Backyard play time with a few snowflakes coming down! Musketeer would watch a snowflake land in the grass, then breathe on it and it would melt... then it seemed like Musketeer was like, "Where did it go??? It was JUST HERE!!!". Fun time!
One of our local fire stations asked me to bring Musketeer over and talk to the fire fighters/ EMTs about people with service dogs. I had planned on telling them a bit how they can help service dog handlers, then giving a demonstration using a scent sample. Musketeer had other plans and alerted me while I was talking. GOOD BOY, MUSKETEER!!!
Let me share two recent experiences with you... Make that THREE!
1. I was at the check out of Walmart and the cashier asked me the name of my service dog. I said, "I'm sorry, I don't give out his name because I don't want you or anyone else that may hear, to call his name and distract him from his job." She said she understood and was checking out the rest of my groceries. I noticed Musketeer giving a pre-alert to falling BG levels and that's when the cashier reached out and PET MY SERVICE DOG!!! I told her to "LEAVE IT!" and finished the transaction and left the store, forgetting that Musketeer had given me a pre-alert and Musketeer forgot that he was about to alert because he was being petted! I drove home with a dangerous BG level because of that cashier!
2. I was at our big main doctor's office at the diabetic part of the building, so they could download my meter to order more test strips for the meter since I'm testing so much more now. The first receptionist had me sit in the waiting room while they did the downloading. The second receptionist got to her desk, sat down, saw my dog, JUMPED UP, Went through the door from the reception desk to the short hall, through ANOTHER door to the waiting room, ran toward Musketeer, calling out, "SERVICE DOG!!!!" I gave her the hand signal for "LEAVE IT!" and sternly told her, "Do *NOT* Distract my service dog!"
3. Took our son to a church school's Trunk or Treat event. Musketeer did GREAT with all of the little kids running around, until one 8? year old girl POKED him with her Rae(?) from Star Wars stick! Musketeer and I waited against a wall, out of the way from everyone and this 9 year old Batman boy ran up to Musketeer, hand outstretched and I shook my head and said, "No. No, get back. No! LEAVE IT! I said NO, he's WORKING, LEAVE IT!" and he finally stopped and ran off.
Come on, people! If you see a service animal.. if you see ANY animal... Smile at the handler and continue on with what you were doing. Please!
One man approached us with his 18 month old son, "May my son pet your... oh, it's a service dog, I'm sorry." No no, that's okay, let me get my dog ready to meet your son. Musketeer went into a down and CRAWLED up to the little boy and let the boy hold his nose while Musketeer wagged his tail. The man thanked me and I told him THANK YOU for what he did by asking!
1. Don't distract (no petting, no talking to, no kissy sounds, just smile at the handler). There are TONS of distractions when we're out and about, and a SD's one job is to take care of his handler, so he needs to focus without added distractions. 2. Talk to the handler, not the dog. (See reason above, AND, the dog won't answer you!). 3. Don't ask the dog's name or gender. I'm not going to tell you his name when out in public because I don't want you, or anyone, to call him when I'm about to have a medical emergency and he miss alerting because of your distraction. And gender... do you honestly need to know? I realize you're interested and I appreciate that, but just letting him work is best. 4. No, he doesn't wear his vest at home. We know he's a service dog so the vest isn't needed to tell us. 5. YES, he gets lots of time to PLAY many times every day, and he plays with all of his family members! 6. Please do not give SDs treats or any type of food. That is the sole job of the handler (we are the ones "paying" him to work for us) AND he might have food allergies (Musketeer is allergic to chicken, for example). 7. Service dogs assist those with disabilities. You may not be able to tell what type of disability the individual has, but realize that the person has some medical challenges and at times, just being out in public is all they can manage, so please don't be offended if they don't answer your questions about their service dog. They have most likely been asked those same questions several times already in just that one outing and haven't had the ability to answer anyone. HOWEVER, asking, "Would you mind if I ask you about your service dog?" is a WONDERFUL AMAZING PERFECT question to ask a SD handler! And if we're able, we would LOVE to talk to you about our team mate! Just realize that sometimes we're running late for an appointment, or we've just been alerted by our SD that a medical issue is about to happen, or we're wiped out and just need to get home. THANK YOU for reading, and if you'd like to ask questions, Dog Blog COMMENTS is the perfect place to do that, so I'm opening the floor to questions here!
