Archives for June 2012

Sunshine Award

Oh My goodness!

We’re so, so surprised!

We were given the Sunshine Award by our friend Garth of The World According To Garth Riley

Thank You Garth!!!

There are three rules for the Sunshine Award:

1. Answer 7 questions
2. Pass it on to ten people
3. Let them know they received the award

1. What is your favorite number?

4, because that is how many of us there are.

2. What is your favorite nonalcoholic beverage?

Coffee, because Mommy, Daddy and Rogie love the stuff 

3. Facebook or Twitter?

Twitter, because Mommy gets to keep in touch with our buddies that don’t blog (our Twitter name is ruledbypaws)

4. What is your passion?

We love to play and to make everyone smile.

5. What is your favorite pattern?

Circles, because Mommy likes to watch us run in circles around one another, trying to trick the other into dropping the favourite toy of the moment.

6. What is your favorite day of the week?

Whichever day Daddy has off work. He is a nurse, so works different days each week.

7. What is your favorite flower?

We have gruber daisies and mini roses in our patio garden, so I guess we like those flowers.

Now for the 10 blogs that provide us with sunshine:

At A Glacial pace

From Sophie’s View

The Hobbit Habitat

Kol’s Notes

The Portuguese Water Blog

Life At Golden Pines

Another Tequila Sunrise

Charlie

Gopher Sessions: Adventures And Experiences with A Therapy Dog

Thank you again Garth, for this wonderful award!

**Just wanted to make a quick note to say that we tried notifying everyone of their award, but some blogs have captious so we weren’t always successful – sorry**

Romeo & Juliet?

Or just a handsome golden stud, who really loves his Mommy…

Canyon’s Angry Bird

Today Huib and I went shopping with Rogue. Cessna wanted to stay home, so we did some public access work with the little Hurricane. She didn’t really have a great outing, but I did manage to find a really cool toy for Canyon. At the Staples Business Depot, they had a clearance section filled with various odds and ends. It sounds like a funny place to find a toy, but they had some plush Angry Birds’ toys that make the sounds as well when squeezed.

Canyon really likes balls, stuffed toys and things that make strange sounds, so a plush Angry Birds’ toy that makes noises was perfect.

Rogue Swims!

Today was a beautiful day, so we packed the gang into the orlando and headed off to Clear Lake.

Rogue hasn’t been much of a swimmer, choosing to bounce around on the shore while the others retrieved a toy or stick we threw for them.

Two weekends ago, we went to Woofstock in Toronto and bought three life jackets. Today we put one of the life jackets onto Rogue and hoped it might give her a little more confidence – it worked!

She didn’t swim as much as the others, but she swam nonetheless.

Assistance Dog Blog Carnival Call For Submissions

Assistance Dog Blog Carnival Badge

Welcome to the 8th round of the assistance Dog Blog Carnival!

For those who do not know what the Assistance Dog Blog Carnival is, here’s a little bit of background information.

Since many of the ruled by paws followers are not assistance dog users, we’d like to personally invite you all to check out the link above, and come join your first (and hopefully not last) Assistance Dog Blog Carnival.

So, here’s the scoop…

The topic for the 8th round of the ADBC is, “MARCHIN’ TO YOUR OWN DRUM”.

Before you get worried, here are some examples to get you going:

Does your assistance dog fit the traditional mould? (does he or she have any special quirks or behaviours?)
Does your dog do things differently from past partners (or the partners of friends)?
Why did you choose to go with a program dog after your owner-trained one retired? (or vice versa)
Why did you choose a non-traditional breed for your partner?
Did you have to overcome any sort of resistance from family, friends or employers when deciding to partner with an assistance dog?
Have you witnessed any unique or special assistance dogs in action? (what made them stand out?)
Did you have preconceived notions of what an assistance dog should look like, only to have them changed by witnessing one in action or reading about one?

The above, are just a sample of the things you could write about, the options are nearly endless – we can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with.

For anyone who knows the ruled by paws gang, you can guess where this topic came from. “MARCHIN’ TO YOUR OWN DRUM”, is something we do on a daily basis here. We invite you all to think about the ways in which you and your four-legged partner do things your own way – and let’s celebrate!

Submissions for the8th Assistance Dog Blog Carnival are due by 7:47pm on July 29th – why 7:47 you ask? Because Cessna thinks it’s a great time). I’ll be posting the finished product on July 31st, but if anyone requires a little extra time, just let me know (I don’t mind adding extra submissions as they arrive).

To submit your post, please comment here with the following information:
1. Name of your blog
2. Your name (as you want it to appear in the carnival)
3. Name of your post
4. URL for the post

We ask as a courtesy that you link back to this post and to the carnival home page in your post.

If you have any trouble leaving a comment here, contact me at sillabyquist at gmail dot com or you can reach us on Twitter at ruledbypaws.

So, I think I’ve covered everything. It’s now your turn. Come join us and help make the 8th round, the biggest and best we’ve seen so far!

