Tails of a Super Service Boy!

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A decade!

August 21st 2013 9:41 am
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Ten years ago I received a phone call that would change my life. He simply said, "The puppies are here." The next day, you picked me when I went to see. It's been a crazy 10 years, but I am forever grateful for you. I have often called you my Godsend, my biggest blessing. I love you, little man!! Happy Birthday!

 

Six Years My Baby!

September 19th 2009 5:39 pm
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Six years ago last night we brought you home. I had no idea then what change you would bring to my life. You are my partner and my protector.

I remember that day. You were sleeping under the truck and I went and asked, "Where's my boy?" You were asleep under the truck and stretched and then came out. You knew that I was talking to you. I picked you up and told you we were going home. First we had to make a stop. We took you to see the doctor to make sure you were all OK. He called you an alligator moose. Then we went home and gave you a bath.

Then you met Hershey. She came out and we told her that you needed a Mommy and a Daddy. She ignored you and was not happy but after a little while, she discovered she loved you too. Now, she loves to be around you.

I will always remember the day that my life changed. I will always remember the day you became my little boy.

I love you my boy!

Mommy

 

Happy Birthday my Baby Boy

August 23rd 2009 10:15 am
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It is hard to believe that you are six years old already! You are such an amazing soul and an amazing little boy! I hope you know how much I appreciate everything you do for me on a daily basis. You will never ever cease to amaze me. You have taken to your role as a SD like a duck to water, and I truly believe that God sent you to me. I hope you enjoyed your birthday dinner and your presents!

I love you!

Happy Birthday my little man!

Mommy

 

Harley's First Week at School!

August 7th 2009 5:14 pm
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Harley and I started back at work on Monday. The first three days were professional development, and were a mixture of loud craziness and boring long meetings. Our school district has the motto, "We work hard, we play hard". When we went in the first day, we had a meeting in the library, and the principal had the song, "Back in the saddle again" playing fairly loud. We were sitting at a table and one of the other special ed teachers came up and asked me how the "situation" was with the service dog. I pointed down and she jumped back because she hadn't seen him. The principal said that he kept thinking he was going to step on him because he would forget he was there. He did introduce Harley with the new faculty and explained his purpose and the rules of etiquette

Tuesday we had district Orientation. This was nuts. At the beginning, the tech lady was on the stage singing southern rock songs complete with principals and band directors playing electric guitar, key boards and drums. Then the superintended dressed up like ZZ Top and put on his own little show. We went up into the balcony and sat on the front row (where there was leg room for Harley). Harley did fine. At one point, they had trumpets and saxes out playing and Harley seemed to like that. He perked his ears and was wagging his tail (on beat). We were sitting with a bunch of teachers from our school and they all said later that they were really impressed. Then we went to lunch where several teachers asked me to train their dogs.

Wednesday was boring and we started with a 2 1/2 hour Special Ed department meeting. I could tell then that the teachers at my school had accepted him. Each school's department head's were introducing the teachers at each school and when she didn't introduce him, the other teachers from my school chimed in that she had forgotten the newest one. So, then the district department lead introduced him along with explaining him. Then we went and got lunch and went back and finished up in my classroom. He is really feeling comfortable in my room. But because I am an inclusion teacher, I go to four other classrooms with my students to help them with their regular ed classes, so we aren't in my room but 1/2 the day.

Thursday the kids started. I was a little worried at first because we got there, got out, and Harley stopped by the car and wouldn't go forward. I thought, "Oh no, not today. not the first day of school". I used cheese and got him in (Oh, the power of cheese!) Once we were in the school, everything was fine. He did great. The school had done a call out to all the parents about the service dog on campus, so many of the students knew he was going to be there. I went around to all the classes on my hall and explained to the kids why he was there and that they couldn't pet or talk to him and why. They were great, as kids normally are when I explain this to them. Harley alerted in my class so the kids got to see that on the first day too.

We meet our classes every other day, so today was basically the second first day of school, and we were in different classes than yesterday. Harley did fine. I realized what had spooked him about going in. They are doing some major construction right by the school. This morning, he stopped again by the car and looked at the new BIG and LOUD equipment. So, instead of walking towards the front door (which is toward the equipment), we walked around to the side where there are doors going directly into our hallway. He did great...not a problem. I also rewarded him because I want him to see going to school as a good thing. A couple of times I put Harley in a down stay while in another class room so I could help a student (I have some tough ones this year) and he did fine. He did watch me the entire time and the kids noticed that, but that was good.

