Mom says that the blog is boring with no pics...and since I've been sleeping on the couch a lot, that I need to share my blog with my siblings. So I'm gonna post a few pics of Inara and Bryce. They're a few weeks old (Bryce has moved on to his new puppy raiser), but I didn't think you all would mind! (remember, Inara is c-r-a-z-y) ~SDS
Inara loves to be the one to teach the puppies how to tug and play. She likes to get all herding bitch on their butts...like so:
"Ho-hum, teaching puppies to tug is so boring"
"Be careful puppy, or I will smite you with my Crazy Eye!"
"I can roll a puppy from across the room...with one glance"
We went to the MD Pet Expo today...it was crazy as always. Lots of people with pet dogs, and pet everythings...parrots, cats, rabbits, even farm animals. But nothing bothers me, since I live in this zoo, errr...house.
The only thing that bothered me was when I saw the demo that our friends, Greg and Katrina (Metropolitan K9) put on at the Expo. They did a protection sport demo (bitework, obedience, narcotics detection) and I always get excited when I see the dogs swinging around on the decoy (the guy in the bitesuit that "catches" the dog...well, catching meaning "letting the dog bite you"). Mom thinks I want to try biting the decoy too...but John says we do enough stuff. It is fun to watch though! John had to feed me treats to keep me from whining and barking. (haven't I got him well trained?) Mom got to help with Katrina's youngest Malinois, Nemo...and I think she re-discovered her love of Mals...I hate to tell her that she's stuck with us Aussies for a while longer!
It was fun to walk around and see everything...and John of course had to take me into the "No Pets Allowed" cat show area. John's daughter was along for the weekend, and since Mom held Score, it was up to John to take her into the cat show area. Someone told him that dogs weren't allowed, but he told them of course that I wasn't a pet dog, so I could go in. I don't think the cats cared at all...the people were more worried. I have to say though, that the sign that was posted did have the proper terminology on it...it said "NO PETS ALLOWED". Quite different than "NO DOGS ALLOWED". So kudos to the Expo staff on that sign!
We didn't see any other Assistance Dogs, which was surprising...but it was still fun.
Sorry no pics though...Mom was busy wrangling Score. lol
There's nothing official yet...this article was posted by someone that got a leaked proposal from the DOJ.
Click the title above to go to the full story.
Basically, the Dept. of Justice is revising the ADA to specify that only dogs can be service animals...and there will be no grandfathering. What happens to the people using other animals already? Ugh. This is a mess.
Dr. Ian Dunbar, veterinarian, animal behaviorist and dog trainer, has declared January to be "Shelter Dog Prevention Month" and has decided to allow a free download of his book "After you get your puppy" in order to help prevent people from giving up their dogs due to behavioral issues thatcould have been prevented by proper training and handling. Here is the link. Feel free to download!
It's exciting, we're getting a new president tomorrow. I feel like we had a hand in this, John and I...as we went to vote for the first time. What a great feeling.
However, this Inauguration Day stuff is crazy. We live near Washington DC, and things are getting wild around here. Schools and roads are closed because of traffic getting into the city. I'm glad we don't have anywhere to go tomorrow...and we're closer to Baltimore than DC.
I hope that no Service Animals are dragged down to the city tomorrow...as it's going to be crowded and cold. No big bags mean no way to carry supplies for Service Animals...and I'm sure there will be few places to potty Assistance Dogs. I hope everyone keeps their pets at home too...it's going to be rough going for the people!
We'll be watching at home, warm and snuggly on the couch! ~SDS
With the help of some friends, we got the van started yesterday...so John and I could join the girls on the Night Out we had planned.
We went to the Cancun Cantina, a local bar and dance club, to celebrate a friend's birthday. We hadn't been there before, so we weren't sure what to expect. They had to get us in a side door, as the front door had a step up...but that was okay. The guy checking IDs at the door was concerned about me though. "Will he go to the bathroom on the floor?" is what he asked. I was a bit offended by that, but I didn't let it show, I just stood there calmly as everyone explained that no, I wasn't going to do that inside. After that, he was quite chatty, telling me that I was very handsome, and so quiet. He did however ask if I was of age...and when Mom told him that I just turned 4 years old, which made me 28, he laughed and said that I could go inside! He kept saying, "I've never had a Service Dog come in before!" and asked John what I did for him. It was nice...he was friendly.
Then we went inside the club part...and found out that the floor was concrete and cold, so Mom went back out to the van to bring a bed in for me. John parked the scooter and put me between a heavy table and the scooter...so no one would step on me. I curled up and went to sleep. I slept through lots and lots of dancing, really loud music, fog machines, lights flashing, disco balls and everything else you see at a dance club. It was kinda fun! We didn't get pics of course, because Mom was a little bit drunk, and it was dark. When we left, it was soooo crowded, so we found a bouncer to clear the way for John and me...people were so surprised to see me coming through the crowd. I usually get behind the scooter when going through a crowd, but last night, I amused Mom by pushing through the drunks and shoving my way through the crowd. I was awesome!
There are other parts of the country that are much, much colder than we are right now...but it is cold enough to strand us here at home. John's van runs on diesel, and we found out that 17 degrees is the temperature that gels diesel fuel. So until it warms up, John and I can't go anywhere. Well, I could go with mom, but what fun is that? I'd be worried about what's happening at home.
