Icy as my Service Dog and Training

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Another Walk to My Son's Primary School

March 19th 2013 5:21 am
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Thank you everyone once again for making Icy's Diary the Pick for 19/03/2013. He really is developing well and if we can get past that dog attack in his head I would think he could graduate to SD.

Yesterday we walked to my son's primary school for the parent group that meets there for the last half hour of the day with the kids. We played with cross words and mazes. It was very good and my son was so happy to see me that I got big hugs and he even blew me a kiss at the end!

On the way there we passed a very loud street cleaning machine without problems, cars, bicycles and people. He was perfect in the school and just lay down and was a total gem during the class and meeting with the parents. A lot of parents were curious about Icy after seeing him at the last meeting. I answered a lot of questions and he got lots of slivers of cheese for being a very good boy.

After the bell went we waited till the halls were clear before leaving. We got out onto the pavement and it was mobbed with high schoolers. He was wonderful at keeping his concentration to help me up the hill with all those people around. I was weaker on the way home yesterday and if one of those kids had tapped my shoulder I would likely have fallen over.

We got to the top of the hill and someone took their dog out of their flat not far from us. It barked, Icy barked but the second I pulled his Dogmatic halter so he looked at me and walked into his vision he stopped. I was so surprised! I told him he was a very good boy and he got lots of pets.

Then we went to the crossing and went across. My back was hurting and I was breathing hard so I leaned against a lamp post while he waited very patiently for me. Then we went on to a bench I knew and I sat till I felt ready to continue. We were not far from the house. Out of the blue a lab walked within hands distance of Icy and I. He did his bad bark but didn't try and pull, just tell it off. I got his attention with his halter and his bark died down within seconds. I was very impressed with him!! We crossed a busy road and were home soon after.

I am so very pleased! He's learning! I didn't think it would take him long once he knew what I DIDN'T want him to do. So I'm expecting this training to go uphill from now on. A real breakthrough.

Thank you for reading!

 

Icy helping with my bath today

March 16th 2013 9:23 am
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This is probably one of the odder entries I will make but I had to report. I just got out of the bath. Our shower is broken and I sat on my shower bench and poured water over myself. I'm not mobile enough to get in and out of the bath yet even if I had assistance.

Anyway, I have problems with my nerves so that I get a lot of pain with hot or cold water. I usually take lukewarm showers.

My husband had filled the bath warmer than I'd usually have it and I poured water from a cup over my back and screamed! My son came through and so did Icy. Icy staid to give me the odd lick on the leg when I was running the water over my hair and body. It was very comforting to feel his licks when I had my eyes closed and the water pouring over my head.

After I got out my husband asked me why I didn't just make the bath colder. It hadn't occurred to me.

Just now he alerted us to my Mother In Law coming into the house. Our family are all upstairs and I had my headphones on and he made a big deal of telling us that she was in the house.

He's gotten a lot of praise and treats in the last 5 minutes. He really is embracing the aspect of his job as my PTSD dog.

 

Thank you Again!!

March 9th 2013 4:37 am
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Icy and I were astonished this morning to find that his diary has been picked again for the Dogster Daily Diary Pick on 09/03/2013. I think this is the first time either of the dogs have been picked twice in one week!

We're both working together to get through Icy's fear of another dog attack and missing Lone Star SD/Mobility Assistance Dog (RIP in December).

Icy and I will continue our partnership and I'll continue to report to you all on how were doing. It gives me such a warm feeling to know this is being read.

Thanks again!

 

Thank you!

March 6th 2013 6:52 am
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Thank you all for making Icy's newest adventure Dogster Daily Diary Pick for 06/03/2013.

We're both working together to get through Icy's fear of another dog attack and missing Lone Star SD/Mobility Assistance Dog (RIP in December).

It means a lot to both of us. And thank you for Icy's first Rosette!

 

Trip on the bus and working on a busy road

March 5th 2013 1:27 am
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Our trip out yesterday was a great success.

I have a photo of Icy and I on the bus and one of just him with the door open and then one at that karate studio where my son has his classes and video I'll have to see about uploading.

He's an accomplished bus traveler but hasn't done it in about a year and this was his first time at the karate studio. It was very busy and people walked over him and around him and he got up and moved for people. Kids and adults with big bags. On the way to the studio is a very busy road. He's used to roads but this one is the busiest we've crossed together without a cross walk. He watched for cars and everything else.

Saw three dogs. He alerted me to the first until it was 15 paces from us, opposite side of the street. The other two came walking by in front of us. When I was in a bus shelter and about the cross a road. He alerted again but was really barking his full voice at these until they passed the certain distance. Working on how to stop this as I don't want him to gain a reputation for loudness.

We're working through his fear of being attacked again together.

All in he was very very good and it made me feel more comfortable about making the trip with him again next week.

