Casual Friday at the Service Dog Blog

by Sue on October 7, 2011

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Here is a little Friday fun. It’s “brag about your dog” day!

Answer as many of the following questions as you wish.

What breed of service dog do you have?

Did you train your service dog? Or was your service dog trained by someone else?

If you did not train your service dog yourself, do you think you could now having worked with yours?

Where did you obtain your service dog?

What is the most amazing thing your service dog has ever done?

Do you allow people to pet your service dog (this includes dogs that are trained to only be petted when they have been given a command to allow it)?

Have you ever felt that your service dog gave you a chance to educate the public about service dogs?

Have you ever had anyone complain about the breed of your dog being a service dog?

Anything else you want to say about your dog, feel free too!

Sussie, Gunny and Rainy.

{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

1 sussie 10.07.11 at 10:37 am

I will go first to get the ball rolling…

Gunny and Rainy are both Dachshunds.

I did not have to train Gunny. He just started doing it himself. Gunny trained Rainy.

Gunny was a gift from my husband and Rainy was a gift from a friend of ours.

Too many amazing things to list for Gunny. Rainy is just over a year old. But I think the most amazing thing is that she fell into Service Dog work like she was born for it.

Gunny will allow himself to be petted only if I say “Gunny…go say hi” or “Go say hi Gunny” if I do not say that, he will back away from them. Rainy will back away. She has not quite learned the hello command yet.

I am always using my service dogs to educate the public. The public has this stereotypical idea that all service dogs are big. But are amazed that the smaller dogs can do just as good, if not better.

Both Gunny (18 pounds) and Rainy (8 pounds) have been laughed at because they are small. But after a while the people realize they know what they are doing. Once, while at the VA, I had a woman with a rather gruff attitude come up to me and say “So I don’t get the purpose of that little dog as a Service Dog. What does she do other than look cute?” Her attitude started to trigger one of my attacks to which Rainy started jumping up on me and using her diversion training. I picked her up and said “Oh this? This isn’t a dog, this is a flea” The woman started laughing and said “Yeah. I can see that the way she’s jumping around” And we had a nice conversation after that. She came away learning something about service dogs.

2 Linda 10.09.11 at 11:15 am

I will go next:
What breed of service dog do you have?
I have a malamute as a service dog.

Did you train your service dog? Or was your service dog trained by someone else?
I was doing basic doggy classes with him when I found he could catch me when I started to fall. At that point we moved into teaching him to be a service dog. I also have times that I just can not walk much distance, so he is trained with a dog powered scooter I can use to get around with. It is a bigger/sturdy version of those kids razor scooters with dog attachments.

If you did not train your service dog yourself, do you think you could now having worked with yours?

I did most of my own training, but going to a class is very helpful and I would do that again if I was training a dog, service dog or not. My sheltie is also a doggy school graduate (worked as a therapy dog for 3 years when he was younger).

Where did you obtain your service dog?
A breeder in our state ran an ad since he had about 3 litters all at once. We got our dog from him. He was the runt of the one litter, but is about 115 pounds and all the size that is needed (breeder guessed 100).

What is the most amazing thing your service dog has ever done?
I was being hypnotized and he was laying on the floor. As soon as I was under he erupted and tried to wake me. The went to the doctor and tried to get them to help me. As soon as I was out he laid right back down. It was clear that he knew exactly when I was under and not.
The doctor was just amazed and a bit shocked.

Do you allow people to pet your service dog (this includes dogs that are trained to only be petted when they have been given a command to allow it)?
I try not to unless it is someone I know. He is pretty good with people, but he is pretty big and he loves to love you and not every one is ready to be loved by a malamute, plus it distracts him. If they ask I say no, if not then I try to detour them, but he gets pets here and there anyway. He is a very pretty dog, so that gets him attention, being big people often comment he is the largest dog they have ever seen etc.

Have you ever felt that your service dog gave you a chance to educate the public about service dogs?
Always, he is an attention grabber since he is big and beautiful so it does give me a change to help educate others.

Have you ever had anyone complain about the breed of your dog being a service dog?
Not really complain, but some are surprised and will comment that they thought only breed X was a service dog. If they know malamutes they are sometimes amazed a malamute is trained as a service dog. (Mals don’t have the reputation of being easy to train and liking to obey)

Would I train a malamute again? No, probably not. He is a bit long to fit easily in some places (even though he tries to fold up). He grabs more attention than is ideal. So while he is very good at his job, and I love him dearly, I would probably think about a collie next time in that they are larger dogs, but not this large, easy to train and might not get quite as much attention as he does. If I charged for every picture he has had taken we would be able to take a nice vacation!!!

