Friday, December 3, 2010

Vesta's first flyball tournament

Miss Vesta is going with us to the flyball tournament in York, PA this weekend. This will be her first time at such an event...and we're hoping she handles it well. Flyball is noisy and there are a lot of dogs and people to sniff/say hi to. Mom is bringing lots of Kongs and treat-dispensing toys for her, to keep her busy in her crate while we're racing.

Wish us all luck!
~SDS

PS...for more info on the tournament: Jet Set Flyball

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Vesta's progress...

Hi everyone!

We decided to name the new girl "Vesta" as it was our favorite here, and her new partner liked that best. *AND* she responds quite well to it...like she's known that name all of her life.

I realized that we never added any info about where she came from, and what's going on with her...so here ya go!

Mom got an email a little while ago, from a reader of this blog...seems that she lives in the same area, and was looking for a SD for her son. She got turned away at the local SD group, because her son has multiple disabilities. Mom thought she was equal to the task, and we met up with them a few weeks ago. We discussed dogs and what they could do to help him. Xander and I were delighted, because as the humans talked, they all threw tennis balls for us! Xander and I told mom that we had to help them!

Mom put out a plea for a dog on her Facebook profile, and received many responses with dogs for adoption. She chose a likely candidate from a rescue that we work with, based in Northern VA: Odessa Rescue and Rehabilitation. We arranged a transport, sight-unseen from her foster home in the Virginia Beach area, up to us...here in the Baltimore area. Thanks again to everyone at Odessa Rescue!

So Miss golden girl arrived last Wednesday, right in the middle of the Thanksgiving holiday...which is why there were no updates last week! She's handled everything in stride...a very good girl indeed.

She's a tall girl, which we needed, as she's going to be a balance dog. She's calm in the crate and in the house. She leaves the cats alone, and likes to play with the other dogs...her only big problem right now is that she'll moan and groan when she sees people that might just pet her...she moans at John when she first sees him...every day! (we got into a bit of a scuffle yesterday, as she was trying to climb on the couch to see him...WHILE I WAS LYING THERE!) Nothing much phases her...even John's scooter moving doesn't spook her. She went on a trip to Petco yesterday, with mom and after some intial excitement, she calmed down and walked quietly with her.

From mom: "She's a lovely girl, and I'm looking forward to her training. I'm not a golden retriever fan, but honestly...if I were to get one, she'd be the type."

~SDS

Monday, November 29, 2010

The New Girl

Here she is!!!

Golden girl

We're still working on a new name for this beautiful blonde bombshell...we're taking suggestions!

Going with a mythology theme...here are the ideas we've had.

Vesta (Roman goddess of Hearth and Home)
Juno (queen of the gods)
Pax (goddess of peace)
Freya (Norse goddess of love)
Athena (goddess of wisdom)
Amica (Ah-mee-ka)(Latin for friend)
Aine (Ahn-yah)(Irish goddess of love, summer, wealth)

She's a wonderful girl, but is going to need a lot of work...she needs basic manners training so far! But she's picking it all up very quickly! I'll post more about her later this week!

~SDS

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A new SDiT!

It's been a while since we've have new SDiT news! Mom is going to be training a SD for a young man with CP. It's been a while since she's trained any SD skills...hopefully she's not too rusty. I'll have to revert back to my old, untrained ways to help her along!

The dog is already picked out...a young, female golden retriever from a rescue group in VA...more info to come...along with lots of pics, of course!

She'll be staying with us for the intial training and socializing, and then when she's ready, she'll head to her new home. We're very excited about this...and we'll definitely keep everyone posted!

~SDS...off to get into mischief, to keep mom on her toes...

Saturday, November 6, 2010

How hard is this job?

Check out this great video...would you be able to do my job?



Cheers!
~Service Dog Sawyer

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Dog Shopping!

Maybe one day Mom and John will let me drive, so I can shop like these dogs!



And it looks like the Viszla in the video is a trained Assistance Dog! Cool!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Sawyer howling with the sirens

Mom, John and I all went to the Reisterstown "Bloomin' Art Fest" today. Walked around looking at vendors, getting petted, generally enjoying ourselves. I even got a new tag for my collar (I broke off my old one). Mom found it funny to video tape me as I was howling with the fire engine that went by while we were out. Enjoy!

~SDS

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Video: Working on a new skill

Mom sometimes leaves the cordless home phone on the kitchen table, where John can't reach it...if he's already sitting on the couch and comfy, it's hard for him to get up just to get the phone. So Mom said that we need to work on having me retrieve the phone off of the table.

I already know a go-out (to move away from John), and a "Paws" cue (to put front paws up on things) and the retrieve (to pick up the object and return to John holding the object). I also know the word "phone" What John had to do was click me for going to the table and then for putting my feet up and then retrieving. Essentially stringing together things that I already know. The video is from the middle of the training session we had the other day...I hope you enjoy!

Mom says to mention that this is a great illustration of why clicker training is so wonderfully easy for people with disabilities to train their own dogs. John stays put on the couch, and Mom just helps a bit with putting the phone back in place (and she signals me once with her hand to help me).

Monday, January 4, 2010

Video: targeting a door

Here's a nice little video for today...featuring one of our flyball friends, Kodi the poodle. He's working on paw targeting for flyball, but it's just like targeting for shutting a door, for those Service Dogs out there!

His mom is clicking and treating for two paws up on the target (duct tape on the door)...you can see her tossing the treats to him, so he stays in place.



Clicker training is so fun and easy...Kodi's mom can click/treat and handle the camera all at the same time! ;)

Enjoy!
~SDS

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Happy New Year!

We went out with friends on New Year's Eve...a first time for us! We went to a pub that had a live band and a breakfast buffet...it was really fun! When we got in there, and the humans were getting their IDs checked, the security guy said..."I assume you got permission already?" All the humans were puzzled, and finally realized that he was talking about ME! :) They assured him that yes, I was a Service Dog and could be in there, and he got a bit embarrassed and said..."well, I didn't know..." We assured him that it was fine...and Mom told him that I didn't have ID to check. (Mom embarrasses ME sometimes!)

We actually scored a table too...amazing since there were ten humans. I love sitting at tables, as I know where to go...and what to do. I'm really good about going "under". I got right under, turned around so I could watch all of the drunk people later in the night and got settled. (like Mom) John was the designated driver for the night...so he got to watch all of the drunk people too.

The band was great...and played OLD music (Mom loved it, she said it was 80's). I mostly napped through the music...and only woke up when some cute girl wanted to pet me (John loves that part of having a Service Dog!). (I put a link to the band up above...just click the header.)

I love going out...and this was no exception! What fun! :)
~SDS