Author Topic: Until Tuesday  (Read 14916 times)

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Offline QueenSnappy

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Re: Until Tuesday
« Reply #30 on: April 08, 2013, 08:07:49 PM »
I had been gifted a copy of his book for my iPad - after my run-in with him, I decided to delete it.  Today, since we have been discussing him, I decided to re-download it onto my iPad.  I have decided to read it again.  But this time I read it, I will read it with a more critical eye and look for his contradictions and his *sparkling* personality, as opposed to the last time I read it - which was with the eye towards thinking about the fact that he was promoting the use of service dogs for disabilities other than blindness. 
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Offline Magesteff

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Re: Until Tuesday
« Reply #31 on: April 09, 2013, 01:12:13 PM »
I believe there is also a difference between a medical dependence on a drug, and a psychological dependence on a drug. Medical dependence is what you have when you must take a drug in order to be able to function as a normal person, and without it you are unable to do every day things such as sleep, eat, work, run errands. Psychological depended is when you feel you must have the drug because of want, not because there is a medical reason for it to be there to help you accomplish other things.

I am medically dependent on Tramadol, Fexaril and Prescription strength Ibuprophen (800 mg x3/day). Flexaril is a muscled relaxant, Tramadol is a analgesic, but without them I would not be able to walk, sit, stand or lay down in any position wihtout pain. It may not be severe pain but it would be a constant pain.

I think Sheena was the one who shared a link a few weeks ago with a good analogy about constant pain: Take a glass of water half full. then carry it around without setting it down, or drinking from it, or adding to it, or resting your hand or elbow on a table or other support. How do you feel after 5 minutes of holding it... after 15 minutes, after 2 hours, after 10 hours... After 16 hours. Constant chronic pain is like that, the first few minutes or hours may be tolerable but after a while your arm gets very tired of holding it and what initially youw ere able to ignore, as times passes, it feels a lot worse than one would expect it to feel.  How much or little water is in the glass is immaterial after a few hours, it is that you can never set the pain down.

If It took narcotics to give me any pain free time, I would be on those medications. As it is, I am taking fairly heavy doses of Flexaril and Tramadol. Some days I am taking the maximum that I am allowed, 400 mg Tramadol a day. I am taking a total of 30 mg of Flexaril, yes, it does occassionally make me feel tired and sleepy, but I would rather feel that way than to have the shooting constant pain in my hip and thigh when I am sitting, when I take less of them.Less is only partially effective, and partially effective is mostly irritating when I know I can be free of the pain.
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Online Kirsten

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Re: Until Tuesday
« Reply #32 on: April 09, 2013, 01:47:01 PM »
If you have PTSD and you have tranquilizers that keep you from freaking out, it is effortless to remember to take them when doing something like an all-day team training outing.  The hard part would be prying them out of my hands.  What I mean is that if you have PTSD so bad that you can't function without something, be it meds or a grounding object or service human or whatever, you do not forget to take them with you.  The whole time you are anticipating the outing you are running awful scenarios through your head of every possible thing that might go wrong (every way you could die), including forgetting your meds.  If he forgets them for PTSD, yet functions well enough to navigate back to the hotel in a strange city and under his own power (alone), then I think he had enough mental stamina to complete the exercise.  I know I would have.  It sounds like an excuse to me for getting bored or taking the easy/lazy way out instead of using symptom management tools from therapy.  If I was that messed up that I needed to escape, you wouldn't be finding me in the lobby hanging out, either. 

Like any other mental illness, there are degrees of PTSD.  Under the ADA, it has to substantially limit your major life activities to qualify as a disability.  If you can consciously navigate to a strange hotel in the middle of a strange city without medication that you supposedly need in order to function, then your ability to think may be impaired, but it is not substantially limited.  Getting there, or somewhere else (like another state) and having no recollection of how you got there is a different story.

