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Happy Note on Disability and Service Dogs! 14 March 08

Posted by turtlemom3 in Ability, Equipment, Harness-Based, Mobility, Support PAALS, Tasks, Training, Tugging, Wheelchair.
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Check this out!

Ms. Wheelchair uses Title to Invite Conversation

Now, isn’t that refreshing! And isn’t her service dog gorgeous?! Notice in the pictures how she TUGS to open a door, and uses SPECIAL HARNESS-BASED TALENTS to pull her partner’s wheelchair! What a smart girl!!

My Woof will be just as smart when she gets here. Please remember to support PAALS!!

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Special Harness-Based Tasks for Mobility Assistance – – 11 March 08

Posted by turtlemom3 in Behavior, Harness-Based, Tasks, Training.
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(These are only appropriate for large, sturdy, adult dogs with sound joints, and proper training)

  • ¬†Assist moving wheelchair on flat [partner holds onto harness pull strap] avoiding obstacles – fortunately, I will not need this one! I’m not in a wheelchair!
  • Work cooperatively with partner to get the wheelchair up a curb cut or mild incline; handler does as much of the work as possible, never asking the dog to attempt an incline unaided – again, I’m not in a wheelchair, so I won’t need this one.
  • Haul open heavy door, holding it ajar using six foot lead attached to back of harness, other end of lead attached to door handle or to a suction cup device on a glass door – this one I probably will need either now or at least eventually. My hands are getting weaker and more sore.
  • Tow ambulatory partner up inclines [harness with rigid handle or pull strap may be used] – I don’t think this will be necessary anytime soon, but it will be needed at some point in the future.
  • Brace on command to prevent ambulatory partner from stumbling [rigid handle] – this may be needed sooner rather than later, although I was hoping to avoid a rigid handle for a while!
  • Help ambulatory partner to climb stairs, pulling then bracing on each step [rigid handle or harness with pull strap may be used to assist partner to mount a step or catch balance] – Yup – this is a yepper. I need help with this already.
  • Pull partner out of aisle seat on plane, then brace until partner catches balance [harness with a rigid handle and a pull strap, or pull strap only] – not on a plane, so much, but in restaurants and from my chair here at the house, too.
  • Brace, counter balance work too, assisting ambulatory partner to walk; the partner pushes down on the rigid handle as if it were a cane, after giving warning command, when needed – I don’t know about this one. I think my cane is sufficient, and a walker, when the time come.
  • Help ambulatory partner to walk short distance, brace between each step [rigid handle] – again, my cane and a walker when the time comes. But it’s good to know that the Woof can help me with this.
  • Transport textbooks, business supplies or other items up to 50 lbs in a wagon or collapsible cart, weight limit depends on dog’s size, physical fitness, type of cart, kind of terrain – This may be important. I don’t usually carry large amounts of materials with me, but there are rare occasions when I do carry up to 30 lbs of materials for presentations – my computer for Powerpoint presentations, handouts, etc. – not great for someone with RA and fibromyalgia! I usually go into flares of both diseases the day after one of those. The Woof pulling a cart with my materials in it would make a B-I-G difference!
  • Backpacking – customary weight limit is 15% of the dog’s total body weight;10% if a dog performing another task, such as wheelchair pulling in addition to backpacking; total weight includes harness (average 3 – 4 lbs.). Load must be evenly distributed to prevent chafing. This would be perfect for an average visit to a client’s office.

So, while I won’t need many harness-based assistance tasks, there are some that will be very important to me.¬† I’ll have to be careful to not exhaust the Woof! My needs could overpower the Woof’s ability to fulfill them!!