 

Craft Day at my son's Primary School

February 25th 2013 9:18 am
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Took Icy out today for a creative parent/child thing that happens on Monday at his primary school. I've never been able to attend before but I am finally at the point where I can travel fairly well with a dog on my own. It wasn't to much strain. Had a great time and Icy was great.

At one point one of the 6 year olds jumped OVER him and he just raised his head. I told the child to please not do that again because it scared Icy.

He was dropped lead for about 2 hours. 8 six year olds and 5 adults doing arts and crafts. On the way home we walked home with a lot of the teens from the high school passing us and he was totally fab. He was told by the teacher that he was invited back. :)

Hoping to make this a weekly thing. My son was so happy I was there. He talked a lot about Lone Star (my deceased Assistance Dog). All the kids knew her and wanted to know where she was.

 

Icy on his Dogmatic

February 22nd 2013 11:04 am
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Had a great walk with Icy last night to my 6 year old's school where we had a parent meeting for an hour and half and then walked home in the dark. He was perfect as usual and the Dogmatic was great. We saw a another dog and he started to get agitated and after one pull on the Dogmatic he settled back into his work. Was quiet and staid with a dropped lead in a lie down through the meeting. Food on the table and 10 people present.

Icy's a smart cookie. I always knew what I needed was a way to break his eye contact but with walking with a crutch, I could never carry any noise making thing or treat. I walked just fine holding the reg length leash attached to the Dogmatic in my crutch hand, My balance is much improved thanks to Star so when I gave it a tug it wasn't a big deal to compensate my stance.

I am glad I decided to use his normal length lead for the Dogmatic as it had to be held across the front of my body. It made me very aware of how much he scans everything we pass by. I gave him extra lead because he was moving his head back and forth so much watching out for me. Not watching for dogs so much as watching for things I might trip on and people/etc.

I get tunnel vision when I walk and one of the tasks the dogs have been trained for is to watch out for things almost like a dog for the blind. Star stopped me from walking in from of cars on 2 occasions though I do try and watch the roads.

I begin to see why they are both knackered when they get home with me! LOL I'm going to try and go out with him tomorrow afternoon for another thing at my son's school. Now that I feel more confident in the Dogmatic I am not worried if we see any other dogs.

 

First time back on the job and at the pub

February 16th 2013 9:45 am
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Icy fell right into working like we had never stopped. Absolutely brilliant. I had him in a lie down next to me with leash loose. The only thing that startled him was when some blokes started playing darts. He got over it fast. Lots of distractions. At one point a lady came up to talk to him and he turned his back to her and put his had to the wall. LOL

This trip was 3.5 hours and included a car ride and a steep hill besides all the distractions in the pub. A toddler kept dancing around near him and people were drinking with no response from Icy. When I got up, he got up on his own and waited with a dropped lead till I was ready to pick it up and go.

 

Icy noticing possible seizures

February 11th 2013 2:34 pm
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Last night I had another black out. Icy warned me it was going to happen and then woke me out of it with licks and a bark. Could be seizures. I'm on the list to see a Neurologist and my GP said it shouldn't be long till I see them. I think he has fast tracked me since I wanted to be tested for MS. I also gave a sample to be checked for Diabetes though I don't think this is from that.

His new harness should be here in a few days. As I had to take him off duty due to a dog attack that got him paranoid, my plan is to sit on a bench where people walk their dogs and do some training that way with the Dogmatic I bought. This way both he and I don't have to worry about my balance while he works through his worries. Of course I'll have plenty of treats. He's very smart and I think he'll pick up that not all dogs are threats, fast.

 

SD/ Assistance Dog Training Continued from Lone Star's Diary

December 27th 2012 7:39 am
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Lone Star is no longer with me. Since she is gone I have thought to keep the diary running on Icy's site as any work will be with him. I miss her deeply.

I had been training Lone Star to pay attention to our surroundings and to how I was feeling, along with balance for my mobility. I originally trained Icy purely for mobility help and as like a "living crutch".

I had to retire him in the early last September due to a dog attack that made him to protective toward other dogs for me to work with at that point. Lone Star got me along enough that I can now walk on my own with one crutch and without a backpack without debilitating back pain.

I have been grieving and had no intentions of using Icy again to help me. I still have hopes that he will be a pet. But he has started picking up on things with me, like Star would have.

Recently I have started having black outs. So far just while sitting. Last night Icy started licking my inner elbow when I was about to black out and it brought me back. Maybe not for long but it did it. This is a totally new thing for him and I am amazed. All I can think is that the dogs learned from each other. I did not have to teach Star much of keeping me mobile and Icy knows all that stuff so he learned from her how to watch me.

I will see what happens with this. I bought him a Dogmatic head collar to help me get his protectiveness under control. I had bought it in the hopes to walk him as a pet. But if he learns to keep his focus on only me and these new finer ways of caring for me then I may take him out of retirement. He's a young guy and very smart.

If you would like to read about my past training with both dogs, it is under Lone Star's Training Diary on her site: http://www.dogster.com/dogs/1122120

 
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