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Critical questions to ask when partnering with a service dog

Ever thought what your responsibilities are for your service dog?

Before becoming a service dog handler, one must ask himself questions which are meant to help one to think and make the best decision for individual needs and disabilities. One should avail for his time to think and analyze their thoughts and feelings about partnering with a service dog. Since the desires, needs, situations, and abilities are unique in every person, the choice of a right decision needs no haste. One can try to involve a trustworthy friend to assist in soul-searching and brainstorming the process. One must know beyond any reasonable doubt the pros and cons of a service dog and also make sure that the benefits outweigh the disadvantages. Below are some of the crucial areas where one should base his questions and answer satisfactorily before engaging in the practice:

Financial ability

Are ones financial resources capable of covering the costs of caring for a dog for 10-15 years period? The fact is that the service dogs are always expensive regardless of whether one trains the dog for himself or applies for the same via the well established program. One may incur costs up to $5000 for a dog and $20000 or more for dogs with specialized training.

Own-training, a service dog partner makes one responsible for all costs related to the dog. These include testing and veterinary expenses, transport, temperature testing, initial and advanced training, all gear and equipment and any other supplies required throughout the training process like medical supplements, poop bags, food and other incidentals.

However, no matter which dog-raising program one takes, he must be prepared to bear the full financial responsibilities for his dog’s life. The training cost ranges between $1200 and $1600 per year at a minimum, for the rest of the dog’s life. Note that this is not inclusive of the initial vetting, purchase, and testing.

One’s preparedness for daily care of the dog

A service dog is like a small child. The dog must be cared for without failures. This implies that the dog has to be cleaned up, fed with the right nutrients at least twice a day, taken out severally, continuous and improved training, groomed if necessary and treated as a living creature and a companion. It is thus essential for one to consider how the service dog would fit into his lifestyle and family. The total responsibility of good care for the canine partner should always be in line in all situations and circumstances. The partnership has many merits, but it requires a high degree of dedication to realizing the full benefits. However, many people can’t achieve this due to busy schedules of life.

Being the center of attention

An individual undoubtedly places himself in the middle of the public eye by partnering with the canine partner. People will always be curious to know more about his personal life, how the dog has been trained many more questions. The partnership can also be stressful with constant interruptions and false judgments from rude people. Despite all the challenges involved, one must always make sure that his partner is the perfect example of what a partner dog should be.

Willingness and ability to accept the training and socializing obligations for the service dog

One must be willing to allocate practice time, discipline and boundaries to ensure that the dog has advanced training and access to the public. He should always ensure that the dog is well trained to work as required and mitigate his disabilities.

Dealing with conflict

One should always be ready to deal with disputes since not every person will understand the reasons for keeping a dog. He must be prepared to lose family support and friends especially when the disability is invisible. One may also face false accusations at a job due to false branding from the evil minded public. He should learn to stick to his goals.

Since dogs can’t be programmed and left to run like machines, one must be prepared to be its caretaker. This implies that one must uphold his partner dogs training, behavior and skills in all its lifelong and be willing to seek professional advice if need be. Proper care of one’s service partner will make it healthy, covering your disabilities with more ease hence happy living.

 

Guest Blogger – Alex Henry

www.servicedogregistration.org

 

 

 

Why are some dogs so scared & jumpy on windy days?

I was asked this question recently by a lovely client….

Dogs (like most animals) are able to perceive weather changes. They can sense the changes in the electrostatic field – the air.
We all know what it’s like for our hair or clothing to become static. There’s the little shocks we receive when we rub against it. It will startle and stop you for a moment.
If you can imagine, a dog has a greater and higher frequency range of hearing, as well as being a barometer to weather changes. They’re sensing the wind and if you combine this with thunder or even lightening – we’ve got once confused pooch.
If wind can ruffle a human’s feather and get us all grumpy and ungrounded, imagine what it can do to your dog! They become a carrier for an electrical current through their body. The stronger the current, the more short shocks that run through their body. That would definitely make me quite jumpy too.
What to do:
The more grounded we are in our body and self, the more this energy will move directly to our beloved canines helping to ground (earth) their energy and not be swept up in the air’s electric charges. Just ask any electrician, they always earth or ground any electrical current.
One way to earth yourself and remove static energy from your body is to rub your feet on the ground. Then if you want to ground your pet – place your hand on their body and imagine breathing your energy through your hand into them.
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Animal Healing Reiki for Family and Friends

There’s nothing worse than knowing your pet is unwell and not understanding what’s wrong OR what to do. We’re so in tune with our animals that we can sense, when they’re not feeling well but what are our options after that?

Animal Reiki is such a beautiful way to connect with your pet when they’re feeling unwell. Animals respond instantly to the energy that is around them from all family members AND within the home. Just like us, animals can get stressed and need some reassurance of what’s going on within the family dynamics.

