- 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)
Saturday, December 06, 2008
World's" Coolest Dog Photo Winner!
more: dog pictures & breed info
AND... Congratulations to Orson the Bulldogge for winning Best in Show and also winning his category: "Water Dog"! Orson will be getting a kennel load of prizes for winning this contest! Every dog that wins a category gets a bunch of gifts from the different sponsors, and Best in Show wins the dog even more goodies! I am sure Orson's human is proud!
Last year, my bad boy cat, Solace (or Rosie's kitten) won the "Naughtiest" category! Both he and my other cat made out like bandits at Christmas time, often getting two of each!
ORSON the DOGGE won Best Dog in Show!
more: dog pictures & breed info
Saturday, November 01, 2008
Disability Rights Organizations Express Outrage Over Attacks at McCain-Palin Rally: ADAWatch.com News Release
October 31, 2008
Disability Rights Organizations Express Outrage Over Attacks at McCain-Palin Rally
Jim Ward, Founder and President
202-415-4753 or http://www.blogger.com/
Marcie Roth, Executive Director
301-717-7447 or firstname.lastname@example.org
(Washington, DC) The National Coalition for Disability Rights (NCDR) pushed back today against the McCain-Palin campaign for ridiculing the legal rights of people with disabilities. News reports describe McCain-Palin campaign representative Senator Kit Bond (R-Mo), joining Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin at a rally in Rush Limbaugh's hometown of Cape Girardeau, Missouri, mocking Presidential candidate Senator Barak Obama for stating that he's looking to nominate judges who empathize with "the disabled."
"It's Halloween and it seems that Sarah Palin's mask of support for people with "special needs" is slipping. Despite past pandering to people with disabilities, McCain-Palin are actually opposed to vital disability legislation like the Community Choice Act and they want to appoint judges who will further roll back the civil rights protections of the Americans with Disabilities Act," declared NCDR's founder and president, Jim Ward.
NPR's Nina Totenberg has reported that McCain-Palin's and conservatives' "most oft-mentioned prospects" for nomination to the Supreme Court include Ohio Judge Jeffrey Sutton. Sutton was opposed by hundreds of disability organizations when he was nominated by President Bush after successfully weakening the ADA with states' rights arguments. As a sitting judge, he has recently supported the execution of criminals with developmental disabilities and has undermined the Help America Vote Act(HAVA).
Disability rights advocates are further incensed that the McCain-Palin campaign has reframed this civil rights struggle, one founded in concepts of equality, dignity and self-respect, as an issue of "special needs."
Disability rights advocate, Steve Gold states, "Yes we need support services. Yes we need inclusive education. Yes we need integrated employment. Yes we need equal rights. This not "special". These needs are based on us, people with disabilities, equal members of our communities. We are not inspirational nor are we "special". We are PROUD PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES who should push back when anyone describes us as anything but equal members of our communities."
The National Coalition for Disability Rights is a nonpartisan nonprofit that does not endorse political candidates. We are a coalition of national, state and local disability, civil rights and social justice organizations united to protect and promote the human rights of children and adults with physical and mental disabilities.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
October 3- October 6, 2008, My friend and I set out via plane with our service dogs to attend the 4th Annual PSDS gathering in Arlington, Virginia. It was much more fun traveling with another person and service dog and turned what would have been a lot more nerve wracking actually kind of fun!
We arrived in Arlington at about 3 pm on Friday the 3rd and spent a little relaxation time in our hotel room before hiking out for Joan's apartment for the evening gathering of people and their service dogs. She does this every year and we manage to cram quite a number of bodies into that little apartment. She always has good food and drink waiting. To my surprise, my friend Elaine and her Sheltie SD and me and my Rosie were the first to arrive. We helped put some things together for the main even, the Saturday gathering at the dog park. Eventually people began to show up. There were many dogs, some not on their best behavior (or maybe they were), and of all sizes. I recognized each dog as they came through the door and thus was able to identify the human following behind as a result. We watched a couple of videos, but it was hard for me to get comfortable as Rosie needed protection from me and I needed to relocate to view one of the videos. This put me peering into the bedroom from the door with Rosie underneath me as I tried to view the video on the bedroom TV screen.
Rosie finds a safe place to chill out at Joan's busy apartment
My friend Elaine and I took a slow morning and ate breakfast with some new friends before heading out early to the dog park to help set up for the main event... the Silent Auction and luncheon.
Rosie waits for me to finish breakfast at the hotel restaurant. Love the carpet
AT THE DOG PARK, SETTING UP FOR THE GATHERING...
Two Standard Poodles participate with their human in the "Doga" class
Service Dogs in Training: Chocolate Lab, Fallon and German Shepherd Dog, Sophie get dressed for the hike back to their hotels with their humans... Elaine with Destry, a Belgian Shepherd from Texas.
I will be posting on the rest of Saturday... the hike home and evening visitors. STAY TUNED!
