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Join Me!! 2 October 08

Posted by turtlemom3 in Emmy!!, Service Dogs.
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I am letting this blog lapse – no longer posting on it – and have already started a NEW blog here on WordPress about Living With the Woof.

Join us there, and hear how Emmy, my service dog, and I are getting along! Our adventures and our foibles will be chronicled there.


Turtlemom3 AKA Elizabeth


Getting Ready to Go!! 4 September 08

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

I received several documents from PAALS yesterday. Instructions about getting ready to go and our schedule there!  I will need to “bring any poop scoopers, ADL devices, and items that dog will regularly retrieve, educational tools (ADA cards), and anything else that will regularly be used with dogs (ball throwers, etc).” OOPS! Didn’t know about the ADA cards!! Will have to print out and laminate ASAP!!) On top of everything else, I have lost my camera, and will have to borrow my oldest son’s camera to take pictures of the process! And that schedule! Talk about grueling!

Planned schedule (which will change as needed with added sessions if required – YIKES!)

Sat 9/13 and 9/14 start at 2 and end at 5pm at (training location)

Mon-Fri (15th – 19th) 9:30-4:30

*9/15 Lunch provided at (training location) by PAALS

*9/16 Dinner together at (training location) provided by PAALS from 5-6pm

* 9/18 Meet the Clients Event 5-7pm at (another location)

9/20 Sat Meet out in town – Publix (large grocery store) in downtown Columbia Time TBD

Individual sessions as needed 2-5pm (training location)

9/21 Sun Meet at (training location) at 2pm and travel to (another location) by 2:45-5pm . . . across bridge from Publix.

Mon-Fri (22nd – 26th) 9:30-4:30

*9/25 Lunch with Advisory Board member and PAALS at (another location) in Columbia

*9/27 Lunch with PAALS after ADI test


We will be scrutinized at each session. I feel like I used to going to new clinical locations when I was a “basic” student nurse!

Please keep us in your prayers! We leave on Friday, 9/12, and return on Monday 9/29. We are taking a day to recover before driving back.

Looking at that schedule, you can see that even if I have wi-fi, I probably won’t have the time (or energy!) to post blogs. So look for a 2-week gap in there. In addition, I will be letting this blog lapse and have already started a NEW blog here on WordPress about Living With the Woof. I’ll probably blog one or two last posts here after returning, and give the link to the new blog site again.

I know I will need to let Woof become acclimated to us at home for about a week before introducing her to other people – a FEW at a time. I had hoped to have her with me when I go to the Greek Festival on Oct 4th with my Red Hat buddies, but this will not be possible this year. I’ll have to leave her with the Ol’ Curmudgeon and go. I’ve been looking forward to going to the annual Greek Festival at the Cathedral of the Annunciation for 2 years, and don’t want to miss it – again!

[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 us at: Living With the Woof for the ongoing saga of the Woof! Our adventures and our foibles will be chronicled there.]

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.]

PTSD Vet Get Help from Service Dog 23 August 08

Posted by turtlemom3 in PTSD, Service Dogs, Veterans.
1 comment so far

This is an excellent article from KULR-8 TV in Billings MT:

BILLINGS – Post Traumatic Stress Disorder can cause life-long struggles with depression and flash-backs. Christina Avey was unsure when someone recommended she get a service dog. Making a mistake many do by thinking the animals only assist people with physical disabilities. But Christina is now very emotional about the way her new dog Zeus has changed her life.

Christina Avey is an army veteran. She served from 19-80 to 1986 and again in 1997. Christina no longer talks about the trauma that caused her Post Traumatic stress Disorder, but she lives with the consequences every day. She says since her diagnosis 11 years ago life has changed dramatically. “It’s destroyed my life.” says Avey. She says because of PTSD, she has trouble dealing with society in general and suffers from depression, nightmares and flashbacks. Now, 11 years later, Avey finally feels like she has hope. “I met another person who had a therapy animal, and for me I needed it more because I knew where I was heading. Deeper inside where I might not come out of my house anymore.”

