Blog

Including events, news, and almost-daily updates on how training is progressing for the service dogs.

Blog

Service Dog Laws

Beginner:  A service dog can be any breed. (Read more about breeds.) The owner has to have a disability (physical or psychiatric), as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act.  If you are looking for more information on psychiatric service dogs, go here. Note: These guidelines are over-simplified. For more detail, see the advanced section beneath this box.     Continue reading

Service Dog Breeds

The number one question we get asked from the public is, “What breeds to you use as Service Dogs?”  Continue reading

Meditation and Service Dogs

Young woman meditating with her Service Dog My story: In late high school, I started experiencing anxiety and depression. I worked hard to change these feelings into anger, thinking that I was edgy to be so rebellious against the status quo. (Spoiler alert: anger doesn’t help these conditions.) It wasn’t until college that I realized how much compensating I had to do in my life, merely to get by. High-achiever that I was, I would do all my course reading and papers ahead of time, not because I was innately organized, but because I knew that depression could hit at any time (and if I was depressed, I couldn’t get any work done). I also overcompensated for my feelings of despair by smiling all the the time, affecting a good mood in order to be around friends that were having a good time (and then their mood would cheer me up). As the years passed, I eventually got antidepressants, learned to exercise more, and reframe my thoughts so I wouldn’t think pessimistically. Then my dad died. Continue reading

Proof that dogs can smell seizures!

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-40721-4 Dogs demonstrate the existence of an epileptic seizure odour in humans Amélie Catala, Marine Grandgeorge, Jean-LucSchaff, Hugo Cousillas, Martine Hausberger & Jennifer Cattet  Scientific Reports, volume 9, Article number: 4103 (2019) Abstract Although different studies have shown that diseases such as breast or lung cancer are associated with specific bodily odours, no study has yet tested the possibility that epileptic seizures may be reflected in an olfactory profile, probably because there is a large variety of seizure types. The question is whether a “seizure-odour”, that would be transversal to individuals and types of seizures, exists. This would be a prerequisite for potential anticipation, either by electronic systems (e.g., e-noses) or trained dogs. The aim of the present study therefore was to test whether trained dogs, as demonstrated for cancer or diabetes, may discriminate a general epileptic seizure odor (different from body odours of the same person in other contexts and common to different persons). The results were very clear: all dogs discriminated the seizure odour. The sensitivity and specificity obtained were amongst the highest shown up to now for discrimination of diseases. This constitutes a first proof that, despite the variety of seizures and individual odours, seizures are associated with olfactory characteristics. 

Palmer doesn't mind waiting to board the airplane

Napping on a lap. What could be better?

Biomarkers for Fibromyalgia

Experimental new blood test to find biomarkers for fibromyalgia: http://m.jbc.org/content/early/2018/12/06/jbc.RA118.005816.abstract This study isn’t about finding the cause, but rather, finding physical markers of the metabolic results of having the symptoms long-term.

Lexi holding Down-Stay during kung-fu

Down-stay with the three Ds of distraction (duration of one hour, distance of twenty feet, distraction of Kung-fu class). Yay, Lexi!

Holding Down-Stay at Kung-Fu

Palmer held her Down-Stay for an hour-long Kung Fu class, so as a reward, she got petting from a little girl!

White paper (draft) by by AVMA about service dogs

In 2017, the American Veterinary Medical Association created a peer-reviewed white paper, written by their Welfare Division. it was created by their Steering Committee on Human-Animal Interactions.  Continue reading

New stimuli

It’s another snowy day, so today we worked on exposure to new things, including seeing costumes, wearing costumes, balloons being inflated and deflated (and popping!), smelling perfumes, wearing a basket muzzle, and hearing the sound of banging on pots and pans.