August 26th 2006 12:23 am
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Well, after receiving my "walking" papers - aka - "pink slip - actually a three page letter" on dismissing me from the Service Dog School, I now enter my final stage of training. My dismissal from the program was because of my diary entries that were written during my training on becoming a Service Dog (My mom wrote from the heart and kept it upbeat during the good times and the bad). Another reason for my dismissal was because I couldn't fulfill their requirements on doing the take command. It was found out at my last Vet visit (a 2nd opinion) the truth about my DEFORMED jaw. With the tests it showed that I can't even chew properly because my teeth don't even line up let alone touch correctly. No wonder I hated the take command - I couldn't take because I can't grasp ANYTHING. I'm a disabled doggie because of a deformed jaw... One that mom will love unconditionaly. Even thou I was given the doggie boot, I will now become a Certified Service Dog thru another program called Pets and People: Companions in Therapy & Service OR S.A.R.A. (Service Animal Registry of America). Service Dogs in the USA don't require certification to be working, but after a year of training done by me (three months with a professional trainer in the beginning) and then with the Service Dog School I'm ready for the next level of being certified. I earned it and will continue to serve my mom till I retire - whenever that may be. Any Service Dog can register with S.A.R.A. and some aren't up to snuff to what they do, but I have someone to sign my papers. On the other hand, Pets and People: Companions in Therapy & Service offers a REAL certification status. Mom has contacted my 1st trainer and she'll sign them stating I have met my requirements of being a Service Dog. She evaluated me last month and gave me a PAWS UP on all my required tasks for helping my mom. Pets and People: Companions in Therapy & Service requires the Public Access Test to be given and have to submit a video of it being done. I've explained to them the circumstances about Shadow and the school. I also told them that he took the Public Access Test in April. They'll waive the taping as long as I can get the trainer to do a quick run thru of the test and then sign and notorize the test PLUS give them her business card for they can contact her to verify everything. It's the best choice for us now since we were given our walking papers.
Mom will be bringing my papers over to the trainer next week to have her sign them stating that I qualify as a Service Dog and have met all the requirements (tasks) that I need to do too work for my mom. I'm leaning toward the Pets and People: Companions in Therapy & Service Program. This will be a REAL CERTIFICATION VS just a Registry (S.A.R.A.).
I'll write an entry soon about my final choice for Shadow and me.
After that I'll probably just write one entry a month to tell you what's happening. I'll also take a digital photo of his certification paperwork/card and post it in my photobucket account. Then you'll be able to see what his Certification paperwork looks like.
I was BORN TO SERVE and I will ALWAYS REMAIN FAITHFUL in the tasks that I've been trained to do as a CERTIFIED SERVICE DOG.
Take care..... SHADOW, CERTIFIED SERVICE DOG
August 12th 2006 12:43 am
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Just got word from 20th Century Fox today that Shadow WON the "Firehouse Dog" contest put on by Dogster. What an honor for Shadow's picture (I used his Primary Acct photo) to be seen during the end credits of the movie. "Firehouse Dog" will be out in the theaters sometime next year.
So, here is the ANNOUNCEMENT that we received today:
You have officially won our Dogster.com/"Firehouse Dog" sweepstake. Your four-legged friend is going to be featured on our film's end credits (in theaters in 2007). We will be contacting you next week with all the details.
Best wishes to you and your dog!
20th Century Fox Film
I don't know if they choose any other pooches from Dogster and if they did I would like to say CONGRATULATIONS to any or all of the winners. Thank you Dogster for hosting the contest. Thank you Dogster for fixing the problem we had entering the contest. We thought for sure after 2 strike outs (due to server problem) that we would never be able to post his picture or quick "hero" bio. So, Shadow and I would like to say THANK YOU from the bottom of hearts. Can't wait to see Shadow in the big lights. He also will get to see himself too because he's a SERVICE DOG who can go into the movie theater with me to enjoy the film... Here is the website for the film: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0476995/
See ya all....