Soon after Avey got in touch with Deb Bouwkamp, an instructor with Service Canines of Montana. Deb has trained service dogs for 13 years; but Zeus is the first animal she trained to help a PTSD patient. “It’s a very new concept. it’s not fully accepted around the U.S.” But Bouwkamp says medical professionals are recommending it.

And Avey is getting the word out with a web-site because she thinks this can help other veterans. “He is a bridge to a life that I had been missing. There’s people talking to me, there’s people talking to me that I had pushed away and didn’t want to talk to before. You lose trust with PTSD. He’s what I call a bridge to life.” says Avey. Bouwkamp says she sees a huge change in Avey since getting Zeus. “She called me and I had to ask who it was because it wasn’t the same sown voice, her voice has lifted.” It’s still a daily struggle for Avey, but she says she now feels something she hasn’t in a long time, safe.

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[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.]

Service Dog Etiquette 12 August 08

Posted by turtlemom3 in ADA, ADI, Delta Society, Dept of Justice, Federal Law, Guidelines, IAADP, PAALS, Service Dogs.

I recently read some  information about service dog etiquette that makes a lot of sense.

Since not everyone knows about service dogs, not everyone knows about service dog etiquette.

First – a service dog is not a pet! A service dog has at least 2 years of intensive socialization and training behind him and is an expert in what he does. Most have been bred from working dog stock and not only thoroughly enjoy, but need to work.

A person who has a service dog has a very well-trained working dog. When you meet them, remember that the dog is working. Don’t interrupt it.

Always speak to the dog’s partner first, and always ask before beginning to interact with the dog.

Don’t pet the dog or make noises at the dog without permission of the dog’s partner.

If the partner says, “No,” then the answer is, “No,” and simply agree with it and go with it. It has nothing to do with you, it has to do with the service dog and his duties.

Never offer food to a service dog! This will distract him from his job. It can even cause injury to the disabled partner.

If you encounter a service dog in training or a puppy in training, ignore it! At this stage of training, they are easily distractible and can have a whole day’s training lost if interfered with.

It is impolite to ask the partner about his disability. If you are intrusive enough to ask such an invasive question, do not be surprised if the partner refuses to discuss it. The partner is not being offensive – he just doesn’t want his privacy invaded any more than you would.

Business Owners

If you are a business person, you may not prevent a person from bringing his service dog in with him. Both Federal and State laws specify that service dogs are to be permitted into any business or location. Even clinics or hospitals.

If you don’t like dogs, or are afraid of them, simply put yourself on the other side of the person from the dog.

If the dog “forgets” his manners and barks or growls at something or someone, you may inquire as to what the problem is. If someone has been teasing, poking or otherwise alarming the dog, they should be reprimanded. On the other hand, some service dogs alert their partners to impending seizures or crashing blood sugars  by barking once or twice, and that may be the source of a bark or two.

You may ask the person to remove their service dog from the premises if the dog’s behavior is disruptive or destructive.

If another customer has a severe allergy to dogs, you might ask the person with the service dog  if you can help them outside or if they can wait outside until the person with the allergy is through. This problem has not been defined by law, however. Balancing the health needs of the allergic against the rights of the disabled with service animals will probably be worked out in courts of law in the future.

If other customers complain about the presence of the service dog, explain that the service dog is medically necessary, and that Federal law AND State law protect the rights of the person to have their service dog with them in public places.

Many disabled people with service dogs carry pamphlets or cards that explain Federal ADA laws about service dogs. Some carry information about the training their dog has gone through and any certifications it has. You might politely ask the disabled person if they have such information with them if another customer is confused and you feel you don’t have enough information yourself to help the situation.

Places To Go For More Information

Delta Society

Assistance Dogs International

International Association of Assistance Dog Partners (IAADP)


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[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.]

