Archive for the ‘CPL Team Training 2012 – McLean’ Category

Trip Independence

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

Journal Reflections on today’s trip. Are you ready to try a trip like that yourself? Why or why not?

We were taking a train trip to the city, AKA Philadelphia, today on a SEPTA train, and we had to be at the train stop by 8:30am. Ugh, ugh, ugh! I think this was the earliest day yet! IMcLean and I did make it on time, and the train was scheduled for not until 9:10am. Not only, did we wait for the SEPTA train, we made many pit stops along the way, making

Our trip much longer at 1 ½ hours. It was not only a super long trip, there was no bathroom on the SEPTA train. I love Amtrak!

I sat in a seat across from other seats, which gave McLean enough room, barely! He is a much bigger dog than Showbo. J When we arrived to Market East, McLean had a list of service skills to perform between there and the Reading Terminal Market. I discovered my cell phone missing immediately, which totally distracted me from the whole trip,especially having McLean do service skills. I did settle down a little and was able to give commands to McLean, and we performed a lot of his service skills in the train station. Dave used the locator on my cell, and it was found at the information desk in the station. Praise God!

We, again, waited in the station and then finally walked the dogs to a semi-decent area for them to do their business. McLean peed there, but he also wanted to pee on every bush, or at least lift a leg at every bush.

We ate a delicious lunch at the Reading Market and went afterwards back to the train station. Not having much time to shop at the Gallery, we just waited at the train station for our 3:10pm train home. I had a regular seat on the train home, and McLean just would not fit. He is a large dog! I had to take off his harness and keep it next to me. 1 ½ hours later, we were getting off the train and into our cars. Yea!!!

And the journal question… This whole trip was a waste of a day, in my opinion. McLean and I are very ready to take a train trip together, which we will do in August. However, there will be a bathroom on this train! As far as going to a city, I/we will never do this alone. There are too many opportunities to get lost, not to mention a cell phone getting lost! Thank you to the honest person who found my phone!

Tired now. Good night.

Bored Dogs?

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

Journal Looking at your lifestyle, when are the times your dog is most likely to get bored? How will you keep your dog from being bored and why is that important?

McLean had no poop today. Ugh! He has gone from diarrhea to constipation. When is his stomach going to go back to normal?

After journal readings, we learned about bathing, cleaning ears, emptying anal glands and cleaning teeth. We brushed the dogs’ teeth before lunch, which was not too bad for McLean and me. A discussion about anal glands turned my stomach a little, especially before lunch. What timing!

I volunteered to bathe McLean right after lunch in the first group. We had to go to a Pet Supply store, because there is still kennel cough in the kennel, where all CPL’s bathing equipment is stored. I bathed the large dog, but it was difficult to reach some of him due to his large size. He needed to turn around and get tied to the other side of the tub, for rinsing, too! Some body parts had too much shampoo, and the rinsing process took a very long time!

When he was finally rinsed thoroughly,I had to dry him with the pet blow dryer. Actually, this process took even longer than rinsing, because he has a lot of hair to dry! He looks fantastic now, but he looked like a drowned, skinny little dog when he was wet. J Before I dried him, I had the joy of squeezing his anal glands to be sure they were empty. I did wear gloves for this nasty task! Fortunately, they were mostly empty, and I only got a little on one glove, which was a little stinky. Sorry, McLean, but it hurt me more than it hurt you!

McLean now had clean teeth, empty anal glands and was bathed, but now I had to clean his ears. He hesitantly allowed me to put ear cleaning drops in an ear, which he did not like, and then I used a cloth swab to wipe the inside of the ear. Lucky for McLean, he has two ears, and I had to clean his other ear. Yea! I did the same thing as the first ear, but the second ear was a little dirtier. The inside of his ear was about the same cleanliness as the other, but there was dirt externally. No problem! One of the trainers helped to see, and clean, it.

After a long time at the pet store, we returned to CPL, an hour and a half later.

