Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Best Part of Waking Up Is... a Tomato on Your Leg?

Tonight I had dinner with a friend.  I was eating a grilled portabello sandwich and dropped a bite of tomato under the table. Yes, I am sometimes sloppy.

I looked under the table to see if Isaac was eating it, but he was snoozing on his side with his legs stretched out.  The tomato had landed on his leg and he did not appear to notice it was there.  I kept glancing under the table during the meal to see if he'd noticed it, but he was just snoozing away. 

When we were done eating and I woke him up to leave, he noticed it, looked surprised, and then gobbled it up.  Maybe it was because there was a little mayo on it.  I wouldn't expect him to like tomatoes.

Greeting Friends

Yesterday Isaac and I were at the Medicaid office, waiting for our turn to get a gas voucher.  One of my neighbors, a woman Isaac likes a lot, walked in.

When Isaac sees someone he knows well in a public place, he is never expecting it and it always pleasantly surprised.  Maybe delighted would be a better word.  When Mike and I meet for lunch or something, I almost always wait outside the restaurant so Isaac and Mike can greet each other before we go inside.  Isaac has a very hard time staying calm and acting professional when he is surprised and thrilled to see a friend in an unexpected place.

When he spotted our neighbor, he kind of did a double take.  He really did not expect to see her there.  And then, to my surprise and delight, he glanced at me as if seeking permission to greet her.  I told him it was OK and he got up and greeted her, but more calmly than I expected. 

I love seeing him mature and be more thoughtful about his behavior.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Really Grateful for Isaac Today

I am grateful for Isaac every day, but today, I really appreciated his help.  I woke up with my back bothering me a lot.  It was hard to get up.  It was hard to move.  Bending over would have been really hard.

I had planned to do laundry today.  If I had to do it alone, I wouldn't have been able to.  But I just finished folding one load and will be getting the second load out of the dryer in a few minutes.  With Isaac to get the laundry out of the dryer for me, I was able to do the laundry as I'd planned.

That might not seem like a big deal, but it means a lot to me.  I hate it when I can't do something I planned to do or wanted to do because of pain or fatigue.

I'm so glad I have Isaac to help with the laundry.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

At the Grocery Store

Today Isaac and I met a couple friends for lunch.  They were going grocery shopping at Walmart after lunch and we needed a few things from the store and the restaurant was right by Walmart, so we joined them.

It was interesting.  I guess I do not really eat or shop like "normal" people anymore.  I buy very little junk food, but my friends had to go down the chip aisle, the cookie aisle, the soda aisle, the ice cream aisle, etc.  The "junk food" I eat is usually something like homemade lemon zucchini bread.  They also had to buy stuff like toilet paper, which I have not bought in about two years (I do not use any disposable paper products in my  home).

It was also exhausting.  I can't remember the last time I went to Walmart or any big box store on a Saturday afternoon.  Too crowded.  And since Isaac and I do not normally shop there, and apparently service dogs are a rarity there, we got far more attention than I like.  One little kid almost fell out of the child seat in the cart, trying to bend over to see around his mother to look at me and Isaac.  We had people petting without asking, people asking me questions like "does he bite?" and people standing in the middle of the aisle to just stare at us.  I will not be shopping there again any time soon.

I think Isaac got tired, too.  He was standing nicely between my body and the checkout counter while I wanted to pay for my stuff.
Then he lay down for a snooze.  I guess the line was too long and boring.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

What I Can and What I Can't

Lately I've had several instances in which I've noticed things I've been able to do, things that in the past I couldn't do or would have had a really hard time doing, and I've really tried to recognize and celebrate these things.  It's important, I think, to celebrate accomplishments.

It's also important for me to try to keep things in perspective, to keep a balanced view of things, and it's often much easier for me to see the glass as half empty than half full.  Actually, the glass often looks less than half empty to me even if, in reality, it there is half a glass of water there.

