Friday, May 29, 2009

Flyballin' at Fort Meade!!!

Hi all!

First of all, there hasn't been any progress on the SSA issue...I'll keep you posted on any new developments...we're not giving up!

Secondly...we'll be FLYBALLIN' this weekend at Fort Meade! Those of you that are local to Fort Meade need to come out and cheer us on! I'll be racing, along with Score, Inara and Ripley (and hundreds of our closest friends!).

There is a big Pet Expo going on this weekend, and the flyball tourney is part of that event. Family friendly, dogs are welcome...what more can you ask for?

More info:
Fort Meade Pet Expo

Hope to see some of you there! I'll be on the lanes doing my thing...feel free to cheer me on! Come see what Service Dogs are made of!

~SDS (rrrrready for flyball!)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Access DENIED! Part 2

Sorry I haven't gotten on here to post catch everyone up on the continuing drama with the Social Security Administration. John's been hogging the computer and talking on the phone. He's been very busy talking to lots of different people regarding this debacle.

For those that didn't is the law that covers Assistance Dogs (and Assistance Dogs in Training) for federal buildings. It is not the ADA, but the General Services Administration.
Here is the law for federal buildings owned or leased under General Services Administration(GSA) The first one is:

[Code of Federal Regulations]
[Title 41, Volume 2]
[Revised as of July 1, 2002]
From the U.S. Government Printing Office via GPO Access
[CITE: 41CFR101-20.311]

[Page 212]



Subpart 101-20.3--Conduct on Federal Property

Sec. 101-20.311 Dogs and other animals.

Dogs and other animals, except seeing eye dogs, other guide dogs,
and animals used to guide or assist handicapped persons, shall not be
brought upon property for other than official purposes.

The second is from , search for GSA-2005-0041-0001.

[Federal Register: November 8, 2005 (Volume 70, Number 215)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Page 67785-67860]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access []

GSA's real property policies contained in this part and parts 102-
72 through 102-82 of this chapter apply to Federal agencies, including
GSA's Public Buildings Service (PBS), operating under, or subject to,
the authorities of the Administrator of General Services.

Sec. 102-74.425 What is the policy concerning dogs and other animals
on Federal property?

No person may bring dogs or other animals on Federal property for
other than official purposes. However, a disabled person may bring a
seeing-eye dog, a guide dog, or other animal assisting or being trained
to assist that individual.

(This means that they couldn't kick Mom and Denver out either.)

Let me tell what's been happening since I last posted:

John called and filed a complaint against the SSA office that denied us access...via the SS Fraud Hotline. He then called the local office and asked to speak to the supervisor...the one that was "out" when we were there. John was told that he'd call back, but after waiting all day, John called again and asked to speak to him again. I was next to him the entire time, and was listening intently. The supervisor got on the line, and apologized for not getting back to him sooner. John went over the situation again for him. He gave him the info on the law that covers federal buildings and Assistance Dogs ( and asked that they review their "policies" regarding Assistance Dogs and asked also for a formal apology. Guess what happened next?

Mom and I were listening to John's end of the conversation, and we were expecting John to say something along the lines of "Thanks, etc" Instead we were surprised to hear John defending himself and me again! The supervisor told him that there was a question as to John's disability (though he did say "I know I can't ask you what your disability is!")...and a question as to what he needed the dog (meaning me! of all things! hmph!) for in the SSA office. John explained what he needed me for (in case he dropped something, etc)...and told him that he didn't know anyone that hopped in a scooter and drove to the SSA with their dog, just for grins and giggles. The guy kept insisting that he didn't NEED me (the dog, remember?) at the SSA office. John was not pleased when he hung up the phone.

He then called the SSA Office of Inspector General, Senator Barbara Mikulski's office and the ACLU. We're waiting to hear back from all of them. The ACLU was interested, and will be discussing the situation at their next meeting...and will be getting back to John on Thursday.

Right now it's a waiting game...I'll keep you posted when we know more!


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Access DENIED!

We got denied access last week...for the first time in a LONG time. It was surprising and unpleasant. Where was this backwards location that didn't know that Service Dogs were the same as Guide Dogs?

Our local Social Security Administration office. A government building. Seriously.

Here's the whole story...

Mom and John needed to get new Social Security they cleared their schedules for Friday. We all got in the van, and drove up to Westminster to our county's SS office. It was me and John, and Mom and Denver (service dog in training). We all got out of the van when we got to the office building. Mom and Denver stayed outside to close the van. John and I went inside. There was a security guard in the small lobby.

She asked "What kind of dog is that?"
John said, "He's an Australian shepherd."
She then said, "No, what does he do?"
John responded, "He's a Service Dog."
She asked, "So he's not a Guide Dog?"
John said, "No, he's a Service Dog."

