Luna and I are ending way too soon

It’s way too soon to have to be doing this, but here I am. I will be saying bye to my precious pocket rocket, miss Luna moon on Sunday afternoon. She will be returning to Leader and hopefully by no fault of her own be able to find another partner that will love and care for her as much as I did. If not, well, she can go back and torture the new puppies that are being trained for Leader and teach them all bad habbits, right?

A few people that knew the situation before now asked if I would keep Luna and if I could then she wouldn’t be retiring, smiles. But, it wouldn’t be fair to keep her if she is able to be issued back out. Her work is still awesome, hahah, Leader will just have to work out the bad habbits I taught her and if they can match her again with someone that can walk as fast as she does, then why should I deny her that working life that she enjoys?

Luna has been the most interesting pup I have had. We have had many fun stories to share with everyone and I’m glad with her that I got to write them all down and can remember her when she’s gone. This has been the hardest decision I had to make on retiring her due to medical reasons on my end, not hers and fighting to keep her as long as I could, but it was finally a losing battle.

To the Leader Dog puppy raisers, thanks so so much for an awesome little girl. I hope my next pup brings me lots of fun times as miss Luna has done. Thanks for joining us on our adventures from beginning to end and I hope no matter where I end up you join me on the next ride.

Miss Luna moon you show them that you still are awesome and I will miss you terribly. And with that it’s time to curl up and cry! It’s back to that darn horrible blasted no fun to talk too cane!

Trust your dog

You know it amazes me how many times I get hit in the face with that phrase from my own dog in her way.

Today was our first day at Ohio State Marion for classes and even though it’s a small campus it’s a little confusing due to the layout.

Well, I was still very much confused so showed up early to give myself time to get lost. I had my certain landmarks to listen for and to watch out for, but was still pretty nervous.

So, we get inside the building and cruise through the doors and one of my landmarks isn’t running…darn water fountains! Think I need to figure out something else to use, lol. 

Anyways, I tell Luna left after a while since I know we have to go that way and like the good girl she is, she goes left when it’s time to do so.

Well, great, don’t hear my other landmark which is the vending machines, *grumbles* but Luna is still cruising along like she knows where she’s going. She shows me a door, but I didn’t see the sign just a blank wall…erm, this wall doesn’t feel right. Luna I think we missed something.

So, I turn her around and we start walking another direction. hey, there’s the vending machines I was looking for! They were there the whole time just quiet, drats! Ah well, that means we should be by the other exit doors. Forward we go then.

LUna, find the doors, outside!

Heheh, Luna shows me a door, but guess what, it’s not the exit doors! Well, crap, now what?

So, I yet again turn Luna around since I know we’re in the right general area and off we go again. Luna drags me down the hall the way we were going the first time, you know, before I turned her aroun, hahah.

She shows me the door again, but this time a little further over and um, guess what? It’s the direction I needed to be! I just needed to go one more door down to be in the right place.

Me: Oops, guess we were going right the first time, eh Luna?
Luna: *gives me the look of duh* and then sighs at me, like I told you so. Next time listen!
Me: gives her a treat and tell her what a smart great girl she is and we go on with our day.

One of these years I’ll learn to follow and trust my dog when they are more sure than I am. Of course then it will be my luck I end up who knows where, hahaha, right?

Where did the first half of the year go?

Note:
Those reading this by email there is a video in this entry as well so you’ll have to go to my site to see it. Sadly I don’t think anyone has found a way around that yet, sorry.

Where did the first half of this year go? I’m pretty sure I didn’t blink for longer than a few seconds, honest!

And speaking of things flying by, can you believe that luna and I have been a team for almost 9 months already? Didn’t I just get her?

Boy it’s been a very very busy first half of the year and it definitely won’t be slowing down anytime soon.

1. I started at International Academy for my massage therapy training in January. It may take me a while since I’m doing it course by course to get the horrible *boring* courses like anatomy and physiology out of the way! Currently I’m working on A&P4, but that’s about to end on Thursday. Then I’ll be switching to even ore A&P plus 2 other classes, Ethics and Massage Techniques 1-4. Now the massage classes will be more like a refresher for me since I have a background already, but different country so interested to see how that will go.

