Wednesday, July 29, 2009

HOT: Tips on working a Service Dog in HOT Weather

So last week it got up to 106F where I live, which is unusual living in the North West U.S., so I thought I would share a few things I have learned over the years about keeping a service dog happy, healthy and able to work if need be in the heat. (though I'm sure those living in hotter climates will share additional tips)
1. Exercise in the cooler hours, if at all possible conduct your business in these hours.
2. Know the signs of Dehydration
a. To prevent dehydration in my dogs I will:
  • Float their food with water
  • Add electrolyte solution to water bowl and water bottles
  • Offer water frequently though out the day
  • Never shave my double coated dogs, since the coat cools as well as warms.
3. Be ware of hot ground/pavement. Dogs feet can and will burn. I have trained my service dogs to tolerate booties. The only brand I have found that I am capable of putting on my dogs are Muttluks, since they pull on like socks I don't need to be able to stand over my dog will they are standing to get them on.
4. Plan to hide in the air conditioning. Air Conditioning is far from common in private homes here. My favorite places to hide include movie houses, book stores, libraries, malls, and coffee shops.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Shiloh and the Canoe Canal

Yesterday my roommate and I took Shiloh and Einstein to his favorite place the canoe canal in a nearby park for a little swimming and tennis ball-- his two favorite things in life! Shiloh, being the dainty little she is, will usually only run along the shallow banks in an inch or two of water. This day, however she decided to go for it, after much teasing by Einstein. Einstein loves the water and out swims a lot of the labs and goldens around here with his huge feet and long rudder of a tail. Einstein kept getting out of the water, running around Shiloh getting her to chase him and jumping back in. Shiloh finally got tired of stopping short, gave a bark to Einstein and jumped in! She hopped around a few times like she would in the snow and hopped out. It was really one of times I kicked myself for not carrying a camera.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

News:New Guide, Hearing and Assistance Dogs Act 2009 starts today

From today, all guide, hearing and assistance dogs will have access to public places and public passenger vehicles, including planes, under new Queensland legislation. Minister for Disability Services Annastacia Palaszczuk said the new Guide, Hearing and Assistance Dogs Act 2009 will take effect from today with the tougher fines commencing fromSemptember 1st. Fines for denial of access will increase from $100 for an individual to up to $10,000 and from $500 to $50, 000 for a business. These rights and not with out increase requirements for the standards recognised assistance dogs and their partners must meet. Read more
The most interesting thing about this, though is currently there are no assistance dog programs approved under the act. See Queensland Government pages.
Handlers will also need to apply for a government ID card.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Examples of How Shiloh Increases the Work Flow

Today I saw two great of examples of how Shiloh not only helps me, but allows others to continue their work when before Shiloh they would have had to stop what they were doing to help me (conversely, I would have also had to wait for someone to help me) causing both me and the person helping to slow down their work/activities.

Example One:
I was running down stairs to get the mail from another office. They had a child there who kept running in the hall, so they closed the doors to keep him in. Since the doors are glass the staff started to get up to open the door for me;however, it only took a second for the staff to see Shiloh was doing it and she could keep working with the client she had in front of her.

Example Two:
I dropped something while talking to a co-worker. The co-worker and I were able to continue working while I asked Shiloh to retrieve the dropped item.

The above example may seem insignificant, but the time Shiloh saves myself and those around me by picking up where my capabilities leave off, instead of always having to find someone to help and waiting until they have time to help me.

Can you think of examples like those above where your service dog (or seen a service dog) has saved time and energy as well as allowed activities to continue uninterrupted?

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Note: Sorry for my absence

I recently moved and have temporarily lost my Internet service. I will be back up and running shortly, keep checking in.