So.  What I can:
  • Isaac and I recently did a four-mile hike, then longest I've done in I-don't-know-how-long.  Since before developing fibromyalgia, for sure.
  • Recently when hiking with a friend when there was a foot or so of snow on the ground, I noticed my friend was having a harder time getting up hills than I was.  I had to slow down and wait for him a couple of times.  This was a new experience because usually I am the one having trouble, the one asking other people to please slow down and wait for me because I just can't go as fast as everyone else seems to be able to do.
  • The last time I went hiking in the woods with a friend, I noticed that I was having no trouble keeping up, even on muddy, slippery, uneven ground.
  • A couple weeks ago, I went to the dentist to get my teeth cleaned.  Normally dental stuff makes me super anxious.  I took one of my anxiety pills before getting to the office, as I usually do.  But I realized after the appointment was over, that I wasn't anxious.  I wasn't particularly anxious before the appointment and I wasn't anxious during the appointment.  It was just... normal.  Kind of boring, mundane.  This is huge.  Really huge.
  • I am looking forward to things.  That might seem small to most people but with my depression, there often is not much I look forward to.  But I find myself looking forward to things lately.
But.  Then there are reminders that I am disabled, that there are things I cannot do, at least not now.  And they hurt.  I am sad for what I cannot do.  That sadness doesn't have to take away from what I can do or from the celebration of my accomplishments, but ignoring it doesn't help, either.  At least it doesn't help me.  Recognizing it helps.  Grieving and then letting it pass.

What I Can't:
  • Work.  At least not as much as I'd like, at the sort of jobs I'd like.  Today I considered applying for a part-time job working with an autistic preschooler.  I'd enjoy it.  But I had to reconsider because right now, it would be too stressful.  But I am sad about that.
  • Maintain relationships very well.  Which is why I am single.  And sometimes I am OK with that, sometimes I actually prefer being single.  But sometimes I am lonely.  And I am sad that I feel like it's not so much a choice I get to make but the way it has to be.

Chipotle Dog

At Chipotle, under the table.  His head is poking out a little, but it's right by my feet so not in the way at all.

There were a lot of kids in the restaurant and he was enjoying watching them, while keeping his head on his paws and being still and quiet.  Good boy!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Where Does the Dog Go?

Someone asked me what I do when I can't get a chair in a corner where Isaac will be out of the way, like he was in the doctor's office in this pic.
The answer is, it depends on the layout of the room.  He just needs to not be in the way.

Here he is lying beside the exam table in a doctor's office.  I asked what side of the table would be best for him to lie on so he wouldn't be in the doctor's way.

Here he is sitting right beside my knees in a waiting room.
Here he is behind a chair at my rheumatologist's office.  I actually put him there because she is afraid of dogs, not because otherwise he'd be in the way, but the same idea can work in crowded places, too.

The main thing is that the service dog is not in the way.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Doggie at the Doctor's

Here's Isaac, at the doctor's office with me this morning.  His butt, which is sticking out from under the chair, is in a corner.  You can't really see the wall in the picture, but his butt is right in the corner, out of the way.

My appointment was really early, 7:30 am and Isaac and I are usually in bed at that time.  He was still very tired.  He usually wants to say hello to my doctor, and my doctor likes him and remembers his name, but today Isaac barely lifted his head when the doctor came in.  He was too tired.

And on a related note, my doctor order some blood work so hopefully I will figure out why I have been so tired lately.  I think it is likely low iron but he seemed skeptical.  I can understand why he would be skeptical since I am on a lot of iron, but coupled with feeling cold all the time and the frequent headaches, that seems the most likely cause to me.  Plus problems with iron absorption are kinda common in gastric bypass patients several years post-surgery.  My doctor seemed unaware that headaches are symptom of iron deficiency, though, and also isn't real aware of issues related to gastric bypass surgery.  But whatever, he ordered the labs.

He also ordered a test for mono.  Which I do not think I have.  But he seemed to think it more likely it is something viral. 

He did ask me if I was sure it wasn't the "winter blahs."  I was like, um, I don't know.  What is that, exactly?  What are the symptoms and how does one diagnose it?  I don't think that's even a thing.  I think that's almost like telling me it's all in my head and I know a lot of stuff is in my head, at least partially, but I don't think this overwhelming fatigue is.

But anyway.  I get labs done tomorrow.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

So it wasn't a possum...

Remember the dead possum head Isaac found the other day? Well, it wasn't a possum. It was a deer.

I know because today he found most of the torso. I knew right away it wasn't a possum because it was too big and the wrong color but it took me a minute to figure out what it was because it was, um, not real intact. Then I saw a single leg with a hoof still on it and that's how I figured it out.

Isaac wanted to gnaw on the neck bone. Eww.

