Firstly, you may notice that I've played around with the design of the blog. Hope you like the change. Also, there are buttons DIRECTLY under each post where you can tell me whether you liked the post or not and more. Please use these as it will guide me in what I write. I take note of what posts I write get the most hits, but this would give me more direct feedback, as most people don't comment (hint, hint).
Things have been very busy, and I was pretty exhausted by my marathon of a last post.... so that partially explains the lack of posts. I've also been responding to a lot of comments recently, most notably to this one on raw feeding about the associated risks (or not) to humans, which I think are extremely minimal unless you are very ill with a compromised immune system and/or have very poor hygiene habits. Which was backed up by my GI specialist when I asked him about it. He actually told a funny story about a child of one of his doctor friends who kept on getting a mild stomach upset again and again, and came to him for answers. After a lot of investigation gave no answers, finally the child's mother caught her drinking from the dog's water bowl. He said something like water is likely to keep the nasties alive (anything wet really), whereas a bare surface isn't so good. Of course bacteria and viruses are another matter.
I've had to take down a few of my more popular posts, just in case anyone has been looking for them. I've been receiving a lot of spam pageviews (and I mean a lot), so I just took those pages down for the moment because it's only three posts and the guestbook that are being spammed. Rather odd, and even more odd that the spam is coming from Canada! Not what one gets to expect.
Knightley and I have done a little public training. We got permission to take him to a big factory outlet mall, and got our very first access challenge from security there, who asked if he was a pet. I mean really, did he look like one?? - he did have all his paraphernalia on. Thankfully due to having permission it was cleared up quickly. They also need to train their staff better that guide dogs aren't the only serving assistance dogs in the world. What if I'd had an invisible disability and Knightley was fully trained so I hadn't needed the permission? I also got assumed as blind for the 10000th time. People in Australia just aren't used to assistance dogs like people in North America are. The person in question actually asked if Knightley had accidentally led me into any light poles today... I mean... really! Anyway, he did well and was called cute/beautiful for the billionth time. We also managed to drop into a butcher and get brains, tripe (not green tripe, more's the pity, it isn't allowed to be sold by butchers in Australia), and spleen!!
I seem to be getting over what seemed to be a flare, and so have been volunteering some more at the Arts Centre. We took Knightley in for the first real time yesterday. He ducked inside the entry way once before months ago and found the ultra slippery floor difficult to manage because he was excited at the time. However yesterday he was good and we walked around the exhibitions briefly with him in control nicely. I'm proud of my boy - we just need to work on our task behaviours some more in public. When I asked him to hold my sunglasses while out at the factory outlet he dropped them instantly.... so I guess I need to take him up to the local shops with my clicker, sit down and just work on the basics of an assistance retrieve from the beginning.
Another thing I need to work on for him is when occasionally allowed to meet people in public for practice, instead of remaining in a sitting position, he will flop to the ground, wanting attention and a tummy rub...... not so good. Practice, practice, practice!
One thing I do love is the way people's faces light up when they see Knightley in a place they don't expect to see dogs. He gives other people joy just by being with me, and he gives me (and my husband too) so much joy in our day to day lives too.