Author Topic: Until Tuesday  (Read 14867 times)

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Offline QueenSnappy

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Re: Until Tuesday
« Reply #45 on: April 14, 2013, 06:36:03 PM »
I have prior dog experience - so did the spouse.  I trained as and taught dog grooming.  The spouse took a course through Animal Behavioral College, and had practical experience training through Petco.  And we both have had dogs all our lives.  Even so, we both felt wholly inept to train a service dog for me.  For a number of reasons.  We both work full time.  We have two - at the time - teenage sons (still have two sons, but one is in the Army now). 

I was poking around the internet today and was looking at various websites for various service dog organizations.  Purely to see turn around time and cost to the recipient.  An interesting trend emerged to me -- the programs that charge the most have the smallest wait time, and do not mention being non-profits.  And almost every one that is a "for profit" had a less than stellar reputation.  In two specific cases, each of those organizations have multiple complaints against them.  In fact, they claim 100% of their dogs do what they claim - absolutely no failures. 

You have someone on this site with years of experience who is telling you that she has trained (with assistance from a mentor trainer) four potential service dogs.  One was a success, two were wash-outs, and one is now a SDiT.  That says something.  Kirsten - and I pray that I do not offend her by saying so - but due to her disability, she is no longer in the work force.  My reason for saying this is, my disability and the nature of my career have, so far, not been an adverse situation.  Meaning that even with my disability, so far, I am still able to work full time.  For that, I am grateful.    But, Kirsten has more time to devote to training than I would have.  And she had 2 washouts.   

Now what happens with a washout?  Well - it depends on your situation.  Kirsten was able to keep her two washouts and they are her beloved companions for herself, and Cole, before he crossed the Bridge, and now, her SDiT, the handsome Tardis.  Sheena, on the other hand, had tried to OT with what appeared to be a lovely candidate, however, after several months of working with a trainer and on her own, the dog was not destined for a career.  She had to wash him out.  She was not in a position to keep him.  So she then had to re-home him.  It was difficult and heartwrenching.  She had grown attached to him, and he to her. 

You also have to look at the health of a pup you are training.   For instance, let's say you have a perfectly wonderful candidate - everything you could ever want in a service dog - smart, great disposition - rock solid in all situations - but when your beautiful candidate reaches a certain age, you take him to have his hips tested.  And this up until know perfectly wonderful candidate - but now you find out that your candidate has hip issues.  Now, the dog that you have just invested the last 18 to 24 months training, spending day in and day out with him - loving him - molding him into your trusted companion - the dog that is going to devote his life to your safety.  The hip issues are insurmountable.  You cannot work this dog because every moment of every day working will cause your companion pain.  Now two years is down the drain.  And you have to start all over again. 

I don't want to dissuade you from OT, but you should look at all angles involved.  The expense can add up in more ways than financial.  A number of very reputable programs ask for somewhere between $1000-$7000 and give you a certain amount of time to fundraise or make payments towards the cost.  They can assist you in fundraising and there are programs out there that have "sponsorship programs" where a particular service dog organization has corporate sponsors who will sponsor a recipient and underwrite the costs, for your agreement to be used in promotional literature. 



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Offline Tuttleturtle

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Re: Until Tuesday
« Reply #46 on: April 14, 2013, 06:47:10 PM »
Realize, the person you are trying to show the downsides of owner training when it comes to deciding which direction to goes is already working on training a dog, not looking at starting OTing.
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Offline kmbjbb

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Re: Until Tuesday
« Reply #47 on: April 14, 2013, 07:33:24 PM »
All evaluations of my dog have stated that he is a candidate to be a service dog. Yes, I do need to get his hips checked, but the 2 vets he has seen have not seen a problem. The shelter says they did x-ray him and found no evidence of breaks.

I will be having a certified trainer helping me with the training. We will be working together and she will assign tasks for me to do. I have my list of tasks for now and we start obedience training this next Tuesday. This will basically be a review for him as well as bring in new commands. He will also be working on manners and socialization with the class. This trainer is charging me only reduced rates and the cost of her training is normally $2000 - $2500, but she is charging me $500-$1000 as a favor. With the reduced rate, I will be doing a lot of the work alone with my daughter doing videos and we send them to her for critiquing.  She has her own business and has just gotten a new contract to train 3 more K9 police dogs. She travels throughout the area and helps people with bully breeds and has had to have some dogs removed due to total lack of care. Recent removals involved 2 English Bulldogs that each weight in at 100 pounds and could not walk. In the 1 month at a foster family, they are dropping weight and can now walk a little.

