The 15th Assistance Dog Blog Carnival Has Arrived

Assistance Dog Blog Carnival button

Our friends Cyndy and Uschi of Gentle Wit, are hosting the 15th round of the Assistance Dog Blog Carnival.

The topic for this round is “freedom”. If you take a look at Cyndy’s call for submissions you will find some ideas to get your creative juices flowing.

I hope you will come join us. You don’t need to be a service dog user or have a service dog currently, as long as your entry has something to do with service dogs, you’re in.

Happy Birthday!!

guess who’s THREE…

RLR’s Babe In Total Control is 3!!

The silly puppy is gone.

A mature adult dog has taken it’s place.

My little Rogue Hurricane has been a dream addition to our family. I can honestly say she made it easier to say goodbye to Phoenix because she is a lot like him in ways that only make me laugh and smile.

Rogie, I’m not sure what we’d do without your enthusiasm in the morning or your numerous kisses throughout the day. You’ve enriched our lives so much and exceeded my expectations time and time again.

It’s been an awesome two years and ten months so far, I can’t wait to see what the future will bring for us as a team.

HAPPY 3rd BIRTHDAY MONSTER!!

Hard at Work

Or at least they are trying to seem as though they are hard at work…

Rogue and aiden are lying under a table at Costco. Aiden is wearing his red and black mesh Autism dog Services vest with a black martingale and red leash. rogue is lying behind him in her navy blue harness, light blue collar and black leather braided leash.

I can’t even count the number of times I’ve had people come up to me and ask if the dogs are no longer on duty at times like this.

even though we are obviously still in a public place, where pets are not welcome, people seem to think that because the dogs are lying quietly while we eat or whatever, that they are no longer working and can be loved.

I am always willing to talk to people about the dogs and often allow people to talk to them while they’re chilling, but I also try to inform the public about the fact that even though it may not look as though they are actively working, the dogs are still on alert and ready to move when asked, so as long as their working gear is on, they are on duty.

On an aside, rogue found it really hard to stay hidden with aiden under the table as well. he’s a big boy, so takes up almost all of the room, but she made a good effort at staying out of the way. Maybe it was having aiden there, but Rogue also did really well at staying down when I asked her to.

Could They Be Friends?

Aiden, Skye and Bailey have now been with us for almost a week and everyone is getting along quite well.

Our bed is a queen-size, but it isn’t quite big enough to fit 6 full grown retrievers, so let’s start with just the 5 labs.

Skye, Rogue, bailey, Cessna and Aiden are lying together on a black metal framed bed with a grey blanket. Skye is behind Rogue, they are closest to the headboard with Bailey next to Rogue, Cessna beside Bailey and aiden in front of everyone.

Rogue thought it would be cool to pose with her sister, skye. Don’t they look so much alike?

Rogue and skye on our bed. Skye is lying behind Rogue.

Cessna wasn’t so sure she could handle having her picture taken more than once, so here’s a shot of just the fox red labs and Bailey.

Skye, rogue, Bailey and Aiden on our bed. Skye is behind Rogue, Bailey is beside Rogue and Aiden is lying in front of them all.

Aiden and Bailey got tired of posing, so here’s Canyon with Rogue and Skye.

Skye, Rogue and Canyon on our bed. Canyon is beside Rogue and Skye is behind them.

The Case of the Mutilated dog

At approximately 6:45pm Thursday, a 34 year old woman came across the mutilated body of Ms. Pinky. She immediately ran to the phone and contacted police.

When police arrived, they were met at the door by 6 extremely friendly retrievers and their worried human.

Upon cursory examination of the scene, investigators immediately ruled Ms. Pinky’s death a homicide.

An Air Kong Squeaker Dog lies mutilated on a tile floor. the dog has been skinned, it used to be pink and yellow. It is also missing it's hind leg and it's tail is just barely attached.

When asked to provide details, the woman stated that she had been putting away laundry when she heard a horrible sound. She said it could only be described as the sound a squeaky animal makes before it dies. She said the noise only lasted a few minutes during which time she was rushing down to the living room from her bedroom on the 2nd floor of the house.

When asked what she saw, the woman became tearful and said she walked into the living room and couldn’t find anything disturbed, so moved into the kitchen, only to discover Ms. Pinky’s mutilated body.

When asked if she had touched anything, she said she was too afraid to do anything other than run back upstairs and dial 9-1-1.

When asked if she noticed anyone near or leaving the scene, she said she thought she heard the sound of paws moving quickly towards the dining room, but she couldn’t identify the unknown subject.

next, investigators went into the living room to question the little fox red lab.

When asked what she had seen or heard, she climbed under a red sleeping bag and refused to answer.

Seeing a black lab moving towards the stairs, investigators gave up on the little lab and followed.

The black lab claimed she hadn’t heard or seen anything. She said she had been in the backyard with a golden retriever and another female fox red lab, chasing squirrels.

Noticing a white coloured lab lying in the doorway of the bathroom, watching, investigators decided to see what she could tell them.