She got up and left her post and told us to take a number and wait in the lobby. Mom and Denver came in while she was getting up from her desk. She asked if Denver was a Service Dog also. The guard then went through a doorway leading to the back offices.

The guard came back with another woman who proceeded to tell us that dogs were not allowed in the building. John tells her that in fact, yes, we are I am a Service Dog, and Denver is a Service Dog in Training. Usually at this point, people back down...even if they grumble a little bit. This woman just said..."They both help you? What do they do to SERVE you? You don't need both of them in here." Mom and John explained further about what I do for John, and what Denver will do in the future. She just kept getting more and more angry and getting closer and closer to to me and John. She said that the supervisor's policy was that only Guide Dogs were allowed in the office. We asked to speak to him...but he was "out".

This woman proceeded to keep getting closer and closer to John and me...and was very angry. I jumped up onto my hind legs because I was upset. (I did not touch her, btw) She jumped back and said angrily..."See! This is why we don't allow dogs in here!" Mom was very annoyed by this especically, and muttered "OH SHUT UP!" (Mom says hopefully only Denver and I heard that.)

At this point, Mom handed her a card that they often carry, the "I am a Service Dog" cards from, and recommended that she call the number on the back. These cards have a 1-800 number for the DOJ's ADA hotline. You can call and ask questions about the law, and ask specifically about how it pertains to Assistance Dogs. The woman takes the card and walks into the back offices. We hear her ranting back there too...though it wasn't clear what exactly she was saying. She was gone for a while, and we sat in the lobby waiting. Of course John and Mom were mad, so they were saying things like "Oh, so if I close my eyes and pretend I'm blind, it'll be okay?" We were all really annoyed...I didn't want to lie down and relax...I knew something was wrong with this situation. The only one that kept calm was Denver, he was asleep under the chair.

The woman comes out a while later and says that she talked to the folks on the ADA line, and that they couldn't help her. Turns out that because the SSA is a federal administration, they're not covered by the ADA. (HUH???) So she tells us that we have to leave. John is annoyed GREATLY by this and tells her that no, that's not going to we need the cards done today, because this is our free day to come to the SSA. She tells us that while we might have all day to stand here and argue, she doesn' she'll compromise. (good thing, because we DID have all day to stand there!

Her compromise is that Mom and Denver leave the building and she'll help John first. Then John will go outside and watch Denver while Mom goes in the building alone. Since John and Mom weren't sure about the rules regarding federal agencies and dogs in training, they agree to this. Mom goes outside with Denver...John and I go up to the counter. Then we went out, and watched Denver (who was asleep again)...and Mom went in by herself. Mom also found some Fidos For Freedom cards and gave them a stack. (the mean lady took one and gave the rest back) Honestly, the time it took to get the cards was much less than the time it took for her to argue with us and call the DOJ.

John said he's truly amazed at this attitude...he has personally been on demos with Fidos to the Social Security Administration main office in Maryland many times. Now he's been working on finding out what law or act covers federal offices and Service Dogs if the ADA does not. More on this in the next post! John's got a project...and he's not giving up!

(Who knows HE has no rights in this matter...but is still upset!)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Photo dump

I'm working on a long story, which I think you'll all be interested in...but I'm taking a nap on the couch at the moment. So I'm turning the blog over to Score to post some random pics. Enjoy!

Hi Guys! Score here! Mom said I should post some pics of the that's what I'll do! We've got some new critters...I'll introduce you to them.

Here's the new bunny...his name is Castle. He's a tortoise mini rex. He's really F-A-T. He likes to climb the stairs. He climbs the stairs better than some of our doggy friends (like WhoBe).

Fry and Pippin are best buddies...

Thorn is the Queen of the house...

Fry likes to snuggle with all of us...

Fry snuggles with everyone...

Me (Score) n' Pippin taking a nap.

Loooooonnnnng cat:

See you guys later!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Roo's Super Brownies!

Mom made a new up a new batch of treats today...with a recipe that she came up with. They're so good, I wanted to share the recipe with you all. She named them for Xander (Xanderoo-roo) because he LOVES peanut butter treats. They're his favorite. He drools when peanut butter comes out of the cabinet...he even blows big drool bubbles (it's really gross). So Mom said that they're his Super-delicious brownies...but we can all have some too.

Even Xander's Giant Black-Tri Doppleganger, Jordan the Monster Aussie can have some!

Roo's Super Brownies:

2 cups Quick-cook oatmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
dash cinnamon
1/3 cup oil
1 1/2 mashed banana
1/2 cup peanut butter (melted in microwave)
3 large eggs
1 Tbsp. molasses

Set oven to 350 degrees. Whisk wet ingredients together in a large bowl. Add dry ingredients and mix well. Spread on a greased cookie sheet and back for 15 minutes. Cool, cut and serve or freeze.