They don’t always understand the story or reasoning behind it but they certainly feel what’s happening in their home. Animals love that deep connection we have with them and once that connection is solid, they know they’re part of the family.

Introducing Reiki into the home and family instantly changes the energy and dynamics in the home. A new energy enters once attuned and stays with that person for life. Your animal will sense the difference in you, especially as you integrate this energy for yourself.

Reiki allows for an even deeper connection without trying to converse with them. I like to say it’s similar to hanging out with your best friend in silence; and both of you are so completely relaxed and comfortable in each other’s space whilst silent. This is exactly the same with animals however with more profound results.

Reiki allows you to connect with their energy. Through the Reiki vibration, we give them a healing, a boost of energy and help them shift back into their balanced state. Reiki allows a calming and supportive energy to flow through and has the ability to create homeostasis within the body. Moving our animal’s energy in this direction. It can assist with many illnesses and conditions e.g. bladder infection, upset tummy, diarrhoea, inflammation, arthritis, heart murmurs and the list goes on.

More and more veterinarians are becoming aware of alternative methods and especially Reiki that give benefits and supports an animal during this time. Some vets even offer Reiki as a service as part of their practice.

Anyone can be attuned to Reiki I for family and friends. If you are interested in being able to support your pet’s health, Reiki I is a wonderful foundation to begin with. So instead of not knowing where to begin, even if they’re having an off day, Reiki can create a deeper knowing and understanding of just how your pet is feeling.

Click here for more information on latest Animal Communication Reiki I Workshops,

I would like to NOTE: under no circumstances does Animal Reiki or Communication take the place or goes against any medical services. A Vet is the only qualified person to diagnose and offer treatment advice for your pet. Reiki supports your decisions and keeps your animal’s energy state strong and supported.

Joint Custody…What happens when it’s over?

Who gets the pet?
As some of you may know, I’ve had joint custody of Nero with his dad now for 2 years. Initially there was an adjustment for all of us but once the routine was set, it was all roses. Nero had two homes and twice the individual attention. You could say he had the best of both worlds or did he really?

Usually Nero had about two weeks at one home and then the other. Everything was smooth sailing. He had made new friends at my place and one has turned out to be his girlfriend. Sophie is a pretty little thing and very precocious (I might add slightly high maintenance but that’s no reflection on Nero’s conditioning – meaning me! Lol). His other friend is a very cool dude, a cat named Vinnie. He often goes to Vinnie’s home to play and hang out. Nero tells me that Vinnie’s mummy sometimes feeds him too, I thought he had put on a bit of weight. However Vinnie is not yet allowed into our home, Nero’s choice!

At Nero’s dad’s place, his backyard is adjacent to a golf course and the cliffs. He can roam around like crazy with his kitty kat gang (and boy is there a gang there), this was his first home since we had him.

So the last time I went to pick up Nero, he ran away from me – first time EVER! I was shocked and asked him what was wrong? Nero then proceeded to tell me that he only wanted one home now as he finds it very unsettling. So I asked which place he considers home – it was his first home, much to my dismay.

He still refused to come to me so I went to a nearby coffee shop and talked to him about options. Nero made a point of telling me that he loved both of us but again said he wanted one home. I told him I would talk to his dad and let him know and see how he feels about the situation. I also made a request to him. I asked if would he please come with me now, as it may be our last time together. He agreed. With a heavy heart I went to pick up my favourite black cat in the world.

Back at my place, he slipped into the normal routine there and played with his friends. It took me a week to be brave enough to contact his dad and fill him in on Nero’s request. As Nero’s dad reflected on the situation, he mentioned that Nero had been unsettled at his place too. He said it might be due to his work schedule. Travelling a lot and working late nights and that it may not be ideal for him to have Nero full time. So what suited us as furry parents, wasn’t suiting Nero.

A decision was made and he was come and live with me full time. In event of holidays, his dad was open to having him. All I had to do now was convince Nero that this was the best solution to his request. So after a week of expressing all the positives about living with his mum and having full time access to his girlfriend Sophie and his mate Vinnie, Nero was nearly back to himself. Strutting around the hood and slinking his way back into Sophie’s good books (she never liked the way he would leave and in her mind neglect her – I told you, ‘high maintenance!’).

It was such an emotional roller coaster to say goodbye to my furry little guy and follow through on his request. Then, for everything to turn around and have him live with me full time all within a week. However for me, it was a profound experience in how to let go.

Not all experiences work out in this manner – I would love to hear how you would handle similar circumstances.

Knowing when it’s time.

It’s never easy having to make this decision – knowing when it’s time to say goodbye and how to go about it. Animals, for the most part, have an intuitive side that enables them to know when their time is drawing near. It’s instinctive to them. The hard part is for us humans, especially if the choice is left up to us. Vets can offer their opinions and will assist us and our pets as much as they can, however ultimately it is a family decision.
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