Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Runaway


As I glanced out my office door to see who was headed up the stairs, I saw a child followed by a woman from HR. Since children are rarely on the second floor, and never supervised by HR staff, I immediately knew something was awry. The woman from HR said that the child was looking for my boss, and then the boy asked for my previous boss. I let him know that she no longer worked there, and tried to get more information about what he needed. The boy was resistant to provide much information, but did offer his name, and I recalled that he had been a resident of ours previously. He had run away from his foster home, and wanted to readmit to residential.

The boy was anxious and appeared ready to bolt at any minute. Knowing that we needed time to track down his legal guardian, and an incentive to keep him around long enough for someone to arrive for the boy, I asked him if he had ever met Jazz. He hadn't, but he had known and loved Ross. As I spoke with the boy in the hall, Jazz peeked his head around the corner and looked inquisitively at the boy, as if inviting him in to come visit. I invited the boy into my office to visit with Jazz, and so he did.

The boy remained anxious, and wandered back out of my office and into the hallway. I was worried that he might try to run again, so I kept a close eye on him. So did Jazz. The boy hovered in the hallway, and eventually I let him know that Jazz was worried about him. Jazz never took his eyes off the boy. The boy came back in my office and began petting Jazz again. Eventually, he began to ask questions about where Ross was, and I explained the process of Guide Dog training and how Ross went to live with a family who needed him. The boy asked questions about Jazz, and got to know him too.

Eventually, people arrived to help the boy, and by that time he was calm and cooperative. With the great help of my coworkers, quietly making phone calls while I distracted the boy, we were able to keep him located and safe until someone arrived for him - thanks to Jazz!

And, I sent him off with a Ross replicate :)

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