Getting A Service Dog.


Can she go to doggie day care for a day or so? Give her a good "off duty" run with some other doggos?

I've been deliberately limiting my exposure to the media because none of it's making much sense to me atm. And honestly keeping myself away from other people is a priority. They're getting louder and louder and the competing opinions are resulting in dissension amongst the population.
yep. me too.

Ive shut down facebook, insta, messenger, etc and I'm only watching the news long enough to get the weather info. To many idiots out there -- on both sides. I know what I'm doing, I know what I want -- now it's just marking time and making preparations for the inevitable fall out in November.


I'm sorry about your loss. It's extra tough with funeral limits (and yeah, border paperwork is next level). Losing my uncle feels like a lifetime ago, but damn, this thing is dragging on.

Reading about you and K is one of the happiest things ever. I can totally imagine her gradually nailing one new trick after another, and how rewarding that must be for both of you. And, what I personally think it does just for communication between doggo and handler - it does something really special I reckon, where you just 'get' each other a bit better.

I'm gonna assume you guys totally nailed your last assessment (if it even happened). I feel like K really got lucky when she got you. And seriously, I'm so glad that you've got her with you while you go through the stress that is this new covid reality.
Can she go to doggie day care for a day or so? Give her a good "off duty" run with some other doggos?

^It's a great idea but there's no place lwithin a practical distance. When the dog club wakes up from this extended hibernation I'll get her into that. She's as fast as a whippet and extremely agile so I think she'll excel in agility/tracking challenges. K thinks anything to do with me is a game.. which is good bc life is far too serious at times.

I've got a massive backyard that she goes bezerk in when she takes a mind to it. It's hilarious.. Throws caution to the winds as she sails over my plants, pots and gardening equipment I've left out. Does this crazy chase the tail, drop to a crouch position and launches herself into the air...usually at me lol.. I think she's x'd with a cat and deliciously playful.

I find myself laughing at her antics which oddly seems to fuel her on to more playing and dancing. I'm sure my neighbours...who are kinda the serious types must hear my peals of laughter and wonder what is going on over here.

We've been at odds for a few days in the last month. Spring is coming and I decided to feed my trees.. hmm did I mention she's got this super, duper power contained in that little nose?

So for the last two weeks - whenever she thinks I'm not looking lol - she sneaks over to my newly fed trees to 'explore' that delicious smell that is coming from underneath all of the straw.

Whilst she cannot see me inside behind the screen door, I can see her. I tap on the glass with my finger and she literally jumps two feet off the ground and slinks away... We've been having this 'conversation' now for a while... the smell is receding and well, she's convinced I have supernatural ability too? This behaviour has emerged as a pattern each time I feed the trees. She never, ever gives up even though she knows it's wrong... :)

now it's just marking time and making preparations for the inevitable fall out in November.

^Oh I can only imagine my friend. I find any election process tiring.

'm sorry about your loss. I

^Thanks Sideways. Much appreciated. Feeling helpless. These people of mine helped settle and build this country and this ultra modern virus is killing them off. I feel so sad. I know they were going to die anyway.. in respect that we all must... but I wanted them to go on their far as possible. Now well you know....

'm gonna assume you guys totally nailed your last assessment

^Yes she did. Unfortunately though the law says she must be assessed irl. I guess the legislators never considered travel within Australia would ever be stopped and for so long?

But following all of the Zoom assessments, they've made some adjustments to acknowledge the significant amount of time & training that I've continued to do with her, I've been submitting her training assignments all done and signed off.

Normally she'd have received her special collar and lead and I'd not see the assessors for another 12 months. But because I still submit all of the forms with her training and it's signed off by independent observers who live within the same State and we've kept doing it (sort of bc we thought this covid thing would be wrapped up in a few months :/ ), They're going to certify her after a final Zoom assessment in about another month and then do the irl stuff when we finally can move btwn States.

Her last assessment she decided it simply wasn't good enough that I was the only human she 'helped'.. she ran over and gave the assessors, whom she knows well now, a hand too. They were delighted lol.