It kind of freaked me out because I didn't know what lives around here that is big enough to take down a deer and tear it apart like that. All I could think of was a coyote but I thought they usually ate things like rabbits and birds and maybe an occasional cat. Not deer.

I put Isaac back on his leash. Partly so he didn't try to gnaw on any more deer parts and partly because I was worried about what might have killed the deer. I do not want Isaac having any encounters with any coyotes.

There was a woman at the park office when we went back to the car, so I stopped to tell her about the deer and asked her what she thought would kill a deer. She said all she could think of was maybe coyotes, maybe working together. I asked her if there were a lot of coyotes in and around that park and she said she didn't know if there were a lot but that she knew there were some in the county. 

So I came home and did a little research. There are different types of coyotes but some, known as the Eastern coyote or coywolf, are hybrids, half-coyote, half-wolf. They originated up north but have been moving south and have been found as far south now as Virginia. They are bigger than regular coyotes and sometimes kill deer. 

So that is probably what did it. A coywolf. That's kind of neat but kind of scary.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Isaac and the Very Dead Possum Head

Yesterday at the park, Isaac found a very dead possum head. Yes, just the head. I am pretty sure it was a possum head. It was kinda hard to tell.

Isaac was most excited and pleased with his find. He jumped a fence to get to it, then picked it up and looked at me, wagging his tail proudly. Fortunately he did drop it when I told him to.

Wanna bet he finds that dead possum head next time we are at that park and looks just as surprised and pleased about it? Unless I get lucky and something carries it off before we go back there. Which could happen. It was still pretty, um, juicy.

There was a bone, like a steak bone or something, at the park early in the winter and he found that thing every time we were there for about three weeks. It would snow a bit and he'd dig it up and I'd tell him to drop it, then he'd find it and dig it up again the next day. I hope the possum head will not be like that.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Fatigue. Big Time.

I have been exhausted a lot lately.  I mean, a lot more than usual.  Maybe it's just my fibro but my pain is reasonably controlled and I don't know why the fatigue would sudden get much, much worse.  I feel like maybe my iron is low, but I take a ton of iron so it shouldn't be.  But I think I need some blood work done.

I see my rheumatologist in a week and I was trying to wait until then to ask her if she thinks it's the fibro or something else.  But I decided today, once I finally pulled myself out of bed, that I need to go see my primary care doctor and get some labs ordered now.

Mind you, last night I went to sleep on the couch about 7:30 pm.  I got up about 11 pm, at something and talked to a friend on the phone for a bit, then was back to sleep by midnight.  Isaac work me up early in the morning and I took him out to pee and fed him, then went back to bed.  I didn't really get up until about 10 am.

Then I took Isaac for a 45 minute nap and now I feel like I really want to go back to sleep again.

This is beyond my normal level of fatigue.  And I hate it.

Only I can't get in touch with  my doctor's office.  I keep calling and getting voice mail telling me what their office hours are and to call back then.  Only I am calling during those office hours.  I hate when businesses do that.  They need to answer the phone.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

I'm Impressed

Sometimes Isaac just impresses me so much.

Today we were at the park, practicing his recall with the whistle.  He is pretty good at it now, though not perfect.

Well, I whistles and he came running, so I went to give him a treat and I dropped the treat and also dropped my glove. He picked up my glove, without being asked, and gave it to me BEFORE eating the treat that I dropped. It's not uncommon for him to pick up dropped items before I ask him to, although he doesn't always do it, sometimes I have to give the command. But I would have expected him to gobble up his treat first. He got some extra praise and an ear rub for that one.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Juice Dog Video

Here is a video of Isaac getting me a juice box from the fridge. 

He will bring it to me in another room, but I stood in the kitchen to film it because otherwise all you'd see was him bringing the juice box to me but not him opening the fridge and getting it out. 

He has not learned to shut the fridge door yet, but most of the time it ends up swinging shut behind him. I think the reason it didn't close by itself this time is because of where I was standing. Usually he heads in the other direction with the juice because usually I am in another room.

Pork Skin Chew

Isaac, working on a pork skin chew.  Because he does not get rawhide anymore.  Because it gives him such god-awful gas.

