Sunday, December 26, 2010

School District Refuses to Allow Autistic Child’s Service Dog

This post is old... from August 14th, 2009, but I discovered it still lingering in my drafts.  Here it is anyway!

It should be so easy... and it should be easy for a disabled child to bring his/her new service dog into school. Time and time again, I read about children who are being denied the right to be assisted by their service dog. There are cases all over the place and it just shouldn't be! Many of these schools are breaking state laws by denying the use of a service dogs in schools. All are breaking federal law. Please read this story and you will have an example of what I am talking about:
School District Refuses to Allow Autistic Child’s Service Dog

When Talking About Service Dogs Gets Nasty

You know, I simply replied to a message on Facebook and some lady misconstrues everything, reading into what is not even there and reacts irrationally. My reaction may not be real nice, but it was nicer than her post was. I have been keeping my eye on her "appearences" in the community, Someone recently told me that she *un-friended this woman because she was sending nasty messages to her Facebook page, and it upset her.

Lisa: You're in Bangor?? We should meet up someday! I take agility from EMAC *.

Will be moving soon to Oregon. We take agility from a training facility in Levant that trains service dogs... who certified Rosie and I 2 yrs ago as a service dog team after we passed our Public Access test.

Thankfully I know that SDs * DO NOT have to be cerified OR have a PAT *! and Mine are owner/trained. Well I guess it's a good thing u are moving.. you don't sound nice and am removing u as a friend on FB * . It's people like you that flaunt that YOUR dog is "certified" that give us owner/trainers and people that don't have their dogs certified a hard time with access issues! Thankfully, I didn't waste my money doing something the ADA * says i don't have to do!!!!

Heather: I worked quite hard at raising and training my own service dog which tells me that you really know nothing about me or my dog at all, but feel the need to judge me on nothing. Well I guess it's good you are removing me as a friend since you know nothing about me or my dog yet you feel I am being snooty.

I wasted no money on my dog, only the money I would have paid had I taken the same obedience classes with any dog I own, whether service dog candidate or pet. Infact, this dog trainer is one of the more affordable ones in the area. I raised and trained my dog from 9 weeks old. I later found a trainer that helped us get my dog her CGC * , and a couple years later he gave us a public access test. I was NOT expecting to be certified since they had said they would never certify a dog they did not raise and train themselves. Doing these tests helped me feel more confident about my dog's training and confident that she was learning from me all she should know to set a good example as an owner-trained service dog. I do not flaunt her certification because I KNOW she doesn't need to be certified, plus it gives the impression that someone else trained her and ignorant people like you assume that SD * s that are certified are not owner-trained. I think if anything I am setting a great example for owner-trainers and maybe if your dogs could behave that well you would not have the access problems that you have. It is the people that have SD * s that are not trained sufficiently that give owner trainers a bad name. NOT ME!

Heather: You also would have less access problems if you used one service dog like the rest of us do. I hear one of your dogs didn't behave the greatest at the Bangor State Fair this year.
EMAC- Eastern Maine Agility Club

SDs- Service Dogs

PAT- Public Access Test

FB- Facebook (social internet site)

ADA- American's with Disabilities Act

CGC- Canine Good Citizen (Behavior test for dogs through the AKC- American Kennel Club)

Apparently this woman has a habit of going off at others and has been kicked off a number of lists, some of which I have been on.  Occasionally she sees me on a group on Facebook and tries to get in a couple of pot shots, but usually the moderator will cut it off before I even get a chance to see it.  I understand what psychiatric service dogs are, but I am really wondering what a service dog can do to help an individual who may have a mental illness, yes, but who is an irrational b---- to everyone.  She has 2 service dogs and neither of them seem to help her with the areas that truly affect her life (and everyone around her) negatively.  I am not sure what a dog can do to assist an attitudinal personality disorder.  Service dogs are usually used to help a person manage symptoms of a disabling Axis I major mental illness diagnosis.