Back at CPL, McLean and I had to perform several skills from a list, and 1 thing was to do 2 hard retrievals. He easily picked up the broom, but he had much difficulty taking a bucket. I should say :he had no interest in taking a bucket! McLean finally took the bucket, held it and gave it to me. It took him over an hour to do this service skill, and he got a lot of click and treats! Unfortunately, this was the day when trainees and their dogs got to leave and go home as soon as they finished the service skills and the bath. So not fair, because McLean and I sat through multiple issues with other teams. Ideas, encouragement and cheers would have been great. Anyway, McLean performed the other service skills great, but he is a slow tugger. He had to tug a laundry basket for a distance, but he decided to tug about 6″ at a time. This skill seemed to take forever, too! We were the last team still there. Not right!

Believe it or not, our dogs do get bored.:) I can think of 2 instances right now when McLean would be bored. Actually, 3. Times on my computer, watching Phillies games, i.e TV, and when I am playing in Texas Hold ‘Em tournaments. A good number of things could entertain our dogs. Chew toys, AKA nyla bones, frequent attention/pets, treat toys and even giving them little jobs to do. I do not know how bored McLean might get during some things, though, as I constantly use him to take me to the bathroom. J

Well, McLean and I need to get some rest for our trip tomorrow. Good night!

Self Evaluation

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

Journal What are the biggest gains you have made so far during this training? What areas do you need to focus on the most?

Yesterday was an off day for CPL’s team training, but I did not just rest. I mentioned in yesterday’s journal entry some of the other things I was able to accomplish. I currently have little motivation, and desire, to write a detailed entry, but I will definitely answer the journal question, briefly.

We had journal reading in the morning, discussions about our personal articles given to us last week, followed by a discussion about health care, which was mostly a review. A delicious lunch was provided by a nice volunteer, as usual, but then we had a very long skill of carrying. We carried a doubled bag item in a relay format, and this relay took a lot of the afternoon. Some dogs, especially Bob’s dog, wanted nothing to do with taking, or carrying, this item. Bob won in the long run, which shows Bob’s endurance! I wanted to hurt his dog, though! JA discussion about access proceeded, and we were at CPL longer than expected.

Now my answer to the journal question, one of the biggest gains has been matching paces with McLean and me. He has also struggled with curbs, up or down, but he is learning to pause at most curbs. I still have 2 feet with all 10 toes! J

We will be using the same vet as with Showbo and our cat, Cyera. A visit to the vet might be soon, depending on McLean’s bowel issues. I am worried about my teddy bear boy!!!

I know this is a short entry, but My concerns about McLean outweigh my writing ability right now.

I am’ however, concerned about my ability to manage this big dog occasionally, and I am perplexed about the fitting of his harness.

Live From The Field

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

Journal: reflect on today’s field trip. What was the most challenging aspect of today’s trip?

I took McLean out this morning, so as not to have an accident in the house, and then I gave Showbo and him each some breakfast consisting of mostly rice and a little bland chicken. What is wrong with their stomachs, anyway? After breakfast, we went back to sleep in preparation of a long, tiring day at the zoo!

A short time later it was time to start on our trip, but McLean had to do his business again. He almost pees as much as I do, but this time he also had diarrhea. Ugh! Diarrhea is so grose, to clean-up and smell! We gave him some Immodium AD and were to give him a half pill if he has diarrhea again. Don’t forget this issue. J

Oh, boy. We finally arrived at the zoo, after construction and much traffic, but some trainers were not there yet. We were not last and could not be lectured about being late. I do not mean lectured, I mean hassled! Ha, ha.

We first used our service dogs to pay for our zoo tickets. The pay counter was behind glass, and the payment had to be dropped into a groove under the glass for the cashier to grab. McLean had some trouble with my “large” wallet, so he used just my credit card. He easily put in his mouth and put his paws up on the counter, but he had no understanding about how to place the card in the groove. Eventually, I took the card from him and handed it to the manunder the groove, but really? That task was difficult, and probably the most challenging.

We all stopped at the monkey house when we first entered the zoo, where McLean showed some interest in actually watching the monkeys. This interest was one of only a few times he showed any interest in the any of the zoo animals. He also liked the peacocks and the turtles! J

The tiger and a strange bird really wanted to get McLean, but the trainer thought we should walk away before any creature got too scared or stressed.

