Thursday, December 10, 2009

Life with a Service Dog: horse demo w/ Benny#links

Rosie and Benny work side-by-side at a
Wendy's restaurant in Bangor.

Benny is an awesome service dog that not only heels well, he heels well with a pony too!
Life with a Service Dog: horse demo w/ Benny Links

The New Pup in Town

In a few days, there will be a new young dog among us here in Bangor. We have been working on getting him here for many months, and finally it is coming to pass. 7 month old Blizzard, a Border Collie from a farm in Kansas will be flying in on a Delta either Friday or Monday. (Was to be Thursday, but the weather is not cooperating.) We do not know how he will test on any of his puppy tests, but either way, he is here to stay.
This little fellow is not your typical black & white border collie, but... what color he does have is a shaded sable (reddish in color with some black mixed in). His head is white, blending in with his collar and shoulders, four legs and half of his tail. He has sweet brown eyes and is reported to be a pretty mellow dog for his breed. He was born to (sire) Rockin G's Bandit (Champion cattledog lines) and (dam) Borderzone's Viva's a Wild Soul on May 6th, 2009. His AKC name will be "Vernal Nor'easter" and we will continue to call him Blizzard.
One thing people will notice when I post his pedigree is that Rosie and he have one family member in common! That family member is (sire) Clan-Abby Blue Aberdoone of New Zealand. Blue Aberdoone is blue and white which means that Blizzard not only carries genes for sable coloring, but also blue coloring as well. How cool is that??!
So far I only have a few pictures sent to me by his breeders, but we plan on taking many pictures of him beginning when we pick him up at the airport.

(above) Blizzard at about 5 months old

(Above) Blizzard at about 8 weeks old.
Stay tuned for more on Blizzard!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Daily 49er - Petting somebody’s guide dog can put both in danger

This article was written by a Guide Dog User and is very simple and to the point. Basically it passes on the message as to why you should not pet a guide dog or any service dog you see without getting permission to do so by the handler. And when my dog's vest reads "Do Not Pet" and "Do Not Distract" that means you do not talk to my dog either. And no "You're working so I can't pet you..." because that is distracting and that is the whole point of why you should not pet a service dog. Service dogs have very important work to do and you never know what the dog will miss if you are distracting him or her.
Anyway, please read and pass on the message to others. I know in some areas service dogs are a rare sight, but just take note and pass it on so that you and your friends and or family know how NOT to act around a service dog or guide dog.


Daily 49er - Petting somebody’s guide dog can put both in danger

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Defense Department to Finance a Study That Pairs Dogs with Troops Suffering from PTSD

Lest another person doubts the work of a psychiatric service dog... Finally, a study is being done to show the impact of service dogs for individuals with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder!

Defense Department finances study that pairs dogs with troops suffering PTSD

by Alan Bavley
The Kansas City Star

Photos by GARVEY SCOTT/The Kansas City Star
Persian Gulf War veteran Chris Kornkven (left) greeted Rainbow, a female Rhodesian ridgeback, as fellow Gulf War veteran Anthony Hardie met Kenji, another ridgeback, and his handler, Joan Esnayra. The dogs demonstrated how they could help troops with post-traumatic stress disorder during a military health research conference this week in Kansas City. Kornkven has PTSD.

“It levels the playing field and stimulates creativity and fresh ideas,” Kaime said.
Love and Esnayra received funding for a small, 18-month “seedling” study that could lead to a bigger project if it yields positive results.
Ten troops with PTSD will receive a psychiatric service dog and professional dog training, along with conventional treatment. A comparison group will receive treatment alone.
Every three months, the troops will take psychological tests and have their stress hormone levels checked.
The Defense Department is involved in more medical research — and more kinds of research — than might be expected.
It funds combat-related work on such topics as Gulf War illness, traumatic brain injury and physical rehabilitation. But it also tackles research on childhood asthma, food allergies, osteoporosis and multiple sclerosis, among other maladies.
Advocates for various medical conditions have been pleased with how the Defense Department dispenses its research money. Illness survivors and family members are included on the panels that review grant applications.
The department started its broad medical mission in 1992 when breast cancer research advocates pressed Congress for more funding. Instead of all the money being funneled to the National Cancer Institute, $25 million went to the Defense Department.
Since then, the Defense Department’s portfolio of medical research has grown steadily. Appropriations have totaled more than $5.3 billion.
“Congress has been impressed with how we administer our programs. We’re very efficient,” Kaime said.

