This couldn’t possibly be about my dog, could it? Nah…. Well, OK, yes it is about my dog. My dog’s name is Friday, and she is a service dog. I got her because I was afraid I wouldn’t leave my apartment after a trauma if I didn’t have a danged good reason. Not cleaning up dog mess is a danged good reason.
Friday is a rescue dog. She was five when I got her, and she is 10 now. I miss the spunky little rascal she was a while ago. Her family gave her up because she had submissive urination. I found her through the Seattle Purebred Dog Rescue, and Petfinders.
Submissive urination usually occurs with a dog that is nervous or over-stimulated. If you ignore it, and don’t give it any attention, it will go away. It helps if you don’t pay attention to the dog until you have been home for a few minutes, and the dog is calmed down, as it is usually an accompaniment of greeting. I have nothing but linoleum, so it didn’t matter to me if she peed for a while. I would just wait and clean it up when she wasn’t looking. That way she didn’t associate the peeing with attention, and she quit doing it. The hardest part was teaching my boyfriend to pay attention to me first, and the dog who was jumping up on him second.
Then came the other training. Obedience first, then tricks. Tricks training is the basis for most service dog work. Friday is very intelligent, and learned quickly to do the things I wanted. And then there was the “public access” training, training the dog to be comfortable where dogs don’t usually go, like buses, restaurants, churches and grocery stores. Fortunately, Friday had mild temperament, and was non-plussed by most places. We rode the bus the first day. For some reason, the place she was didn’t bring her dishes. They brought her bed, her crate, her toys, but no dishes. So we had to go get doggie dishes and poop bags first thing.
For five years she has gone everywhere with me. She rides my scooter with me. We’ve been on planes, trains, boats, and automobiles. This last winter has been hard on her. She is arthritic as I am, and needs to ride the scooter. It probably won’t be long before I need a new dog. And may Diana and Flidas of the hounds find me a new dog half as good as Friday.
Friday is the dog on the left in the second picture. The other dog is Nicholas, another Cocker Spaniel service dog, and Friday’s “cousin.” I miss seeing Nicholas around since he and his “mom” moved.
Postscript: Sadly, Friday crossed that famed Rainbow Bridge, on, appropriately enough, Friday, June 4, 2010. If her vet records are correct, she was 13 years, three months and three days old. You can read of her demise here.