Postings by Sir. Tuxanawlden SDIT

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Service & Therapy Dogs > I was so embarrassed
Sir.- Tuxanawlden- SDIT

The Heir
 
 
Barked: Sun Jan 16, '11 7:41am PST 
Levi,
My heart goes out to you! You did the best you could and sometimes things just happen. (Tux had a wreck in puppyhood once too).

If Levi is 3 1/2 months, that's still pretty young. Tux started going out in public at 5 1/2 months, "silent" stores by 6 months (not very popular stores, and on Sunday mornings) and then WalMart (in controlled training situations, beginning with Sunday mornings when everyone was in church) by 7 1/2 months.

If it were me, I would give consideration to changing the go potty command. I use tons of phrases in everyday language when I am communicating with people, and it is sometimes hard to NOT use dog commands. So, my relieve command is "potty." At 3 1/2 months, Levi has great potential to learn a new command for the same thing. But I think you will have to be careful about the "hurry up" for awhile, possibly a long time.

See, the way I was taught to change commands (when the dog knows the action for the command, as Levi has demonstrated - excellent job at 3 1/2 months by the way) was to solicit the action and/or match the action, and then add the new command. So, you would find a time when Levi is going potty (in an acceptable environment), either by cue and/or naturally. Then you give the new command, immediately praise as action starts, and give praise after for a job well done (good POTTY, Levi, good POTTY). So, for awhile you may have to say "Hurry Up, Levi, GO POTTY." with less and less emphasis on the Hurry up command, more on the GO POTTY.

In the meantime, and probably for awhile after, you will need to be careful to not use the Hurry Up command - as Levi may likely associate both Hurry Up and Go Potty with the same action. Eventually, (after he has go potty down as the potty command) you may want to retrain hurry up as an increase in speed or other desired action that is not so "risky" with embarrassment! red face

Additionally, Tux and I were trained that he has an opportunity to potty outside most stores before we go in. He is on a feeding schedule, so I can generally anticipate his deposits (fed once in the morning & evening; generally one deposit in AM, one at midday, and one in the PM) but he has free access to water, as all dogs should have. So, before we get in the car to go somewhere, he knows that he needs to "go potty." Then when at the store, while still in the parking lot, he gets another opportunity on a bush. He's generally ok inside, but if he has an "emergency," (rare) he will start crying and I know to rush him outside.

It took time for him to build bladder & bowel control; most dogs don't have it until 9 months at least. 3 1/2 months old and only being together 2 weeks is very soon. Tux was very young when we started training him, so please don't take that comment as criticism. As long as fear/overwhelming is not involved, young age exposure to environments is very good. However, it does also carry some risk as you can't always control the environment around you (Tux was assaulted by a 7 year old child when he was 8 months old in WalMart. Thank goodness, he did not react and he was not mentally phased by the incident, but most dogs would have been). In training, slow is fast. Additionally, at 3 1/2 months, Levi still has many fear periods to go; several within the first year. I would hate for training to start so early that Levi gets burnt out before he gets a chance to work for you for many years to come. You didn't say what type of a store/environment you were in, whether it was a quiet store, a large store; a pet-friendly or not. By all means, I believe that some dogs are capable of handling some things at an earlier age than others. Tux is a testament to that. I am in favor of training opportunities starting at young ages. I believe that truly benefited Tux. But I am also in favor of "knowing your dog," and not using a dog "too young." Remember, SLOW IS FAST in training. Maybe you are already doing this, and evaluating environments, and you just happened to have Levi with you (and he had a wreck). That's no big deal. That's awesome that you're exposing him to training opportunities that young (in a controlled manner). So continue to go for it. But if you hadn't considered some of these aspects, ask more questions on Dogster, consult training resources, and learn. Then you'll have the information to make an educated decision about when Levi is ready (and remember: Tux is proof that may not be far off. But Levi may need more time). If you work on a SLOW IS FAST basis, concentrate on reliability, and Levi's physical, social, and psychological health, you will set Levi up for the best chance to help you for many years to come. (Please note: not all dogs are suited for public access; it will take longer, and a period of training and experimentation, for you and Levi to determine if he wants to help you in public).