***Even if you don’t think you can submit an entry, please take a moment and tell your blog followers and friends**

It Does Exist

For some reason, I haven’t really had the desire to keep up with the various blogs I follow. I regularly read some, but put others off to the side for another day.

Today, I was casually reading through, Rolling Around In My Head, trying to catch up, and saw this entry.

The entry really hit a cord with me because not only have I felt this way, but I remember thinking similar thoughts while in my social work classes.

During my two years in the social work program at McMaster University, I learned about sexism, racism and the importance of child welfare. In total, I took about ten different courses, and even though each one was supposed to prepare us for our future careers in the field of social work, not one looked at disability.

As a person with a visible disability, I tried to voice my feelings and bring forth the fact that people with disabilities also experience discrimination and should be given a voice, like those who experience sexism, racism and homophobia. Unfortunately, my words went unheard, and my voice was drowned out by yet another student bringing up a situation they witnessed where a woman or person of colour was discriminated against.

I’m not saying it doesn’t happen. And, I’m not saying we shouldn’t be concerned. But, I feel that it is time for people to help us, people with disabilities, have a voice.

Maybe Dave is right, and the able bodied people of the world just think we should be quiet, and thankful for the generosity they are bestowing upon us, but like Dave, I don’t agree.

Just because someone holds a door for someone in a wheelchair, or moves something out of the way for me and Cessna to get by more easily, doesn’t give them the right to feel good about themselves. If I saw someone approaching, I would do the exact same thing, does that mean I should feel good about myself?

Just like there is sexism, racism and homophobia in the world, there is also discrimination happening towards people with disabilities.

and, just like sexism, racism and homophobia needs to stop, so does discrimination against people with disabilities.

Aspen’s Birthday Ice Cream

Just in case others might be interested in making the ice cream Aspen got for her birthday, here’s the recipe along with some pictures from her special day.

Ingredients:
3-4 cups of vanilla yogurt
1 cup of fresh or frozen blueberries
3/4 of a cup of peanut butter
1 twigs worth of fresh mint (optional)

Directions:
We mixed the yogurt, blueberries and mint in a large bowl. Then we used a ladle to spoon the mixture into containers. We then swirled the peanut butter into each container (for a cool effect) and then placed each container into the freezer until completely frozen.

Aspen and the others absolutely loved their frozen treat. Even Cessna licked hers up until it was gone (she’s a picky lab so this is a good sign).

Do You Agree?

Today Time Magazine released this article, and I thought I would share the link here.

The article looks at the way people view members of the opposite sex when it comes to their choices in dog breed. According to the article, both men and women tend to be more attracted to those who choose the retriever breeds (Labrador & Golden) over those who like breeds like the Chihuahua or Rottweiler.

Personally, I’m a retriever lover, but I found it quite intriguing to read about how someone’s choice of dog could affect their love life.

What do you think?

Random News

I’ve got a lot of random news to share with everyone.

First, last week I wrote about our trip to Guelph and the Toronto area. While there, I had a chance to see my family doctor and was given several different migraine medications to try out. She gave me a few different daily preventatives, a daily nerve blocker and one to take when I feel a migraine coming. A lot of these medications were suggested by a pain clinic doctor I saw back in March, but she also added a couple that she feels might help. Back in the early 2000’s I tried out a bunch of different preventative medications without much success, but I’m hoping that these new medications might have a better outcome.

On Monday night, I took my first Gavapentin (just a low dose right now) and woke up tuesday with barely any signs of a migraine that I’m sure I should have had (the weather is quite rainy and humid right now, which is a huge trigger for me). I took my first Atenolol (again a very low dose right now) Tuesday morning and my migraine really didn’t move much past a pain level of 1-3 out of 10, so a big win for me. It could just be a fluke, but I did the same last night and this morning, and so far my migraine isn’t getting any worse than the 1-3 out of 10 pain range. In a week, I will increase the Atenolol to a full tablet and leave the Gavapentin at just one 300mg capsule and reassess in a month’s time. If my migraine does begin increasing then I will try the medication my doctor gave me for break threw pain, but I’m not sure what it is called at the moment and I’m hoping that I won’t have to resort to it. In a month’s time, if we feel the Atenolol is not working well enough, then I will stop it and try one of the other two preventatives my family doctor and the pain clinic doctor suggested.

Next, Rogue and I have begun to use her “touch” cue to press a button. About a year ago, I bought a button that when pressed, plays various types of laughs. It is like the Staples Easy Button, but when I saw this one on sale for less than $10 at Halllmark, I snatched it up for training. rogue has an amazingly firm “touch”, and my visual impairment has made it tough to teach her to “touch” a stick or a spot on a wall or the floor, so I decided to put some navy blue electrical tape onto the laughing button and then start teaching Rogue to press it when I point and say “touch”.

