Troy is back on track with his training and I am doing just fine!

Mara needs your prayers. She has been in and out of the hospital while recovering from a bone marrow transplant. The transplant was supposed to help her with her disorders, but instead it has caused complications for her, and the viruses in her system aren’t responding very well to treatments, because her immune system still isn’t recovering despite all the help from her doctors and supporters and family. I am sad for her. Weeks ago I knew something wasn’t giving, and unfortunately I must say it has become a reality. By now the new marrow should have been producing just enough antibodies that she would be slowly coming off all her IV and oral medications. But unfortunately the marrow has also taken a hit with everything and is gradually failing. And now Mara’s body is gradually shutting down. I am very, very ver’r’r’r’r’r’r’r’r’r’r’r’r’r’ry upset. When Mara takes a step forward, she takes five steps backwards. She is sadly losing her grip on the slippery slope. She is fighting her way to the top, which is keeping her here longer. Oh damn it! I don’t know why the frig I have to write this, but yeah. It’s just wrong. She really really wanted this transplant to work. She’s still a kid for frig’s sake. She doesn’t need this shit to be happening to her. She’s determined to live, she doesn’t want to give up. But with the way she is each day, she may have to let go for a while and try to heal and then have another go at her fight after she has a little rest. It’s better than the other option, if you know what I mean.

Ok, on to some more cheerful news. Troy’s revision training is doing really well. We went for a walk to the shops today. I went to the sushi shop first. I am frigging amazed that the staff there, have not disturbed my dog at all today. They must have picked up that card and read it. I don’t know if I’m right or wrong, but I think they possibly may have rang Guide Dogs. They spoke to me and they waited for me to make Troy settle himself and guide me to the counter, before serving me. They were also extremely helpful in telling me that I was there, without giving any input whatsoever to the dog. Wow! About time. Troy did what I wanted him to do. The other good thing is that he didn’t take five years to stop being distractible when I corrected him for reaching his face over to people or to the food if he could smell any near him. He didn’t jump around and carry on like a pork chop if he didn’t get his way either.

The other thing he did was wait till I got to a grass patch near the shopping complex, which is Troy’s only toilet destination. He was fine at the start of our walk, but like every other fucking time, he waited till we were a third of the way to the shops, then decided it was loo break time. Sorry Troy! That doesn’t happen in my life. So I did obedience revision exercises, all the way to this toilet destination. Troy was a trooper. he walked around and sniffed for a good ten minutes and got a bit distracted by the people in their cars and the ones walking past us. But I didn’t leave his spot till he did his nature call. He really got himself sorted instead of waiting till later to finish his crap somewhere else. Troy is disgusting when he does that. I can’t bloody stand it. But this time he didn’t kick up a fuss, just sorted his life out without me having to force the issue or leave him home. Unlike the wankers (excuse my French) at South Australia, the people at Guide Dogs here actually want Troy to go to the toilet outside his working time.

At the shopping complex, Troy started playing up because another dog was in front of me, a fair way off I think, and was barking at Troy. So I made Troy sit and lie down for five minutes, then I turned us around to make Troy forget entirely about everything but me. He cried and carried on, so I didn’t go anywhere with the mutt till he was willing to not play up around the dog. Then as we were walking towards the sushi shop, this dog started barking at Troy, I assume he was in a truck because the road was on my left-hand side and the dog was barking from that direction. A man quietly growled at him to shut up, and me and Troy kept going like nothing had happened. After I had sushi, I got Troy to take me to the butcher’s. He tried his carry-on attitude, so I went through another revision drill with him. I didn’t quit till he was exhausted enough to quit his playing up altogether. We went into the shop, I made him sit and lie down immediately, so I didn’t let him up till he stopped squirming around or trying to sneak away. He then got up when I told him to, and showed me the counter.

The receptionist started chitchatting, so I made Troy come closer to me and lie down again. She told me she was too scared to pat him, and I thought,, ok the fear trick isn’t necessary… So I simply stood looking at her just to block her view of Troy. I didn’t mention anything about Troy probably wanting to put my patience to the test by jumping up to grab at the food that the receptionist would be lowering into my hands, in a plastic bag. So I simply put myself into a position where the receptionist would have no choice but to reach out and put the handles of the bag in my hands, while I was standing right beside the dog, and she would have had to stand in front of me, which meant she was putting the food near the dog, but aiming the bag at me. Troy stood up suddenly, so I just turned away from the lady and told Troy to lie down, and it took two stern reminders for Troy to listen to me. I then quickly turned back to the lady as though nothing had taken place. She went speechless and I just thanked her for the food and said goodbye. She said bye in a tone that sounded like she couldn’t understand how she could reach past a dog’s nose to put a bag in my hands yet I could still immediately control the dog without any trouble whatsoever.