3 Alice Bell 10.10.11 at 7:05 am

What breed of service dog do you have? “Spoodle” (toy poodle and cocker spaniel)

Did you train your service dog? Yes….it was very easy. Consistency was the key.

If you did not train your service dog yourself, do you think you could now having worked with yours?

Where did you obtain your service dog? From a reputable pet store!

What is the most amazing thing your service dog has ever done?
I think everything she does is pretty amazing, but it would likely bore you to death.
Do you allow people to pet your service dog (this includes dogs that are trained to only be petted when they have been given a command to allow it)? “Daisy will generally back away from people. She does not like little children ‘coming at her’. I find that if I allow people to interact with her, it gives me opportunity to explain her functions and how she helps me. But it does get ‘old’ after so many times.

Have you ever felt that your service dog gave you a chance to educate the public about service dogs? Yes. I carry the card that gives the rights of service dogs, and hand those out as well. I have also been able to assist others who have service dogs but did not know their dogs have rights granted by the Federal Courts. I often help others get their service dogs certified so they can travel with them.

Have you ever had anyone complain about the breed of your dog being a service dog? Constantly. Since Daisy is only 18 pounds, people think she is a joke. They don’t think at her size that she can perform any tasks. However, her behavior while ‘on duty’ is so exceptional that it does amaze people.

Anything else you want to say about your dog, feel free too!

4 Jeannie 10.10.11 at 7:25 am

Here is a little Friday fun. It’s “brag about your dog” day!
Answer as many of the following questions as you wish.
I have a Maltese. I trained my own dog and she helped trained herself. I have suffered a lot of severe depression since my husband died in June. One day I was so depressed that I could not stop crying. Isabella got on my lap and started licking my tears until every tear in my eyes was gone and she stayed licking my face until I could not cry any more. I realized that I did not want to cry. I was thinking about suicide before she started licking my face. She senses my emotions and literally will not let me cry. She also helps me with my panic attacks.
I allow children to pet Isabella on my command. I have had people ask about my breed of dog and I educate them about service dogs. I tell them what my service dog does for me. They are interested and ask questions. They are amazed at how she has helped me with my panic attacks and depression. I know that I would not be alive without my service dog. She has made a world of difference for me.

5 Patch 10.10.11 at 7:32 am

Hi I have a short-haired red, blonde and white AKC border collie. She was born in New Mexico and flown to San Francisco when she was 10-weeks old. I trained her and she was very responsive to my needs. She was tested and certified as a Service Dog. She has done me so much good that I began also taking her to the hospital and rest home as a therapy dog. She is the only dog in our county who also works for Hospice. I do allow people to pet her due to the fact that she is a trained therapy dog also but I tell people not to pet a service dog without asking. Many people are surprised that they see a working border collie who isn’t chasing sheep. No one has ever stopped or questioned my dog’s presence. This dog is totally intuned to my physical and mental needs and I thank God every day that I have her.

6 Kat Bright 10.10.11 at 7:54 am

I have had 3 service dogs but will answer about 2.
Wolfstone and Duke.
Wolfstone was a German Shepherd/Lab Mix was donated to me by a private owner. Duke was a Great Dane and purchased by a breeder.
Wolfstone and Duke were both trained by myself for mobility balance, Wolfie helped train Duke in things like sugar detection, sitting by the shower, etc. But for the most part I trained Duke the basic commands and public access.
Wolfstone had to be retired at age 3 due to hip dyplasia because he came from a BYB and hence why Duke was then purchased from a reputable breeder.
I have allowed petting while I am out because Wolfie when we were training had this social desire to meet & greet everyone I believe because of the Lab in him. It did not matter how much I tried to deter the behavior, he wanted to meet every child, elderly person and person in Wal-mart. LOL! So I decided one day to change things up and allow him to be petted only by permission, use a command which was having him wave “Hi” and then using the situation as eduation for that person so that they knew that its customary to ask an Service Dog owner permission to pet their companion. Since then, it has worked well. I have less people walking up and just petting my dogs.
I know use this in all my training with all my dogs, and it helps show the dogs that the stores and areas are friendly. And with them seeking permission, the dog still must focus on myself for their moves before being petted, and it opens a door of opportunity to educate. My town is SD ignorant. I have been asked to leave a couple places with Duke, because of his size due to ignorance. Not many understand that a 150lb Great Dane can be a Service Dog lol!
Duke also helps with my PTSD and buffers people from getting close, etc. Helps with my depression. But he no longer can go out in public due to his size and my shrinking from osteoporosis. I am now seaching for another SD prospect. I have an upcoming back surgery for a spinal cord stimulator, so most likely will be getting a pup in the Spring. Wolfie unfortunately left for the Rainbow Bridge due to a broken back in July of 2010. I miss him but know he is no longer suffereing. Programs won’t place a dog with me because I refuse to rehome my SD’s once they retire. So I still have to train my own. I still can not find a trainer to help me around my area. So, guess I will still have to do it on my own even though my endurance has deteriorated over the past couple years.
Anyways, thanks for listening! Kat

