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Tag Archives: roadtrip

Roadtrip Part Three

Hi Friends –

I have another Oklahoma based post for you today. Alright, well, it may be more of a rant but I know you love me so I hope you’ll excuse me if I am not quite uplifting today. I just feel the need to share a quick story that directly relates to why I ask all of you to share this blog and like my Facebook page. I know you all read and shared Dad’s post the other day about service dogs and life changing events, right? Good. (…and all the other posts? It’s really important to me.) See, I have asked Dad and Mom to set out on a quest, a mission of awareness, even though Dad tends to doubt his “voice” he promised me he’d try. We may crash and burn (I doubt that) but that’s OK; if we do, my next alias will just have to be Ash, and we move on.

I bring this entire subject up because I’m reminded of what Dad told us about him being surprised that many humans are not aware of the basic tenants of interaction with a blue-collar working dog.

Many of you know this so excuse me if I restate the obvious (to some), here is a short list of rules I’m asking you to consider before you approach us while we’re working.

1. Speak to the person first. Do not aim distracting or rude noises at the dog.

2. Do not touch the service dog without asking for, and receiving, permission.

3. Do not offer food to the service dog.

4. Do not ask personal questions about the handler’s disability, or otherwise intrude on his or her privacy.

5. Don’t be offended if the handler does not wish to chat about the service dog.

While the family and I were in Oklahoma enjoying our extended family, which Dad and I just had the pleasure of meeting for the first time, part of the pack went out to a restaurant for a good time. I won’t mention the name. (…but it rhymes with Waghetti Sparehouse) We arrived and we were greeted by very nice people but one human was so fascinated with me and Dad that he barely completed his work. As a matter of fact he went about breaking rule #1, quickly followed by rule #2. Dad’s jaw was so far agape that he ignored it rather than make a scene. He also forgot that I carry information cards that remind humans of the basics.

As soon as he greeted the party, he ignored Dad and gave me pets. That happens, and we were not moving at the time so we most often let that go. Mom and Dad like to pet animals, too. (It was technically wrong, but they would ask first.) So, this was only answered by a deep breath and eye rolling. We didn’t have to wait long for a table for six plus me. He also then looked at Nanny and asked her if I was a seeing-eye dog. Then the problem continued; we were made aware that our table was ready by the fact that the gentleman called me. He did this by making direct eye contact, patting his leg loudly and saying, “come on doggy, your table is ready, follow me.” I know! Dad he was ready to lose his composure. He wanted to correct the behavior with a wiffle bat, repeatedly! (For those of you not familiar with SDP, they use a wiffle bat to make loud noises when a major distraction is called for during training opportunities. Totally physically harmless to us, I assure you.) I repeat: this is the first time meeting this side of the family, so he chose not to appear crazy and make this a topic of discussion over dinner. The meal and wait staff was pleasant, followed all the rules, and shared their personal dog stories. It was great. The end of the meal came, as we were leaving the same gentleman chased after me and called out to try to get in one last pet. Dad and I were walking this time, not standing still. Again, we kept it together and shared the adventure after the fact. Mom surely was not happy and wished for a wiffle bat of her own.  Nanny told her later that on the walk to the table that same man started talking to HER about me and how what Dad’s disability was. Nanny played it cool and just kept the answers simple and non-intrusive.

Now that I’m recounting the event I think we should find the receipt for that meal to confirm the date and time then send this blog post to the management staff and ask them to train that individual.

*On a side not there was one other wait staff incident on the trip. A waitress came to the table and said, “Hey dog! You are in my way!!!” We think she was trying to be cute, but through the meal she made a point to show us how in the way he was and how much she was put out. Mom decided to talk to the manager. We weren’t mad, but wanted to make sure they get the proper training.*

Thank you to all of you in my loyal blog and Facebook pack. I need to come up with a team name for all of you…that’s a fun idea, huh?