America the Beautiful Access Pass - National Park Discounts for People with Disabilities

One of the reasons Isaac and I went to Cuyahoga Valley National Park yesterday was to obtain an America the Beautiful Access Pass.  The National Park Service provides these passes to people with permanent disabilities.  The pass is good for a lifetime and it allows free admission to all national parks and discounts on many activities such as camping, boating, cave tours at Mammoth Cave, etc. and many (but not all) national parks and national forests. 

The pass is free if you get it in  person at any national park office.  You can also request one by mail (see the National Park Service website for an application) for a fee of $10.  You need a photo ID, like a driver's license or state issued ID card, and proof of  your disability, like an award letter from Social Security or the VA or a letter from your doctor.  The National Park Service website lists all the forms of verification they accept, as well as a few things they don't accept (like a handicap parking placard).

We are planning a trip to Mammoth Cave this summer and with the access pass, will get 50% off on campground fees and cave tours, as well as free entrance to the park.  And yes, they do allow service dogs on cave tours.  I am curious to see what Isaac thinks of the cave!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Isaac and I hiked four miles today at Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Four miles probably sounds like a baby hike to a lot of people - I have a friend that regularly does eight to 10 hour hikes up mountains - but this is the longest hike Isaac and I have done together and I am really proud of myself for being able to do it. Last summer Isaac and I were regularly doing three miles but over the winter we normally just did one to two miles, because of the cold.  We did do a three mile hike a couple days ago, but that was the first three mile hike we've done since the weather started warming up. I'm just really excited that I was able to do four miles.

Isaac, of course, could go much longer. He used to do five mile runs with the dog walker on a regular basis. He enjoyed himself very much today, though.

Isaac took a very brief dip in the Cuyahoga River. It was 60+ degrees out but I'm sure the water was still super cold. He will be glad when it's warm enough for him to swim again.

Look how worn out Isaac was on the way home! I am worn out too.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Little Girl Under the Table

Today I was having dinner at Chipotle with a friend. Isaac was lying quietly under the table. At one point I glanced down and discovered a little girl about three or four had crawled under the table and was quietly cuddling and petting him.

I don't think she was there long but I didn't even notice her crawl under there! Apparently Isaac was happy to keep it a secret. He was being very calm and quiet, but looked quite pleased with the whole situation.

I did start giving her my lecture about "you should never pet a doggie without asking first" and only then did her mom come over and start telling her the same thing.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Whistle for the Doggie

Yesterday was supposed to be warm and sunny.  Instead, it was gray, foggy and not too cold.  Isaac and I headed out to our favorite local park anyway.

We hadn't been able to go to this park in at least a month, due to all the snow.  They don't plow the parking lot and I got stuck one day trying to get my car in despite the snow.  But most of the snow has melted here, finally.   There's been so much snow melting that the ground is wet as a saturated sponge.  It is beyond muddy, more like a swamp.  But we can now get in the  parking lot.

So we went to the park.  I had been working with Isaac on his recall with this whistle, since he has long since decided that when I yell "come here" that means, "come on over this way when you feel like it, please."  He will come immediately to the sound of the whistle at home, with no distractions.  We hadn't had the opportunity to work on it much outside, which is where I really need him to have good recall, because of the weather and stuff.  But I decided to give it a try yesterday and to my surprise, he came almost every time I blew the whistle.

To be exactly, at the park with a moderate level of distraction (no other dogs or people or deer he wanted to chase, but lots of interesting things to sniff and explore), he came promptly eight out of 10 times, when I blew the whistle.

We went back to the park today.  I forgot to bring dog treats, which I realized after we were already on our way.  So I decided to swing through the drive thru at McDonald's and pick up a small order of chicken nuggets.  I thought things would go even better with a high value treat like chicken.

Well, I can't say it went better, although it still went really well, and Isaac was very pleased with his nuggets.  He came promptly nine out of 12 times.  The other three, when I really he was not paying attention, I waited a minute or so, then tried again, and he did come then.  One of the times, I realized after I'd already blown the whistle that he was looking for a place to poop.  Apparently pooping is more important than running to me for a bite of chicken nugget.  When he was finished, he did come running.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Juice Doggie Update

Isaac and I are still working on fetching a juice box from the fridge.  I had hoped he'd have the task down fully by now, but no, not yet.  He will open the fridge and retrieve the juice box and bring it to me, but only if I am not too far away.  This morning I stood in the living room, right around the corner so I was out of sight of the fridge but still fairly close, and I was also blocking the light switch.  That's because if I try to stand near the couch and tell him to get the juice, he gets excited and doesn't listen well and thinks I want him to turn on the light instead.  But since I was blocking the light switch and pointing in the general direction of the fridge, he quickly figured out what I wanted.