I am being too harsh when I really don't know all the details.  However I feel  I've got to share this stuff somewhere! 
I created a little brag page for Rosie after seeing similar pages used in the AKC's weekly winners page.  They are kind of like advertising the dog, like an E-harmony type thing where the purebred dog can find mates.  No offense was intended in my description so please don't take any if you show your dog and or have a page like this for your dog.  I think they are great and love seeing them.

Thinking Into the New Year

Rowena, my shining star and I playing in the golfcourse one recent afternoon.

Happy 2011 New Year!

It's the day after Christmas (2010) and Rosie and I are relaxing on the couch after a romp in the cold snow.  All for a game of frisbee in the dark!  Rosie's favorite present was Mr. Gingerbread Man... also the cheapest present.  I wanted to get her a Jolly Ball, but the biggest one without a handle was the size of her soccer ball (the real one, not the fuzzy big one) and cost $20.  I thought that was a bit on the expensive side so I had to skip it even though Rosie loved it.

This little faux suade dog bed is perfectly sized for a Puggle or a Cocker Spaniel, but Rosie makes it fit just right!  And Gingerbread Man is happy I sewed his limbs back on.

For Christmas, Gramma (my mother) gave Rosie a 2 month supply of Winston's Joint System so we are getting Rosie's body into better shape for the icy cold weather we will be having.  One of my favorite gifts is this thing called a 'Kindle" which is this little electronic thing where you can download books and read them on this little thing that is smaller than a clip board.  I have nearly completed my brother-in-law's new book, "The Poacher's Son" (written by Paul Doiron).  I highly recommend this book to any Maine loving mystery buffs.  I downloaded a handful of books on it... not sure why, I can only really read one at a time.  I think I just got excited.

Rosie opens Gingerbread Man during our family's Christmas celebration (on Solstice here in Maine to cater to the Maine family members)

This may be the last Christmas I will have with my family for a long time if this move to Oregon takes form.  So far from home... brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it.  Then I realize all the "last" things I had this past year.  The last photos of springtime in the City Forest... the last site of the Raven family that lives by the bog every year... but with all the lasts there are firsts and I am trying to make that a good thing in my mind.  I really don't like the idea of living so far from my family here in the northeast, but I miss my  husband dearly. If he is going to be in Oregon then I will too. I also think that Oregon could give us the boost we need to move forward in our lives as I feel if we stay here we will stagnate and nothing will change.  We will not get ahead in any area of our lives together.

A Photoshop job for a Dogster Holiday post.

Rosie will hopefully be able to benefit from the move to Oregon as well.  She hasn't seen her human "Daddy" in over a year now (husband left for OR November 4th, 2009).  She feels his absense in her life and I know that when she sees him once again she will be all whines and full body wags. 

"Daddy" during a Christmas past.  You can see Rosie's butt just right of the center (bottom).

Daddy gives Rosie a belly rub.

Daddy plays with Rosie in the Orrington Pound.

Another absense in Rosie's life has been that of her playmate, the Puggle names Chloe.  They have been friends for about 5 years, but haven't played together all spring and summer (and fall).  A few weekends ago she got to see and play with Chloe a short bit as we were having a doggy Christmas for my friend's lab mix as he was to be put down.  He was old and had some medical problems that there was no way to treat because of his age and health.  The four dogs got to run around in the field in the rain at dusk.  Sofian the lab mix managed to muster another one of his playful spurts where he turns bucking bronco on his sis the Puggle for a mere few minutes and then is back to normal again.  Rosie wanted to play more than she did, but I think her foot was bothering her so she wasn't playing as all out as she usually does with her buddy.  That may be the last time they play together.  She has been missing canine playtime and I cannot replace that.  After we move west we will be getting another dog (most likely a pup) once we settle in a bit and she can train the dog or pup to play the way she prefers to play.  (She's bossy.) She so needs a canine friend!

Rosie's sneak attack on Chloe one winter in the field.

Chloe comes in for the tag!

Rosie playing with her buddy Chloe and the lab mix, Sofian.

Who says Puggles can't be fast!?

No body parts were bitten in the taking of this photo.