IAADP Emergency Call for Action – ADA 9 August 08

Posted by turtlemom3 in ADA, Dept of Justice, Dog, Federal Law, IAADP, Service Dogs, Working Dogs.
1 comment so far

I just went to the IAADP website. They need support for their recommended amendments to the changes to the ADA regulations!!

Support The Assistance Dog Community –

Your Comments are Urgently Needed!

The International Association of Assistance Dog Partners (IAADP) represents more than 2000 disabled program graduates and owner-trainers who work with service, hearing and guide dogs to increase their independence. Seven years ago we formed a coalition with Assistance Dogs International, which represents more than 100 non profit assistance dog training programs in the USA. Other members include the Council of U.S. Dog Guide Schools and Guide Dog Users, Inc. Together we petitioned the U.S. Department of Justice to develop a better definition of a Service Animal as soon as the regulations for the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) came up for review. All of us were very worried about the future of the assistance dog movement due to widespread misunderstandings about the service animal definition.

The good news is that the US Department of Justice (DOJ) has finally proposed a new definition of a Service Animal, in an attempt to correct the problems with the old definition. Before finalizing the new Definition, its Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) on the ADA regulatory language is seeking comments from the public on three Questions pertaining to service animals. IAADP has also identified a fourth issue we see as critical.

This is the assistance dog community’s long awaited opportunity to try to shape a better future. Please join us! There are good things in the new definition of a Service Animal, but we also foresee serious problems and want to try to fix them before it is too late. [– MORE –].

Even if you don’t have a service dog, please look over the IAADP website and then follow their links to the ADA website for comments. When I posted mine, I simply copy and pasted the IAADP’s positions into my comments and then told them that I supported these changes. It was easy and quick.

This is really important!! Please do it!!

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[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.]

National Service Dog Week 6 August 08

Posted by turtlemom3 in PAALS, Service Dogs, Support PAALS.
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Last update: 11:24 a.m. EDT Aug. 6, 2008
CRAWFORD, Colo., Aug 06, 2008 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — August 10-16 has been officially designated as National Assistance Dog Week to honor the more than 20,000 dogs that assist people with disabilities. Their work ranges from guide to hearing dogs: from assisting those with mobility problems to alerting for sudden onset diseases like seizures or diabetes. Literally and figuratively, assistance dogs have been opening doors for their partners since the early 1920s. With a service dog helper, people who were unable to leave their home can travel, go shopping, attend classes, or pursue employment. Federal laws assure that their dog is allowed access on public transportation and in public places. A service dog recipient is even guaranteed equal housing accommodation under the Fair Housing Act. Therefore, it is important for anyone working in the public sector to be informed about these valuable canines and the laws regarding their use.
Three-time service dog recipient Marcie Davis of New Mexico states that, with her dog, “All of a sudden the impossible seems possible. Virtually every area in your personal and professional life can be expanded and explored … Whatever you dreamed of accomplishing can be realized with the assistance of a service dog.” The dogs are specially trained for the needs of each recipient. They perform tasks such as opening doors, picking up dropped objects, helping a person with mobility issues, retrieving keys or even taking clothes out of the dryer. Success stories of service dog recipients abound. Her dog enabled Ms. Davis to pursue a career as president of Davis Innovations, a consulting firm specializing in health and human services.
More information about these amazing canines — their work, training, laws governing their use, and where and how to apply for a service dog — can be found in “Working Like Dogs: The Service Dog Guidebook” by Marcie Davis and Melissa Bunnell (Alpine Publications, 2007) at http://www.workinglikedogs.com or http://www.alpinepub.com.

Tammy Hayes, Assistant to the Publisher
Alpine Publications, Inc.
38262 Linman Rd.
Crawford, CO 81415
Fax: 970-921-5081

This is really important stuff!! It means assistance dogs are being recognized for what they do for their partners – and that they are making a needed and appreciated contribution to society at large!!