 

So Proud

June 29th 2009 9:55 am
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My dear, sweet Harley,

I just wanted to tell you how proud I am of you. Last week, you showed me more than ever, what an awesome, dedicated, and loving boy you are. We were in Houston, which was a busy, stressful, and strange environment for you, yet you worked last a master. If I didn't know you'd only been working for a few months, I'd have thought you were a seasoned Service Dog. You took everything in stride and even the tiger didn't phase you. I love you and thank God for you every single day. Without you, I would not have my independence and for you giving me that back, I will always be eternally grateful. The bond we share is unique and special. I have no doubt that you can handle any situation that comes our way.

I love you my dear sweet boy,

Mommy

 

Looking Back...

December 31st 2008 6:05 pm
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My dear sweet Harley,

This year you showed me just how strong our bond is. You have made it your job to look after me and keep me safe. You not only alert me before I get sick, but you have taken to being my service dog with gusto. You absolutely love it and take everything as it comes. You love to go to work. I can see it in your smile. I can see it in the way you wag your tail and eagerly get ready. You have done so well with your training.

You earned your CGC and your TDI this year! You amaze all that see you work. Everyone says how beautiful and smart you are. They are all right.

You are also a wonderful big brother to little Sophie. You took to her from the moment she got in the car, and you take care of her and teach her. You are also protective of Hershey, and even though she's the boss, you were right there watching over her while she went through her surgeries.

I don't know what 2009 will bring, but I now that you will be right there next to me every step through it.

You are my Super Service Boy! I love you with all my heart!

 

Thanksgiving!

November 28th 2008 4:11 pm
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Yesterday was Thanksgiving! For a lot of pups that have allergies like me, it would not be good, but mommy made sure to make it yummy for me! I am allergic to turkey, so mommy got a duck and a piggy for daddy to smoke! Mommy also made me my own potato candy casserole that doesn't have the stuff I'm allergic to, and she made me a crustless pumpkin pie! I could already have the cranberry sauce! I had my own plate and it was yummy!!

Mommy said that she is thankful for me and me wanting to work and help mommy. I like being mommy's super service man and going everywhere with her!

 

What a day!

November 24th 2008 5:01 pm
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OK, WOW! What a day!

Harley has been doing short outings with me, but today was his first real working day with me.

We had two Wal Mart list, the short non grocery, and the long, Thanksgiving grocery lists. We had a long day ahead of us, and I wasn't sure how much would actually get done. It would all be based on how Harley did and how I felt. We went and did the short Wal Mart list first. It was just 5 items, all close to each other. When we walked in, the look on Harley's face had the expression of, "Woah! What is this place?" He focused fairly quickly but wasn't comfortable. He did well, especially seeing as it was his first time in Wal Mart, but I thought at that time that he probably wasn't ready for an hour + stint in the grocery section, but decided I would play it by ear still. We were in and out in 15 minutes. The door greeter, who I know well, didn't challenge really. She just asked, "you can bring him in here?" and I reminded her (we've had this conversation before) that he's a Service Dog In Training and I can bring him in. People were friendlier in here than any place we've been before. They were eager to help when they thought I needed it, like when I was getting the cat litter and when I was checking out.

Then, we went by the old house. I made sure he knew he was out of working mode and had him go potty. I started laundry and played with Harley a bit. Then, I realized time had gone a bit quicker than I had thought and my apt was in 10 min! Oh crap! So, we loaded up and headed for the doctor, which was luckily around the corner.

The cardiologist is a new specialist for me to add to my list of doctors on my pay roll, but I had already picked up the paperwork and had it ready. Harley did fine going in. Everyone was friendly and said how beautiful he is. One patient asked if she could pet him and I explained that he was working and could not be petted because it would distract him from our job. We weren't out there long before they called us back. The path we had to walk was real crowded and people quickly noticed the big dog, but we did fine. I had to put him in a down stay and drop the leash to step on the sun of Satan (that would be the scale) and he did fine. Then, we went in the room. I looked for an out of the way place to put him in a down stay and ended up putting him parallel to me, with his butt against the wall. He did fine while the nurse took my blood pressure. Then the doctor came in. He said, "and who is this fine gentleman?" He asked what Harley does and I explained. He watched Harley through out the exam. When the doc had me get up on the table, Harley came and put himself in a sit stay right next to me (he was out of the way) and was watching intently. The doctor was very impressed and said that he liked Harley and the idea of a service dog for syncope, especially when the meds don't seem to work. He also said he was going to recommend a SD to another syncope patient.

The usual meds for this don't work for me, we already knew. The doc said that he could try Paxil, but with my and not needing it for it's intended use, wasn't big on doing that. That's good, because I don't want it either. I don't have anything against antidepressants when they are needed, but I don't need it for that and my body is so sensitive to meds that I am picky about what I will and won't take. He also said that a "pacer" is an option (the way he described it, I'm thinking "pace maker"...uh I'm not sure about that either). But, before we make any decisions, I am going to wear an event monitor for a month. It's a heart monitor that records over itself, but when I start feeling symptoms or when Harley alerts, I hit a button and it sends the previous 10 minutes and the following 10 minutes to the doctor's office. I should get it in a few days.

