Proudly Marching to the tune of a Different Kettle of Fish

Abe's Remarkable Day

June 28th 2011 11:19 pm
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Abe's been working for several months now full time. However I've noticed within this past month that he's really fell into his groove and matured a great deal. His little insecurities which sometimes annoyed me in public have disappeared and you can tell he's really taking his job seriously. This has also fallen within the same time now that my new doctor has renewed my prescription for a service dog and is taking his usage very seriously.

Since my Pulmonary Specialist has never worked with someone with a service dog before he is keeping detailed records of my health and how Abe behaves and alerts to it and is hoping to use it for the purposes of a study for people with severe lung problems. He's hoping that by indicating what goes on with my system when Abe alerts that it can be helpful for other people with chronic lung issues and stopping chronic episodes before they happen. I keep notes of when Abe alerts such as what I was doing at the time and what sort of sounds and actions he's made to alert me. So far it has indicated that he has different sounds+actions depending on the severity of the situation. For example; he wakes me at night if I have breathing problems by biting on my fingers or my neck. For slight wheezing he pushes his nose into my ribs and growls and for major issues he bites my fingers and pulls on my clothing while growling until I take my medication or someone helps me.

Now most people and especially doctors don't usually believe that a dog could learn to alert to breathing problems like other disabilities because alike with seizures or blood sugar there hasn't been any evidence of what sort of chemical changes take place before an attack. With seizures and blood sugar there is a smell change that takes place that allows the dog to alert but there is no indication of such with breathing issues.

…Now I will get onto talking about Abe’s remarkable day.

Today was the first day I had taken Abe with me to my pulmonary rehabilitation appointment. I have been having some serious episodes this past month and have reported to my doctor in a journal every time Abe alerts to an attack but my doctors/nurses have never observed it first hand. Today I went to do my exercising and Abe was sound asleep next to my treadmill near the pulmonary nurse that observes me. I all of a sudden felt a wave of dizziness and suddenly to my surprise I heard the nurse gasp and Abe come right up to me and start biting onto my hand and pulling me gently by my pant leg. I immediately stopped because this is his indicator that I am going to have an episode and am dizzy and he wants to brace me. The nurses immediately sat me down and took my vitals and discovered that I was in the beginning of an attack but because he had alerted immediately it kept my lungs from collapsing and kept me from passing out. The head nurse who had been assisting me had said Abe had shoved her out of the way to get to me and she thought he was misbehaving until she saw he was alerting and bracing himself for me.

Frankly; them seeing him alerting in public was a huge step for validating in there notes me using a service animal but also providing to my doctor information for his personal study.

I sat for about a half hour and took some medication and when I felt better I went to my next exercise machine. Abe lay down next to my step machine and was off in dreamland once again.

There was an elderly man who was in the hospital who was doing rehabilitation on a treadmill 5ft from me. His nurse attendant was several feet away, completely distracted and ignoring him. Without warning and before I could stop him- Abe yet again woke from his deep sleep, race across the room to the man before I could grab his leash and started biting his fingers and pulling gently on his robe. The man at first was terrified thinking him dangerous and stopped his machine as Abe started nosing him aggressivly. I was stunned at Abe’s behavior and I told the man that he was alerting and to take a seat immediately. The man then all of a sudden collapsed as I said this and was luckily caught by a nurse before he fell completely. They had to call in help and put him on a face mask because his lungs had given out but he shortly recovered.
Abe is now the idol of my pulmonary rehab clinic as well as the elderly gentleman he assisted.
The head nurse that works with me as well as the rest of the group including the doctors now adore Abe and now want to push the use of pulmonary service animals. The head nurse however did yell at the assisting nurse for not paying attention to her patient and stated that if Abe had not been there he would have been seriously hurt. She yelled at her also; telling her that Abe was my service dog and should be only paying attention to me and her incompetence is dividing his attention away from his master. LOL I’m glad she said that because I was thinking it.

This was just an incredible day and I had to share. It validates all the hard work I put into Abe as I’m sure all of you feel about your dogs. It makes me proud to know that Abe is taking his job so seriously and you can really see the joy in his eyes when he’s out and about. I hope this is just a small step into creating a better environment for service animals as well as for helping the average person to understand a service dog’s function more. I know that before I left for the day several people with chronic lung issues where now interested in getting service dogs because they admired how useful Abe was and want to be more independent. I offered to give them whatever information I could and hope to see more service dogs helping people in the near future.

