Lives will be saved, literally and figuratively.
Lives will be lost, literally and figuratively.
Social workers will stumble upon creative solutions to impossible situations.
Social workers will be stumped and will have no idea what to do next.
Clients will show up on time for their appointments and be motivated to work to change.
Clients will no show.  Maybe it isn't time for their season of change yet.
There will be slow afternoons.
There will be afternoons where you don't get a bathroom break.
Social workers might get hugs from little ones.
Social workers might get kicked by little ones.

This week in social work, I will be officially starting my new position in the agency as a child and family therapist.  That's new to the agency, but not necessarily new to me.  I've done this before.  I've loved this before.

I love it now.

I will go to work tomorrow, clean up my adult client's files, take a precursory look at my new kid files, and then head North for 3 days of training (a state required clinical training in how to work with sexual assault victims).  That's a lot of heavy stuff during the day.  It will get to be a little much, I'm sure.  It usually does.  But I will not be in the office.  Not be running around.  Not responding to the ER to evaluate people for involuntary detainment.  It's a break.  A break listening to the effects of sexual trauma, but a break none the less.

I will also miss Rosie's last day of puppy training, but Shoes will do a good job of holding down the fort.  He always does.

And then, another weekend.

And then, bring on the kid therapy.
I'm so ready.

(footnote:  I was in therapy for a year and a half after a very sad divorce.  truthfully, i don't remember much of those early days of therapy because i was just trying to get up, go to work, not react to people when they told me divorce was a major sin against God and not fall apart.  those are actually signs of emotional trauma - the not remembering.  however, i very clearly remember the day my therapist asked me, "where do you go from here, lisa?  what do you want to do?  where do you feel most alive?" and i said, "when i'm working with kids at my job and at church."  and it was like God put a firm foundation under my feet immediately and said, "start working on this kid, we've got work to do."  my head cleared and my heart actually started to feel a sense of light and purpose and direction.  so i applied to graduate school, moved away and specialized in kid therapy.    i am almost 5 years past that day in my therapist's office.  it is no small secret i adore the life i've been given now.)
Shoes and I.  An intervention, of sorts.  (Even though I'm not at all fond of that clinical model.)

We were talking about Rosie last night and I said (with my own mouth, and I don't think I was possessed), "Maybe we should get Rosie a friend."

We've talked about this before - getting a 2nd dog.  Shoes and I have jobs without flexibility; we're required to be away from home all day.  It's not lost on us that we have a big, slobbery Golden Retriever - the Lover of All Things Breathing.  We've never quite felt it's fair to this epitome of a pack animal to be home alone all day.

"But not a baby," I continued.  "I don't have any time to take off to coddle a baby (dog, people)."  (I do not have enough time.  I get 10 hours of PTO a month - that's vacation and sick altogether.  I've called in sick 2 times since I've been with the agency and have only managed to accrue 30 hours.  Self care?  Vacations?  Pffft.)

Shoes gets that.  Suggested maybe we look at the Shelter.  Go by ourselves, then take Rose, then see if we can foster a candidate for a bit before making a decision.

"You know," Shoes said, "That's great and I think it will be good for her, but I'll never love another dog like I do Rose."  He was kidding -- kind of.

But maybe he really wasn't.

Rosie got sick last night.  Big time puking.  Dietary indiscretion -- I guess that's what happens when  you consume 2 of your fabric toys in one day.  Still, it just broke our hearts to see her not feeling well.  She seemed under the weather for a few hours after that, which put us on edge.  She and I went to bed early and she kept curled up to me all night.  (Right.  She sleeps on the bed.  Right.  I know it was one of my cardinal rules to never let her do that.)  Even Shoes spoke very softly to her and gave her extra love.  We both turned in to big balls of mush ... even though not feeling well was *completely* her own doing.  (Shoes kept touching her nose to see if it was still dry.)

Rosie is a big pain in the tookus.  But she's learning.  And she's gentle.  And she's loving.  And I think that's what's endeared us to her the most:  she's never aggressive, never grumpy, and just gives and gives and gives and gives love.  There's an elderly couple who comes to our dog obedience class just to watch the dogs (it's really very sweet), and the man always says, "Oh Rosie, you're doing so much better sweetheart!"  And then the wife always tells us, "She always has such a huge smile on her face."  People stop us all the time when we're walking her to pet her and, even though her over abundant enthusiasm can be irritating, people always are so  pleased when she rushes them to love on them.    (I am always less than pleased.  Really, dog?  Show some decorum.)

We have a huge spot in our hearts for this animal that drives us nuts.  I don't know, maybe Shoes is right.  Maybe we might not be as fond of another dog as we are of Rosie.  Maybe it's nuts to want to get another dog just so she would have company during the day.

Any multiple dog owners out there have any advice?

We're listening.
Our dog did not behave like a rabid, demented animal during her 2nd puppy class (and because this post has been in draft form for a few weeks, she has actually had 4 total by now).   No barking.  Just a little whining. 

Sitting, laying down, walking on the leash?

Whatevs.  (I actually hate that word.  The only person I've ever really believed got away with saying that well is my 7 year old nephew, Michael.  He also says "totes."  As in, Rosie is "totes adorbs."  I sometimes have no idea what Michael is talking about, which makes me feel old.)

Anyway.  She had it down.  Still wanted to flirt and make googly eyes at the huge Malamute named Pufferbelly, but definitely improved.  Lots and lots of pats and loves for that.

She does love those pats and loves.

Want to know a secret?

This post isn't actually about Rosie.  But it was a good non sequitur.

I'm changing positions in my agency.  I had originally applied to be a child and family therapist at a time when the agency had openings for both the child & adult position.  The other top applicant stated she would only work with kids.  I was not in a place to be so picky.  I've enjoyed the last 6 months as an adult therapist.  I've appreciated the insight oriented conversations, witnessing change, and not having to keep sharp objects locked up in cabinets.

(Well ... the sharp objects one is context specific, I suppose ...)
And as much as I've appreciated working with the adults, I cannot wait (read:  canNOT WAIT) to get back to working with kids.  Because our agency is so small, I actually have a couple of kids on my caseload right now.  And you know what?

Right.  I love them.

The transition should happen mid February.   Very positive conversations with my clinical supervisor re: my role in the agency.  I've been unpacking my art supplies, my miniature toys for the sand tray I'm going to make, and hunting down used puppets.  (LOVE using puppets in therapy with kids.) 
To end this horribly written, random post, I'd like to tell you, as well, that one of my child clients has discovered a wormhole behind a dumpster near his home.  This is serious.  If you throw a rock into the wormhole, be careful.  It will come back to hit you in the back of your own head.

I know.  Creepy.  If you visit E. Washington, be sure to let me know so I can tell you which dumpster to steer clear from.