Saturday, December 06, 2008

Dogster's Best in Show

Congratulations to our very own Punkin for winning her category: "Service Dogs". Punkin is a Psychiatric Service Dog who works, lives, and plays in California. Congrats Punkin! Your human must be proud!!

World's" Coolest Dog Photo Winner!
Punkin is a Worlds Coolest Winner! at Dogster.com!

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!
ORSON the DOGGE won Best in Show at Dogster.com!
more: dog pictures & breed info

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Disability Rights Organizations Express Outrage Over Attacks at McCain-Palin Rally: ADAWatch.com News Release

Please... to all United States citizens, VOTE on Tuesday November 4th, 2008. There is so much at stake in this election we ALL need to go out and be heard! Play your part and VOTE (or you have no right to complain for the next 4 years).

ADAWatch.orgNational Coalition for Disability Rights 1701 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Suite 300Washington, DC 20006202-448-9928 - info@ncdr.org


NEWS RELEASE
October 31, 2008

Disability Rights Organizations Express Outrage Over Attacks at McCain-Palin Rally

Contacts:
Jim Ward, Founder and President
202-415-4753 or http://www.blogger.com/

Marcie Roth, Executive Director
301-717-7447 or mroth@ncdr.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

4th Annual Psychiatric Service Dog Gathering in Arlington, Virginia

Before departure at the Portland International Airport in Portland, Maine

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

We were close enough to Joan's place to be able to walk there and walk back to the hotel afterwards. Service Dog Winston and his human joined us for the walk back that night.
Some familiar canine faces at Joan's apartment: Service dogs Teddy (a Keeshund from Alabama) and Winston (a Border Collie from Vermont)

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...

Supporter patches decorate part of the PSD Access quilt project. Wagnit's display was something else this year! They had an ad in Bark this past year!

Winston hangs out while his human, Melanie helps set up for the big event. Elaine and Jenn look over Silent Auction items during set up.

The fabulous Could Be, a Miniature Schnauzer from Washington State was able to attend with his human!

I helped lable the items that were up for the silent auction... especially the items I donated, and I tried my best to organize all the items. I thought there should have been at least 1 more table. It was a bit chaotic up there. Wagn It had these neat Pet Passports that if I traveled more, I would have purchased one. What was great was that having the tent set up right next to the dog park, we could take the dogs over to play or whatever when ever we needed. I find I need to make sure there are not a bunch of rowdy dogs out there before I take Rosie out. We got to meet Winston off leash in the dog park which was great. Rosie got to play with his ball.

Goofy Border Collies play in the dog park... Winston plays with his oversized ball and then give Rosie a chance to try it out. She is so used to controlling balls with her teeth, it took her a while to figure out how to maneuver the large orange ball.

Unfortunately, there was no Godiva Chocolate Cheese cake this year. However, I got to try out some foods that typically I would not eat. All the food was good... even the lasagna that I was not too sure about trying.

I did not spend as much money at the silent auction as I did last year to save money for the rest of the weekend. I only spent about $26. I was surprised that not more people were bidding on things... especially since some items had no bids at all. Some items were more expensive items that unless a person planned on it, s/he would not be able to bid on it at all.

Two Standard Poodles participate with their human in the "Doga" class

Events: Doga (Yoga for you and your dog) and a "how do I teach my dog to find my car...?" class. Elaine did some fiddlin' and I got to meet some people and dogs I'd only typed to on the listserv or on Dogster.
PSD User squares on display... ready for attachment to the growing quilt project!

HERE ARE MORE DOGS AND HUMANS AT THE GATHERING...


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.

Paxil, a soon-to-be retired service dog finally agrees to a photograph... "Did someone call for Security??" Rainbow, the Rhodesian Ridgeback (one of Joan's dogs) makes her rounds to check up on things. (She always has a furrowed brow which gives her that always worried expression... too cute!)

NEXT>>>

I will be posting on the rest of Saturday... the hike home and evening visitors. STAY TUNED!


People and their service dogs gathered in the dog park for playtime for one last time before returning to the hotel for the evening... Rosie takes a break with Winston's ball in the park while I try to egg her on... Jenn and her human rest along the fence at the dog park to watch the others play after a long day of activities.
Winston and his human, Teddy and his human, followed by Fallon and his human walk through Arlington after the festivities on Saturday evening. Fallon and Winston and their humans spent the evening with Elaine and Jenn, and me and Rosie in our hotel room for a night of pizza and comraderie.
Rosie and new boyfriend, Winston veg out on my bed in the hotel room... notice how they both have their tongues sticking out of their mouths. I thought Rosie was the only dog that slept with her tongue sticking out! Fallon found a cozy place in the corner of the hotel room, next to the desk to veg out. He had his own nap pad with him! What the little boy scout!

Sunday Morning, we wait with our service dogs for a group to gather to walk to the Cheesecake Factory for lunch. Fallon patiently waits with his human while Rosie does a goofy paws up for the camera.

