Archive for the ‘CPL Team Training 2003 – Showbo’ Category

Good Week

Friday, July 25th, 2003

Hi, everyone. I had a good week with my new doggy. Wednesday night is my bowling night, and, of course, Showbo joined me. As usual, I needed to make several trips to the bathroom. Showbo is so smart that now she leads me to the ladies room on the “let’s go to the bathroom” command. Then, she knows the term toilet once we are in the bathroom, and she is able to lead me back to the correct lane. She has a great memory, just like her mother. J

Last night was card night in the Garozzo household. One of our friends brings her dog with her on card nights, and we were all anxious to witness the interaction among the pets. Showbo started in harness, and Cyera was lounging on a window sill, which was directly above where Showbo was sitting. Every time our friend’s dog approached Showbo and Cyera, Cyera hissed and growled at him. Showbo was just the doggy in the middle, while Cyera defended them from the “other” dog. It was rather comical, and now I know who wears the pants in that relationship.J When I unharnessed Showbo later in the night, she had no interest in playing with the other dog, and she only wanted to be by my side. It was great, and I love her! Therefore, I played with Showbo before bed with one of her bizillion toys. Speaking of toys, Showbo only plays with like 3 of her toys, along with her nyla bone, but she would really prefer to run between my legs. Every now and then, Showbo will stop while under me as if I am riding her, which I am sure is a funny sight. Some days I do wish I could ride her. J

Anyway, talk to you again soon.


Monday, July 14th, 2003

What a long weekend!

Saturday was the last of team training. It took place in the office building, because the training barn was being prepared for graduation. We were all very close, leaving no room for anybody, or any dog, to move. Showbo visited CPL’s vet for what was hopefully the last time, and things went well. I do need to continue her medication and medicated baths. No problem.

Then, we talked about the health of our dog’s teeth, and after lunch, which was provided, we learned to brush their teeth. I did not like this experience at all, therefore, this is going to be another chore for Dave. I may help him, but I doubt it.

A friend came to our house from Pittsburg for the night, along with my aunt, both of which made for a nice evening.

My aunt and I went to church together, while David did the finishing preparations for me and Showbo’s graduation party. Showbo and I left for the ceremony after church, because Cindy, a kennel worker at CPL, said if we arrived early, then she would do Showbo’s nails. Well, we did arrive early, and Showbo got her pedicure to impress everybody, and all the boy dogs. Anyway, the ceremony was long due to all the graduates and very crowded.

Before the ceremony, Showbo and I had a chance to meet a representative from Showbound Natural Dog Food Company, and I think we made a good impression. They could not have picked a better dog to carry their name! We may even start purchasing our cat things from them as well. Showbo got a free large bag of dog food and a variety of treat samples. What a spoiled poodle!

Following a few pictures, Showbo and I sat through the ceremony, which announced info about the home groups and then recognized all the team training graduates. Darleen said a few words about team, and then it was time for Showbo and I to speak. Actually, I spoke, and Showbo just looked beautiful. In the midst of thanking everyone, I shed some tears, especially when thanking the inmates who raised Showbo from puppihood. They did such a great job!

After the ceremony, we had several more pictures taken. I gave Showbo’s primary inmate’s family time to socialize with Showbo out of harness, and that was a very touching moment. We surprisedly received a scrap book containing everything about Showbo from a puppy until she left the prison. It is very cool!

Then, we hurried back to the house for the party, which was awesome. Dave did a great job with everything, and we had a great turn-out, almost 40 people. I actually did a little demo with Showbo, showing sit and paw, down, retrieval of 3 things, and a take it and hold it with a plastic bag of stuff across the living room. We also did a fake go pay and a go touch on the door. Showbo did everything immediately, making me proud, and making her a star.

Showbo once again was spoiled, receiving many, many more toys and treats. She should have enough things now to last her a lifetime.

Well, my friend from Pittsburg is here until Wednesday, and we dared to walk to the new shopping center. I think that during the walk, the shopping center kept moving farther and farther away from us. It was far, and extremely dangerous. Showbo and I will never do this walk again. Until later. Time to practice things with Showbo. Yesterday, I actually had Showbo carry her leash from our bedroom downstairs to the living room, which took an eternity, but she did it. I will write more later.


Friday, July 11th, 2003

I had a great night’s rest, finally! Also, we were able to sleep longer this morning than usual.

