My Service Dog, Jade

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Hitting The Dusty Trails

Well, Jade and I hit the dusty trails this evening, and tried out the new boots.  At first, she was walking like she was stepping over waves on the beach, but once we hit the park, it was like she was floating again.  It always amazes me how she becomes a different dog at the park. She loves that park! We've been going there since Jade was 13 weeks old, two weeks after she first came home with me....

I remember the first day we went there too.  I was trying to teach her to walk on a leash, and boy was she clueless! I remember being in the middle of that soccer field, and she sat there watching me, as I tugged a little on the leash to try and get her moving, but she was planted! I'd tug, she'd look, but she refused to move whenever that leash was attached. She was so damn cute, all I could do was chuckle. I tried treats, sweet talk, firm talk....nothing.  Finally, I dropped the leash and started walking away from her, she immediately followed, then I picked up the leash and she looked right at me, like, "Oh, I see...." and off we went. I knew from that day that she was gonna be a special dog.
See those beautiful green eyes ^^? That's how she got her name Jade. The green in her eyes have dulled a little, they're more hazel-like now, but still just as warm, and just as beautiful! Nothing but a whole lot of love in this dog!

Anyway, back to the dusty trails....once Jade got to the park, she got used to the boots really quickly and started jogging.  Soon we were hitting the dusty, desert trails, behind the park, as to avoid the pit bull walker that shows up every Tuesday and Wednesday, with her now four pit bulls.  She has a female pit bull, and 3 puppies.  The puppies already have their ears cropped, ready for fighting, I suppose.  I don't see any good reason to crop your pit bull's ears unless, one, you plan to fight your pit bull and that way their opponent can't get hold of their ears to maul, or two, you just want your pit bull to look more intimidating. Either purpose to me, is disgusting! Every time I see this nutter, I either turn around and head in the other direction, refusing to put my precious girl (that's right, my precious girl) in a situation where she has any potential of getting hurt, I make the widest possible half-circle around her that I can, or I just stop where I am, farthest away from her, and wait for her to pass by with her mutants.  I care NOT if she sees me doing this....I'm not the only one that does it.  However, because she has seen me, whenever she has the opportunity, she gets as close to me as she can, and lets her mutants get as close as they can, and she giggles to her fellow nutters about the great accomplish she's just made, or smiles a very ugly smile at me.  What a winner!  Gee, makes you wonder why people can't stand pit bulls and their owners, doesn't it?!

I digress...Along the dusty trails we went, enjoying the setting sun and the fresh air, and the space away from any vicious mutant dogs.  Jade stopped to sniff here and there, but I keep a VERY close eye on what she stops to sniff, as it's snake season around these parts and the LAST thing we need is Jade getting bit by a rattler. We saw one recently on those trails, although it was baby, and it was half dead.  It looked like someone had already gotten to it and probably poked it around with a stick.  People just have zero respect for wildlife. When I saw it, we were actually passing right over it.  They're not easy to see as they look just like sticks on the trail. Especially the baby ones; and the baby ones are the most dangerous, I believe, as they tend to be the most venomous.  That's because the babies need extra protection and mother nature takes care of that for them. Jade had just jogged right over it when I saw it, so now I'm more careful about looking ahead on the trails.  That could've been a nightmare!

 Once we got back to the main part of the park, which we have to go back through to head home, Jade jogged right through there with her head level and her tail up, wagging from side to side, and sporting those boots like she'd worn them her whole life.

People stared, they pointed, they giggled, and I could hear them talking about "that dog wearing shoes!" I don't mind, I'm proud of my girl! She makes me happy! Two women power-walked by us and said, "You're dog is SO cute! I love her boots!" They asked where we got them, and we had a brief exchange.  They were very nice, and most people are at the park, and they often comment on Jade.  She's either playing a masterful game of fetch with me, running back to me and placing the ball directly in my hand,  jogging along carrying her water bottle, which people just love to comment on, "Look at that dog carrying her own water!"..... and now it's the boots!
This dog is definitely NOT starved for attention, I must say!
"There's been a coyote around here!"

Boots? What boots? 
 Jade knows this park like the back of her paw! And she loves every single walk with me!

Finally, it was time for a water break, then we headed home.
I took the boots off when we got home and she licked her paws a little.  I wonder if they're a little sore.  We all have a little trouble breaking in new shoes. I checked her paws for any blisters or sores, and everything looks good.  I'll see how she's doing tomorrow and give her a break from them.

We have training tomorrow and she'll have to wear her mobility harness, so I won't make her wear the boots at the same least not yet.  She needs to be able to focus on training and doing mobility work for me, first and foremost.  Once she's used to the boots and it's like an everyday thing, then we'll go for both.

Getting tired, and time to head home!
Our walks on the dusty trails are my time to think, to relax, and to just enjoy the fresh air, the desert breeze, and the setting sun; and of course to spend some quality time with my girl.  I need our park time, and so does Jade.  It keeps me from getting too depressed, as this is sometimes my only way of getting out of the house.  If it weren't for our walks, I would sometimes be in the house for a good week or so at a time.  Never mind that I do these "walks" in a mobility scooter...I get to get out! When I say the word "park," Jade's ears go up, she hops off the couch and heads over to get her leash and harness. I know a lot of my readers can relate.



  1. I'm glad that you and Jade were able to go out for a walk and try out her new boots. I didn't realise how much focus is needed to excel as a service dog. I probably would have left her boots on while we trained.

    My dog Chico also loves the park. Our parks are usually more packed with people and Chico loves children. And I'm also glad that you didn't give in to temptation and play fetch with Jade.

    1. Thanks Jim! I'm learning so much from having Jade work with these trainers, it's incredible! I wouldn't have known any of these things if it weren't for these amazing trainers either. Either the trainer would let you know about the boots getting in the way of her focus, or the dog lets you know, by just focusing on her boots and not her job. Jade's gonna need to be super focused since we are doing training at a pet store this week. A lot of distractions there!

      We have a lot of people at our park too, and that is a lot of the reason why we pound the dusty trails behind the park. It just gives us some quiet time. I bet Chico has a ball at the park! And Jacob too!

      I wanted so bad to play fetch with Jade, but I am taking a long break from it, which is gonna be really hard for both of us, to give her time to heal up really well.
      Thank you for reading and taking time to comment, Jim.

  2. my little man loves hearing about what your amazing K9 can do!

    1. Aw, tell your little man thank you for me. Hopefully we will get to meet one day and he can give her a big hug! I know she'd LOVE that! Thanks for coming by and taking time to comment.

  3. Jade is sooooooo pretty! I wish she was here so that I could give her a hug right now!

    She has really interesting eyes. Are they blue? I can't quite tell from the photos. They are very light-colored.

    I love your blog. Keep writing!

    Warm regards


    1. Thank you so much, Miss Margo! Jade's eyes are green. That's how she got the name Jade :). She really melts my heart! Thanks for coming by and taking time to comment.