School wise with all the problems I was having with Carleton University thanks to my disability worker that was as smart as a pole i’ve decided to put my focus more on getting my massage license so that I can start working sooner rather than later, smiles.

2. Sing sing sing! My absolute delight is singing with Shout Sister Choir If you love to sing and have loads of fun doing so and live in Ontario, then you should definitely join one of the chapters. You won’t regret it!

No, we are *not* a religious choir nor are we *nuns* We definitely don’t sing boring songs, but ones like what’s heard here. This is from our end of year show in May and I believe there were 125 of us on stage.

Sadly our season has come to an end, but never fear we’ll be back next season starting in September! Will anyone reading this in the Ontario area be brave and let themselves loose to join us?

3. Starting a business is fun and challenging and I think makes my brain leak out of my ears more than anatomy and physiology does. Whew, good thing I’m trying to get things set up now instead of right when I finish classes. Hopefully all I’ll need to do when the time comes is release my business site and start promoting promoting promoting! For now I need to find a trust worthy financial business person. Psst, anyone know of any in the Ottawa area?

4. Plan plan plan, that’s me! So along with working on business starting up ideas I’m also working on planning our first ever cruise! James and I are hoping things work out and we can go next year for our 4 year anniversary. We’ll be going on Carnival to the Bahamas! I’m going to swim with dolphins and go to Starbucks, hahahahah! Although playing with Sea lions sound like fun too! Decisions decisions.

Ok, think this post is long enough. Take care until next time!

What happens if you’re sick?

Did you ever stop to think about how you would take care of your guide dog if you were too sick to do so?

It wasn’t until I received my current guide Luna that I had to seriously give this some thought. From the moment I got Luna and our working bond started to build I noticed the connection that we have is much stronger than I had with previous dogs. I felt that we were more in tune with each other. I started joking around saying that Luna is without a doubt 100% my dog!

Well, his past march when that horrible sick feel like you’re dying bug was going around and it hit me like a freight train I discovered how true that statement was.

I felt horrible that I couldn’t get her out for walks, but standing for more than a minute nearly did me in. Luna absolutely refused to drink water or go anywhere at all if James tried. So I would drag myself out of bed to get her to drink water and take her outside or wait until the princess was desperate enough to go on the balcony. Luckily I didn’t have to worry she would starve because she’d eat no problem for James. I mean it’s food and a lab say no to food, never!

It was a long long couple of weeks and a month before I was completely better, but from that moment it stuck with me on what would happen if I got so sick that I couldn’t even drag myself from bed or have to stay in the hospital with a dog that’s super attached to me.

How to toilet train your guide dog

How to toilet train your guide dog in just 2 easy steps!

1. Answer mother nature. We all have to go sometime, but to make this work you must go to the wash room just before it’s time for you to go somewhere or right before it’s time for them to eat.
2. Now you can take the dog out, harness him/her to go out for your day or outing or feed him/her.

By doing these 2 easy steps exactly as listed above it’s guaranteed that your guide dog will be toilet trained in no time. By the time you flush the toilet that pup will be letting you know in many ways possible such as, *whining, grumbling, howling or a combination of the 3* that you need to get a move on! Trust me I should know!

Much to my dismay I accidentally conditioned Luna to whenever I go to the wash room that it must be time to go somewhere and/or eat!

Now to figure out how to un-condition her, lol.

First follow up visit from Leader Dogs

Whew, time definitely needs to slow down a little. How can I keep people up to date on things if time keeps getting in the way?

So last week Luna and I had our first follow up visit from Leader Dogs. I was a little nervous about it since Luna was definitely out of sorts work wise last week. I’m pretty sure it was due to the heat. she really hates it and man I surely don’t blame her, bleh!

