Postings by Ralphie ESA, SDIT's Family

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Service & Therapy Dogs > puppy advice
Ralphie ESA,- SDIT

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Barked: Wed Dec 12, '12 8:37pm PST 
you can download Dunbar's books here (just remove the spaces) "www. dogstardaily. com/ free-downloads"
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» There has since been 2 posts. Last posting by Happy, Dec 13 7:16 am

Food & Nutrition > Anyone else with Blue Buffalo issues past/present?
Ralphie ESA,- SDIT

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Barked: Wed Feb 22, '12 10:21pm PST 
@Gideon No I dont see where you're coming from. Cups dont measure weight, they measure volume. A cup of cement has more volume (it fills every crevice) than a cup of cotton balls (which has space between each puff). It makes more sense if you use an example with the same basic substance with the other difference being the shape. A cup of sugar is going to have more sugar in it than a cup of sugar cubes. A cup of EVO small bites will have more dog food in it than a cup of EVO large bites.

The original issue at hand is one I see very often. Users of a lower quality food who switch to a higher quality food often encounter the problems of loose stool and gas. As others have advised, FEED LESS! The loose stool is often caused by nutrients that haven't had time to properly absorb in the digestive system. Undigested protein wont store as fat in the body as carbohydrates do, and the body has to just get rid of the excess. The gas is caused by bacteria in the gut working to break down the undigested nutrients.

One thing I haven't gotten a straight answer to from any sales reps; whats the deal with the feeding guidelines? From my experience, the feeding guidelines are way overstated. Are they just wanting people to use (and thus buy) more food? I suggest all my customers first make the switch to a high quality food slowly. Follow the feeding guidlines on the bag at first, but if the stool is soft or there is too much gas then gradually reduce the amount until you get the desired stool consistency. You should be able to pick it up without leaving much of anything behind on the ground.

It is important to remember that loose stool and gas can be signs of parasites as well, so be sure your dog gets regular fecal tests by your veterinarian. If there are no parasites and the problem persists, try a new protein base. I find that cutting poultry from the diet fixes many issues (assuming you've already cut grain).
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» There has since been 1 post. Last posting by , Feb 23 6:24 am


Food & Nutrition > Fiber Supplement? Please help!

Ralphie ESA,- SDIT

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Barked: Wed Feb 22, '12 9:49pm PST 
I second the canned pumpkin. Not the spiced pie kind though! Fruitables is great, also "nummy tum tum".
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» There has since been 3 posts. Last posting by Snickers, Mar 7 4:41 am


Service & Therapy Dogs > Preventing self-injury and/or suicide (trigger, for those dealing w/such trauma)

Ralphie ESA,- SDIT

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Barked: Wed Feb 22, '12 9:25pm PST 
What I dont understand is how a person deep in a self injury trance or panic attack can just stop at the sight or touch of the dog and think, "this is a good opportunity to train my dog"? Unless you pretend to self injure or go through the motion of a panic attack (which would lack the chemical changes I assume)? The kinds of tasks we are talking about require many training steps, many repetitions, and a variety of proofing.

A personal example of mine illustrates my problem. My depression makes it hard to get out of bed in the morning, making me late or absent for school, appointments, work etc. Obviously this causes major issues. No amount of logic can get me up. No alarm clock. While I am in bed the consequences don't matter. Once I am physically out of bed I am fine and ready to go.

I thought this would be a great issue for Ralphie to help me with. I paired a moving target to a very unique alarm on my phone. Eventually the target became my cheek/neck area. With weeks of training the sound of the alarm sent him into a digging frenzy on my neck until I would get up to get his special reward in the kitchen. It wasn't hard to proof this because I could just pretend to be asleep and have the alarm go off at random times in random places.

The problem was when I started to actually utilize the task. I found myself becoming agitated by his persistence and I could feel actual anger building towards him. I had to immediately stop because it wasn't worth it. When you aren't in the right state of mind to interact with reality, how do you find it within yourself to interact with your dog? And keep that interaction positive and healthy to boot?
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» There has since been 34 posts. Last posting by Crazy Sadie Lady, Feb 26 10:33 pm


Service & Therapy Dogs > Is misrepresentation of SD a "big" issue?