And don’t forget that the organization closest to my heart is PAALS!! Now that time is drawing close for my Woof to come to me, I’m even more excited and donations are needed even more urgently (designate for Elizabeth (or Windy) Riggs!! So please put your nickels and dimes together and see if you can help to get us to the top!!

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[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.]

Companionship 2 August 08

Posted by turtlemom3 in Service Dogs.

I haven’t mentioned companionship very much. I’ve mainly been working on presenting all the “things” an assistance dog can “do” for his partner.

Yes, companionship is a big part of the bond and the relationship. I will be under much less stress when “Woof” is here and the Ol’ Curmudgeon has to go out of town. Not because Woof would protect me. Service dogs are not trained to attack or to protect. But rather just because there will be “someone else” here with me. And Magnus the Magnifi-cat just doesn’t quite qualify in that regard. Half the time he is sleeping in a drawer or in a box somewhere. But Woof will be beside me. Yes, that’s it. Woof will be beside me. My companion, my friend, my helper, my assistant, my happy-camper, my anti-depressant – all in one.

I hope my Woof is here soon so I can put pictures of it in the Blog! I’m sure it will be gorgeous, and friendly, and have beautiful eyes and soft ears. This is going to be a wonderful thing!

There will be someone to go places with me! Someone to exercise with me, and encourage me to exercise – even on bad days. Someone to accompany me to the store and to the beauty parlor. Someone to keep my feet warm!!

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[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.]

New breed of assistance dogs hone skills, including ‘scent-abilities’ 29 July 08

Posted by turtlemom3 in Disability, Mobility, Partnership, Seizure-alert, Service Dogs, Tasks, Training.

Posted by Kathleen Longcore | The Grand Rapids Press July 29, 2008 05:51AM

GRAND RAPIDS – Eight-year-old Cieran Boyle is about to get his first friend, a sturdy pointer assistance dog named Denver.

But Denver won’t be helping him cross streets, open doors or turn the lights off, as do many service dogs. He’ll be detecting subtle changes in Cieran’s body odor that predict he is about to have a seizure.

Denver’s training is an example of how today’s service dogs are being prepared in new ways to assist people.

Some organizations train dogs to help children who have autism. The dog can be tethered to a child, preventing the child from wandering or getting into harm’s way.

Other organizations train seizure response dogs, who get help when someone has had a seizure.

Some dogs, including some hounds and pointers, have very heightened “scent ability,” said Liz North, a master instructor at Pawsabilities Unleashed.

[– MORE –]

Actually, seizure-alert dogs are not new, but this method of training them is relatively new. There are also dogs (and cats!) which can detect when a diabetic is going into either INSULIN shock or diabetic coma (the two opposites that are so dangerous for diabetics).

It looks to me as if some of the assistance dog organizations are beginning to “specialize” in certain types of dogs – mobility, seizure-alert, hearing, seeing, autism, etc. Some lean more toward children, others toward adults. Most are still very general, however, and may offer several different kinds of assistance animals. They may offer both therapy and assistance animals, and may offer both in-home assistance animals and therapy sessions on their site with, perhaps, larger animals, such as horses or even dolphins.

There are also cancer-detection dogs which are offering a different kind of service. They are not “personal” assistance dogs, however. I perceive them eventually being in many oncologist’s (cancer specialist’s) offices, working in conjunction with them to detect cancer in it’s earliest stages.

