As the holidays wrap up, it's a great time to reflect on your 2018 and resolve to do better in 2019. Here are ten simple steps that will help you and your Service Dog become a better team. Happy New Year! 2019 Service Dog Goals: Check Your Gear Is your Service Dog gear clean, serviceable and still relevant to your needs? Now is a great time to sit in a warm house and clean gear, spruce up those leather harnesses with some saddle soap, and make sure that that really nice backpack doesn't chafe your partner's underarms. Check the fit of collars, boots, coats, and other working gear. Make sure ID tags are up to date. Since you're probably working on taxes or your budget for the coming year - now's a good time to consider if you'll need to replace or upgrade any gear in the coming year. 2019 Service Dog Goals: Make a Service Dog Binder This is more important than it sounds. Include things like a current vaccination record, microchip information. AKC, breeder, trainer, or even rescue information could be included also. A list of all of the tasks your dog performs for you, and a list of all of the commands and behaviors that your dog has mastered could be included too. Other ideas include a current series of photos that show your dog both dressed and from the front and side, in case you ever need them. There are lots of ideas, these are just a few. 2019 Service Dog Goals: Do a Service Dog Skills Check It's a good idea to evaluate your partner's skill set multiple times per year, but a large scale audit is good at least once per year. This is a good time to see if you need to focus your training anywhere specific, or to simply update your list of what your dog knows. Getting video is a good idea too. 2019 Service Dog Goals: Update Your Service Dog's Task and Behavior List Now is a good time to update their Task/Behavior list. Cell phones make it so easy to get good quality video these days too. It's a really great way to log that your dog can demonstrate a skill when needed, just mak sure that there is sufficient lighting and the behavior is visible with minimal cues and distractions. Storing these files on a USB Drive or even a SD Card makes life a lot
The holidays offer ample opportunity to curl up with your Service Dog and catch up on some reading. One of the books on our reading list this year is A Lowcountry Christmas by New York Times bestselling author Mary Alice Monroe. This Christmas novel features Service Dogs, a Veteran with PTSD, a family in need of help, and tons of feel-good moments perfect for the season. Learn more about A Lowcountry Christmas during our interview with Mary Alice Monroe. A Lowcountry Christmas Service Dog Book Overview From the inside of the book's cover jacket: As far as ten-year-old Miller McClellan is concerned, it's the worst Christmas ever. His father's shrimp boat is docked, his mother is working two jobs, and with finances strained, Miller is told they can't afford the dog he desperately wants. "Your brother's return from war is our family's gift," his parents tell him. But when Taylor returns with PTSD, family strains darken the holidays. Heartbreak and financial stress threaten to destroy the spirit of the season until the miraculous gift of a service dog leads Taylor, his family, and their community on a healing journey to discover the true meaning of Christmas. Interview With A Lowcountry Christmas Author, Mary Alice Monroe AP: What inspired you to write a novel centered around Service Dogs? M: When I was volunteering at the Dolphin Research Center in Florida I worked with Wounded Vets. One of them had a Service Dog. He told me how much the dog meant to him and how it woke him from his nightmares. “I love my wife, but I need my dog.” You can bet that line got into the book! One day his Service Dog, a black Lab, walked up to the edge of the dock while a curious dolphin kept bobbing up to look at him. The dog walked closer and closer and finally, they touched each other! It was a tender moment. As a result of that fond memory, I tried to emphasize the bond between a Service Dog and Veteran. AP: What has been your experience with Service Dogs? You mentioned Pets for Vets in the book. Is that an organization you have been involved with? What is unique about their approach in terms of partnering veterans with Service Dogs? M: As I wrote above, I worked with Service Dogs through the Wounded Warrior program. In South Carolina, I researched Service Dog programs in my area and discovered Pets for
In the United States, every Service Dog handler enjoys the right to travel with their Service Dog. However, finding straightforward information about airline policies and requirements, international laws, TSA regulations, security checkpoints, and other commonly encountered situations isn't easy! To help you prepare you for your trip, we've compiled Service Dog travel tips, tricks, hacks, guidelines, and resources.