No Denver, you can't have any!

(Mom says he does get matter what I say.)

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Speaking of names

Mom thought I should clear something up about my name. Now, you all know me as Service Dog Sawyer, and my name is Sawyer. My "registered" name is Herart's Once Was I was named for a character on the TV show LOST. But when you see me in public, John usually calls me "Bean".

Just don't call me late for dinner...

He's not crazy, no's just one of my many nicknames. Mom started calling me "Soybean" after I first came home. That's evolved into just "Bean" nowadays. Sometimes it's "Beanie" or "Beanie Weenie" or "Beaner" or "Beans". Sometimes when Mom is silly she calls me "Soya Bean Cake" because she saw that once at an Indonesian restaurant. *eye roll*

I think it confuses people sometimes, when they hear John talking to me, calling me "Bean" and then saying "His name is Sawyer" when someone asks. I don't think John and Mom are concerned about people's confusion however, they usually just laugh.

Mom is a big one for nicknames, she says she choses each name carefully for its nickname potential...can't have a bad nickname for anyone! I think it's because she doesn't really have any nicknames herself...she's addicted to them for us. We all have our "official" names because Mom likes to have a big long name for us for flyball certificates and such. Everyone but Ripley has the prefix of "Herart"...that comes from Mom's art stuff...when she makes stuff it falls under the name of H.E.R. Art designs. The name comes from her first three dogs: Harding, Elwood and Ripley.

Ripley is officially Ripley U Better Believe It. However, he's usually referred to as Rip or Ripples. From there it goes crazy...he's also Reeples, Rip Torn, Reepicheep, Weeples, Fluffy, Fluffy-butt, Fluffy McFlufferstein, Floofy, Fluffles, Fluffer-nutter, Mr. Fluffy-pants, Fuff, Fuffy-butt, Fuffy Fufferstein and more.

Xander is officially Herart's Demon Lover. (Buffy fans will get that reference) However...he's often referred to as Xanderoo or Roo. Then we go down that crazy slippery slope of Mom's crazy nicknames...Xanna-woo, Woo, Woo-woo, Woobie, Xanna-moo, Moo, Moo-lips, Moo-moo, Moobie, Moofles, Moo-man, Moof, Moofy-lips, and Mr. Mandamoo. We can't forget Big Head Todd...another nickname.

Inara is Herart's Serenity Companion (again, Firefly/Serenity fans will get this one). She is usually just called Pretty or Pretty-pretty. A far cry from her first nickname of Pure Evil. (she's come so far!). She's also called Inna, Pretty Inna, Crazy Woman, Girlie and Truly Scrumptious (yes, Mom sings the song to her).

Score is Herart's Makin' Trax. He has a lot of nicknames too...Puppy, Brown Puppy, Big Brown Puppy, Pupple, Scorzle, Scorble, Scorgeous, Scar, Score-pup, Toast, Solid Pack, Snuggle Puppy and Baby Puppy.

I think the nicknames have something to do with how attached Mom gets...Dove (our former SDiT) was Dovelet and The Chocolate Shark during her short time here...and Mom really liked Dove. Bryce was here for a while...but only got one nickname...Baby Anteater. Gibbs puppy is our foster, and Mom likes him a lot...he's Superbad, Giblet, Chocolate Puppy, and more. Denver doesn't have any nicknames really...I think Mom is trying to detatch from he's closer to moving on than the rest of the dogs we usually have here.

Did I hear my name?

What nicknames do your crazy humans give you? Any embarassing ones? Do tell!

~SDS aka Bean

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Upcoming flyball events...

If anyone in the MD/NoVA area is interested in seeing some FLYBALL...we'll be competing during the last two weekends of May. The first tournament is the FBI tournament in Manassas, VA at the Prince William County Fairgrounds. The second one is at Fort Meade in MD...part of the Pet Expo that Fort Meade is having. Both are open to the public, and everyone is invited! For more info, click the links below!

FBI Flyball Tournament @ the PWC Fairgrounds

Scallywags Flyball Tournament @ Fort Meade

I'll be there both weekends racing full-time...and everyone says that I'm a sight to see when I'm racing. People who have seen me in full-on Service Dog mode can't believe how crazy I get in flyball, and on the flip side, people who have seen me in crazy flyball mode can't believe that I can calm down and behave in public places as a Service Dog! I know how to keep my work and hobbies separate!

For anyone who still don't know what flyball's a video explaining the sport. My teammate made the there's a lot of ME in here!

What's Flyball?