Hi! I'm Musketeer Puppy and I have an important place in the Fairport household!
The lady of the house needs me to make sure her blood sugar levels aren't going where they shouldn't go. I place my paw on her leg if I smell the sugar levels in her system go up too much or go down too much. If her levels start to get too wacky, I start to whimper to let her know I'm extra worried about her and the humans need to do something fast. My lady doesn't like to hear me whimper, so she acts quickly to fix things.
When I'm done alerting, the entire Fairport family throws a Puppy Party! The lady gives me lots of treats and they all praise me and give me LOTS of love and I get so excited because I feel like I won a huge prize for saving my lady. Right after the Puppy Party, I take a bone into my awesome den so that my lady can fix the sugar levels and I can chill out after such an exciting party!
My lady gives the play time command several times a day and the wee ones and I play with a ball or play tug with a green and yellow rope. After a 10 - 15 minute high energy play time, I'm ready to just chill next to my lady.
When I'm out and about with my lady, I need to pay extra close attention to her because there are so many distractions when we're out and about! My lady gets distracted by EVERYTHING, so I have to focus on her to keep her safe. I'm learning to walk at her pace and I know how to walk next to an electric wheelchair really well. My lady and I hear lots of comments when we're out and about. So far, every parent has told their child, "No, you can't distract the puppy, he's working, he's taking care of his lady.". I'm SO glad everyone we've met so far is so respectful. Sometimes my lady lets people pet me, because she knows it's nice to meet other people and say hello, but ONLY when my lady thinks it's the right time for that.
The back yard at my new home is AMAZING! They have grass and leaves and I can run and play. I do my personal business on one side of the yard. The man of the house placed a really nice chair in the back yard for my lady to sit on. It even has a roof in case the shower gets turned on outside (WHO puts a shower OUTSIDE?? That didn't happen to me much while I was in Arizona, but HERE, it happened for THREE DAYS! I was about ready to place a call in to Noah!). We had a very nice fur brushing time this morning and my lady goes on and on about how handsome I am.
I have a very nice bed next to where my lady sleeps in the master bedroom. I stay right by her side, in case I need to alert her to a changing blood sugar level, like the other night. I woke my lady up at 3:00 am to let her know things weren't going the right way. I really like to help her!
Musketeer gets a bath before getting ready to board a plane on Thursday, October 12, 2017! Musketeer will be traveling with Ed, one of the "top dogs" at Diabetic Alert Dogs of America (D.A.D.A.), taking a flight out of Las Vegas and landing in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. They'll rent a car and stay at a hotel Thursday night since they'll be arriving late.
Ed will bring Musketeer to our home on Friday, between 10:00 and 10:30 am local time. I was given a complete schedule for Friday and Saturday of what I'll be learning! Right now I'm trying to focus on calm breathing. =)
Diabetic Alert Dogs of America, the company that I'm getting my service dog from, is headquartered in Las Vegas. I sent them an email this morning: "We've been hearing the horrible news and our thoughts and prayers are with the D.A.D.A. family. Hoping you and yours are all okay!
(Musketeer Puppy's person)"
I was thankful to receive this reply:
"All of us at DADs of America are safe and as are all the pups! Thank you for checking with us <3"
I am so happy to hear that you have enjoyed these updates and that it has been a good experience to follow along in Musketeer's training journey. I am even happier to report that Musketeer Puppy has officially passedhisscent training! He has really progressed in his alerts in public these last few weeks and has been doing great with his reaction time to the scent and his confidence alerting in public, at home and during the night. Musketeer will continue to practice his alerts at home, out in public and during the evening until his scheduled delivery. We can't wait for you to meethim!