Fallon on the left with his human, Winston and his human, and Teddy with his human walk down the sidewalk in Arlington. We are going to meet with other SDs and handlers for a Sunday lunch.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Some of the most difficult parts of having an invisible disability and of handling a psychiatric service dog are dealing with the public's often judgemental eye. People ask what to us are very personal questions that had our dog been a seeing eye dog, it would be very different. People do not understand that one can have an invisible disability such as a psychiatric disability and that a service dog can be of help for that disability. The stigma is often painful to bear, and the fear of judgement or having to deal with a public access challenge is enough to make me want to stay home at times! A question like: "What does your dog do for you?" appears harmful enough... but many people do not understand the answers. Sometimes these questions get rather invasive and I would need to reply by asking the person about his/her private medical history in return. Most of the general public is not so willing to share these details of their lives... I am no different.
One thing we expect is that when we go into a public place that the employees there will treat us with the same dignity and respect that would be bestowed on the other customers. Unfortunately, this does not always happen.
Here is a story from a fellow service dog team about such a visit...
Sherman has been to the Petco near us multiple times, and has always been moderately well-behaved, but the store associate asked me why I was giving him commands (sit, stay, down) in the store. I explained to him that I needed Sherman for SD work. He asked, "what kind of work?" I replied, "Psychiatric." This is how he responded: "Oh, so you're retarded?" "NO!" I nearly screamed in his face. Instead I politely responded with "No, I have an anxiety disorder. That does not make me retarded. I'm training Sherman to help me out." "Well, I'm a dog trainer. I just think I should let you know that because of your disorder [the disgust in his voice was like nails on a chalkboard] you'll never be able to train a dog. You might as well give it up. Good luck though." Then he laughed in my face. People like that should be shot. His lack of everything: Tact, intelligence, EVERYTHING he was lacking just totally hurt me. I've never been laughed at before. 9 years of my mental illness and no one has laughed at me. Now I know how much it hurts...
About a week later, she writes back with the outcome of her horrifying Petco experience:
I recently called the manager of the store. He told me he was very sorry, and to come in right away. I came into Petco (Sherman and all) expecting an apology and a crappy coupon book. What I received however was so much better. Right when I got there, he kept apologizing over and over saying how truly sorry he was for this horrible misunderstanding. He petted Sherman and asked some questions, "What is he for exactly?" "How long have you been together?" "Wow. He's so well- behaved! Good Dog!" Needless to say, I was quite surprised. Then he brought out the employee to meet me. (We'll say his name was Rick) Rick walked over and said how very sorry he was. I thanked him, but said that no matter what he said, it wasn't going to make much of a difference, my mind was made up. He said he understood, and was being reprimanded appropriately. "I'm sorry, but unless you're getting fired for ignorance, there isn't an appropriate reprimand." I said. He said he was sorry and left. Then the manager looked at me and very frankly said, "Miss, I hope you know he is being fired. He has 2 days left."
I swear I could've just jumped for joy. I thanked the manager, and he said, "You know Miss... if there is anything that I deplore, it is an insult to the disabled community. I was appalled, and I'm so sorry. The last thing I was is to upset you. You've done some great work with this pup." He then said that I was welcome to as much as I wanted of the rawhide/treat bar (which is like a smorgasborg full of rawhide and flavored treats), so I snagged a few things, thanked him for being so cooperative and left.
Wow. I frankly was prepared to go starting a war, and it wasn't necessary. The manager was so polite and thoughtful, it was a shocking contrast to what I'd experienced the last visit.
Anyone who thinks that having a service dog must be so neat and great, let me tell you that most of the time it is true, that my dog (Rosie) is my little medical hero. However, there is nothing fun about access challenges and/or having to deal with opinionated, ignorant and closed-minded people on a regular basis. Imagine having a social phobia or Avoidant Personality Disorder and dealing with this everyday, day after day.
Having a service dog makes it so difficult to be invisible. For some of us, that is a very hard thing.
(I had a Petco dog trainer who wanted to teach my service dog how to sit and beg (among other useless tricks). I can teach your dog 101 tricks! How exactly does he think the sit and beg will go over the next time I eat out at a restaurant???)
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Thursday, September 11, 2008
From the AKC Site:
We are petitioning America's pet owners to remind them of everything that is required to be a responsible dog owner. Sure we give our pups lots of playtime, treats and affection, but what about training? Is your dog groomed as often as his breed requires? Is your pup wearing a collar with tags and permanently identified with a microchip to maximize his chances of being returned to you if he becomes lost?
The AKC Responsible Dog Owner Pet Promise, created to bring the spirit of AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Day to life, reminds us that raising a happy and healthy pet is more than just playtime and pampering. Owners must ensure their dogs do not infringe on the rights of others, and this includes properly disposing of your dog's waste in all public areas, adhering to local leash laws and training your dog to sit, come when called and to cease barking so to not disturb others.
We signed the AKC Responsible Dog Owner Pet Promise to show our commitment to our four-legged friends and we hope you will too!
