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Two cute things my Guide Dog does

After yesterday's writings, I'm feeling a little tired and like maybe something lighthearted and poignant needs to appear here. I don't want to let Julio type here, though, because he might dreul all over the keyboard. So, to praise the pup, here are two things Julio does that are so cute.

First, I swear this dog knows me. It's not necessarily Lassy (sp?), but he knows what I need. I often tell the story of last semester. Many of you know that it was a difficult semester because of pain levels. Well, one day, as I was headed for lunch, I told Julio to "find the stairs". He started walking, and, being in the hunger fog that I was, I wasn't sure what was up. I was about to redirect him, when he looked back, smacked my leg gently with his tail and licked my hand. I could almost here him asking "you coming or not?" My pain levels were high, I was frustrated, but I followed him anyway. Soon, we arrived at the elevator. What a sweet boy!

Secondly, though some won't think this is important, Julio knows the smell of coffee. I've been in a crabby mood (who? Me?), and Julio's litterally pulled toward StarBucks. Smart dog!

And that's what I'm thinking about.




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Jul. 27th, 2006 07:37 pm (UTC)
dog knows coffee
Well, the schools won't approve of this, but...

My church is very large: the sanctuary holds some 800 in the congregation. There are two doors you can come in and be in the lobby. We call them the front door and side door. Meg always tries to go out the front door, where Dad drops us off, when we're on our way out to the side door, where he's parked, at the end of the morning after Bible study. There is also a coffee bar down by the side door, and I often go down and get a coffee between service and Bible study. But the lobby is usually ver crowded and disorienting.

So as a solution to all this, I have taught Meghan the command, "side door" for use afterward. I used to use "go to work" to get to the nursery when I did child care there, and it was very handy. "Side door" has worked so well that I've now started working on "coffee" for the coffee bar. LOL!
Jul. 27th, 2006 08:18 pm (UTC)
Re: dog knows coffee
That's awesome Sarah! I've taught Yogi to push my legs back on my footplate when they fall off using "Lift" I'm also wanting to teach him more too!

Nickie, great post! Love it! Our dogs are such great buddies aren't they?!;)
Jul. 27th, 2006 10:03 pm (UTC)
Re: dog knows coffee
Hey, that's cool about the lift command! I just had a thought... If I remember right, you're using a power chair...? What if you changed to a different chair and worked with a service dog to pull your chair instead of doing your own driving? That might be a solution to your safety concerns. What kind of dog is Yogi? If he's big enough, he could probably learn to do this for you if you could find a trainer or school to work with you.
Jul. 28th, 2006 09:12 pm (UTC)
Re: dog knows coffee
Lift is a good command. Last semester, I taught Julio a "brace" command. He helped me out of chairs. I was careful not to put much weight on him, but having him there to stay steady helped me on days when pain levels were high.
Jul. 28th, 2006 09:09 pm (UTC)
Re: dog knows coffee
I'm not sure that that's such a bad thing. If you're associating short commands with objects or places, I think that's probably no a bad thing. If she can handle it, I'd say go fo it! That could be just me though.
Jul. 28th, 2006 02:23 am (UTC)
What a blessing Julio is! My labs know the sound of our refridgerator's icemaker. Whenever you put a cup up and push the lever to get ice, two labs come barreling into the room hoping for an ice cube of their own.
Jul. 28th, 2006 09:14 pm (UTC)
That's adorable! For some weird eason, Julio doesn't like ice. It's a challenge to get him to take the cubes. But let him hear anything remotely like kible and he comes flying! Baxte, our pet dog, on the other hand loves ice cubes and does what your labs do. Baxter's a border collie lab mix.
Jul. 28th, 2006 02:47 am (UTC)
Now that's a good dog! And that made me laugh, and think "aww!" and want to hug him for being so good to you, and you for having such an awesome pup!
Aren't they truly wonderful?
Jul. 28th, 2006 09:16 pm (UTC)
Aren't we really blessed to have such great pups?
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