Ok, so McLean needed to use a half Immodium pill. He had a little diarrhea when we left the cat area, but Dave saw some blood in it. Again, ugh! Fortunately, McLean is not as particular as Showbo, making it much easier to give him medicine. I just mixed the pill with a couple treats, and his big tongue licked it all in one swoop. J

During lunch we had our dogs retrieve something, and McLean easily retrieved a grocery bag, while others were not as lucky. The group was there until closing time but we only did one final task. The service dogs had to use their door hooks to open the doors to the primate reserve. No problems there.

Overall it was an uneventful day, and we managed to get home in time to get the girls from child care. Yea!

Well, other than diarrhea being an interesting, and disgusting, challenge, McLean put up a good fight when we tried to clip his nails this evening. Clipping his nails is very, very difficult! I used the click and treat method, as suggested by a trainer, but he wanted nothing to do with the clipping of his nails. He is a strong dog, and he can easily pull his paw away from the nail clippers! What should we do?

Ok, I am now really tired. Until tomorrow.

off day June 24, and 22 continued

Sunday, June 24th, 2012

I did not finish writing about my exciting day on Friday, because the mall and Petco trips made me exhausted. Even though we had no ttraining today, June 24, I used the free day to catch-up on housework. I also had the chance to semi-rest, as well as spend time with my little girls! Laundry was pretty large, too. J

Friday morning McLean had an upset stomach, maybe from the heat, and he had his first incident with diarrhea. Yuck, yuck, yuck! He also got sick orally twice while we were outside, and I brought him back inside when he seemed finished. He wanted nothing to do with his breakfast, but Showbo wanted his breakfast. Sorry, Showbo, it goes back in his dog food bag for another meal! J

Anyway, at the mall all the teams had to use door handles to open the inside and outside doors of the front of the mall, and then we eventually went in small groups to the elevator. McLean did a great job with both skills, but he cannot read. It was between these skills when I had to use the bathroom. Who decided to put the restrooms directly beside each other, separated only by going left or right? Well, McLean found us a toilet just fine, but he chose to take me to the men’s room. He might be a man, but I, the one using the toilet, am a woman. J

McLean surprised me when we were at lunch. We needed to do a food refusal, and I used a Chic-Fil-A French fry. He looked immediately but went back to “sleep” when he heard the “leave it” command. I said this firmly, too! I love Chic-Fil-A French fries and could never resist them. Go, McLean!

The best part of the day came in the evening when it came to carrying an item upstairs for me. Showbo still has an instinct to work, and McLean still needs to register commands faster to his brain. He took the item, held it but went upstairs without it. Showbo was right there watching and immediately did McLean’s job for him. Typical big sister syndrome! However, I tried again upstairs with McLean. He only had to carry the item down the hallway and give it to me. The same thing happened between the 2 dogs as happened downstairs with carrying the item up the stairs. Twice Showbo only gave McLean 1 chance and then did it herself. Thank you, Showbo! I then held back Showbo and persisted that McLean take it, hold it and hold it and hold it while he brought it to me. He managed this for a short distance,but short distances are better than nothing. We need to all take baby steps to our long-term destinations. J

Ok, I think that concludes enough extras from Friday.

My girls are asleep, and I have to put the last load of laundry into the dryer and go to bed. Talk to you tomorrow.

The day from McLean’s point of view.

Sunday, June 24th, 2012

Journal Write about the day from your dog’s point of view.

This morning was “rough” for me, and my Mommy. We had the chance to get some extra sleep, but I really wanted to stay home! Mommy took me outside and then gave me breakfast, but Showbo wanted to join us for both. I wish she would leave Mommy alone! The little people were getting ready the same time as us, and things got crazy. The bigger little person, named Domino, was not a good listener. I might have bathroom accidents in the house, but I think of myself as a better listener than this little girl. Well, Mommy harnessed me, and eventually we started on our trip. I had to wait in a laying position until these people read stuff, and then I finally had a break to go outside. It was nice to relieve my new urge to poop. J

After Mommy peed, of course, we all went back into the big building, and we were gonna play a game, I think. The people were putting tiny carpets onto the floor in a circle, like the size of 1 x 1 each, and expected us dogs to sit on one. My bottom is not that small! Then a lady turned on some fun music, but we were expected to walk in a circle. Really, walking in circles? We had to stop when the music stopped and sit on a carpet. A carpet was directly behind my paw, and I was not permitted to sit there. Weird! For some reason, thankfully, Mommy and I did not have to walk in the circle anymore.