My “Woof” will be a mobility assistance dog, and will assist me with getting up and down from chairs and the toilet, as well as helping me with balance. He will help me by picking up things (especially my cane, which I seem to drop frequently), and to carry some of the things I need to carry to my client’s offices (a few files). He will help drag the laundry basket to the laundry room, help remove laundry from the washer and then from the dryer, and then drag eht laundry basket back to the bedroom. He will be able to pick up bits of paper from the floor and put them in the trash. He will be able to use a “tug” to open doors at the store for me. This will be more and more important as I will need to move to a wheelchair more in the future. He will be able to bring me my cellphone which I am constantly leaving all over the house, and go get my beloved Ol’ Curmudgeon. Most importantly, should I fall getting in or out of the tub or fall in the house, the dog will be able to go to a special 911 phone and push a big button which will alert the 911 service in our county. They will know that I have a service dog and that he is trained to do this, so they will know where to come and how to access the house. They will know my daughter’s phone number and my son’s phone number and my husband’s phone number at work so the closest one can come over to let them in and take care of “Woof.”

So I’m looking forward to my “Woof,” and I’m very happy that Cieran Boyle is going to get his friend. Sounds like he’s a little boy who really needs one – and his family could use the relief, too! A win-win situation all the way around.

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[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.]

Who Can Service Dogs Help?? 15 July 08

Posted by turtlemom3 in Partnership, Service Dogs, Tasks.

For months now, I’ve been blithely writing about service dogs and how my Woof will help me when it gets here. But a friend asked me (in person, rather than commenting on this site) what service dogs really can do for people.

Wow! I was stumped for a minute – not to explain to her what a service dog CAN do, but to not “over do” my enthusiasm!

According to the Delta Society “Service dogs are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability.”

We tend to think in terms of service dogs doing specific tasks – in my case, picking up my cane when I drop it, providing balance, dragging the laundry basket through the house. But there is this to consider, also – will taking care of the service dog use up too much of my all-too-minimal energy stores? OR, will the service dog actually help conserve my energy by performing some of the tasks that take a lot of my energy to do?

A service dog may help a person who is quite immobile to get more physical exercise and thereby increase their stamina. For some people, the service dog would provide a distraction from focusing on their pain and disability – they may find it easier to be more social. The service dog also can reduce the concerns of his partner’s family members and close friends in terms of worrying about safety issues and the well-being of his partner. After all, his partner may be eating better because the service dog is carrying the food from the refrigerator for him!

So it isn’t “just” the business of leading a visually impaired person around objects, or alerting someone with hearing deficits to the sounds of the telephone ringing or the doorbell ringing, or someone coming up behind her or calling her name. It isn’t “just” pulling a laundry basket from room to room or picking up objects and putting them in drawers or in the trash. It is a relationship, companionship, friendship.

Any person with a physical or mention problem that limits their life activities in a major way might be a candidate for a service dog. But some people might not be candidates. If caring for the service dog will be too strenuous, and there is no one to help, then a service dog may not be a good choice. A pet cat or other small animal that requires less grooming for maintaining command proficiency and for going out into the community may be a better choice.

For me, a service dog is the best answer, and I’m working very hard to find ways to raise funds without wiping out my stamina!

So that’s what I told my friend. And now I’ve told you! Any questions??

Some Firms “Get It” 26 June 08

Posted by turtlemom3 in Disability, Funding, Independence, Need Funds, PAALS, Raising, Service Dogs, Support PAALS, Training.
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Volpe and Koenig Lets the Dogs Out

— Einstein may be the cutest dog on the planet, but don’t let his good looks fool you. This two-month-old Yellow Lab is putting his namesake to the test, channeling his intellect to become a certified service dog. Today, he visited the intellectual property law firm, Volpe and Koenig, to receive a $10,000 check, the second of two grants which will be used by the non-profit organization — Canine Partners for Life — training the dog to perform a multitude of tasks such as answering the phone, opening and closing doors, and putting clothes in the wash. After nearly a year of training, dogs like Einstein will be placed in permanent homes of people with physical disabilities.

“We are so grateful for the $20,000, because it takes so many resources to train 25 service dogs a year like Einstein,” said Jennifer Kriesel, director of development for Canine Partners for Life. “These dogs really do provide our clients with specialized tasks that they cannot do because of their physical limitations. And, they also provide comfort and love to people who often find themselves isolated and alone.”