I won't address the issue of chronic pain because my approach to that is atypical.  My view on PTSD is typical for a person actively pursuing treatment for PTSD so severe it screws with your ability to function in major life activities, so I feel I can comment on that aspect of his claimed disability.
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Offline Magesteff

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Re: Until Tuesday
« Reply #33 on: April 09, 2013, 02:58:53 PM »
I would also have to wonder if someone who does not have their PTSD under relative control, would a program decide that maybe the client is not far enough along in therapy to be able to handle a dog safely if the client experiences that sort of episode frequently? It seems like that is the point of the stories - that he had no control and did not have coping skills at a level that would allow him to break through it enough to function rationally.


I am trying to understand... if the client gets that far off with a flashback and seeing phantom terrain and not the street and cars that are present, doesn't that represent a large risk to the handler that he might ask the dog to go forward when it is unsafe?
Steffeny, with Hobbes. In memory of Spike (1989 ~ 12/14/2014) my little old gentleman, and Max (9/21/2006 ~ 6/2/2015).  Dog camp postponed until I am in a better situation.
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Offline ShadowsGirl

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Re: Until Tuesday
« Reply #34 on: April 09, 2013, 10:22:26 PM »
Phantom terrain?  I'm guessing you are referring to experiencing a hallucination-based flashback. 

Hopefully, a service dog paired with someone who experiences those would know better and prevent their handler from doing something foolish, like walking out into traffic, or off a bridge.

I've only experienced this once, and Shadow went into a block before I managed to step off the edge of the ditch.  Nice of him to keep me from breaking my neck.  In reality, I was at the park by my parents house, surrounded by trees, scrub, and the creek, but in my mind I was in the field where I was attacked, watching it replay.  I could even read the signs next to the road if I wanted to.  The impact of me walking into him snapped me out of it.  I'm just glad it was him and not a tree.

I wouldn't want to test this in a big city though...
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Offline Erin-Michael

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Re: Until Tuesday
« Reply #35 on: April 10, 2013, 08:19:05 AM »
I don't see how he could be mis-informed if he was offered one by the people above him. And he is/was in BCT when it was offered.

QueenSnappy, I am not saying that your son was wrong!!  I was trying to get across the point that the Drill Sergeant was wrong about what qualified for the Purple Heart.  I can find you the exact regulations if you would like, but it will take a few minutes to find them.  Further, I am aware that people have been wrongly awarded it before and I am sure that it will happen again.  That does not, however, change the regulations or the intent of the award.  That said, I am glad that your son is doing better and we will pray for his continued health in this crazy world!
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Offline QueenSnappy

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Re: Until Tuesday
« Reply #36 on: April 10, 2013, 08:52:07 AM »
I don't see how he could be mis-informed if he was offered one by the people above him. And he is/was in BCT when it was offered.

I'm not saying anyone was wrong, right or otherwise.  I know there are certain specifications that have to be met.  My dad received one in Vietnam.  My grandfather received one after his death in France during WWII. 

What I said was that his DS informed him "technically" he would be eligible.  Whether or not it got through higher ups in the chain of command would be another subject altogether.   And it was in the context of if my son had to be fully discharged as opposed to "recycled" or placed on con-leave.  If it was a full discharge, because the injury was "disabling" him from any further service, there was some precedent that they have done that under.  It has to do strictly with paperwork and how he can state his service on any future job applications, etc.    And my son would have never accepted it if it had been.  He was shocked that it was even mentioned. 

My point was that it has lost a lot of its meaning because of people like this guy.  One of the glaring things in his book that I recalled - and recalled reading online by a number of people who were there - was that he put in the request for a Purple Heart and was denied by his immediate commanding officer.  He went up the chain two, three or four above him.  He vowed a "revenge" on that officer saying that he would make him pay for denying him his Purple Heart. 