Unlike the little fox red lab who refused to answer and the black lab who claimed to have been outside, the white lab seemed to know exactly what had occurred
and was dying to share her story.

According to her, a big male fox red lab snuck up behind Ms. Pinky and snatched her off the ground. He then proceeded to take her into the kitchen, where the white lab says she saw him lie down and begin stripping off Ms. Pinky’s pink and yellow flesh. Horrified by what she had witnessed, the white lab says she quickly turned away and hid in the closet until she heard police arrive.

Feeling as though they had obtained enough evidence to arrest and charge their suspect, investigators searched the house.

they found Ms. pinky’s killer sprawled on the bed in the master bedroom snoring loudly. Afraid they might spook their suspect, investigators called for a leash before taking him into custody.

Ms. Pinky will be laid to rest in the waste section of the family garbage container on Saturday, April 5th, at 11:00am.

The family dogs are accepting donations to be put into the Buy a Dog A Toy Fund.

A Taste of Bailey

Bailey is probably the more photogenic of the three visitors, so here are 3 pictures of just her.

Bailey lies on a dark brown leather couch.

Bailey lies on a red sleeping bag on the couch by Brooke's legs. Brooke is sitting on the couch wearing a dark green hooded sweatshirt with a bear paw on the front.

Bailey lies across the console of the dark brown leather couch. she is lying beside Brooke.

Bailey isn’t as active or playful as the rest of the dogs in the house, but she is definitely the most cuddly.

Guess Who’s Visiting!!

Aiden sitting beside Brooke at Home Depot. Aiden is a 6 year old fox red lab. He is wearing his red working vest with a black martingale collar and red leash beside Brooke's blue denim clad legs.

Aiden, our first foster puppy from Autism Dog Services, is here for 11 days!!

Aiden and Canyon are attempting to smother Brooke. I'm sitting on a dark brown leather couch and the boys are both smothering me with kisses.

Aiden arrived Sunday afternoon with his doggie cousins skye and Bailey. Skye is Rogue’s half sister, they have the same sire, she’s just a year older. Skye was once an ADS foster puppy, but wasn’t quite cut out for the job. Bailey wasn’t ever a foster puppy, she’s always been just a loveable pet.

Bailey and Aiden lie at opposite ends of a tan and brown couch. Bailey is a pure white female lab with a black nose and black eye liner wearing a light pink and brown collar.

In The News: Owner-Training Service Dogs

This article isn’t perfect, but the journalist has made a very good effort at increasing public awareness of owner-trained service dogs.

As everyone who has been reading this blog for a while knows, I am raising and training Rogue to be my guide dog. She is the first guide I have ever trained myself, but she is my fourth guide dog.

Some people have the option of hiring a professional trainer or to attend weekly classes, but some do not. I do not attend classes or have a professional trainer to help me with Rogue’s training, but with the help of friends I have made online, who have trained several of their own guides, I have been able to prepare Rogue to take over from Cessna.

I hope more journalists take the time to interview other owner-trainers, so that the public will understand that just because a service dog isn’t from a program doesn’t mean it is a ‘fake’.

Book review: Dog Eat Dog: A Very Human book About dogs and Dog Showing by Jane Stern

I just finished reading the book Dog Eat Dog: A Very Human Book About Dogs and Dog Shows by Jane Stern.

here’s a link to to reviews about the book on Goodreads.

As everyone knows, Huib shows canyon about three or five times a year. We didn’t start his show career until he was two and a half years old, which is probably a bit on the older side to make a debut, but canyon loves to strut his stuff around the ring and it’s been a really good experience for us.

I found this book to be one of the best books I’ve seen written about dogs and dog showing. Jane focuses on Bull Mastiffs, so the reader learns tons about the breed and about the politics that exists within the showing of them. I also really liked the way in which jane presented the interactions between show exhibitors and explained the ways in which some shows can already be decided before the dogs ever take the ring.

I had to laugh at the commentary Jane shared from ringside because it reminded me of times I’d heard similar comments from people watching or even made similar comments myself.

Dog showing and breeding are definitely not things you want to go into to make money or with the mindset that your dogs are unbeatable. Both are something people should do because they enjoy it because it’s definitely not a money maker and there are going to be ups and downs, with the downs often being long ones.

If you’re interested in learning about the dog show scene, I totally recommend this book. the facts are sometimes out of date, but the showing parts are almost spot on.

I Wonder…

A year ago you had to leave us.

We know you didn’t want to go, but the Leukaemia was too hard to continue fighting.

I wonder where you are today.

I wonder what you’re doing.

I wonder if Phoenix found you and walked along side you as you entered your new home.

I wonder if we’ll get to see you once we leave this place…

Or is it a place where humans are not permitted entrance…

I wonder if you and Phoenix have found Harley and Thor…

It really doesn’t feel like a year since you left.

But, then it also doesn’t feel right that you’re gone.

Aspen, we miss you SO much!!!

Aspen lies on a pebble path

Aspen at 8 years of age

Until we meet again, rest peacefully our Golden Princess.