[– MORE –]

Raising and training service dogs is a lengthy and expensive process. Those of us waiting for one are well aware of that! and are deeply grateful to the people who help us and others by contributing to the organizations that raise and train. People like those at Volpe and Koenig.

On a smaller level there are other organizations and places of business that will allow a collection jar, or will pledge the profits of one day or evening of business to a service dog organization. And there are the individuals who will donate small amounts – and those small amounts will combine to become a much larger amount.

Somehow, teeteringly, with workers donating much of their time, and with the salaries much less than they should be, the organizations which raise and train these dogs continue to provide the canine partners for disabled people all over the country. We who wait, and those who live with their canine partners are everlastingly grateful to the people who work so hard to provide us with the means for us be more independent. For many, it is the opportunity to become completely independent. For others, it means our caregivers can take some time to rest.

For me and my family, it will mean I will be able to be more independent longer and my darlin’ Ol’ Curmudgeon will not wear himself out trying to take care of me so much. The adult children will not have to worry about “what do we do about Mother” if something happens to the Ol’ Curmudgeon.

Palmetto Animal Assisted Living Services

All of this brings me to the main point of this post – supporting PAALS, the service dog organization that we are working with. It is very important!! Not just for me, but for all of the people who are waiting for service dogs through PAALS.

Life with a service dog to be: Hello, goodbye 22 June 08

Posted by turtlemom3 in Puppy-Raisers, Service Dogs, Training.
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Life with a service dog to be: Hello, goodbye


From Tuesday’s Globe and Mail

June 17, 2008 at 8:28 AM EDT

Imagine adopting a sweet puppy, all floppy ears and pink belly. You survive the tribulations of puppyhood, the chewed-up shoes and housetraining accidents, and manage to teach basic concepts such as “sit,” “stay” and “the postman is not a mortal enemy.”

Then after a year, at a time when most dog owners can relax and enjoy the fruits of their training labours, you have to give your puppy back.

It sounds heartbreaking, but Kari-Lynn Ferreira has done it – 10 times.

She’s one of 200 foster parents who care for puppies in training to become service dogs for the Lions Foundation of Canada. Their mission: Turn eight-week-old puppies into good canine citizens. In addition to running regular obedience classes, foster parents take their puppies everywhere a service dog might need to go: crowded shopping malls, mass transit, restaurants, offices, public washrooms and so on.

Ms. Ferreira’s current charge is Jay, a Labrador-golden retriever cross who behaves, for now, like a typical five-month-old. Tail whipping back and forth, tongue lolling out of his mouth, he alternates between gnawing loudly on a bone and trying to wriggle into my lap and lick my face when I visit his Oakville foster home.

“He’s just like any other puppy,” Ms. Ferreira says. Except, of course, that Jay has a grander destiny in store. In about seven months, he’ll return to the Lions Foundation facility in Oakville for six to eight months of training to become a seeing-eye, hearing-ear, seizure-response or “special skills” dog guide for a disabled person.

Even after 10 dogs, saying goodbye doesn’t get any easier. [–MORE–]

And we who have or who WILL have service dogs cannot express our gratitude enough!


Vote Now! Vote Often! 15 June 08

Posted by turtlemom3 in Bond, Going Places, Partnership, Service Dogs.

Suzan, of A Service Dog’s Journey. wants to take Logan for a Doggie Spa adventure!!

Vote HERE for Logan to win the contest!!

And maybe, just maybe, when my Woof comes, I can take him for a doggie spa adventure, too!

First Public Service Dog Census Launches 9 June 08

Posted by mtriggs in Census, Service Dogs.

First Public Service Dog Census Launches: Census Aims to Count Every Service Dog in the US

The first public census of Service Dogs officially launches with the goal to count every Service Dog in use in the United States.

Chicago, IL (PRWEB) June 9, 2008 — The first public census of Service Dogs officially launches with the goal to count every Service Dog in use in the United States.