To me, that just defeats the entire meaning behind it.  He doesn't care about his fellow soldiers - he doesn't care about the chain of command - he doesn't care about anyone or anything but himself.  Those who read the soldier's creed - (bolding added for emphasis)

"I am an American Soldier - I am a warrior and a member of a team 
I serve the people of the United States and live the Army Values
I will always place the mission first
I will never accept defeat
I will never quit
I will never leave a fallen comrade
I am disciplined physically and mentally tough; trained and proficient in my warrior tasks and drills. 
I will always maintain my arms, my equipment and myself. 
I am an expert and I am a professional
I stand ready to deploy, engage and destroy the enemies of the United States of America in close combat
I am a guardian of Freedom and the American Way of lifeI am an American Soldier

He has shown that he is not the member of a team.  Enough people from his former platoon have come forward to say that he is not telling the truth about his injury and he has shown in his actions that he will think only of himself.  He does not live by the Army values.  He left behind the people he was in Team Training with - because they were having trouble with tasks by their dogs.  He thought only of himself, yet his dog gave him an "Atta-boy" for doing it.  He is not a guardian of Freedom and the American Way of life.  He has time and time again, "shut people up" because their views differ from his.  The first thing that he tramples on is other persons First amendment right to free speech. 
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Offline Erin-Michael

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Re: Until Tuesday
« Reply #37 on: April 13, 2013, 09:00:02 PM »
QueenSnappy, what do you know about this team training stuff?  We are working with a local non-profit but it is so small right now that Michael and Duke are in a class of one!!  Is this a normal thing that most dog programs do?
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Offline QueenSnappy

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Re: Until Tuesday
« Reply #38 on: April 14, 2013, 08:29:03 AM »
QueenSnappy, what do you know about this team training stuff?  We are working with a local non-profit but it is so small right now that Michael and Duke are in a class of one!!  Is this a normal thing that most dog programs do?

A lot of programs do what is called "Team Training".  The best way I can describe it - "Doggy Boot Camp".    The programs looks to find a match for each dog, depending on a number of factors; personality of the dog, lifestyle of the recipient, etc.  It's not a perfect system, mostly because you are dealing with two living beings and sometimes there is a personality clash. 

The program I went through look at what dogs they had ready to graduate and match it to a person.  So before you start team training, you know who your dog is.  Some programs have x number of dogs and x number of recipients and they look for a dog who bonds to a person after a day or two of getting to know each dog. 

Then there is two or three weeks - depending on the program's curriculum - that trains you to handle your dog.  Your dog comes you already knowing their commands and their tasks.  You need to learn them and learn your dog.  So, similar to Boot Camp, your trainer (drill sergeant) turns you from a dog and human, to a team.  You learn how to handle your dog, how to handle your equipment, how to care for your dog, a basic of the laws governing service dogs.  A lot of programs will have field trips, increasing in difficulty.  For myself, it started with a field trip to a local restaurant with the rest of my classmates.  That was the third or fourth day of team training.  On the 19th day of Team Training, was our big trip which was an all day trip to Philadelphia, with a mall and the Reading Terminal Market. 

My team training class started with 13 people.  By the time we graduated, we were down to 10.  The first person left the first night.  She had received a call that her parents were in an accident.  The program had offered to hold the dog over for her to the next team training.  She declined.  The second person left after about a week.  She was relatively young (19) and had an invisible disability.  She was only recently diagnosed.  She found having a service dog made her disability "visible".  She wasn't able to handle it emotionally.  She didn't like the constant staring by people in public.  The third one left about 2 weeks in - basically made it almost all the way through.  He was there for a successor dog, having lost his service dog about six months earlier.  Sadly his cognitive issues and his grief over the loss of his first dog - he could not get past the fact that this was not his first dog.  So far as I have heard, he still does not have a successor dog. 

I hope that explains team training -- anyone else who went through a program wanna jump in? 

That's about the easiest explanation. 
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Online Kirsten

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Re: Until Tuesday
« Reply #39 on: April 14, 2013, 10:04:57 AM »
Team training is for programs that train the dogs fully before matching them with a partner.  It is the foundation for the handler and dog learning to communicate with one another as well as for the handler to learn how to handle a service dog in various situations.

