Monday, November 2, 2009
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Friday, August 21, 2009
Monday, August 10, 2009
"Ross" is highly food motivated and especially enjoyed learning through our clicker training techniques. He appeared very well prepared for training and was a pleasure to work. He consistently required minimal handling around distractions and is eager to please. His guidework and obedience responses progressed at an above average rate and he seemed to thoroughly enjoy learning new behaviors.
Unfortunately, "Ross" has displayed sensitivity to traffic throughout training. This was identified at the beginning of training and "Ross" was put on a traffic socialization program using high value food reward. Despite seeing some improvements when loud or heavy traffic approach him from behind, he continued to startle and show significant sensitivity. "Ross" is being career changed due to his traffic sensitivity.
"Ross" has many exceptional qualities and has an extensive puppy history of working with special needs children. He would make a wonderful Canine Buddy candidate.
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Monday, July 20, 2009
This afternoon, as I took Jazz out to relieve him, we heard children screaming from the yard. Jazz's ears perked up inquisitively. As he is typically nestled away in our quiet office, he had yet to hear the sound of unhappy children. I decided this was the perfect opportunity to introduce him to his job of "therapy dog."
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Since Jazz has a bit more pizazz than Ross, he's spent more time just hanging out in the office learning how to be a good Guide Dog than hanging out with the kids. Jazz is a good puppy, he's just... a puppy. He sleeps a lot, plays hard, and gets overstimulated easily. The kids (and staff) still love him, and the biggest problem right now is that he is SO cute, and they feel so special when he greets them excitedly, that I have to be able to focus on training the people while I'm trying to train the puppy to not do what the people encourage him to do :)
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Thursday, May 28, 2009
As a 10-week-old puppy, the expectations for Jazz at work have been limited: potty outside, sleep or play quietly in the office, look cute, and give the kids kisses. So far, he's been doing a pretty darn good job!
Thursday, May 14, 2009
In mid-April, we took Ross on vacation with us, touring National Parks. He joined us on many hikes, some of which are quite strenuous. Ross was a great traveler and demonstrated footwork demonstrative of a confident guide! But, he thought vacation was way too much work, and he needed to go back to his lazy days at work to get a vacation from his vacation!
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
With the help of many kind and generous people, I now have a very sufficient collection of Ross replicas, of various sizes, to distribute to the kids. The distribution process has already started, with stuffed Rosses being given to kids as discharge gifts, coping skills, rewards, and napping partners. With the great variety of Rosses, staff and therapists have picked out just the right dog for each child.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Last night, I sent the following email to friends and family:
Many of you have either heard me tell stories, or have read Ross' blog,
about the amazing effect that Ross has on the kids at my work. Today, I was thinking about how much even the stuffed "Fake Ross" helps the the kids at work when he's not available. Currently, we have an entire unit of little kids who use "Fake Ross" to calm them or to help them fall asleep at night. It got me thinking: wouldn't it be wonderful if we had more than one stuffed Ross to go around?
We typically have about 50-60 kids in our residential and day treatment programs. The residential kids live there. Away from their homes and families, and even their own pets.
Unfortunately, as a non-profit organization, our funds are limited for buying "extras" such as stuffed animals for the kids. It got me thinking about how I might be able to get more stuffed Black Labs donated for the kids, and I finally thought to start with the people who I know, and who
know Ross :)
So, I'm dubbing it "Project Replicate Ross." I would LOVE to fill our attic (where we store donated supplies) with stuffed Black Labs of varying sizes for any kid who wants one. Then, those children will have their own stuffed dog that can go with them when they discharge.
The responses were overwhelming! Friends have searched their own homes, stores, and websites looking for Ross replicates, as well as spreading the word with others. I am so excited about the possibilities of donations we may receive. It is truly incredible the effect that Ross has had on the kids, so much so that even a stuffed look-alike makes them feel better!
If you would like to participate in Project Replicate Ross, please contact me privately. All donations are tax deductible.