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.



Here is Rosie and me walking in Arlington to get to the restaurant with other service dogs and their handlers... I look over my shoulder as Melanie takes a picture of me with Rosie, and to my right, Teddy and his human wait.


Doesn't this seem like a very typical photo of Neil? I mean, where else would someone on the listserv expect to see him? But seriously, at the lunch table in a restaurant? Do you think the listserv can go without a moderator long enough for us to eat lunch?
Nose to nose seating underneath the table at the restaurant... what amazes me is that these dogs don't know each other yet they can lie quietly nose to nose without fighting or getting all gitty about all the other dogs. Now THAT is service dog material!

Sophie, Service dog in training uses Winston's butt as a pillow.

After the restaurant on Sunday, Elaine and Jenn, and Rosie and me head for the train to tour DC for the rest of the day. Stay Tuned for the pictures of this "monumental" trip!!!
















Saturday, September 20, 2008

Store Incompetence: Mistreatment of a Service Dog Team in-Training





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.
-Meghan K. & Sherman

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???)
Learn more about Psychiatric Service Dogs at http://www.psychdog.org/ a non-profit organization.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

AKC Responsible Dog Onwership Day/Month

September is Responsible Dog Ownership month! Have you signed the Pet Promise this year?? Show your dog(s) you love them and really care about them by reading and signing this petition, the Pet Promise.

http://www.gopetition.com/online/9290.html
(copy & paste)

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.
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What events are taking place in your area for Responsible Dog Ownership Day?? Check by clicking on the below link:
2007's Responsible Dog Ownership Day is presented with our sponsors: Invisible Fence Brand by PetSafe and Nature's Recipe.
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(Click link at the top of the post to sign the petition)

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Maine's New Service Dog Laws Took Effect in July!


In July, Maine's new service dog laws took effect. The major thing those with service dogs must know is that in order to get your dog license fee WAIVER, you must fill out with your doctor (or other qualified professional) the Service Dog Verification Form. This is not mandatory unless you want your dog license fee waiver. If not, then you do not need to fill out the form. If you have chosen to do the form, you bring it to your town office/City Hall clerk and hand it in. The clerk will keep it on file and you will not need to fill another one out for as long as you are using that service dog. A benefit is that you will be adding more to your trail of evidence to help prove that your dog is a service dog. Your service dog license will have your dog checked off as a special/service dog. This whole process is the state's way of helping city/town clerks to tell which dog is a real service dog and which one's are not. Therefore, Maine will be sure to get all their money from the maybe .05% of fakers out there (figuring about 2% or less who are disabled and legally utilizing a service dog) when 50% of the State's dog owners still don't bother to license their dog at all. It makes me wonder what the real reason is that we license our dogs, because I don't think it was so Maine can take in lots of money. Wasn't it a good reason... something that benefitted the dogs or something?? Anyway, for now, the Maine goverment is done trying to squeeze money from its disabled citizens. Maybe now Animal Welfare can figure out how to get the people who don't license their dogs at all.


You can copy the Maine Service Dog Verification Form from the Department of Agriculture's website in PDF format. The link is the following:



Tuesday, August 12, 2008

"Border Collies at the Fair: Disc-connected K9's (frisbee dogs) Connect at the Bangor State Fair!

