New Trick Learned!

I know people feel that teaching a K9 to do something it is a “trick” however, Ma get’s so excited when I learn things that I think they mean more to her than just a “trick.”  The last few days, I have learned (pretty quickly I might add) the ability to put certain single action and combine it with another action to make an activity helpful to Ma.  The first item that has been put to good use, is learning to pick up trash, open the trash can (foot peddle action to open lid) and then placing said trash into the trash can.

I am unsure that it’s something we will use outside of the home (hence trash can’s aren’t always reachable since I am a bit of short little girl and most don’t have the foot pedal to open them), but Ma has mentioned that that next trick will be going down to the local college and be learning to target the Handicap door pads to open the door for Ma when her hands are full.

For those that don’t know, Ma is normally got her hands full when Pa, who is visually impaired, and I are on both sides, and she is either pushing a grocery cart or needs a hand free to open a door.  It’s nice when other’s recognize her plight and open the door for her, but it will so much easier if I learn the in’s and out’s of the handicap door pads that will help her in this endeavor.  We hope to find the local state college to allow us to use the few that we know exist there near the handicapped offices so that we are not in the way, but meanwhile, it would be nice to find that I can use others (theatre is one) and help Maw when she needs it too.

Until then, Ma and I continue to work on other things, such as using pedal light switch to turn off and on lights (like the one below.)

lightrockers

Required Reading: Service Dogs and Psychiatric Institutions

Recently Anything Pawsible a blog I follow diligently has recently released an Extensive article about Service Dog teams and the use of them in psychiatric institutions, inpatient, outpatient as well as those who work as Administration individuals.

I have to say that if anyone has, or even is considering a service dog this is REQUIRED READING and I give Kudos’ to the writers and staff of the Anything Pawsible blog and it’s an extensive amount of information for those who work as, and train Service Dogs.

Here is this article, and I suggest you read it several times and keep it handy just in case your family ever needs to work with you and your K9 in your hospitalization etc.

Psychiatric Hospitalizations and Service Dogs

Inpatient psychiatric hospitalizations can be frightening and stressful. For Service Dog teams, inpatient admissions are often more of a struggle. The complications of having dogs on a locked unit focused solely on safety and security are innumerable. However, they’re far from insurmountable! Admission with your Service Dog for inpatient psychiatric treatment can be made easier. It just takes a little planning, organization, and forethought. Read More…

Is the Cane Corso the Dog for You?

I came across this article and read it several times and as an owner and trainer of one now, I found Ma nodding her head repeatedly as she continued to agree with a great deal of this article. Written back over 10 years ago by a woman in the UK, this article has hit many key points that are STILL valid in today’s CC and after being stopped by many in stores, on the street and even in restaurants about the breed of dog I am, I know Ma wishes she could have this article with her to hand out to those who say, “Oh I have always wanted one of those!” or “Never heard of them, I would love to have one.”

Take a look and research ANY dog that you wish to adopt, and remember that these dogs take constant work, reassurance, and a stern hand as Alpha to make a well-mannered dog.  Despite what some trainers say, ‘that there is no such thing as an Alpha in the domesticated dog family’ truly has never worked with a CC or other molossus descendant dogs have never realized that not only is training important but so is discipline.  These dogs do tend to take over the house when it comes to their rank if allowed, and you will either be spending a great deal of time alone (because your K9 cannot behave) or fishing more odd objects out of their belly once they have decided that the entire house is filled with chew toy objects just for their pleasure.

Read this before making a move to own a Cane Corso, Italian Mastiff: http://canecorsoukmolosserrescue.co.uk/1963-2/

Enjoy and remember to continue to support your local rescues, and watch for the new “Dog Blog” website coming soon to help pair you with your K9 needs!

Unbelievable!

This is a story that truly I need to share.. just in case, there are those who have run (and I am sure you have) into the same situation that Ma, Pa and I were part of just a matter of about of 24 …

Source: Unbelievable!

Unbelievable!

