I was tagged in a thing on Instagram a while ago and couldn’t figure out how to put more than one image in a story, after I had made the slides for it, so I want to start with that.
I was also asked to do a 5 Facts About so let’s start with Pickles:
- He hates ants. I mean he really hates ants. I did not know that I dog could hate ants so much.
- He actually gets sad when he doesn’t have training class. His obedience instructor is easily one of his top 3 people and it took her 4 weeks to make friends with him.
- One of his favourite foods is fish, and it all started with a piece of sushi that he ‘begged’ by bringing a toy to exchange for the sushi. His other favourite foods are cheese and popcorn.
- He digs up the yard to hunt for acorns. The one time I took him to Lowes we went into the garden center and he had to stop and sniff EVERY flower. Not every plant, the plants had to have flowers. It was both a bit annoying (he ignored me every time I said “leave it”)
- and cute.
- Pickles is a Great Pyrenees – Bloodhound mix but is often mistaken for a Golden Retriever.
Now for the 5 Facts about Me
- Pickles is the first large dog that I have owned and trained. My dachshund is somewhere around 14 years old and has spent that time refusing to be trained. Growing up I had a medium-ish sized dog that were told was part Lhasa Alpso who also didn’t do well being trained.
- I was born in Anchorage, Alaska and my favourite author is Neil Gaiman
- I make machinima using The Sims 4 video game and run a Sims machinima film festival.
- I recently met my BFF, who I met online on a Sims forum, in real life. If it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t have Pickles. We spent 8 days visiting DC and the historical town that I live in, playing Pokemon Go, shopping, and watching cartoons. We also went to see Ready Player One. 10/10. Highly recommend.
- Some people don’t like talking about their disabilities. I don’t mind for the simple reason that I spent a number of years dealing with doctors that would not take me seriously until I got sick enough that I needed surgery. I would rather people ask what is wrong with me, as long as they aren’t rude, rather than assume. I have been dealing with one chronic illness or another since I was probably 14 or 15. It took me 6 years or so to be diagnosed with endometriosis and probably 15 years to be diagnosed with PMDD (it is now included in the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Psychiatric Disorders). The day I had a hysterectomy should have been celebrated with cake an ice cream and a huge party. Seriously.
- Currently using a harness from Purple Poodles, a Chewbacca hands free leash I got from Petco, and various patches from Cypress Avenue Works,, DannyLuann, Patience and Love, Dragon Patch Handcrafted, and Patchwork and Paws (you can find most of these shops on Etsy, FB, and/or Instagram.
- I haven’t had any access issues yet but my BFF helped me make up ADA info cards because I can’t tell everyone to fuck off. That’s not going to get my anywhere.
- Said in a genuinely happy tone, as if this is a good thing. “Oh my God! He looks just like the dog that bit my son!”
- Owner trained
- Years ago I had a friend who was blind and had a guide dog. I have also met a handful of PSDs. A friend of mine mentioned training a dog for mobility for herself and I said “That’s a good idea. I am going to look into that.”
- This goes together with 7. I don’t have an answer for either. I don’t know who I want to meet because I don’t feel that I know anyone well enough yet.. I hope that makes sense. I have trust issues and I am not much of an extrovert anymore. I am actually surprised I don’t have PTSD from the crap a couple ex-friends put me through.
- See number 6.
- PetSmart because that is where my obedience trainer is and she doesn’t stand for ill behaved animals in the store 🙂
- Do you. Take everything you may hear from people (ESPECIALLY in Facebook groups) with a grain of salt. Everyone has an opinion and they will give it, sometimes rudely. There is a certain amount of elitism in the online service dog community and there are people who feel that their way is the only right way. You know what you can and can’t do and what kind of dog would work best with your personality. Don’t let anyone tell you that a certain breed of dog can’t be trained to be a service dog. Also, don’t compare your dog to other dogs. Much like people, each dog has their own personality and learns at their own pace in their own way.
- Naturally the basics like “service dog”, “do not separate dog from handler”, and “access required”. I love fun patches. One of my favourites says “Damn it Jim, I’m a service dog, not a petting zoo.” I will admit, I have a patch problem and may soon need a 12 step program.
- So far I haven’t found any one place that I don’t like to train. I am sure this will change
- Goal that is at the forefront at the moment is passing the Canine Good Citizen Test.
- Balance and Mobility Support Service Dog in Training
- I want him to wear booties. I don’t think he wants to. We shall see who wins 😉
- Why do I have a service dog? Because I want one. LOL! Seriously, I have been using a cane since about 2006 – that is like 12 years – because of chronic bursitis in my right hip brought on by my scoliosis. There are days it’s so bad I can’t put any weight on it. Then I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia about 2 years later. Over the years things went from annoying to debilitating and I learned, sadly, that the family members I should be able to count on I can’t. When I started falling and hurting myself I decided that I needed “reliable help”. I talked to my doctor and he said a service dog was a good idea.
Pickles update: He is almost 8 months old, 29 inches at the shoulders and probably goes about 90 lbs. He is currently taking a Canine Good Citizen prep class. Two months ago I ordered him a mobility harness from Purple Poodles. It finally arrived just over a week ago and I have started pubic access training with him by taking him out on quick store runs. He does really well and is happy to be going with me.
The best way to keep up to date with All Things Pickles is to follow us on Instagram. I do a much better job updating things there than I do on this blog. I’m a horrible blogger.