For your pet, service dog or working dog that has been good all year, treat them with these 10 great gift ideas for a pawsitvely happy holiday! 1.The Limited Edition Grinch Bark Box Bark Box is a subscription service that offers monthly curated collections of all the things dogs love. Delivered directly to your home, each box includes two toys, two bags of all natural treats and a chew. This holiday season they have come out with a Grinch-themed box that is sure to provide your service dog with lots of Christmas cheer. An added plus is that all the treats are made in either the United States or Canada, so you can feel good about supporting businesses close to home. 2. Thermo-Snuggly Sleeper From K & H Pet Products comes the Thermo Snuggly Sleeper. Designed to help soothe the muscles of busy dogs, this bed is tested for safety to exceed USA and Canada safety standards. It warms to your service dog's normal body temperature when in use and uses only 6 watts of power for efficiency. Another plus of this bed is that you can remove the heater and wash the entire cover. 3. Matching Christmas Sweaters Your Service Dog is one of the family, so why not get matching Christmas sweaters? Blueberry Pet has an assortment of sweaters perfect for both you and your service dog. Tip: Get the family all dressed up and snap a photo for your holiday card. 4. Friendship Collar Staying on the theme of matching, FriendshipCollar sells matching collars and bracelets for you and your Service Dog. As a plus, with every sale FriendshipCollar will donate food to shelters across the USA. Tip: Use code SANTAPAWS to enjoy 20% off. 5. Dog Bowl Water Bottle Keep your service dog hydrated on the go with this cool Dog Bowl Water Bottle from Uncommon Goods. Made in the USA, this leak-proof water bottle bottle features an attached bowl that makes it easy for your dog to drink. The excess water also drains back into the bottle to reduce waste. An adjustable velcro strap makes it easy to attach to your backpack, belt or wrist and fits into any standard size car cup holder. A well thought out and practical gift! 6. Harry Barker Dog Spa Day Gift Set This gift made Oprah's Favorite Things list this year and made ours as well. The Harry Barker Dog Spa Day Gift Set comes with a bottle of 2:1 Shea
Assistance Dogs International (ADI) publishes standards for Service Dog training, behavior, ethics, organizations, programs, trainers, handlers, and clients. They also define standards of behavior and training for Guide Dogs, Hearing Dogs, and Service Dogs for veterans. Read on to learn more about ADI's Service Dog standards. As of November 2018, 140 programs worldwide held ADI accreditation. Additionally, dozens of unaccredited Service Dog training organizations, programs, and individual trainers claim adherence to Assistance Dog International's standards. Please note that any Service Dog organization claiming adherence to ADI standards without actual ADI accreditation has not been evaluated by Assistance Dogs International for adherence to standards. Per the Assistance Dogs International website, "ADI Standards have become the benchmarks to measure excellence in the Assistance Dog industry. Assistance Dog users trust their lives and safety to their dogs so everything related to the training of both the dogs and people must meet extraordinary criteria." When an organization or trainer says a dog meets "industry standard" expectations, most often, they're referring to the ADI standards. Sometimes, though, they may be referring to the International Association of Assistance Dog Partners (IAADP). The IAADP also produces regularly utilized standards for Service Dog training and behavior. In a nutshell, the ADI standards outline expectations for a training program that is professional, ethical humane, comprehensive, and reliable. Assistance Dogs International expects programs to select, screen, train, and place dogs suitable for Service Dog work. These dogs should be of sound mind and sound body, with specific, well-trained skills and behaviors. Once trained, the Service Dogs should be carefully matched with their future partner. Both Service Dog and handler should undergo extensive team training prior to solo work. They should receive support from the placement organization throughout the team's working life. ADI Minimum Standards and Ethics All standards cited below come directly from Assistance Dogs International's document "ADI Minimum Standards and Ethics." That document can be referenced on the ADI website. We have changed the order of the sections contained in ADI's document for easier grouping. We've placed ethics and standards for programs, clients, and partners at the top, with standards for each type of Service Dog at the bottom. ADI Ethics For Dogs ADI believes that any dog the member organizations trains to become an Assistance Dog has a right to a quality life. Therefore, the ethical use of an Assistance Dog must incorporate the following criteria: 1. An Assistance Dog must be temperamentally screened for emotional soundness and working ability. 2.
Whether you have a pet, a service dog in training or other type of working dog, safety-proofing your home not only makes for a happier place for your dog, but a less stressful place for you as well. Here's a great infographic that explains some easy ways to make your home dog friendlier from AXA.ie.
