Posts Tagged: service dog

So Many Santas (A Service Dog’s Perspective on Christmas)

I really enjoyed my Christmas season, exploring new places and meeting new friends and people everywhere I went with Christy.

My nose has been working overtime, smelling the scents of the season. Everywhere we have gone, I’ve met Santa Claus. The first place was at the mall.

Santa is a very nice man that I sniffed very closely and found to smell like cologne and candy canes.

Christy and I explored downtown Morristown and its variety of specialty shops and local businesses. Outside one of the shops, I met Santa again.

He smelled different from when I met him in the mall. His face was younger looking, and his beard smelled of synthetic fibers and aftershave.

Mom and I walked across the street to a bookstore. In the window I found the real reason for Christmas.

It is no wonder the Santas I met smelled differently. They were actors, portraying a mythical man. But as I sat in front of the bookstore window’s display, Mom gave me a treat and said, “This is why we celebrate Christmas.”

I wagged my tail as my doggy heart agreed.

Knead These Donuts

It’s the time of year for sweet treats and I’m looking forward to having a few myself. Of course, they are the kind of treats a dog can eat. No people treats for me.

One day Mom and I visited a donut shop near us that has been voted the best one in our area for a few years, according to a poll taken by the local newspaper. It’s called Knead Donuts.

A sign on the door displays the shop’s hours from opening until they run out.

From what I hear, they are on high demand and sell out quickly.

I’m on a strict diet to stay in shape and there are rules a service dog must follow like ‘no table scraps.’ That’s okay, though. I get plenty of awesome duck jerky when I correctly alert my mom to a low blood sugar.

But today, Knead Donuts gave me a doggy donut.

I’m certain we’ll return to this dog-friendly shop for more tasty treats.

What’s With This Strange Little Cube?

I love parties, especially the birthday kind.

My ears perk up and I get excited to hear the birthday song because I remember when it was first sung to me, and I know special treats are involved.

But this time, I didn’t get treats because it was not my birthday. It was Michael’s and he loves something called a Rubik’s Cube.

Mom brought her mixed up 25-year-old cube to Michael and he solved it within seconds. She called him a genius. I had to sniff out one of these cubes for myself.

I’m not sure what the draw is for this weird-looking toy. My paws can’t do anything with it. Since it doesn’t dispense treats or squeak and would be hard on my teeth if I chewed on it, I’m going to leave the solving of this cube to humans.

Can You Smell Fall?

There aren’t many colors a dog can see, but I can certainly smell them.

Mom says it’s autumn and that’s why the trees are losing their leaves and I am trampling them under my paws. We have some very tall and old trees at our house and a blanket of leaves covers our front yard.

Outside it smells of decaying leaves, fresh rain, and squishy black mud. Mom dries me off after I’ve done my business in the rain. I leave muddy paw prints on the doormat.

The mornings are colder and Mom lets me up on the bed to snuggle before she gets up to start her day. I can tell the season is changing.

We took another road trip to Cumberland Gap where Mom left me in another state!

Another day we drove to North Carolina, and I saw elk for the first time.

Elk are really big creatures that we kept our distance from because the male had antlers you wouldn’t want to tangle with. He also was trying to get a girlfriend and made a long, loud noise like a dying squeaky toy.

Wherever you are, I hope you are enjoying the smells and sounds of fall as much as I am.

Mom Takes Me Everywhere

Fish Hotel

As a dog, I love adventures. As summer comes to an end, my doggy heart fondly considers some of the fun things I encountered in our travels.

Fish Hotel

I was nearly swallowed by a fish hotel.

Fish Hotel

We also encountered a giant Swedish horse (or Dala, as they call it).

Swedish horse

Mom has a few small ones of these in her kitchen as she says they represent her heritage.

There was this blue ox named Babe and her master, Paul Bunyan, that I met in Bemidji, Minnesota. I just wish they had a dog for me to play with.

Paul Bunyan

There is a famous factory in Mom’s hometown, and I got to take a tour of it. They make cats of some kind, but I didn’t see any and the ones they make don’t have fur.

Aiden and Arctic Cat

We explored Gatlinburg, Tennessee, where the biggest breakfast in town is served.

Aiden in front of big skillet

Then one day while Mom shopped for a new bed, I took a nap in a giant’s recliner.

Aiden sleeping on large chair

I enjoy adventures, but sometimes, all I want to do is hang out at home. Mom says I’m becoming a true Southern dog, enjoying our front porch.

Aiden on porch swing

Water-Logged Dog

Christy waving with Aiden on rock in river

Aiden sitting on shoreThose of you who know me know how much I hate water.

When I first came to live with Christy, she had to smear peanut butter on the shower wall in order for me to get in the tub. Recently, we went on a long road trip where I encountered some water.

Christy’s BFF Janell took us and my furry friends, Cody and Frankie, to a place called Lake Superior. I stood, paws at the edge of the water and looked it over.

This lake thing reminded me of the ocean except there were no waves crashing and roaring.

I was having so much fun running in the sand, chasing my friends, when…

three dogs on beach

…I suddenly found myself in the water up to my knees! Mom was surprised. I was too.

A couple of days later, Mom insisted on taking me to the Mississippi River Headwaters at Itasca State Park in Minnesota.

Mississippi River sign

She told me I could walk in the water to cross the Mighty Mississippi. That didn’t mean anything to me. All I heard was “water” and she wasn’t talking about getting a drink.

When I saw the log bridge, I knew walking across the trickling water would be easy, but then we went down a trail and I spied a row of rocks sticking out of the water. Uh-oh, I think my paws are going to get wet. What if I slip?