Ralphie ESA,- SDIT

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Barked: Wed Feb 22, '12 8:45pm PST 
I work retail at a pet boutique where I am frequently asked about service dog vests and patches (we do not and will not sell them). We also attract 'purse puppy' people who want to take their accessory dogs everywhere they go. I suggest calling your local upper-end pet stores for an idea of the problem, because we see it all.

I have not kept track officially, but here's a rough CONSERVATIVE estimate of what I encounter per year (I've been doing this for 7 years).

~ 2-3 people with dogs who claim to be service dogs and seem completely legit with minimal to no public access missteps that I can identify.

~ 1-2 clearly disabled people with dogs who claim to be service dogs but are struggling with their dog's ability to be in public and or actually do their tasks. They've acquired a dog who isn't ready and are apologetic. I do what I can to help them, but it's a real problem.

~ 5-10 people with dogs who claim to be service dogs but the dogs (all under 12lbs) never leave a bag or stroller and are all extremely scared and overwhelmed. The owners are oblivious. Unless they bring up the issue I ignore these people. They fish for complements on how cute and small their dogs are. They could be legit, but for the dogs sake I hope not.

~ 3-5 people with dogs who claim to be service dogs but the dogs are out of control in public. Peeing on store items, lunging at other dogs, pulling their owner down the isl (inevitably on a flexi) or jumping on strangers. Issues not bad enough for me to ask them to leave the store, but if I wasn't in a sales position I would confront them.

~ 10-15 people who openly admit to being a fake team or occasionally posing as a team. Most of them think its fine because it's "not hurting anyone" or they are misinformed on the laws and terminology. Many of them claim to have a "therapy dog." I do what I can to educate them.

~ 5-10 people calling for a service dog vest or patches for reasons of deceit or asking teams (fake or not) within the store how they too can acquire one of the vests so they can bring their pet dog as well.

~ 5-10 people calling for a service dog vest or patches for unclear reasons.


Anyone putting a working vest on their dog in public becomes an example. Unfortunately, the fakers often set a poor example through their behavior and/or the misinformation they spread. You can see by my estimates the numbers are scary. My position in a pet boutique is eye opening, but it also limits my ability to confront the issue as much as I'd like.
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» There has since been 27 posts. Last posting by Juno , Feb 25 6:57 pm

Service & Therapy Dogs > Carolina Patriot Rovers: misrepresenting TDs as SDs for vets
Ralphie ESA,- SDIT

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Barked: Fri Jun 17, '11 12:05am PST 
Jeff;

A BIG thank you for keeping communication open. This is a very important issue, and be hearing us out it shows that you actually care about the veterans interested in your service. Im happy to see changes being made, however, the wording on your website only changed from one inaccuracy to another. (except the "Our Goal" potion of your site which still refers to service dogs).

I read your post, "I know the ADA 's and DOJ's position and all the other definitions (so please don't send them anymore or don't post them for my benefit)." I would like to respectfully disagree. The term "Therapy Dog" and "ESA Therapy Dog" are highlighted throughout your website and application forum. These terms do not accurately portray your program either. While the dogs you train DO provide therapy, they are NOT "Therapy Dogs" or "ESA Therapy Dogs". Passing any kind of therapy dog test is great, but only helps assess a dogs level of training, similar to a Canine Good Citizen test. In your case, the therm "therapy" should only be used as a noun, not an adjective. Please only use "ESA", or "Emotional Support Animal."
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» There has since been 14 posts. Last posting by Dogster HQ, Aug 3 1:52 pm


Service & Therapy Dogs > First day back at school, so much progress

Ralphie ESA,- SDIT

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Barked: Mon Mar 28, '11 7:29pm PST 
Sometimes I look down at the little guy and marvel at how far we've come. It's those moments I feel like a mother with a kid on the honer roll. If my pride could show, I would be glowing. He's not perfect, but I'm so proud of him.

