Tag Archive | Encouragement

Drown Proofing

Definition of Drown Proofing :a survival technique, for swimmers or nonswimmers, in which the body is allowed to float vertically in the water, with the head submerged, the lungs filled with air, and the arms and legs relaxed, the head being raised to breathe every ten seconds or so. Origin of drownproofing Expand

Drown Proofing with God

I slowly sink

He lifts me up

I slowly sink

He lifts me up

I slowly sink

He lifts me up

Isaiah 66:13

As a mother comforts her child,

 So I will comfort you

Just keep swimming but let God be your Life Saver

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Onward Christian Soldier -With Service Dogs It’s Not All Easy Sailing

So far I have covered the fun parts of Service Dog ownership but it isn’t always easy-going. All through Riley’s training I have been enduring kidney stones that had torn up my tubes so scar tissue has started to block tubes in my kidney which cause the kidney to swell and become blocked. In February of this year I underwent surgery to correct this. They had to cut my tubes our and create new tubes by stretching up pieces of my bladder and re attach them to my kidney and bladder. I came home and was unable to work with Riley for a time.

While I was healing Riley had to be crated when I wandered down from my room for some exercise and my husband Jim was in charge of taking her for walks and caring for her until I had healed enough to start training again. ..

Now I can’t stress this enough if you have a service dog you should teach it crate training.

The reason I stress this is because if something happens and you are too sick to look after your dog or you have an operation you have already taught the dog that if it is not with you the crate is a safe spot so your dog can relax quietly while your on the mend. Service dogs that have not been crate trained can be destructive when their owners disappear to get medical procedures done because of the stress of being without its owner. This can happen even if you have someone else living and looking after the dog while you are sick.

The other reason crate training is important because we teach our dogs to open doors and open cupboards and the fridge in an effort to help us. While you are training and the pup/dog is learning these traits they don’t always know what the training is for. All the dog knows is this is a great game to play and the dog still wants to play it long after you want to stop. So take Riley for instance  her favorite game is fetch if she is on the lead she will happily pick up what ever you want and she will bring it back as long as she is on the leash. When she is loose and picks something up she will bring it to me and dash away in attempt to play her most favorite game fetch up and then chase. Untill Riley really understands the command fetch up means to give it to me and the game is over she will spend the whole day stealing things and getting into way more mischief than an ordinary dog trying  to get me to chase her.  In order to avoid this when I can’t be around to watch what she is doing I crate her so I know that she is not going to take something that might hurt her if I was not around to stop her.

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Riley managed to pull in the blanket Indy laid on. When Jim crated her before he went to work he did not think she could reach the blanket and pull it in with her. I was upstairs sleeping on pain killers and did not hear a thing. she also ripped up the plastic tray that she pushed out side of the crate. This was done out of boredom. She was used to going out with me everyday before the surgery as well as regular training exercises. After this Jim made sure he took her out for an hour of play before he left to tire her out. Imagine what my house would have looked like if she was not crated. Riley had also learned to open the door by pulling on a strap and she soon learned to let herself outside the door and into the cold porch to eat the cats food. As soon as we seen this her training on opening the door was phased out for a while.

Now if I was just training the family dog you would scold or discipline them in a way they understood that they should not pick up things up or not to open that door but this is where service dog training gets hard. I want Riley to pick up things up and in order for her to be effective in training she not only has to understand the game she has to love to want to play that game so if I started scolding her I could turn her off the game and she might refuse to pick up things. I could give her a harsh command and that would stop from going out the door but it would also stop her wanting to open the door when I commanded her to. So I use the crate as a control untill Riley really understands all the commands and teach what her boundaries are.

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Riley also has a gift for looking really guilty and sorrowful at the same time but I can assure you this all goes away the second I open the door and let her out.

Another part of training a service dog is always being in the public eye. somedays when Riley is being good and doing what she is told it feels great to have a service dogs. On days when you don’t feel so good and your service dog is not listening it can be very stressful.