The Census is open to all Service Dogs and their handlers, regardless of certification or training status. Individuals using a Service Dog for any disability covered by the ADA qualify for this count. (Please see http://www.ada.gov/animal.htm) A service a dog is any canine trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability. Therapy dogs and other working dogs provide many great benefits but are not covered by the ADA law and therefore not eligible to be included in the Census.

The purpose of the Service Dog Census Project is to provide detailed statistical data about the large number of Service Animals currently working in the United States. The data can be used for various positive purposes including advocacy, media references, university studies and public support. “The response has been phenomenal,” says Marc Battaglia, Executive Director of the Census. “Even during our beta-testing phase we had people registering from New York to California. We’ve received e-mails from people thanking us for initiating this project.”

Eighteen years after the U.S. Department of Justice passed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) which ensures the rights of disabled people to access public areas with their service animals, many still have to explain their medical history and educate the public about their rights. Blayne Douglas, who works at a deaf counseling, advocacy and referral agency in California often runs into acceptance problems with his Hearing Dog. “The lion’s share of my day is educating the public about the use of Hearing Dogs. I’m always surprised by the number of people who think only Guide Dogs for the blind count as Service Dogs,” says Douglas. “I’ve even experienced doubt by business owners who hesitated in providing us access because they didn’t understand.”

The United States Service Dog Registry collects the data for the Service Dog Census Project. To participate in this Census please go to usservicedogregistry.org.

Brief biography
Marc Battaglia, Executive Director, Service Dog Census Project

The Service Dog Census Project is headed by Marc Battaglia who leads the four person team in his spare time. (Spare time meaning 2:00 in the morning.) Marc was diagnosed with epilepsy in 1999 after suffering from it since childhood. “I don’t really like to talk about it, and that’s part of what is important about how this Registry and Census are being conducted. It’s private,” Marc explains. “You shouldn’t have to explain your medical history to everyone.”

During the daytime, Marc Battaglia is the Associate Creative Director for an advertising agency where he works with his German Shepherd, Indiana, by his side.

Contact Information
E-Mail marc @ censusproject.org

Having a Hard Time 27 May 08

Posted by turtlemom3 in Partnership, Service Dogs, Tasks.

But I’m working on my attitude as much as I can.

Woof, I need you! Let’s go for a walk! Outside, Out the side door, arond the drive way, 3 or 4 times. Then send you down to the mail box to get the mail, put it in a little wheeled cart and drag it back up the hill to me. Then around the drive way a few more times, and then back inside.

I think I’ll do that now (without the mail aspect) so I can start getting ready for you!

Hopeful News??? 15 May 08

Posted by turtlemom3 in Service Dogs, Woof.

I received a hopeful e-post yesterday. PAALS staff MAY – emphasize MAY – have found the dog that will match with me. Boy! I tell you, prayers are going up from this house Big Time!! I’m saying the Little Paraklesis – a very special prayer service to the Theotokos – for a friend who is going through health problems, and I am very selfishly inserting my desire for the “Woof” along with the petitions for my friend.

The need for contributions is increased greatly.

But mostly, prayers are needed.

IF-IF-IF-IF this is the right dog, and I do pray this will be the right dog, then he and I should be together this time next year!!!! O happy day!

So I will hope for now, and if it is not to be, then I will wait and hope some more.

Thank you, my friends!

Free Eye Exams for Service Dogs!!!!! 11 May 08

Posted by turtlemom3 in Service Dogs, Vet Care.

I ran across this wonderful article – written by Carol Karm, a Correspondent for the Ventura County Star – just the other day, and thought it would be important to bring it to the attention of all owners of service dogs:

“Man’s best friend could get a free eye exam and health check-up next week.” …

“Owners must register at http://www.ACVOeyeexam.org, officials said.”