 

Bad Kids- Child Rant

March 27th 2011 3:10 pm
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Now I just want to say that Abe doesn’t have a mean bone in his body. The only time he’s been aggressive is he growled when two men approached me when I was walking at night and he scared them off. But he’s about as benign a dog as I’ve ever had, including my golden retriever.

Well I went to a doctor’s appointment recently and it was the first time he’d ever gone with me to a visit since he wasn’t working full time before due to his age. He was of course a doll and was so happy and well behaved….until the little monsters in the waiting room showed up.

I have issues with kids all the time. He’s a hound, kids love hounds and their floppy ears and wrinkles but once I tell them not to touch him. They usually behave or the parents come get them. Unfortunately this time around I got the kids that just wouldn’t listen and the parents that just sat there on there fat asses not paying attention to what their children were doing.

Abe and I went to check in and my mother went to sit down in waiting when suddenly Abe and I were both startled by a high screech yell and two kids racing towards us at full speed and then sliding into home in front of us. Of course any dog would be wide eyed and while Abe didn’t move from his heel- he was terrified and his lip was quivering.

I managed to stop the kids from petting him and was terrified to think that Abe might bite the child given how scared Abe was. I told the children not to pet him because he was working and I received a blank stare. Some dude lounging across some chair nearby yelled at the kids to ‘get the fuck away from the dog because he was working’ and they ran off but that wasn’t the last I heard from them. I then told both parents to keep the kids away from him because he was a service dog.

I had not been waiting in line 5mins when the kids started throwing Cheetos at Abe and he started getting restless. Not because he likes Cheetos and wanted to eat them but rather he was upset at the attention. I firmly told the kids to leave him alone and the “mother” came over to the kids and proceeded to scream at them and drug them away. I was to stressed and angry to care about the kids being treated badly. Besides, just because I’m disabled doesn’t me I’m under obligation to be friendly or teach someone elses kids a lesson.

Not 2 minutes later they started racing in a circle around the chairs, tossing Cheetos at Abe and run by slaps as they went by. It was then when Abe started growling, not a full blown growl but a deep rumble under his breath and his lips started twitching. I lost it!

I snatched one of the kids at he ran by and yelled (ok, my version of yelling is much more quiet and more threatening but it works) and I told the child that if they continued I would call the police and they would take there parents away and the they would never see their parents again if they continued to bother me. It worked and the kids ran off to there parents and sat down and everyone in the waiting room was relieved.
Yes, I know, not nice and even illegal. But I’m getting so f-ing sick of kids messing around and there parents not even paying attention or telling them no. I will not have my dog driven to aggression or a child bitten because some parents never taught their kid the meaning of no.

That is the first time Abe has ever growled for no other reason then he was panicked but what are people like us with Service Dogs suppose to do with kids that won’t listen; Especially if they are pushing our dogs to aggression. I’d rather they arrest me for scaring the hell out of those kids then if I let it go and Abe be euthanized for biting a child out of fear.
Thank you for letting me rant but I’m still really upset. This incident has set Abe back on his training by months because now he is acting shy whenever he sees a child. It was a bad situation.

 

Happy Ice Cream Day~ Finding Your Bliss~

March 19th 2011 1:35 am
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We have been relaxing since Boogie has left for a new home. Its been alot of drama having him with being fostered here and things were getting pretty bad with him. Boogie was biting me an average of 3x a week. But I drew the line when we had to use a broom to pry his jaws off of Abe's throat and McLovin' and Boogie got into a dog fight because McLovin' ran in to rescue his brother Abe. Boogie went to a different foster home where he will be a lone dog and hopefully, she plans to keep him permanently.

The dogs have mellowed, the cats have mellowed and everyone is now able to sleep through the night without a little white terror screaming bloody murder. I feel so sad for Boogie that he is such an unhappy dog but I'm more mad at his past owner who let him get to that point. I've never been unable to rehabilitate a dog but Boogie is my first.

