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My Life As Otto

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Sponsor this Service Dog

August 25th 2010 3:30 am
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Walking for $s – Again!!!
"Changing Lives, One Dog At A Time"


We’re Walking and Rolling again for the 16th Annual Walk & Roll for Independence. PADS (Pacific Assistance Dogs Society – my alma matter) holds this fundraiser every year to help raise the money it takes to train dogs like me to help people like mom.

You can learn more about PADS by visiting the
website or drop me a pmail with any questions.

Please help this Big Brown Boy and his mom help PADS and other people with disabilities by clicking on

sponsor Otto

and making a donation. Remember, no donation is too small!

We are ever so grateful for all our friends who are always there for us, and for Dogster for letting us use this site for our fundraising efforts.

Thanks to everyone in advance,
Big Brown Hugs,


Richard 9/5/48 - 7/31/09

August 2nd 2009 2:00 pm
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As dogs, we rarely have to suffer the loss of a loved one. Today, I learned how humans feel all to often.

I have lost a dear friend. His name was Richard and he was a very special man. He died in a bike accident in the French Alps on Friday, but his family was only notified today.

We are in England and were planning to stay with Richard next weekend. Now we'll be going to his service instead. With my sensitive canine spirit, I weep silent tears for the friend with whom I shared such wonderful times. The walks along the headland at Port Issac, the visit to the Edan Project, Brighton, the Quantocks, the concerts and more pubs than I can name are just a few of the memorable times we spent in the short time we had together.

Life is fragile. Life is short. But we need to celebrate a life full of sharing, full of adventure and full of love.

Richard is survived by his his Mother, his brother Martin, his sister-in-law Helen and two nephews. The number of friends he has left behind is beyond counting. My family and I are among them.

Godspeed, Richard. You will always hold a special place in my heart - you were the only person who let me play with your cricket ball!


Walking for $s - "Changing Lives, One Dog At A Time"

July 3rd 2009 9:35 am
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Greetings from the UK! We had a wonderful flight and a quick trip down to Somerset. We've all got jet lag, especially me. I wake mom up at 1 am since it's dinner time back home! Why won't she feed me?

I'm writing to ask your support by sponsoring me in the PADS "Walk and Roll for Independence." I'll be walking and mom will be rolling, but we'll be there trying to raise money for PADS.

For those who don't know, PADS! (Pacific Assistance Dogs) is my alma mater - mom says that means the school I graduated from. They train dogs like me to be service dogs for people with physical disabilities like mom. They also train dogs for people who are deaf or hearing impaired.

PADS is a not-for-profit, ADI (Assistance Dog International) member school. They get no government funding and the cost of a PADS dog to their eventual human is less than nominal. They breed, raise, train and place highly trained service and hearing dogs with money from donations and corporate grants. They even provide a two week 'team training' session for new teams. It has a large group of volunteers who help out with everything from puppy cuddling to kennel cleaning!

Some of the things Ive been trained to do to help mom are getting water for her from the 'fridge, picking up the many things she drops during the day, and bringing her meds at the right time. I open and close doors, turn lights on and off and answer the phone. I get the laundry out of the dryer and carry it to the bed so mom can fold it. I know over 100 commands and mom and I work on new ones all the time. Some are helpful and some just for fun.

We do presentations to many different groups of people, but our favorite audience is children. They not only learn about Service Dogs but about people with disabilities.

I have a great job!

That's why this fundraiser is so important. Without the support of our friends, it's really hard for PADS to raise the money it takes to train special dogs like me. The cost to train a service dog and his human partner is estimated to be $30,000 - $35,000! That's a lot of dog biscuits!

So, I'm asking all my friends to help me out. I know times are really tough these days; PADS knows it, too. If you're able to help me reach my goal, I would really appreciate it. A LOT! All you need to do is sponsor Otto! - it couldn't be easier.

Thanks in advance to one huge, generous group! You guys rock!!!

Big Brown Hugs,



April 23rd 2008 8:37 pm
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I was TAGGED by my famous friend, Teddi Sue *HOME* furever!

Seems like a new game of tag is going around! This one’s a little bit different so pay attention. BOL Don't forget to send a pawmail or a rosette to let your fur fiends know you've Tagged them and that they can find the rules in your Diary.

Name 4 jobs that you have:

1. I get clothing out of the dryer and carry it to the bed where I leave it so mom can fold it.

2. I answer the phone but I won’t screen calls! Actually, I bring the phone to mom when it rings or when mom asks me to. I know the difference between the regular phone and the cell phone.

3. I open and close doors, ring for the elevator and push the button to change the traffic light.

4. I get mom water or soda from the ‘fridge. More importantly, I get my baby carrots from the same place when I'm told. I just love that job!!!

Name 4 places you have lived at (or stayed at):

1. I lived with my puppy raising family in Vancouver, BC.

2. I spent almost six months at my school while I was doing my advanced training as a Service Dog.

3. I live in WA and Vancouver, BC.

4. I spent last summer in the UK!

Name 4 places that you have been:

1. Stonehenge!

2. Cannon Beach, OR. I LOVE OR!

3. The movies – any movie! It’s nice and dark and it smells like popcorn!

4. The library. It may be boring but it’s a personal favorite of mine.

Name 4 places you'd rather be:

1. Flying in business class on British Airways.

2. I love the beach.

3. The off-leash park is great.

4. My Bed. BOL

Name 4 furiends you wish to tag:

I would like to tag several of my good friends who are at the Bridge. They are all wonderful and well missed by us all!