It’s simple. I don’t feed the dog at home unless he does something, so he will follow the same rule when we’re out, or he gets nothing. And he damn well knows it. I told the receptionist that if Troy is off harness and not in a shop, and he’s lying down and chilling out, a little pat wouldn’t hurt anybody. I think I may have to take a guide dog instructor into this butcher’s shop with me next time, or when I get the chance actually, so they can teach the staff that they don’t need to be totally scared of the dogs. I’m the one that bites actually. They might want to be more careful of me! But usually I don’t bite if people aren’t being horrible to me. The sad bit is that the other butcher didn’t talk to me. Oh well. If he wants to stop being my friend over not patting a service dog, that’s his choice. I don’t do people’s childish ways anymore. If he wants to be mature about his actions, then I’ll talk to him. If not, then he can keep to himself for all I care. He needs to stop being silly and realise that if he’s not talking to the dog, maybe the dog won’t carry on like an idiot, and maybe I won’t bite because the dog won’t play up for me to have to bite. Jesus! It can’t be that hard to work out. It doesn’t matter. My dog is under control and he’s a happy and calm puppy. He’s not an anxious dog anymore. He does what I tell him straight away and he doesn’t take an hour to get himself back on track when he gets distracted. He doesn’t lunge to get to where he wants to go, and he doesn’t try to control the situation to get attention. So if people don’t like me because they want to label me as a control freak yet all I want is an organised life to some degree without all the nonsense, then that’s their loss. I’ll be going back to the butcher’s next week, and I’ll expect exactly the same from Troy as I do from him anywhere else, no questions asked. I’m sick of disputes. It’s not up for dispute and I don’t need anybody’s opinion on the matter.

RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR! I’ve just posted two comments to a blogger who has a fake service dog. Don’t get me started aye! They give true service dogs a bad name. Ok, rant three is starting, from me this time. And yes it’ll be a hard nipper. I’ve been reading this blog since last year and I’m about to name and shame. GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR! Ok. When I first started reading the blog, I thought that maybe this dog would be getting trained as a guide dog with the help of a trainer or with legally recognised service dog qualifications at the very least. Well, fakes are always found out, and I have read the latest post and have noticed that this dog who has been trained by a blind person without meeting qualifications to make it a legal service dog, isn’t so genuine. I should have known this last year when I started reading the blog. I knew something was up because when I read what the dog was up to in its spare time and when it was working, something was a bit awry with its behaviour. The person was writing from the dog’s point of view, and still does. And from the sounds of it, the behaviour seemed to be a little out of control, and there wasn’t a whole lot of structure to the reinforcement of rules, suggesting to me that maybe there was possibly no trainer or instruction manual for helping this lady out with these situations. She may have done a reasonable job at controlling the dog, but there wasn’t a real method to how she’d definitely get a result, which should be a well-behaved dog at all times. And if it is carrying on, it should be only during play time and at no other time. Well, counterfeits of anything are hard to pick. Service dogs are no exception. this dog is a counterfeit, and I want to get this info out there.

Warning: Very very very very very long lecture coming up!

1. Pet dogs aren’t service dogs no matter how trained and apparently well-behaved they are, unless that dog has been public access tested, temperament tested, and other qualification tests have been passed, whether the dog has been owner-trained or organisation-trained. And if the owner-trainers want to carry on from their view of their dog’s view, and say that their guide dog is better than one with a service uniform of any kind whether it be a harness or coat, then they’re really proving that they’re just trying to get away with murder. I don’t care how well-behaved your dog is. You may know your dog, but you have no idea what to expect from your well-behaved dog until you test and try many many situations with the dog. If you haven’t tested the dog and it’s found to be working at a lower standard, or its behaviour is at a lower standard, then you can’t get away with saying that your pet dog is a guide dog or other assistance dog. That’s just bad behaviour and bad publicity.