7 Carolyn 10.10.11 at 8:06 am

I will tell about my dog, Tri. She is a Queensland Heeler and is three years old. I did her training myself with the help and advice of a professional dog trainer from Montreal. I originally got her from a breeder in Nipomo, CA at 12 weeks of age.
The most amazing thing Tri does is wait patiently for hours at at time with little or no attention from me while I am working. Whether I am in the office or in the field, she will go under a table or a chair or on a down/stay wherever I put her and stay there until I tell her it’s OK to come out. I work with wild animals and she never tries to “help” or get in the way, she just stays where I put her and as long as I am within earshot most of the time she is fine. If I go too far away she gets worried, but she doesn’t move!
For the most part, I don’t encourage petting. If someone asks, and the situation is right (no big crowd around, not a small child, a chance to do some public education) I will allow one person to stroke her head. She is a friendly dog but she takes her job very seriously and does not go up to people or other dogs without being told to.
I do use opportunities to educate the public, particularly since I do a lot of public speaking and someone always asks about the dog. I use the opportunity to talk about my dog and other kinds of service dogs, and how they can aid people with various disabilities in their daily lives.
I have had people complain about my choice of a Queensland Heeler (Blue) as a service dog, mostly because I live in a rural community and Heelers are considered ranch and farm dogs, not pets but rather herding dogs and guard dogs, and have a bad reputation for being nasty and mean. My dog, however, was raised in a loving home environment and is gentle, sweet-tempered, and shows none of the bad attributes associated with the breed.
Thanks!
Carolyn and Tri

8 Jerry 10.10.11 at 10:07 am

What breed of service dog do you have? Peanut is a Deer Head Chihuahua and before him I had (still have but retired) Peewee also a chihuahua.

Did you train your service dog? Or was your service dog trained by someone else? We had a trainer for both dogs. I’m not sure enough about my ability to train a service dog for someone else (too much at risk) but I think I could train a dog for myself if I had to.

If you did not train your service dog yourself, do you think you could now having worked with yours? Yes

Where did you obtain your service dog? Both dogs came from Nevada. We live in Calif. but could not find a small dog trainer here.

What is the most amazing thing your service dog has ever done? While driving home from HomeDepot one afternoon, Peanut alerted and knowing I was only a few minutes from home I chose not to take a drink of the orange juice in my truck (it was a very hot day and my juice is usually out of date) but to drive home. To try and get Peanut to stop alerting (scratching my arm by then) I reached into my pocket and acted like I had something in my hand. I preteded to put that in my mouth and swallow. Peanut did not buy it and tried to look into my mouth, making for a difficult time. Since that time I show or allow Peanut to smell what ever I take or drink after he has alerted me to a need.

Do you allow people to pet your service dog (this includes dogs that are trained to only be petted when they have been given a command to allow it)? Just family. Peanut does not like strangers interacting with him.

Have you ever felt that your service dog gave you a chance to educate the public about service dogs? Almost daily.

Have you ever had anyone complain about the breed of your dog being a service dog? Only in calif, but not too often.

Anything else you want to say about your dog, feel free too!
I love both Peewee and Peanut, Peanut is the most dedicated friend a person could have.

9 Suzanne Peters 10.10.11 at 12:44 pm

I have a little white & tan Pekingese. He is the smartest dog I have every had or trained. He learned quickly how to judge if I was having emotional down spiral or beginning a panic attack. He will actully pull me over to where I can sit down and insist I not move until he judges I am better. People are always commenting on how well behaved he is, how he watches me and he never asks for attention altho I will allow him to be petted if asked. I have answered lots of questions about him being a service dog and have only had one nasty comment while we were in a grocery store. I cannot imagine a day without him at my side.