When in a very crowed mall where children are running wild and left unattended and the aisles are full of people not watching were they are walking it sometimes feels like your navigating your dog through a mine field. You have to constantly watch your dog to make sure they are healing and unstressed, you somehow have to keep looking ahead to see what is coming and be aware of the cart you have behind you in case they are not watching where they are going .Sometimes it can be a great day and others you just can’t wait to be out of the store as fast as possible.

I know people for the most part are fascinating with Service dogs and they don’t mean to cause you trouble when they croon her puppy puppy. Or when they barge up and start petting your dog even though you have please don’t pet all over her harness. I am always polite and I always make the effort to explain that just talking to a medic alert dog could distract him from his owner long enough to miss a signal that a epileptic seizure is going to occur and that person could be hurt. I don’t believe the majority of the people do it on purpose they just don’t realize the outcome of their actions can prove detrimental to a person with seizures.

The kind of people who drive me the most crazy are the ones that watch you and they have just seen you put the dog on a down stay and they wander over and stand right in front of the dog and try to make the dog break his stay. Suddenly their hands will become cold and they will feel the need to clap them . Or they  suddenly discover while standing in front of your dog that there leg has gone to sleep and they feel the need to stamp their foot alot lol.

But I think the actual worse person to run into is the kind of person who thinks they know it all and has a service dog of their own and they just decide that it becomes their job to police your service dog and you must prove to them that you are legit and not fake. They are usually very loud and overbearing people who will demand to see your id and scream the halls down because they just love a scene. After that they will follow you all over the store trying to make your dog break by letting their dog run up the back of you or dropping items to scare the dog.  Please know this is harassment it is not your job to convince the public that you have a legitimate service dog. If you have shown the management your paperwork than you do not have to produce it to anyone else that asks. If the person starts following you around the store I would go to management and ask management to ask them to leave because they are harassing you in a public place. These people actually post on the service board that they did these things and they feel proud of harassing an individual. I actually love it when they post it on-line and are kind enough to mention the store and where it is so people can avoid them in the future.

If you suffer from anxiety training a service dog can be a daunting task but not impossible, because you are dealing with the general public who forget to be kind sometimes. If you start to feel anxious stop with your dog and do deep pressure therapy if that doesn’t help I would just call it a day and go home and give it a try some other time. If your anxiety does often overwhelm you in pubic than a dog that is already trained as a service dog might be the way to go.017

Riley riding in the back of the truck on our way to Walmart.

You will find there are days when you think you just dont have enough energy to deal with shopping and taking the dog but I always push myself  past these days. Alot of times it is just anxiety talking and I go on to have a much better day because she was there001.JPG

Being a Christian on the day that I go out it doesn’t hurt to say a prayer before we go its a way of inviting the Lord into your day. Actually I had involved the Lord to help me pick Riley out of the litter. I figured there was no one more qualified than the Lord to help me pick a pup since he made her mother and all creation was his in the beginning. And even with all the up and downs in our journey I still think she is the best dog for me.

 

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Getting You Up To Speed On How Riley Is Progressing

 

When Riley came home I thought I would post her journey as a daily post but I came down with 7 kidney stones that caused me to have a lot of Surgeries so I just couldn’t keep up. It is my intent to bring you up to speed as to where we are today.

The first step in Riley’s training was socialization. We spent a lot of time taking her out and getting used to the environments she would train in. We also had everyone she met to pet her so she would not be timid and really used to people.

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This is our local grocery store we approached the owners and ask if they would give us permission to train in the store and they were only to happy to comply. When bringing a young pup into public areas we always asked before bringing Riley in. If they said no we would just leave but our local retailers were really supporitive and we were never refused.

