I’ve not been updating and this is why

Hiei has been an amazing dog, but sometimes unexpected things happen. Hiei had been having some stress this past holiday season. It later developed to a semi limp and we ended up getting xrays. She doesn’t have any skeletal problems but the vet and I have both heard her knees click. Knowing her problem could be muscular or nerve related I don’t feel comfortable continuing to have her work for me in high stress environments. She now pulls away when her back end is touched and is too sensitive to continue public access work. She will still continue to work with me at home and currently still attends Therapy with me. Not all dogs can be service dogs and it is with great sorrow that I have begun transitioning her to retirement. I am now looking and working with my therapist and family on training another dog for service work. I am also looking into organizations. So far I haven’t found any organizations that can train for all the support I need and would be feasible in distance, time and money- most do not offer cross training. So I set up a fund to save for the cost of a well bred and healthy dog with perfect service dog temperament. If I end up getting contacted by an organization that will work, I may instead take the money raised to Owner Train my next dog and put it toward the organization. Either way my therapist, family, doctors, and I believe another Service Dog would benefit me.

Some new videos and things we tried

So I have been a bit overly stressed lately and my handler has been trying to help me relax and make sure my stress is managed before me trying to go back to work. So in the meantime, we tried some relaxation exercises, play time, and some needed rest. I’m still going to be resting here at least until the holidays blow over, just to make sure I am ready to go back to work.

We will be having a relaxed christmas and plan on doing more videos in the future once we are able to. 🙂

Winter leads to less outings

Winter has led to more sleeping inside and less outings. Kinda has put me into a more pent up mood. So My handler took me to the dog park again today and out to work. My handler has been told to be working me every day but they been slacking! So I was a bit more excited then usual to get back to work. The weather outside got really nasty yesterday and it took out the smoking shelter after uprooting a tree in our apartment complex! Just look at it! Well, they do say smoking kills! I’m just glad no one got hurt. 🙂

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Oh! We want to give a shout out to The Lola Project also. We love to read their facebook and hear about all their success!

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https://www.facebook.com/britneyandlola
http://www.thelolaproject.org/

A night at the Hospital for A Sleep Study

We went to the hospital last night for my handlers sleep study. The staff were really nice andI did my best to behave myself. My handler was able to explain how I help them and I was able to provide a good transition to this new enviroment which would have probably taken them a lot more time and stress going alone. It was a bit stressful though, with all these new noises I didn’t know about! I got worried of them only a few times and was able to go wherever Swift told me. I didn’t sleep so well because of the new enviroment but I still worked and listened up thru the morning. My handler got a coupon for some breakfast at the hospital and we went to the cafeteria to wait for them to open.

Meridian Hospital Cafeteria

Meridian Park Hospital Cafeteria

Still did really well listening and did some down stays as my handler got their food and had a bite. We then went strait home on the bus. I was exhausted! By the time we got home I was so tired. I went strait to my handlers room and right back to sleep!

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A better day symptomatically- By Swift

It fucking pisses me off on the days I’m looking better, to get more bull shit from people. Go on the 12 hiei was perfect. Guy asked if service dog. Yes. Get back on 12 way back, same driver, asked if service dog. YES! Hiei yawns a couple times. Driver says something hardly audiable but to the effect service dogs shouldn’t be making noise. I said She yawned. That’s it! Why the fuck do I get so much more shit she I’m feeling assertive and having a lesser symptom day! You don’t know my life driver! And some service dogs do make noise on command. Such as alerts! It’s obvious she is trained. She’s in gear. She only got up on command. And we did a few commands on the way bk for practice. Sigh..

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This has put me in a really pissy mood. And I relize yea, she shouldn’t have made any noise. But if I was wearing my sunglasses today and walking slower I don’t think I would have got this bull shit! Fucking nit picky about some small little thing! Sometimes having invisible disabilities SUCK!

~Swift

Out this evening alone

Well, we stayed home from group today because my handler has realized the days we have therapy are the evenings they have the worst mental problems. (prob due to stirring things up in therapy) So instead we laid back and did some small trips at Fred Meyer and Taco Bell. We did great at Fred Meyer. My handler was OK, just a little shy to talking. I did a great down stay at the deli where my handler got some chicken. Only minor 1 or 2 distractions. But my handler was able to tell me to leave it and we went on our way. We are getting better every day!

Anyway, as a small update since we haven’t been here writing the blog. We recently talked to a dog trainer with 7yrs experience training Service Dogs, due to recent issues with distractions. The dog trainer basically said that sometimes handlers can become a little lax on the training after a while and that could be why I’m having distraction issues. So she has suggested we started working every day all day as much as possible and get back to basics and all my commands even if we don’t use them much anymore. And so far that has really started working itself out nicely. She also was helpful suggesting ways to better manage treats / non-treat praise.

Anyway, my handler got seriously anxious at Taco Bell though. And hyper-vigilant. Several times I pawed their foot to alert and ground them. After first trying to lay my head on their foot (but their feet don’t touch the ground!). I would then look up at my handler to make sure they were OK. I think they really appreciated it.

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A Day off at the dog park

Something people don’t know or think about. We get to be dogs when we aren’t working! And we still get to have a great time just like any other dog. It’s not all work. We have a balance of work and play! 🙂

We Waited for the bus. Hoping to go to the dog park for some social time and Hoping the rain left for at least a little while.

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The rain sprinkled a little but we were still able to go to the dog park and have some social time and fun!
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After some play we went to the coffee shop for a bit before going home.
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We came home but I’m still thinking I want to do some more work today! But for now I will take a break at the door and rest.
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