She's still fully PAC so in practical terms so it's not an issue. I've got her authorisation card. But we can't go anywhere much anyway.

feel like K really got lucky when she got you. And seriously, I'm so glad that you've got her with you while you go through the stress that is this new covid reality.

Thanks @Sideways.. I hope she's happy too. It seems that way - she's very loyal & loves a cuddle. And she's doing her job so well. I cannot imagine what I would have been like without having her in my life particularly with covid.

I rarely see another human irl (to interact with) from one month to the next and now this virus has put any prospect of socialising person to person, even further from my reach. I so love having her around and for me she's all the 'company' I could wish for really. Added bonus being she can and does go with me when I leave the house now and then too.

Thank you for reading my posts on my little dog. :) I like telling you all how she's doing.
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Does this crazy chase the tail, drop to a crouch position and launches herself into the air...usually at me lol..
SD does this -- we call it the zoomies ? races from one end of the yard to the other -- but I have to sit on the back steps and watch or he stands and looks at me till I do.. It's hilarious
I like telling you all how she's doing.
And I love hearing it!
Well I finally got a response today from the insurer.

After many, many hurdles and lots of answering very silly questions about what my dog does and how she is trained and who trained her and why and their qualifications which has effectively led us back to the domestication of dogs by cave men - I've exhausted them and satisfied their desire for knowledge (huh?) and they've agreed that she's is indeed what we've been saying she is.

My dog will be funded for her ongoing costs... insurance and maintenance - just like a wheel-chair or other assistive aids. lol So the government view her like an inanimate object.. well okay if that's how they tick the box I don't care. Yay!! So they've increased my funding appropriately!



This might be going round - my support worker seems adamant my dog will be included in my next plan, and has told me to start sending invoices for expenses to my current plan manager to be reimbursed.

I think maybe someone at the NDIS may have had a shitty day at the Admin Appeals Tribunal! Whatever - it's good news and that's enough for me:)
Maybe it was me? Cos my case was an appeal? Fast tracked through their high priority/escalation tier. My advocate is attached to the Royal Commissioners office??

Doesn't matter - pleased your dog will be given further and better considerations too!


My advocate is attached to the Royal Commissioners office
Phew! Between the professionalism of the organisation that provided your dog (they ain't all like that!!) and having this person as your advocate? That's awesome.

It's been a bit of a pest for a lot of people. A lot of people don't have the stamina to appeal. But every time someone does, it helps a lot.

That's a couple of things that you've really stuck with on your behalf, despite the hurdles put in your way. It's immensely helpful for people like me to read people doing that (just wanted to say that) :)
Has anyone got useful information on dog insurance? I'm looking at getting it for illness/accident only. All of the day to day stuff can be covered by me or my plan. I've been researching the insurers and idk they're all a bunch of crooks???? So many exceptions, exclusions and limit's that I'm not sure one can achieve any sort of decent coverage and I may be better just putting some money away for a rainy day after all.

K has decided to take up being a stare bear again. Well, to be accurate, she never really gave it up completely. But now it's 'next level'. She's got amazing stamina in this regard... doesn't even blink... I secretly watch her with my peripheral vision. I reckon she can hold the stare for almost five minutes. It feels cruel... it feels like I'm doing some mean to her by not giving in faster. lol

I do think somehow, I've inadvertently trained her without knowing that I was. It may have started right back when she arrived, she sat next to me and stared at me...idk why she began doing that but anyway... and I gave her a pat? That was the payoff, right then!

Now, she knows, if she stares long enough I'm probably going to cave and get her favourite toy and play fetch (eh! with her doing the running bit) or, tickle her tummy, play training tricks games where she's going to receive a treat or two. So like some psycho she knows my weaknesses... omg??

In any event, it's worthwhile her staring at me. I cannot help myself and I start feeling sorry for her.. she so wants me to do something with her. It's disconcerting how she manipulates me into playing with her and yet not a word is exchanged. She just sits, stock still, staring at me. lol I feel really dumb relating this to you guys... I mean where is my self-control or something??

