Saturday, February 18, 2012

Day 5

This is Matt & Omri just before Omri fell off the bed.  He looked so startled when he fell off, I couldn't help but laugh when I saw he was Okay.
Today was nice!  It was a little cool outside but sunny.  This morning, we went around the room, like every morning, and Jeremy addressed questions, issues, etc. we may be having with the dogs at night and how to handle them.  We've been having a problem getting Omri to jump up into Mom's truck so today at lunch, Jeremy went outside with us & showed me what I was doing wrong.  Ever since then, Omri's jumped up into the truck like a pro.  I just hope it continues to work as well in the days to come!

Mom, I lost my ball....
There's my ball!

Jeremy & his German Shepherd 

Matthew & Omri in "place"
One of the other kids' sisters drew this.  I like it.

This is Omri under the table at supper.

This is my self-portrait...I know I look pasty & pale...We woke up late & I didn't put on any makeup or fix my hair.

I think Omri was less than impressed with our supper!

Poor Omri!  He was SO tired after supper & Barnes & Noble!

I think Omri is picking out his favorite one to "steal" when Matthew isn't looking, how about you?

I'm thinking Omri kinda liked having a roommate, don't you???
I'm still not entirely sure what possessed Matthew to get inside Omri's kennel, but they seem to be bonding okay.
2 boys in 1 kennel...hmmmmmmmm
After we went around the room asking questions, Jeremy introduced the class to some things like having the dogs do balance work, hit the silver Handicapped open door button, etc.  Next, we had a brief introduction to tethering.  This is going to be my lifesaver!  He demonstrated with Omri & Omri just stayed focused on Jeremy & then me.  He did SO good!  He stayed in a "down" and would just occasionally look at whomever was being tethered.  (This is the appropriate response.)
This afternoon, we went over problems at lunch, how to groom the dogs (Omri is pretty low-maintenance, but we're in a class that every other dog is a Golden Retriever.), how to pick the correct brushes, nail clippers, how to brush, how to bathe, what shampoo to use, etc.  We also went over the proper treats, toys,etc.  For those who haven't gotten their dogs yet, rawhides are NOT appropriate.  Jeremy will tell you why when you get here.  Omri is a strong chewer so we have to get him heavy duty chewing toys.  Jeremy recommends Kong and Nylabone. 
ON a side note, please pray for one of the other moms in our class.  She is really having a hard time with getting her toddlers to understand the service dog isn't for them & is feeling really guilty.


Friday, February 17, 2012

Day 4

Happy Friday, everyone!  Today is my birthday & I think watching Matthew & Omri bond is probably the BEST birthday present I could ever ask for!

We spent the morning going over basic obedience commands, distractions, heeling, etc.  Then, after lunch, we headed to the mall in Beavercreek.  I forgot to take my camera so I don't have any pics for today.  ( I honestly don't think I would've had the time to take any 'cause I was so focused on Matthew & Omri.)  He did a most excellent job!  The biggest distraction we had were the 3-4 year-olds.  Omri really wanted to just go running up to them & give them "kisses".  :-)  He didn't, but you could tell he WANTED to.  Other than that, he did great! We'd walk into a store & he'd just stand, sit or lie down til we told him otherwise.  A lot of the mall patrons wanted to pet Omri.  For us, that's no big deal as that's part of his job.  We want him to bridge the gap Matthew sometimes has in social situations.  Omri will hopefully get other kids to think Matthew's cool cause he has this really awesome dog and they'll want to hang out with Matt.  He really feels like no one likes him sometimes.  As a mom, it just breaks my heart to hear him say that.  He also says no one loves him.  Omri is really starting to build his self-confidence.  :-)  Omri is also starting to obey Matthew when he gives Omri commands.  Matt's chest just about bursts with pride when he does that.  It's cool to watch.

Anyway, sorry for no pics, but I'll try to take some tomorrow.  Oh, almost forgot, when we first got to the mall, we got Chick-Fil-A, and Omri just went into an "under" and stayed there til I told him to heel.  Everyone in the food court was looking over & grinning at us.

Hope ya'll had a wonderful day, also!


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Day 3

Whew!  Talk about a LOT to take in!  We continued to work on basic obedience skills like sit, down, heel, come, etc.  We also reinforced "tricks" like shake, high five, gimme 5, etc.  The seizure alert dogs worked on "bark" on command.  Omri can do it, also, but there's really no reason for him to do it when he's working so it's just a fun thing for now.  Something funny happened during training today, though.  Jeremy had us working on "come".  Omri was doing really well by staying in his "place" and just watching as I walked away.  As long as he could see me, he stayed where he was..alert, but not moving.  When Jeremy had another mom and I walk out of sight, Omri came running...looking for me.  He was SOOOO excited when he found me.  Of course we had to redirect him and do it a couple more times til he stayed til I came back & released him, but the look on Omri's face when I reappeared was so cute, funny, heart-melting, etc. all at the same time.  He is such a sweetheart.

