Tuesday, June 16, 2015

june 16 2015
lotsa cut and paste... which is more interesting than my sports bra purchase...


We had the opportunity to visit Service Dog Project yesterday which is where Willow came from. She LOVES going there and seeing her old friends and her first home. While there, we had the opportunity to speak to a group of new volunteers about Service Dogs. It was great fun for all.

In the course of the conversation we spoke about why Great Danes make such amazing balance and mobility dogs. They're the right size of course! We also spoke about why a dog? Well, as I've explained before, a cane just falls with you. A dog, stops you from falling. Also, god forbid if you do fall, the dog is trained to brace to help you get up. That's the short explanation it really is more in-depth than that as I explain in our first blog entry.

What really struck me though was something else that came up during the conversation that I often forget about. The same woman (Carlene White) who had the "Crazy" idea of using Great Danes as balance and mobility dogs and who founded Service Dog Project also had another "crazy" idea. She's had many over the years and as I always say, "crazy" changes the world. Since Carlene has spent so much time working with mobility challenged people and being the keen observer she is, years ago she realized that to assist someone walking it's better to offer them your back pocket rather than your arm for stability. It was one of the first things I learned from her when I came to the farm and I've always insisted on it if for example someone is helping me off a MRI table and Willow is not there. Why? Because it works!

Imagine if you will or even try it, you have balance issues. Have someone extend a typical bent arm to assist. Notice that as to go to grab that arm, your shoulder lifts potentially throwing you off balance from the start. As you walk with them they're normal movement is to "sway" their arms. Even trying consciously to avoid this, it's not a "steady" platform. Now, Stand up and place your hand grabbing in the top of someone’s back pocket or waistband. Walk. You're straighter, the "platform" is more stable (provided they wear pants that fit :) ) and your gait is much more "balanced". It's so simple yet so genius and just another of Carlene's "crazy" ideas that are changing so many lives.

Hi Carlene, I just wanted to update you. Bella had her surgery last Tuesday. George did awesome for our overnight at the hospital. We made him a nice bed on the floor and he chilled. Bella was nervous to have him in bed with her because of her knee. The physical therapist was amazed at how well they walked together. The day after surgery they wanted her walking and putting as much weight as possible on her leg, so she used one crutch and one George. She was so impressed with them. By Friday Bella dropped the crutch and just used George. She would go in her wheelchair for any long distances and he walked right next to her. Today they are back in school just like before surgery. No crutch or chair just an absolutely amazing George! We can thank you enough for letting George become part of our family! The Burtons.
SDP accreditation Lady, I hope you are listening!!
Me too!! Because what this person needs to know is that this site, these Danes, Carlene, volunteers and All Cps that have made a Huge difference is the lives of our young and yes I said our young because they are our future! They will be our deciding force! My kids have learned compassion, courage( through the journey that our Danes have begun with their forever partner). They have seen the joys ( Bella and George making their way through the educational bureaucracy). They have seen the caring ( people whom they have never met wanting to be a part of their lives via pen pals. Many of which my kids have missing parents for whatever reason.) They feel they are loved and cared about. They feel their letters are brightening an others' day even thought their day or home life is a mess! This person needs to know that SDP goes beyond placing Service dogs, this site is a forever family that rely, depends and most importantly loves each other, both 2 legged and four legged. Because of Carlene and SDP my kids believe that they are able to make a difference in the lives of others where others in their lives may have failed. This site and Carlene's work is breaking down the cycle. People, All people, matter and have something to offer. Sorry for the rant!! Just had to get it out! Love you All!!

problem is she, and   ADI want to be certain we are very professional about preparing a dog for service...... which we are.(.even if it is someetimes well hidden.)

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