In the midst of the food court’s strutting teens and screeching toddlers, Sir Thomas folded onto his mat in that sphinx-like move that Danes do and gazed those soulful eyes at me. I instantly aimed my phone at that regal pose (he’d even crossed his front paws!). But instead of his handsome image appearing on my screen, a message popped up: “Cannot Take Photo.” Apparently there’s a limit to how many I can store on my phone. Namely, 2,990, according to the count at the top of the icon. Smells of pan-fried, deep-fried and stir-fried lunch surrounded us as I focused on getting that picture. I deleted 277 blurry selfies and inside-of-my-purse auto-shots. But the phone insisted I was still out of storage space. Thomas let out a deep sigh, uncrossed his front legs and lowered his heavy head to rest between them. His message seemed clear: stop struggling to […]
Here’s a handy handout that gives an overview of what we* mean when we say Service Dog. (“We” specifically: the Dames with Danes; “We” generally: SD partners; “We” legally: ADA ) We (“We” the Dames with Danes) gave loads of them out at the very well attended Open House with George-the-vet. This differs from our brochure (which focuses on access rights and regulations per the ADA). This defines and differentiates Service Dogs (please note: there are 2 pages. We (“We” Lynne & I) print them 1-page, double-sided). Feel free to hand out to your local schools, libraries, pet stores … Wheeee!
Once upon a time there lived a little old farm lady who dressed in purple, cursed at her computer, and rarely refused a Klondike bar. Not really so little or so old, she was a grandmother many times over. If an apple pie set cooling on her windowsill, a volunteer had baked it. If a rocking chair decorated a corner of the farm, there was no little old lady knitting there. Not really grandmotherly, she preferred cooking up ideas and knotting monkey fists from the cab of a front loader (which she’d have used to heave the creaky rocking chair out of her way). One day, the grandmother-farm-lady who dressed in purple cursed at the grandchildren’s parents for not writing to her. True, the not really grandmotherly farm lady didn’t dole out kisses and cookies and boo-boo band-aids like other grandmothers. Instead, Carlene replaced immobility with mobility, fear-of-falling with confident […]
Short post following a long flight: The six-hour flight to Seattle left me stiff and slow-moving. With the help of Sir Thomas, we made our way through the seemingly endless airport, drawing the attention of the usual Dane admirers (to many of whom I needed to point out his working status, point to the vest, and make a point of Please Do Not Pet). One comment I’d not heard before came from a flight attendant (who thoughtfully did not even make eye contact with Thomas,). While in line for the tram to whisk us to baggage claim, she said, “It’s so nice to see a service dog working. A real one. All I see are frauds. So many of them.” That says quite a bit. Sadly. Another post to follow on our happy travels to Whidbey Island.
It Takes a Village To Raise a Service Dog. From the town crazy lady (and her wacky idea that a Great Dane can help with mobility) to the skilled trainers, dedicated volunteers and supportive neighbors (living nearby or just a camera’s blink away), each plays a role in bringing up a pup. When I met Thomas, he lived with a community at the Service Dog Project (SDP) that gave him his name (a volunteer, Jackie, I’m told) his socializing (Hillary’s mom had him for many a sleepover), and his training (Colleen, Hillary and Megan). That community welcomed me with open arms and a lead with a monkey fist attached. It was my turn to learn to take care of the service dog that would take care of me. The idea of telling the story of this village hit me like the side of a barn. Or, more accurately, the front […]
Packing, purging, plane ride, pacific time shift, PD. Not only is Sir Thomas a stellar service dog through the layered stages of my move across the country, he reminds me of what’s truly important. We spent the morning watching cloud shapes.
West Coast Arrival Sir Thomas and I are adjusting to PST the best way we both know how: lots of naps. We’re also getting plenty of fresh air – and it really does feel fresh. We’ve been on quite a few walks here on this western coast. East Coast Departure My husband, son, and adorable rescue mutt (not to say husband and son aren’t adorable, too), left two weeks before I did and drove across the country, Though Thomas wondered where the family had gone, he liked the one-on-one time with only me (and the pet tortoise) in the house. The trip appealed to my sense of adventure, but only for a minute or two. The thought of being crammed in a car for five full days in a row made me shudder. Didn’t put the tortoise through that either – he got Fed Ex’d! Tommy was, of course, stellar in the airport and all through the flight. […]
A dame with a Dane walks into the library… I’m not kidding. Being the new kid on the Island, I’m trying to settle in. For me, the official I Have Arrived document (following my driver’s license) is a library card. After asking where the library is located, Sir Thomas and I ventured out. We heard the usual greetings as we entered — Handsome! You Could Put a Saddle on Him. I Love Your Dog! Thomas and I continued toward the information desk. The librarian took one look, rose from her chair with her hand extended and said, “You must be Renee.” Small Island, I thought. With a big smile, the librarian added, “The Dame with a Dane.” It turns out that the delightful Service Dog Project CP* I’d enjoyed lunch with here on the Island is the president of the Friends of the Library. Small world. It may take me […]