June 3rd 2006 11:26 pm
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Mom got the word last night that class was going to be canceled because most of the students and teachers couldn't come. It was so hot today that we didn't even go to the Casa Grande Ruins. Mom had to go out with my oldest sissy for some last minute shopping for packing boxes. She leaves on Monday... I just want to cry.. I'm going to miss my little Edan. I'll miss Jacob too, but I spent more time with the little one everyday.
I got the day off today. With the outside temperatures reaching close to 112 degrees she decided to keep me home. I've done the hot days before and I really didn't like the heat. So, I got to stay home in the nice A/C house.
We have to meet in the classroom on the 17th to go over our home visits for our final training. So, no school next week.
So, see ya all...
June 1st 2006 8:29 pm
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Last Saturday we went to a huge Mall called Metro Center in Phoenix, AZ. It's actually smaller then one of our local Malls closer to our home. We met up at the Food Court area. Coco and Sophie were there already and we went over and sat down. We had to wait about a half hour before Joyce, Kathy and June to arrive. We had lunch 1st and then took a walk thru the Mall. They wanted to see how we did on elevators.. No problem for me I've been on them a trillion times in the past two years. After we were done we found a quiet corner where we could practice the "take" command. I did pretty well today... I'm a hit and miss with it, but at least they said I did well.
This coming Saturday - 3 Jun 06 I'm going to see the Casa Grande Ruins in Coolidge AZ. I'm going with mom, my two sissy's and my two cute buddies - Edan and Jacob. I'm going to be very lonely next Monday when they leave for SC with their mommy. I don't know when I'll see them again. I love sleeping next to his crib and I'm going to be so lonely when he won't be able to play with me (he's only 16 months old) anymore.
When we get back from that little trip I'll be meeting up with our classmates at a local Mall near us. They're going to be in a huge shock on the size of it. I love walking it with my mommy. She does have to stop for breaks because she has too much pain after a short hike thru the Mall.
OH>>>>> I just found out today - JUNE 1, 2006 that I became the 1st Service Dog of the Month for our Dogster Service Dog group. Mom gave me so many hugs and kisses for earning the honor...
Well, see ya all soon...
May 24th 2006 9:34 pm
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Last Saturday we met up at a restaurant called "Uncle Bear's Bar and Grill". It was named after the owners black lab, Bear. The place is really cool. It had peanut shells on the floor and the peanuts (in the shells) were served in DOGGIE BOWLS!! That was so cool. They knew we were coming and cleared up the floor area for us. We still brought a blanket because all the shells weren't quite picked up. The food was awesome. We found out that they have a new location opening up in our area and I hope to be the first Service Dog to enter the premises on opening day. They had 8 x 10 photos of doggies on the wall that customers brought in. Mom brought one in of me to hang on the wall. When the new place opens she'll bring another one for they can hang it.
We all did well. We slept thru the whole lunch. Then it was time to go. We went outside for some picture taking. As soon as moms computer gets fixed she'll post them to this diary entry.
This coming Saturday we're off to a huge mall called Metro Center. This time we have to do some walking before we have lunch.
Oh, mom got her new W.A.G. (Water And Gear) bag from www.ruffwear.com. It's very large bag (about the size of a duffle bag) that has a water bladder inside w/ an outside spigot. It holds ALL MY GEAR and more. Mom will use it during her Mall trips and weekend trips out of town. The rest of the time she'll put it in the car when we go out during the week and just store it there. She packed everything she could think of that I need on my short trips - water bowl, towel, doggie waste bags, training toys, boots, extra leash, extra collar and other odds and ends. It has a carrying strap and mom's purse fits inside too. It has loads of pockets to put anything you can think of in. When we go away for the weekend it will hold my doggie food with room to spare. I just love it.
So, see ya all ...