When we first took her out we just concentrated on getting her to say hi in a calm way. We kept our visits short and we practiced letting Riley curl up under tables so it would feel natural when she had to do it for real. 12011375_141892122823206_5663323220804007774_n

Riley did not like shiny floors in the beginning so we would take her to this lounge area and just let her sit , and move around a bit till she got used to it before we asked her to walk down the aisle.You can see in the next few photo’s she eventually got use to the floors. The trick is not to force a pup to do something we would just take it slow and let Riley get used to each new situation before trying to give her any commands. That being said we did start Rileys training at home where she was more comfortable to be more structured. They first commands we taught her was sit, down, stay and come. Again her training sessions at home were short but we would practice several times throughout the day. And we always ended a training session on a positive note. So if there was something she had not quite mastered we would always end the session with something she found easy to do.

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While I was teaching Riley basic obedience I googled the service dog laws in my area. The laws vary from the States to Canada so you need to know the rules that pertain to your area. I was able to hook up with a really great group of service dog handlers and a lot of them were owner trained service dogs and they gave me great advice and have been my cheering section when I feel a bit low. Most of them post great service dog videos on utube that show you how to train your dog. The group I belong to on Facebook is Service dog handlers safe haven. The people on this site are so nice and helpful. In Canada Trillium Service dogs site help owner trained service dogs find training and they are putting together public access tests for owner trained service dogs in training to be tested.There is no official organization that registers Service dogs in Canada or the United States. The first step is a service dog has to be prescribed by your doctor. After that if you have enough money you can apply for service dogs that are already trained if you meet there financial criteria. The other option is to train the dog yourself than take the Service dog Public Access Test.

Most of the general public does not understand the difference between emotional support dogs, therapy dogs, and service dogs

Emotional support dogs and therapy dog help people by letting the person pet,play or cuddle with them and they can give the handler or person working with them emotional support as well as physical affection. Emotional Support dogs and Therapy dogs do not have complete public access.

Service dogs are trained to do specific tasks that helps their handler have a better quality of life and  to be more  independent . Service dogs are trained to concentrate on their handler and to ignore the general public. Service dogs should not be touched as it distracts the dog from his/her job. A fully trained Service Dog does have public access.

When you are socializing your service dog in training make sure you get them around things with wheels like bikes, carts, skate boards, roller skates, wheel chairs etc so they won’t be nervous of them in public areas.

Enrolling your dog in obedience class really helps your pup get used to other dogs and enrolling your dog to compete for his Canine Good  Citizen test will help to let you know if dog is well-mannered enough to be in public.

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This is my friend Nikki who helps me get my dogs used to wheel chairs

In this picture I have to remind Nik not to touch the dog you will find that your even your friends and familly who know better will forget and reach out for the dog. You just have to gently remind them that even though we were having fun the dog is still working.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who could thank the Lord

As I mentioned in the last blog I am now off Lyrica and the Lord was with me and made this change easier for me to do because I know that he is always there and I can call upon his strength. In stead of letting panic set when at times I felt weird. I was able to talk with him in prayer and work through it. Having such a powerful Allie is such a privilege. I am nervous about going back to work but as a good friend told me this morning don’t worry the Lord goes with you and I say a big Amen to that. Right now I am putting my mind back into fighting these diseases instead of giving up. The Lord has not given us a spirit of timidity but a spirit of power love and a sound mind. This means he has already given me the tools to complete any job he brings my way. My only job is not to get distracted and focus on Him and His word and believe it.

 

 

Who could thank the Lord

Who could thank the Lord above for everything He does

The words you’d need just would not come, there would not be enough applause

To adequately thank him for all his love and care

For keeping me out of harms way in a world that is not fair

And despite my feeble attempt to follow Him, I often do get lost

Somehow I forget that I’m the sheep and the Great Shepherd is the boss

But always he calls back to me, so often ,I now know his voice

Tenderly he crones to me and makes my heart rejoice

And His hands they stand me up again ready to deploy

On any errand he would have me do, I want so much to please

Trying to trust Him honestly when I can’t see the forest from the tree’s

But still he is always faithful, no matter what my state of mind

And in this world he always hold me untill the end of time

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Dark Days

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It’s a quiet Sunday morning. Jim is off working at some car show and it is too hard for me to breathe in this humid weather so I stayed home from church to worship on my own. I am still fighting kidney stones lodged in my left kidney but this week I have had pain in my right kidney as well. But for now my body is quiet and peaceful as I set my mind upon the Lord and all he gives me. Sometimes its easy to focus on what is wrong but when that happens I often forget about all the blessings the Lord has given me and is still giving to me. His love never stops, even when I can’t understand why dark days occur the Lord will use all of it in a way that will glorify Him.