So late Thursday afternoon early evening John, sorry don’t remember his last name, but not John Bertram came to see us. I was taking Luna outside when he showed up and ended up getting lucky that he got to see Luna in one of her dog distraction moments. Luckily it wasn’t one of her *super* distracted ones* but enough to give him an idea of what I deal with every once in a while.

Before we started the lesson I wanted to work on he showed me how to do the *touch* technique. He was pretty sure that Luna already knew it and he was right. As soon as John told me what to do and I tried it Luna hit it right on first time! I’ve heard of the technique before, but it isn’t anything we learned.

Psst, Jessica John says Leader should add this into the training!

Now, it’s route time.

Tim Hortons/Wendy’s route
The problem I was having with this particular route was that I didn’t understand why Luna was crossing the way she was and swerving more than she usually does. I wasn’t sure if I was doing something wrong or if there was something that bothered her. Instead of continuing to work on it with the mobility instructor here that doesn’t let me know we’ve missed something until a few steps later like blended curbs or tell me that she’s way off where we need to be but not explain what she is seeing I figured getting someone from Leader would be much better and could give me the feedback I needed before and not after the fact and making things worse. Don’t get me wrong the mobility instructor here is totally awesome, but she isn’t quite grasping that the way Luna works is a lot different than my last dog and where Noah didn’t care that *whoops* I past that and she didn’t say so until 5 steps later, lets do it again. Luna is more like *oh no* what did I do wrong and *why* are we doing that again, didn’t I do it right the first time? And *why* is my human getting frustrated?

Ok, enough background, sorry for that. ☺️

Turns out that this route really is a weird crossing and will take some patterning her to *find the* areas instead of just find the curb. For example, I’ll have to work with her on *find the gap* instead of find the curb because at the curb is a manhole cover.

NEWS FLASH! Luna absolutely without a doubt seriously hates manhole covers. She will not step on them what so ever. This is feedback that I didn’t receive with regular mobility and couldn’t figure out. Every few steps on this route there are manhole covers. Sadly one of them is right in a straight line to the curb going to and coming from Tim Hortons/Wendy’s and Luna will go around them which causes us to go off track. But Luna being Luna once we’re past the horrible things all is right with the world and off we go.

Another crossing on this route from Tim Hortons/Wendy’s Luna will not make a straight crossing and John believes that it may be to her the cars are way too close for her liking and she tries really hard to keep me away from the traffic. He noticed she does this even when we’re walking down the sidewalk.

So, despite the fact my little pocket rocket didn’t go flying down the street like we usually do due to it being too warm for her the visit went great. I learned something new about Luna *manhole covers* are horrible! We now include *touch* in our daily routine.

I haven’t had a chance to see how the *touch* technique does when she’s seriously dog distracted, but I’m sure that time will come. Until then, see you at the next update!

Luna and the pigeons

Hey, pssst, I got another funny tail to share with you. Are you ready? No, then hurry and put down that food or swallow that drink. I don’t need you to choke or something.

One of the funniest but nerve racking moments during training with Luna at Leader Dogs was the day when Luna picked up the name Luna the Terror and the following day when instead of my sweet dog back our class got an army of tormenting squirrels

Now, you have those moments fixed in your head, right? Good, lets take you back to present day!

Luna and the pigeons

It’s 6:30AM and it’s that time where I curse and grumble and let Luna drag me down the hall, in the elevator and outside for her to do her business wagging her tail the whole time. HMPH! Oh how I miss those mornings I could just kick her out the back door, lol.

I’m working on cruse control here. In the mornings we don’t have any problems with distractions or anything so me half there usually works.

Step out the apartment building

Pigeons, *coo coo*
Me, Holy cow there’s a lot of pigeons out here this morning!
Pigeons, *coo coo coo*
luna, *wag wag wag* goes the tail. *bounce bounce bounce*
Me, Yeah, I don’t think so Luna lets keep moving.
Luna, But but mum all the moving toys for me! *spins around*
Me, *groans* This is not going to end well.
Pigeons, *coo coo coo*

I manage to get my infatuated pet away from the pigeon convention and over to her park area. Of course once they are out of sight they are out of mind and she happily does what she is suppose to and is ready for breakfast.

