Independence Day. Is it right for everyone?

by Sue on July 22, 2014

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I do not like Independence Day. But not because I am un-American, it’s because I am un-fireworks.

I do not have a problem with loud noises. I love to hear the rolling thunder. I love to go to the shooting range. But I do not like the damage fireworks can cause. Emotionally and physically.

My husband (rest his soul) told me once of an incident that not only un-nerved him but made him feel foolish. It was not long after he had been honorably discharged from the USMC. He was walking down the sidewalk, heading for a meal at a café he liked to frequent. A vehicle innocently backfired. He dove for cover by leaping over a fence. PTSD is a terrible thing to live with. And, while he loved the rolling thunder and the firing range just as much as I did, you could tell as July 4th came closer that his nerves would start to fray…and so would mine. But not for the same reasons.

While he knew the loud bag of a firearm would happen, as he was the one pulling the trigger. He did not know when the loud crack of fireworks would happen. He was not in control of the situation. We did not allow fireworks on our property. But that did not stop the neighboring farms from setting them off (even illegal ones like roman candles). I find it interesting that the way we celebrate our nation’s freedom can be living hell for some of those that fought for our freedom.

How does the 4th affect me? I know that on the 4th, dogs will die and things will burn. People will not secure their dogs. Dogs will escape and get injured or killed by vehicles and other things. People do not pay attention to where they are sending fireworks and things catch on fire. I learned a long time ago to pretty much just stay home not only on the 4th, but also on the 5th because of what I will see laying in or alongside the roads. I have a different kind of PTSD. It is not from the military. But it bothers me just the same. And the 4th really brings it home because I fear for the aftermath.

I am sure that allot of you understand where I am coming from. But I feel compelled write this.

How do you feel about fireworks?


Did you train your SD or did you have him/her trained?

by Sue on May 28, 2014

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My dog and I already had a close working relationship as a narcotics detection dog prior to the incident that brought on my PTSD. So he actually started alerting me to my attacks before I realized what he was actually doing. So, in a way, he was self taught.

Did you train your dog? Have your dog trained? Or was it a self taught much like my “Gunny” was?


This weekend.

by Sue on May 23, 2014

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We will be closed this Monday in observance of Memorial Day. Stay safe everyone.

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What made you decide on the breed you are using?

by Sue on May 19, 2014

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Or did you already have a dog and trained him/her or had him/her trained?

My dog was one I had already had for three years. He started picking up on my new health problem so I just decided to use him and finish train him.


Summer months

by Sue on May 12, 2014

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In the summer months when it is warm do you…

Spend less time outside with your service dog?

Spend more time outside with your service dog?

About the same amount of time outside with your service dog?

If you spend more time outside or about the same amount of time outside, how do you keep your dog cool?


How do you handle encounters?

by Sue on May 7, 2014

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It seems that society has put a stereotype on Service Dogs. The public seems to think that if it is not a large dog (Lab, Shepherd, Doodle, etc) it is not a service dog. I have a 16 pound dog that has been my service dog for 7 years. He does his job well and takes it very seriously. While we do not have much of a problem with acceptance here locally, I still, on rare occasions, encounter problems with acceptance of him just due to his size.

I approach the situation with a positive, friendly attitude. Which usually defrays any front put up by a store manage or owner. Though there have been a few times I have had to get firm and stand my ground.

Do you have a service dog that is small or an unusual breed? Have you encountered problems simply based on the dog’s breed alone? How do you handle it?


Family claims trained service dog was not trained at all Mom says dog was afraid of people, not housebroken

by Sue on April 30, 2014

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Mary and Grant Hultman’s 6-year-old son, Lucas, has Angelman’s syndrome, a severe developmental disability.

“He has no self-preservation skills,” Grant Hultman said. “He’ll go up to a light bulb and just grab it, and he’ll laugh. He has a different threshold of pain.”

Despite a prognosis of not being able to walk or talk, Lucas found success in a program that provided horse therapy and is now surprisingly steady on his feet.

“He’s a blessing,” Grant Hultman said. “He’s amazing. I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Based on their success with horse therapy, the Hultmans thought a trained therapy dog might be able to help calm Lucas’ outbursts and keep him safe. The family turned to Compassionate Paws, a Wisconsin company that offers trained service dogs for children like Lucas.

“The hope was she would be tethered to (Lucas) by a leash, and he would have something around his waist” Mary Hultman said. “That way, if he were to bolt towards the road, we could tell the dog to stop.”

The Hultmans paid $10,000 for Lucas’ dog, named Happy. But they claim the dog they received was anything but a happy experience.

“There were so many things she was so afraid of,” Mary Hultman said. The dog was terrified of her husband.

“She was scared of the phone whenever it would go off. She was scared of the TV,” Grant Hultman said.

Mary Hultman said the dog had no interest in Lucas whatsoever, and also lacked the skills to go to the bathroom outside.

“We paid $10,000 for a dog that’s not potty-trained,” she said.

“It even got the point where she would nip at him,” Grant Hultman said.

Mary Hultman said Compassionate Paws told her that the contract was non-refundable, but they were welcome to bring Happy in for a re-evaluation.

She said she told the company “We don’t want you evaluating the dog you said you already trained.”

After doing some research, the Hultmans found several other families that had similar stories: Dogs lacking service skills, potty-training and basic obedience training.

WISN 12 News traveled to Waushara County to Compassionate Paws’ facility to ask them about the Hultmans’ claims. Investigative reporter Colleen Henry was escorted from the property.

“Go away,” Henry was told by an unidentified man. “Get the (expletive) out. Get out.”

Mary Hultman said they situation has been very frustrating, but they don’t have the time or energy to join a lawsuit. For now, they hope to keep other families from falling into the same issue they did.

“Our goal is to put her out of business and to make sure she doesn’t do this to anybody ever again,” she said.

There is no agency that regulates service dog trainers.

The Better Business Bureau of Wisconsin has received three complaints against Compassionate Paws, and all three owners said they were left unsatisfied by the business.

The Hultmans hope to get a trained service dog in the next year and that a friend or relative nearby will be willing to take Happy.

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A message from the owner of

by Sue on April 17, 2014

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A video about one of our hottest selling vests

by Sue on April 15, 2014

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If you are a Service Dog owner…this is a must have!

by Sue on April 14, 2014

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God forbid you are in an accident. You want to be sure that your dog is not separated from you. Without this sticker emergency responders may not realize your dog is a service animal.

Our stickers clearly make it apparent your dog is a service dog and should not be separated. You get two durable weather resistant stickers that can be put on car windows or bumpers. Stickers measure 3.75″ x 7.5″ and are printed with attention grabbing colors. These stickers can also be used on doors or windows of your house to alert emergency responders.