Kenji (left) and Rainbow are specially trained by the Psychiatric Service Dog Society to assist people with severe mental disability. Their handlers were Joan Esnayra, the society’s founder, and Craig Love, a psychologist.

To reach Alan Bavley, call 816-234-4858 or send e-mail to

Then, Check this out...



Service Dogs Help Traumatized Veterans Heal: These trained canines alert owners to warning signs of PTSD, experts say

Today's Health News
By Amanda Gardner
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Sept. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Iraq war veteran Jennifer Pacanowski was unaware that she was racing dangerously down the freeway at 85 miles an hour when she felt a wet nose nudge her elbow.
She immediately slowed down.
The wet nose belonged to Boo, Pacanowski's 110-pound Bull Mastiff, warning her that her anxiety levels were rising, a dangerous state given that Pacanowski has post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from her experiences as a medic in the war.
Boo, who turned 1 in August, has been with Pacanowski, helping her deal with the world since last December.
"Sometimes I forget where I am and will go back to the war in Iraq. He brings me back to reality and makes me realize that I can't run people off the road. It's a frequent thing with PTSD to have road rage," said Pacanowski, who returned to the United States at the end of 2004 and now lives in northeastern Pennsylvania. "He's a comfort. I also know I'm not alone, and people can't just sneak up on me without his knowledge."
Boo is one of a team of "psychiatric service dogs" being used all over the country to help people with various mental health issues, including bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders and, perhaps most notably, PTSD.
"If a dog observes when a person with PTSD is escalating, the dog will be able to signal that they are escalating and, given it's so early in process, the person can manage and even prevent the escalation," explained Joan Gibbon Esnayra, president and founder of the Psychiatric Dog Service Association.
The dogs have been in service for about 12 years and while patients and professionals alike know they work wonders, there has been no real empirical evidence of their value.
That's where the U.S. Department of Defense comes in. It's starting a 12-month study to find out exactly how the dogs help by comparing soldiers with PTSD who have dogs with a similar group of soldiers without a dog. Researchers will measure changes in symptoms and medication use.
"We want to provide evidence for something we know observationally and help create a movement towards the use of psychiatric service dogs," said lead investigator Craig T. Love, senior study director at Westat, a research corporation in Rockville, Md. "It's time to make a change."
"A recent survey showed that 82 percent of patients with PTSD who were assigned a dog had a decrease in symptoms, and 40 percent had a decrease in the medications they had to take," added Dr. Melissa Kaime, director of the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP), who spoke at a telebriefing last month. "I fully expect this will be positive trial."
Details of this and several other studies being funded by CDMRP are to be presented this week at the Military Health Research Forum in Kansas City.
Other research includes creating a "virtual supermarket" environment to help veterans with both PTSD and mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) cope with a return to civilian life.
Veterans with these conditions can have trouble adapting from being in a combat zone to being at home, where seemingly mundane daily events can prove jarring.
"These soldiers have challenges and difficulties when they have buttons that can be pushed and, when they are pushed, there's no calling it back," explained Dr. Charles E. Levy, lead investigator on this trial and chief of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the North Florida/South Georgia Veterans Health System. "This is [a virtual] environment where people could have a chance to basically practice life skills without the consequences of failure."
Levy decided on a grocery store because it "offers challenges of planning, challenges of finding the stuff once you decide what you're going to get, managing money," he said. "While all this may seem trivial, it's actually not trivial to many of the people we're seeing. Daily planning can be a challenge if you're distracted all the time or if you're nervous around crowds."
The virtual environment will be populated with grocery carts pushed by other shoppers (some loud, some not) and soldiers will have to deal with a collision of shopping carts, said Levy, adding that the prototype is not yet finished.
Other researchers will be trying to develop a more effective helmet for combat, and others are seeing if mifepristone, known as "the abortion pill," can help men and women with chronic, multi-symptom illness from the 1990-91 Gulf War.
"It's exactly the same medication [as that used in abortions]. Safety studies have been done and we don't anticipate any issue with that," Kaime said.

