Thursday, July 17, 2008

It has been so long since I have been here. I picked up my Goldendoodle in Kansas City, MO, on 2/24/08 and my entire life changed that day. First Southwest would not allow me back on the airplane with my puppy. Even though I had papers showing he was registered in a "service dog" program, I was informed service dogs in training were not permitted on Southwest. I had to find a doctor to write a note claiming my puppy was an "emotional support" dog. I had a carrier, but when we put the 8 week old puppy in it, he went ballistic. Then it was required he be sedated, so the breeder had to go to Walmart and get liquid Benedryl. They got us on the last plane out of Kansas City, but it was not a direct flight to San Diego. We had to switch planes and had a two hour layover in Las Vegas. I left 5 am Sunday and got home 4 am Monday, but I had my dog! His name is Spirit.

I have been consumed by the raising of this dog. I have never had a large breed dog and it has been and overwhelming experience. When he stands on his hind legs, he is taller than I am sitting in my scooter. He becomes overly playful and it turns into aggressive play. I can't control him and have had many clothes ripped and my arm has been chewed and bruised and covered in blood and scabs. This is not the first time I've had a biting dog. I almost got rid of Andre because he bit me. It took service dog training to turn things around for us. I truly believe Andre has returned as a bigger dog and that is why he has been named Spirit. I believe with a qualified trainer, Spirit, too, will be as great of a service dog as Andre was.

Spirit is in the same service dog program Andre was, but the program has deteriorated and has lost its good trainers. I am looking into private training because I am totally dissatisfied with the program.