In the beginning, he had a problem with sometimes not opening the door to the fridge far enough and then it would swing shut again before he had a change to get around it to get the juice.  Then he would stand there looking at the closed fridge in confusion, like he didn't know how he was supposed to get to the juice since the door had closed.  I had to give the "tug" command again for him to open the door.  Well, I don't have to give the "tug" command at all now, I just give the "juice" command and he knows to open the door.  If it does happen to close before he gets the juice, he opens it again without any prompting from me.  But it hardly ever closes on him now because he's figured out how to get his head around it quickly, because it can close.  So he is making progress and figuring things out.  I love watching him think and solve problems and learn.

Service Dog at Pizza Hut

Isaac under the table at Pizza Hut last night at dinner time.

He is in a down stay but has his head up because there were some kids running around being loud and he was watching them.  Isaac really love people watching.

Doggie Massage

I saw my massage therapist today and she and Isaac wanted to say hello to each other when I first got there. After a very enthusiastic hello kiss, Isaac sat down nicely in front of her, facing away from her, and she started to massage his neck and shoulders. She massaged him for about five minutes and his eyes closed and his mouth was slightly open with his tongue sticking out just a bit. He looked super super relaxed. It was so cute. I wished I'd had my phone handy to get a picture.

Isaac is now trying to tell me he wants regular appointments for massages, too.  I think he's going to have to settle for a brief five-minute massage at the beginning of my appointments for now, though.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Aggressive Dogs Do Not Make Good Service Dogs

I came across this article today.  A prisoner was participating in a program that trains dogs as service dogs.  There are a number of such programs across the country and I think it is often a good thing for both the dogs and the prisoners.

But in this case, the dog bit the prisoner training him.  Turns out the dog had a history of biting and the people in charge of this program knew it.

And they were planning to give this dog, that they  knew had a history of biting, to a disabled people as a service dog.  And the dog would have likely bitten his disabled handler or a member of the public when the dog was taken into public. 

Why on earth would you plan to place an aggressive dog as a service dog?  I'm sorry the prisoner was bitten but I am glad he won his case and I hope it makes whoever is in charge of this program reconsider trying to train aggressive dogs as service dogs.  That is dangerous to everyone.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Mental Illness Isn't Funny

I think I've posted about this before but I'm posting about it again because I'm pissed.

I regularly come across things on Facebook, typically posted or shared by my friends on there (and I have about 60 friends on Facebook, I do not have a million friends that I don't even know; if I don't know them in "real life" they are people I've interacted with online, like in a Facebook group for people with service dogs), that are meant to be funny but are not because they are making fun of mental illness and/or people with  mental illness.  I am often surprised at the people that share these things and seem to find them funny.  Like one friend with a brother who is cognitively disabled.  Or another friend who is passionately outspoken about.  People I would have expected to be more sensitive.  People I would not have expected to laugh about mental illness.

Here is the latest example.  It went something like this.  Imagine you are in a mental hospital.  Use the first seven names on your friends list to fill in the blanks.  The first name is your roommate in the mental hospital.  The second name is the patient that is licking the windows.  The third name is the patient that is running around naked.  And so on.

For those of you that have never been in a mental hospital, I can assure you, they do not allow patients to run around naked.  I have been in quite a few mental hospitals and I have never seen a patient licking a window, either.

But this is supposed to be funny.  And it's just not.

What if, instead of a mental hospital, we made it an oncology ward?  The first person on your friend's list could be the person getting chemo in the bed next to you.  The second person on your friend's list could be the person waiting for a bone marrow transplant.  The third could be the person whose child just died of leukemia.  Oh, that's not funny?

Or, what if, instead of a mental hospital, we made it a black family reunion?  The first person could be the dope dealer that just got out of prison.  The second could be the mom with 12 kids who is on welfare.  Is that funny?

Of course those things wouldn't be funny.  But why do so many people, that would immediately recognize those things weren't funny, think it's funny to laugh at people with  mental illnesses?  Do people really not get how serious and painful and terrible mental illness can be?  Do people really not realize that people die from mental illness? 