It sounds like you are owner-training under the guidance of a program (this is fine, just a different approach than your typical program like QS's).  They most likely wouldn't do team training because you'll be working with them for many cumulative hours over the course of training and know the dog and how to communicate and interact with him very well by the end of training.  Their training should include outings to various representative locations for real life experience and coaching.  It should also include instruction on laws, rights, and responsibilities.  If they don't cover this last part, we can do an excellent job here helping you through that.  I only mention this because you said it was a new program and my experience has been that this is the weakest area of programs.
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Offline labs4ever

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Re: Until Tuesday
« Reply #40 on: April 14, 2013, 02:32:12 PM »
When i went through my program (guide dog) the first time. I arrived on a Sunday and didn't get my dog until Wednesday.  My trainer had a string of about ten dogs to pick from.  I can't remembrr how many were in the class because we had retrains coming in and out the whole month. And one team who came for a week of brush uo work.  I do remember 3 newbies including myself.

So for the first few days before we got our dogs we learned how to voice correct and leash correct a dog.  We practiced leash corrections on Fred a big stuffed lab.  We also had to carry an empty leash with us every where we went those first few days to get used to having a leash.  We got in trouble if we left them pn a table pr something because these were our airdales LOL

Se had nightly lectures on everything from grooming to picking up poop.  This one was a hands on class.  To how to put the harnesz on correctly and later preparing for our test walk.  We had two training walks a day and the first ones without dog taught us to walk with the harnezs and the trainer being the perfect guide dog!  Then in the afternoon.the trainer was a distracted dog and needed corrections for sniffing, zig zagging on the sidewalk ect.

We got our dogs on Wednesday morning.  I was the last of the three of us newbirs to get my dog.  I remember hearing clickety clickety down the tile floor but it passed my toom.  My roomate had already recieved a big black lab named Clipper.  And the dog going past my room was a dobey named Duke.

Finally I hear slip slidey toenails and excited labrador panting.  In comes Gina a yellow lab wagging her tail and dancing the only way labs can.  My trainers words to me as he left to let us bond for the bext hour was "I pickdd her for you because you have matching hair colof!" LOL

From then on life was busy.  Two walks a day that got progfressively more difficult as time went on.  Gina knew how to do everything.  It was just a case of me learning how to give commands so she would listen.  The timing of verval and nonverbal correction and wjich is to happen when.  How to follow my dog.  Building trust in each other.  It truly is like learninv to dance.  We learned how to use the equipmdnt given to us. Learned hos to walk along country roads and city streets.  Ride busses with the dogs.  Deflect drive by petters and answer questions from the public.  Learned basics of training theory so we could teach our dogs more when we got home.  And learned a whole new way to use my O and ZM skills.  It is compldtley diffrrent with a dog then a csne.

I learned how to be free, myself, and most of all confidence in Gina anx I as a team.  I have learned something new and amazing about me or life in general from each SD I've had and it all started with my program and Gina!!   I will always be thankful to them for teaching me to go and live my life!
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Offline kmbjbb

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Re: Until Tuesday
« Reply #41 on: April 14, 2013, 03:02:47 PM »
Kerri - I love how you told that story. It was so heart-warming. I would love to go through something like that, but I know I could never afford to get a program dog. I was told that to get a program trained hearing assistance dog here in Florida would be at least $20,000 and then I wouldn't qualify since there are 5 humans and were 2 furkids in the house.
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Offline labs4ever

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Re: Until Tuesday
« Reply #42 on: April 14, 2013, 03:24:07 PM »
Yeah each program guide dog team training was awezome.  Well each had its ups and dow s.  Thanks for the compliment!!! 

I would love to get an SD from a program after Sophie. (I OTed her) but I need daily home health nursing so I'm not sure I could travel to another state a d  do team training.. :sad:  But who knowz..i could see my nurse coming along just to be my care taker person.  I am not good at fundraising.  I'd have to pick a program to help with that.  I'm always watching for programs in case I find one that would fit
, even though Sophie is young.  I think I could OT again
  It's a lot of work.  Actually either way is a lot of work!  But the end result is worth it!!!! 
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Offline Sheenar

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Re: Until Tuesday
« Reply #43 on: April 14, 2013, 05:02:04 PM »
It costs a lot of money to owner-train a dog as well --so it's not necessarily less expensive than going with a program dog.