May 14th 2006 11:01 pm
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On the 6th of May I went to my sissy's Irish Dance competition. She didn't place, but it was loads of fun sleeping thru all that NOISE!! When they did the Treble Reel Special I was fine when the dancers were doing one step down the line UNTIL the whole line did that "Riverdance" NOISE!! I sat up at HOWLED!!! The whole place was so noisy with the steps (pounding) and the audience clapping to the beat. Well, I can't clap.. I can only use my voice to show them that I really liked it too. I just can't understand why mom was shushing me and laughing at the same time. The afternoon comps ran really, really late. We didn't get out of there until 8 PM (we got there at 10 AM). Since its such a long drive home we had to go out for dinner. The two little ones were really hungry. So, we went to the Macaroni Grill. The patio area could serve us faster then waiting for an hour inside. So, the kids ate while mom and my two sissys waited for three friends to show up. So, they ate really late. Mom brought me doggie food and I ate that at the dance comp. We got home after midnight. I slept a lot the next day. I was really, really tired. Papa went fishing for the weekend and he had to go too church with us. Since I didn't fit in the car I stayed home with my Nana to keep her company.
This past Saturday, the 13th we met up with most of our group at the Arizona Mills Mall. Wendi and Coco couldn't be there and Chris/Majic didn't show up. Mom picked up Pam and Ellie (they live near us) for they could have some fun at the Mall. Ellie graduated from the school a few years ago. She's one HUGE German Sheppard. The both of us got to sit alone in the back seat since we've met before and like each other. We were both quiet the entire time we were in the car. In fact I only said HI when she first got into the car and then I was quiet the rest of the day. I surprised mom and everyone else by keeping quiet. I'll do it when no one is paying attention.. BOL We had a blast walking around the Mall. Mom was told by her Ortho docs that she has to wear shoes because she has "severe" arthritis in her right ankle. Wearing her Berks didn't help because they don't have support in them. Mom has a hard time wearing shoes because of the nerve damage in her left ankle. She found a pair of shoes that she told me were very comfy. I noticed when she was walking around the Mall she wasn't having too many problems with pain. So, maybe the shoes will help. Speaking of shoes... It's now HOT, HOT, HOT in Arizona.. Once the temps hit the triple digits I have to wear shoes too. Otherwise I would burn my pads on the hot asphalt. All you doggies out there should wear protection on your paws.. either city walking or hiking in rough terrain. I usually wear mine about 10 months out of the year. After we went walking for awhile we went to the food court and found a place to sit. Mom and her classmate Wendy/Sophie ate lunch along w/ our school trainers.. Plus Pam/Ellie showed up to join us. We then left to go home with one more stop at Kohl's to do some last minute shopping for Mother's Day gifts.
Next week with have another outing at a restaurant. See ya all next week...
April 30th 2006 11:24 pm
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This past Saturday we had to come to class at noon. A new group is starting up and we had to go in and explain who we are. Mom had to explain about me being a Mobility Assistant Service Dog.
After they left we had our class. Today we looked at "clicker" training and it was rather interesting. Mom told me that she wasn't going to do it with me at this late stage of the game. The next thing we covered was the "TAKE" command. In our class we had a volunteer trainer for the school who comes in to help students and their dogs get any problems out of the way before the certification test.
Sophie did really well with her TAKE command. Coco was up next and she only had a few problems, but not bad. Next was me... Guess what... I wouldn't even do it for the lady. Mom is going to try to do the training with the gentle leader on at home and also without. She thought I was a sweet dog... very quiet. She thought I needed a SHRINK!! BOL BOL.. She tried all kinds of methods to have me take it and I wouldn't. Finally, the lady was on my moms side.. That I'm the problem and not my mom. She's doing everything right and I flat out refuse to do it. She asked me about Kongs, spraying good stuff on things etc.. and mom told her that I don't like them. I'll play outside, but won't work with the TAKE unless its thrown in the yard for me to run away with it. So, she's going to think about it and will get back with mom later on. Also, she wants me to have a thyroid test to see if I'm so lay back because of a thyroid problem. Mom will get that done in June at my annual visit.
