Monday, March 8, 2010

Our First Experience with a Power Wheelchair

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to road test one on the power chairs the DME company is recommending, since the one originally chose has been discontinued. As I mention in previous posts, Summit, in the interest of helping Shiloh to bond with me and me having the dog I so desperately needed ASAP, left some of Shiloh's wheelchair acclimation training to me. She had some wheelchair experience and was not afraid of them. The finer points of where to exactly walk were left for me. Shiloh is a very smart dog, who trusts me to be fair and warn her of the chair's movement before I do it. This is a must unless you want your service dog or service dog in training to think that they must maintain a distance of  three or more in order to avoid being run over by this unpredictable thing!
I set the chair our at first at its' lowest setting for the benefit of both of us, after all the handling was a mystery to me at that point. I, then, carefully arranged myself to be as stable in the chair as possible, placed Shiloh on the left in a heel, shortened the leash to about 18" and said "Heel" just before starting off. By the end of the hour we had up the speed of the chair to third level and Shiloh had figured outo to pivot in place when I made a left circle!

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