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Tag Archives: silly puppy

Dan’s View on the Incident

If you’ve been following the blog, Facebook, or any of the social media that my family and I have become involved in since I became a Service Dog team with Casper you know that we have shared with you just about everything that has happened in the past seven months whether it has been good, bad, or indifferent (if you weren’t aware, it’s true, I promise you). This is another one of my posts that I’m writing for myself rather than the Casper fandom and again I plan to leave it up to the editor as to if it makes the blog. I am well aware that I owe you perspective pieces from Casper but I just can’t seem to get there lately. The holdup is not that our boy has stopped being funny, he hasn’t; he makes me laugh on a daily basis. The problem, I think, is me trying to find his voice within me. I have other pieces in mind that haven’t gained much traction either; this is how I know the problem is mine to work through and trust me when I say I feel the discord that this causes. I feel that I have let our loyal readers, fans and friends down (not that you are not in all these categories, you are).I feel that this may have more questions than answers by the time I get through but I’m just going to write and see where the path leads. A writer writes. (Good thing I’m not a writer, huh?)

The blocks within me are to the point where I can feel them, quite literally, as physical pain. So maybe it’s time to try to share and see if I can clear some of it at the same time. I have been trying to correct a behavior that Casper displays toward children. The cause of the behavior is that he LOVES kids. The behavior is that he will reach out to them when they are close enough. His goal is simply to “kiss” them by pushing his face to theirs. He does not lick or even open his mouth, just putting his face on theirs is his desired goal. Casper, I remind you is a Dane, this means that he is usually at eye level with many children. I have seen this many times and a very high percentage of the times the child reciprocates the joy. This means as I correct I am also put into the situation where the kid and the family now want to say hello, pet and chat about our wonderful boy. <Training opportunity lost> Now, maybe this action self corrects as he gets older and is less exited about children but I feel the responsibility to try to correct each undesired action. Here is another problem with training the response I desire; I don’t have a group of random children at my disposal. I do have our own, so maybe we let him run some laps in a controlled area then take him to the mall, put him in a down-stay and work on his reactions to the in-door playscape? I figure I can ask the parents that are monitoring their kids if they could help me train.

All of this is now an “issue” for me because I had an “incident” with Casper some weeks back. The “incident” unfolded in this way. I was observing our children playing with two others from a distance. I saw no problem with the interaction and was set to walk away, with Casper, and then one of them came noisily running past us. As the child had run past Casper wanted to play so he pulled. I was pulled down but also told Casper to “down-stay” and he obeyed. When we left and were loading up in the car our youngest comes to Lauri, very concerned about Casper’s eyes. She said that the child had been shining a laser pointer in his eyes. Lauri immediately went back inside to find his mother and talk to her.

Lauri found her and asked if she could talk to her about her child. Lauri said that she thinks he might need her to talk to him about the job of a service dog and how important it is not to distract them. She assured her that we understand that kids run and can forget to behave around a dog, our kids included, but we should try to not run past the dog or tease him. Lauri then added it was especially important not to shine the laser in his eyes, not only for safety’s sake, but because it can scare him and cause him to pull Dan down.

The Mom told Lauri that the child knew not to shine the laser in anyone’s eyes then told Lauri that Casper had nipped. Lauri replied with confidence, that no… No he did not nip. Casper has played with multiple kids, with cats, with dogs (even dogs who have nipped him) and never once nipped. I do not think Casper understands that is even a possibility. He is an incredibly submissive dog.

The Mom called the child over to show his arms. Both forearms were red and it appeared to me that someone had been grabbing them and Lauri said as much. If Casper had managed to make red marks on BOTH his forearms there is no way it would have gone unnoticed. In fact, there is no way even a small nip could have gotten past me; I was kneeling next to Casper by that time. I was absolutely shocked by the accusation.  Later our kids told us that the child’s sister had been grabbing him by the wrists and pulling him around.

As a result of these misunderstandings and seemingly white lies we have a meeting scheduled later this week to try to resolve the “issue”.  My initial reaction is that we will no longer attend events at this establishment no matter the outcome of the conversation. The problem that I see with this reaction is that we could be saying good-bye to dear friends. I’m not sure what path this will lead to, but I do know that I will stand up for Casper as I would any family member. In my eyes this is not a legal issue; it is but another learning opportunity that I hope good springs from.

**Editor’s Notes**

You loyal readers probably already read about what happened in my last blog post, but I have decided to leave the details in here as well in case anyone missed it and does not want to go back.

