areas/situations inappropriate to include a service dog, and the best and hardest parts of today’s training

Journal Reflect on the areas/situations of your life that you feel may not be appropriate to include your dog and why. What were the best and hardest parts of today’s training?

Hi, journal. Today has been another long day, and I think each day keeps getting longer! I actually woke up this morning with my girls to help them get ready for their day, and I still was slow getting ready myself. Time flew! Then, the phone rang. My oldest daughter wore her bathing suit for a swimming field trip, and she forgot to bring something with her. My husband asked me to bring her underwear to childcare on my way to Canine Partners, because she was upset. I also did not feel comfortable allowing her to wear nothing under her shorts! Anyway, everything seemed to be challenging today, but McLean was still obedient and performed all his commands. But, like Showbo, he refuses to eat all his dinner. I hope this changes when he comes home on Friday!

Having a service dog does create challenges and can be inappropriate to have at times. Cuddling with my husband is a little strange, since we always seem to have other eyes watching us. Well, I could continue with that subject, but I will discuss ways a service dog is not appropriate to include in certain situations. Of course, there is always ways to get around everything! Swimming is difficult, for example, in the ocean, especially if having a nonwater service dog. Dave and I rode a tandem bicycle in an MS 150 city to shore ride with Showbo, who was in a trailer attached to our tandem. She added about 45lbs. of deadweight to our bike, and she did not even offer to pedal. This added weight really slows down, not to mention making the ride much more difficult for my strength/endurance with my MS. We did not finish the first day of 75 miles, did not even ride on the second day, but we did try the challenge!Accomplishing this fundraising ride was much easier when done without a dog, which we had done a couple years prior to getting Showbo. And, McLean is much heavier than Showbo! I do not think an MS 150 city to shore bike ride is anywhere in our near future unless Dave rides with 1, or both, of our daughters. McLean and I would be their best cheerleaders!

The easiest part of the day happened this morning, while the hardest part of our day came in the afternoon. I had to wait to get McLean, because the pitstop to childcare caused my late arrival, but I got him just 40 minutes later. However, I did cry. Later we all had a discussion about accessibility before lunch, but I had already experienced access issues with Showbo. Having these previous experiences made the discussion easy, and a little boring. This discussion was also McLean’s easiest part of the day, as he enjoyed laying on the floor in front of me.

We went to Chile’s for lunch, where the dogs all had to practice going under the tables, ignore people food and not gain too much attention. My motto has been like that of a child, which is: you are to be seen and not heard. Anyway, it was hard to fit more than one dog under a 4-person table, while also leaving room for 8 feet on the floor. Did I mention McLean is not a small dog? I had to sit over him, almost in a straddle. We also encountered another obstacle in Chile’s. Maneuvering tables and chairs on our way to the restroom. We did accomplish this difficult task, but I think McLean needs to practice how to avoid objects in both our ways, not just his way!

Ok, I think that is all for now. Phillies time. J

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