Good training resources:

Books:
Teamwork I & II, by Stewart Nordensson and Lydia Kelley
Working Like Dogs: The Service Dog Guidebook, by Marcie Davis

Websites:
Psychiatric Service Dog Society (PSDS), http://www.psychdog.org
PSDS Frequently Asked Questions about Training: http://www.psychdog.org/faq.html
PSDS Training information: http://www.psychdog.org/training.html
PSDS Lifestyle: http://www.psychdog.org/lifestyle.html

I hope these help! Please don't hesitate to come back and ask more questions.

Tux & Big Sis
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» There has since been 6 posts. Last posting by , Jan 17 8:45 am

Service & Therapy Dogs > We're going to Earthdance!!! Tips please : )
Sir.- Tuxanawlden- SDIT

The Heir
 
 
Barked: Sat Sep 4, '10 10:02am PST 
As far as night gear we use a Planet Bike Blinky Superflash. It is an awesome quality bike light with two modes, flashing and steady. I've seen several on bikes (in flashing mode) on the highway and they are awesome; totally worth it. No matter what Tux does to this light (shake, shake, smash and breaks open on the wall) -- it keeps going. Yeah, if he shakes it off and it breaks open, I do have to put the batteries back in it (carry extra batteries -- sometimes I can't reach them, but I can reach the parts of the lights when it's on the floor), but after the batteries are back in it, I just turn it back on and we're set to go.

I like the Planet Bike Blinky Superflash with the white back, not the black back, because I can see it when it is on a dark surface better (like on a bus). It just uses one switch to toggle between on steady / on flashing / off.

If you can't afford a Planet Bike light, I've used both the Bell bike light that's in a triangle shape with six flashing modes, and the Bell "Spider" light. They're not as high quality as the Planet Bike, but they are something when I've lost all my PB's and it's not Black Friday yet (when I get PB's cheaply, in bulk...)

I am sensitive to flashing lights, and a lot of people I hang out with are also sensitive, so I really like the ability to have a flashing and steady mode. If someone I'm with is sensitive, I turn the light onto steady (covering it in my hand so they don't see the flashing at first) and it gives us some marker toward traffic, but doesn't make them sick.

I've looked at other lights (on Youtube) by running brand/model name, or websites of other manufacturers, and found that if they have clips that demonstrate the flash rate, it is generally too fast for me and makes me sick just looking at the computer. But the PB's have been slow enough for my taste that it works for me, your results may differ.

I also carry a headlamp at night. It can mark me or it can be secured to Tux's vest if he loses his Planet Bike along the way. It's just a typical "Energizer" headlamp (I think) with 4-5 modes, a couple choices of white light arrangement or a choice of red light arrangements. I prefer red lights on Tux or my shoulder (also have a PB for the backpack straps), and white lights on my head.

Hope that helps! Enjoy Earthdance!
Tux & Big Sis
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» There has since been 1 post. Last posting by Dexter, Sep 4 12:42 pm


Service & Therapy Dogs > Medic alert jewelry question!

Sir.- Tuxanawlden- SDIT

The Heir
 
 
Barked: Wed Apr 21, '10 3:58am PST 
I went with a dog-bone ID tag out of a Quik-Tag machine at Petco for my needs. It was dog-bone shaped which should give people a hint plus I had a "Service Dog" dogtag on the same chain that's from ActiveDogs.

In the event I couldn't speak I put my name on the tag and a phone number of a family member. The next lines were my medical conditions (including the fact I do not have seizures - I am afraid EMTs will think seizure when they see my muscle spasms and give me quick anti-seizure meds and that will make things worse) - and what medication allergy was primary. I got about 15-20 characters per line, 4 lines. The cost for the Quik-Tag was under $10, all said and done. You could also order online (We use Boomerang Tags for Tux; double sided and space for tons of info on a dog bone shape).

Then I also made up a wallet card (it's actually about 4"x6", made to fit into a special little notebook I have with premade & custom signs). If someone doesn't know me or I have a really bad access confrontation (or medical issue), I have a statement on one of the cards that Tux is a SD that does tasks related to A, B, and C. On the bottom I put "Medical info on back side" and included a statement about how best to help me if I am in muscle spasms and the fact that paramedics are generally not needed; then referred people to the medical tags. I also had a statement not to separate me from my SD.

I don't wear the medical tags as much now but I generally carry my cell phone and I have ICE numbers in that. Generally if I am in trouble I can indicate to someone that my phone is there and they would likely get the hint.