Now, Mommy peed again.

I then had to wait under a table while these people were eating some yummy food. I was hoping the small little girl,named Carolena, would drop something for me to eat. Nope!

Mommy peed again.

Mommy and Daddy now wanted me to do all these service skills for them, but all the other dogs were doingother service skills. That was something different. We always had to be like each other in the past, for the most part. The people then took us into a circle, and I had the chance, again, to lay down. Doing all those service skills made me tired! After while Mommy and Daddy wanted me to do these same service skills again, but why? I was confused, and it felt monotonous. I really did not want to do my skills again, especially with everybody now watching only me. How weird!

After Mommy peed again, we got to go home. Yea!

I accompanied Mommy and Daddy and the 2 little girls somewhere within a walking distance. Poor Showbo stayed home, though. Mommy tied me to an umbrella post, and then she left me. What was she doing, and where was she going?Oh, she went into this thing of water, along with Daddy and the 2 girls, and I think she was having fun. She came back to me after a little bit, but I did become a little stressed during this scenario. My body finally caught up with me at 4:30am, when Mommy awoke me for her to go potty. I really tried waiting to go outside, but she was slow. I got near the front door, and it just exploded out my bottom. Sorry, Mommy! We did go outside, though, and I finished what I started inside and threw up twice. I did not feel well. Ugh! Ok, going back to sleep. Good night.

What were your greatest challenges during this very tiring day? What were you most proud of you and your dog accompli shing? Share a funny story about today’s trip.

Friday, June 22nd, 2012

Journal What were your greatest challenges during this very tiring day? What were you most proud of you and your dog accomplishing? Share a funny story about today’s trip.

I am exhausted! I will write more details about our trip to the Exton Mall and Petco later. Sorry!

A funny story, which I hope only happens just this once, was when McLean took me into the men’s restroom. Oops!

Our greatest challenge was McLean trying to pay for our purchases at Macy’s. He is definitely tall enough to pay, and his paws reach the counters easily. When he drops the wallet or method of payment, he takes a while retaking it. He sometimes bumps me, loses grip on the item, and wants to be done. Not done yet!

We accomplished the carry command with a breeze. McLean carried the Macy’s bag from Macy’s many stores until we almost reached our destination. He was getting a lot of compliments on this job!

Ok, an answer to the journal questions is all I want to write tonight. Stay tuned for more details later.

Good morning, good afternoon and good night. J A quote from the Truman show.

What do you think are the benefits and drawbacks of CPL’s follow up program?

Friday, June 22nd, 2012

Journal: What do you think are the benefits and drawbacks of CPL’s follow up program?

Mark this date! I was on time for team training on Thursday, June 21! I hope this trend continues, too.

Following the journal readings this morning, all the teams needed to practice certain obedience skills. McLean super knows his obedience and even had to hold many different positions. While other service dogs chose to take a long time to obey their owners, McLean and I waited patiently with him doing a good job ignoring distractions. I say other service dogs “chose” to take a long time doing their obedience skills, because the recipients of these dogs always came out the winners!

Mclean accepted a treat from a trainer when he was instructed by me to follow and stay in a heel position. Eating this treat was unacceptable because not from me, and I reached my hand down his throat attempting to grab the treat. He already swallowed it, but I heard him make a number of gagging noises which made me remove my hand. My hand; however, was covered in doggy saliva. Yuck! He, hopefully, will not accept outside treats anymore. J

After lunch we discussed evaluation and follow-up in accordance with CPL regulations. Everything was very, very close to these same things as with Showbo for the last 9 years. They are still extremely extensive and mandatory! We then performed some service skills, such as tugging, go pays, carrying, and assistance off the floor. I still believe

Tugging was not the usual sock to open cabinet doors or refrigerator doors. The service dogs were requested to tug off a jacket sleeve. Unfortunately, the sleeve was not nicely modeled on a mannequin, but we had to be wearing a jacket sleeve. J No problem for McLean! For being such a large dude, though, he acts very dainty with his mouth. He needs a few tries to grab anything, and everything!

