Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Sept. 15, 2011

hawkeye is a true dane--- a few nutty complications--- like standing poised on 3 legs-- like a pointer at a bird--- alternate legs-- no unsoundness-- just wierd.

hawkeye and carol were here for a visit while her husband mark cut off the posts that were holding up progress with the nut house--

today i need lift and carry types to move all the lumber up to the "construction site"

and i bought another 5 pounds of nails !! who would have thought????/


i am delighted to announce i have enough emails from recipients so i can cut and paste my way out of todays dd

here's a sample of life in the real world of service dogs...

karen and didi

Sorry, have tried to send several diaries of the week's experiences; however, everytime I about finished one, my computer deleted in in it's entirety and I got too frustrated to attempt it after the third time. My computer has been down and I have been swamped with grading papers, continually constructing curriculum for English 10 and 11, and getting caught up on IEP Special Education paper work (I'm sure we have been reponsible for the missing forests in third world countries).
On with the show: We have had a plethora of exciting experiences over the last five days of high school. DiDi , by the way, looks at big trucks, but has not reacted to any, other than when we are out walking. Even then, she has been relatively controlled.
Where to start regarding school? We get up at 5am, she goes out to pee, bounding back in the house for breakfast with a little yogurt, and we leave for school at 6:50/7am. She is fine walking to and into the building (unless we are later than usual and the buses are pulling up, wherein she tries to sprint with me to the nearest building doors). DiDi does very well walking the hallways when a few students are around, but she definately dislikes the loud noises before and during school of slamming lockers, loud students, and kids running up behind her on their way to classes.
This morning as the Principal walked by us in the hallway, several kids slammed their lockers and she desperately searched for an open doorin an all out panick- she even figured a closed door might work if she pushed on it; perhaps I would open it for her and save her from the commotion.
I generally stay late to get work done, and she is good company. But I have found that she is very uncomfortable with the sports kids hanging around waiting for sports activities to start, so we try to go out through the front door.
She is loved by the faculty, and seems to do well with them and trusts them, for the most part. Several teachers, will stop by periodically for some pet therapy, which DiDi is ok with. We try to stay out of the hallways during passing times, unless there are presentations in the auditorioum, I need a bathroom break, or another teacher needs some technology help (that's a real mistake, as technology and I are not best friends).
She has done very well laying inbetween the narrow rows of seats in the auditorium with the clapping, loud kids, and presentations . Yet in the classroom, she is skittish around the students (8-10 per class) and so stays very close to me or if feeling particularly threatened by approaching students, she will partially hide under my desk and/or shake. At other times, she will casually roam the room with me in her sights, even laying in the middle of a circle of student desks when we have reading circles/activities. I 'm sure she will acclamate with time, although if you have any suggestions to help ease and hurry the process, it would be appreciated. Our after work activities have gone smoothly, be it going to the mall, out to eat, various stores, church meetings, and friends homes. She really is a beautiful, sweet girl and we love her dearly. Will keep you up on our progress and adventures.
my recommendation here is to get a chair and sit in the classroom door - have her lie down at your feet and :"achieve boredom" if you act bored maybe you can get her to be bored.
keep in mind- you have no idea what she is reacting to. could be someone smells funny to her-- you must have heard my story with tiffany and the one kid out of 100,000 she decided needed to be chewed up.


and then there is jodi - stuffing a dane under the seat of an airplane

Martha Dean and I took Stormy to Love Field in Dallas to Southwest Airlines. They are great friends of mine. I have been going there with my dogs for over twelve years. They were happy to have Stormy come to train.
We started in the terminal. Bryan from Inflight Training met us there and we toured the entire terminal. We walked the concourse, went down the tunnel into an airplane that was getting ready to take off. Bryan let us lead the way so we experienced everything. Stormy was a real trooper. When we got to the baggage area, she didn't shy away from all the moving suitcases and the noise. She was just curious. I thought she might like a ride around on the conveyor the way she was looking at the belt, so I made sure I had a firm grip on her.
After we were done exploring all the areas of the terminal, we headed over to headquarters where they have "Poolie" a simulator for training the flight attendants. It is a real airplane with the nose, wings and tail cut off. We got on and walked the aisle from the front to the back. Then I backed Stormy into the seat area and put her under the seat. She needed a little help to get her hips swung over the right direction so she could scoot under the seat and curl. She had plenty of room.
I think Martha had her doubts when I said she would fit under the seat but became a believer when she saw Stormy comfortably sitting under the seat. Rene, our guide had already seen Cinder under the seat so she knew Stormy would fit. She told me it still amazed her whenever she saw one of my dogs scoot under the seat and curl up.
We sat in our seats, buckled in while Rene put "Poolie" though its take off, landing, bank right, bank left, smoke in the cabin and a simulated crash. Stormy noticed the smoke before we did. She was a little nervous. I just kept petting her and acting as if nothing was wrong. She calmed down almost immediately. The noises of the crash and the hydraulics that move the airplane around didn't seem to faze Stormy. She actually started to fall asleep when we were talking with some of the flight attendants who came on board to see Stormy under the seat.
We have declared her ready for her flight to Ipswich on November 2.
We met a lot of people who knew me from all my past flying and demonstrations at Southwest. I don't allow petting when Stormy is working, but the day at Southwest was special. I wanted Stormy to feel good, so everyone was petting her. Besides, it is a lot to ask of Southwest employees to take so much time out of their day to help us get Stormy ready for her flight. They deserve to pet her.
We will go out there one more time before we fly. It is great to have Southwest's headquarters close to us so we can use their simulator to train. Stormy will be sending them a special thank you for their time.
When you have a great, Great Dane you always get a lot of attention during our visits. Stormy is the third generation Great Dane to be honored to be a part of the Inflight Training Department at Southwest Airlines at Love Field. Southwest LUVs Stormy.

and there is heydawg continuing his understanding of the slippery floors

Good morning Carlene,
Sorry this is black and small. I lost my font and color pallet. Hey is now accustomed to the cars, small trucks and motorcycles in the parking lot so we now have a calmer walk to the school. Corridors are fine and he seems to look forward to the cafeteria where the students gather. Elevators are still fine. I took him to class Monday evening where I was scheduled to do a presentation. We ran into the shiny floor in the classroom. He did fine walking on and did a graceful down/stay. He had moments of the shakes when the students began to arrive and when I had to leave him to speak directly to a student. The problem was he couldn't get up when it was time to leave. I gave him a few quiet moments (students were great as they were quiet too) and after the third attempt he made it up. He just couldn't get paw traction. I am thinking of getting a Yoga mat to bring into any room that does not have a rug. That certainly would give him traction. I practiced on one that a colleague has. What a site with my bum in the air and my arms and legs trying to move the mat. It was super, not movement at all. So what do you think??
Hey, Gay and Jerry

when i have a dog with this problem i just stand with my feet o either side of their rear end and prevent the feet from sliding sideways... as long as you can come to an agreement with him and not have him flail about, it is easily done next time you are here i can show you..

and the chicken bingo bit--- keep it going--- we need it

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