Service Dog Certification — Spotting Fake Certification/Registration/ID

Many people are going on-line and getting fake “service dog” certification or ID cards or some kind of “registration.” This is an EXCELLENT article which shows how to spot fake ID / registration / certification.

http://servicedogcentral.org/content/fake-service-dog-credentials

Taxi Drivers Refuse Seeing Eye Dogs Entry

I wonder how all these US taxi drivers can get away with refusing to accommodate service dogs? Any other group of drivers would be fined heavily, and the taxi companies would be fined heavily and required to give training in the ADA laws and regulations. But this ONE group of people get away with it.

And another, related, problem is that in many cities the vast majority of taxi drivers are Muslim. So taxi after taxi after taxi either speeds by without picking up a person with a guide dog or a service dog, or refuses the dog, necessary to the passenger, entry into the taxi. Some people documented in the referenced article have had to wait over 3 hours to get a taxi to get home – often in inclement weather.

Why doesn’t the Federal Government and local police enforce the ADA law and regulations? No time? too much money? The IRS goes after even little people who owe less than $1000, but the ADA ignores blind and disabled people’s rights under the law?? We ARE talking about a significant minority group here – the disabled.

Between the Woofs: Beginning To Let Go

John Donne said, “No man is an island,  entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend’s or of thine own were;  any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee. ” (http://www.luminarium.org/sevenlit/donne/meditation17.php)

When Emmy had to retire, I felt diminished and island-like – alone. But this was all about me, not about Emmy. She had been my assistant for nearly 6 years, and I was bereft. I mourned as if she had died.

But she hasn’t died. She is with my son’s family, and is very happy with them. She is now their beloved pet. She “fell into clover,” as Himself says.

I now know, I have to let go. But I’m now open to the joy of a new dog. Whoever he or she is, there will be a special place for her in our lives and in my heart. It won’t be Emmy’s place. It will be her own place. She can’t and won’t take Emmy’s place – but Emmy couldn’t and wouldn’t take her place.

As a mother, I know each child is loved completely as himself or herself and each has a special place in the mother’s heart. How could I have lost sight of that?! My new dog will have a special place in my heart and be loved completely – just like adding a new child.

I’m surprised it took me this long to realize this! It’s as if a light has gone on inside – a big incandescent bulb that not only gives light, but gives heat. So my mind and heart are enlightened, and I am warmed inside, too.

So, on to the new Woof! It will be several months, but I will be preparing – reviewing my notes from the training camp I attended; reviewing the materials they gave me; reviewing my copy of “Don’t Shoot the Dog!” I will especially review the cues and re-memorize any I have forgotten (I don’t think I have, but I’ll review them, anyway!) I’m ready, and I’m preparing! New Woof, you have your own place in my heart waiting – just for you!

Between the Woofs: Grief – Ups and Downs

Well, 3 months have passed. There are times I think the pain is getting worse rather than better. Emmy is extremely happy with her new family (does that make me jealous? I think so, at times) and her health needs are being addressed very well.

In the meantime, between the woofs, I’ve contacted the International Association of Assistance Dog Partners (IAADP) about their Assistance Dog Loss Service. I don’t want my grief over Emmy to interfere with me bonding with the new woof, do I?

My (now Their) Emmy – such a wonderful assistance dog! I have a brief slideshow that I made from some of Emmy’s pix. I watch it from time to time – not so often that I get maudlin about her, but just to refresh my memory and love for her.

Himself keeps reminding me, “She was your employee, not just your precious pet.” He is right. But the 5 1/2 years we were together were precious to me, and created a bond deeper than I, a “cat person,” ever dreamed I would or even could have with a dog. Himself has taken up many of Emmy’s tasks – and I realize just how independent I was with her. I still needed help, you understand, but SHE provided most of the help. I didn’t have to ask other people for help nearly as much as I do without her.

So, life goes on. My birthday is coming up – and we are going to Medieval Times for dinner! I’m sure I’ll think, “wouldn’t Emmy be interested in those horses!” But, we’ll just have to go to Medieval Times again [this is the original website] after the new woof comes into our lives. Maybe for my next birthday! That’s something positive to look forward to!

Meantime, here is a picture of Emmy with her little boy – just too cute! Think she fell into clover? You betcha! :-)

Emmy sleeps with the youngest boy (9). Think they adore each other?

Emmy sleeps with the youngest boy (9). Think they adore each other?

Between the Woofs – I: IADW 2013

So, this is International Assistance Dog Week (IADW), and I’m promoting it! Please do visit their website.

A new “Woof” is being trained for me and may be ready (fingers crossed that it doesn’t “wash out” – always a risk) sometime next summer.

“Why would a dog be removed from PAALS training program?

“A dog can be discharged from the program at anytime during the two-year period it’s being trained for any of the following reasons:

  • “Hip and elbows X-rays show that the dog may not be strong enough for a working role
  • “Temperament problems demonstrate that a dog is too shy, too aggressive, or too protective
  • “Skin allergies develop which can be too big a problem to be handled by a person with a disability
  • “The dog has difficulties with the stress of the kennel or public work.”

from: http://paals.org/frequently-asked-questions

Golden Retriever Service Dog

Golden Retriever Service Dog

The only thing I know about the Woof is that it will be a Golden Retriever. In the meantime, I’m gearing up learning as much additional info as I can about dogs in general, assistance dogs in particular, training of dogs, feeding, grooming – etc.

Another place to visit would be the Working Like Dogs website. They have several resources and informational articles that any dog-lover will enjoy.