Christy leading Aiden across log bridge

Mom told me she slipped the last time she was here, but she made sure the rocks weren’t slippery this time. She stepped in the water, tennis shoes and all, and I followed willingly.

Christy and Aiden crossing river - from behind

At every rock, Mom gave me a treat.

Christy waving with Aiden on rock in river

I was in water again and my paws were soaked, but I was walking in the water to cross the great Mississippi River.

Having conquered two water attractions on this vacation and enjoyed them, I can call myself a true Minnesota tourist.

Christy and Aiden on rock in Mississippi River

A Service Dog’s Travel Log

Aiden on butterfly bench

Exploring is fun and filled with new smells. My nose goes on overload, but no matter how many different scents I smell, I keep focused on the main scent to keep my Mom’s blood sugars from dropping dangerously low.

Aiden looking up at Christy

I joined Christy on a ladies weekend trip to the Atlantic Ocean, a place called Myrtle Beach, where I met a pirate.

Aiden and pirate

Running on the beach was a lot of fun.

Aiden at beach

Mom’s friend Tammy took us to a beautiful place called Brookgreen Gardens.  I was on sensory smell overload for the greenery and fountains we encountered. The garden is known for its statues and artwork.

Many of them were of dogs. Christy pet one like it was real since it reminded her of Faith, a Great Dane mix she had when I first came to live with her. I gave her a big slurp to lick away her tears.

Great Dane statue

My favorite statue was the mama and baby bear.

Aiden in front of bear

Nearby was a sitting bench that Christy insisted I sit on. I’m not sure why, but she said she couldn’t resist making me look cute. Does this bench make me look cute?

Aiden on butterfly bench

I’m told we were staying in touristy town. I’m not sure what that means, but Christy took lots of pictures of me, including this one that reminded her I’m a lifesaver, no matter where we might find ourselves.

Shark eating lifeguard chairs

Even if we were swallowed by a shark – but that won’t happen because I do not like water!

Bigfoot is Alive and Well and Thriving in Tennessee

Aiden and bigfoot

I am finding that in Tennessee, the people celebrate everything. A dog could walk around a different festival every weekend and fill his nose with all kinds of good scents.

Recently Mom took me to a street fair in our new hometown of Morristown. While minding my own business and doing my job, my nose led me to a very large furry creature.

Aiden and bigfoot

At first, Mom thought he might be a famous Star Wars character, but upon closer investigation, we found out Bigfoot was advertising another festival celebrating the big furry creature himself. And I thought he was supposed to be elusive.

On yet another day trip, Dad took Mom and me to a huge store called Bass Pro where I got close to some huge fish. In a giant aquarium.

Aiden at aquarium

The place was so big that I got a lot of exercise and took a rest on this crazy fish bench.

Aiden on fish bench

I could tell you I caught this huge fish using only my jaws and paws, but that would be what humans call a ‘fish story.’

Besides, if you know me by now, I’d never hurt a living creature. Also, I only eat dog food.

Home at Last! (Part 4 of 4)

Click to read the other parts of my story:

As I eat my breakfast, Mom promises me we are almost there. It’s still more driving, but we cross into Tennessee, landing in a place called Memphis, where mom got her Starbucks and I got a pup cup.

I was happy, but spent yet another day on the road to a place called Cookeville. I’m hoping it has cookies for me, but unfortunately it doesn’t. Oh well. I know I’m a good boy and Mom has the only kind of cookie I can have, which I’ll get later.

When the humans got hungry, we stopped at a Cracker Barrel where I warmed up by the giant rock fireplace. So far, Tennesseans are friendly and that makes Mom very happy.

But after a shorter drive, tears of joy fall from Mom’s eyes as her good friend, Tammy, greets us at the end of her driveway. We have arrived where we’ll stay until the big truck arrives with our belongings.

I’m happy to have a yard to play in with my friend, Todd the cat.

After one night, something wonderful happened. I have a new, permanent home. No more all-day driving. I have lots of new spaces to explore, but finally, I can curl up in my own bed.

I’m home.

Are We There Yet? (Part 3 of 4)

(Read part 1 of my story here and part 2 here)

I really don’t like wearing raincoats or warm, winter jackets, but I wish Mom would put one on me now.

Wherever we are, it’s cold. But worse than that, the wind blows so crisp, it cuts to my bones. I don’t take long to do my business because of it.

Today has been more tumble weeds and some pretty rock, but mostly, flat ground that goes on forever. I’m glad I sleep a lot because it’s boring. I don’t know how my humans can stand so much of it.

Mom passes the time counting Amazon trucks. I think she’s up to 35 of them, but I can’t count so I curl up and go back to sleep.

Somewhere along the line we made it to a place called Tucumcari, New Mexico. Brrrrrr. I’m thankful for a warm room to sleep in for the night, but really miss my bed back home.

The humans and I went to get pizza and found this cool memorial to veterans that made Mom cry.

Waking up the next morning, it’s no surprise to me that I’m on the road again. It’s another long day of sleeping through the states of Texas and Oklahoma; both were just more flat land and tumble weeds, but I did see a lot of weird trees with wings.

If I were able to speak words I’d ask, “Are we there yet?”

I see the sun set as my tummy grumbles. We pass the bright lights of a tall building Mom says is a casino and Dad slows down because there’s a speed trap ahead.

A little time later, Mom tells me we’ve arrived in Port Smith, Arkansas, and we stay in yet another strange room. Oh, how I want to be home.

To be continued…