Hearts Bursting with Pride

25 01 2010

Donation Update:  As of January 25, $4,100 has been donated towards Windsor’s total cost of $7,000 which includes his purchase, training, service dog equipment, and medical.  He arrives here in March 2010.  Thank you everyone for your help!

 


Today Windsor took his first “Public Access Test” for proper public behaviors and the performance of certain skills/tasks required for his service dog certification.  The proctor and the other trainers testing were completely amazed and impressed by this little guy who just turned 7 months yesterday.  They had never seen a 7 month old greatly exceed the expectations of the test.  One of the goals is to see how the dog responds to stressful situations in public.  Because Windsor was scoring the highest possible scores across the board, the proctor “upped the ante” of stress on him.

Below, are 3 EXAMPLES from the test.  I hope you enjoyed the  MOVIE of Windsor I was able to create from past photos and videos.  It is my first ever!  The movie is a GREAT piece of evidence that my brain continues to heal while on the Brain Protocol, even while experiencing some “bumps in the road” with my photosensitivity from PTVS (Post Trauma Vision Syndrome) this week.  Music is still a struggle for me to listen to, especially all instrumental, but I was able to concentrate and enjoy finding orchestration that matched, fit the mood.

  1. Normally, while in a restaurant full of good smells, the dog is tested with SMALL bits of food (i.e. a few pieces of hot dog, popcorn, chicken, etc.) thrown around him for a few minutes (5 minutes).  They are to “Leave it” without any sniffing, licking, or showing curiosity about the food.  With Windsor, the proctor pulled out BOWLS, mounds of food and placed these items, including a WHOLE hot dog, chicken nuggets, etc. around him for 20-25 minutes.  She also placed some on his PAW which he refrained from investigating.  It was a “Piece of Cake” for Windsor!
  2. Service animals must not be startled by or fearful of loud, sudden noises.  The proctor, who typically walks behind the trainer and testing dog, drops items or makes sudden, surprising noises.  With Windsor, the proctor made it harder by SLAMMING together skillets, baking sheets, etc.  No problem!
  3. Windsor passed 99%, scoring the highest scores possible on all requirements but the “stranger approach.”  Strangers – men, women, and children – are asked to do a variety of things, such as, step on their tail, reach out and pet, etc.  Heather was asked to drop the leash and walk 20 feet away.  Six feet is the norm.  Windsor was calm with the strangers and remained in the down position, but his bottom wiggled.  Unfortunately, no wiggly bottom is allowed.  Windsor’s exception to the “norm” was when a child was asked to SKIP over his back.  Although Windsor LOVES children, he didn’t get up to play and he didn’t flinch with the distraction.
  4. There are many who love Windsor and who are INCREDIBLY PROUD of him today!  It was a 2 HOUR TEST, again, longer than usual.  There are tears from our hearts bursting with pride!  He passed 99% of the test.  That is even more remarkable given his young age.  He has to work on the behaviors during the “stranger approach.”  There is no doubt Windsor will soon pass the “Public Access Test.”  Therefore, because he does qualify, Windsor’s service dog ID tags are on the way and he is officially part of the US Service Dog Registry.  This allows Windsor to be protected under the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act), along with me.  Thank you Heather and thank you Windsor for working so hard to help me!





Watch Me Work…Video Update 12/20/09

20 12 2009

Donation Update:  As of December 20, $1,850 has been donated towards Windsor’s total cost of $7,000 which includes his purchase, training, service dog equipment, and medicalHis expected arrival is in March 2010.  Thanks everyone for your help!

In this video taken in mid-October six weeks into his training, Windsor is almost four months old.  Heather, the service dog trainer, and Windsor demonstrate his first week of advanced training being off-leash.  You will notice distractions and yet Windsor continues to stay focused on listening and following Heather’s commands, a must for a service dog.

Here is a preview of a few of the commands with an explanation as to how he will use them as a service dog, specifically a mobility assistance dog.

“Wait.” – Windsor, I’ll give you another command in a moment.  For instance, going up an escalator, Windsor will need to “Wait” on the stairs with me, rather than continue to climb up them.  He likes climbing stairs!

“Stay.” – This command communicates that I’m going away, but I’ll come back.  At four months old, Windsor could remain in a directed “Stay” position for ten minutes with Heather out of site.

“Down.” – When I fall or collapse to the ground, Windsor will be directed to go “Down” with me.  When possible, I will then “Brace” on his mobility harness, which he will soon be trained to wear, and push up to stand and regain my balance.

“Stand.” – After I’ve fallen and I’m in the process of getting up, I will direct Windsor to “Stand” as I hold onto his harness and continue to regain my balance.

“Fast.” and “Slow.” – These commands will help Windsor acclimate to my varied paces.  Sometimes I take off quickly and other times I’m more snail-like with my right side dragging especially.

I introduce to you “Sir Windsor B. Derby” hard at work! 

Have fun watching!  I’m very proud of him! 

 To increase the size of the video BEFORE WATCHING, hold down the “Control” key [ctrl] and the plus sign [+] at the same time to reach the desired size.  To decrease the size of the video, hold down the “Control” key [ctrl] and the minus sign [-].  On a Mac, use the [Command] key.