Today was the big day for us all. CPL trainers evaluated each partnership in a Walmart, and Showbo and I were one of the first to go. I started the evaluation by loading and unloading Showbo in Dave’s car. Oh, Dave took off work to join me today. After the car, Showbo had a chance to do her business before we went into the store, but she was fine. I was the one who needed to do my business, therefore, I delayed the evaluation. I had a strong feeling that would happen. Anyway, then we proceeded to go through Walmart performing different commands, and Showbo did awesome! We did a go pay command at the pretzel shop, and I had Showbo take the pretzel and carry it to a table. This incident was the only time I had to repeat a command to Showbo, which was to take it. I believe she passed the evaluation with flying colors, and we finished everything in 35 minutes. We passed! We passed! We passed! We passed! Yea!

Can you tell that I am excited. Showbo is now mine, well, until the next evaluation, and the next, and the next. Yea! I am so proud of Showbo.

Lizz and Lilly also passed, and both our groups went to lunch together, and Dave and I treated. This is actually Lizz’s second dog, and I pray Lilly does as good as, if not better than, her first dog.

Showbo says hi, and thanks, to everybody who has prayed for her. I also thank you!

Now, to prepare for Sunday. Good night.


Thursday, July 10th, 2003

No injuries yesterday, which is a good thing.

The day began very slowly, as we all met at the Thorndale train station at 8:30 in the morning. The Septa system was so not ready for us, even though Darleen called in advance. It took us 45 minutes to load the train, and then we finally arrived to Philadelphia. Showbo and I enjoyed a nice nap while we were on the train, but we could have used some more sleep. Well, then we all had a mini tour of the city, which was extremely boring for me, with the whole blind thing, and was a lot of walking. We stopped at themarket for lunch during the busiest time of the day. It was too freaken crowded, especially being in the city, and I believe CPL could have had timed things a little better. Whatever. After lunch, we went to the gallery, and we were told we could go shopping. Needless to say, that never happened, because we were given a list of tasks to accomplish. Showbo and I finished our tasks just in time to meet the group to board the train for our trip home.

Following this long and crazy day, the concept of sleep entered my mind, and we just went directly to bed. We did not pass go, and we did not collect $200. J

Next Wednesday I am going to Harrisburg on Amtrak, and the train trip will be different using Showbo, instead of my cane. Showbo did an excellent job on the field trip, and I believe she will be quite good during the next time we use the train. I am actually looking forward to using Showbo with all my travels, because she is just better, and cuter, than my cane.

Have a great day, and I will talk to you soon.


Wednesday, July 9th, 2003

Only 1 more Thursday, 1 more Friday and 1 more Saturday to go before graduation. I cannot believe it. I thought graduation day would never get here!

Well, after a very short night, Showbo and I performed our daily morning routine, and we arrived to CPL with plenty of time to spare. Kelly is such a good driver. Following another time of journal sharing, we practiced commands with our dogs. Showbo had no problems doing everything except the last command before lunch. She needed to be in a down position across the width of the training barn, away from me. During the down time, the leaders made total chaotic noises for the dogs, trying to distract them. These noises drove me crazy, I could no longer take it, and I think Showbo knew it. She ignored the down stay a million times, each time running to my side. I had to correct her all million times, but I really wanted to get out of there. Darleen said Showbo knew that today was not a good day for me after the incident last night, but I think that may only be part of the reason of her behavior. Showbo knew exactly how I truly felt.

Lunch was awesome today! The family provided an intense Mexican meal, including Mexican sweet bread for dessert. Yummy!

Darleen allowed me to rest in the office for a little while after lunch, because of my recent head trauma. Then, it was time for me and Showbo’s first bath. Not only did I need to bathe Showbo, but I had directions to check her anal glands and ears. How exciting! Actually, since she is a poodle, I needed to brush and detangle her before the cleaning began, and I had to use conditioner on her. Hopefully, there will be no knots when I brush her later tonight. She also had her nails clipped, by a trainer, and David will get a turn at this nail thing soon enough. He can run, but he cannot hide.J

The princess is currently out of her harness, because I must wait until she is completely dry before I put it back on her. What a beauty she is, like her mother! Just kidding.

There is probably going to be a large amount of times when Showbo gets bored with me, for example, while I am typing these journal entries or talking on the phone. During some of these times, Showbo may sleep at my feet, but other times may go differently. One should always try to keep the dog busy, especially in close quarters. I do not ever want to have a destructive dog in my presence. A few ways to give distractions to the dog may include giving it a chew

Toy, talking to the dog or maybe giving it a small task to perform. I know that while I am on the phone or watching TV, I can brush my dog or play with her.

Well, I am now done writing for tonight, so until tomorrow…

Please pray for no injuries tomorrow, as we are taking the train to the city.


Tuesday, July 8th, 2003

Hi, journal.

No trip to the zoo today.