AKC RESPONSIBLE DOG OWNER PET PROMISE
As a dog owner, I do solemnly swear:
* I will never overlook my responsibilities for this living being and recognize that my dog's welfare is totally dependent on me.
* I will always provide fresh water and quality food for my dog.
* I will socialize my dog via exposure to new people, places and other dogs.
* I will take pride in my dog's appearance with regular grooming.
* I will recognize the necessity of basic training by teaching my dog to reliably sit, stay and come when called.
* I will take my dog to the vet regularly and keep all vaccinations current.
* I will pick-up and properly dispose of my dog's waste.
* I will make sure my dog is regarded as an AKC Canine Good Citizen® by being aware of my responsibilities to my neighbors and to the community.
* I will ensure that the proper amount of exercise and mental stimulation appropriate for my dog's age, breed and energy level is provided.
* I will ensure that my dog has some form of identification (which may include collar tags, tattoo or microchip ID.)
* I will adhere to local leash laws.
Saturday, September 06, 2008
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Below: Zorra performs her routine...
Friday, June 13, 2008
This is an old video clip, but since I have never been able to post videos before now, I am going to share this clip with you. Here is my girl showing me that I'm indeed the Alpha dog! What a sweety!
Sunday, June 01, 2008
Above photo: Governor Baldacci attends Bangor, Maine's Memorial Day Ceremony. He is a resident of Bangor. I shook his hand and thanked him for signing the bill.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Tail Waggin Training Center: Specialising in training service dogs for children with autism (and SDs for people with other disabilities as well!)
Thursday, May 15, 2008
To those who have service animals, make sure that you are familiar with your state's service animal laws and don't assume that they protect you. Learn and know the ADA enough that you can tell when someone is feeding you a bunch of bull. Know that not even the DOJ/ADA phone-line is a place to get the full truth on service animals. Know that not everyone who uses a service animal will support your use of a service animal. Even disabled individuals discriminate (sadly enough).
After a nice Mother's Day weekend with family, Rosie broke her toe. Monday night (5/12/08) while playing frisbee in the field near the river in Bangor, somehow my talented service dog broke her right hind toe (second one in from the outside, second digit down from the claw digit.) The only way I can figure she did it is that when the frisbee landed on the ground, she tried to do one of her sliding stops, her claws dug in and her body continued to move ahead. All we know is that she came back on only three legs, and we know she went after that thing on all four. So, my girl with be "out-of-service" for quite a while. She's already bored and so am I.
Earlier on Monday, we had taken a nice walk up Beech Hill in Rockport, Maine after having spent the night at my Mother's house in Camden. It was so beautiful out and Rosie had fun... went to a swim in the river and took her first dock dive of the summer (and maybe her last). In this above photo she does a sit stay pose for me and looks like a beautiful Lass looking out to the ocean. The broken toe was such a horrible ending to the weekend and will really put a damper on both of our summer activities. Not to mention she might have to learn how to stay home alone if I need to walk to appointments or whatever.
My New Puppy Broke!: I know I have been here before...
This whole thing with Rosie and her broken toe reminds me of my new little 10 week old puppy that I took with me on a camping trip. There was a Boy Scout camping activity and I took my baby Rowena with me. For some reason, I rather inadvertantly handed my new puppy's leash over to a boy scout to take for a walk. I was just about ready to tell the boy to watch out "Be careful! She will get underfoot as she herds moving pantlegs!" But before I could get a word out, I heard a series of puppy yipes as the boys foot came down on my new puppy's little white freckled foot. Little did anyone know that at that moment, little Rowena's first toe on her right hind foot was fractured.
The whole weekend people would not even realize it, but I knew something was wrong. My new puppy still played and leaped around, but I could see, ever so slightly, that she was favoring that foot. Everyone said I was just being a nervous new puppy mom, but the next day I took her to her vet's to get it looked at. Little Rowena had just been into the vet's only about a week earlier at her first puppy well-check up. They sedated my new puppy and x-rayed her little foot, taking her from my view. The report was that her toe was indeed broken. They took her back (again out of my sight) to splint her little foot with a huge spoon splint and the pink and purple colored bandage per my request. A couple of hundred dollars later, I am carrying my tiny little gal home. She was heavy in my arms, still sedated. That didn't last nearly long enough though. I was supposed to keep a young border collie puppy quiet and still for a month. Yeah, right.
A long day with my new puppy... and SHE'S BACK! Little Rowena wakes up!
Over the next four weeks, the splinted foot got wet, dirty, worn, and duct taped. Seasons changed and holidays soon arrived, I found it only fit to not just repair her bandage once, but yet another time only dress it up for the holidays!
Above photos: (Click on photo for a larger view) Pink and Floral on the left... Red and white with green Christmas trees topped with yellow stars on the right.
Rosie's Veterinarian told me that now Rosie only has 2 toes left to break on that foot! Wow! I wonder if Rosie gets an award after all toes have been fractured! (knock on wood that doesn't happen.)