Others Can Be Integral Parts of a Service Dog Team

I am always amazed at how respectful my husband, Franz, is regarding my relationship with my service dogs. He always has been. From the moment I received my first service dog and for the last seventeen years as I am now working with my third dog. When I got my first dog, Ramona, he was instructed not to interact with …

The Influence of Bacon

Recently, I was honored as a “Women of Influence” by the New Mexico Business Weekly. Over 550 people attended the sold-out luncheon that honored 30 women for their contributions to New Mexico’s economy and community. During the luncheon, each honoree was to take the stage, share five things about herself that no one knew, and exit the stage for a …

Assistance Dogs of the West – Pioneers in Service Dog Training Programs

Recently I got to visit with Carolyn Clark Beedle, Executive Director of Assistance Dogs of the West (ADW), on Working Like Dogs at www.petliferadio.com. Carolyn stopped by to talk about the work she and her staff and volunteers are accomplishing at ADW in Santa Fe, NM. ADW has been around since 1995 and they provide trained service dogs to people …

Barking Like A Dog

I don’t know about you, but I am starting to get Spring Fever. We just had over six inches of snow this past week in Santa Fe; however, I am already looking forward to the days of planting and the rewards of beautiful dessert flowers and fresh vegetables from the garden. The other day, Franz, Whistle and I went to …

Dog Treats and Service Dogs

I have to say that I was so strict with my first dog, Ramona, regarding treats. The agency that trained her really frowned upon treats and instructed me that she needed to work for me based on praise rather than treats. It made sense because they argued that if her working was dependent on treats and let’s say, for example, …

Service dogs and pinch collars: help or hindrance?

We really enjoy watching professional dog trainers work their dogs. I am amazed at how they can command their dog’s attention and maintain a level of control over their dog’s head through the use of a leash and collar. As a wheelchair user, handling a dog can be challenging. From a sitting position, it can be more difficult to manage …

Holidays Too Much of a Good Thing for Service Dog

As the holidays draw to a close, I am concerned about changes I have recently witnessed in Whistle. My sister and her family visited during the Christmas holidays. Whistle was thrilled to spend some time with my niece and nephew and my nephew’s girlfriend. They are all college students with boundless energy and Whistle reveled in playing with them and …

Psychatric Service Dogs a Rare and Valuable Breed

I had the opportunity to visit with Joan Esnayra, Ph.D., President and Founder of the Psychiatric Service Dog Society (http://www.psychdog.org). I have to admit, Dr. Esnayra enlightened me to the fact that all service dogs are not alike. Theoretically, I was aware of that fact. However, after talking with Dr. Esnayra, I became acutely aware of some of the significant …

Have You Ever Thought About Raising a Service Dog?

Over the years, I have never ceased to be amazed by the self-less dedication I have witnessed from volunteer puppyraisers. These individuals open their homes and hearts to a bundle of furry joy and puppy breath. They work tirelessly to mold, train, and potty-train the puppies. And, just when the puppies become young adults, the puppyraisers pack them up and …