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Major on the moon

Tackling our 3rd reader question today, and it’s a good one dealing with “life with a service dog”.

Pasha-Anna Federov asks: “I would like to hear your thoughts on travel with a DAD, amusement parks, airplanes, long car trips, zoo/fair with lots of other animals around. Also, does Stella go to sleepovers, or visit grandparents without you? And, if so, what happens to the dogs? Do they go with her? Stay home with you?”

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On our Facebook page last week, I asked if any of our members had a topic about DAD’s or diabetes, and several great topics came up that I will be covering here soon. The first one I wanted to cover was from Jenn Demchuk. She writes:

“I would like to hear more about the bonds developed between the DAD’s and family members. How have they developed, which DAD is closest with Stella? Does Stella have a preference for one of them? What about with the other members of your family? Do you have a preference? Who’s personality meshes best with who? And I know they have different strengths and weaknesses as DAD’s (why you have two) but which one is the stronger or even more consistent?”

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20130915-IMG_4893On Sunday, 9/15/13, we met up with a big group of Canine Hope members at a local mall for some public access training. We had several families that were self training, several puppy raisers, a few placed dogs (like Major and Raven) and several of the families recently matched with dogs in the program. This particular mall had all the requirements we needed for training, elevators, a food court, stairs, a loud toy store, a kids play area, a dark bowling alley with a huge arcade and all the noises and spinning lights, lots of foot traffic, and several long narrow hallways for recall and heeling work. And air conditioning 😉

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9700620539_d01101b090_bMeet Canine Hope’s Lexi. In the picture above, she is the black lab. 🙂 More »

20130827-P1020251Earlier this week, we took Major to our son’s kindergarten class to educate them on all the wonderful things service dogs can do, and how they should behave around service dogs. Every time we mention Major going to school, everyone wants to know why Major isn’t always with Stella at school. I figured I’d finally put it all in a post, so I have a post to link to when it comes up again. More »

20130827-IMG_3506Our son’s Kinder teacher asked if we could bring Major in to talk to the class about service dogs. Our son now goes to the same school as our daughter, but his class starts 45 minutes later. My wife and Major are always there for drop off and pick up, so we like to make sure all the kids are educated on proper service dog etiquette and educate them on what types of jobs they can do, so we were happy to oblige.  More »

6131077055_5ddf18bbac_b(3)The picture above was taken the very first day we met Major. What an emotional day that was. Exciting, scary, happy, it ran the gamut of emotions. We didn’t get to keep him that day, he was still very much in training, so as we watched him leave, we were also sad. But we knew he was still continuing his training of being a lifesaver for my daughter, and it was only a couple of months later before he was permanently placed with us. More »

6183190876_ba11dcc2bd_bOur family has spent 2 years now with a service dog. I’ve seen a lot, screwed up a lot, and learned a lot over those 2 years. (Major became ours on 10/1/11, there will be a post about that on that date). There are a tremendous amount of things that I had no clue about when we started this journey, so I would like to share some things you may not have thought of either.

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