I first had Rogue do some practice touches with the palm of my hand. then, I held the button, so it was facing her and waited. I wanted to see what she would do without giving her any hints as to what I wanted. She had an idea of what I wanted, so started moving towards the button, I clicked and gave her a treat for each movement towards the button. Then, I upped my requirements for a click and waited for her to even lightly touch the button with her nose. each time, I’d click and give her either one treat for just a light touch, or a jackpot of treats and a party for actually making the button laugh. She quickly caught on to how she could get more treats and began bumping the button as hard as she could – I then named the behaviour “touch”.

Once we had the pressing the button while I held it at her nose level perfect, I decided to start moving my hand around. I held it low, she pressed. I held it so she had to take a few steps, she pressed it again. Then I started holding it up so she had to jump up a bit to press and of course, she did it flawlessly.

I then put the button onto the floor and pointed and said “touch”. she bumped my hand with her nose. I waited, she bumped my hand with her nose several more times and then started to get frustrated. I couldn’t see where we were misunderstanding one another, so we stopped the lesson and both slept on it.

The following morning I figured it out, I had been lumping (or moving too fast). I got out the button and started practising what we had done the day before. Since we were doing it in a new place, I began by just holding the button and not saying a word. She knew exactly what we were doing and hit the button hard, making it laugh every single time, so we named it again – “touch”.

I then placed the button on the floor, but instead of just pointing I kept holding it and waited. It only took her a second before she was moving towards the button and I clicked and gave her a bunch of treats. After several perfect “touches”, I named the behaviour again “touch” and then started saying “Rogue, touch” and she came over and pressed the button.

Instead of completely removing my hand from the button at this point, I began holding the button with less and less of my hand. even when I was just touching the side of it with my index finger, rogue came over and pressed it when I said “touch”.

By the end, she was pressing the button when I pointed and said “Rogue, touch”. She is such a smart and forgiving puppy. Even when I make a mistake, she tells me what she needs and we start learning again together. I’m not sure what we’ll do next, but for now we’ll keep practicing our palm touches and button pressing. Rogue’s favourite behaviour is “touch”, so even though we are not further in the new levels books, I decided it was okay to move further with her “touch” cue because unlike other behaviours we’re learning, “touch” is fun to her and gets her brain moving.

Yesterday we got a call from the adoption worker. her case load is quite busy right now, so she has decided to move the adoption training to late fall. This is okay with us because right now it looks as though my step-dad will need to come stay for a bit, but it’s also frustrating because it seems as though each time we get somewhere with the adoption process, we’re left waiting again without any sight of the finish line. Hopefully in the fall things will begin moving full steam ahead.

Finally, today is our calico, Logan’s 10th birthday. Here on ruled by paws, the cats don’t tend to get much written about them, but I thought it was a milestone worth mentioning. We got Logan from the Guelph Humane Society when she was just 10 weeks old. She had been part of a family, but was surrendered to the shelter just hours before Huib and I went to see the cats. Huib lived in a bachelor apartment and for his birthday, I decided to buy him a cat, since I thought he needed a friend while he studied. We had planned to pick out an adult cat, but when we saw Logan, it was almost love at first sight. She was so cuddly and purred so loud that we thought for sure there was a little boat motor inside her. We told the shelter staff that she was the one, and after filling out some paperwork, we were told that we could come back in a week for our new kitten. She needed to be spayed and given her vaccines before we could bring her home. even though Huib likes to joke about giving Logan away to anyone who will take her, I know he loves her and that she’s going to continue providing us with years of entertainment.

Happy 10th Birthday Logie, you are one comical little calico!

Guess What?

Guess what?

Today is Aspen’s birthday!

Guess what?

Today, Aspen is 9 years old!

Guess what?

For her birthday, Aspen is getting some special, homemade doggie ice cream.

Aspen is not really into toys, and it is raining today, so instead of swimming, we are doing the second best thing, making food – Aspen loves food!

I can’t believe that almost 9 years ago we picked out our fluffy little golden retriever puppy.

I was about to begin my final year at the University of Guelph, and Huib was just about to start his masters in Agricultural Economics.

Aspen was 7weeks old and just over 6 or 7 pounds when we picked her up from her breeder in Hanover. She was from a litter of nine puppies, but only eight survived because one of her brothers was too large and got stuck. When we picked her up, I had not yet decided upon which of two girls I really wanted, so let Huib make the final decision.

When we arrived, Huib put his camera and a little red bandana, we’d made for our new puppy, on the ground beside him and just watched the two girls as their breeder released them. As soon as the girls were set down, one ran directly into the garden and the other darted towards Huib, grabbed the little bandana, and took off running while shaking it from side to side – he knew this was our puppy.

Since that moment, Aspen and Huib have had a bond that I could only wish to have with her. She follows him closely, listens to him perfectly, and gives me a dirty look anytime I get in the way.

Aspen might not be as talented or motivated as the others, but she has made a contribution to our lives that only she could.

She makes us smile daily.

She makes us laugh non-stop.

And, no matter what happens in our lives, Aspen is always there waiting to make it all better with a kiss on the hand, and a cuddle.

Happy 9th Birthday My Little Golden Princess.

Please don’t ever stop being you.