direction as fast as I could rather than looking up to see who was holding my leash, probably because no one was holding the leash but me.

This is a story about finally letting God take hold of my leash.

This is a story about learning that when you are scared, you should stay at the side of the person you trust, and if they lead you back to the scary room with the loud noise it isn’t because they want to freak you out but because you need to learn how to deal with the loud noise so you can move on to better things, things that often help other people.

This is a story about how Scout cannot be a pet therapy dog, probably because both of us still need a fair amount of therapy ourselves.

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