10 Wendy Parent 10.10.11 at 1:48 pm

What breed is my SD: Pom., Scottie, and Skipperekee.
Did I train or someone else? She trained herself and I did the basic commands. She alerted on my blood sugar levels on her own. She will paw me, lick my face, bark or if walking tangle her leach with me to get me to listen to her.
Where did I get her? From her breeder as a 9 month old pup as a pet.
What has she done? I feel when she alerts on me that shes just amzing.
I don’t know if I could do it on my own, but I would try.
Do yuo allow people to pet? Yes, it tells her they can help me too.
Do you educate them? Yes, when evr someone makes or asks I try to tell them about SD’s. I had a lady yesterday think she was asking studip questions. I told there are none.
Has there been any complains? Yes, in Faribault,MN; we went in a restraunt and a guy told my 5yr. old grandson the dog should be shot. He didn’t give me a chnce to say she was a SD. Managment made a fool of themselves that day.
My SD is decated to me and loves to go with me. I was little known to small dogs and Diabetic Alert ones until I got her 4 years ago. She’s a sweet dog. I hope to work with the big dog and turn him into a balance dog her my daughter. He’s a rescued dog. Just need to calm him down some.

11 Anonymous 10.10.11 at 8:41 pm

My service dog is a Chihuahua named Ears she is a auditory alert dog (hearing impaired indiviual) that signals me to specific noises buy jumping or pawing example microwave, water left running, tty, door , approaching vechicles in driveway, dryer cycle ends, emergency vechicles, railroad crossings … she came from a trainer/breeder in NC and on many occasions have been able to educate people on the purpose of this highly trained service animal. Have had her for seven years and the service dog prior to her was also a Chihuahua named Piggums who has now been retired for four years. Travel alot so Size is perfect. Come from a family of deaf individuals and have used the same breeder for last four service animals. I once had a incident in a Mc Donalds where a customer complianed about animal in resturant and manager asked me and my service animal to leave because customer said it was just a cute dog in a service animal suit. Showed manager on duty papers and registration ID finally my daughter told the women she should not be concerned with my service animal who through all the drama remained calm well behaved and focused on her work never barked or growled but with her children who were running amuck, screaming and disrupting everone in the resturant. She also went on to tell her that if my service animal ever behaved as horrible as her children she would have it euthanized.

12 Marie 10.10.11 at 8:43 pm

My service dog is a Chihuahua named Ears she is a auditory alert dog (hearing impaired indiviual) that signals me to specific noises buy jumping or pawing example microwave, water left running, tty, door , approaching vechicles in driveway, dryer cycle ends, emergency vechicles, railroad crossings … she came from a trainer/breeder in NC and on many occasions have been able to educate people on the purpose of this highly trained service animal. Have had her for seven years and the service dog prior to her was also a Chihuahua named Piggums who has now been retired for four years. Travel alot so Size is perfect. Come from a family of deaf individuals and have used the same breeder for last four service animals. I once had a incident in a Mc Donalds where a customer complianed about animal in resturant and manager asked me and my service animal to leave because customer said it was just a cute dog in a service animal suit. Showed manager on duty papers and registration ID finally my daughter told the women she should not be concerned with my service animal who through all the drama remained calm well behaved and focused on her work never barked or growled but with her children who were running amuck, screaming and disrupting everone in the resturant. She also went on to tell her that if my service animal ever behaved as horrible as her children she would have it euthanized.

13 Janis 10.11.11 at 5:36 pm

This will be fun!

What breed of service dog do you have?
Doberman Pincher 105 Lbs.

Did you train your service dog? Or was your service dog trained by someone else?
Worked with the breeder and a trainer but did alot myself. Had two service dogs from agency in past.

Where did you obtain your service dog?
Worked closely with a breeder that breeds for Personal Protection/ Police Work.

What is the most amazing thing your service dog has ever done?
1. Stopped a man whom entered my home uninvited 2. Stopped a stray Pitbull from attacking us on a walk (DO NOT blame the Pitbull) .

Do you allow people to pet your service dog (this includes dogs that are trained to only be petted when they have been given a command to allow it)?
No adults! However, I will allow some children to in order to educate and foster understand and reduce their fear to dogs and various handicappes.

