- What is a Disability?
- WHAT IS A SERVICE DOG?
- WHAT IS A THERAPY DOG?
- WHAT IS AN EMOTIONAL SUPPORT ANIMAL?
- The Unofficial Code of Conduct for Service Dog Handlers- by "Please Don't Pet Me"
- Level 1 SERVICE DOG IN TRAINING-- STAR Puppy and Puppy Obedience Class
- Level 2 SERVICE DOG IN TRAINING-- CGC Class and Test
- Level 3 SERVICE DOG IN TRAINING-- Therapy Dog (Through Therapy Dog International)
- ADI's Public Access Test for Service Dogs
- ADI's Minimum Standards for Service Dogs
- All About Border Collies...
- Rowena's Photo Pedigree
- A SPECIAL STORY... The Story of Blizzard, a Border Collie (Under Construction)
Monday, May 02, 2005
"When Psychiatric Service Dogs Struggle"
Ever have one day (or more) where you wake up and just feel drained of all energy or just unable to rub the sand out of your eyes? Well what do I do when I feel like that and I have a Border Collie who wants me to entertain her every minute? Lucky for her, I had to go downtown to get my bus pass. I know that exercise will help me to not get so sore and I know that it will help Ro keep her muscle tone up in her hips and probably help her not be so sore as well. I had every intention of getting home from that errand and digging in some soil and breaking ground for the flowers to be planted around the building this year. So Ro and I get home, climb the stairs to go in so I could take her work harness off and get her poo bags and the pepper spray for protection. (Can't believe I forgot that stuff before we left on the errand!) We both departed to get something to drink... and well, I kind of crashed. Sure I went out on the back deck to make sure my seeds hadn't drown and to see if I couldn't muster up some energy to go down and do my thing. Rowena, full of little fears and phobias, refused to go out onto the deck. The bikes were standing side by side (plus three) and clothes fluttered about in the wind. Nermal the sociopathic cat was out with me and I am sure that didn't do much for Rowena's motivation. So I checked my roof top box garden and checked on things. The tullips continued to make their way up through the soil and many little "helicopters" had begun to grow (only to get plucked out by me). Purple coneflower began popping some young leaves up on one side, the lilac and rose bush had begun opening up their own leaves. Tiny apple trees show signs of life, making me happy that they had survived their first winter. None of the sunflower seeds I had planted in trays had begun to appears above the soil, but I had faith that if things warmed up and dried up a bit that they would begin to grow. The wind had picked up and short sleeves was feeling less appropriate than earlier. I moved the make-shift gate I had accidently left up last time I was out and poured the water out of my scrap wood bin. I did take out the packet of flower seeds and read the instructions. No. Just doesn't feel warm enough. I'll do it later. I go out to chase Nermal indoors and close the door behind us. I do a cat check with Rowena on my heels and all looks well. Now for the rest of the evening, I keep getting these looks from Rowena, like a pouting child that occasionally glances and glares up at me. I talk to her and she glances away. "No. I don't want to hear it!" Rowena seems to say. I know she is sore today but next to moderating her exercise, I can do nothing more for her. She now sleeps peacefully behind me on my fake sheepskin blanket. Her bed cover is in the wash so her bed is unavailable. So I don't know whether this fatigue thing with me is a mental or physical problem. I do know that Rowena does her job. There is not one day that I can hibernate inside and never go out. There is not more than 1 day when we get out and at least take a walk around town... just for her. I try to take her to a location where she can run unleashed at least 2 or more times a week. I cannot hide anymore. This dog makes me stick out. She makes me go out. Oh maybe I can get out with her for another late night training walk. Maybe I just need another nap.