How NOT to greet a dog

Great video that I found that teaches others how to approach a strange dog.  Pass this along to the children of the home too!

Source: How NOT to greet a dog

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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!

Political Puppy Protocol

As we are all looking for the November 8th election date to come and go, the few of us who still looking for a reason to drop the ball and not vote because of our Handicapable  status, there is NO reason for us to use that as an excuse now.  I personally, had no intention of ‘NOT’ voting because of my young K9 assistance animal.  A great blog that I have been reading on a regular basis has continuously given me a reason to learn so much more over the last few months.  This is especially a great learning element as I continue my education in animal behavior and as a canine trainer that so I can continue to teach others and help others overcome areas that some might find horribly hard pressed to accomplish things that normal people take advantage of.

I am handicapable, however, with that said, I have not had the opportunity to vote in a big election with the guide of my beloved K9 YET… but after reading this great article from Pawsible, you bet I will be taking advantage of this and using to make my vote count.  Please, for those of you who are scared to vote with a K9 service animal by their side… don’t be!  Read this and learn that we are being taken care of by staff and our volunteers to make sure we are able to make our vote when it needs to be counted!

lucindaflintphotography_katanalorez

Click this Link Here and read more on this service and understanding that they provide to us for the purpose of voting.

Anything Pawsable, a blog written for dog handlers and owners produces articles that are critical to a healthy K9, a happy one, and last but not least a concentration on the laws and and more for Canine’s and their service provided to us by dedicated trainers and

Is there a Downside to a Service Dog?

I came across this article the other day that was recently come across my normal reading repertoire and had to smile.  This individual speaks of her Leader Dog and as much as I understand the trials and tribulations of a Service Dog, I couldn’t imagine the other challenges that came across the Blind that use a Leader Dog.  You see, my husband is blind and even though I am not personally involved in Leader Dog training, I get asked all the time why my husband won’t use one.  Personally, I tell them it’s his decision, but ultimately he has seen/heard others with them and then has seen the struggles of being completely reliant of a K9 companion and said it wasn’t for him.  He is a stubborn man, but I do have one story I want to share of my own.

Sampson, my beautiful Bullmastiff that for some reason, saved my life twice while I was struggling with my health.  I ended up with a blood infection that shut me down, and drove me to high fevers to the point where I could not warm up, no matter how many blankets I put over me and no matter how many hot baths I took.  Having such a high fever, he also knew that I was unaware of my surroundings and the dangerous part of falling asleep in a bath tub that I could have drown in.  He sat right at the head of my tub and every time I started to nod off, I got a bit fat tongue of Sampson juice across my face and a nuzzle to wake me up.  And then when I got out of the tub, he jumped up on the bed (which was a forbidden sin) but then curled up around me all 150 lbs of him, and spooned me after having grabbed the blanket and covered me up with it.  For that, I knew that he and I were inseparable and he became a huge part of our family.

When Pa lost his eyesight, it was amazing to watch him click and know exactly what had happened to Pa.  Having not eaten yet, Pa, great grand ma, and Ma went to a Sweet Tomatoes for a salad and because Pa could not carry his tray, I took his tray and handed Sampson’s lead.  Sampson was AMAZING as he looked up at Pa and took a step forward each time Pa did, and followed me to the table without the use of a leader harness and even a cane. Pa’s emotions were running high so instead of sitting near me, he sat with his giant head in Pa’s lap and refused to move as he knew Pa needed some reassurance after having his eyesight taken.  Sampson was his safe zone and it was so amazing to watch as I, never taught him that.

So in reading the story “The Downside to a Guide Dog” I had to chuckle, as my new K9 in training does so many of the things that Viviene does to her Handler that Katana does with me.  This also shows the connection between Handler and Dog and why I get so darn angry when others reach out to pet Katana even with a huge sign on her side that says, “PLEASE DO NOT PET!” I still get interrupted and people reach out to pet her….. I am so going to fix this if it’s the last thing I do!

IMPORTANT State Assistance Animal Laws

Ma was reading an article on a K9 that was twice asked to leave the same facility with several local restaurants.  In this article, this table was shared and I felt it was CRUCIAL to give this link out identifying in which state needed what items completed and how certain events were and should be treated. (For the story, read HERE.)

Please visit this link to find out about your state and be armed with information to help those who may not know or those who need that extra hero to help them when you see them being objectified due to their Service Dog:

https://www.animallaw.info/topic/table-state-assistance-animal-laws

Hell’s Kitchen: My Home

I have had two summers here in this desert, and truthfully no summer is any easier than the one before.  I spend most of my time being lazy in front of the fan at home, and then Ma, on occasion will take me out after she struggle to put my shoes on to protect my feet from the hot pavement.  For that, I am extremely grateful, but lately I have been growing a bit more, and my old shoes are coming off too easily and I need new ones.

