There are a lot of things about the relationship between J and Brooklyn that are hard to explain. It’s even harder when you’re in public and put on the spot with the question of “Well what does she do?”
It is easy to answer this question sometimes. Quite simply, if you’re seeing Brooklyn engaged in any of her tasks besides tethering, we’re in a bad place. Her tasks are largely for use when things are not good. They are stopgaps to help either bring J back to center when he starts to unravel or they are emergency rescue tasks because the worst has happened and he has run off, out of our sight.
You do not want to physically see her working.
The presence of this 68 lbs golden retriever seems superfluous to the untrained eye. I understand that. She seems like perhaps an extravagance. It’s okay for you to think that when you do not know. I do not expect the world to know. I cannot expect the world to know. That’s impossible. Not everyone realizes that before her, the grocery store was a challenge requiring intense advanced planning that would either leave us only able to fill half our grocery list or someone having to stay home while the shopping was done alone. Hospital or doctor visits started with screaming that could begin as early as the moment we parked and lasted well into the waiting room and beyond. School days would sometimes begin with out-and-out battles trying to just get into the building.
The world outside our tiny circle couldn’t know this. They weren’t there. They see now the beginning of the new chapter, where things go wrong but don’t stay there nearly half so long. The chapter where the going south actually happens less. The chapter where my son walks into a crowded, loud, overwhelming waiting room and rather than completely fall to pieces he merely puts his arm around his best friend, who lays still so that he can feel the comfort of her warm fur and unending patience.
But what the world does not see, we do. We see it every day.
I now have two “children” in my care, both challenging and both amazing. J grows leaps and bounds every day and Brooklyn gives him the confidence to continue doing so. There are still things that right now are just not within our reach but we have great hope they will come closer and closer as time progresses, things like plane travel or theatres or stadiums.
We will get there and all with the help of this fluffy golden girl to bolster the courage we already know he bears.