Romans 8:28

We know that all things work together for good

for all who love God, who are called according to his purpose.

 

On Dark Days

Looking out my window the wonders do I see

Your fingerprints on everything from the ground up to the trees

I hear You calling me, like the whistling of the birds

That cause me to look  into the heavens, ignoring all that has occurred

 

You have my captured my attention all my woes are far behind

As I enjoy all You’ve created at my front door to find

Even as I am speaking, I see storm clouds pushing in, chasing out the sun

But I hear You reminding me not to come undone

 

For You O’Lord have taken charge of all that is to come and all that will ever be

I don’t have to worry cause Your love will carry me

Through all the things I cannot face and all the pain I feel

I feel Your hand upon my life and I know that you are real

 

And You are out there working good on my behalf of what the world intends for evil

This promise to me lifts my heart and makes me feel so gleeful

That such a wonderous Lord like You would do this just for me

renews my hope and gives me strength to endure what will be

 

 

 

 

 

 

You Carry Me

I have had a hard three weeks. I finished up my steroid treatment and the day after my face broke out in swollen blister like legions all over my cheeks just below my eyes and on my for head somewhat like a racoon mask. The emergency dept. did not know what it was so they treated it with steroid cream . My dermatologist diagnosed it as acute roscia and prescribed more cream. The next Sunday I was rushed into the Lindsay Hospital emergency dept. who transferred me to Peterborough Hospital for emergency surgery to remove a kidney stone that was stuck in duct which caused my right kidney to be blocked and swollen. They also detected another kidney stone that was in the left kidney but it was to high up to remove so I will have to try to pass this stone on my own. At first I was not too happy about enduring more pain. But I know you ‘ll help me through this even if you have to carry me.

You Carry Me

You live inside the heart of me, You have a window to my soul

When the outside world comes crashing down I’ll always have You to hold

As I endure times of pain and grief , You see my every tear

You catch it in Your outstretched hand and chase away my fears

In times of uncertainty when I can’t find my way

When my love of life is running low, I bow my head and say

Lord You are my rock that I hold on to, clinging for dear life

You are the only one who has endured it all, You know my pain and strive

For they bound Your hands and feet and nailed You to the cross

Lovingly You died for me , You didn’t care about the cost

So this day I come to You, so tired I can not lift my eyes

And ask You to bare this burden, together you and I

Oh Awesome Lord I thank You for helping me to see

The light between the raindrops, on the days You carry me

 

 

And It Continues TO Rain

The infection in my leg is gone but in its place was low back pain that causes pain to radiate down both legs than the pain settled in the left leg and has been there for ten days. Suspecting my fibromyalgia was flared up in my lower joints I went to the doctor to raise my lyrica when that did not work a trip to the hospital to set up pain management program followed. I keep thinking about that song by Casting Crowns I will praise you in this storm. I have no idea why this parade of non stop illness has started or were it will end I can only hope that the Lord will work all this out for good as only a loving creator can. So untill than I will bow my head and praise him in this storm.

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Lord it is still raining and I will lift my hands to You

My eyes peering through the darkness looking for a clue

Faithfully I endure the pain know that its gain

Because I know you’ll use this time to glorify Your Name

I can hear the wind gusts howling through a sleepless night

The thunder and the lightning can give you quite a fright

But I know it won’t rain forever and you’ll make the sun shine once again

And all my pain will fade away, with the thunder and the rain