I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus, and I would like to explain why.
I haven’t gotten to blog much recently, between having at least four doctors appointments a week (I maxed out at nine a week and recommend it to no one – just don’t do it to yourself) and trying to find a new direction to move in health wise, even school got put on hold for a bit. And if I don’t have the time or the energy for schoolwork, blogging certainly isn’t an option.
I am happy to say that I’m back on track. I’m all caught up in school, and now we’re playing the infamous waiting game, wondering how soon we’ll hear back from doctors. I don’t have much time to spend dwelling on that though, because there’s something else demanding my constant attention! Or should I say… someone else?
Over Presidents’ Day weekend, my sister, my mom, and I journeyed down to North Carolina. A last minute trip to meet a promising service dog prospect, double check her temperament, and decide if we thought she was up to the challenge of service.
Enter: Peggy. We had seen videos of her temperament testing, and there were actually two dogs the breeder thought could potentially fit my needs. In the end Peggy was not only bigger, but more curious, athletic, and confident than her sister. Thus, our journey began.
We had a days long journey home that Monday, and we’ve been together since. Today she is fourteen weeks old, and though we are behind where most prospects would be at this age, Peggy has proven herself to be a sweet and intelligent little fluff ball. Even though we’ve had our little hiccups she is definitely a beam of hope and happiness. Peggy represents possibility, and with her I will have the ability to (safely) conquer the world.
Where We Are Now
In just under a month together Peggy knows her name, to come when called, sit, down, release (when she’s holding something in her mouth), paws up (putting her front paws on an object), focus, go potty, and off (when she has her front paws on something and needs to get down).
We’re working on her release command, “okay, lets go!” Today we started true rear end awareness work and Peggy quickly took to using “paws up” on different surfaces. We were even able to get to “all four” and add in the verbal cue! Heeling is coming along nicely, and we’ve been going out for public access practice and socialization to pet friendly places (as she’s still a prospect) – which is going swimmingly. When her service dog vest is on, she’s a different dog. The puppy craziness is all but gone, and she is extraordinarily attentive to me. She’s definitely starting to understand what “working” and “you’re free!” mean. I am so proud of her.
I’m not exactly sure if she has alerted or not yet, but she has had some convenient behaviors. Coming and laying on my feet moments before I get pre-syncope is ridiculously helpful and has saved me from fainting on multiple occasions! She has also done this for a couple of my friends who also have POTS. We questioned why she suddenly was completely covering a friends feet, when a minute later their hands were purple from blood pooling – a sign of dropping blood pressure! Drops in blood pressure is what Peggy will be alerting to to help avoid episodes of fainting and help me to live a more “normal” life.
The Road Ahead
I am planning on giving updates of Peggy’s training and our life together now and then. Want to hear from us and see our adventures on a near daily basis? Follow Peggy on Instagram!
Clicking here will take you to her account, where she runs the show.