More information:
There's more on dogs like Boo at the Psychiatric Dog Service Association .
SOURCES: Joan Gibbon Esnayra, president and founder, Psychiatric Dog Service Association; Charles E. Levy, M.D., chief, physical medicine and rehabilitation, North Florida/South Georgia Veterans Health System; Craig T. Love, Ph.D., senior study director, Westat, Rockville, Maryland; Jennifer Pacanowski, Henryville, Pa.; Aug. 5, 2009, telebriefing with Capt. Melissa Kaime, M.D., director, Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program, Fort Detrick, Md.Copyright © 2009 ScoutNews, LLC . All rights reserved.

HealthDayNews articles are derived from various sources and do not reflect federal does not endorse opinions, products, or services that may appear in news stories.
Content Last Modified: 9/3/2009 9:00:00 AM

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Video Clip: Rosie and her Sister at Age Two

In 2006, we had the opportunity to meet Rosie's sister, Lady. Many photos were taken of the occasion, and Lady's mom took some video clips. She sent me a disk which all these years I assumed were photos, and I already had them. Come to find out, this disk had several video clips of the event. It was as beautiful as I remembered!

(Rosie is the dog who's ears aren't erect. She also has a shorter coat and a narrower stripe up her nose. She is the skinnier one... though she is also taller. Lady has a blockier head.)

Beethoven's 9th is the soundtrack.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Searching for the Next Service Dog in Training

Could the following 2 photos become a familiar sight for us in the near future??

A 9- week old tri-colored border collie pup hangs out at a dairy cow barn this year at the Bangor State Fair.

Rowena finds herself sharing the field with a border collie puppy named "Lobo" who is the new sibling of her friend Cinco who lives around the corner from us. Cinco met Rosie at the City Forest when Rosie was about this size. Lobo is a bit younger than she was... I think he is about 3 months here? Just bigger than she was. He has blue tipped ears!

Looking back...

8- week old Rowena on her best behavior on our first visit to check her out.

Rowena at 9- weeks old, the first weekend (we got her on a friday) on a visit to "grand ma's" takes a puppy nap in my arms.

"I will never crate my dog" until I realize that is the best way to potty train her. I delayed her potty training by a week because of this "never"

Rowena's first week with us... she knew her name the first day out (day after we got her) and never took off on us.

A skinny 4 month old Rowena wearing her Christmas Bell collar. Here she does her usual 'waiting for mommy'. It took her literally years to bulk her skinny self up! Now she is a healthy slim and svelt 5 year old!

Rosie... slim, fit and Svelt in the City Forest earlier this summer. What a beautiful dog she has turned into!

No, Rosie is not sick, disabled or daying or anything, however at age 5 she isn't getting any younger. Taking in account her poor hips, I have decided to begin training my next service dog who will at least be able to substitute until Rosie truly retires (if she ever decides to do so). I would like to give the new pup at least 3 years to train and become a full fledged service dog and Rosie will be my teacher's aid. Though Rosie is on a supplement that makes her hips function like she is a spring lamb on caffeine, one never knows what the aging process will bring. She may live til she is 16, but will she be able to work that long?? I know she will want to.

The whole experience of purchasing, raising and training Rosie, my first dog and first service dog has been the greatest learning experience I have ever had. Who'd a known I was really a dog person? This dog is my absolute heart. Through the "I will never--- with my puppy" to reality, I have learned so much about raising and training a dog, and I know I am ready to begin the puppy rearing process again. I am pretty sure the next will be a pup, but am trying to stay open minded in case another opportunity shows its self worthy of a try.

