all i did was to send someone a copy of rachael's letter to an inquiry.... -- and boy were they offended...
i got a .nasty email- big time...
rachael is bella's mom-- and wrote a very good letter about some of teh details of living with george- who lives with bella... danes are perfect in some situations... but not all of them.-- so here it is---
WONDERFUL LESSON IN SERVICE DOGGING FROM BELLA'S MOM
So someone had asked about what we do for our service dog. You know we never had considered a service dog for Bella before seeing a mobility dog in action. It was a long year of us driving 30 minutes to Service Dog Project at least once a week to volunteer. Bella helped change waters, feed, brush, scoop poop, clean kennels, sweep, fluff fluffies and give pats with treats to many dogs over that year long period.
*The more you can be there helping out the better chance of a dog choosing you just like George chose Bella. Is it always easy? Nope. It takes a lot of planning. With crutches there was no thinking involved. Bella could get up and dressed and then crutch to school or to a Dr. appointment. No worries.
*But when you add a service dog into the mix it takes more planning. “Bella did George go pee and poop this morning? Did George have breakfast? Do you have his vest/chain? Did he have 5 minutes to run? Do you have his coat if it's cold?” It's a lot to plan every time you leave the house. Then planning for the unexpected such as keeping a container in the car with water/ food bowls, treats, food, fluffies, and water.
*Does Bella always do 100% of his care? No of course not but she does 95+% of his care. She will happily take him to the bathroom, feed him, brush him, scoop his poop, and of course keep treats nearby.
*Would we change anything? No way. Seeing the improvements have been amazing. Bella is so much stronger. But when you have a service dog you have to remember this is a 24/7/365 day job. Bella doesn't decide when she wants to use George or when she wants to use crutches. George doesn't stay home alone. He is always with us including overnights at the hospital.
*Has it changed anything? Of course it has. Are their places we don't go? Yup. Does it draw attention? Yes, at times Bella doesn't feel like saying Hi but she has to because she isn’t allowed to be rude. So before you think of getting a service dog remember they require a lot of work, training, even after you think they are trained there is always more they need to learn, love, time and attention. Are crutches easier? Yup but we have adjusted our lives to include George and wouldn't change it for anything. It's not an option to give up on him and decide one day we don't want to put forth the extra effort.
*It is a lot of effort but he gave Bella her life back so we will do whatever we can to make him happy!
But look at that face? What's not to love?
Love Bella and George
that is a realistic report--- my concept is ----teh bonding is as important as teh actual training.... because they bond to the person who cares for them-- there is no shortcut...
now fiona and elvis... i am very glad erica and asher got to spend time with fiona and elvis--- and teh person fiona refers to "being there" was , i think, megan-- who went in to childrens hospital... to see how everyone was doing.
IT HAS BEEN A LITTLE WHILE SINCE MY LAST UPDATE, THE PAST 2 WEEKS HAVE BEEN A LITTLE TOUGH. MY HEALTH HAS THROWN ME A FEW CHALLENGES ESPECIALLY WITH THE RECENT HEAT WAVE! I HAVE SPENT A GOOD AMOUNT OF TIME ON THE PHONE TO THE HOSPITAL AND LAST WEEK WAS TOLD TO TRY AND STAY OFF MY FEET WHICH I WAS NOT HAPPY ABOUT! LUCKILY I HAD LOTS OF CARDS TO READ TO PUT A SMILE ON MY FACE, I AM SO THANKFUL TO HAVE SO MANY PEOPLE SUPPORTING ELVIS AND I! THANK YOU TO EVERY SINGLE PERSON WHO SENT ME A CARD IT MAKES MY DAY READING THEM AND THEY ARE ALL HANGING UP IN MY APARTMENT SO I SEE THEM EVERYDAY! (I AM NOT SURE IF ALL THE CPS ARE ON FACEBOOK BUT I AM BEYOND GRATEFUL FOR EVERY CARD I RECEIVED IT REALLY BRIGHTENED MY DAY)
THURSDAY I WAS ABLE TO MAKE IT UP TO SDP WHICH ALWAYS BRINGS A SMILE TO MY FACE. IT IS THE BEST DISTRACTION WHEN I AM NOT FEELING TOO GOOD! IT WAS THEN BACK TO THE HOSPITAL FOR A COUPLE APPOINTMENTS AND DESPITE THE PAIN I WAS IN, THERE WERE A COUPLE PEOPLE THAT MANAGED TO MAKE ME LAUGH THROUGHOUT EVEN WHEN I NEEDED THE TUBE IN MY STOMACH CHANGED! I THINK WE ALL REALISED MY PAIN LEVEL WAS GETTING TO HIGH FOR OUR COMFORT SO HAVING PEOPLE MAKING LIGHT OF THE SITUATION WAS JUST WHAT I NEEDED (EVEN IF ONE OF THEM HAD NO IDEA WHAT SHE WAS WALKING INTO!) I RARELY HAVE OTHER PEOPLE WITH ME DURING APPOINTMENTS, AND I WAS DEFINITELY GRATEFUL FOR THEM THIS TIME
THINK ELVIS WAS VERY HAPPY SHE WAS THERE TOO! ELVIS WAS A SUPERSTAR HELPING ME EVEN WHEN I FELT VERY UNSTEADY. WE ALSO CONTINUED TO WORK ON GETTING HIM FULLY USED TO ALL THE DISTRACTIONS IN THE HOSPITAL AND HE WAS AWESOME.