This is a story that truly I need to share.. just in case, there are those who have run (and I am sure you have) into the same situation that Ma, Pa and I were part of just a matter of about of 24 hours ago in our local grocery store. Now granted, we have had dirty looks, snide remarks and ultimately even a few comments here and there that have been off-color and otherwise downright humiliating when we are all out together. Some of which I haven’t gone into yet just because in most cases, it was truly the idea that the “attack” was either due to uneducated employees for ADA laws as well as even a few people who freaked out due to “allergies” to dogs or even childhood trauma that involved a dog.  But in this case, I have to say that I could feel and see the strain that rushed across my Ma’s face and truly put my Pa (who is blind) at complete odds with the man who decided that verbally attacking us was going to put his in his position in which he wanted to remove us from the store,  and for anyone else who was within hearing distance.  I encouraged Ma to write a letter to the elderly gentleman who truly didn’t even deserve the educational blip that Ma always tries to educate other people who do not know how to act around the dogs, let alone the people who are truly fearful of them.Here is the letter:

Here is the letter:

Dear Elderly ole’ Man who has nothing to do but harass the disabled,

Your visit to Smith’s Market in the SW area of my city was welcomed but I am so glad that I was the only one who had no interaction with you.  I was having a beautiful day, even if Bear (aka Pa) and I were attempting to fill our cabinets with food and to get out as soon as possible.  After having visited this store 100’s of times with both my Katana and her predecessor Sampson, I have never been harassed by employee’s let alone the patrons and that is the one reason I have felt soo safe going to this store to shop for what I need.  There is always that one person who seems to attack and otherwise make snide remarks due to the idea that there is a large 100lb Mastiff standing next to me, helping me keep balance as well as giving me a steadier sense of mobility and continues to be that extra helping hand when I am unable to bend over to pick up items off the floor and even keep me from having a full-blown attack that would bring even more attention to myself …something I do not want or need.

I was having a beautiful day, even if Bear (aka Pa) and I were attempting to fill our cabinets with food and to get out as soon as possible.  After having visited this store 100’s of times with both my Katana and her predecessor Sampson, I have never been harassed by employee’s let alone the patrons and that is the one reason I have felt soo safe going to this store to shop for what I need.  There is always that one person who seems’s to stop me and ask questions, most of which are a repeat of others who ultimately want or need to know some of the in’s and outs of the legal responsibilities for the dogs that are used for service dogs.  Because there IS NO CERTIFICATION for service dogs, I find it harder to explain to them the tests, training and extensive evaluations that are given by multiple trainers (as well as myself) that will give her the temperament of a calm and cool K9. In this case, Katana has over 3 AKC CGC™ (Canine Good Citizenship) certificates and has passed with flying colors.  She only has one more to take, but because of health reasons on Ma’s part, it has been put on hold for a few more weeks so that we can be sure our evaluator is able to do her evaluation.

As you stood there, staring at my dog for over 3-4minutes refusing to move your cart, and I was very courteous about asking you to move so that I could get to the items that you were blocking, you insisted that the “dog” was the issue and how vicious my animal was and he was afraid to move in fear for your life. First and foremost, at this point, my dog hadn’t even paid you much head let alone barked NOR growled at you.  I surely was aware that this point you were staring at my dog (something the tag on her vest says NOT to do is gain Eye Contact with her)… This can be a cue for a dog to do one of two things, play or a challenge that can set some canines off into an aggressive stance.  But the words that left your mouth was astounding to me and started the hackles on my neck up on end.

“Sir, could you please excuse me, I do need to get to the cheese that you are in front of.”

“I was just looking at your vicious dog there… I have no intention of moving until I know I am safe.”

“Sir, truly, she is a service dog and have many hundred’s of hours training and passing her through AKC certification tests that prove her temperament is not at all what you think she is.  She would rather lick you to death than to take a chunk out of you. It’s not in her nature UNLESS you are aggressive towards her or my family. She has not been challenged on that level ever, and I don’t want her to stop so please move on and allow me to finish my shopping.”

“Yeah, everyone says that…” as he started to move forward slightly giving me the room needed to reach for what I wanted.

As he walked off, Bear made a statement, “Do you take us as morons?  What kind of person would bring in a violent or aggressive dog into a public environment and risk not only hurting others but hurting themselves?”

