Pre pickup 7 weeks old
So we're off on our temperament testing jaunt tomorrow. Cross fingers this time we find the puppy we want. All this travelling, extra nights everywhere has turned it into a rather exhausting not to mentioned expensive venture! It will all be worth it if in 9 days I bring home what I hope will turn out to be my assistance dog. I have to keep up my standards though. I know that if they aren't suitable - then they aren't suitable. I can't just hope and take a semi ok puppy. I want to start with the best possible blank canvas. The pup will certainly change as he grows up, but so long as I start with a pup with no perceivable problems and lots of positives at least I am giving myself the best shot at this.
I have Control Unleashed by Leslie McDevitt to finish on the trip, and also Bones Would Rain from the Sky: Deepening our Relationship with Dogs by Suzanne Clothier. I'm not going to take a novel, just to make sure I read doggy stuffs.
I've also been wondering about the possibility of the dog alerting to my migraines. I know it's a bonkers idea, but I can actually trigger a migraine if I want (lol lol lol lol never thought I would *want* one lol lol lol), so I've been wondering whether I could train some sort of alert. I was reading about how they get people to breath on a cotton swab when their blood sugar is very low in order to train diabetic alert dogs (then bag and freeze the swab for training in the future). I guess I would have to actually *get* a migraine to train with it. It's a bonkers idea, but I could probably maybe abort the migraine if I knew it was coming with medication. My migraines are primarily cervico-genic (ie, caused by neck problems), so by doing certain things to my neck I usually cause a migraine. Would it be worth it to cause a series of minor migraines in order to train an alert? Is it even possible??? I'm not sure.
Please let me know if you have any knowledge of training alerts like this. Is it possible, or am I going to have to rely on innate alerting behaviour that may or may not be there in the particular dog? I will definitely train migraine response, as sometimes they are very bad.... but alerting is a whole other ball game.
I've also been thinking about my many medical appointments, and taking the dog to them. Australia doesn't have anything like the ADA hotline like the US does. There is no one to phone to find out my rights. I find myself going to appointments, often at hospitals maybe twice a month. Sometimes more, sometimes less. I wonder how people here in this country would take that. Especially considering this dog would be owner trained. I've *never* seen an assistance dog in a hospital. Come to that, I've never seen an assistance dog here at all. My husband saw one in our local shops the other day, so they do exist. I'd definitely have some fights on my hands, taking it into medical surrounds. I guess I would put together a laminated sheet to educate people, and possibly a small batch of 'handouts' so I can show the relevant parts of the Disability Discrimination Act. I don't much look forward to that part though.
The thing that gets my blood boiling however, is that owner trained dogs can't travel in the cabin of planes in this country (well, very occasionally they can travel on Qantas, but you have to have stellar qualifications as a trainer). I know that there are some challenges to that under way, but without some sort of countrywide PAT (public access test) for owner trained teams, I can't see us being allowed in the cabins.
Anyway, enough of me complaining for now, I have stuff to do so that we can get away tomorrow afternoon. I have changed my volunteering day to Friday, so that means we will be short on time tomorrow for getting ready to leave, so I better finish up stuff now!
Wish me luck!!!
Oz Working Dogs - Assistance & Working Dog Equipment
For assistance/service dog equipment, as well as guide, therapy, detection, search & rescue, police and dogs in training equipment check out my website http://www.ozworkingdogs.com.au - I make and sell vests, capes, belly bands, harnesses, handles and more... and will post to the world!