 

Written by DFS and LJS
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Roadtrip Part Two

Hi Friends –

We’re back to share more stories of family time in Oklahoma! Mom has a big pack of humans that care for her so these stories sure could take up a lot of everyone’s time. Dad says it would be like throwing a party and pulling out one of those old slide projectors. I don’t know what that is, but he thought it was funny. He says it’s like Instagram for old people. I couldn’t imagine giving you that much detail; it would interrupt my nap schedule.

One day we hopped back in the truck and went for a ride. I asked where we were going but all Dad would tell me was, “It’ll be fun, go lay down,” I asked, “Is it Rib Crib*?” Dad said “No! It’ll be fun, go lay down” I asked again “Is it Taco Bueno*”? Dad said “No! It’ll be fun, go lay down” Mom said not to worry about it, because I don’t get people food anyway.  I do get people food when it’s on the floor and I’m quicker than Dad but Whatever! What he doesn’t know won’t hurt him (shh!).

As it turned out it the day was pretty great. We ended up at Papa Joe’s house at the lake. I know that not every Dane likes the water, but I DO! Papa Joe and Nana Mary are super nice people. Mom said Nana Mary has dog allergies but she loved me so much she didn’t mind. I tried not to get my hair all over so it was good that it was a nice day outside.  Papa Joe has cool toys. The first one I spotted was an off road golf cart; they tried to get me to go in it but I didn’t want to. It was way more fun to chase it down and cross in front of their path like we do at SDP.

After everyone had lunch we packed water toys up for a quick ride down to the lake. It was basically in Papa Joe’s back yard so the trip wasn’t long.  I didn’t waste any time and ran right in. The lake is much bigger than the pond on the farm so when the family got in I had to protect them. When they got out too far it made me nervous. I’m comfortable when everyone is close to shore and I can touch bottom. Mom and Dad got into a big float tube that was tied to a dock so I was sure they were safe. The girls really made me nervous because they looked like they were having fun but they kept screeching like something was wrong. I don’t know why, but Mom and Dad weren’t reacting. I jumped into action and tried to help them. I even swam out over my head and kind of panicked. Dad laughed when I swam to a dock float and hung on for dear life until he got there and pointed me toward shore again. I panicked so much that I tried to crawl onto an inner tube with the biggest puppy and I scratched her leg and gave her a bruise. She was really nice about it because she knew I was scared and just a baby. I really love those human puppies! Dad explained that the puppies were fine; they had life vests on and this is how they play in the lake.  That’s fine, but I don’t have to like it! Mom kept yelling at the girls to stop yelling because they were making me nervous but it never lasted long. My biggest problem was that Papa Joe kept throwing the littlest pup up in the air and that makes her screech and then hit the water with a big Sploosh! I really don’t see how they thought this was a good idea? Human’s Geesh!

After we finally got done playing in the water we went out on a big pontoon boat. This was really fun you guys. The whole family in one spot where I can safely watch over them is a plus. The bonus was when the boat would go fast. I stood up and let the wind blow my ears all around. Everyone laughed and took pictures. I don’t really like the puparazzi very much but I have to let all of my fans see me sometimes, and this was a pretty fun time. (Check out Instagram for lots of photos from the trip!)

When we got back to shore I took Dad up to change his clothes and take off my wet harness. Dad left it on me in the water for safety’s sake; I appreciate that. The girls played for a while longer and followed us up to the house. I had dinner first, and then took the family for their dinner. It was another Oklahoma place called Charlie’s Chicken. It smelled tongue-wagging good and I could tell the humans loved it. We met some nice people who told Mom and Dad stories as they said hello to me. Of course we started the visit with one of my secret service aliases, but before we left everyone was genuinely interested in our cause so Mom shared the blog and Facebook information. They understood why we use a cover and now they follow me. I really think that a brick of business cards would help, and keep Mom from writing on scraps of paper. It’s a tough job be a celebrity service dog but I really love my job and fans so much, I wouldn’t trade it for a truckload of treats!  – Stay with me and I’ll post the next chapter soon!

*Oklahoma has a lot of restaurants we don’t have in Connecticut. Mom talks about them a lot. We understand now what the big deal is!

written by DFS