And so I begin my search, keeping in mind that I am also looking for a friend for Rosie as well. My husband and I are nearing a big cross-country move, and though I would love to purchase a pup here in Maine, I may have to wait til we have settled in a bit more in our place in Oregon before seeking the next lucky puppy. I have sought out border collie breeders across the US and a few have returned emails. A good pup is not cheap... can range from about $500 up to over $1,000. There are parents' health certs, temperment, testing the pups, and carefully choosing the pup best suited for the job which can be hard if I have fallen in love with the blue merle when the typical black & white scores the best for the job.

I remember how Rosie chose me and how her brothers released themselves of any possibility of being chosen to become my first pup. I remember this little top heavy pup with her whispy tail waving high in the air and her bright brown eyes dancing, demanding all eyes be on her! And I remember how when I picked her up, she leaned right into my shoulder. She just was there... no wiggling or squirming (something I did not experience reccently with some Australian Shepherd pups). I wish someone had taken a picture of that moment. Someone did get a photo of me at home that night, new pup in arms and puppy supplies all around with that "Look at my BABY" look on my face... Total puppy love! Entirely SMITTEN with this whippersnapper! No kitten ever took me like that.

I will post more on the big puppy decision later on as things develop and breeders surface more.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

When is a Service Dog a Service Dog and NOT in Training??

4 -month old Rowena in her new first service dog vest.
As you can see by her romping through the falling snow of her very first winter,
she is too young to equate the vest with being at work

First of all, let's look at the definition of SERVICE DOG as defined by the ADA...

Service animals are animals that are individually trained to perform work or tasks for people with disabilities- such as guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling wheelchairs, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, or performing other special tasks or work. Service animals are working animals, not pets.

The disability can be a physical or mental disability (which is actually a physical disability... When someone takes an anti-depressant, where does the pill go when the person gulps it down? And another, Do are brains effect the health and well-being of the rest of our bodies? Biochemically, everything in our brain effects many different areas of the body and many areas of mental and physical functioning.)

What type of training should a dog go through before becoming a service dog?

A service dog is a dog that is individually trained to perform work or tasks to help mitigate a disabled person's disability.

The answer to this question does vary. It depends on what kind of disabilities the dog is being trained to assist with and whether the service dog will be only used at home or if it will also have public access. There is no uniform standard training for service dogs as each will be assisting with a variety of disabilities, and no one person experiences the disability the same as another. The "Cookie Cutter" service dog training school does not work for all disabilities. That being said, there are untold standards that must be met.

A service dog must do work or perform tasks to assist his/her disabled handler to do something that the handler cannot do by him/her self. If you are capable of getting your own meds in the morning and preparing water in a glass (or opening a bottle) to drink down that pill, a dog trained to retrieve your meds and fetch a bottle of water from the fridge would not be mitigating that person's disability, so this would not be a task. I was always taught that my service dog should be able to perform a minimum of 3 identifiable tasks. This is not mandatory, but highly reccommended at some service dog training facilities (including those who assist disabled individuals train their own service dog).
A service dog, if it is to be used in public, must have basic commands down and basic public etiquette down or the dog may become disruptive. In the case that the dog does become disruptive or a risk while in public, a public place can legally ask the disabled handler to remove the dog and return without. A public place CAN NOT assume that a service dog might behave a certain way. The dog must pose a risk or disrupt the flow of the business otherwise many places would disallow service dogs. I suggest the dog have puppy kindergarten with socialization or STAR Puppy (AKC program), basic obedience, and pass the Canine Good Citizen test (AKC program). I also suggest that the dog be able to pass a general public access test that shows the dog can maneuver through public places filled with people, food, many different distractions, different surfaces etc. and still be able to listen and behave with the handler. There are samples of these online, and some are listed on this blog under Rosie's favorite Links for you to take a look at.
All the above being said, there is no mandatory training program, just public expectations and the ongoing stress that if my service dog misbehaves, it may look bad and make it difficult for the next service dog team gain public access at the same place. Because I trained my dog, any misbehavior is a bad reflection on me, but also on any other handler trained service dog team. Basically, my dog can behave and she does work and tasks that assist me with my disabilities so that I can live more independantly. That is really what makes her a service dog.

How long can it take to train a service dog?

