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Old 11-06-2012, 09:35 PM
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finally taking the leap

As many of you know, I have polymyositis, an autoimmune, progressive muscle disease. It qualifies me as "officially disabled" under the ADA, and entitles me to a service dog/mobility assistance dog.
Anyway, I've been toying with making Tito a service dog for a long time, and have been sort of chicken to do it. But Jodie's experiences with Flip made me decide, what the heck, I might as well give it a go.
So Tito is going to be my mobility assist dog.
I ordered the book for training your mobility assist dog, and luckily it was worthless to me because Tito already knows all of the commands they "teach", and many more. He already picks up anything I drop, pushes doors open, and lets me lean on him for balance when I need to. He retrieves anything he's told to go get. And with his calm, laid back temperament, and totally non-reactive demeanor in public, he's the perfect candidate.
So I just ordered a mobility assist harness for him. Not the cheap version that's really just made for people who are trying to pass off their pets as service dogs, ($70) but the really good one that's designed so that you don't put pressure on the dog's structure in a bad way when they are assisting you ($350).
It will take it over a month to get here. Then we will see what happens from there. I've been chicken, afraid that I will get kicked out of places when I try to take him in.
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CH Rosewood Little Giant, UDX VER RA MHU SH MXP MJP XFP T2BP DJ VCX WCX CCA CGC FFX-OG (born 3-10-2007), also UCH HR UUD UJJ URO1 UHIT a.k.a. "Tito" (the Tito Monster)

waiting at the bridge:
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and my heart dog
Gibson's Golden Guy, CD, CGC, TDI ( 01-31-1998 - 01-02-2012) a.k.a. "Toby", "HRH"
run free my sweet, sweet loves, I will love you and miss you forever.
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Old 11-06-2012, 09:44 PM
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Glad you have your sweet pup to help you!
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Old 11-06-2012, 09:44 PM
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I always wished Brooks was a service dog and could go everywhere with me.
Good for you, going ahead with this and with all he knows already no one is going to think you are just "pretending" so you can get your dog inside restaurants with you!
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Old 11-06-2012, 09:51 PM
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I know where you're coming from Barb, I've been chicken too. I'm not the type to want to draw attention to myself (when I go shopping I do my darndest to avoid people I know).

Louisiana law is very generous with service dogs in training - they are allowed the same access as actual service dogs. So while I'm not done training Flip, I could start taking him out. I haven't yet though - back to that whole not wanting to draw attention to myself thing. Plus there are a few areas of basic manners I want to clean up before I let him represent service dogs in training in public.

Good luck to you, I hope you keep us updated.
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Old 11-06-2012, 10:01 PM
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I think Tito will be a wonderful mobility assistance dog for you Barb!
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Old 11-06-2012, 10:26 PM
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Barb, I think it is wonderful and Tito will do great! Such a handsome and smart boy! Loved him at the National, I meant to send you a note. Just a beautiful, honest dog- gorgeous.


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Old 11-07-2012, 10:15 AM
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Thanks for the good thoughts. Jodie, I am exactly the same, I don't want to draw attention to myself in public. Carolina Casey thanks for the compliments from National!!
His harness will take about a month to get here. Then I will see how it goes. The only thing he will need to get used to is that he thinks he can't walk if something is on his body! Although he has gotten used to his neoprene vest for swimming in cold water, and his blaze orange hunting vest, so he should get used to it pretty fast.
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CH Rosewood Little Giant, UDX VER RA MHU SH MXP MJP XFP T2BP DJ VCX WCX CCA CGC FFX-OG (born 3-10-2007), also UCH HR UUD UJJ URO1 UHIT a.k.a. "Tito" (the Tito Monster)

waiting at the bridge:
My first dog, and my most special girl
Gibson's Golden Girl, CD, CGC, TDI ( 3-20-1997 - 11-22-2013) a.k.a. "Tiny", "Queen B"
and my heart dog
Gibson's Golden Guy, CD, CGC, TDI ( 01-31-1998 - 01-02-2012) a.k.a. "Toby", "HRH"
run free my sweet, sweet loves, I will love you and miss you forever.
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Old 11-07-2012, 12:22 PM
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That is exciting news Barb! I'm sure he will do just fine.
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Old 11-07-2012, 12:29 PM
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Barb - I think that is awesome!! Both for you & Tito (and Jodie & Flip).

Tito will do an incredible job and giving the dogs a job, especially one so special, just brings joy to all involved!
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Old 11-07-2012, 12:30 PM
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Don't be nervous. I have Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis and while most days I am fine, there are some days that I just can't bend over to pick stuff off the ground. I trained Remy to be a service dog and now I take him with me on my "bad" days. Sure, people stop and look... but they're all just admiring how handsome Remy is. Plus I take it as a great opportunity to teach kids how to behave around dogs and service dogs in particular... while I DO allow Remy to receive pets while on the job, they have to approach him correctly and stay calm... good practice for everyone!
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