June 20, 2011

Photo Pupdate: Opening Doors

Opening doors of various weight and tension is a valuable skill for service dogs paired with individuals with mobility-related disabilities. Where round doorknobs can present a problem because of turning, modified lever-type doorknobs may be installed so the dog's tugging-down pull motion opens the latch.

Ruby's skills will include closing the doors, too. Good job, Roo!

As always, big thanks to Sue for the photos.

June 13, 2011

Pupdate: Raven Is Placed!

Remember Raven?

He's Ruby's devastatingly handsome brother and star of adventures such as "Devouring The Halloween Pumpkin," "Illegal Shopping Cart Activity," and "Dinosaur Bones Are Not A Snack," which is always good advice.

Ah, service puppies. Incorrigible! Until, of course, they become very, very, super-inspiringly corrigble.

Raven's puppy raiser, Barb, sent me some great news last week:

"Just wanted to let you know that Raven was partnered a few months ago with an Animal Assistance Therapist. He is going to school and helping kids with autism and Down syndrome learn about communication, personal space, and unconditional love. Because we all know Raven is all about the love."

Way to go Raven! A fantastic partnership for a love muffin of a dog who is going to touch the lives of kids with special needs in some extraordinary ways. Many congrats to raisers Barb and Tom.


It's here, friends—the 2011 DogTime Pet Blog Awards contest is now taking nominations! I'd be honored if you'd nominate Raising Ruby for any category you wish, but especially for "Best Blog Post." Last October, I was nearing the final days of raising Roo and I shared these thoughts:

Service dogs truly touch all of our lives, and service puppy Ruby taught me as many lessons as she learned herself. I came to know the ever-present smiles of strangers; kindness makes a world of difference for all of us, and particularly for those with disabilities. I'd be very grateful for your help in spreading this message.

Nominee Information
Category: Best Blog Post (and you can nominate for more than one category)
Name: Raising Ruby
Nominee URL: http://servicepuppyruby.blogspot.com/2010/10/what-she-brings.html
Nominee Email: servicepuppyruby@gmail.com
...and just a line or two about why you think we should win.

Just click here to enter: 2011 Petties Awards

Winners in each category are honored with a $500 donation to the shelter/rescue of their choice. It's a great contest with generous contributions, so feel free to spread the word via Facebook, Twitter, email, etc. Thanks so much for your support!

UPDATE: Raising Ruby has been nominated for two categories in the 2011 Petties! Please vote and help us raise awareness and spread smiles!

June 10, 2011

Photo Pupdate: Laundroo

You can imagine how excited I was to see this downy snoot in my inbox!

Hi, baby! What a good girl. The dryer opening is low and can be challenging to reach, so as a service dog in training to assist a person with a mobility-related disability, Ruby is learning to make tasks like laundry a little bit easier.

I adore this photo because Roo was always a big help with the laundry when she lived with me. Of course, her idea of help was mostly to poke around the hamper for a good, chewy sock.

But one time, well, make of this what you will. I was upstairs in the bedroom getting dressed for an evening out. Roo disappears, then comes prancing back in with a present: an undergarment of mine that she had snoodled out of a folded basket of clothes in the downstairs laundry room. She waited for me to take it from her, and I laughed and thanked her. Then she leaves again and a minute later I look down and there she is, wagging her tail, with a pair of pantyhose dangling from her muzzle.

I know. All just a complete coincidence...right?

Many thanks to the ever-thoughtful Sue for keeping us pupdated with photos and to Ruby's advanced trainer for the wonderful work she is doing with Ruby.

June 7, 2011

Pupdate: Congrats to Ruby's Sis, Rowena

Just got a tweet from puppy raiser @KatieEGriffin letting me know that Ruby's sister, Rowena, finished advanced training and has been paired up with a partner! Congratulations to Rowena, her new partner, and Rowena's puppy raisers and trainers.

Rowena's the little yellow triplet on the right.

Thanks for the pupdate, Katie! You and your family raised an awesome dog!

6/16 - Very Special Pupdate!  Rowena's new partner, Shannon, left some very kind words in the comments that truly touched my heart. Be sure to visit Shannon's blog, Living with a Service Dog, where she'll share stories of her and her family's life with service dog Rowena.