I know this will cost time, money and emotions. Since I have the home obligations that I do, I can't leave for an extended period of time as a program would entail. I am the only driver for the family and MIL while hubby is working or sleeping for work. I am on disability and stay at home.

I detailed in my into thread about the training schedule I am now on and the commands we are working on. Deacon is learning very well and in this process my daughter's dog is also finally begin to learn as well.

I am committed to doing what I can to make sure Deacon will not be a washout and I do understand that if this hip issue is serious, then I will have some very painful decision to deal with. To that end, so far, we have been told, that even if it is hip dysplasia, then we can still work him as he will not be used for mobility and balance issues.
Kristina & Holmes SDiT

Offline autisticgenius

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Re: Until Tuesday
« Reply #48 on: April 14, 2013, 07:42:02 PM »
I wouldn't work a dog with hip dysplasia. If I'm not mistaken, most programs will wash out a dog if they are diagnosed with hip dysplasia. I have yet to hear of one that hasn't. Let's hope that Deacon doesn't have it and whatever his problem is can be remedied.
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Offline Magesteff

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Re: Until Tuesday
« Reply #49 on: April 15, 2013, 09:19:00 PM »
The programs I have been working with to get a service dog one (Susquehanna Service Dogs) charged the client $5000 for the dog but for those with a finacial need could apply for the scholarship grant which meant that the client was only charged $800, and the rest was covered by the grant. The other program I am working with they help their clients do fundraising - I have not been informed if there is a dollar figure that the fundraising must meet.

Ask if the program offers any finacial assistance program to the clients. You may be surprised that they do. If they do not, then you may need to do fundraising activities on your own.

Re: additional animals in the home, the program may have concerns about the additional animals, which can be reasonable as they would not want the new SD to be attacked by exisiting pets, or pick up bad habits from the current pets. While that may not be an issue at your home in particular, it is something that the program may have had to deal with in the past.

I am currently working with Domesti-pups which is located in Lincoln Nebraska, they have not indicated that my current pets (One dog and two cats) are a bar to them providing a SD, nor have they a set "price" for their dogs, only that the client must particpate in fundraising for the dog.
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Offline Kirsten

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Re: Until Tuesday
« Reply #50 on: April 15, 2013, 10:19:20 PM »
I'm pretty lost on this discussion, so if I miss the mark, I apologize.  I think there is a discussion of hip dysplasia.  Hip dysplasia is bone remodeling due to a malformation of the hip joint.  No fractures (breaks) are involved.  Hip dysplasia is primarily a genetic issue, though there are some types of care issues that can exacerbate it, including allowing a dog to be overweight, allowing a young dog (under age 2) to jump or work/play a lot on hard pavement, or doing stairs before 3 months of age.

There is no prevention (other than avoiding things such as I mentioned above) and treatment is basically like for arthritis.  You put the dog on anti-inflamatories, stop work, and do very mild exercise just to keep him from stiffening up.  It will progressively worsen as the dog ages and more and more bone is remodeled.  Remodeling is sort of like the way pearls are made.  There's some defect that is causing a problem and the body lays down extra new bone on top of the problem to try to insulate it from the rest of the system.  Only instead of getting a pearl, you get arthritis.

Hip dysplasia cannot be diagnosed without special x-rays that generally require sedation.  These are not x-rays typically done by shelters before placement because
1.  they are costly ($100 to $500 depending on whether sedation is used, the size of the dog, and the prevailing vet costs in the area)
2.  seventy-five-percent of shelter dogs will have some amount of dysplasia and
3.  it generally does not significantly impact pets

These hip x-rays are standard procedure for any dog intended for breeding and for any dog intended to do strenuous activities such as sports or work, including service work.

There are, in the US, two organizations that will evaluate x-rays for hip dysplasia ratings.  They are the OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) and PennHIP (University of Pennsylvania).  Now the films typically cost around $250 to take and the evaluation (for OFA) is just $35, so it doesn't make much sense to do the films and not have them evaluated by board certified radiologists (specialists in reading x-rays) who evaluate hundreds of hip x-rays a week.  They know every nook and cranny, every possible trouble spot on hips.  Three different radiologists evaluate each set of films and the average of their ratings is the final score given to the dog.  When the dog's hips have been rated, a certificate will be issued for the dog indicating the rating.  Because these certificates are valuable, each dog being evaluated must be marked with a microchip and an identifying number attached to the x-rays as they are being taken.  This assures that the films from dog X actually belong to the dog permanently identified by microchip as dog X.

