Rachel Stephens

Physician Assistant, dog mom
Hello! I’m a physician assistant and I practice emergency medicine. I love to knit, sew my own clothes, and bake! My husband and I enjoy spending time outdoors and are in love with our little girl, Lucy!

Hello from Lucy!

Hi everyone! My name is Rachel Stephens and I am a physician assistant in North Georgia. My husband, Josh, is also a physician assistant and we practice emergency medicine. Josh and I recently brought home Lucy, a standard poodle puppy, and we are so in love with her. She is bright, funny, and very sweet little girl who loves to play, meet new friends, and give kisses. Lucy is 10 weeks old. Josh and I first learned about AAC and its application in communication with pets when we saw a piece about Christina Hunger and Stella on CBS Sunday Morning. At the time, I was particularly interested and was very enthusiastic about trying this with a pet in the future. Our goals for using AAC with Lucy are to have a more connected and reciprocal relationship with her. We want her to feel that she can effectively communicate with us and we would just love to know more about what she may be thinking or wants!

We started using buttons with Lucy on the day we brought her home. She has been home with us for almost two weeks. Lucy currently has buttons for outside, water, and play. She has expressed interest in the buttons and has pushed play and water a couple of times but is not yet using them consistently. She will occasionally sniff the buttons or hang out next to her buttons and I’m encouraged that she seems to connect the buttons with their meanings. We have had a set back in that Lucy jumped out of my husband’s arms a few days after arrival at home with us and unfortunately broke her foot. She is currently in a splint but is able to ambulate around the home and outside to potty, but we try to limit her mobility somewhat. We are continuing to use the buttons consistently in our communication with her and are confident that her foot will heal nicely in time.

Lucy currently seems to understand many words already, including mommy, daddy, granny, outside, potty, poop, water, food / yummies, treat, hungry, play, sit, down, paw, leave it, all done, and settle. I have been doing some paw targeting with her and she is doing very well with this. I talk to her constantly about what we hear and see when we are outside and when she meets new friends at the veterinarian’s office.

We look forward to learning more in this process and connecting with all of you! I’m on instagram at https://www.instagram.com/rpstephens
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