Have you ever felt that your service dog gave you a chance to educate the public about service dogs?
Answered above and proud of it. Also educating the public about “BULLY BREEDS” Dobermans are the best!

Have you ever had anyone complain about the breed of your dog being a service dog?
Oh Yes but I take the opportunity to educate about the “Bully Breed” Doberman’s are great! The town I live in has made a change in their attitude toward the breed and I Thank my wonderful partner!

Anything else you want to say about your dog, feel free too!
A special shout out to Leerburg.com! Thanks for the endless info on dog training and support! Also total gradatitude to a wonderful breeder at Vom Amaris K-9 Dobermans in Missouri!

14 Peg Meerkatz 10.12.11 at 4:57 am

What breed of service dog do you have? Mixed (Bichon & Toy Poodle)

Did you train your service dog? Or was your service dog trained by someone else? I did most of her obedience training but for the diabetic alert trainer I had a professional

If you did not train your service dog yourself, do you think you could now having worked with yours? No because the training for Diabetes Alert is beyond my means; I DO NOT have the qualifications to train a Diabetic Alert dog

Where did you obtain your service dog? I got her from a breeder

What is the most amazing thing your service dog has ever done? We were in a doctors office and she “alerted” to a man’s jacket on a chair. Just as I was getting her to walk away the man came out from exam room to tell his wife the dr couldn’t do the test because his sugar was too high

Do you allow people to pet your service dog (this includes dogs that are trained to only be petted when they have been given a command to allow it)? Yes, In addition to her “DIABETES ALERT DOG” patch, Esperanza wears a patch that says “PLEASE ASK TO PET ME”. But Esperanza waits until I give her the command “SAY HELLO” before greeting people; Esperanza is very “people oriented” so rather than use FOOD REWARDS for good behavior that is her REWARD (being able to say “Hello” to people) but it is always at my discretion and on my command

Have you ever felt that your service dog gave you a chance to educate the public about service dogs? All the time! First of all small service dogs are still a rarity and then not many people have heard of Diabetic Alert Dogs; through my corporation, EsperanzaEnterprises (still in startup stage) I have created a “packet” about Service Dogs and include info on small service dogs and service dogs with unusual jobs like “Diabetes alert”, “Autism”, “Epilepsy” etc.

Have you ever had anyone complain about the breed of your dog being a service dog? This happens frequently! The problem is tw0-fold; people are not use to seeing small service dogs and many people are familiar with guide dogs for the blind but are not familiar with service dogs

ADDITIONAL INFO: Aside from people not familiar with small service dogs or service dogs in general one of my biggest problems is that Esperanza is so cute (not just my opinion) and everyone wants to play with her and cuddle her. Since I also have mobility problems this can sometimes be dangerous. More than once I have been leaning on a counter maybe paying a bill or at the post office and someone calls my dog or attempts to distract her; if she becomes distracted I can lose my balance. My experience is that many people see her cuteness but do not see her vest. I recently bought her a new color and leash the kind they embroider usually with the dogs name on it the collar has her name on it but the leash says “YES I AM A SERVICE DOG”. As the owner of an “unusual” Service Dog and as a Disability Advocate I feel obligated to educate the public – someone has to do it!

15 PwdSd 10.13.11 at 2:54 pm

What breed of service dog do you have? At this time I have a mix (Lab – Collie).

Did you train your service dog? Yes with all of my dogs I had, being at the time schools did not comprehend the teachings of multiple disability tasks in which I needed my dogs to do.

Where did you obtain your service dog? There are several areas I look at to find a perfect canidate: Rescues, Individuals donating, or from breeds. Last couple of pups came from the rescues after a long and hard research. Not an easy or fast thing to do.

What is the most amazing thing your service dog has ever done? Oh my I will have to be more general because specifics would go and become a novel. Most amazing thing would have to be the type of bond we have, in which he like my other dogs in the pass tell me what I need when I need it before I knew I needed it. You cannot get this type of bond off of people.

Do you allow people to pet your service dog ? This is not a simple yes or a no answer. There are times that I will allow especially when it’s younger children that ask politely. As that gives an opportunity to thank the youngsters as well as giving my dog some quick social time per say (on cue only). Sometimes I do this with adults but there are many times that it’s just No as I must also look out for my dogs best interest and needs at the time.

Have you ever felt that your service dog gave you a chance to educate the public about service dogs? Always… No doubt about that. From day one even when they started out being in training I was able to educate. Sometimes though when busy it could be havak as you want to just hurry up especially when your not feeling too well at the time. But education is the key to knowledge and we need to do our part to educate as well.