We decided to top off this wonderful, mellow day with ice cream given that it's just so lovely outside (Couldn't eat ice cream around Boogie because he'd attack the other dogs.) Sat outside in this lovely 65 degree weather and everyone got there own ice cream cone (posted pictures) then we all played a game (catch McLovin') and took a nap outside together (Dog Pile!). It was a wonderful happy day.
McLovin's most favorite thing in the world is ice cream and he set a new record of eating every drop of ice cream in 3 minutes flat. O_O He had a bit of a tummy ache but a nap made him feel better and then his day got so much better when he was invited into my room to watch Sherlock (his favorite; he loves murder mysteries).
Abe isn't as coordinated with the ice cream as McLovin' and got it all over himself. I ended up having to him him a bath because he got all sticky LOL McLovin' cleaned most of it off of him and has been so sweet these past couple of days now that it's just him and his main pack again. Abe slept like a pup and snored. It was a big day for everyone but I finally figured out what my dogs have that Boogie didn't have that made it impossible for him to live with us...Bliss.

 

Done with Fostering Dogs Rant

March 8th 2011 9:37 pm
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I'm so tired. I've been fostering dogs for so many years now: training, rehabilitating and helping animals. But after this past dog; Boogie the Bichon (finally rehomed) I'm just tired of working with dogs. I don't get joy anymore seeing people with a dog.
Boogie had so many behavioral problems that couldn't be changed all because his past owner spoiled him and treated him like a child and let him do whatever he wanted so the amount of homes available to him were slim. Because of his psychological issues, he simply can't be trusted (he bites) which takes the joy away from having him.
I've been dog training as well to help people with there misbehaving dogs and I just get so tired of these dogs in homes where the people have no clue how to care for a dog. The dog is a psychological mess and the people treat these animals like babies, not canines. I've dealt with people who have sent there dogs to the shelter or worst yet, euthanized them due to behavior problems and it's all because they wouldn't discipline there dog or even called me in to train the dog but didn't like me telling them not to treat there dog like a human. Yet euthanasia is more acceptable then admitting they're wrong and changing how they treat there pet.
Dog is not a dirty word. Treating a dog with the dignity of a dog instead of a human doesn't make it a lesser life form or that you love your dog any less. People need to learn to respect other creatures for there own unique form of psychology and even society. Dogs are not people and once we come to appreciate our canines for this the closer we will come.

 

Hospital Visit

March 4th 2011 3:50 pm
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Just got out of the hospital because of my chronic lung disease. Poor Abe had to be at home for several days and didn't see me because he couldn't stay with me because I was inpatient.
He was so happy to see me, I though for sure he was going to tackle me but he didn't and was very gentle with me. He's such a good boy.
This is the first time he's seen me extremely sick before, unlike my past service dogs, Abe has me at home a lot. In the past I was in the hospital two weeks every month. Abe isn't use to me being away from me and isn't really friendly to anyone else which makes it hard for my mom to care of him.

 

When Psychos Attack!

February 10th 2011 5:28 pm
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Went to Hobby Lobby with Abe the other day to pick up some ink for my book and to look around with my mother. I was looking at something when this young preteen girl sits near Abe and tries to pet him. Now I deal with people all the time coming over and bothering us so I wasn't concerned. So when this girl got pushy and wounding listen after I told her not to pet him just thought she was just annoying. She decided not to listen and preceded to tell me her mother had service dogs and took them to hospitals and nursing homes all the time to let people pet them. I said therapy dogs do that not service dogs who are mean't for one individual disabled person and cannot be petted because it would distract him from it's job and is against the law. She still continued to try and cuddle him and pet him and followed me around and argued and I was getting tired of her harassing me. I finally got away from her and my mother and I separated so I could got get my supplies and so my mom could still look around and hopefully she'd leave me alone for good.
About 15min later my mom comes rushing up to me surprised and kind of concerned to tell me that she heard the girl in another aisle and this angry woman talking about how I was wrong and how she was going to find me and set me straight. I didn't take it to seriously; we get angry people all the time who rant about my service dog.
Were on our way out of the store and this woman and the girl from before comes stomping up to me. The mother had searched through the whole store just to find me, get in my face and start screaming at me like a psycho- that I was a fucking liar and how dare I harass her daughter. Now...when I saw psycho, I mean: she figuratively lost her frikkin' mind and started shouting at me, screaming at the top of her lungs and I think I saw her in fatal attraction kind of crazy. This woman had lost it and I never back down from a fight because I'll be damned if so stupid crazy bitch speaks to me like that. My mother even though she doesn't yell is the most dangerous one of us two and was just waiting for her to touch me so she could rip her face off. After a couple minutes and a crowd had gathered a male worker came over and directed her away from me and my mother got me away from her.
We waited a few minutes before we decided to leave and then headed towards the register. She was up at the counter still ranting to the poor clerk as she checked out. A guy nearby opened a closed lane just for us and checked us out. They had the police on call should she come over to bother us some more and promised to take care of us. One of them even offered to walk us to our car when we were on our way out and she screeched to a halt outside the store in her SUV and glared at us but took off when my mother pulled out her phone to call the police. We sat in our car for a few minutes as we watched her circle around the driveway looking for us. Afterawhile we left and went to the police station where we filed a report against her. They said that someone should have called them when we were in trouble because then she could have been arrested for harassing someone with a service dog and also verbal assault. They are keeping our report on record so if we call them in the future about her they'll know she's a previous offender.
Abe's pretty shaken and I was shaking after because of how pissed off I was and still am. I pray she doesn't know where we live and have alerted all my neighbors who have been keeping a look out. If she does know where we live, I wouldn't put it past her to show up at our house or to hurt somebody.
This is scary stuff people and it just shows that even if you disagree with somebody and you think you've just had a serious argument. There are still people out there who will take it one step to far.

