service dog

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service dog

New postby sewingmom on Sat Oct 04, 2014 2:06 pm

Girls, we get our service dog a week from tomorrow. After 10 days of training us to work with the dog, he will come home with us ready to help my DH through the day. I am hoping for more independence soon. Does anyone have any suggestions for taking care of an 85lb golden lab. My son is working on fencing our back yard to keep "Zues" safe and secure while taking a break to play and tending to necessary trips outdoors. This fella can flush the toilet, turn the faucet on and off at the sink, get the mail and put mail out and put up the flag. He can help get things out of the dryer and cary bags in from the car. Most importantly he will be able to alert me to Ronnie's blood sugar going low or high and alert me to impending seizures and stay close to Ronnie if he has a seizure. He can go for help if necessary and if we get the correct phone, he can call 911. He will be a good companion for Ronnie. I hope he will enable me to sleep through the night and not have to get up umpteen times a night to check on Ronnie.
Has anyone here had labs or retrievers. I am looking for a back pack for him to carry bottled water in for long walks with Ronnie.
The organization the is helping us get the dog is paying for our hotel for the training camp and all our lunches. We will only have to pay for dinners and incidentals.
The hotel has an indoor pool which I intend to utillize if I cna get Ronnie to get in or at-least go and sit by the pool.
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Re: service dog

New postby Skye on Sat Oct 04, 2014 3:11 pm

Great news.
The service dog people will give you lots of advice re care feeding etc. Service dogs where I live all wear I'd vests and many have side pockets.
I think these dogs are fantastic and people I know who have had one just blossomed , increased independence is very liberating and people stop to talk about the dog and didn't treat them like like they were mentally disabled..
Labs are lovely , very laid back dogs.
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Re: service dog

New postby MartySews2 on Sat Oct 04, 2014 6:21 pm

I've had several lab mix dogs but they were not service dogs. The agency should be able to help you in knowing what to feed them. I found with my dogs that they need lots of exercise and a purpose. They are "working" dogs. I have not had any experience with Golden Retrievers. Obedience training is necessary so I guess that is why the 10 days are scheduled so the dog can learn your voices and commands. It will be necessary to continue the training at home. Golden Retrievers have long fur so expect some shedding and they will need their fur combed or brushed regularly. Labs are short hair dogs but they do shed. A "Furminator" (trademark name) is a good tool to have handy as it will remove loose fur from the undercoat of a dog. I use it on my Max on a regular basis. They do need to have nails clipped about every 3-4 months especially since your service dog will be a house dog. I can help you with questions about larger dogs as most of my dogs have been 85-120 pounds. Max is small at 60 pounds to me. My neighbor's dogs are Bambi-21 pounds, Lola-90 pounds, and Rocco-95 pounds. It's easy for me to care for them. Rocco is still a young puppy and will grow to be around 125 pounds. The larger dogs eat around 2-3 cups of dog food a meal. The agency should tell you which brand is best. We pay $21 for a 6lb bag for Max as he needs a special dietary food. He eats a cup and a half twice a day. You should have a feeding schedule for him. Dog treats, I believe, are optional but I like the larger Milk Bone dog biscuits for Max and he gets a "Denta-Stix" once a day for oral hygiene. We also give him monthly "Trifexis" for heartworms, flea control, etc. It is expensive. Then yearly, Max has his vet check-ups with lab work and shots which is also pricey. However, we find it is worth it. Max is a family member not a "dog".
Marty ;)
Brighten each corner where you are ... smile!
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Re: service dog

New postby sewingrandma on Sat Oct 04, 2014 6:28 pm

Belinda, I do pray that you'll be able to get the rest you need once Zues comes home with you. It'll probably take you a while to get use to having Zues do what you have been used to doing for Ronnie and to really trust that Zues will really sense the blood sugar and seizure issues but I'm sure once he/she wakes you the first time you'll relax more and more the longer you have Zues. We had a lab as a pet and she was a great dog, companion and guard dog to our children. Our lab loved long walks as they have great stamina. When our son was 10 she would pull him on his skate board during her walks.
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Re: service dog

New postby sewingmom on Sun Oct 05, 2014 8:33 pm

Ronnie will love to be able to take walks without me. He loves peace and quiet and I am sure Zues will provide that.Thanks for the encouragement.
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Re: service dog

New postby LeapFrog Libby on Mon Oct 06, 2014 1:58 pm

Labs are really smart and learn very quickly. My Brother will not have anything but a black Lab. He says the black ones are best looking. LOL. I have never seen an easier breed to train. Ceasar used to swim with us in my brothers pool all summer long. My neice refused to let her kids in the pool with him til she saw him get out and run to his corner to urinate, then get back in the pool. Ceasar also sensed that my Mom was afraid of him, so he never went near her. She had been bitten by a rabid dog when she was 3 years old and therefore never liked any dog to get close to her. She talked about those awful shots she had to endure. (1 per day for 21 days)When one lab dies, Frank just goes to spca and gets another one, even if he has to wait til one is available.
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