Have you ever had anyone complain about the breed of your dog being a service dog?
Never about the breed I have and I have had many in my time. Although throughout my travels I have had on occasion people complaining about me having my SD in a store. Sometimes it’s not the owners, managers or employees. Sometimes it’s the general public. I was told by one lady that I cannot have my dog in a store because she was shopping and she hates having dog around her and I have no business taking my dog where she shops.

16 Kathryn 10.21.11 at 2:33 pm

I can never pass up a chance to show-off my SD. She is a 115 lb. giant, woolly-coated Alaskan Malamute named “Lilly”. I found her as an 8 week-old puppy at the Humane Society in Louisville, KY. I had not intended to get a dog just then and was only turning in my references. But when I saw her, I knew she was “THE ONE”. At first, she was a beloved pet but as my condition worsened, I discovered she could steady me, counter-balance me and pick me up if I fell. Now, she is my life partner.

When I mentioned to my vet that I needed a service dog and was considering training Lilly, he laughed and said, “If you can train a Malamute, you can train anything”. Since I am ambulatory, I not only trained her in basic obedience, I trained her to be a Balance/Mobility and Psychiatric service dog. Even though she is fully and successfully trained her, I do not presume to be able to train any other type of service animal. She is getting up in years now and, when I need another SD, I intend to train it myself.

She is amazing everyday. She has always stood beside me and done her job without complaint (however, being a Malamute, she has complained plenty about other things :) ). Even with the Malamute personality, she does her job. I don’t have to be concerned that she will become distracted and she is always at my side in her “With Me” position. Her tolerance and interaction with people amazes me. Her intelligence amazes me. Her bull-headedness regarding food amazes me (one Thanksgiving, we had to defrost the turkey in the dryer because she could reach it everywhere else). She will tolerate almost everyone and everything. She is hard to spook and to rile to anger.

I do allow people to pet her. I know that many people do not allow their dogs to be touched and I respect that. But I have had a couple of non-service dog using individuals scold me for allowing people to pet Lilly. This is a personal preference and up to the handler/owner. Neither side of this debate should attack or lecture the other. Most see the “Ask to Pet” patch on her vest. Some don’t, but unless it puts me in a dangerous spot, I usually allow it. The only people who send my temper into orbit are the ones that try to call the dog away from me. PLEASE DON’T DO THIS!!! NEVER call a dog away from its owner/handler! I try to educate the public about services dogs and generally do not get upset, but I am afraid one day, I will explode on some poor, unfortunate person that simply did not think before whistling.

Watching people interact with any SD is rewarding. Most people are friendly and curious. Some will ask questions such as “What’s wrong with you” but don’t mean to offend. It gives me to opportunity to answer questions and, hopefully, educate people about service dogs. The hardest thing for me is to not respond to the occasional snide and/or hateful comment.

I have had people think, sometimes out loud, that Lilly is not a service dog because she is big, or because she is a Malamute or because she occasionally talks or because I don’t look disabled, etc. I try to smile and continue on my way. It’s sometimes hard but in the end, the unfair bias is their problem, not mine.

17 Alicia Metzig 11.08.11 at 9:54 am

1 – What kind of animal do you have?
I have a shar-pei/mastif mix

2- Who trained your dog?
I trained my dog.

3 – Where did you get your dog from?
I rented a room in a house that I did not know was so far in repossession that it was due up for public auction. I live in Arizona & @ the time it was the end of March – still cold @ night & warm in the day. Clearly the former owners were going to leave him there to die. I later found out that they had another dog who died in their care and they just threw it in the garbage and left it. Long story short the dog was abandoned in the back yard, had no food or clean water, was left outside 24/7, & @ the age of only 8mths & quite large already had been beaten/abused so badly that his ears were full of ticks and open scratches, scabs & sores. He was so timid & afraid that he would cower away from the other roommate in the house, I began taking care of him and until he trusted me, slept under the bed in fear. Never have I seen an animal “cower” away and leave the room even if someone slightly raised their voice. It’s like he came from a domestic violence environment!
4 – What is the most amazing thing your dog has ever done?
I got extremely ill in Sep 2010 and passed out on the verge of death in my bathroom, my fiance was in the other room with sports on loud and did not hear me fall. My dog ran to the living room and tried to get his attention, finally when nothing worked he sat @ my feet laying over 1 of my legs howling/whining until I was found!
5 – Do you allow people to pet your dog?
On certain occassions I allow people to pet my dog.
Titaen is the best dog I have ever had!!! While his temperment is reserved he protects me and loves me like I have never seen an animal do before, it’s as if he knows that I “saved him”. He will never know it, but he saved me too.

