PAD Milo Learns To Fly!

My nerves were making me feel sick. This was going to be Milos first time in an Airport and we will also be flying that day. I usually like to take the dogs to the airport once or twice before we actually fly to give them a dry run of all the comotion, going through security, and loading a plane (some airlines will let you board the last plane of the day after everyone is off–to let your dog experiance that, its very nice since it can be a tight space).

I woke up later than I had hoped to, and this didnt leave me with much time to walk Milo. Luckily, he went both number one and two before we left.

Once we arrived to the airport, it was PACKED. This really sent my stress levels through the roof with people rushing and hussling everywhere. Milo walked right next to me perfectly, unfased by any of it. We saw a few drug dogs–he looked interested in them, but kept quiet and calm at my side.

My Dad helped me get to the front of the line (there was a line out the door of the Airport-to get into another line to wait to get on line for security–was CRAZY!). On the account of my Vertigo I could not wait or stand in the line that long so was promoted to the front kindly. I said my fair-wells to my Dad as I made my way to security…

This was the first time I EVER been through security by myself…and I had a puppy to manage at the same time. People were still pushing and running around and I was starting to feel the panic pinching my chest, and buring my eyes. I told the security guy I needed a pat down on account of medical reasons–he put me in the shortest line for people with children or disabilities. I appreciated this. I told him this was my first time alone and I was not sure what to do or how this would work. He helped get me the bins and everything to put my stuff through the detectors. The mother of three kids in front of me turned to rub my arm and told me “you BOTH are doing great!”

I had to wait a few minutes to get my pat-down. The nicest older woman came to do it, she understood I couldnt hear and made sure she was looking at me. She was very reassuring the entire time, which really helped me a lot. She did my pat down with no problems while Milo sat at my side and watched patiently for his turn.

The security woman turned to Milo now for his pat down–which he VERY much enjoyed! We made small talk about Milo, how old he was, stuff he will do for me (the usual?). She kept telling me how perfectly behaved, how he didnt seem bothered by all the comotion or stressed people around, and how over all amazing he was! She couldnt believe this was his first time ever in an airport. I smiled, they were great compliments to give a 4 month old puppy!

From there we were on to our gate. They changed our gate, and our flight was delayed an hour. I followed someone to our new gate. Milo and I sat on the floor against the wall–he layed down next to me, and I was finally able to take a breath.

We had a few people come up to ask about Milo and Service Dogs in general. I was happy to talk about it since its something that I know and was keeping me “cool”.

A Pilot came over, we started talking and he kneeled next to us. He was so impressed with Milo and really was interested. He offered to take Milo out to relieve himself if needed. Since our flight was delayed, I knew Milo would probley have to pee. I handed Milo over to him and they went on their way.

He told me Milo was reluctant to leave me, and kept wanting to come back and find me. But once outside, he took a huge dump! (yea, I was kinda embarassed when he told me this LOL). As they were making their way back to me, they had to go through security–He was not sure what to do–and Milos easy walk, and collar kept setting off the alarm. So he undressed him and took him through the metal detectors. They went on an esculator, he held him and said Milo was kissing his face the entire time.

Once Milo saw me again he jumped into my arms (I was still sitting on the floor). I was so greatful he did this, and I know Milo appreciated it!

We sat and talked until the Pilot heard an announcement that they changed our gate number again.

I went up to the ticket lady and told her I needed to preboard. She was very rude and basically shoo-ed me away. My new Pilot friend told her what was going to happen, and he made sure Milo and I were the first ones on the plane.

Milo walked down the hall way to the plane, and onto the pane like a seasoned pro! I was very impressed since Macy is awful about this!

We sat in the first seat and people started to board. After awhile, a rude air hostess told me I had to move, i told her I need bulk head and she told me someone else paid for it. ANYWAYS, we made our way to our new seat (4A–a window seat), while there was a bit of leg room, there was just enough for Milo now and NO way he would fit there in a few moths. The Pilot appologized for the rude woman and kindly explained how this plane was “weird” and that the seat I was sitting in was “first class” and I was actually in Bulk head now…It made sence as I looked at the seats again so didnt complain.

We got a window seat; Milo spent a few minutes (5 min tops) trying to figure out how to place himself partly under the seat in front of us then curled up and went to bed before the hostess was even done with the safty procedures.

Milo didnt even wake up for take off, which was bumpy and stuff. He slept the entire flight in the little space he had, and I watched out the window and played with my phone. I was sure he would wake up for landing but he didnt–not even with the rough touchdown that felt like a crash. Our Pilot Pal, helped get my bags down while I woke little Mr. (Milo) up. So many people were going “I didnt know there was a puppy on the plane!!”.