Matthew enjoyed his "game time" on today.

During Matt's meltdown...Omri's like a HUGE teddy bear for him...lots of comfort!

When we got back to the hotel, we put Omri in his kennel while we "reconned" the mall where we'll go tomorrow to make sure I could find it.  After walking around the mall, we went to PetSmart to get Omri a new ball that he can't take apart, I hope!   We got back to the hotel & I took Omri out for a potty break.  He heeled a lot better tonight.  He and I went back to the room, and he went straight to Matthew & laid at his feet til Matt got up.  We did have a mini-meltdown with Matthew when I told him it was time to stop playing video games on the computer & start winding down.  Omri was on the bed resting & Matthew was crying and sassing me...he was about to get upset!  Matthew instead laid down on the bed next to Omri, buried his head in Omri's fur & cried there.  Omri just let Matt squeeze him and love on him til he calmed down.  Matt had all of his weight on Omri & Omri just laid there until all was well again.  THIS WAS SOOO WONDERFUL!  Omri got lots of treats and loving from me when this was over.  He is currently resting on the bed while Matthew watches the Golf Channel.  (What can I say?  He's a guy, right?  a small one, but still!)

Tomorrow, we go to the mall for our first public outing.  I'm a little nervous because I still don't feel confident with "heeling", but that's why we're going, right?


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Day 2

Today, I realized just how "dog dumb" I am.  I have never walked a dog in my life.  I've been walked a few times, but I've never been walked.  :)  Today, we learned how to walk with our service dogs in "heel".  It's like I'm walking a whole new dog, now!  There are still a few minor problems that are mine, not Omri's.  He's like a rock.  He's just trying to figure out what I want him to do.  The different accents/pronunciations are confusing to him according to Jeremy.  We also worked on getting the dogs to stay in a sit or down without saying "stay".

This afternoon, we reinforced earlier commands & also learned their "tricks" like high five, gimme five, shake, etc.  Omri was in "lap" with Matthew during training, too.  That's where he lays on Matthew giving him that DEEP Pressure sensation that Matthew likes.  Matt just grinned when he did that.It's really cool to see the calming that occurs when Omri does that.  It's like Matthew's anxiety levels drop instantaneously.  

Before we left today, we learned "jump" and "off" so the dogs could get in & out of the vehicles and on/off furniture, stuff like that.  Right now, Matthew and Omri are lying on the other bed relaxing.  It's so nice to see.
Til tomorrow, stay warm & love your kids and dogs.


Yes, Matthew has his feet on Omri's back...  :)


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day!

Today, we fell in love with our  newest addition!
Matthew giving Omri treats

Omri's happy!  Sorry about the blur, but he kept moving..or I did...not sure which!

This was worth EVERYTHING!

Here's a small update of our day.  I'm kinda tired cause I didn't get to sleep until after 1 last night so this may be short, but here goes.  
We were EXTREMELY surprised when Jeremy, the head trainer, said," Matthew, are you ready?  Let's bring out Omri, first!"  WOW!  We were definitely not expecting to be first!  Matthew was grinning from ear to ear!  He resembled the Cheshire Cat!  At first, Matthew was kinda overwhelmed with the sights, scents, etc., but by the end of the day, he & Omri were starting to be buds.  :)  The morning was pretty much taken up with intro's & "getting to know your dog" stuff.  This afternoon, we learned basic obedience things like sit, down, etc.  The dogs are pros at so much!  HA!  
The differences in dialect and intonation between the handlers and the trainers will slightly confuse the dogs until they get to know us & respect a little more than they did today.  Omri tried all his tricks to get treats until the trainers and Jeremy worked with me to learn how the dogs were trained.  People wondered why I had to go to training for 2 weeks.  Let me tell you, 2 weeks doesn't seem like it's going to be long enough.  Other parents who've gone before me have done it, so I know it isn't impossible...overwhelming, but not impossible.
Omri is staying at the training center tonight, but tomorrow, he'll come back to the motel with us.  That may provide a little anxiety for me...not Matthew!  It's been a LONG time since I've had an inside dog.  Anyway, I'll try to take more pics tomorrow & post them on here.  Please leave me a comment here so I'll know you dropped by.BIG THANK you to everyone who helped get us here & who helped us raise the money necessary to train Omri.

Love,Dea and Matthew