Typically, it takes about one year to a year and a half to raise and train a service dog. There is no minimum age required of a service dog (at least not in this state nor is there one in many others), and there is also no maximum. There is just common sense. For example, Rosie began alerting before she was six months old. However, her basic obedience training was not where I wanted it to be yet so she remained "In Training" until I finally got to take a public access test with her and we passed. I believe she was 3 at that time, but that was just because of my own insecurities, not her being incapable. She met all definitions of a service dog from about a year on.
How can a dog become a service dog at such a young age? I raised and trained my own puppy. I got her at 9 weeks old and took her EVERYWHERE from day one. She was exposed to my many moods and my many biochemical changes and learned early on how to alert. (Not all dogs can alert. It cannot be trained, only reinforced). I could train her and reinforce her tasks from puppyhood on. That is how it is possible for a dog younger than 1 year to be qualified for Service Dog status. One thing that really gets in the way is programs where the dog is fostered by families who may or may not know how to properly raise a puppy. Some programs after a year move that dog to another facility for basic obedience, and then again for task training and orientation with a disabled handler. When the animal has to retire, some programs make the disabled person give up the dog and the poor dog must begin again in a new home. In the puppy raising, the pup may or may not get enough socialization to be able to become a successful service dog graduate. Some breeds even require more attention on socialization than other breeds. I know my biggest fault is that I over-socialized my pup with humans a bit too much. She loves people way too much.

How can you tell a service dog is ready to work as a service dog?

Is the dog potty trained well?

Does the dog have basic obedience skills down? Can you control your dog in many situations?
Can the dog act appropriately in a public place (many types of public places) Can your dog pass a public access test with flying colors?
Can your dog pass a Canine Good Citizen test (passing is getting all 10 categories past)? Get along with other dogs and ignore if he has too?
Does it perform work or tasks that assist its disabled handler?

Like I said before, not all of these are mandatory accomplishments, but I highly reccommend them (as do many hander-trainers of service dogs). When we go out there with our service dogs, we want to be shining examples of service dog teams everywhere.
Now, for a question that was in my comment box: The child with Autism who was not allowed to bring his new service dog into school...
It is not impossible for an 11 month old dog to be a fully trained service dog.
When a family purchases a service dog from a training facility, they are often putting all their trust that this facility knows what they are doing, and will provide the family with a dog that is trained appropriately, behaves appropriately and is mature enough to carry through with tasks. Not all training facilities will do this, and there are plenty of stories on the internet of families getting screwed by a service dog training program of some sort with a dog that has "issues". A dog that develops issues later on can often be sent back to the training program for retraining and assessment, but it is up to the family to make sure the dog is not developing issues that are not being attended to.
From the question regarding the child being refused his new service dog to attend school with him: When the dog needs to go out to relieve its self, who will take the dog out?
I have the feeling that there are plenty of breaks through out the day for the boy to take the dog out to relieve its self. I also know that many dogs can "hold it" for several hours at a time if needed. If there are no breaks, part of the accommodation for the child would be that he would be allowed times when he could take his dog out.
Regarding the question of whether a child is able to handle the service dog by himself...
Some disabled children are assigned personal aids or assistants to help them through out the school day. I know that in some situations that this has been the resolution. I also know that had this service dog been a guide dog for a blind child that no one would question the child's ability to 'control' the guide dog who may be any size from a 65 pound Lab, Golden, all the way to a 100 pound Shepherd. No service dog is perfect no matter how many years on the job or how much training. However, having said that, I have also read stories of hearing dogs and guide dogs being refused access to schools as well. Should schools be immune to the ADA? No. They need to be educated and held accountable.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Psychiatric Service Dog Society Annual Gathering in Lompoc, California

Last year, my friend Elaine and her service dog Jenn and Rosie (my dog) and I were able to attend the annual gathering of the Psychiatric Service Dog Society in Washington DC/Arlington, VA. I went alone last year and still had a blast. This year it took place on Close Pepe Vineyard in Lompoc, California. I was unable to go, but my friend Elaine and Jenn were able to make the trip! They have returned and now I am seeing some photos and news reports of the event. Here is a TV news report... totally awesome!