Go pays were not that of paying a cashier at a store register, like usual. We had to use the “go pay” command to have our dogs reach up to a table and grab a phone. The phone was definitely not a working phone! McLean goes up to the table easily, probably could do it without jumping, but he totally dropped the phone. Ugh! He was holding it by the antenna, but he still would have broken it if the it was a working phone.

Now, today was our first day trying to have our dogs carry something. This something was not in a nice, little store bag, but rather it was a random object. McLean had the pleasure of taking a large case for CD’s and carrying it a short distance. Is this dog a perfectionist, or what? He would grab the case, or anything thus far, but he liked to try only once or twice if he dropped it. It’s like his motto is: if he fails, then quit; quitting decreases room for failure. Eventually he succeeded at this task and got lots of treats. J

McLean is my own personal table, but on moving legs, and does great assisting me off the floor. J we once again laid on the floor and used the service dog to help us stand again. McLean and I now have clearance to assist me standing when I am on the floor, which means we can use this service skill at home or whenever we are not with a trainer.

Everyone completed all four of these skills, and we followed with a discussion of problem cards. We each had a different problem with a dog, but they are too numerous to mention. We all stated our problem, created our own solutions and then the trainers and rest of the class added their own input.

So, CPL has an extremely extensive and mandatory follow-up program. Did I already say that? Well, it’s true! Phone check-ins must be done daily for the first week, once a week for the first month, and once a month for the first year. We also must either attend 6 graduate support classes during the first year or do 12 hours of a local obedience class. There is a 6-month report to complete by a certain deadline, and finally we need retested 1 year after we graduate and then every other year beyond that. Ugh! I am tired after just writing all those requirements. J

But, these requirements do have some benefits, along with a couple drawbacks. We do have many opportunities to express, and/or practice, problem areas with our dogs, and we keep our dogs “on their toes”. CPL then knows the service dogs are being used properly and treated correctly. Drawbacks may be that each req. is time consuming and tedious. However, the benefits outweigh the drawbacks!!!

Ok, this entry is too long, and I feel sorry for the person reading this. J

Comparisons to CPL, questions about CPL, and positive and challenging experience this week.

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

Journal Compare the programs reviewed in Chapter Three to Canine Partners for Life. After reading this chapter, what questions do you have regarding the CPL program and how it operates? What challenges and positive experiences have you had this week with your dog?

Oh, boy! I forgot to answer the question yesterday about using a service to overcome a challenge caused by my disability. My biggest obstacle caused by my disability is actually a combination of my blindness and bladder issues, both caused by my MS. Needing to use the bathroom A LOT, I cannot see to find it. Showbo excelled at the task of taking me to a bathroom, and I will continue to teach McLean to do the same until he has mastered the concept!

Now to today’s journal writing! I enjoyed todays obedience, service skills and even lecture. McLean continues to do a great job with the obedience skills, but he is continuing to struggle with just 1 service skill.. Taking metal! I, again I say, would never want to have anything metal in my mouth, but it is a necessity for our dogs to take metal, hold it, and give it to us. Sorry, McLean, and all the other service dogs! Metal will be our challenge and will probably continue after team training!

I so need to work on my tardiness to training!!! I needed to pass a denial test again this morning, but I really am working to be on time. Did I mention I am not a morning person? And, being on time is not a phrase in my vocabulary! At least not yet.