I may have to start unfriending people.

I should add that one of the friends I mentioned earlier apologized when I called her on it.  Another did not.

Overheard at the Grocery Store

A couple days ago, Isaac and I were in Meijer.  I was picking out salsa.  Two young men, probably in their mid-20's, walked past us.

Young man #1: Look at the beautiful dog.

Young man #2: That's a service dog.

Young man #1: I know.  You can't pet them.

Young man #2:  No, you can't.  You're not allowed.

Young man #1 (sighing): No matter how much you want to.

He's Not Sad

In the last two days, two different people (complete strangers) have told me Isaac looked sad. I do not think he looks sad, ever. Except when he has to have a bath.

The first person that told me he looked sad was in the grocery store. Isaac was standing quietly beside me in line, waiting to pay for our groceries.

The second person was the medical assistant at urgent care last night. Isaac was lying on the floor beside the bed in the exam room, sleeping. How is it even possible to look sad while asleep?

I wasn't sure what to say.  I felt like I needed to convince them he isn't sad, that he's a happy dog, that he doesn't work all the time and that he behaves differently when he's off duty.  But also, he's not sad when he's working.  He's calm.  He's subdued.  But that's not sad.  He likes his job.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Big Bone

Today Isaac and I went to Rural King to buy dog food.  I've always bought his food at Tractor Supply Co. but my dentist told me he thought it was cheaper at Rural King so I checked online and sure enough, a 30 lb. bag was $5 cheaper.  So we went there.

They had these huge beef bones on sale for $3.99.  So I bought Isaac one.

We came home and he spent two hours gnawing on it.  Seriously.  Then he went out to pee and then came in and chewed on it for another 20 minutes before stopping for dinner.

Best $3.99 I ever spent, I think.  I might go back later this week and buy about 10 more.

What Do You Say to That?

Lady in line in front of me at Meijer: Oh, is your dog a lab?

Me: Yes, he is.

Lady: I have a lab. They are the best dogs.

Me: Yes, they are.

Lady: My lab is 14. To tell you the truth, I think he is on his last legs, poor thing. I'm pretty sure he is going to die soon.

Me: Oh... Umm... I'm sorry.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Not All Disabilities Are Visible

That should go without saying on this blog, right?  But in real life, out in the community, I come up against this all the time.  I don't look disabled.  Whatever disabled looks like.

A couple weeks ago, there was a rep from a mail order pharmacy doing a little sales pitch in the community room of my apartment building.  She was serving free pizza, which I guess is how she figured she'd get people to show up to hear her pitch.  I decided to go, both for the free pizza and to give Isaac an opportunity to practice working in a highly distracting environment (highly distracting because some of our neighbors, his friends, people he usually gets to socialize a lot with, would be there).  Plus I was just bored.

It turns out the mail order pharmacy is a pretty neat deal.  They accept almost all insurance plans, including mine, and the cost to the customer is the same as if you were picking up your medications at a local drugstore.  I have a copay of $2.65 for most medications, which is the same amount the mail order place will charge me.  But not only are your meds delivered to your door once a month, they sort them into these little plastic pouches, labeled for each dose.  It's pretty cool.

But that is not the point of this post.

The rep asked me if I was training Isaac.

I said, "No, he's already trained."  And then I decided to ask her what made her think I was training him.

She got this deer-in-the-headlights look and said, "Because of his vest?"

I asked her what about the vest made her think he was being trained as opposed to already trained.  After all, the vest does not say "in training" on it.

She kind of stuttered and said, "I thought the vest meant he was in training, maybe?"

I said, "Sometimes people ask me that because they don't think he is my service dog because they think I don't look disabled.  Whatever disabled looks like.  You can't always tell if someone is disabled by looking at them."

My neighbors were all nodding.

The rep just looked uncomfortable.

I've had this conversation before.  Not all disabilities are visible.  In fact, many are not.  Making assumptions about whether or not someone is disabled by looking at them is not a good idea.

By the way, a friend of mine is getting ready to work with a  professional service dog trainer in order to train a service dog.  The trainer uses a wheelchair.  I wonder how many people, when she is in public training a service dog, think the dog is hers?  Because she looks disabled.  She can't be training that dog, can she?

Monday, March 2, 2015

Stink Under the Snow

Isaac, rubbing his face in something stinky he found under the snow.