KCOY Channel 12 Central Coast News, Santa Barbara area

Or their video clip: Show Off Their Heroic Skills&vt1=v&at1=News&d1=145133&LaunchPageAdTag=News&activePane=info&rnd=90631244

...and this newspaper articles reporting on the event:

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Not always a successful mix: Summer Weather and Summer Fun

Summer in Maine has been mild and wet, to say the least. Yesterday we had an 80 degree day, but that was something different. Unlike many hot Maine days, the humidity was not a huge issue. And again, the possibility of rain showers loomed over the whole day... thunder showers possible. I am not a big fan of summer... not in Maine or anywhere the temp gets above 60. I hate heat. I have air conditioners. This old house my apartment is in was build in the mid 1800s, and the insulation is still poor I don't care what the landlord says. Summer without an air conditioner in this building is inhumane. When I am hot, I have absolutely no energy. At least A/C can provide an escape from the heat, thus enabling me to muster energy to do things like errands, taking Rosie out for a romp etc. Truth be known, I really need to get the courage up to work towards getting a driver's license and a car. Then I could take Rosie all over to hike and swim to her little heart's content (and mine).

My only savior this summer has been my friend Page. However, she is not as inspired as I am to get her dogs out and moving as I am so the motivation factor is a big issue. When we do get out to do something, I am eternally grateful, and I know Rosie is too. During these outings, a camera is ALWAYS present. We might get a photo of Rosie working, but most often, we get photos of her playing (in a serious, very focussed border collie way), or just looking beautiful! I am happy to say that so far this summer Page has filled her van and taken us to some memorable places. Her 2 dogs (Elderly Sofian and Chloe the Puggle and Rosie's bestest friend) and sometimes a child or four (she has 2 young teens and they often bring friends) pile in and off we go to the beach somewhere. Or we pile the dogs in and head off to the City Forest (don't let the name fool you, this forest covers hundreds of acres and is well outside urban lines. It is nothing like a Central Park... just a forest that is well maintained for foot traffic of varying abilities) or Saxl Park (which is a big field). We have walked in Rain, terrential downpours, sun and in thunderstorms, heavy wind storms (trees fell in many places the last one we walked in) and on just plain dull overcast days, or a mix of them all. (The same applies in the winter, only snow and sleet are added.)

Anyway, as my healthcare providers have diminished due to budget cuts or due to the services Rosie provides for me, I have less and less reason to leave the house and let Rosie get some public access work under her vest. All though I do fit in some training during our fun roadtrips, I also like to be invited on my friend's shopping errands (and other errands) even if I have absolutely no money to spend. This assures me that Rosie still knows how to work appropriately in the public.

Other things I do to help keep Rosie stimulated enough this summer are: packing her orange cones and treats up and go down to the riverfront field to do some training exercises, Rally type activities, as well as play with her tennis ball (and chuck-it thrower) and frisbee. I take lots of water for her as she easily over-exerts herself and over- heats without. If it is really hot, I will pack up and take her for a dunk in the river under the bridge. No swimming allowed as the current is too strong for her skinny 35 pound body. I take her for long walks around the neighborhood, and I also have an agility-type set up on the back "deck" (which is actually a flat roof for the apartment below.) Inside on really cruddy days I will think up some game to teach her and we do those (just like the commercial break trick training we do in the winter.)

I guess what I am gradually making my way towards is this: Here are some summer fun photos for you to enjoy (and some summer work photos too)! Service Dogs don't just work, and Border Collies ALWAYS need to play too!

A Rainy Day Walk in the City Forest, Bangor, Maine

Page took these shots of the dogs in the little field while I went out to check the Lupine.

top left- This picture of me walking in to check the Lupine was just before the terrential down-pour. We were prepared for a little rain and drizzle, maybe some thunder, but not a down pour! top right- Page poses in the rain with the dogs near.

Top left-I think this is chickory, but it is a very wet one! Top right- Night Shade.

Top left- Rosie takes a wet pose on a rock for treats. Top Right- I had to do wierd things to this photo to make the rainbow more visible.