Many programs will help with fundraising for a dog --there are several who are substantially less in cost than the one you mentioned. If you are willing to travel outside of your area, there are a couple of hearing dog programs I know of (and know people who have dogs from them and are very satisfied with their dogs).
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Re: Until Tuesday
« Reply #44 on: April 14, 2013, 05:27:32 PM »
I would question the legitimacy of a program that charges $20,000.  The vast majority of people with disabilities would never be able to pay this.  They therefore offset their costs with charitable donations.  Step one would be checking whether these programs were 501(c)(3)s.

There is a good chance the right program for you is not in your home state.  You'd have to be willing to travel for team training (usually about 2 weeks).

The programs I've been seeing have been asking clients to fundraise to the tune of $1,000 to $7,000 and helping them do that fundraising under the umbrella of their tax exemption.  Most programs base the amount the client needs to fundraise on their finances and abilities to fundraise.  They want to make it possible, if the person is willing to put in some work on it.  That makes sense.  People don't tend to value things they get for free, but they do value things they work hard for.

The typical cost for owner-training is going to be around $5,000.  So it's really not a cheaper solution than going with a program.  For most people it is a more expensive solution because you usually ruin a dog or two before you get it right so all the time and money put in to those washed out dogs adds to the overall cost of getting the one that works out.

If you think you can owner train without help from pros and save money that way, what typically happens is a dog that is grossly inadequate to the job but the person is attached to so they take it everywhere, the dog gets into trouble being overloaded, and it ends badly.  It is extremely unlikely for a person with no previous experience training advanced working dogs to succeed in training a service dog on their first attempt, especially if they have no guidance from an expert trainer who does have that experience.

There are reasons why I would choose owner-training, actually why I have chosen owner-training, but saving money isn't one of them.  If I could get the sort of dog I want/need (some things I want, some I need) from a program, I'd be beating a path to their door.  I am not a typical handler because I have experience with dogs with more drive than the typical program uses and I get frustrated when I don't have that drive to work with.  I've washed out two trainees and am on my third, trying to come up with a successor for my last dog.  I'm paying the price for taking the owner-trainer route which is more time spent, greater risks, lower success rate, and heart breaking choices.  But at least I know what I've done to myself and getting the right type of dog (to suit my working style) is important enough to me to outweigh all the costs. 

The vast majority of people are better served by getting their first service dog from a program, THEN making a choice about whether they want to owner train their second.  The program does a lot of work to make sure they succeed.  They get a lot from team training that sets them up for success, team training the owner-trainer does not get.  They get life long support from the program when problems arise.  And finally, after the person has experience working with a service dog for several years, they have a much better idea of where the bar is for acceptable and unacceptable performance from a trainee.  They are better handlers, better trainers, and more successful than their counterparts who try to owner-train their first dog.

Now I did owner-train my first dog.  I made an incredible number of mistakes and I got incredibly lucky.  But the biggest bit of luck was apprenticing with a trainer with 40 years of experience and the patience of a saint and starting out with this incredible dog that I've come to realize was one of a kind.  I adore Tardis, and he's going to make a lovely service dog, but if he had been my first attempt at training a service dog, I would no longer have hair and I would have given up months ago.  I know where the goal is because of Cole and because I had an excellent mentor.  I know where I'm going and how to get there, but this beast is a handful, a real handful, despite his cuteness and fluff.  I just this minute fired off an email to a local friend with experience with German working lines because I need help with his testosterone driven pigheadedness before I strangle him.  Cole was a nutcase when he was an adolescent, but he wasn't half the handful this fluffy beast is.  And Tardis has been attending school since the week after I got him home at the same school where I trained with Cole, with the same trainer, now with over 50 years of experience.  I'm fortunate to have all this support and it's the only reason I can pull off owner-training, even after having already trained 6 other service dogs.
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