I carry one of the medical info cards I made up in Tux's pack and another one in my pack. For the one that fits in the book (and I just made a copy of it for Tux's pack, so they're the same size) I made it actually a little bigger than the other cards so that if I handed someone the book they might see the words "Medical Info on Back Side" and get the hint. Otherwise I positioned it at the back of the book so that I can try to open the book (or indicate I want someone to do that) and they would get the hint.

Let me know if you'd like more details.

Hope this helps!
Tux & Big Sis
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» There has since been 12 posts. Last posting by Reboot - Retired SD , May 18 1:42 pm


Service & Therapy Dogs > Advice for Court

Sir.- Tuxanawlden- SDIT

The Heir
 
 
Barked: Mon Apr 12, '10 4:37pm PST 
We have not had to testify etc. in court although we have been in the court house for other reasons (public offices there, such as the tax office, etc.)

On our courthouse there is a sign posted that only SD's and Police K-9's are allowed inside. That's all fine and good, and it gives SD handlers a heads up...my personal opinion, YIELD to police K-9's at all times. I have never encountered one in the courthouse while with Tux, but if I noticed one I would call out, establish paths of travel and make a quick exit into an office if they were going to go past me if at all possible.

I know that is the cautious road to take - but my opinion, I would rather take it. I have been standing at a bus stop, in a different police department area, when a police K-9 came up in the back of a cruiser. For the whole time we were there (I was with a group of friends) the K-9 went ballistic at Tux from inside the patrol car. This was enough for me to really think about exiting the scene and then when one of my friends looked at the call the cops were responding to (pedestrians; likely suspected drug activity) -- my friend said, "he might pull that K-9 out when he next returns." I was already establishing a thought of where to go just to help the dog calm down but at that I told my friends, "Okay I am going to such and such a street corner here/there (describing it), if I am not back by the time the bus is here you let him know where I am and have him pick me up?" And my friends said of course (this was small town transit, I rode the bus all the time, and the driver commonly waited for straggling passengers because he was the last bus, as long as you were a regular. So we were well-known). It turned out I was able to return to the bus stop after the patrol car left, but it made me feel better (meaning nicer) (and safer!) that I was able to exit the scene and go elsewhere. I trust Tux, and I also trust police K-9's - but all dogs are most comfortable in situations they've been exposed to. I doubt many police K-9's have ever seen a service dog.

Good luck in court! Harley will do fine. If necessary, consider letting someone know you have a disability and Harley is medical alert - that way, your disability (including a need to sit down/pause conversation, etc.) can be accommodated, and if Harley alerts, you can follow Harley's advice. It's your choice whether or not to disclose the presence of Harley when you disclose your disability (I recommend disclosing your disability previous to the court date if you think you'll need accommodations or may get an alert. Because of ADA (and other laws), the court is required to make accommodations for you to participate despite your disability, but you have to disclose your disability beforehand; I think at least 48 hours & likely in writing. Maybe your court summons has a "reasonable accommodation" statement on it?).

Hope this helps. Keep us posted how your experience goes!

Tux & Big Sis
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» There has since been 3 posts. Last posting by Harley, SD, CGC, TDI, Apr 14 6:53 pm


Service & Therapy Dogs > Byron's Misadventure

Sir.- Tuxanawlden- SDIT

The Heir
 
 
Barked: Sun Mar 21, '10 5:35pm PST 
We've been thinking of you ever since we read this thread. Glad Byron is doing better - but I agree: naughty

May I suggest, for the baby gate, that you bolt it to the wall on the living room side of the window? That way, if Byron gets the idea to play Superman and/or Spider Monkey ever again, hitting the gate will not (1) dislodge it as a pressure activated gate might do; and (2) he will not be able to ram it enough times that it comes dislodged on the bolts (if you placed it on the kitchen side and he kept jumping). I know that seems like a little too much, but Byron has already proved himself to be very clever, and I want to keep him safe...you might want to use giant bolts, too. Just make sure you can caulk the holes if you rent the apartment and have a landlord. But getting powerful bolts, and actually bolting it - is the suggestion I'd make. On all four corners... red face

Sending you and Byron good thoughts!

Tux & Big Sis
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» There has since been 1 post. Last posting by Byron, Mar 21 8:33 pm

Service & Therapy Dogs > Want dogster more accessible?
Sir.- Tuxanawlden- SDIT

The Heir
 
 
Barked: Wed Feb 24, '10 6:30pm PST 
Woof! I just found the non-paying thread!