We made our way off the plane easily. The Pilot asked where I needed to go, I told him we were to meet my BF at baggage claim and he said he will take us! This helped me SO much, the Atlanta airport is huge and I would of been so lost! We made our way around the place to the mono-rail and got on, Milo never been on one before but, again, acts like its nothing! The monorail when very fast and you are able to feel gravity pull you back, I had to hold on and Milo watched me the entire time with eager eyes as a teenage girl was coo-ing at him “AW! puppy! good puppy! sweet puppy”.

We got to bagage claim and made our way outside, where he waited with me until Joey showed up. I was SO greatful for everything the Pilot did, was way over and beyond!

Over all: Milo had no accidents in the Airport–which was good since the time he woke up on the plane to leave to getting out of the air port was a long long way!

He slept the entire flight, and was not afraid of anything (the airplane, people, commontion, ANYTHING)

I am SO SO PROUD of my little man! He did BETTER than PERFECT!

-Shoshana Rappaport, Milo’s owner, trainer and partner

PAD Kingsley

Breed: Cream Standard Poodle
Interests:
  • Snuggling
  • Flinging Fleece Tug Toys
  • Splashing About in the Pool
Favorite Treats:
Favorite Links:

An Update On Biscotti

A message from the director and co director:

We want to address the current issue with PAD Biscotti, as we’re sure if most of you haven’t heard yet, you will soon. Although it is extremely rare for PAD to ask for a dog to be returned from a team, due to concerns about Biscotti’s well being and continued training, we picked him up today. We’ve had many conversations to attempt resolve numerous safety issues over the past 5 weeks. Due to the fact that we were unable to get adequate cooperation, we finally had to intervene to ensure the dog’s health and safety. PAD Biscotti will be seen by our veterinarians, and when cleared for work we will re-evaluate his ability to continue in training. We hope that you all understand how devastating this is for everyone involved, especially Biscotti.

Sincerely,

Linzey Zoccola and Cory Grimm

Biscotti has been on medical leave since returning to PAD.  During this leave, we’ve been giving him a lot of wonderful time to be a puppy, including food toys, snuggles in bed and long walks.  His volunteer Puppy Trainers are going a great job at this important break.

Biscotti is learning to walk on a Gentle Leader, while still working on loose leash lessons on his collar, this will allow his trainers to handle him safely.  Gentle Leaders are wonderful tools, and we will use them also with partners that need additional safety measures taken with their dogs.

This weekend they took Biscotti on a long walk around a beautiful cemetery across the street from his Puppy Trainers home.  He is learning quickly that the Gentle Leader is not a bad thing, and we are so proud of their work!  Though Biscotti has returned to us with significant behavioral set backs surrounding fear, his trainers are working through them and we hope he will continue to make great progress and soon be back to the confident and social Labrador we know he is.

On Tuesday, Biscotti will undergo surgery to have a growth removed from his lip. So today, he had two very important visitors over for a play date Рhis littermates Rogue and Squeak!  Rogue and Squeak are not in training to be service dogs, but are wonderful loved pets.   The litter will be 8 months old on the 9th of May, and it was great to catch up while they romped in the 3/4 acre of fenced in grass at PAD.

Biscotti (front) with Squeak and Rogue (L to R)

We will be posting updates as he recovers, his health improves and we evaluation him for continued assistance dog training

PAD Milo Has His 1st Eye Test!

April 12th 2012 PAD Milo went to the Animal Eye Specialty Clinic of Palm Beach for a eye clearance exam. When we arrived the receptionist handed me drops to put in his eyes; I was a bit nervous putting the drops in but Milo was not scared and did not move. The drops were used to enlarge the pupils for the exam; because of this, his eyes were more sensitive to the light. We had to wait about 30 minutes for the drops to take effect. In the general waiting area there was an African Grey parrot who Milo showed no intrest in even when the bird said “hello” and “sit!”. There were a good number of other dogs coming in and leaving; Milo wanted to say “HI” to them and their owners but once he understood this was not play time he settled under the bench.

I let him meet the staff, and he met a Doctor wearing a operation clothing, and a face mask–none of this scared Milo. After we went back to the exam room the Doctor came in monents later. Milo greeted him with puppy kisses of course! He did amazing during the eye exam, and wagged his tail the entire time!


A big thank you to Shoshana Rappaport for this guest blog entry!

PAD Charming Charlie

 

 

PAD Charming Charlie was donated to PAD by his breeder, Bad Company Labradoodles. Bad Company Labradoodles have been breeding Labradoodles since the early 90’s and have had many become therapy and service dogs with individual trainers and service dog programs. Charlie, now one old is a therapy dog at a private counseling practice.  He has been adopted by one of the dedicated therapists there and is doing wonderful in this career!  PAD Charlie is pictured [left] with Sarah Taby, his certified therapy handler.