That pigeon had a death wish

I get a firm grip on my lovely four legged creature knowing what I have in store on the way back to the apartment doors.

Me, Ok, Luna inside and kindly leave the pigeons alone.
Luna, *pant pant pant* sure, whatever you say mum. Where’s my breakfast?
pigeons, *coo coo coo*
Luna, *wag wag wag* goes that tail
Me, Nope, leave it and lets keep moving!
Pigeon, *flies right at Luna’s face
Luna, oo a snack! *leaps forward*
Me, Shit! *nearly loses leash* Whoops, there goes that firm hold! Damn bird, no Luna, leave it!
Luna, mine mine mine!
Pigeons, *coo coo coo* sits on the rail in front of us now
Me, *curses*
Luna, walks calmly by the pigeon as if it’s not there wagging her tail. See mum I’m a good girl I left it!
Me, Why me?

I’m afraid to find out what’s the next animal we’ll encounter this month!

snake distraction

Dogs, cats, birds, children and all the other typical things that may distract our furry little pals you expect to come across at some time throughout your day, but what about a snake?

Yes, you read that right. A snake!

A few days ago I took Luna out to do her business and she was doing her spin around in circle thing when all of a sudden she stops in mid-spin. i didn’t think anything was wrong then since she does that sometimes. She gets distracted by kids playing on the playground across the street or another dog may be outside in her line of sight and totally forgets what she is suppose to be doing. But this time was different. Before I could refocus her Luna *growls*

Um, what the heck! Luna never growls and this isn’t a nice friendly lets play growl. This is a low growl. Luna growls! I’m shocked.

I call her name to get her attention and she plants her feet and continues to growl.

I’m wondering what the hell is wrong since it’s definitely out of the norm and how the heck do I get Luna’s attention refocused on me when a guy finally decides to say, “oh, I have a snake here. Don’t worry I won’t come any closer.”

YIPES! A snake. I hate snakes! Who the hell cares that he wouldn’t come any closer…a freaken snake! This is just great. Luna’s pissed and refuses to move and there’s a snake! This is something I definitely didn’t learn about at Leader Dogs. I think Jessica forgot that part of my training. I want my money back, lol.

Apparently firm tones and tugging her another way with the leash wasn’t doing the trick so I didn’t even bother trying that again. Besides, I wanted away from that snake!

Me, picks Luna up and quickly carries her over to another patch of grass not far away.
Luna, *growl, snort, yip*
Me, whoops, sorry didn’t mean to squeeze that hard
Luna, *snorts* and ignores me after I put her down and pees on my shoe
Me, *groans* Luna! Did you have to pee on my shoe?
Luna, *grumbles* and walks to the sidewalk to go back inside.

Can we kindly *not* have this distraction again?

Happy birthday LD luna Moon!

I think one of the worse days to have a birthday is on April Fools Day even for a dog, but that’s what today is for my little pocket rocket!

Luna is now 2 years old and she had to spend part of it working. Isn’t that horrible?To make it even worse is she had to sit through Anatomy and Physiology. Oh the horror! Today she made sure that she got all sorts of attention by giving everyone big sad puppy eyes until they gave in and asked if they could pet her, lol. My girl is too smart for her own good!

Today was pretty rough for me as well, but this galloping bundle of joy still brought a smile to my face.

To her sibling that hopefully made it to a great working dog like her, happy birthday to you too!

Hard work pays with super impress me results!

I am so extremely proud of the team luna and I have become. We have not quite reached the 6 month mark but yesterday showed me that I must be doing something right.

Everyone has either heard me talk about how good Luna is or seen it on videos of how she is at choir shows, but during those times she’s not really working, meaning there’s no harness on her then. I’m extremely proud that she is very well-behaved during those times. However yesterday takes the cake for being in harness!