18 trish 11.18.11 at 6:46 pm

What breed of service dog do you have?
Suby is a mini dachshund/chihuahua mix

Did you train your service dog? Or was your service dog trained by someone else?
Suby started alerting me to panic attacks and I trained her to do other tasks

Where did you obtain your service dog?
Suby was given to me by a friend at 12 weeks of age

What is the most amazing thing your service dog has ever done?
I think 99 percent of what she does is amazing but if I had to pick one thing it would be keeping me out of the hospital for extreme panic attacks

Do you allow people to pet your service dog (this includes dogs that are trained to only be petted when they have been given a command to allow it)?
I allow small children that ask to pet her

Have you ever felt that your service dog gave you a chance to educate the public about service dogs?
All the time, sometimes I get tired of it
Have you ever had anyone complain about the breed of your dog being a service dog?
Yes bc she is small and a “lowrider” she gets a lot of flack

19 khills 12.19.11 at 5:02 pm

What breed? Golden Retriever

Did you train your service dog? Yes assisted by my husband, but we have also taken him to 2 schools for 2 weeks each time for intensive training to address some specific issues that we were having problems with.

If you did not train your service dog yourself, do you think you could now having worked with yours? Have gotten professional help intermittently, I have found that the right trainer can really made a difference–especially with problem solving.

Where did you obtain your service dog? Garden Goldens in PA.

Do you allow people to pet your service dog? No. Because Shai is such a social butterfly by nature that any attention causes him to solicit more attention from that person.

Have you ever felt that your service dog gave you a chance to educate the public about service dogs? Yes many times. I look normal and am a physical therapist. I don’t mind telling people my dx is MS. Then I use the conversation to teach them about MS–specifically that they can’t always see the reason I need him. I also talk about not having to tell them that and explain what they can ask people like me. I try to make people questions–even the rude ones–into a positive conversation in which I educate that person.

Have you ever had anyone complain about the breed of your dog being a service dog? No. Goldens are very often used as SD

Anything else you want to say about your dog, feel free too!
I have found Shai to even be therapeutic. He pushes me to walk with him daily so that I get my exercise. He encourages me to get out of bed on the day the MS fatigue is overwhelming. He lies beside me and takes the place of depression drugs that many with MS take.

20 DW 01.02.12 at 12:55 pm

Eroll is my 2nd GSD Service dog although I have had GSds forever…They went with me in the Army and one even picked out my husband. Having been around them, they have always taken care of me. They knew I had problems before being diagnosed.
Eroll is from the slovic republic and is a hard charger—more prey drive than a Service Dog should have but I love him. He is learning. I have had him get some training from Kevin Behan, the super dog trainer and author of training books…I am in my 60′s now and the arthritis from Army related injuries is catching up with me.

Since Eroll is in training, I only allow children to pet him when he is “on break” while wearing his coat. I set the people up, tell him what is happening, have them bend down to his level, and tell them not to touch him on the head or ears. This is something that strangers should not do to strange dogs but few people realize it. Some dogs percieve it as a threat, especially dogs who have been abused. To me it is a duh but I explain it to people. We have to educate them. Strangers can pet him under his chin, or under his belly. He will put his paw up to them.

Eroll is amazing as all GSds are. He is very smart. My girls seemed to tune right into me as he does. He has not save me from any attacks as the girls did but he alerted me to s man when we were shopping in a large store. He was about 10 mos. at the time. He watches my back and no one gets very close. Knowing my distance is amazing.

A man at the vet did not like my guy. Eroll was attacked when he was barely in the US. He has gone through a bit of dog snarly and a man mad a remark about him. I told him about what happened, as I got control, and told him it could happen to his dog, too. Puppies are impressionable.

I think will get my next service dog with it taught its bacic training. I love GSDs but have always wanated another Leo like I had in Germany before my dogs were shipped to me on my last tour. I love them, too.