And she's got no empathy at all. Even if I'm engrossed in a movie or reading a book - clearly not ready to play - she doesn't care one bit. Starts staring and won't give in till I'm doing her bidding. ..shrug... I feel dis empowered and pathetic lol..

Another tactic she employs; K grabs a chewy toy and quietly puts it next to me but periodically as if on cue, picks it up, holds it and pops it down again in the exact same spot. If I reach for it or her, she lights up and suddenly and honestly... idk how... we're playing a game of tug, fetch and generally mucking around. Again, the payoff is on her side. But I guess I get the joy too.

I've taught her to 'push the ball' lol and it's hilarious. Well, I think it is and obviously me laughing and encouraging her is fuel. I still haven't bought a decent sized ball, so we're continuing to playing with her kong ball.,, which is about the size of a tennis ball but rock solid. She pushes it with her nose all around the house. For some reason it really tickles her fancy, she loves doing it and her tail wags like crazy whenever we play it.

Much to my surprise she never fails when I change the command to 'get the ball' she then scoops it up in her mouth and returns it to my hand. I did think it would take a while for her to grasp the difference between both of those commands but nah..

She's now balancing a rubber bone on top of her head without any problem. Though I'm sure I know what she's thinking when I ask her to do this. WTF is this meant to achieve??? Comes to mind... but you know... if there's praise and a treat in it, she's easily persuaded. And she will happily poke her nose forward for the big rubber ring to hang off her nose and also put it over her head & forward onto her nose, like a halo lol... She'll hold those items, balancing them, for twenty seconds. That's the most I've timed her..anything after that and it's just showing off.

We've been practising "look at me" and "stay". She knows these are important and is happy to do them inside without a problem. But I've got to get down to the park more now spring has arrived and practice with distractions.

She easily swaps paws with the shake command now. What was so difficult about that I'll never know but it's not anymore.

I've left the most annoying but easily the cleverest till last. I didn't teach her this but well, it's too clever by half.

She knows that whining, barking and generally vocalising her feelings will result in no response from me - at. all. So, when she decides it time to get moving each day, (get me out of bed and face the day time) she shimmies on the floor till she's alongside my bed. Then every now and then, waiting a few minutes apart, she pokes my mattress with her nose. It doesn't make any sound, not that I hear at least. But it does gently make a little vibration through the mattress.

Now.. bear with me.. cos I didn't know what was waking me up for a long, long time. Maybe, several months? But, one morning, I must have woken from one of her 'pokes' and she misjudged the timing, going a bit too quickly after her last one, because I opened my eyes as she did it again and saw her bobbing her head forward from the bedhead end and pulling it back again. lol I didn't believe it initially. But anyway, since then I've woken and waited to see if this behaviour was actually happening. Believe me she's doing it. I cannot begin to explain how annoying that poke/vibration is. Maybe akin to be being bombed by a mosquito - same sort of thing. It's enough to wake me up for sure.. even if it is gently and slowly.

Sometimes, she's way to enthusiastic about what time to start doing this and I mumble something like, 'go back to your bed'. And she does... but probably half an hour later, it begins again. ...tired sigh.... All of this so she can go outside and sun herself.. because she never, ever does it on a rainy or cold windy morning.

So, that's K's tactic for getting me up.

Do any of you have a dog with stategies to sabotage sleeping in.

ps: I gave her a chew bone (raw-hide variety) that said on the packet will last for 3 - 5 hours of heavy chewing. She swallowed it in 25 minutes and has been digesting it all day.. curled up on her day bed dreaming. No more for the rest of the week. Poor thing.
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I may be better just putting some money away for a rainy day after all.
This is probably the best strategy. I haven't read many good stories about pet insurance (other than those funded by the insurers themselves). I seem to recall Choice doing a study on pet insurance products and found they were almost universally bogus.

It feels cruel... it feels like I'm doing some mean to her by not giving in faster. lol
Yeah, nah!