“Get in line!” said the old coot.

At this point, Ma was shaking. I couldn’t tell whether it was because she

The elderly man’s sarcastic response was enough to send me off as the conversation continued to go something like this:

 

Pa:  You do realize it’s ass****s like you that ruin the day for people like us who use an animal such as this to have normal lives.

Ma: You know, it’s people like you that have very much turned my head to the teachings that taught me to ‘respect my elders’ but in this case, you have tested me, and the theory in which that you deserve any type of respect I hope you feel better, harassing two people who are both disabled and ultimately have a K9 assistance animal that will make our lives more fulfilling and more normal.  I could care less of your opinion of my K9 as I assure you, I wouldn’t let her nor you touch her with a 20′ foot pole.

But as he started to move and Katana and I decided to slide behind him to get what I wanted from the shelf his right hand with a balled up fist swung backward missing my dog by a foot, and my husband by not much more.  He outright went to the physical attack mode directed at my dog and I have to say that if I had had the mind to, and he connected his fist to either my dog or my husband, he would have struggled to walk out of the grocery store under his own power.

I will say, I may not be muscular, strong, or trained in any of the plethora’s of martial arts, but a good old’ boxing match would have ensued at that point.  I TRULY love the elderly, but in this case, I find that this man was impossible, and if anything violent towards my dog, my husband and myself by harassing us.  By the time I had thought to follow him, with my cell phone dialing 911 to get the assault on record, it was a situation in which it would have been too late.

After losing him in the store, we quickly got out ourselves, checked out, and decided that we are not being stalked by a 70+-year-old man that obviously had issues with (service) dogs and their handlers. I know I am not the only one that has ultimately found very little conflict in my past, but I am sure that it won’t be the last, and would LOVE to hear some stories from those who have had something similar happen to them.Please, feel free to write me information how you handled the problem and what you feel you could have done without or done with to educate them OR even to get them to turn their heads and make them think twice about harassing other handlers.

I love the elderly, and after being raised by my grandparents, I have a soft spot in my heart to those that I meet and I enjoy the stories and antidotes that they give me to make me smile… but in his case, I truly hope that I am not so grouchy, and gruff that people find me less valuable than they do valuable.  I can only hope that at some point, someone who is afraid of dogs, or is not a dog lover that the best way to get through an uncomfortable situation is to WALK AWAY SILENTLY…. it truly makes the individuals, including the K9, more relieved in which we can all be better for because as my grandparents taught me, “If you don’t have anything good to say, don’t say anything at all!”

Sincerely,

Ma

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anything Pawsable

It has been awhile since Ma has been able to write. She was recently gone for over a week, in a place called a “Hospital” where she had “surgery”…. only to end up coming up to find Pa being whisked away and having emergency surgery as well.  She has been laid up for awhile now and was told not to work with me, but she has been also unable to train much due to the horrid weather conditions and cold that have kept us in the house and me curled up on my bed with my fuzzy blankets keeping warm.

This also means that she has been able to do more work towards her certifications and learning and has received a new certificate as well as been reading a lot.  She found a wonderful blog/website that is called “Anything Pawsable” that is geared towards service dogs, their trainers, and their handlers giving a TON of good information, changes in laws, and resources for those of us that are being trained to be service as well as those who are looking to be service dog handlers.  Look for the logo before and or visit our website at http://www.anythingpawsible.com.

www-anythingpawsable

The most informative of articles has been the recent “5 Common Service Dog Myths” that I wish Ma could memorize.  As much as we are ‘stopped’ and asked questions of, the more we begin to sound like a broken record player.  The stories, some of which are hysterical due to the uninformed public naivety, are too numerous to mention so the idea that this site gives you a ton of information in laymen’s terms is a great place to learn more.  They even have a subscribe ability so you never miss a post.  Their writers are precise, informative, and are on the ball on updates across the country and even some oversea’s.  I do believe that even Ma continue’s to learn more about the industry herself and is always excited about being able to give that information to those who ask.

Hope you enjoy their hard work as much as Ma and I do!