It's nearly lost, even on the second time I looked for it, but here is the link:

Link for suggestions to Dogster HQ for non-paying members

Sure wish they'd made it a little more obvious, but at least Veronica is good about letting us know about opportunities for input so I can stumble onto this one!

Thanks,
Tux & Big Sis
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» There has since been 13 posts. Last posting by nina, Feb 26 10:03 am


Service & Therapy Dogs > What do you carry when you go out?

Sir.- Tuxanawlden- SDIT

The Heir
 
 
Barked: Fri Feb 19, '10 7:22pm PST 
Oh yes, I forgot about the collection of lights I carry! And extra lights, and reflector pieces just in case everything else fails...

And cell phone, that will get us a bus in the night if we need one - most bus drivers in this area are trained to look for their bright screens moving on the side of the road near stops.

blue dog

Tux & Big Sis
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» There has since been 18 posts. Last posting by Reboot - Retired SD , Feb 27 1:18 am


Service & Therapy Dogs > What do you carry when you go out?

Sir.- Tuxanawlden- SDIT

The Heir
 
 
Barked: Fri Feb 19, '10 6:57pm PST 
Oooh oooh, I just had to reply to this one!

In Tux's vest:
Poo bags (rolled up grocery sacks)
Flyers
Law packet (with all the laws, a couple extra brochures, my medical card, etc)
And a few other things that vary...wink

Then in my pack, that almost breaks my back... laugh --

My needed school stuff
Then a 32 oz water bottle for each of us (2 bottles)
Lunchbox with human/dog food
Nylabone
Hat, gloves, coat if I get too warm (hat & gloves in case I get caught outside at night)
Reflective vest
Hand sanitizer
Water dish (folding, it leaks but I have it just in case)
Water dish (plastic; modified salad container)
Plus I have Tux's boots & toddler socks for him.
Various other small Big Sis related & Tux related items
And a few other things

Oh yes, and can't forget the extra leash and collar in my backpack just in case the ones I usually use get broken, chewed or fall in something really gross! silenced

And a few other things that I may pick up along the way...all in all it weighs like 15 lbs and is absolutely huge! I often feel like I have enough supplies for easily two, three days, but that is what is needed to make sure that we have supplies for an emergency.

Hope this helps!
Tux & Big Sis
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» There has since been 20 posts. Last posting by Reboot - Retired SD , Feb 27 1:18 am


Dog Health > Not even the closed porch? It feels like the nightmare all over again...

Sir.- Tuxanawlden- SDIT

The Heir
 
 
Barked: Tue Feb 16, '10 7:51pm PST 
hughugPOTP for Ando & Jasmine. OMD.

It's not your fault, no matter what happens. Praying for you & Ando both. hughug

Tux & Family
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» There has since been 164 posts. Last posting by Dogster HQ, Feb 18 8:22 am

Service & Therapy Dogs > Mesh vest: Is it worth it?
Sir.- Tuxanawlden- SDIT

The Heir
 
 
Barked: Sun Jan 31, '10 4:45pm PST 
Boo, after thinking (and only do this if you are comfortable with it, I haven't done it) - if you have no pockets on the vest, how much wiggle/adjustment room do you have? Could you take some cold packs like I described previously, sew in a securement system (like elastic straps, or make some ice pack sleeves that are velcroed to the underside?) and have the cold packs mounted on the underside of the vest, nearest to Boo?

If you used little fabric pouches and velcro on the ice packs, you'd want to put the smooth side of the velcro on the dog vest and then the hook side on the fabric pouches you make to hold the ice packs so the hook side doesn't get so full of dog fur.

Also, RH Jelf (I think that is who they are) - used to have a website with suggestions to make your own cooling bandanna. They suggested buying a pack of baby diapers and cutting the absorbancy crystals out of them. Then rewrap in fabric and sew as needed to finish the product in the shape you want and/or stabilize the crystals where you want them, like you could make a strap cover for her vest straps perhaps. Just sew the crystals in the appropriate width of a line and then sew excess fabric into the circle/strap cover needed to make the strap cover. Then slip the strap through or add some velcro to the cooling strap cover as needed to be able to secure it to Boo's vest.

As far as I know, the absorbancy crystals are reusable (at least a few times) - and can be frozen in the freezer in the evenings.

Let me know if you manage to pull off a system like this, it would be really cool to see!

Tux & Big Sis
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» There has since been 16 posts. Last posting by Scooter, Feb 2 7:06 am

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