Please note, that you must have registered your service dog last week for this year’s examination, and your dog must be “certified by a formal training program or organization or that are enrolled in a formal training program. The certifying organization can be national, regional or local.”

This looks to be an annual event, so if you missed it this year, there is always next year!

Hard to Move About 11 May 08

Posted by turtlemom3 in Disability, Service Dogs, Support PAALS.
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Thursday I didn’t post to any of the blogs – I didn’t even post any of the Ol’ Curmudgeon’s Rants to his blog (he doesn’t know how to do it, he just rants to MS Word, and I put it on his blog – more on that another time, another place). On Thursday I was out and about in Downtown Hotlanna trying to get paperwork to help me get more paperwork so I can get my SS and Medicare (such as they are). My daughter (herein referred to as DD) and her 6 year old home-schooled son (herein referred to as GS) took me and DD pushed me the equivalent of about 10 major city blocks in a wheelchair (I’d have never made it trying to walk, I assure you)!! I now have all but 1 of the certified copies of the historical documents I need, and that one is being mailed to me – to arrive on Monday or Tuesday (I hope).

Even with a Woof, I could not have made this trip without DD (unless I had an electric scooter). Woof could never have pulled me up some of those so-called “handicap-accessible” ramps. Too steep! So it’s a good thing I’m getting this done before Woof comes to live with me and help me out!

But even using the wheelchair, my back is wrecked and I am in pain and exhausted. I slept all Thursday evening – didn’t even eat supper. Slept all night. Slept most of the day Friday – except when I went to the bank and to the grocery for a couple of forgotten but critical items – and I’m probably going to doze most of the day today. I’m totally exhausted, and my back hurts soooo much!

Each time I try to pull myself out of my chair, I wish for the Woof. Each time I mislay my cellphone, I wish for the Woof. Each time I drop my cane, I wish for the Woof. Each time I drop a handkerchief, a piece of clothing, a pill bottle, a CD or DVD cover – nearly anything that would not be harmed by a Woof’s mouth – I wish for the Woof. I recognize, more with each passing day, how much I need the Woof. Each day I learn of more things the Woof could help me with.

I know there are “down” sides to having a service dogs, but in my case the “up” sides will, I believe, far outweigh any “down” sides!

Please remember to support PAALS! It is a 501(3)c charitable organization (donations are tax-deductible) and it is the organization that is working to match me with my Woof. The cost is high. I need to come up with an enormous amount of money (for us). We need help, and are calling upon our friends and relatives to help us with this.

Is this Japan? or Europe? NO! It’s the USA! 3 May 08

Posted by turtlemom3 in ADA, Autism, Disability, Guidelines, Service Dogs, Working Dogs.
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I posted about this before, but I just discovered this video on YouTube that was added on April 11, 2008

“A Washington County family said they plan to sue their school district, alleging school leaders are breaking a federal law by banning their son’s certified service dog from the building.”

This is bizarre! How many steps backward are we going to have to go before we realize that our service animals are essential???

Abandoned dogs set to serve deaf 1 May 08

Posted by turtlemom3 in Hearing Ear, International, Service Dogs.

An article in The Daily Yomiuri OnLine says that a nonprofit in Tokyo, Japan is going to set up a facility to train hearing-ear dogs. (Don’t worry! It’s in English!)

We in the USA are really insulated from the attitudes of the rest of the world toward those of us who need assistance – guide dogs for the blind, hearing-ear service dogs, mobility service dogs. handicap access, all those kinds of assistance that we take for granted. In many parts of Europe, children with congenital anomalies or developmental disabilities are hidden and actively discriminated against if they are not kept at home and away from the public.

Any effort, any organization, that will train assistance dogs for the deaf, is to be applauded. But this organization in particular is to be applauded. It is in a country that has not had an organized and concerted history of helping the disabled, regardless of the kind of handicap we are talking about! Yea for Japan, and Yea for Asunaro Gakko, the organization that will be training the dogs.