We had talks at CPL about fleas and ticks, and obesity of our dogs.

Tonight, Showbo refused to take her food dish or a metal measuring cup, which meant no dinner. She retaliated, though.

Showbo happily, or not happily, directed me right into a handicapped sign, from the side. This collision caused me much pain, leaving a large bump on my forehead and cutting me below my eye.

No more to write, because I now need to sleep, and recover.

Good night.


Monday, July 7th, 2003

Last night was so exciting! Well, it was exciting for me. I walked with Showbo from my house to the swimming pool. We walked down the side street, turned onto the street with the main entrance to the pool, and then it happened. Showbo took a pooh in the grass when I stopped to adjust my towel. I, being the responsible person that I am, picked it up all by myself. Go, go, go me!

Team training took place again today, and the recipients and the dogs acted as if this was another vacation day. That would have been nice, but oh well!

Showbo and I began our day with a visit to CPL’s vet, because she needed to do a check-up on Showbo’s skin infections. I did not receive a great report. In fact, I am in tears as I write this. Please be continuing to pray for us! Showbo’s skin infections have not really improved, but they have not gotten any worse, either. We need to visit the vet again on Wednesday for another chech-up, and the vet will teach me how to dip Showbo. Depending on Showbo’s progress by Wednesday, Showbo may have to use another medication. I was looking forward to finishing this bottle of pills, but I guess that is not going to happen anytime soon. This is getting to be a lot of work, but Darleen said CPL will help me give Showbo the dips in the future, if necessary. This whole thing is so not fair! I wish the devil would just back off!

Well, after doing some crying, I returned to the rest of the group for training. We finally learned the proper way to teach certain vocabulary words to our dogs. Today, we used a phone, and Showbo was a natural, as always! We again had a wonderful lunch, including enough leftovers for lunch tomorrow. Oh, our trip to the zoo tomorrow has been cancelled, because of the weather. Darleen thinks our dogs perform good in public anyway, and we need to practice some more commands.

We had yet another lecture after lunch about access, and Nikki, the president of CPL, shared her experience with John Hopkins in reference to her service dog. That story sounded like a major nightmare, but she survived it all!

Then, chaos broke loose. We used 4 different things to have our dogs practice tugging, which were 2 full laundry baskets, a long broom and a large mat. Showbo was the first dog to try the broom, but it began unsuccessfully. Then, one of the trainers helped by holding the broom near the dog’s mouth and lowering it little by little until it was back on the floor. Showbo finally accomplished this task, with ease!

Tugging a full laundry basket went smoothly for us, and Showbo kept everything in the basket. Yea! The basket was the last thing that we did, and then we came home. I am really having trouble having Showbo retrieve something from one of the stairs. She continuously wants to run right by it. I may use the click and treat with this problem, but who knows? Currently, I push the item to the bottom of the stairwell, and she retrieves the item with absolutely no difficulty.

Since the days are getting shorter, and graduation day is almost here, we were all given a problem question to answer. My question relates to a service dog growling

At specific family members. Please remember this issue does not reflect Showbo in any way at all.

Anyway, if a service dog does this growling, it must be for a reason, because these dogs are very smart! I am just kidding. If the dog growls, first make sure the person has not abused the dog in prior contacts with the dog. If this growling occurs with a person whom the dog usually appreciates, there must be something else happening in the dog’s brain. Immediately when the dog growls, say a firm no to the dog and hold its mouth shut. If the growling persists, pinch the dog’s ear until it hurts. When this same person enters a room containing the dog, and the dog does not growl, be sure to give the dog praise tenfold to the punishment.

If this is not a good, or an incomplete, answer to the question, I will tell you the correction tomorrow.

It is now time for bed. Good night.


Sunday, July 6th, 2003

Today has been an unproductive day for Showbo and me, and yet very relaxing. We joined David for a breakfast at bob Evans before church. Both at the restaurant and church, Showbo once again shined, in my eyes, as a wonderful dog.

The amount of times that people have asked me if they can pet my dog is too numerous to count. Can people not read the sign, and why would I say anything contrary to the sign? Ugh! Should I saythat yes, you can pet my dog, and I would love for you to break the law? I mean, come on.

I know no people that are more favorite than other people, except maybe David, and he cannot even pet Showbo. She is my eyes. Would someone approach someone else and say may I touch your eyes? I do not think so, so back off!

Ok, I am done venting, for now.