YESTERDAY WAS AN INCREDIBLE DAY, DESPITE MY PAIN CLIMBING I DON'T THINK I HAVE LAUGHED THAT MUCH FOR A VERY LONG TIME! WE HAS SOME VERY SPECIAL VISITORS.... ERICA AND ASHER! I REALLY COULDN'T THINK ANYONE BETTER TO COME AND MAKE A TOUGH COUPLE WEEKS SO MUCH BETTER! WE COULDN'T GET OVER HOW TALL ASHER LOOKED NEXT TO ELVIS AFTER INTRODUCING THE BOYS WE HEADED FOR A NICE LUNCH, IT WAS SO HUMID AND HOT OUTSIDE BUT THE BOYS GOT US ACROSS CAMPUS LIKE PRO'S! NO CONSTRUCTION, LAWN MOWERS, PEOPLE COMMENTING OR THE BUSY TRAFFIC DISTRACTED EITHER OF THEM! WE GOT A FEW MORE LOOKS THEN NORMAL AS TWO DANES CAME ROUND THE CORNER (NOT A COMMON SITE IN DOWNTOWN BOSTON!), WE EVEN MANAGED TO STOP AN ENTIRE TOUR ON CAMPUS AS EVERYONE WANTED TO WATCH THE TWO BIG DOGS HELPING THEIR PEOPLE!
WE THEN DECIDED TO DO SOME BAKING... I THINK THE MOST USED WORDS WERE "IT WILL BE FINE..." FOLLOWED BY A LOT OF LAUGHING (ESPECIALLY WHEN ERICA ASKED ME TO GO DIGGING THROUGH THE TRASH TO FIND A LEMON SHE CLAIMED WE DIDN'T NEED 5 MINUTES EARLIER ) WE STARTED FOLLOWING A RECIPE BUT WITH LIMITED SUPPLIES WE HAD TO GET CREATIVE
SOMEHOW WE ENDED UP WITH SOME VERY TASTY LEMON AND BLUEBERRY SCONES (MAINLY BECAUSE OF ERICA'S INCREDIBLE BAKING SKILLS) BY THE EVENING IT WAS MUCH COOLER AND WE LET THE BOYS OUT TO PLAY, THE MOMENT WE TOOK THEIR VESTS OFF THEY STARTED LEAPING AND PLAYING TOGETHER! I THINK THEY HAD WAITED PATIENTLY ALL DAY FOR THAT MOMENT! AFTER A GOOD 10 HOURS TOGETHER IT CAME TIME TO SAY GOODBYE TO ERICA AND ASHER AS THEY HEADED BACK TO RI. WE WALKED THEM TO THE STATION AND DESPITE THE FIREWORKS AND LOUD CONCERT NOISES BOTH ELVIS AND ASHER DIDN'T WAIVER THEIR FOCUS FROM US. IT WAS DIFFICULT TO SAY GOODBYE TO OUR NEW BEST FRIENDS BUT WE CAN'T WAIT TO SEE THEM SOON! A HUGE THANK YOU TO ERICA AND ASHER FOR COMING TO SEE US, WE LOVE YOU BOTH SO MUCH! SDP HAS GIVEN ME MY BEST 4-LEGGED FRIEND BUT ALSO ALLOWED ME TO CONNECT WITH SO MANY INCREDIBLE PEOPLE AND I ALREADY CAN'T IMAGINE GETTING THROUGH THIS JOURNEY WITHOUT THEM!
TODAY WE SLEPT IN AND HAVE BEEN TAKING IT EASY, I AM HOPING WE CAN GET MY PAIN UNDER CONTROL SOON OTHERWISE IT WILL BE BACK TO THE HOSPITAL I HAVE A FEW HOSPITAL APPOINTMENTS ALREADY SCHEDULED LATER IN THE WEEK SO WE ARE TRYING TO SPEND AS MANY DAYS AS POSSIBLE OUTSIDE THE HOSPITAL! ELVIS HAS STAYED BY MY SIDE ALL DAY LAYING RIGHT NEXT TO ME MAKING SURE I AM OK, HE SURE IS AN ANGEL
WE HOPE EVERYONE IS HAVING A GOOD WEEKEND!
LOVE FIONA AND ELVIS
she suggested you click on "adventures of erica and asher" -- but i can not include thoswe clicks-- this machine does not like those--