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  #1  
Old 11-21-2012, 03:13 AM
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Default Service Dog vs. Chuck E. Cheese

I thought I'd share a recent funny experience with you all. As many of you know, our sweet rescue chihuahua Chica is now a medical alert service dog in training, after being "prescribed" (for lack of a better term) as such by my doctor, after she pre-alerted to my allergic reaction. The Dr. also thinks she may provide an additional level of early alert protection for one of my youngests' medical conditions too. (I'm being vague, out of respect for our family's medical privacy, but suffice it to say my child's condition can be quite serious/even life threatening). So Chica has been going places with us now for awhile, as part of her training, and she's been doing great. She has her own sling/messenger type carrier (which I decided on both because of her size/I'm afraid she'll get trampled on in crowded public places, and because the doc said it's best to keep her physically close to my child and I when we're out and about, as she'd then be more apt to pre-alert to any potentially serious medical incidents). Chica loves her "work bag", and runs to jump in it, all excited about spending some time seeing the sights while all nestled in her own little cocoon. She has proved to be a great incentive at my youngests' many therapies (i.e. OT, Physical Therapy & Speech), and she behaves so well while working. I've gotten numerous compliments about how she "isn't yappy, I thought all chihuahua were yappy" (ugh! breed stereotypes!!). The only continued service dog training issue we're having though is not losing it when she sees other dogs (but thankfully we rarely run into other dogs when we're inside somewhere anyway). See Chica was found, before we adopted her from a local shelter, abandoned in a field , and we don't know what transpired there, but we do know she does not AT ALL care for other dogs. So that is the only time she barks during training time, and thankfully that has never been anywhere but at a local pet store (where it's Ok to bark. Otherwise a service dog must never bark while working). So anyway, the funny story is: A few weeks ago I took our youngest to Chuck E. Cheese for the first time. Chica did really well, and even snuggled down into her sling for a nap at one point. That was until we were approached by a staff member dressed as Chuck E. Cheese. Chica began barking wildly, and even tried to leap out of the carrier! I guess I can't say as I blame her, as I probably wouldn't care for a giant mouse coming at my family either! I apologized to the staff, but they were fine with it, seeing as how we had already been there over an hour by that point and Chica had been so quiet and well behaved the entire time until then. The manager, who also has dogs, actually said seeing this little chi determined to "protect" her family against the giant mouse actually made her day (it was a really slow, boring business day for them/a week day). Anyway, I just thought you all might get a kick out of our little chi warrior boldly protecting her family against that evil Chuck E. Cheese fellow! Sorry this is so long!! (My family and friends all tease me about being so longwinded in my writing). Hope you all have a great Thanksgiving.
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  #2  
Old 11-21-2012, 03:25 AM
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Deana, I loved reading your story, didn't seem long at all, I feel like I got to
know you a bit better. So thank you for sharing. I think it's absolutely wonderful
that Chica can be of such great help to you and your child. Incredible.

Oh and as for the giant mouse, its pretty creepy, I'd probably bark too, or hide, lol.
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Old 11-21-2012, 03:29 AM
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One of my ferrets is a service animal- I could only imagine how he would feel about a giant mouse. It might even earn a hiss from him.

Do you ever have problems with people sneaking up and grabbing or poking/otherwise harassing your wee one when she is working? I have had people sneak behind me and start poking and harassing my ferret. A few people have even grabbed him by the head (usually kids) and the parents seem to find it amusing and don't try to control their kids.

Thank god my baby is so good or they would be missing fingers. Ferret jaws can easily take out bone the size of a child's finger.
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Old 11-21-2012, 03:42 AM
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Moonfall, that happens to me too! I don't have a service dog, but the sneaking
up and grabbing or petting happens once in a while....ohhh I can't stand it! I
have no problem letting people pet my dogs, all I want them to do is ask first.
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Old 11-21-2012, 03:42 AM
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Moonfall--No, thankfully that han't happened to us. I can imagine how frustrating that must be for you! In our state, only dogs are allowed as service animals, but I think ferrets and other pets can be therapy animals (like visiting nursing homes and such). I have Chica's Medical Alert Service Dog ID cards hanging right on her sling carrier, so most people see them and don't try touching her. We have had some people approach us though with that whole loud "Oh, look at the cute dog!" thing, which Chica of course does not care for. Thankfully though, she can just burrow down in ther sling (I keep a soft blanket in there for her) and ignore them, if someone gets too close for her comfort. One thing I find kind of annoying is when people say to eachother "Look, that lady has a little dog in her purse." First of all, it's obviously NOT a purse (I purposefully bought a very non-purse looking sling, in the most "businesslike" color they had--brown) and second of all, how can you not see the large ID cards, clipped quite prominently, to both sides of the carrier (ie visible from all angles) that identify this dog as a working dog!? I try to remember though that small breeds in service is a fairly new thing, so people just probably haven't been exposed to it, and I take the opportunity to say something positive like "Thank you. We think she's cute too, and we're proud of how well she's doing in her service dog training too."
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Old 11-21-2012, 04:34 AM
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Oh my, this made me giggle a bit. :P Gotta say though- those mouse things ARE really creepy!!!

How awesome that you are able to use her for a service dog. It's amazing how these little guys can sense things going on in our bodies before even we can.
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Old 11-21-2012, 12:00 PM
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That is awesome that she is a service dog! I really would love for tiki to be a therapy dog for children with special needs! She also doesn't like other dogs, and barks and growls!
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  #8  
Old 11-21-2012, 02:11 PM
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Well being from the UK I have no idea what that giant mouse looks like but I can imagine it's scary for a tiny chi! Chica sounds like an amazing dog, you must be so proud
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