Usually Rosie is the only Border Collie I see at the Bangor State Fair, but this year there was a very pleasant surprise to both Rosie and myself... there were frisbee dogs performing an exciting and acrobatic show! Down where the rabbit tent usually stands for the fair, this year the mean rabbit man. For the past 2 years I have been harrassed by the rabbit guy, following me around the tent and grumbling away about how dangerous my dog is...
My Rabbit man ramble... Who is the rabbit man??? (He watches over the rabbit tent which is a big party tent full of rabbit hutches lifted about four feet off the grass on sturdy built on 2x4 legs, and feels that every dog... including those vicious service dogs that come through every year are going to either rip the bunnies from their little cages or that the dogs will, from their very presence, scare the rabbits so much they will totally flip out in their cages and "break their little necks" as the rabbit guy put it. I have had rabbits and have seen them totally freaked with a dog on their tails in hot pursuit. They are not these weak and helpless creatures that break if a carnivor breathes near them. They are strong, fast and very agile. They can jump VERY HIGH! I have seen rabbits hopping and flipping all over the place, thumping off of every object he lands on with a dog right there chasing. Not once though have I seen a rabbit flip out and break it's neck. I hate to ruin the rabbit guy's bad day at the tent, but my dog could care less about a rabbit. She is curious, but has been around bunnies and will sniff them and then just go back to her business. The rabbit did the same. No broken necks.)
So, this year, an area was marked off for a great dog performance. Lawrence Frederick and Jodi Frederick of Jacksonville , Florida choreographed this leaping good time with a number of rescued dogs that had accompanied them to Maine for the show. Mr. Frederick performed with the dogs, one at a time as each dog had its own routine and worked at different levels. Flash, an adorable little freckled, petite, smooth-coated border collie who was mostly white with large black splotches on her back was the biggest performer of the show. Flash, also known as "The Frisbee Freak" (with theme song) is a 2006, 2007, 2008 World Finalist in frisbee and it showed. The other dogs I saw perform were: Harley Davidson (2007) World Finalist) a tall, lanky smooth-coat, Zorra (2008 World Finalist) a classic, petite, black and white smooth-coat, "Easy Rider", a predominantly white with a beautiful thick, shaggy coat, a rescue dog team member, and Bella, a brown and while Aussie and another rescue dog team member. If I missed anyone, I apologise. There were a different selection of three dogs every show I attended. All dogs ranged from experienced pros to "newbies", but each dog did an amazing job regardless of what level they were working from. Of course it doesn't hurt that Mr. Frederick himself is a champion frisbee twirler himself!
Rosie was a bit TOO excited to watch other dogs play frisbee without joining in, so we watched the first show up front at the rope and after the first throw, Rosie began to go nuts so I had to turn her around and get her to look and focus only on me for the rest of the performance. She did great for being such a distracted dog at the time, and I was happy she was able to pull it off. However, for the next 4 performances through out the week that I attended, I stood up on the hill and watched the shows. It wasn't perfect, but provided a neat perspective for photos and video clips. Rosie was better able to control her competitive athletic side that I do encourage at certain, more appropriate times. I bought 2 t-shirts and we got 3 frisbees from them and one miniature frisbee as well!
Awesome group... awesome show.
The Fredericks rescue, train, rehab and adopt out dogs which is how they get their canine talent.
Find out more about this great group of all stars at http://www.k9frisbee.com/.


Below: Zorra performs her routine...
video

Friday, June 13, 2008

"Who's Alpha?" Rosie learns a new trick (2006)

video

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

2008 Updated Maine State Service Dog Laws: Maine Human Rights Commission Site


Summer is near!

Are you visiting Maine soon? Going camping or touristing? If you are bringing your service dog you will be happy to know that Maine now provides the protection that the ADA provides for you plus some!


Thanks to the Maine Human Rights Commission, http://maine.gov/mhrc/about/index.html I am able to post the documents that will inform those who wish to (or need to) know the updated service dog laws for the State of Maine. A lot of hard work was put into rewriting these laws and I feel that these revisions do not step on anyone's toes and allows for public access for people with all sorts of disabilities protecting their right to utilize service dogs in Maine communities. Perhaps this will never be a hassle free thing (to use a service dog when one has no apparent disability) but this is a big and great step forward for the state. In the future, Maine will be taking an active role in educating the public and Maine places of businesses about service dogs... not just informing them of the handler of the service dog, but also their rights as business owners... many do not even know they have rights at all.


Here is the rewritten definition of Service Dog...




Maine State Revisions to the Statutory Definition of Service Dog

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.


It was really awesome (though at times very discouraging) to be a part of the task force that worked so hard on these changes. I am hoping I will not have to jump in and take part in another task force for a while as I am still recovering.


Read some of my earlier posts to see why I am still recovering from this whole experience.


If anyone has any questions, please leave me a message on my blog and I will see if I can answer them for you.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

LD # 2285 (Previously LD #289) Signed by Governor Baldacci



On April 18th, 2008, Governor John Baldacci signed the bill that redefines for the State of Maine what a Service Dog is. The good news is that corrections were made on the bill before it passed the house and senate and it is a good thing. This puts Maine inline with the ADA. I am so happy to have been a part of the Task Force that rewrote the new bill after the first introduction flopped and the rep who presented it pulled it on the day of the public hearing because of the uproar. This means that writing letters to your state representatives, senators etc. do work to make desired changes in bills and laws. Take an active part in standing up for what you believe is right and just and write those letters!
At this point I do not have the link but will be adding that as soon as I find it. Thank you for all of the support and well-wishers from all over! Your comments have been appreciated!

Maine State Governor John Baldacci


LESSONS LEARNED:

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).

Now What Has She Done...

Rosie returns to the exam room at the Eastern Maine Emergency Veterinary Clinic after having her foot splinted and bandaged with pink bandages with purple hearts on it. She did really super for everyone there even though they took her away from me and didn't let me go with her. When they splinted her, Rosie looked back at me from the other side of the nurse's station on the exam table there and I looked at her until they made her lay down so they could put the splint on. I wish they understood that when they take her from me like that that it is not like she is just a pet dog. She is my faithful service dog who has followed me everywhere since she was 9 weeks old. We are together 24 hours a day, 7 days a week all year long. I was very proud of her, being so brave and calm and she did not need to be sedated like when she was a pup (and had broken her toe... the outside one next to this one.)


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.)