1. Arthur

2. Sammy Jacob

3. Gracie Jane

4. Daisy

Have fun, every pup! Thanks for playing Tag with me!


“That’s Otto’s greatest gift of all...

August 4th 2007 4:14 am
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He turns stares into smiles.” That’s how mom ended the essay all the recipients of service dogs from my school are asked to write after six months.

Tomorrow, August 5th, is the fifth anniversary of the first day of our team training. Of course, I had met mom before. She even got to visit me every Sunday for a few weeks before training started. What she didn’t fully appreciate at the time was how our ‘match’ would change her life, and mine!

No longer do people look at mom. Their eyes are drawn to my professional demeanor and incredible good looks. ;-) They laugh at how I turn into a goofy pup when released so I can say hello. I prance and bow, making a lie of the grey hairs on my chin, convincing everyone that I’m much younger than I look.

No longer is mom referred to as “that disabled woman” but rather “that woman with the Big Brown Dog.” We get the best seats in restaurants and are upgraded when we fly. Everyone wants to meet us – well, me, really. People talk to us, BOTH of us. Kids treat mom like a regular person and learn that physical limitations are only surface differences.

Side by side, we are the most confident of teams. We lecture at schools from primary to university level. We give presentations and spend time fundraising. My mom, who used to get sweaty palms just thinking of public speaking! Mom’s life isn’t the only one I’ve touched.

What do I get out of this partnership? The unconditional love and devotion of mom and a job I love and seem born to do. What does mom get? A sense of peace, security and contentment greater than anything she ever thought possible.

When mom’s really happy with life or me in particular, she calls me “Bubbie.” She calls me that a lot. I think that’s the greatest gift of all!


The Time Zone Birthday Robbery...

May 24th 2007 8:11 pm
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I've been on mom's case ever since I found out I would be robbed out of eight hours of my birthday!!! We are flying to England and arrive on my Big Day. However, with the time difference I'll miss eight hours of prime celebrating time. How could mom do this to me? Poor planning on her part, if you ask me!

I know, I'm very lucky to be going on such a special trip with mom and there is a party planned for me a few days after we arrive. But hey, a guy only has one seventh birthday!

I agreed to a compromise. Since we will have very limited internet access and I'll miss you all terribly, mom let me decorate my page early. The least she could do... ***grumble, grumble***

So, Let The Party Begin!!! Party Hearty, my friends!


I've been tagged!

May 23rd 2007 10:24 am
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Hi pups! My pals Spuds, Sassy, The Boston Girls, Risa, Happy, Nick, Mocha Bear & Sassy tagged me and now I'm it. I get to choose 7 of my pals to tag.

Here are the rules:

Each player starts with seven random facts about themselves. Dogs who are tagged, need to post in their Diary the rules & their 7 pawsome facts. Then choose 7 dogs to tag and list their names. Don’t forget to bark them a pmail that they have been tagged and to read your Diary, or, send them a fun Rosette announcing they've been Tagged!

Here are 7 fun facts about me!

1. I'm one of a litter of nine Chocolate Labs.

2. My sister Oakley and I were selected to be Service Dogs. Oakley didn't want to work so was released and is now a pampered pet. She could have told me not working was an option!

3. Mom and I started team training on August 5, 2002

4. I'm going to England with mom for nine weeks. Yippee!

5. I love to play ball at the off leash park.

6. I love bath time and the vet - go figure!

7. I was The Love Bug and had a blast giving out stars and rosettes!

I tag:
1. Nikita Sophia
2. Miles
3. Samuel Jacob
4. Cherry
5. The Tater- Tots
6. Sophia
7. The Fabulous- Conway- Sisters


Confused Confessions of the Dog of the Day...

April 5th 2007 8:53 pm
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Today mom told me I'm Dogster's "Dog of the Day." I'm not too sure what that is, but mom seems quite happy about it so I'm happy too.

I've been getting pmail, pup pal requests, rosettes of all sorts and stars! It's been very exciting and I love hearing how wonderful I am. BOL

But the real stars of today - of every day here on Dogster - are the pups who wrote, gave a gift or just thought about me on my special day. As mom pointed out, if it weren't for all of you, today would have been pretty much like yesterday and probably tomorrow. She said it wasn't being DOTD that made me special but the outpouring of love from friends, both old and brand new, who made this a wonderful day!

To all of you, I give you my thanks. You pups rock!




November 25th 2006 5:24 pm
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SNOW!!! It's SNOWING! Mom says not to get too excited because it won't last, but I don't care! I haven't seen snow for two years, and that was gone in a day.

I'm hoping mom's wrong. She's hoping she is, too. We're going out for dinner, snow or no snow, so I'm excited.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.


An afternoon at the movies...

November 14th 2006 10:26 pm
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This afternoon mom took me to the movies. I love it there! It's dark, warm and smells like popcorn. I fell asleep. So did mom.

We had a great afternoon!

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