I think it is very important that Dan shared this with you from his perspective. He has been very distraught over this. To be honest we all have. We love our boy more than I think you can imagine, more than we even imagined we would. We want to protect him from false accusations. We also want to make sure he is performing at his best at all times. This is difficult. Casper is about the equivalent of a 15 year old boy. Can you imagine having a 15 year old boy who NEVER makes a mistake? Not going to happen. But as a service dog he is held to amazingly high standards. In addition to that due to his size he is expected to act like a older dog, or by some people expected to be a menace.

It kind of reminds me of that movie ‘Jack,’ starring Robin Williams. He is a 10 year old boy in a grown man’s body; or maybe of ‘Big,’ with Tom Hanks. Casper is a young (though thoroughly trained and competent) dog who looks like he is much older.

Dan takes it personally, with good reason. They are part of each other so if you judge Casper harshly you are also judging Dan. And here we get into why I get so fired up about it. Those are my boys. Do NOT mess with my boys! (Or my girls!)

We will keep you updated about our experiences in this and in the meantime we ask for prayers. We need to find the rhythm of this and get through it peacefully to accomplish what is best for all involved. 

written by DFS and LJS
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Happy Howlidays!!!

Hi Friends –

We’ve been thinking of you and hope you are having a wonderful holiday season.  I have been having so much fun with the family, and have been so busy that we run out of time in the day to write and tell you all about it. The catch to all this is when I did get to talk to you more I didn’t have to try and remember all the doggone crazy that happens. With that in mind I do want to say Thank You, to everyone who has extended such warm wishes to me and my human family. There are so many of you that sent Facebook messages, cards and emails that brightened all of our days.  Your support is always so amazing.

This was my first Christmas away from SDP (I love SDP) and with my forever family. Christmas morning was pretty great. The human puppies and I got Mom and Dad out of bed so could see what Santy Paws brought for us. I know Santy but I didn’t know that he would come and visit our houses just like he stops into SDP every year. We live in a condo with no Chimney, so he used the Magick key that Mom leaves on the door knob. It’s a special key that only works for Santy Paws; after he drops off gifts he locks up and puts the key on the tree for the little human puppy to find. I was so happy to see him that I let him in without even a growl. I knew that if I woke the puppies we’d never get them back to sleep. Santy said that he was very proud of me and he left me and the cats all kinds of toys. I got things like stuffies, antlers, and he even left this box that Mom and Dad have to use but it’s really for me. It’s this machine called a dehydrator. He said it was so they could make me treats out of meat without having to go completely raw or buy questionable “grain free” items in a store. Wait, I get MEAT as a TREAT? To quote the little human puppy, “Booya! Score!”  I can’t wait, if there is one thing that is better than cookies, it’s meat! As soon as Dad got up I showed him the box, this is all I could talk about for awhile. I told him all about how Santy Paws came and left us all gifts, and how I can have meat as a treat. Dad seemed impressed and said we can try it this week. I’m SO excited. This is going to be almost as good as steaks in a case you guys! No, better, because I never did get a steak from that stupid case! I played with my toys all morning while the human puppies did the same. I was glad when dad took me for walks because I was so busy I forgot to ask a few times (Dad knows me pretty well).  Oh, another Christmas thing I need to share with everyone. Have you heard of this drink called Eggs-log, or Eggsnog? Oh whatever, you know what I mean, I know you do!  I don’t know what happened to the eggs but Ohhmydog that stuff is delicious. If you haven’t checked it out you need to! I stole some from the puppy’s cup when she wasn’t looking. It was so good I told the cats, and they grabbed a few licks too before Mom took it away. She was afraid I’d get a belly ache or something. Dad seemed to be guarding his cup pretty well over the past couple days, I’m not sure what that’s all about? We ended our Christmas night by curling up on the couch together and watching the most important thing on television. Of course, I’m talking about Doctor Who. It was such a roller coaster; everyone was so happy The Doctor was back, but we knew that not only do we have to wait for the new season but we have to say good-bye to Matt Smith. He’s Dad’s first Doctor so it’s hard for him, even though he says he’s excited for Peter Capaldi and appreciates the past as well. That’s all I’m allowed to say about the show just in case you haven’t seen it. I don’t like spoilers.

So this was all the highlights of my Holiday. I hope yours was just as joyous. I can’t wait to share with you all in the New Year, so please keep coming back and we’ll be sure to be here.