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

Exton Mall

Thursday, July 3rd, 2003

Oh, I did not sleep well last night. My bladder was overactive, and everytime I tried to unhook Showbo and get to the bathroom, I had a little accident. It was so awful.The morning finally came, and we prepared ourselves for the mall. Well, we prepared everything except Showbo’s bowels. Showbo took a dump right in the main corridor of the Exton Mall. Poor little poodle; we were both very embarassed. The whole mall thing caused stress for the both of us, because it is an unfamiliar area. Then, I found a human bathroom to allow time for us both to regain our composure, and for me to pee. What a great start!

Each recipient was given a list of tasks to finish before noon. Knowing Showbo’s talents, I used some of our time to visit the winery and get a free sample. Believe me, I could have used a lot more than a sample at this point. While at the winery, Showbo did a terrific go pay, and then we enjoyed a lunch at McDonald’s.

We finally left the mall, and we practiced some more door openings and go pay commands at the movie theatre. The whole group did well, and the movie, Finding Nemo, was excellent. Showbo received a lot of compliments today from strangers, and I believe this beautiful poodle may help me to promote my Herbalife business, as well as promote Canine Partners for Life.

The recipients have permission to now enjoy any public place, therefore, Showbo and I will go out somewhere tonight. Then, we will be off to bed.

Ugh. Showbo just peed in the house while going after Cyera. I guess I need to change her bathroom schedule now that she is getting more comfortable and relaxed. Please pray there are no more excretion excursions from Showbo. Thanks, bye.


Wednesday, July 2nd, 2003

Good morning, everyone. With Showbo and me, there is always a different first to talk about. This morning was Showbo’s bowel movement on Canine Partner’s property since we have been together, and David was not there. I did use someone else’s eyes, but only after the actual skin of my hand touched “the stuff” directly. Yuck! I immediately found a sink to wash my hands, and then Showbo had her stitches removed, which were from her recent biopsy. Now, I am able to give Showbo a more thorough brushing without fear of hurting her.

Today is the halfway point for team training, and we had a discussion about how Canine Partners does follow-up with all the recipients. I think it sounds more rough than it really is, but I guess I will find out soon enough.

We began the day with journal sharing, and some people still expressed sadness about yesterday’s discussion about ending a partnership. I handled my emotions well during this time, and then we practiced some more basic obedience. Showbo and the other service dogs now have permission to use her retrieval skills at home. Each dog chose a certain item to retrieve, and I chose a bowling ball. That idea did not go well, therefore, Showbo will practice retrieving laundry, which is of course dirty prior to her putting her doggy saliva on it.

Showbo was extremely overjoyed when she became free from her harness, because she had a long day in it. It is so cute when Showbo has playtime, especially with Cyera. I love hearing Showbo growling at her toys, chasing a hissing Cyera through the house, and/or winding in circles between my legs.

Well, after an excursion to Pet Smart in the afternoon, Showbo’s nails are painted purple, which now match her collar. She has a doggy pillow, a bell, and a treat bag. Not to forget Cyera, I also bought some little fuzzy mice, which was Showbo’s idea. As soon as we entered the store, Showbo independently guided me to the cat section. It was great!

Ok, time for bed.

July is Here

Tuesday, July 1st, 2003

I cannot believe it is already July, journal. Today was a beautiful day with spring-like weather.

Man, today has been the longest day thus far. I am sure this feeling is directly related to the trip to Longwood yesterday, but whatever. This morning was a horrible experience trying to dress Showbo in her harness. She has patience during all the other materials, but the harness thing just is not working well. Showbo backs away a lot, causing me to yank her with her leash, and then she turns her head to the side just when I think the harness is going over her head. It is so freaken frustrating!

The actual trip to Canine Partners was eventful, again, but this time it was a good thing. We stopped in Pet Smart to get the dogs some booties for their feet. I think Showbo dislikes her booties, because they do not match the rest of her. We do not want the princess dog to look silly. J

Of course we started with journal sharing, and the other 3 members of my journal group were late. This was the first day of late attenders, which ensures that yesterday was too exhausting. Anyway, one of the trainers, without mentioning any names, treated these latecomers with hostility when she drilled them with rejection at the door. The late recipients needed to fight her as if they were at a public location dealing with rejection. The times of denial in the public requires us to show the law book about service dogs, which I hope to never have to do.