Choosing the perfect name for your pooch isn't easy. After all, they'll have it forever! Here are the most popular dog names from 2018. These creative names are derived from movies, current affairs and celebrities. Infographic courtesy of DogBuddy.com Political Pooches Whether you're on the left or the right, I think we can all admit it's been a big year for politics. Political names, for better or worse, have made it into the top 100. Superheroes and Songs Dogs are the superheroes (and the kingpins) of the animal world, so it makes total sense to give our pups names worthy of the silver screen. With the release of a whole host of Marvel franchise movies in the last 12 months, superheroes (and, if we’re getting technical, gods) are leading the pack. Logan’s steel claws are tearing up the competition with a 20% rise since 2017, whilst the Norse god Loki is up 21%. Dog owners, like the rest of us, are suckers for a bit of movie nostalgia, too. The original Toy Story movie came out way back in 1995, and The Lion King barks back to 1994, perhaps prompting today’s dog owners to name their precious pooch after the leaders of a famous pride. Simba is up 15% and Woody is up 11% but the real winner (and let’s be honest, the real hero of The Lion King) is Nala who’s up a roaring 83% since last year. When it comes to music tastes, our data suggests that more dog owners are bathing in the purple rain than donning their blue suede shoes or giving a countdown to Major Tom… Ziggy is down 20% Elvis is down 13% Prince is up 29% Gender Neutral Names Gender neutral names are more popular than ever, with unisex human baby names rising in popularity by 60% since last year. Fur baby parents are following the trend, too. Check out the doggo names that are on an upwards trend since last year: Bobby is up 87% Arlo is up 15% Frankie is up 13% Top 100 Female Dog Names 2018 Bella Poppy Lola Luna Molly Daisy Ruby Coco Rosie Millie Roxy Tilly Bonnie Willow Lucy Holly Honey Maggie Nala Lily Maisie Skye Belle Pepper Mia Lulu Betty Minnie Lilly Pippa Jessie Penny Winnie Lottie Lexi Maya Amber Bailey Jess Missy Ellie Phoebe Dolly Milly Stella Ella Lady Izzy Sophie Mollie Sasha Peggy Mabel Olive Meg Darcy Misty Frankie Cookie Evie Sky Tia
We can’t control disasters but we can control how we respond to them. Our animals, pets, working and Service dogs are all part of our families and having a plan will make responding easier and less stressful. Most plans often overlook these important points. Therefore, preparing a disaster kit, having safe place to stay, having insurance all are important parts of ensuring your well-being in times of catastrophes. Make sure your pet, working dog or Service Dog are safe whatever the circumstances are. Create an emergency plan. For more detailed information on how to create a disaster plan, please click here. Infographic courtesy of mikesgearreviews.co
The midterm elections are tomorrow, November 6th, 2018, and it's time to start making plans about when, where, and how you're going to vote. For voters with an Assistance Animal, there are even more considerations. Read on to learn more about making your trip to the polls with your Service Dog smooth and uneventful. First things first, make sure you've got all of your voting logistics handled. The process for preparing to vote and for voting can be different in every state, but in general, you'll need to: Determine your Eligibility -- Federal U.S. law mandates that all U.S. citizens 18 or older, even if they turned 18 on the day of the election, are eligible to vote. State laws vary and may or may not exclude felons and incarcerated persons from voting. No one can be denied their right to vote based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, level of education, disability, employment status or other factors, excluding citizenship, age and criminality. Check the Voter Registration Deadline -- each state has differing deadlines for when you must be registered to vote in the upcoming November 8th election. Some states have their cutoff in mid October, and others allow you to register through the first couple days of November. This article will help you easily determine your state's voter registration deadline. Register to Vote -- each state has different requirements, but you can search for your state's requirements here, as well as find everything you'll need to complete registration in your state. Some states will even let you register completely online! If you don't want to register online, you can complete your voter registration at your local DMV. Complete your registration early, as there are deadlines that must be met in order for you to participate in the upcoming presidential election. Check Your Status -- a couple weeks after registering to vote, verify your status online if you haven't received your Voter Registration Card in the mail. Find Your Polling Location -- Every town/city (potentially county) provides one or more polling locations. Look up your polling location online, by calling your city hall or by contacting your local election board. Find the address and make sure you know how to get to the polls. Double check their hours of operation, too, so you can ensure you can be there at the proper times. Make sure to write down the name, location and hours
According to TACA (Talk About Curing Autism), an organization which began in 2000 and has grown today to 19 Chapters and 31,000 families across the United States, it is estimated there are almost 2 million people in the United States alone with autism. Autism is the fastest growing developmental disability in the United States.