Right After Her October Grooming

Right After Her October Grooming

As I think about a new Woof, I also think about Emmy – OF COURSE! I did a lot of things right with her, but I recognize that I also did a number of things wrong. I have to do fewer things wrong with the new Woof, so I’m “practicing in my mind” the things I should do or not do in the future.

I’ll be posting irregularly – as usual – over the next year. Please subscribe or at least check in every so often to see the new posts. Some will be longer than this, some shorter with just a reference (or three) to other websites.

mixed-smiley-046Another request – please support PAALS! They work so hard, and are so dedicated to the provision of trained service dogs to people who need them – Service Dogs for Mobility Challenges, Service Dogs for Autism, Service Dogs for Facilities, Skilled Home Companions, and Service Dogs for PTSD or Traumatic Stress Disorder. Do explore their website – and Please donate-smallest!!!

Related articles

Emmy Retired June 22, 2013 :-(

Emmy is officially retired, now. Son and family came over for an afternoon of learning how to feed, exercise, groom and check Emmy over for health indicators. He and his family are having a great time with her. (Who wouldn’t?) She is doing well, and is a happy camper.

Son’s plans include trying her out as a therapy dog, and the boys maybe getting Scout badges in dog care and training. Where he’ll find the time, I have no idea, but they are good plans! Emmy will have a ball. She loves kids!

Stardate: -309719.1535705226

Well, Emmy’s been back since January 31. When she arrived she had well-furred ears (!) and looked great. She, naturally, was a bit shaky on her cues, but we finally got those pretty straightened out.

Now, after 2 1/2 months, and the onset of deep Atlanta spring, Emmy is back to itching, licking, gnawing, and scratching. I’ve started wiping her off, especially her feet and legs, when she comes in from being outside. I have tried a wet washrag, dog wipes, and baby wipes. The baby wipes work as well as the other two, leave a slight fragrance that doesn’t seem to bother Emmy, and are easier than the wet washrag. They help some, but not enough. Emmy has also had her first yeast infection (R ear) of the season – despite cleaning and drying ears daily – sometimes twice daily. So, I’ve added Posatex to the grooming routine – again. She is taking Hydroxyzine Pamoate (one of the older antihistamines) and it works better than the (cheaper) benadryl. She is less groggy, doesn’t sleep as much, and can function fairly well despite it. But she still has some problems with paying attention while under it’s influence. I give her a cue, and she stares me (or off into space) as if to say, “I’ve heard that before, I know I should know it, but I can’t get it together.”

We have talked with my liaison at PAALS, and we are looking at a “re-career” move for Emmy – to being a pet with my youngest son and his family. As for me, we have a lot of thinking to do. A smaller Lab from this year’s class, or wait for a Golden Retriever from next year’s class. We have decided to not go for this year’s class because I really need a larger dog, so that will make it next summer before I can be partnered again.

Another option our liaison mentioned is to apply with another service dog provider who might have a larger breed. Well, that’s certainly an option, BUT – we are very strongly attached to PAALS, it’s programs, what they stand for, and the people who are there and who train the dogs. Our liaison said PAALS will understand whatever decision we make because we know what I need and how soon it will be critical.

So, here we are. Already grieving about losing Emmy as my partner – after only 4 1/2 years together. But she’ll be with our youngest son and we’ll be able to see her from time to time.

SIGH! It’s a big decision any way we look at it.

Stardate: -310020.30408824136

. . . Or December 24, 2012 at 1:38pm.

It appears that Emmy’s allergies are not getting any better. SIGH!

Emmy gets my dropped cane

Emmy gets my dropped cane

Maybe she will be back sometime in late January – depending on the Pups-In-Flight scheduling. These free flights depend on availability, and the ticketing is on standby status. The Holiday blocking won’t end until a week or so after the New Year. We might have 3 or 4 opportunities for transport that suddenly close 2 days or 1 day or even just hours before the scheduled flight – and the process has to start all over again – before she actually gets home.

Allergies or not, though, Emmy is “My Girl,” and I’ll do everything I possibly can to help her!

At the hotel the first night we had with her.

At the hotel the first night we had with her.

Oh, how I miss her!!

Right After Her October Grooming

Right After Her October Grooming

Nearly Six Weeks

http://turtlemom3.wordpress.com/2012/12/22/nearly-six-weeks/

Three-and-a-Half Weeks And Counting

Colorado Meadows

Colorado Meadows (Photo credit: QualityFrog)

Well, Emmy has been out in Colorado for 3 1/2 weeks, now. Seems longer, somehow. But that’s what the calendar shows. So far, the wonderful family she is staying with, reports when she’s off the diphenhydramine, she still demonstrates serious itching by scratching herself, licking and gnawing at her feet and legs, and “burrowing” behavior to scratch around her eyes. It really distressed me when she was doing that here, and I was hoping she wouldn’t still be doing it at this point. The family she is staying with has put her back on the diphenhydramine (25 mg in the morning and 50 mg at bedtime). It only works for a few hours, then she is back to all the allergic behaviors she has had for the last 4 years, and which have grown in intensity over time.

US AIRWAYS CENTER

US AIRWAYS CENTER (Photo credit: abrunete)

I’m hoping another week or two will make the difference. At any rate, she will return sometime in January – as soon as the flight can be arranged through US Airways’ Pups-in-Flight volunteer program. All flights are blocked out over the holidays, so the soonest I can expect her to return is the 2nd or 3rd week in January.

In the meantime, Himself is performing most Emmy’s tasks. He uses the reachers I have problems using (because of finger and hand weakness and pain) to pick up the small and medium-sized items I drop. He helps me dress and undress, and helps me with the laundry. But it is taking a toll on him and his heart and lung problems. So, cured or not, we NEED Emmy back in January!

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