There will no longer be classes for quite awhile. It's now OJT (On The Job Training) beginning in two weeks. There is an outing next Saturday, but I'm going with my mom to see sissy dance at an Irish Dance competition. Sissy is taking a break from dancing after this Feis. The cost of fuel and the price of the lessons are one of the reasons. I'm sure going to miss her dancing. I hope mom still takes me to the competitions thou. She has friends to see when she goes to them.
Our first OJT is at the Arizona Mills shopping mall. So, until then...
April 24th 2006 10:37 pm
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Last Saturday we went over our certification test, anatomy of a dog (homework) and some laws. We also had two guests. One of them was from the Lab rescue where I came from. The other was a teen with her Great Dane who's in training to become her Service Dog. I acted up... I tried to talk and talk and talk. Mom kept shushing me and I finally shut up after a couple reprimands from her.
We had to just do the touch command from a distance. I was totally not in focus with anything. It took me 5 tries at the distance of 3 feet before I did it. The next task was that darn TAKE command. I still won't listen and mom kept telling them. They told my mom that it was all excuses... That I have to do it at home and out in public. Otherwise I could be classed as a pet.. which I'm NOT...
Mom will just keep up the training and hopefully one of these days I'll figure it out.
Next Saturday a new class begins and we have to come and show our dogs to the new students. We have to talk about what we've learned and what we're still hoping to become - a certified team.
There will no longer be anymore formal classes. We have to do all the training at home on our own. So, mom has to keep it up no matter what problems come up. All our classes from now on will be field work... aka ON THE JOB TRAINING.... We have some interesting places to go too and I can't wait.
April 9th 2006 10:37 pm
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School was fun on Saturday. I got to show off my brand new harness. Mom had to remove my pouch because it was causing the harness to shift to much. Guess it would've been OK if I was 15 lbs more... Also, she had it too far forward and it was causing restrictions when I was walking. So, Jake and another lady readjusted the harness for a better fit. Also, mom can't tighten it really tight or it restricts my breathing.
Anyways... Everything went well EXCEPT FOR THE DARN "TAKE" command. Mom is going to buy a dowel and make me just train with that. All the others she'll retire from use. Mom is so fustrated and I keep telling her - NO - I DON'T LIKE TO PUT IT IN "MY MOUTH"!!! So, I guess I'll keep trying and maybe one of these days I'll learn..
See ya all next week..
April 4th 2006 11:18 pm
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YEA!!! I received my custom mobility assistance harness today. It wasn't the color mom ordered for the harness and my handy pouch. The harness was suppose to be dark havana brown and the pouch was suppose to be wine. So, I got a lighter tan one and a yellow pouch. Mom took some of my patches off my vest and put sticky velcro tabs on and placed them on the pouch. The pouch is really cool. It carries my waste bags, IDs and tags. It also carries mom's keys, wallet, and cell phone. It's isn't heavy on my back and so I don't mind carrying some small items. Mom had to add some more holes to the cinch strap. It was a little too big for me. Once she got all the straps done she took me for a walk in the yard. It sure was WEIRD!! Mom has decided that I won't wear my neck collar anymore. It's just too much collar with the harness straps that go around my neck. Plus it gets caught when mom slides on the harness. I also now walk REALLY, REALLY, REALLY SLOW!!! Mom doesn't even have to keep my leash tight with the gentle leader. I would always try to go ahead of her before and managed to put a slight tug onto the leash. Now mom holds the leash really loose and holds the leash with the handle. Mom walks better at her speed and I now walk at her speed - SUPER SLOW. The harness has a handle that folds down. When I go out to church or too restaurants she can put the handle down and I can scoot under without hitting the handle. Mom is having some problems with putting the slides back on to lock the handle in the upright position, but she's getting better with each try.
So, here are some pics of me wearing my new harness. You can see why my mom isn't going to use my regular neck collar.
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