Posts tagged ‘Madison’

Back To School

I go to Daddy’s school every year to talk about being a service dog. Actually, Mom does most of the talking. We go with Aunt JoAnne who brings her Leader Dog puppies. I’m retired now, but I still know my stuff.

This year Aunt JoAnne brought Maggie May. She was “career changed” because of her hips. I think her hips look swell, but Leader Dogs for the Blind only accepts perfect dogs. She also brought her new puppy, Kaiser. He’s a German Shepherd.  I am the yellow dog in the picture in case you didn’t recognize me in my red backpack.

After we talked about stuff we got to receive pets and love from the students, which was my favorite part.

We all remembered to be gentle and I tried to give as much of my stray fur away to the students as could stick to their clothing. Mom brushed me real good before we went, but I stil managed to leave a little bit of me behind.

Yesterday was a really fun day. Today after the newsletter goes out, we’re ironing fabric for Mom’s trip to North Carolina. Then the quilt auction starts around lunch time. It’s a full day.

Tail wags to you,
Madison T. Dog

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(By the way, if you like Mommy, please “like her” on Facebook too, then the both of you can be “friends” and talk about me. She Tweets too. She thinks she’s a bird, and I get fewer walks. It’s a dog’s life.)

May 1, 2010 at 8:38 am 9 comments

Treats!

Although I am a dog I know things. Like when it is time to eat. Mom doesn’t need a watch. At 7 in the morning time, or as soon as she’s done yanking her head-fur with the electric heat machine, I know it’s time for breakfast. Dinnertime is precisely at 5pm unless Mom decides to make me suffer and wait. She does this on purpose so that I won’t faint from hunger if I’m always used to eating at the same time and no food comes.

The leash means WALKS!

I like ice cubes. I thought I’d mention that in case you would like to send me some.

I know that when Mom puts her coat on, she usually will want me to tinkle outside. Towels on the bathroom floor mean bath time, followed by much drinking of water and more tinkles.

Suitcases mean it’s another trip. She packs. I help by removing things and bringing them to her. I want her to stay home. I mope.

“Bye-bye” means we’re going some place in the car. My tail goes way up and I move fast before they change their mind. “Up-up” means get in the car. (Wait until they open the door first.) And at the end of the day “Night-night” means it’s time to go upstairs and go to sleep.

I also know the usual commands like sit, down, stay, off, leave it and wait.  I also know special things like ” remain.”  That’s what Mom says when she and Daddy leave the house with me in it alone. I’m supposed to REMAIN while they leave.  I don’t have to be any place in particular, just inside the house. I guess I’m not supposed to unlock the doors or drive the other car or something. STAY would be horrible, as I would have to plant my carcass in one place and not move for many long times.

“To the rug” is what I get told when the door bell rings. We have a rug just for me about 10 feet from the door and that’s my place when people come to the house. Mom wants to make sure any visitors  who come are OK with dogs. If they’re not I don’t get up. If they are, I am invited to “go visit.” My new best friends then get to pet me and love on me and I transfer my fur onto their pant legs in return.

I can also recycle. Mom gives me an empty water bottle and I put it in the recycle bin. 

And, I can “trash it.” That’s putting things INTO the trash, like paper. Tissue is the hardest because it gets stuck to the roof of my mouth and although I want to let it go it just won’t fall out on it’s own. I can also pick up anything  Mom tells me to and hand it to her.

How’d I learn all these things? TREATS! That my best word. I can even spell it.

Here are some very nice dogs receiving treats in slow motion. You’ll want to watch this several times.

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(By the way, if you like Mommy, please “like her” on Facebook too, then you and her and all your friends and all her friends can be friends. And you can talk about me.  Mom Tweets too. Go figure. As long as she doesn’t meow, I guess I’m OK.)

April 27, 2010 at 2:41 am 33 comments

Goshen, Indiana

I just returned from Goshen, Indiana where Madison and I were invited to give the keynote speech for Greencroft Goshen’s 20thAnnual Alzheimer’s Seminar. Afterwards Madison helped me tell how service dogs can help people with Alzheimer’s in the break-out session. This was in conjunction with the “Alzheimer’s: Forgetting Piece by Piece” exhibit which was displayed there.

You can see how beautiful the quilts looked in this Fox newscast segment about the exhibit, taped about three minutes after we hung the quilts.  Had I known I was going to be on television I would have at least changed clothes. Heck, had I known I was going to be on television I would have been a nervous wreck and probably tossed my cookies!

The Maple Leaf Quilters also coordinated an evening just for quilters in the Goshen area and I got to give two presentations.  Madison did a great job being a “good dog” while I spoke. He showed off some of his many skills afterwards. 

When Madison wasn’t in his service dog backpack “working,” he was in casual attire. (He’s wearing a Hawaiian shirt in the photo above.) He also wore a tuxedo on the day the exhibit opened and a tie-dyed T-shirt on the last day. (I can’t remember what I wore.) His tail wagged so often it will probably be sore for a week! I had way too much fun having him along on the trip.

Jennie came in after work on Friday night to help. It’s not often my family gets to see me lecture, so that was fun too. Jennie is responsible for these great pictures.

I also got a chance to visit with my friend Ida, who taught me how to quilt more than 30 years ago. It was great fun to catch up with her, two of her daughters, and a granddaughter.

No, I’m still not unpacked, and the quilts head out to Lansing, Michigan for the Michigan Quilt Network show at the Lansing Center September 11-14. Dog has to stay home.

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September 8, 2008 at 12:00 am 8 comments

Four Dogs At School

As JoAnne, Lisa, and I walked from the St John Vianney parking lot to the school’s front entrance it looked like a parade! Counting the dogs there were seven of us nose to tail along the sidewalk.

We were coming to talk about service dogs and how they can help people with disabilities. Lisa is a graduate from Leader Dogs for the Blind. She told my husband’s seventh grade students how her German shepherd, Abel, helps guide her safely wherever she needs to go. JoAnne is a Puppy Counselor from Leader Dogs for the Blind and she brought a 7-month old black lab/shepherd mix named Maggie May. She is the 17th puppy JoAnne has socialized in preparation for formal training at Leader Dogs for the Blind in Rochester, Michigan. If Maggie passes she will be given to a blind person and begin her career as a dog guide. JoAnne also brought Murray, a long-haired German shepherd who was “career-changed” because he has hip displasia, a condition that would negatively impact his ability to become a dog guide. Murray is now JoAnne’s dog. And, I brought Madison who is a semi-retired service dog for my mother.

Madison, Ami, Lisa, JoAnne, Murray, and Maggie

Here we are getting ready before the students come in. You can see furry Murray under the desk. He’s hiding. He’s 110 pounds and totally afraid of his own shadow. Abel is to Lisa’s left. You can just see his snout and left front paw. Maggie is in the middle of the room in a “down stay” as JoAnne prepares a display of safe and unsafe dog toys. Madison is waiting patiently for something to happen.

We spent about 40 minutes with Mr Simms’ class. They just finished reading Hello, Goodbye, I Love You -The Story of Aloha, A Guide Dog For The Blind.

After the students left Lisa and I talked “dog stuff.”

May 18, 2008 at 1:12 pm 4 comments


Ami Simms

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