I do obedience with luna a few times throughout the day, some off leash and some with the leash and she does a good job with lots of snorts and grumbles at me. Especially when I decide to do some at meal time. Man, she really hates me then, lol. One of the things I work on only at home because it’s a controlled environment is not holding her leash and giving her commands, sit, down, come and stay. Stay is the biggest one I work on since she does the others with no problems what so ever. The longest i’ve gotten her to stay without me near her is 5 minutes. Not bad!

Now that you got that little background, here’s the story.

Yesterday was an open house at International Academy which is the school I attend for Massage training. I wasn’t too sure at first if I would take Luna because I knew that I at the very least would want to get a mini massage and I wasn’t sure where I would put her. In the end of course she came with me. Ha, she would have had a cow if I would have left without her, lol.

I’ve already had one classmate tell me that she didn’t even notice I had a dog and she sits right next to me, smiles. Shows how good my girl is. Not a peep out of her. That’s definitely the way I like it.

Anyways, off track, sorry!

Luna was on her best behavior the moment we got there. When I stopped to talk to instructors or staff or students she either stood quietly by my side or she sat down. I gave her verbal praise for that.

Here’s the start of when Luna impressed even me!

I decided to get my mini massage and I had Luna sit out of the way under the table and told her to stay. I had no idea how well this was going to work since the student therapist has to move around and possibly step very close to her. This was not a controlled environment. it is a big open room with people coming in and going out. Clients getting on tables and chairs and student therapists moving around. So nerve city!

I told Luna to stay once more and I climbed on the table. For the whole 15 minutes Luna did not move a muscle! The person giving me the massage told me that she had her head laying on the little ledge under the table watching the room and that was it. she didn’t even move when the student stepped close to her. I of course was shocked! 15 minutes Luna did not get up once! She waited until I stood up before she got up. I praised her like mad and gave her treats of course. That was worthy of a party! Never ever have I gotten her to stay still at home that long. Yay Luna!

For that test only students and some staff knew she was there and Luna was praised loads from them as well.

Test 2
I decided well lets try again and see how things go because I wanted to try out reflexology. something I never had done before. This time there were some from the general public in the room and of course everyone says how cute and well-behaved she is. *beams* of course, that’s my girl!

This time I’m in a chair so she can see me and I’m pretty close to the ground in this chair. So once again I’m a little nervous cause I started a bad habit at home, but shhhhh don’t tell Jessica my trainer, lol. At home there’s a rocking chair that I sit in and Luna loves to jump in my lap and sit up there with me. see where I’m going with this? *chuckles* So yeah was a little afraid that once I sat down I’d have a dog in my lap.

Luna showed me once again that she knows when to show her good side, lol. She checked out what the student therapist was doing, figured it was safe and I wasn’t dying and she laid on the floor next to my chair. I didn’t pay any attention to her at all until I heard this from a client in the next chair, “that dog hasn’t moved at all since they sat down.”

I reached over and sure enough Luna was laying nicely by the chair. She lifted her head and wagged her tail when I touched her, but when she saw we weren’t moving, she laid back down. she did not get up until I stood up. Once again another 15 minutes of me not holding on to her she showed that she could stay still. But in this one there was an added test. The client that said she hadn’t moved walked over to her when he was done with his session and wanted to pet her. Because it was a first time in public with me not holding on to her I didn’t want it to turn into failure so I told him that she was working and he was fine with that and waited. He was very close to her partly kneeling in front of her and again, she did not move! So for the second time she got a super praise party.

The third time was pretty much like the second time except she was sitting under my chair instead, but the result was the same. Luna did not move for 15 minutes. She waited until I stood up or reached for her leash!

I am so proud of my girl! I was afraid to try it because of the result I get at home, but I guess that when she’s in harness she will surprise even me and shine bright! Three 15 minute sessions and she was absolutely *terrific*

Also I got lots of comments about how mature she is and loads of surprise when I said she’s not even 2 yet. When luna has her harness on she is night and day. A holy terror when not working, but super impress me dog when that harness is on.

Thank you Leader Dogs for such an awesome girl! I couldn’t have asked for a better dog.