So, the doctor sends this nurse in to get that set up and she wasn't aware that Harley was in there and is, apparently, slightly scared of big dogs. She walked in and startled. She had to step back out of the room to compose herself and they were all laughing. Harley looked at me like he thought he did something wrong. I told him he was ok and put him back in a down stay. When she came back, she asked, do you mind if I ask you, "Are you blind?" Ok, I don't have sunglasses on, I'm making eye contact. I explained what Harley does and she was just amazed and thought it was the coolest thing. We were in the doctors office for probably an hour and he was just fine. He was great.

Then, we went back by the old house so I could flip the laundry and give Harley a break. I called my friend that owns the restaurant and let her know we were on the way. On the way, a teacher friend called me and we decided that we'd meet at the restaurant. We get there and I go to an out of the way booth. The booths on this side are higher and longer and Harley would fit under fine....once he figured out what I wanted him to do. I told him to go under the table. He tried to go on the table :-O I told him, "no no, under" and lead him, using his leash, under the table. (This would be why I wanted to go here as the first restaurant outing. Mistakes would be understood). He didn't seemed too pleased at first, but quickly settled into a down stay. In fact, when Robyn came by to get drink orders, she asked where he was. He stayed there, hidden, until the food came. Then, he stuck his head out. I told him to go back under the table and rubbed his head and told him he was being good. He settled back quickly. (I carry hand sanitizer so I can clean my hands just before I eat). He was fine. My friend kept looking down at him and was amazed at how good he was being. I had brought a slobber rag to clean up after him, but didn't need it. He didn't drool at all. I was surprised. I intentionally ordered beef fajitas because I knew I would have left overs that he could eat with his food allergies. After eating, I got a to-go box and boxed up his food. He did better than I thought. When we got to the car, I took the SD harness off, gave him the "play" command (our current, you aren't working command) and let him eat and let Kim pet him.

Then, we went to the pharmacy. I had called the meds in and new it would be a quick in and out. When we walked in, the manager gave me a look but didn't say anything. I just smiled and kept walking. The pharmacy part (CVS) has a specific point for the line to start and that's where we were as there was already a customer being attended to. A guy came up and looked like he was going to jump in front and I told him we were in line. Instead of getting behind us, he waited kind of next to us. I don't think he wanted to go past Harley. When it was our turn, the pharmacy tech said, "woah, Hello!" Harley put himself in a down stay at my feet...ok, on my feet. He was starting to seem a little stressed. We were out pretty quickly, and passed an older gentleman who said, "I like doggies, don't eat me." Harley had done a couple stress shakes, which he hadn't done all day, and was starting to have difficulty focusing. So, I decided he was done for the day. That was fine. He'd done more than he'd ever done before and done real well.

We went back to the old house so I could deal with laundry. I took him for a walk like we used to do when we lived there. At first, he was heeling and I told him he didn't have to heel, this was his walk and he could sniff. So, he did. He didn't pull at all and walked real well. He was in front of me a little, but not much and kept turning back to check on me. He didn't react to the neighborhood dogs like he used to. He didn't even react to the Ridgeback that came up to greet him (with the owner running behind calling him back) with more than a sniff. He just went into a stand stay between me and the dog (who was friendly, just curious). I let him lead the walk. There were several different routes we would take depending on how long we were walking and when we got to a point where we might turn, I asked him which way he wanted to go. We went on, not the longest path, but the next to longest. He seemed to enjoy his walk and when we got back, he got water and we just laid around outside until the clothes finished drying.

He was ready to go home when it was time. When we got home, I let the girls out and we walked to the creek and played ball. Now, he's zonked out, sound asleep.

I think he did a great job, especially since there were many first today and he definitely worked the longest that he's ever worked before!



Harley,
Mommy is very proud of you!

I love you!
Thank you for helping me!

Mommy

 

I did it!!!!

November 15th 2008 11:20 am
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I did it! I did, I did! I passed both the CGC and the TDI tests with flying colors!!!! Whoo Hoo!! Mommy is making me steak for dinner tonight!!!!! Now, we are going to do some public access training and then, I'll be a full SD!!

 

A momma's pride

November 14th 2008 4:25 pm
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My dear sweet Harley,

Tomorrow morning you and I will take two big tests, the CGC and TDI. I want you to know that, no matter what the outcome is, I am so very proud of you. You have worked so hard and I know you are ready. When I think about you, I beam with pride. I love you so much my dear sweet boy!

I love you sweet boy,

Mommy

 
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