Ma and I recently got to enjoy the SuperZoo at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center, BUT… (and this is a word to the wise)… Their idea of parking for the handicap leaves a little bit to be desired.  Parking where you can gain access to Valet (which by unwritten rule even if Valet is full, they must take and park the Handicap identified vehicles. I always tip when I valet, but at this instance was told that the closest walk was to park in the convention center parking center.  Was a huge mistake after realizing that their “Handicap” parking was limited to the wall near the elevators and when I attempted to park, I had to park completely at the opposite end of the garage and was charge for it as well.  Mandalay Bay, please do yourself a favor and educate your Valet’s about parking for the disabled, as well as the idea that making us park at the furthest turret from the hall we wanted to go to was and IS the most devastating thing I experienced there.  It is obvious that I am disabled, and that my dog does her best to keep me moving forward and from falling over.  But walking 30 minutes uphill is hard on someone who is still on her feet, but for those that use walkers, and wheelchairs… this was miserable.  Please help us… and make things easier for us to obtain our goal of reaching our convention.

The heat has been awful so training has slowed down and will probably continue to do so. We hope to start training up again at end of this month, and in that time, Ma has a 3tour Marine in need of a K9 to help him live normally as I do with Ma.  This will be her first demo dog and hopefully she can accommodate him and get him the help he needs in the best way possible.  After all, he brought us freedom, why not give him that generosity in return?

Meanwhile, there have been more articles about how the public and local businesses have been dealing with Service Dogs.  Please read on as we share these difficult stories and help businesses understand what they can and can’t ask of us when we are accompanied with a service dog and a service dog in training… please read on!

Independence Day and Our Furry Family Members

I have had a few individuals approach me over the last few days about what they should do with their dogs/cats or other pets when the fireworks start flying over the 4th of July weekend.  In many cases, I am a huge advocate of natural remedies instead of tossing a few tranquilizers (read chemicals) down their pups gullet and ultimately finding out you damaged them because of the chemical or over dosed them producing a hurried rush to an ER Vet to have their stomachs pumped.

In many cases, the rule of thumb here is “common sense.”  If you absolutely insist on using drugs on your animal please, please, PLEASE make sure that your Vet has condoned the use of the drug and prescribed it just for your animal.  However, making things much easier on you and your pets, using essential oils, natural ways to comfort them make it so much easier at times.  Here are a few things that I can recommend for you that can accomplish the same results without the risk of hurting your pet.

  1. THunder jackets are new on the market, and if you don’t already have one, I have found a wonderful substitution that works very well, for all size of dogs.
  2.  If you are a essential oil user (like me) Using a small amount of Lavender and peppermint with a light base oil such as coconut oil you mix a tiny bit up and slowly massage it on to the tips of their ears, and on top of their heads near the bridge of the nose. These are calming oils that are used with infants as well (although I would not peppermint on a child or where your pet can lick it off) and place those in said areas about an hour or 2 before the fireworks start.calming vest
  3. Take your pet into a room where the family is and either turn up your radio or TV to a point where you, as a human can barely hear all the noise. The pets hearing is much more keen than ours, but this will help them tune out the scary noises to watch and listen to the music that they are used to.
  4. If you have crate trained your animal, this is probably the best time to break out the crate again placing in their favorite blanket and a few toys and then covering it with a heavy blanket to keep the pup calm in their familiar “den” where they will remain calm.
  5. 4thJulyDO NOT allow your dog or cat outside unattended… The rate of animals lost or killed during the 4th of July festivities seems high, but I assure you, it’s not a number to scare you but to make you aware that you could easily be one of them.  Please make sure you watch and tend to your pets vigilantly during this holiday weekend.

If you have any additional home remedies that have worked for you, but aren’t listed here, I would love to hear about them and them over to Ma!  We all have to learn something new every day and well, why limit the ways we can help our furry family members during high anxiety holidays and weekends!

 

Diabetes and Dogs

I came across this article, that helps people understand the amazing work that dogs do for humans with Diabetes. Most people with these dogs are Type 1, an onset that is determined prior to age 30.  I know  far too many juvenile diabetics and alway say that having a dog to help their sugar levels.  Have ‘lows’ is a horrible feeling and if not taken care of immediately, it is impossible to come out of it unscathed. It takes a lot out of a person.  I am proud to say that my last dog came to his nose extremely naturally and would not only paw me, but my husband as well indicating so much for us that we may have never had the chance to deal with in a safe manner.

Here is this amazing article:

http://gizmodo.com/we-finally-know-how-dogs-sniff-out-diabetes-1782670434

The one thing I am constantly asked about myself and my team mate Katana, is that “How do I get a service dog…?”

I have to be honest, and tell them the truth.  Have you been diagnosed with a debilitating disease that is a struggle to maintain?  are you willing to lose your independent and have a child (albeit a furry one) that you will continue to raise, play, TRAIN (yes I say train because training these K9’s NEVER stops!) and make sure that they are constantly seen by a vet for health issues and then there is the heartbreaking decision of giving up (retiring) your K9 for a new younger version.. and knowing you may not see them again…

It is extremely hard to have a K9 and after years of 24/7 service, having to say good bye.  As a trainer myself, I adore the work, but it is also heart breaking to see pups age and slow down.