After reviewing some previous commands, we learned the take it and tug command with the refrigerator door, and then we had a wonderful lunch. Lunch was provided by the family who hosted Showbo as a puppy for 2 weeks. Remember, the rest of the time for Showbo’s puppihood took place in a prison.

Well, then came the dreaded long discussion about the end of my relationship with Showbo. Ugh, I would rather not think about that right now. The whole scare of her possibly having a poodle disease was enough for at least one month, if not longer. It would be unpleasant for me, and everyone around me, if Showbo or Cyera decided to go to 4-legged heaven. Right now, they are my only 2 daughters, but I do hope to change that someday. Hint, hint, David!

Let me tell you something else. Showbo is so dainty that she cautiously does her services. Examples of this idea include her slightly touching the automatic door button for fear of breaking a nail and her giving a slight tug for the refrigerator door like a girl. Oh, when does the princess dog end, and the service dog begin? This lack of a transition may be my fault, but she is just so awesome!

As Darleen said a few times today, Showbo plans to give me 110% for at least 8 more years, retire as a wonderful pet and then pass away. Well, whenever she passes from me, I want it to be quick and painless, because I have absolutely no desire of “seeing” her in pain. However, I try to remember she is only a doggy, not a human with a soul. Again thanks to everyone’s prayers for her biopsy, though!

Ok, enough of my babbling until later. Bye.

Longwood Gardens

Monday, June 30th, 2003

Today was a trip to Longwood Gardens, and it made for a long day. We mostly practiced already known commands with our dogs, such as go touch, retrieval commands and go pay. Showbo did well and only gave me confusion once. When we were doing the go pay command, Showbo paid the clerk perfectly, but she dropped all my dollars in change onto the floor. A trainer assisted Showbo, and eventually, I got my change.

We did a lot of walking today through the gardens, which exhausted the best of us. In fact I was so tired after lunch, Darleen gave me a ride on her scooter. Actually, I was not on her scooter, I was on her lap on the scooter, and our dogs followed us to our left. It was fun!

Some days I struggle with accepting the whole blind and MS thing, but I know that God will heal me of these things in His time. I am looking forward to more independence in my traveling with Showbo, and I hope to someday teach Showbo to be my chauffer. Would that be cool, or what? She will also be a great guide when I am in public with my husband, and I have to use the ladies room.

As far as my original goals, I believe Showbo will be more than able to fulfill them. She is still awesome! She has learned to follow my leader when I am in public, which has increased my independence a little by destroying my necessary use of someone else’s elbow. Go, Showbo!

Well, it is once again time for bed.

Family Outing

Sunday, June 29th, 2003

Well, after a short night, Showbo, Dave and I attended church this morning. This was our first outing as a family, and I believe it all went well.

We then proceeded to team training which was rather different than our previous trainings, because today was a graduate support class. These classes consist of graduates, recipients like me and applicants. The class occurred after we did our journal sharing as an entire group, which was similar to the very first day. At least 20 people attended this class, but we were still able to learn a few new commands. Showbo did extremely well, making me love her and her talents even more. Showbo being the first graduate of the prison puppy program, I can confidently say that the inmates did a fine job with Showbo.

I feel much better with my emotions about using Showbo as a service dog, but I still use David’s help when Showbo has to do her business. One awesome thing that happened with Showbo and me today was the fact that Showbo really knows how to retrieve things. I said the words take it, and within seconds, Showbo was placing the item in my hand. Who needs to use the hold it and give it commands anyway?

I noticed a few good and a few bad trainers at training this afternoon. I do think it is awesome that people with little or no speech are able to control their dogs better than some of the very vocal people. It is as if those with speech problems have a totally different way of handling their dogs. It is so cool!

I know commands are not to be repeated over and over, but many people today were doing just that, repeating themselves. I cannot differ the tones of these people between the command tone and the correction tone. Maybe they were just correcting the dog. Who knows? But, repeating is not good.