When you are going to invest a typical 18 months and $5,000 into owner-training a dog, you want to find out in advance whether he is going to be physically capable of performing the job for many years to come.  What a terrible waste of resources to train a dog and have him work only a year before having to retire because you discover he has hip dysplasia, when you could have known what his risk was before you even started.

I don't usually do prelims because all my dogs get core training regardless of whether they are a pet, competition, or service dog.  I just carry on with training and get them evaluated at 24 months (the youngest age you can get them certified with OFA, which is the agency I use).  Tardis is different.  Tardis's breeder wants prelims done on him before he is 14 months old.  It's in the contract.  His hip guarantee depends upon me doing it as agreed.  I'm planning to have them done in May.  Then I'll redo them next May for the actual certification.  Prelims are more than 90% accurate in predicting whether a dog will pass or not as an adult.

Tardis doesn't technically need a genetic test for DM (a disease primarily of GSDs and corgis), but he's going to get tested anyway, unless his dad is before I get around to it.  He'll get a CERF.  I don't anticipate heart or thyroid problems and with the genetic data I have, I'm probably not going to bother with those.

Each breed has specific issues that should be evaluated.  For example, BAER (hearing) tests for Dalmatians and Boxers.  CERF for labs (they have a common congenital blindness) and EIC (exercise intolerance collapse).  Just know your breeds and what is needed for that particular breed, but hip certifications are needed on all dogs over 30 pounds.  If you have a mixed breed, you would need to do the evaluations for each of the breeds involved.  So if he's a lab/shepherd, you would do the DM test for shepherds and the EIC and CERF tests for labs.
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Offline Sunflower

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Re: Until Tuesday
« Reply #51 on: April 15, 2013, 11:11:20 PM »
I heard hip clearances were needed on dogs 20 pounds and up?  Hm...

I own and have read Before Tuesday.  Until reading this thread, I didn't realize how innacurate a lot of his claims were.  I'm disappointed.

Offline Magesteff

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Re: Until Tuesday
« Reply #52 on: April 16, 2013, 06:33:18 PM »
I heard hip clearances were needed on dogs 20 pounds and up?  Hm...

I own and have read Before Tuesday.  Until reading this thread, I didn't realize how innacurate a lot of his claims were.  I'm disappointed.

It depends on what the dog will be used for, how much time during the day, etc. But if you are someomne who lives an active lifestyle and plans to be on the go from the time you get up to the time you go to bed, you may want to consider not just hips, but also paying a bit extra for knees and elbows. Many of the tiny breeds do have knee issues. Again, it is another area one should consider carefully when considering the size and breed of dog chosen as the potential candidate pool.
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 kmbjbb

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Re: Until Tuesday
« Reply #53 on: April 16, 2013, 07:34:40 PM »
I think the main reason why they think Deacon could handle things is, I am not a very active person. I mainly leave the house for library, groceries and doctor appointments for various family members. I am making extra trips for his training.

The only times I need him are those few times I will be out and then around the house.

Now I have had about 3-4 people say they do not think he has hip dysplasia at all. I will be getting him check when the time comes.
Kristina & Holmes SDiT

Offline Angelos Dubai

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Re: Until Tuesday
« Reply #54 on: January 23, 2015, 03:19:41 PM »
Luis is very strange. I doubt Tuesday is up for all the non-stop speaking tours daily. He looks extremely tired and Luis could care less hoping for a movie deal. I bet that dog only lasts a few more months or maybe a year with all the physical demanding abuse from traveling 24/7.
He should not be dying his face golden either to make him appear younger than 9.
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Offline Autismdoggirl

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Re: Until Tuesday
« Reply #55 on: December 29, 2015, 10:19:28 AM »
He's a liar.  The book may be inspiring, but it's largely fiction and the author is hostile and damaging to the SD community by being sue happy and unnecessarily confrontational.  Do a search on his name in the forum and you'll find the details.


Thank you I thought I heard something like this before but wasn't sure
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Offline NMA

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Re: Until Tuesday
« Reply #56 on: December 29, 2015, 11:45:36 AM »
He came to the library system I work at last year, and apparently missed speaking engagements he was contracted for.