~Anti & Abe~

 

Tired as Heck

February 3rd 2011 7:25 pm
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Abe an I are soooooooo tired. We were running errands all day and my back is killing me. tomorrow we have to deal with the rudest, most stupid receptionist in the world....and I'm not being dramatic. (unenthusiastic) Yay.
I need to buy a new service vest for Abe. The one I have that's been in use for 11yrs is finally wearing through and I spent 2hours yesterday because I ran it through the wash because it was looking gross and it lost all it's straps and I had to sew them all back on.

 

Service Dog Stupidity

January 25th 2011 8:01 pm
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I'll admit that since having my first service dog 10yrs ago (I was 11yrs old) when people were just plain vicious towards me and my dog Lucky; things have gotten better in ways as far as disability rights for service animals. From having to call the police years ago for harassment for people hitting my service dog or grabbing me aggressively now to people ignoring my dog completely which is great.
It seems as if it has become a cool fad for people to have a service dog even if they don't need one or to have a badly trained dog that makes all service animals look bad. Not just that but now having to deal with people who have no clue what they are talking about concerning service animals.
I have a physical support service dog who I use to help me with my chronic pain, stability and also alerting to when I have bad episodes with my chronic severe life threatening lung disease. He has a very important and life saving job. But now whenever I go out, yes I receive more consideration from people in that they don't react badly but now more people are starting to try and pet my service dog Abe (which he doesn't like and reacts badly to because he is very serious on the job). People not respecting the seriousness of his job and not realizing that them petting him distracts him from his job which could cause him to stop doing his job which could in a worst case scenario cause my death from a bad episode and him not alerting for help because he's to busy trying to be petted. A new rise of poorly trained service dogs and emotional support dogs has made owning a service dog a fad equivalent to Paris Hilton carrying around Tinkerbell and when people see this they no longer respect the important job the service dog must preform for people with serious disabilities.
There was a woman in a mental health group advising everyone in the group to get dogs and use them as emotional support dogs-untrained, uncertified and also with no clue as to the etiquette or laws regarding working animals and the fact that under federal law emotional support animals are not service animals and therefore do not have the same rights or privileges.
Both my dogs have had to or will have to go through years of training and work and now people are just using the excuse that they don't like being alone to carry around there little ill mannered yorki (someone I knows child was at a store I go to was bitten by a small emotional support dog on the face.)
People viewing me having my service animal not as a medical device but as a lovable pet they should cuddle or that I only have my service animal for attention or for mental health reason ticks me off more then ignorant people who wouldn't allow me into a store before because of their lack of knowledge. At least before my dog could still preform his job without getting distracted or harassed by idiots who don't respect him working because of there experience with badly trained service. Or having my service dog tackled in the middle of a store because yet again someone let there emotional support dog tackle him while he's working because they think it would be cute to watch them play.
It's becoming exhausting to deal with and is becoming detrimental to all that training Abe has done. I fell recently because a lady who always let's who emotional support dog out on an extend-a leash in stores tackle my dog when she sees him to try and get our dogs to play; (referenced above) had her dog across the street at a business and Abe yanked me to try and run across the street towards them. Luckily my mom was with me and caught him and we gave him a correction.

 
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