A few family members have shown genuine concern for my health and my ability to care for Showbo. I can accomplish this portion of my life as best I can, and David should be here for me as well. In fact, he gets the honor of clipping Showbo’s toenails tonight. Please pray that both David and Showbo are with us tomorrow! Everyone in my life right now should know that I place a lot of trust in My Father, with everything. He not only helps mephysically, but He helps me mentally by giving me wisdom, sometimes. I have a great circle of support with family and friends, and no one has exiled Showbo and me, yet. There is 1 friend who is concerned about permitting a dog inside his house, but he does understand my necessity for Showbo. He will learn soon enough that Showbo is a very responsible dog, too.

I am going to eat dinner now and do what I do best, which is talk on the phone. Talk to you tomorrow.

Bee Sting

Saturday, July 5th, 2003

Once again, we had team training. Showbo helped me to dress this morning, because I wanted her to make herself useful. I placed my whole clothing attire on the floor, and then I asked her to take it while I pointed at the pile of clothes. Let me tell you how cute and smart this poodle service dog is! She so kindly gave me a clothing item and returned to her doggy pillow, where she decided to lay down. She waited for my next take it command and gave me another item, which was followed by her returning to her pillow to lay down. This routine happened a few more times until I was completely dressed and her job was done. Showbo, do not hurt yourself or exert too much energy. It was an awesome morning!

Did I say it was an awesome morning? Well, right until Dave and I were late for team training, and I was drilled at the door about having no pets. David abandoned me, which better never happen again, and I decided to fight for my rights, and Showbo’s rights. Eventually, they let us in. Like I said in an earlier entry, Canine Partners is strict, and maybe even a little mean, in my opinion. David and I will never be late again, at least for team training. One step at a time for promptness, you know?

Most of the day consisted of lectures, and lectured, and lectures… One exciting thing happened when Showbo was taking me from the bathroom to the barn through the grass. I got stung by a bee. Isn’t that exciting?

Darlene’s parents provided a wonderful lunch, and then we did some obedience. We practiced stationary commands, such as sit and down, and we learned to recall our dogs in a different manner than usual. We needed to put them a stay position, walk far away and call them to come. Immediately after saying come, Showbo, I needed to tell her to down. I guess that this incident would occur if she about to get hit by a bus or something. Showbo walked a few more paces and did her down on my second command. Then I called her to come again, and she joyfully came to me. During this whole recall thing, Showbo moved in a perfectly straight line, according to observers. What a neat and proper poodle, unlike some people! J

Dave and I went to the late night swim tonight within our community. I put Showbo in a down position attached to a lounge chair, and we then went to the hot tub. Later, David told me Showbo was standing and looking for me. I called her, she saw me, and I put her in another down position from the hot tub. What a good dog!

Ok, good night for now. By the way, tomorrow is our first and only day off team training, but I may still talk to you, if you are lucky.

Independence Day

Friday, July 4th, 2003

Journal, happy Fourth of July!

I first want to tell you about the heart worm pill I tried to give Showbo a few days ago. The heart worm pill is designed to taste like dog treats, which is to make the dog actually want to eat it. Not Showbo, though. The little poodle had it on the floor while she proceeded to lick all the treat flavoring on the pill, leaving the pill itself lying on the floor. Mind you, everyother service dog happily ate their pill, but Showbo must like getting things stuffed down her throat. She reminds me of my sister when she was younger and could not swallow pills.

Yesterday’s journal assignment was to compare Canine Partners to other service animal organizations. This entry is better late than never. Actually, I totally forgot. Well, I have had a variety of contact with people of different backgrounds and disabilities, and Canine Partners has appeared the most strict. However, they also show genuine concern for the recipient and the dog, now and throughout the future of the partnership. Go Canine Partners!

Ok, back to today. At first, I was not a happy camper when I realized we had team training on a holiday. Dave had off work, and therefore, he joined me. The whole day was filled with great fun and games, which became very competitive. We, the recipients, only placed a little stress on our dogs, but they all survived.

We played musical hoops, where we made the circle thing and walked around hoops on the floor adjacent to the music. When the music stopped, our dogs needed to get their behinds in the hoop and sit down. Showbo had no problem fitting her little self within the hoop, but I could not help her find an empty hoop. We did not come even close to winning, but we were not the first group out of this unfair game.

Following lunch, we played a board game similar to family feud, where we formed 2 teams. The dogs were required to perform certain activities, which were found on a card. Each activity was assigned a mysterious number of points, and we needed 5 more points to reach the finish line. Showbo and I volunteered to do the activity, which was to walk side by side without the leash. She stayed beside my side for about 15 feet and back, and then she performed a perfect sit. Our team got 5points, making us the winners. Yea!

Showbo did not experience the luxury of hearing noisy fireworks, but I know she would handle them beautifully. This little dog has little fear!

Ok, I will talk to you later.