Well, tomorrow requires an earlier start Than usual, because now I have to prepare Showbo, not just me, before we leave my home in the morning. Good night.

Blue Rocks Minor League Baseball Game Pics

Saturday, June 28th, 2003
Marie and Showbo wait outside with CPL

Marie and Showbo wait outside with CPL

Showbo gives Marie a hug

Showbo gives Marie a hug

Every seat is a great seat at Frawley Stadium

Every seat is a great seat at Frawley Stadium

Blue Rocks

Saturday, June 28th, 2003

Today is a short day with CPL, because we are going to the Blue Rocks baseball game, which begins at 7, I think. If we are late, we are late. Showbo and I are not Blue Rock fans, anyway.

This whole day has not been that great thus far, mainly because this day is my depressed day. I awoke at 8am to feed Showbo, and then I took her outside to do her business. Dave again joined me to ensure me of Showbo’s location spot to actually do her business. Will I be able to handle Showbo during her business time by myself?

I am currently so confused about everything. I feel bad for Showbo, because I do not necessarily use all her services. This morning at the bed Showbo did a perfect heel command, though, impressing David. I told him she was a great dog!

As we have been walking through my home with Showbo in her harness, I am worried that Showbo will put marks on the paint. Relieving me of my worry, David told me that will not bother him. Phew!

Showbo and I went to the pool today, and every person in the community loves her and congratulated me for having her. I just hope I can survive these next 2 weeks of training. Canine Partners will hopefully help me with the bathroom issues, and stuff.

Oh, did I tell you? Yesterday I received the results of Showbo’s biopsy. She is a healthy dog, having only a skin infection. Yea! This is the best news I have received in a long time, well, since my wedding. Thanks to everyone who prayed for Showbo and me, because they were answered. The happy news put tears in my eyes.

As I sit at my computer typing my journal entry for today, Showbo is on the floor by my feet. And, Cyera is sitting behind me on my chair. Wow, they are so close together right now. Although Cyera likes to hiss at Showbo occasionally, I think she really likes Showbo.

Well, we are now off to the baseball game.

Showbo Home

Friday, June 27th, 2003

Good evening. Tonight Showbo and I are together, for the first night, as I am writing this. Yea! Cyera and Showbo have just had their initial meeting, and they seem to be interested in each other. Cyera has an interest of curiousity, and Showbo has been trying to extend a paw of friendship. We’ll monitor their progress as the days go by.

This morning I had the second pleasure of giving Showbo her “meatball” medication and trying to dress her in her sporty doggy gear. Then we attempted the stairs of Deb’s, the trainer, deck, and that was quite a challenge. Showbo raced up the stairs, which resulted in a do over. She then proceeded to do a great job going up, and then we were faced with the going down the stairs, which was a very fearful thought. Showbo knew my nervousness, and therefore, was also nervous, and stressed. Sorry, Showbo! We descended the stairs very slowly, reached the ground safely and now I have no desire of ever doing this again. Of course, this is an unrealistic hope, but I can dream.

Next came the strip shopping center. At TJ Max Showbo and I did our first opening of a door, and unfortunately, this door was not automatic. Since Showbo’s ideal weight is only 37 pounds, she could not open the door easily, which meant I had to help her.

Oh, when I met Showbo this morning at the kennel, the princess was waiting for me. In other words Cindy, a kennel employee, dressed Showbo in earrings and a tiera, along with painting all her nails a hot pink color. Because of these nails, Showbo got quite a bit of compliments from the public, as well as many comments about a poodle acting as a service dog. Whatever, this will happen to us forever! Also, I learned not to have Showbo attempt to carry heavy objects in a plastic bag, because her gorgeous teeth just kept putting holes all through the bag. And so, we got no where.

It is really nice having Showbo’s presence in my home, more so as a companion. We are not permitted to use any training techniques, and I currently do not require the use of her for stability purposes. I have been practicing some basic stationary commands, and I think of Showbo as a well-trained and very obedient dog, not a service dog.