People are getting cleverer at disguising their pet dogs as service animals so they can break the law right under the noses of everybody. And this new trick of training a pet dog to such a degree that you can’t tell that it’s counterfeit till you spend time studying that dog and the handler and finding out other information over time, is working. So I’m exposing it. Fortunately for us, the law isn’t recognising this pig-head’s fake service dog because she hasn’t put the dog through any training tests to prove its worth as a service dog. Let’s not let her have at it! If the law says that only service dogs are allowed into public places, training a pet dog to do tricks that will fool the general public into believing that this dog is genuine, is totally not on. If there’s no paperwork or ID card, the dog isn’t acceptable. I don’t care what you think or what you have to say. I always have business cards on me so that if the person wants paperwork, they simply ring the number on the card and read the instructions on it regarding the laws for assistance dogs, and they have the option to ask for papers or not. Don’t pretend that your pet dog is a service dog, because after reading stuff on how these counterfeit dogs behave and how crafty these charlatans are, I won’t be conned.

2. If you can’t get a qualified and reputable dog trainer to see that your testing of the dog is valid and has proven this dog is a genuine service animal, then don’t try your crafty conman tricks. For one, a genuine service dog that has been owner-trained or school-trained, will have some qualified back-up so that if they take the dog into a cafe or wherever, there is reasonable evidence to show that this dog isn’t a pet being disguised as a service dog. And, don’t be fucking stupid. Outright telling everyone that the pet dog isn’t trained by a qualified assistance dog trainer or by the organisations before giving that dog to you, is not going to make your dog accepted any more than if you tried to hide your intentions just so you can take the pet anywhere without hassles. Giving your ego a boost won’t get you anywhere. If you can’t get yourself qualified to train the dog and/or show that the dog has a qualified trainer helping you, then fuck off out of our community. We hate conmans. You dickheads make it hard for the rest of us who just want to live peacefully and take our true assistance dogs, who have been trained, tried and tested, to our destinations of choice. And don’t forget that we’re tried and tested, get into trouble if we fuck up too much, and sometimes the dogs are retired because either we don’t care anymore, which is a dumb idea, or some of us are really cruel. For the rest of us who’re neither cruel or non-caring, we want no hassles and we don’t need our reputations tainted by pet dog owners feigning as service dog handlers.

3. Pet dog owners who take their dogs into public places and disguise them as service dogs do not have any consideration for the people who get hassled for taking their dog with them. Since counterfeit service animals and genuine ones are very similar, many business and most of the public don’t know how to pick a service dog from a fake. Believe me, it’s hard even for me to know until I really spend time studying the dogs featured in blogs and such. But anyway, in general, people who don’t know much about service dogs can’t tell that the service dog going into a public place is real or fake. And when the dog plays up, people automatically assume that I, or someone else, is conning them. If counterfeit handlers would stop trying to con people, we wouldn’t be hassled. When my dog plays up when we’re out, people assume he’s a pet with a harness on, so what’s he doing here when he’s playing up? I then have to produce the business cards or tell people that I’m doing obedience exercises because that’s how we’re trained to put our dogs into line. Then when the dog works very well and people study Troy, they see that he’s genuinely trained as a service animal because he acts like one, he does what I want straight away, and he does unusual things that pet dogs do not do, like quitting barking on command, quitting paying attention to people and other animals on command, etc. And he completely focuses on his work and won’t try his carry-on stuff for a long time. To the cons out there, I can’t tolerate your shit.

4. To people who aren’t aware, real service dogs spend hours of each day training to do difficult tasks that aren’t always instinctive for them. Tasks include guiding the person around obstacles, picking up objects and using the phone, alerting to conditions with certain responses that they need to learn because the reactions may not be automatic even if the feeling for what’s wrong with the person, may be. They don’t just spend a week doing this, another week doing that. They spend a year to learn everything. If the time is less, then clearly the dog has learnt what it needs to do and is exceptional and has been able to pass the tests and other assessments in record time. Not to mention, people have to pretend to be blind, have a low sugar episode, have a fit, cry, etc, to show the dog what reaction it needs to have as a response to the person’s conditions. After these dogs have passed the assessments, they then get matched with people, and they have to pass the same assessments with the handlers during training and when they go home from their school, or at the end of their course if they were trained at home. After this,, handlers get follow-up appointments and training courses to keep them and the dog working well together. Oh, and don’t forget that before all this, puppies have to be taught a million different commands and how to get used to public transport, shops, restaurants, people and food distractions, loud noises, animals, all situations from scary to just average,, of course without endangering the dog or the handler etc. Do you want me to keep going? Or have you got the picture? When you dickhead fake cons try to woo the public into thinking your dog is genuine because they don’t know the hard work it takes to get a dog handler to work with that dog and vice versa, then you have some serious fucking issues and should be shot. Keep the pet dog where it belongs or kill the fucken thing. I hate you and your crap.

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