 

Breed: Labradoodle
Interests:
  • Snuggling
  • Daily Routine
  • Eating
  • Playing “hide and seek” a game he gets to search for his trainer and earn treats when he finds her!
Favorite Treats:
  • Two Pups Pastries
  • Soup Bones
  • Mother Hubbard Treats
Favorite Links:

Temperament Evaluating Labradoodle Litter

We take many characteristics and attributes into consideration when choosing a suitable puppy for our training program.  We first discuss with the caretaker of the litter everything that we’re looking for in that puppy and then ask them which puppy in their opinion, most matches that criteria. We then run through a list of specific situations with each puppy including:

  • Natural desire to follow
  • Food drive
  • Sound response
  • Reaction to being held off the ground

After all of this information is gathered, we decide together which puppy is best suited for our program.  According to many research studies, tests like this done at such a young age, are great guidelines for showing one specific thing: if the puppy is fearful or not. Taking this into consideration reminds us that all dogs in training in the US have a 50/50 chance of success, so we will continue to evaluate each dog in training.

We were granted the incredible opportunity to chose a puppy from Bad Company Labradoodles, to be donated to our training program.

We are ecstatic to welcome PAD Charming to our program!

We will pick up Charming on Friday, January 17th and update everyone on his training regularly on our Facebook fanpage!

Photos below from our time at BC Labradoodles!

Boris Continues Advancing

So, Boris and I are out painting the town red the other night. In rural south Alabama, that translates into a trip to Wal-Mart, a video and a stop at the Pizza Hut on the way home.  I know, you’e jealous‚ can’t help it, can you? Anyway, it’s way past dark, we have unloaded at the Hut, and I have given Boris the command “find door”. As we are crossing the parking lot, he suddenly veers to the right and does the little half moon swag and then picks up his straight line toward the door. It’s one of those things that makes me go “hmmm” but I keep on going. When we leave the restaurant, we take the same path across the lot. Sure enough, about half-way across the lot, he suddenly veers left, does the half-moon jig and continues on. I have him stop and ask my husband to investigate. What he finds makes me smile. There is a small black plastic coffee cup lid in the middle of the parking lot, and that is the obstacle Boris is walking me around. To him, it must resemble a hole  and my boy is going to keep me safe! Boris is trained to do “light” guide work ‚ that is,  he has been taught to guide me around large obstacles, alert me to elevation changes and find things like doorways, specified rooms, buildings or people‚ but this is the first time I have seen him apply his training to a new scenario such as this. As we continue to work together, my trust and confidence in him will grow and our already strong bond will deepen. I am so grateful that God gives us “not the things we want, but always the things we need.” – Rachael Gibbs Taylor, PAD Boris’s owner, trainer, and partner

PAD Ambassador Biscotti

PAD’s Godiva’s Biscotti “Scotti” has been honorably donated to our training program in loving memory of Linda Lou Witmer by the family of Nicole Conner.  PAD Biscotti has been selected for our Ambassador Dog program.  As a PAD ambassador, Biscotti’s role is to attend events, educate the public about assistance dogs and the laws surrounding them, and also meet any new partners waiting for a program assistance dog and work with them while they learn better canine handling skills, how to use the help of an assistance dog, and even practice their canine grooming skills!

 

Breed: Labrador Retriever (chocolate)

Interests:

  • Working for treats
  • Getting snuggles from people and dogs
  • Chasing dog friends outside

Favorite Treats:

  • Wellness Just For Puppy Treats
  • Kibble
  • CHEESE!

Favorite Links:


PAD Finn

An Absolute Dream Come True

As our search began over a month ago, I never dreamed Linzey would have found such a great boy! Finn is amazing!  When I met Finn for the first time at the airport I knew he was the dog for Ashley and myself.  He greeted Ashley with kissed right away.
He entered our home with an abundance of love being given to us, and of course we returned it to him with may more.  He checked out his new home, his comfy new quilted bed, his two bins of toys and all of his yummy treats.  We all three decided we would have a bonding night and we all snugged and slept together the entire night.  Finn was in heaven, no crate, just a nice warm bed.  YEAH! He was perfect sleeping all night with Mommy and Sissy!
Finn began his service work on his first full day home.  Everyone in the waiting room at Ashley’s doctor were raving over his manners.  No correction was needed at any of our four appointments!  Such a rewarding feeling we had.  To have Finn at Ashley’s appointments was so comforting to her.
Today we taught Finn to go fetch the tennis ball, he is one happy boy!  He loves it!  Wayne (Finn’s breeder) told me he was soon ready, so we decided to try.  Way To Go FINN…We also go to our first training class with Miss Linzey today, everyone is so excited.
I want personally thank everyone who was involved in bringing Finn into our lives.  He truly is one amazing Australian Labradoodle.  So looking forward to the years we will have with him.  Continue to check back for more updates.
-Lorie Grim (Ashley and PAD Finn’s Mom)