I've been interested in Service Dog gear for awhile now. I don't know if anyone else is interested. I didn't post the "Tidy Turd" pooper scooper that arrived yesterday (you can thank me later, LOL), but this brought tears of joy:
Our phone number is under "Meds in vest", that's why it's blocked out.
I received a phone call from Diabetic Alert Dogs of America at noon local time. Musketeer completed his final testing yesterday and passed! He'll be leaving Las Vegas on Oct. 12th, flying to Wisconsin getting in late, so staying at a local hotel, then the morning of Oct. 13th, he'll be delivered!!!!
The trainer that is delivering Musketeer will be teaching me how to be a great service dog handler all day the 13th and most of the day on the 14th (will stay longer if needed).
Gracie, Musketeer's main trainer, told me that she and Musketeer had been out with another dog and another trainer, and that trainer happens to be a diabetic.
While they were out, Musketeer started alerting the diabetic trainer. The diabetic trainer told Gracie that his blood sugar levels were fine, Musketeer was most likely just wanting a treat. Gracie reminded the other trainer that Musketeer is really good at his job and the guy should test.
Sure enough, the trainer's blood sugar level was going where it shouldn't be and Musketeer had alerted correctly.
Musketeer has been working on maintaining a down stay while other dogs are walking by or playing near by, off leash heeling, recall, night alerts, and down stay for extended periods of time. His training locations have included Petco, Ikea, Lowe's, the local park, a softball game, Lazy Boy Furniture, and Cold Stone Creamery.
Next week, Musketeer will be working on maintaining focus on the handler while other dogs are near, night alerts, maintaining proper household manners, recall with distance in a large enclosed protected environment, continuous alerting and proofing his alerts.
Trainer Gracie of Diabetic Alert Dogs of America, has been Musketeer's main trainer and was the one to Skype with me and Musketeer the three times that I've now Skyped with him. I had a lot of questions for her and she gave me lots of answers as well as a lot of "behind the scenes" information that will help me be a better service dog handler.
One of the first things I asked was if she will be okay when it's time for Musketeer to leave to come home to me. She told me that if Musketeer would stay with her, he'd only be a pet and not living up to his full potential and that includes saving my life. She much rather have Musketeer helping take care of me and making my life so much better and healthier and Musketeer really loves to do alerts and other tasks, it makes him really happy. She did tell me that her husband has gotten really close to Musketeer and he might have a more difficult time, but still, he knows Musketeer needs to be with me. I asked Gracie if she would like it if I kept in touch with them, let them know how Musketeer is doing and she seemed thrilled with that offer! I'm planning on making something extra special for Gracie and her husband and have it be "from Musketeer" for Christmas.
Musketeer went on a road trip from the Phoenix area to Las Vegas Wednesday, September 20, 2017 to meet up with the boss man to be tested! Musketeer Puppy PASSED with flying colors! I was told to contact the office next week to find out when Musketeer has been scheduled to fly to Wisconsin! I was told two to three weeks from now by Gracie, but the main office will be better able to give me a more exact date! I was also told that Musketeer is awesome going on long car rides.
I was given so much information to process today. I'll be given so much MORE information and a book all about Musketeer, when he arrives. I was told if there is any place here that I'm not sure will be open to having a service dog, to let Ed (the boss who will be delivering Musketeer) know, that he's very good at educating folks about ADA laws.
No time to waste! The time to step up to the plate is NOW!
1. Direct payments to Diabetic Alert Dogs of America using Musketeer Puppy in the payment description box. Here's the LINK
2. Donate at any Wells Fargo Bank to Musketeer the Diabetic Alert Dog. 3. PayPal to: email@example.com
4. Purchase items or donate towards Musketeer at ~XM~ Designs in SL.