While in line for textbooks, the staff at the bookstore had some kind of countdown/celebration thing, where out of no where they all blew on these noise makers that sound like a dying duck. It came from all angles, all at once. Ralphie and I were in the middle of an open area, even I flinched, but I told him to look at me and we carried right along. I could hear people, "Oh wow, my dog would have flipped!" and so would Ralphie a year ago.

Skateboards and bikes whizzed by within inches. People whistled and tried to distract him. The little man kept his head up and carried on like he's done this his whole life, often looking up at me with a huge smile.

He watches his pace on the steps. He heel's like a pro. He walks over any surface, even rain guards, without trying to walk around them or jump them. He sleeps on his settle mat through the whole class. He's pomeranian, a natural talker, but when he's working he doesn't say a thing.

This, from a scared, reactive, and FOUTH-hand dog that just needed some guidance, medical care, and hardcore counter conditioning. He almost has too much confidence now! I never would have though this work would be for him, and I certainly didn't start out in this direction with him, but I cant imagine him doing anything else. He's in his element now.

We have two hurdles yet to completely concur, of which are 80-90% better then when we started. He gets all worked up at the sound of heavy engines starting. Used to go into full on lunge/bark and now gives one little chuff. The sights and sounds of other dogs. Originally he put on quite a display to mask his fear, his internal dialog was something like: "Whats that? Is that a dog? Where's it coming from? THERE! HEY DOG IM NOT AFRAID OF YOU!! LOOK HOW TOUGH I AM! I CAN TAKE YOU ON! LETS GO, RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW!! AAAHHHHRRR!!"

Buuuttt... with about a year of walking around with chicken and various animal parts falling out of my pockets at all times, his tune is more along the lines of: "Whats that? Is that a dog? THERE! MOM LOOK ITS A DOG! MOM MOM LOOK! ISN'T THAT AWESOME?!" His happiness to see another dog is almost too gleeful. We only have a problem now if a dog invades his space and doesn't acknowledge any of his signals. (off topic, but people need to learn what is acceptable dog-dog behavior and get control, or else allow another dog to tell it off without freaking out.) That kind of situation is worked on off duty, and for now I just manage/avoid when I see that type of dog coming.

Anyways, there is not real point to this topic other than me wanting to share our progress. I also wanted to thank everyone for helping me figure out what to label him for now and how to talk to people about him. I got his new vest all ready in time for the start of the term (see new photo!), and so far the wording of the patches has been ok. However, after about the eighth person asked "What's he training for?" I realllly wanted to just say, "The iditarod."
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» There has since been 4 posts. Last posting by Dora CGC, Apr 4 6:04 pm


Service & Therapy Dogs > Let's see the puppies and SDITs

Ralphie ESA,- SDIT

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Barked: Sat Mar 26, '11 8:26pm PST 
Hello, I'm Jesse and this is Ralphie, my SDiT!
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» There has since been 0 posts. Last posting by Ralphie ESA, SDIT, Mar 26 8:26 pm


Service & Therapy Dogs > Caught between ESA and PSDiT

Ralphie ESA,- SDIT

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Barked: Wed Mar 23, '11 11:44pm PST 
sounds like a plan. thanks everyone!
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» There has since been 0 posts. Last posting by Ralphie ESA, SDIT, Mar 23 11:44 pm

Service & Therapy Dogs > Caught between ESA and PSDiT
Ralphie ESA,- SDIT

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Barked: Wed Mar 23, '11 2:58am PST 
Thanks guys smile

My school does not assume he is a service dog, he is just written into my accommodations, like... extended testing time. They are very aware of the laws and the difference between ESA and SD and are looking forward to Ralphie becoming a SD to clear up the paper work lol

Any suggestions on how to politely respond to questions about what he is in training to do? I am trying to make friends, I dont want to sound like a jerk but at the same time I dont want to spill my life.

Would it be a bad idea just to lie and say I'm training him for someone else?
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» There has since been 11 posts. Last posting by Ralphie ESA, SDIT, Mar 23 11:44 pm

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