Rosie is totally happy with Chloe by her side during a hot evening in the City Forest a few years back.
So with this pending move to Oregon hopefully things will begin to move westward right after the new year.  Plans are being made as I type.  This move has been a REEEALLY LONGGG time in the making.  I miss my husband!

May your new year be full of many firsts without the heartache of the ever nostalgic lasts... unless the last is a bad thing, then you're fine.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Happy Howlidays!

This was our first Christmas card with Rosie.  She was very young so wasn't trained to sit and pose yet.  She just knew to look into the camera!  (2004)

The three wise dogs.  My friend and I were able to get all three dogs to sit and stay for this rare shot.  I of course dressed the photo up to make it more of a Christmas picture and we made a local doggy newspaper with this picture.

I posted a lot of puppy holiday photos because Rosie was a Christmas present.  My  mother and I picked Rosie up at the breeders when she was 9 weeks old!  It was a really cold snowy winter that year so it was not the easiest time to potty train a puppy with hardly any fur and no fat on her.  Especially since we screwed up the training early on by "I don't want MY puppy to have to stay in a crate!"  Many of those "I don't want MY puppy to..." ended up going right out the window.  You have to be flexible!

In her second Christmas season I promptly went out and got her a frilly collar with the matching Santa hat.  She was wonderful and posed nicely for all of my photo sessions.

In this picture she was still at 8 weeks.  She was at the breeders and my husband and I went in to see the pups.  She had personality plus where as her brothers wanted nothing to do with the real world.  She was an easy choice.  It was actually November when I took this picture, but she was a Christmas present!

New puppy comes home!  She was totally terrorized by the 8 cats.  I had her leash under my knee so that I could properly introduce her to the cats, but she slipped away with out my knowing it.  Next thing I hear is a sharp YELP! from the living room.  Then we see her come tearing into the kitchen where we had just set up her styling new metal bowls into the holder.  She crashed into those and there was a huge clanking noise.  So right off we had to deal with a puppy that was afraid to go to her own food dish!

Rosie was potty trained by Christmas but she didn't quite understand that the rules applied in other places and not just at home.  She made a few messes at Gramma's house at Christmas.  I was trying to appease my cat loving sister by having Rosie be perfect, but Rosie just wasn't.  She was only a four month old puppy and she would stay a puppy a while longer!  I was doing all I could do to make sure she was well-trained.  I don't think I did that badly either!

"Are they all for me??"

At ten weeks old she broke a toe.  A cub scout accidently stepped on her foot (she wasn't yet trained not to go after feet and pantlegs yet) and  her outside toe was broken.  I dressed her splint and bandage up for the holidays.

This is a "Yes I am freezing my belly off for this picture!" moment.

The rule is not to get puppies or other animals as Christmas presents.  A puppy is something that requires time and money and attention and training.  If you are not prepared to take in a puppy, this would be a poor gift choice.  Also, often many pets end up in shelters  because they are unwanted.  Also you don't want an impulse buy when you are buying a live creature. Wait until after the holidays and then include the person in on the gift.  Rosie came early for me as a gift.  I had been approved to have a puppy in my apartment (especially since she was going to be trained to become my service dog).  I had received my doctor's script prescribing a puppy to train as a service dog (laws in this state give service dogs in training the same rights as service dogs).  I had already been hunting for a border collie breeder (and I had been researching about service dogs for several years as well as border collies) talking to people who have border collies to see what kind of pets they are.  Those who actually had them as household pets only had great things to say.  Those that didn't have one but knew someone who had a border collie could only say that they are hyper and need sheep to herd.  My girl had a job.  She got plenty of stimulation to keep her happy and a tired puppy towards day's end.  She would fall asleep on my lap in the bus.  I would hold her in my shirt, holding my shirt like a little hammock.  Once daddy came home though she turned into a little hellion!  My husband would request her presence in the bedroom where he rested when he came home for work and minutes later he is yelling "Come get the puppy!  She keeps attacking me!"  She wanted to play when he got home as she hadn't seen him all day.  My husband would come home to a sleeping puppy and thought that she might come cuddle with him and sleep too.