Ok, the major dilemma came following dinnertime. I needed to take Showbo outside to do her business, and this was my first experience cleaning up after her, if you know what I mean. Actually, it was my first time cleaning up after any dog. David used his eyes to help me find its location, and I joyfully grabbed it with a plastic bag. J I cannot wait to do it again, and again, and again…

Tonight I heard Showbo bark for the first time. She was barking at Cyera, in an attempt to play with her. Only 1 bark thus far. However, Showbo did some growling during her playtime outside, and I think she seems to like her new toy, which is a tennis doughnut. I am so, so happy for Showbo!

Ok, time for bed, Until tomorrow!

Casual, Cool Dog

Thursday, June 26th, 2003

Well, things were all switched around with today’s schedule and tomorrow’s schedule of events. Canine Partners switched almost everything except the fact that we still must wait until tomorrow night to bring home the dogs. I am so anxious to arrive to my home with Showbo and allow Showbo to encounter Cyera, and my home. She should love it, because there is plenty of room for her and Cyera to cause trouble together.

I am so tired tonight from a late night last night. I knew it would catch up with me, but I did not think it would be this soon. Ugh!

This morning was a tough and emotional time for Dave and I, but we have not had resolution. Showbo really helped me keep my mind off this issue.

We did some more obedience skills today, such as the come command, and Showbo is the most casual, cool dog in the group, which I think is great. She is never in a hurry, which is a huge resemblance of me. We have so many similarities that I think will enhance our bonding experiences, and I believe Canine Partners could not have created a better match for me. Yea!

Our training session today also included health concerns for our dogs, but I am not fearful that Showbo will encounter any of these problems, especially if I take extreme caution with her. She and Cyera are both my baby girls, and I love them very much!

I was a little disappointed that the play time did not permit our dogs to actually play, when I even brought Showbo her own new toys. Oh well, tomorrow night will be filled with plenty of time for Showbo to play.

There is one thing that is rather ironic. I, being the only blind recipient, have the honor of having the high maintenance puppy in the group. I had the lovely opportunity of making a doggy meatball with canned food for Showbo today, which included her 2 medication pills, but she ate it immediately. I am now going to be required to medicate her on a daily basis at my home, and then we can take all our drugs together. How cool is that?!

Well, see you tomorrow. Bye.


Wednesday, June 25th, 2003

Yo, journal. today began on a rough note. Poor Kelly had a small run-in with a police officer, because she had trouble coming to a complete stop with Lizz’s extreme, handicapped van at a red light and decided to just turn with caution. I think the police officer was in a bad mood, because he still gave her a sizable fine. It was such an annoyance for us all, as Lizz wanted to be early to team training to dress Lilly, and I really, really had to pee. My bladder has mostly co-operated during this training, but it could be better. Luckily, I have not missed any of the teaching materials, and Showbo has had numerous chances to shine as a very obedient, and intelligent, puppy.

There are a few service skills that Showbo should not perform and some of my routines for which she should not participate. Such things include preparing meals, cleaning with toxic and deadly cleansers, swimming in a community pool and helping me bowl. Showbo can accompany me anytime to the bathroom to pee, but these things, forget it.

Preparing meals will remain the responsibility of my husband, or current “service” person, because Showbo cannot grip people food, even with her paws. And when I need a cleaning supply that I do not want her to have any possibility of swallowing, and that I keep out of reach from my kitten or a small child, I will handle it myself. As far as a community pool. Many people would not want to swim with a dog, no matter how cute and prestigous she is. When it comes to bowling, Showbo will have a little trouble picking up my 10-pound bowling ball and handing it to me. She may push the ball down the lane better than me, but she is not a sanctioned bowling dog.

Today was a fun day at team training, especially at Perkins. I learned that with persistence anything is possible, including getting a refill on a kiddee sundae, which was yummy. Anyway, after discussing the accessibility of a service dog, we practiced old commands and learned new ones. Showbo was great with the stay, take it, hold it and give it and go under commands. I think she had a great trainer! The give it command, however, has been replaced with where is it, because I am blind.

I am looking forward to a good night’s rest and then tomorrow’s endeavors.

Good night, journal.