April 27, 2018
Sir Thomas greets each morning with a romp and rip through the yard, his tail high and happy. Dinner continues to be met with a lot of wagging. As does breakfast. As does snack time. As does the opening of the plastic container with leftover ham in it. Recently, however, by day’s end, the spring in Tommy’s step has sprung. Late afternoon, he’ll saunter up beside me and I notice that I have to slow my pace to his. It might just be that my mighty boy is telling me he’s getting tired. Perhaps that’s what the ‘tire’ in retirement means. The word conjures up images of golf clubs, very white sneakers and dinner reservations by 5:00 pm. The actual definition is retreat, withdraw, leave service. So, when should a service dog leave service? Google the question and hundreds of varying recommendations appear on screen, none of which derive […]
February 14, 2018
If you have a service dog and want to continue to have your access rights backed by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), you’d best phone your Representative in Congress. Today. The ADA grants access to all Americans. Movie theater, bank, café, laundromat: all Americans can enter. The “ADA Education and Reform Act” (H.R. 620) places business interests ahead of all Americans. ‘Reform’ means change toward improvement. The ADA is good, no change needed as it provides equal access. This reform bill, however, is not. It will re-form access requirements. Disabled and can’t get access to a public place? Write a letter of complaint. That’s a change, alright. Don’t let it happen. Please call your rep and ask that this bill be stopped from ever becoming law. Ask that it be stopped from even going to the full House for a vote (the House Judiciary Committee meets Thursday morning). […]
January 23, 2018
It’s been happening more and more. Just yesterday there were two instances: once at a restaurant, the second at the grocery store. The setting changes, but the scene plays out the same: A small child catches sight of Tommy, glee sweeps him off his tiny feet and propels him toward us. But before those little fingers catch hold of some fur, a parent grabs hold of the situation. How? They don’t grab hold of their kids. They don’t block, tug or scold. I’m seeing more and more young moms and dads pause, wrap an arm around the child, fold down to talk to them at their level, maybe even, for a moment, ooh and ahh at the size of the dog. What I’m hearing more and more of is: “Yes, he is a beautiful dog. But See his vest? He’s working.” “We’re not supposed to pet him. He needs to […]
December 11, 2017
In the fall, ECare Diary, an online site for caregivers, interviewed me on the role service dogs for people with movement disorders. (Click here for the interview.) Following up, a listener asked what may seem a simple question: What’s involved in taking care of a service dog. The answer, which in some ways is never fully complete because a great deal depends on the dog, was far too involved to answer in a few short sentences. I was invited as a guest blogger to post my answer, and here it is: Taking Care of Each Other .