My Service Dog, Jade

Friday, May 18, 2012

Jade Has Playtime With Pals

Jade's been in some heavy duty training now for almost a year now, every single week, sometimes twice a week, to become the bomb-proof, solid Service Dog that she is.  We're getting ready to take the Certification exam any time now.  In fact, next week, our trainer is taking us to where we will be taking the exam to run through a few practice exams.  We also went through it once this week at the pet store, which isn't easy.  If you've ever taken your dog to a pet store, you know how difficult it can be for your dog to focus, with all the smells, sights, sounds, and other dogs.  Jade is doing amazing! Our trainer has been bringing her dog with her every week, a 150 lb Rottweiler, to train with us.  He's a wonderful dog, so mellow and gentle.  Jade and the Rottie have become working pals, and are on duty together every week now, for several weeks in a row.  That has been going very well, and we've been practicing the Certification exam at the pet store with the trainer's Rottie.  We are almost there.

Jade has been having more and more experiences with other dogs, and is doing amazing! I'm so proud of her. She's really become a very different dog over the past year.  She knows exactly what it means to help me, she knows when that vest goes on, playtime is over and it's time to work. She helps me so much at home too, and she's always willing to jump up and do what she's told, whether it's getting me a drink from the fridge, pulling the laundry basket into the laundry room, getting the clothes out of the dryer, fetching my cane, or my phone....or whatever else I need from her. It's so amazing having my own little helper, especially since she's been my best friend when I first brought her home at 11 weeks old.  She's really developed into the most amazing dog!

She's been fortunate enough to have some special play times as well with other dogs she's meeting at the park, when we're out for our walks.  The first one was with a little Chihuahua/Pomeranian Mix we met at the park. It was actually off leash and so was Jade, because we were playing fetch at the time. Just can't play fetch on a leash.  So we were playing, and Jade was running for the ball and bringing it right back to me and dropping it right in my hand, like a champ, when this little dog comes running across the field to meet Jade. Right as I threw the ball, and Jade went galloping after it, the little dog was right behind Jade running for the ball with her. Jade got there first of course, but they played and chased each other, sniffed each other and had a great time for the next 30 minutes or so.  The little dog's owner and I talked and Jade got to meet her too. The owner talked about how she'd just rescued the little dog a week or so ago from the shelter, as it was going to be euthanized. While Jade was meeting the owner, the little dog barked at her and nipped her in the butt, and we laughed as Jade tucked her butt and ran from the little dog.  It was hysterical and so wonderful to see Jade having such a great time playing with this little dog!

Yesterday, we met another Lab at the park.  A big, beautiful male Lab. He was only 11 months old and was as big as Jade.  He was gorgeous!  He came up and sniffed Jade, so I let her have some playtime with him.  They ran around in circles around me and the other dog's owners. We talked while they played.  I told them about Jade's pit bull attack and they agreed that pit bulls are very dangerous dogs.  Most people agree with that, except pit owners.  Everyone I've ever talked to about pit bulls say the same thing, unless of course, they own a pit bull.  Anyway...Jade had a nice play time with the other dog for a good 20 minutes or so and we took off on the scooter to finish our park time. I'm really proud of how well she's doing with other dogs, and with performing her duties!

I never imagined that Jade could or would do the things she's able to do now. She is just an amazing dog, wonderfully smart, and such a willing and loving helper.  She really understands when I don't feel well, and stays very close to me always.  She knows her job and loves doing it.  I couldn't have asked for a better buddy!

Here's Jade getting me a drink from the fridge.


Napping in the back yard, while I water the plants. She loves the grass!