21 Sharito 02.27.12 at 8:43 am

Hi, My service dog is a Doug De Bordou ( French Mastiff ) I got him out of a rescue in Naples Fl. He had been adopted and returned 5 times! I always say he rescued me! We are perfect partners. He is my 4th SD since ’82, and by far the best! I have trained all my dogs. This time I did have help. The VA paid a trainer to help me with mouth work as he was not food or toy motivated I was out of ideas. The trainer did no direct training. She observed us and trained me how to train him. She passed us for Canine Good Citizen, Public Access, and 4 tasks with his mouth. He opens the refrigerator and brings me a small juice when my sugar drops, if I have an arythmia he brings me my meds from the cupboard, he picks up dirty clothes and puts them in the hamper or loads the washer from the hamper, or unloads the clean clothes from the washer to the basket-drags the basket to the dryer and loads it. He lets me know when they are ready to come out too! He pays for purchaces but not at places that sell food. I taught him his mobility skills and to turn on and off lights,he does a reverse heal when I am at an ATM, or unlocking a door, He does perimeter checks of my home and turns on the light if it’s night before he allows me inside, If I get anxious in a croud or in a line , he will slip behind me to give me a sence of security. I don’t even have to command these things anymore! If I cry he brings me tissues, if I’m getting “worked up” he distracts me, if I push him away he forces me to sit down and plops himself into my lap untill I get myself together. At 106 lbs he is hard to ignore! The most amazing thing he did was to watch the nurse getting me in and out of the shower. He learned that when the water was turned off, and the shower curtain pulled back he would get my towel , push the nurse out of the way, stand so I could grab his harness and give me my towel! Made us laugh, he was saying I got this, we don’t need you ! He will only visit on the command “visit” Except in my woodcarving class. I unleash him outside in the hall and he goes running to see the rest of our “pack” ( i’m on my walker these days to carry my tools) After enthusiastically greeting everyone thouroughly he comes back to work. We are always the last to leave so he can turn off the light! Every time we are in public is a teaching moment, so far I have answered every question asked. No one has gotten to personal, they want to know about him. I only had two complaints both on airplanes, one man got off the plane, one got off, complained and brought back the head guy, who informed him of my rights, observed that even though I have a very large dog he was curled up in my “space” and I would not be asked to move. He stayed on and his wife scolded him from texas to florida! I always flash my Id and carry an ADA card if someone walks up to question us. He IS BIG & imposing looking, and he watches everything thats going on! Well thats my brag for today! Sharon & Damien

22 IRENE 02.27.12 at 8:42 pm

are there two SPOT SEVICE DOG TAG one in TEXAS AND ONE IN CANADA AND ARE THE OWNED BY THE SAME PEOPLE….PLEASE LET ME KNOW,,,,THANK YOU SWEETDOLLY

23 Kenneth Howard 03.21.12 at 12:05 pm

Sammie is a Seizure Alert/Response dog; I got her as a puppy.

She is a Black Labrador Retreiver, and very laid back and friendly.
I got her nearby Mt Vernon, Ohio from a private breeder. She became excited about 15 minutes before the first time I had a seizure around her, and was barking a high pitched yelp and up at my legs. As she go6t older (months) she kept this up sometimes as much as a half hour prior to a seizure.

I had already began training her in obedience and she was a natural, however, I got in touch with an organization that trains dogs who are showing this skill to further train her to work off leash not only Respond to me but to Alert other people to help me.

The most amazing thing she has done:
I have a medical alert device plugged into the wall for her use because I live alone. Once, while having a seizure, it brought on a stroke…she called the emergency squad and it was soon enough for me to get that blood thinner (tpa) to eliminate many side effects of the stroke. Possibly she saved my life.

I usually do not alllow people to pet her. To release her from work to just go outside and be a dog I give her a command “play”. She does however, spend most of her time with me.

I am a Veteran with a TBI rated at 100%. I do have a problem and need help, a VA Police officer kicked her in the left front leg telling me to get a leash on her, she wears a harness and the ID tags I bought here and at the time I didn’t know he had injured her. I gave him one of the little cards I bought here, but he ripped it up and said something to the effect that he was the law here and to get a leash on her. She has been so helpful and always subdued and under control and has alerted medical professionals to help in my crisis’s that it has improved my quality of life. Well after he kicked her she started limping and I have spent over a $1,000. The Orthopedic MD says she needs surgery there’s another almost $3,000. I do not have this money. The $1,000 tapped me out. She has a chipped bone in her elbow, fluid buildup, and is in pain. Now the Vet says she has developed another problem, an infection.

I have been without my Service dog for over a month. The VA is trying to brush it under the rug. What do I do now.

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