So we're here, not going anywhere for the time being...unless someone with a wheelchair lift miraculously comes to take us for a ride. But we're okay, we're warm, there's food, and the TV works. We can't complain tooooo much. Mom is going out tonight without us...she's mean that way! *grrrr*
Maybe I can convince John to play with me later...I love to play with his hands...
He was rescued from the mean streets of Kansas City, MO, taken in by a kind-hearted vet tech, and spotted by me on an Aussie Rescue photo page...and transported to me sight-unseen, by a friend on an Aussie board...all the way to Maryland. He was all of 8 months old. I gave him the birthday of January 15th.
He was an awful little man, who chewed everything in sight (I have a box of all the remainders of the weird items he ate...including a piece of wood about 1"x1" that is finished on one side...still don't know where that came from! Sawyer and I never completely clicked, but we enjoyed each other to some extent...he loved playing flyball and frisbee and stuff.
Sawyer needed a job obviously...and he found his partner in John. I jokingly gave him Sawyer one day to try out as a Service Dog...since he could somewhat retrieve stuff. John had retired his first SD, and his second one had temperament issues (bit a woman)...and he was a bit desperate. Xander liked working in the house, but wasn't crazy about going EVERYWHERE with John. So I told him..."Try Sawyer." Being an obstinate fool, he did try Sawyer. We just threw him into the job...took him to the mall one day. Sawyer LOVED it. (I do not recommend this to ANYONE...lol) Did everything perfectly, and after that day did not have much to say to me. His mind was made up, he was John's dog. :| Okay. :) They've been working together two years in November...and Sawyer's never been happier. (and he still loves playing flyball and frisbee...but only if John's around!)
Happy Birfday Sawyer-bean!
PS...no worries, Sawyer will be back blogging soon, he's taking a break by laying on the couch with John for his special day (it seems to the same as any other day, but that's what he wanted...along with devouring the contents of my bait bag and eating a bunch of cat food...what a day!)
Basically, the article talks about humans making an effort to reward other humans in every day life. Taking the time to tell them that they did a nice job. With clicker training, humans try really hard to focus on the good stuff we dogs do, rather than correcting/punishing us for the bad stuff.
Mom has been trying to set this human-human reinforcing in her puppy class that she teaches. They give each other raffle tickets for things they saw the other human do that they liked. It seems to be helping, as most everyone has lovely things to say to each other. It's funny, as there is a always a kid or two in class, and people have no problem telling the kids "good job" or "well done on teaching that behavior", but are often awkward when they tell other adult humans the same thing. Why is that? Why do humans get so awkward when dealing with each other? Humans are so weird.
~SDS (Who loves to reinforce humans..."Yes Human! That butt scratch feels wonderful!")
I hope they don't make me wear a pointy hat again this year. I wonder where I'll get to go for my birthday...and I wonder if restaurants will bring a free dessert to the birthday boy if he's laying under the table. So many thoughts today!
It's a lazy day, no plans at all. Maybe John and I will watch a movie while Mom does something else (we don't really know what else she does, except periodically get in the way of the TV with a broom in her hand). It'll look like this later:
Right now though: Inara is upside down on the futon couch, completely asleep. Fry is sitting on the computer (mac mini) watching the small birds on the feeder...and the crows walking around. Xander is asleep in the other room. Score is curled up on the couch, sleeping. Ripley is outside sleeping under the bird feeders...or watching the crows also. Thorn is upstairs asleep somewhere...who knows what cats do when they're not in sight.
Sounds like the start of a good day, doesn't it? Happy Sunday to everyone! ~SDS
Mom says that a great thing about us dogs is that we can enjoy every little thing in life. Well, she usually says it in a sarcastic manner...and actually says "They're so easily amused". Same thing, right?
One thing about being a Service Dog is that you have to really enjoy the job. I may not enjoy every little thing, but I enjoy the majority of it. I posted the other day about Hogan, the former Service Dog. He wasn't cut out for the life of an SD...because there was too much that he didn't enjoy.
I love being a Service Dog. I love being "On-call" for John. I love being with my human all day, every day.
Part of that job is going out in public, which is a big problem for many dogs. I love it. Being an Aussie, I love to have a job of course, and I love to keep busy. I can entertain myself even on my down-time. Here I am people-watching at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore...the humans were having lunch, and I was under the table watching everyone below me.
A good Service dog is confident, happy and enjoys the little things.
We heard today from one of my former "brothers". Hogan is a large standard poodle that was in the Fidos program...he was being trained to be a Service Dog. He lived with us for many months during his training, a few years ago, and we all loved him! He was such a nice guy to have around...(mom particularly loved his ability to do a nice stand and brace so she could get off the floor easily.
Hogan however did not want to be a Service Dog. Sure, he did everything he was asked, but his heart was never in it. At home, playing ball, being "just a dog" he was happy, tail constantly wagging, smile on his face. In public, working, his tail was down, no smile, just trudging along doing his job. Certain things freaked him out a bit too...nothing he couldn't have worked through, but combined with his apparent lack of interest in working...well, he had a change of career.
He got adopted by a wonderful couple in Pennsylvania...and lives the life of luxury. He gets to be loved on by all the kids in the neighborhood (we hear that the kids come ask if "Hogan can come out and play")...he gets spoiled by his new mom and dad...he gets to be happy.
Here he is telling Santa what he wanted for Christmas!
Mom says that Hogan is the one she truly misses...he was such a good boy! But she knows that he's loved dearly...and that he is the center of attention in his new family. He's got everything a dog could wish for!