Grand Lake Stream, Hike on Little Mayberry Cove Trail Trip #1

July 6th, 2009- This was late in the day, and it was a bit overcast. That is the reason why there are not a lot of photos from this trip. I did take some nice moon shots though. As you can see, my flash was needed in some of these photos. Top Right: Rosie modeling her new bandana I made her.

7/6- Rosie the trail blazer on her Planet Dog zip leash which is totally awesome! Page takes a picture of Rosie and me (camera at ready) on the trail.

Rosie takes a sniff of a large pile of moose scat. I suppose it is not really a large pile compared to other piles of moose crap. On the right- 3 anglers fish beyond the dam as the almost full moon rises. Page took this picture as my camera just wouldn't cooperate.
Sandy Point Beach Trip #1

June 25th, 2009 Sandy Point Beach, Stockton Springs, Maine- This was a nice day that kept getting a strange fog move in... it is also Rosie's first time out in her new life jacket, left top photo- Rosie out to sea! Top right photo- Rosie swims to the bar that at high tide it is nearly cut off from the main land. Since the very high tide cut down on beach space, we spend most of the afternoon right here on this bar with the dogs who acted like the water was an electrified fence til the tide dropped more.

Rosie models her new MTI life jacket in the top left; Rosie exits the water with her retrieving bumper.

Top left- Rosie models on a log. You can see where the bar ends here. Top right- Rosie waiting for me to throw her bumper or she is leaving the water. (Water is not for fun!)

Donnell Pond in Sullivan, Maine

Top left- Rosie and "Mommy" model infront of Donnell Pond... notice I am wearing my rain hat. Top Right- Rosie running down the beach

Top left- Rosie comes to shore with her bumper and on the right she is telling me it is time to throw it already!

July 18th, 2009- Donnell Pond, Sullivan, Maine (Downeast); It was a very drizzly, raining gray day and the beach was totally devoid of other people. That was great! Page had her son, niece and nephew on this roadtrip, and of course Chloe and Sofian.

This was our first beach trip of the summer, and Rosie's first time back in the water for some hard core swim and retrieve. It was on this trip that I decided Rosie's vest was just too small (too short) on her, and on the way home we stopped at the LL Bean outlet store in Ellsworth where I found a really nice MTI doggy PFD (Personal Floatation Device). It fits her all the way down her back and holds her nicely in place (no sagging into the water). It is the red one you will see in the other groups of photos. I want to say that the Neo-paws life jacket is superb for dogs that are shorter in length than border collies are.

Grand Lake Stream, Trip #2

July 18th, 2009- Grand Lake Stream, Maine... After a swim at the dam, we went for a hike on a trail of a local Land Trust. Second Picture- During our hike, Rosie decides to cool off in a small stream, pack and all!

7/18 Above- Life Guard On Duty! We came to a look-out on our hike and stopped there to swim. Rosie dives off a rock to check on Page, and then after finding she is, promptly swims back. She doesn't believe in swimming for fun. Swimming is serious stuff and should only be done if there is a job to do. This can be not-so-fun because she will not stay out there with me.

7/18 At the dam, they had a public swim area with a tri-level diving dock. Above left- I am trying to keep Rosie out in the water by leashing her frisbee (by Chuck-it) onto my wrap-around, bungee Ruff Wear leash. Above Right- Rosie stares me down, subliminally telling me that "I must throw the frisbee into the water".

7/18 Above left- A levetating Chuck-it frisbee Above Right- Rosie makes a splash to retrieve her levetating toy.

Sandy Point Trip #2

July 7th, 2009 Stockton Springs, Maine Above- Rosie plays with a complete stranger on the beach at Sandy Point. This woman started playing with another dog first, and Rosie thought it looked like so much fun she grabbed a stick and ran down. She wanted nothing to do with the other dog, she just wanted to play with the woman!

7/7 Above 2 photos and below: just a few of Rosie's fine super model poses, and one picture with "Mommy"

Frisbee at the Bangor Waterfront

July 18, 2009- Frisbee with "Daddy" in the field at the Bangor Waterfront. (photos both above and below)