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The Time Has Come!!! 27 August 08

Posted by turtlemom3 in PAALS, Service Dogs, Support PAALS, Training.

I received an e-mail from PAALS. My Training Camp will be Sept 13 – 28!! Obviously I probably won’t be posting to this blog – or any of the other blogs – during that time. But I’ll be taking notes and will post after I get back. We will leave the afternoon of Sept 12, and return on Monday Sept 29. Our son and daughter-in-law and their kids will be house-sitting for us so Magnus the Magnifi-cat won’t be too lonely. The Ol’ Curmudgeon will be going with me to help me as necessary. Fortunately he has wi-fi on his work laptop, so he’ll be able to work throughout. Also, his work cellphone will go with us, so he’ll be working as usual, only from SC and not from home.

Am I excited? Excited isn’t the word! There are NO descriptors in the English language to express this mixture of anticipation, elation, ecstasy, anxiety, and, yes, terror I am feeling.

We have the book that we must read before getting there: Don’t Shoot the Dog by Karen Pryor. When I saw the author’s name, I said, I KNOW that name! Turns out she authored one of the primary books about breastfeeding and I used it as a textbook for my nursing students as well as using it as my major reference when teaching Public Health Nurses how to counsel nursing women in their local clinics in GA! So she already has a good recommendation to me. As I’m getting into it, I would say this should become the primary training manual for anyone who wants to train an animal. It’s simple without being simplistic.

I’ve ordered my GoDogGo so I can take it to practice with my Woof. Fun exercise is absolutely necessary, and I’m too immobile to do decent walking. I hope that will change somewhat with the assistance of my Woof, but as I sit here with my knees red and swollen and barely able to weight bear, I’m a little discouraged about that aspect. However, I have a wheelchair, and Woof will learn to pull it for me. On level ground only. That will certainly give him exercise, but not the “off-duty” play he will need. I just regret that Woof won’t get the running and rougher playing with me that Labs and Lab mixes enjoy so much. But I have grandsons who will be delighted to do that in my place. I’m also going to train him to walk on our treadmill. In seriously hot and humid weather (which we have here in GA!) and in seriously cold weather (infrequent) and in rainy weather (frequent), he’ll be able to exercise there without either of us getting overheated, overly chilled or soaked!

Hmmmm – I wonder if I can train the Woof to retrieve Magnus when he gets out of the house, as he does infrequently, but which scares the pants off me. Labs are not herding dogs, but maybe I can train him to herd Magnus… BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!

Also – I need people and organizations to contribute to PAALS for me! {When you go to this page, scroll down to “Windy” – that’s my nickname, and that’s my picture!} I still don’t have my full amount in hand. And that will be due over the next 3 – 4 months. Please mention PAALS to your friends and acquaintances. Fund-raising ideas also will be gratefully accepted!

If you know of any charitable or religious organizations that might help, please let me know. I’m approaching all the organizations in my county that are listed on the Chamber of Commerce website. They include organizations like Lions, Kiwanas, and VFW as well as many of the larger businesses, including the one for which the Ol’ Curmudgeon works. But I need ideas for other businesses or charitable organizations. Thanks for your help.

Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers during those last 2 weeks in September!! Only 2 weeks and 2 days to go!!

[NOTE: Waiting for the Woof ended 10/2/08. Living with the Woof picks up with the addition of Emmy to our lives! Please join me at: Living With the Woof for the ongoing saga of the Woof! Our adventures and our foibles will be chronicled there.]



1. hearingelmo - 27 August 08

I’m so excited for you! Woot!

2. turtlemom3 - 28 August 08

Thanks! I vacillate between shaking in my boots, and eagerly making lists of things to do and things to take with us. We can’t really afford this, so we’re taking 22 cans of soup and a pot with us – for suppers. Along with 4 loaves of my dear Ol’ Curmudgeon’s bread for sandwiches. We’ll get cheese and sandwich meats when we get there. I’m working on hobbling around the house trying to increase my stamina just a little, and my muscle tone must a little. Knees keep either locking up or giving out. May need to get a walker. Have to clean up my “midden-heaps” of stuff around my chair and on my side of the bed. Woof will need to lie there while I work. Have to get some feeding pans and ask Ol’ Curmudgeon to make a raised feeding station (will have to know Woof’s height before he can make it, so Woof will have to eat off the floor. The raised feeding station will help prevent volvulus. This is less a problem with “medium” size dogs like Labs, but I want to prevent it anyway.
I still owe a bunch of money, so I’m still looking for funding. The corporate packet should be out in the next week. Just hope the Ol’ Curmudgeon’s company still have grants monies available!! With the packet, I can approach several organizations and businesses around town – not to mention my clients! Cross your fingers!

3. Suzanne - 3 September 08

Well, Labs *are* retrievers! Maybe you can teach your woof to retrieve Magnus! Many prayers go with you. It will turn out alright.

4. Team Logan - 9 September 08

Good luck at your training camp, can’t wait to hear all about it when you come home home with Woof! I have a Go Dog Go and use the treadmill, so you’re on the right track. Mom also takes me out for “walks” with her scooter.

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