The ADA is very lenient with its rules and guidelines, with very little, or loose restrictions. The animals that become “working” animals apparently have rights the same as our well-trained dogs, which corrupts the whole system by taking advantage of it.There are also animal activists taking animal rights to the extreme by protecting them and not wanting any animal to have an official owner. I guess Chic-Fil-A is semi-part of the PETA group, because it has a motto of eating more chicken. The cows do not want to die, but it is ok if the chickens get eaten. J

CPL seems to care more about the recipients and their own trained dogs, and CPL has future concerns and requirements assuring both the recipients and dogs continue a partnership. Thank you to CPL! First, I absolutely love that cats are everywhere, and anywhere, to expose the dogs to them, as well as CPL giving the dogs some exposure to every other small critter that would interest a dog. I also am thankful CPL, like the Kansas service dog school, exposes the dogs to people with various challenges to orient the dogs and train them accordingly. Unfortunately, not all dogs meet passing requirements!

I only have 2 questions for CPL worth mentioning, which are the following. First, how many dogs has CPL graduated? And second, What makes a dog a working companion dog instead of a service dog? If I get the answers to these questions, I will write about them tomorrow.

I think my journal entry is long enough now, and I am tired! I am even more tired now than when I started this journal thing. So many things to do, including CPL stuff, and so little time to accomplish them all. I have dicided no more physical therapy until team training is done, because it will get worse, if that is possible. J

Good night for now.

One greatest thing that you would like to do or accomplish.

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

Journal Imagine that you do not have your current disability. What is the one greatest thing that you would like to do or accomplish? Reflect on whether your dog may be able to help you achieve this goal. Has your goal (homework 6/10) changed during the course of the training?

Wow! Today was a long and exhausting day! I took a nap, which was accidentally over 2 hours, when I came home. Again, wow! I am tired!

We went to Longwood Gardens and did a “go touch” to open the front door. It was an automatic push button to open the door, and McLean is too tall and adjusts to reach lower with his paw. We all finally entered the Gardens but then had to pay. Actually, our service dogs had to pay. I borrowed a little change for my dollar bills, and McLean did his “go pay” perfectly. This is one of the few commands that helps if the service dog is tall! We all proceeded to the courtyard, where we practiced steps and loading up the dogs onto the wall. McLean loaded up easily, and he only struggled a very little on the steps. He might have less trouble if I am using a handle on the right, or at least am familiar with the steps.

We also had to retrieve 3 things, before we could go to lunch,but one of the 3 things had to be metal. Ugh! McLean apparently does not like taking metal objects in his mouth. I do not think I would like metal objects in my mouth, either! Braces are bad enough. An expensive lunch followed all the retrieval drama for our dogs. Yea! Only 2:00pm.

McLean needed to get a metal object in his mouth, and give it to me, while we were waiting for our group for a group photo. He finally did it, against his will, and lots of treats were involved. Should he have a smaller dinner now? J He really did not want to pick up this small metal trinket thing. Ugh! I do have a suggestion for group photos, though. They should be taken at the beginning of the day before we are all hot, sweaty, tired and stressed looking. Yes, our dogs make us stressed!

Well, going back to my goal on June 10. I did not want to compare McLean to Showbo, and I wanted this whole experience to be a learning process for me and McLean. These goals have begun to come true. I do have Freudian slips of name or gender calling, but McLean is still a very obedient dog! Good job, Trainer Maria!

I am not permitted to do retrieval or service dog skills yet, which means we have only used basic dog commands, along with his feeding and potty schedules. McLean has been a great listener, stays with me everywhere and is a fun, cuddly dog. Showbo hated the “come” command with anyone, and everyone, but McLean actually comes to me with a wagging tail. He is so sweet!

His potty schedule has matched my potty schedule. Well, almost! He pees a lot, and I should probably take him to the grass a few times a day. As we were told, I should probably let him do his thing everytime I do my thing. J Never going to happen, since I do my thing many, many, many times a day! His morning and evening routines are compatible with my sleeping habits, though. Go, McLean!

Lastly, his feeding schedule. He and Showbo are eating at the same time but still eat 2 different foods, and definitely 2 different paces! Showbo eats like such a girl, while McLean eats a little faster. McLean, being the gentleman that he is, has to wait for me to feed Showbo. I can tell he wants to eat, but he patiently waits for his food and turn in line to eat. He finishes eating first, even though he starts last and also gets more food. More food for a large dude!

Ok, I am still very tired, after a long nap, and am thankful for no reading tonight! Good night.