Monday, April 24, 2017

Daddy Pup

Isaac made a friend at the Medicaid office today. It was a little boy, maybe three years old. He patted Isaac on the head and then showed Isaac his toy dinosaur. The little boy was very chatty but difficult to understand. I did, however, understand the word "Pup."

After the little boy patted Isaac and showed him the dinosaur and chatted a while, I told him "The pup's name is Isaac."

The little boy's mom said "That's your daddy's name!"

The little boy looked at Isaac with wide round eyes, like he was just so amazed that this pup could have the same name as his daddy. I could just see him thinking about it. I think maybe it blew his mind. But finally he pointed at Isaac and announced, loudly, "Daddy Pup!"

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Car Accident

New experiences for Isaac last night. We were in a car accident and I was taken to the hospital by ambulance. The EMT at the scene told me that the officers would "take care of my dog" and I said, "No, he's a service dog, he will come with me" and I was prepared to argue. I would have refused to be transported if they refused to take my service dog with me. But as soon as I said that, the EMT said, "Oh, that's good" and they were happy to bring him with me. There was plenty of room in the ambulance and the EMT told me they had transported other service dogs before. Isaac jumped up in the ambulance with no problem and I told him to lay down and he did.

Isaac has been in the ER before so that was no big deal for him. They took me to get a CT scan and the nurse asked me if my service dog had to go with me. I said "He can't stay here by himself" because of course I was not going to leave him unattended in the ER. She said an aide would take care of him for me while I was gone if that was OK with me and assured me I would not be gone long. I would not have asked staff to watch him but it was their idea. I agreed and the aide said he would take Isaac outside to go potty if that was OK with me. I said it was. He mentioned that there wasn't much grass outside (this was a hospital in a city area) and I told him Isaac would pee on concrete or other surfaces and told him to just show Isaac where to go and tell him to go potty and he would. When they were bringing me back from the CT scan, Isaac was lying on the floor by the nursing desk with three employees gathered around petting him.

I was really glad Isaac is perfectly fine being handled by other people and is not stressed by being separated from me. He seems OK after the accident, but I might take him to the vet today or tomorrow just to get checked out just to be sure. An EMT looked him over for me at the scene of the accident and then a friend checked him over carefully for me at the hospital later. It was a while before I could check for myself because I had a cervical collar on and stuff for a while. I am OK now, just really sore, and Isaac and I are at home.

The hospital and the EMTs were really great and I was relieved not to have to argue about taking Isaac in the ambulance with me.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Don't Ask, Don't Tell

Random Guy at the Food Pantry Today: What's your dog for?

Me: He's a service dog.

Random Guy: Yeah, I know. But what's he for? Like is he for seizures or...?

Me: I don't share personal information like that with people I don't know.

Random Guy: Oh, I know. I was just curious. Do you have epilepsy?

Me: Look, I'm not going to tell you what's wrong with me and I won't ask you what's wrong with you.

Random Guy: Oh. OK.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

This is Why I Don't Tell People at the Dog Park He is a Service Dog

Isaac got to play with a 9-month-old black lab puppy named Cricket today as well as with a German shepherd-lab mix named King. We went to a new dog park because it is near my doctor's office and I had an appointment and wanted to give Isaac time to run around and get tired before the appointment.

No one was there when we arrived but Isaac was happy to sniff all the new smells and pee on all the new places. Then Cricket arrived and they had fun chasing each other. Then King came and they are regulars are our regular dog park so it was a nice surprise to see them today. King and Isaac wrestled and Isaac made a few attempts to hump him but King refused to cooperate.

I was explaining to King's mom why Isaac and I were at this park instead of our regular park and she said "Oh, he goes to your appointment with you?" And I explained he is a service dog so he goes pretty much everywhere with me.

Then I followed her gaze over to where Isaac was attempting to hump her dog. When King refused to be humped, Isaac sat down and began licking himself. This is why I usually do not tell people at the dog park that Isaac is a service dog.

Friday, March 3, 2017

A Place I Can't Take My Service Dog

Tomorrow I am going on a tour of the Gentle Barn. If you're not familiar with the Gentle Barn, it's a rescue for farm animals and it's very awesome. On the tour, you get to cuddle cows and play with various rescued farm animals. I am super excited.

Because of the nature of the place, I called them to ask if it would be OK to bring my service dog or if it would be better not to bring him. Isaac would be fine there, I am sure, but I didn't know about all the farm animals there. The woman I spoke to told me everyone there loves dogs, they love all dogs, and she assured me that she was sure my service dog was very well behaved, but said that some of their rescued farm animals are not comfortable around dogs and so she thought it would be better not to bring him. 

I am fine with that. That's why I called to ask. And I understand how the presence of a SD might alter things at this type of organization and so it might be appropriate and legal for them to deny access. That's why I called to ask.  

I normally do not call places in advance to tell them I am bringing my service dog or to ask if I can bring him.  If it's a place the Department of Justice has already stated (in the Americans with Disabilities Act) that service dogs are allowed, I don't ask if I can bring him.  I don't need to.  But this is one of those exceptions.

Isaac will be spending the day at a nearby doggie daycare instead. I'm sure he will have a good time there and I cannot wait to cuddle some cows!