Older dogs are quicker to give up and be content to spend longer periods lying around. But younger dogs do this. From their perspective, everything is better when you're doing whatever you're doing together - whether that be playing, or scratching them behind the ear. "I want time alone without you" does not compute! Bit like a little sardine, swimming in its school of hundreds of other sardines, then suddenly deciding "Hey guys, I think I want some alone time". Wha?? What is this "alone time" you speak of!?!

And that's why we love 'em.

My sister doesn't tolerate this at all. My dad similar with mum's dogs. They both get suprisingly angry at what is essentially just a sign of affection. When I wash the dishes, doggo now has to go to bed, because I couldn't handle my sister getting angry at him for sitting beside her while she worked, staring hopefully for a scratch or a lap or some play time.

The anger is her issue, not my dog's. So if you can, let the feelings go. Doggo will catch on in time and with some age when it's a pointless endeavour staring at you. And when that happens? The emotions will probably switch to a sad "my dog doesn't love me/need me anymore"!!!

ETA Putting on my trainer's hat for a moment: tolerating boredom and lying around doing SFA is something we have to teach ADs. So, when this happens:
1) check in with yourself: are you stressed/dissociated etc? If so, reward your dog for noticing, then do whatever you do to relieve that symptom. Do you notice this bothers you more when your emotions are particularly sad/angry/etc? Because that's useful.
2) if you're totally okay? Perhaps get doggo to settle beside you, give her a scratch on the head occasionally to let her know she's doing exactly the right thing.

Whenever your dog starts engaging in behaviour that you don't want? Instead of trying to train them to just not do that, train them what behaviour you'd prefer, and reward them for doing that alternative behaviour:)

The internal dialogue you have going on when this happens ("My dog needs attention/why can't you leave me alone/I'm a terrible dog owner who isn't giving my dog enough attention" etc)? Try and notice it, and let it go.

Do any of you have a dog with stategies to sabotage sleeping in.
Yup. Taps his paw on the mattress. Surprisingly effective! Very subtle, but resonates through the pillow. Clever hey!?

For me, I usually try and respond in kind. Keeping me to my routine, and giving me a reason to get out of bed is a big part of what he brings to my mental health.

I gave her a chew bone (raw-hide variety)
I was at the vet getting doggo's annual shots 2 weeks ago, and they had a poster for overweight dogs comparing certain treats with the number of donuts each treat was worth in human terms.

I recall 2 things: first, that apparently there's a whole lot of people out there feeding their dogs cookies and bacon (really!?). And second, that rawhide bones are worth about 9 donuts in human terms. Wowsers!

There's some kind of nasty bleaching product they use to make rawhide treats. If you have a good pet store nearby or doing click n collect (I keep walking into Pet Barn stores thinking their range will have improved since my last visit...I'm a slow learner!!), check out the range of dried meat/bone treats as an alternative. Great for teeth, and most of them are straight up dried meat/bone.

Doggo has a strong preference for kangaroo, but mum's girls love anything - pig, lamb, beef, anything.

Also consider horns (steer clear of the black runny poos - eek!). They're more expensive, but for good chewers (which is definitely not my dog!) they last ages in comparison, and aren't too gross lying around the house:)
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I use healthy paws and I can't say enough good things about them. I got it when SD was 4 months old and I don't know what I would have done without it when he got diagnosed with cardiac problems. It is so awesome to be able to say "do whatever you need to - I have great insurance"

Prices vary by the age and breed of dog -- I think I'm up to $40 a month. So about $480 a year. I have a $100 deductible and then they pay 90%. So when I got that first $2000 bill? Even counting up all I pay for fees for the year it came out to be less than $800 that came out of pocket. He also has to wear a monitor twice a year and have a bunch of test and each time it's $400 and his meds are about $250 a month. Now add in a couple ear infections and a split toenail and they have saved me thousands of dollars.
When you do the math it is worth every dime.

If you get lucky with a dog that doesn't have health problems it's not worth it. But for me? It has been a godsend.