My latest update is right here!
Today was the LAST DAY OF TRAINING!!! We learned a few new things my doggie can do – she can put her paw on me to help redirect me and she knows how to back up. This is useful if she needs to get out of the way without turning around. I also got to learn how to teach London to give me KISSES!!! This is one of my favorites! I giggle every time she kisses me. I love that the trainers are letting me teach her this.
We did our last round of tracking practice today. London has proven that she knows me and can find me. The past few days I have been “taking a walk” with a different person that London doesn’t know. I still can’t believe how fast she is.
This afternoon I took a loooooong nap while the head trainer talked about everything we need to know from driving or flying, to introducing London to my home, the homes of friends and family, my school, and my church, to when London is ready to retire. I can’t even think that far into the future!
Tonight we got to celebrate a Frozen birthday for the 6 year old sister of one of my classmates! We have become good friends the past 2 weeks.
Tomorrow we have our Public Access test in the morning, then my Mommy and Daddy complete all of the paperwork needed to make London part of my family! Class Graduation is in the afternoon! Then I GET TO TAKE LONDON HOME!!!!! I can’t wait to see my brother and sister and show them my London!
I woke up right on time today and was eager to get to class. Today my Mommy and Daddy learned a couple of new commands for London. They learned “Over” – which I really liked. This is a command for London to lay on top of ME! They also learned how to tell London to “Stand” from the “Sit” or “Down” position. For Stand, London does just that. She stands up but does not move. This is good for when I need to use London for balance.
Mommy and Daddy also practiced some commands and tasks she already has shown us. One of the trainers fussed and cried to make London nuzzle her. This is when London would bump me with her nose to try to change my mood, stop crying, or stop really any bad behavior. We also played “the seizure game” in class today. London barked at my Daddy when he pretended to have a seizure. Last night Daddy tricked London and pretended to have a seizure when she was on the other side of the room and wasn’t expecting it. She jumped up, ran to him and barked. She is so amazing! Have I told you that lately?
Today we were also back at the park for search and rescue tracking. This time Daddy took me for a walk, but neither Mommy or London knew which way I went or what path I took. This made the tracking very realistic for Mommy. Her job is to “read” London and to keep London from going too fast. If it was up to London she would sprint the entire time. The problem with that is that she could overshoot a turn that I made and lose my scent. London found me super fast and we had a big party for her for doing her job so well.
This afternoon all of the parents asked the trainer questions about their dogs (luckily I got to watch movies). Then Mommy and Daddy worked with London on getting her to listen when they used either a verbal or hand signal command. That’s right, my puppy knows sign language for sit, down, stand, heal, free, tricks, and more. Daddy also practiced dropping London’s leash and walking away. This shows that she know to hold her last command even when someone is not watching right over her.
All of the practice we are doing is in preparation for Friday’s Public Access Test, where Mommy and Daddy have to show the trainers that they can handle London in public. The Federal ADA Law basically states that services dogs are granted full access to all public locations. However, it is the handler’s responsibility to maintain control of the dog at all times.
The doggies are getting really tired. They are not used to working as many hours as what we are doing right now. Going home with me should feel like a vacation for London (well, at least the car ride will). I think tonight London fell asleep in my bed before I did! You can see today’s pictures on my Facebook page!
London and I slept in this morning. It’s a lot of hard working learning about each other! Once Mommy woke us up we started our morning at the 4 Paws for Ability facility. I watched some Dora and Diego with my new friends while Mommy and Daddy worked with London. Today they worked on healing while pushing a shopping cart. They also worked more on obedience with distractions. The trainers at 4 Paws are so wonderful. They take time to answer all of Mommy and Daddy’s questions and have great ideas for how to continue with London’s Training.
After they finished with obedience we headed out to the park for more tracking. I LOVE when London comes to find me. As soon as I can see her I start yelling “London, my London”! Today my friend’s Mommy hid with me. This may not seem like too big of a deal, but it means that I was the only recognizable scent for London to track. She found my scent so quickly and confidently again. It is truly amazing to see her find me. Mommy and Daddy are working hard to be able to read all of London’s body language to be able to become their own little search and rescue team if I ever need it.
We ate lunch at Chick-fil-a with London sleeping under the table and then set off for an afternoon at the mall. We started with indoor tracking. I “got lost” in Sears 3 times and London was able to find me every time! Have I told you how amazing she is yet?
The last time I “got lost” I ended up in the Clearance shoe section, and found new Doc McStuffin’s shoes and pink shoes for my sister super cheap! Next we walked around the mall with one of the trainers to continue with more obedience training. London is doing so well! She has such a sweet personality and is so full of love for me. Our trainer gave us a few pointers and lots of praise for how well London was doing, then sent us off to practice on our own. Guess what we got to do… London and I took a train ride around the mall! It was so much fun!
Back at the hotel we ate dinner and then got to face time with my brother and sister! I love to show off all of London’s tricks to them. I can’t wait to get home to introduce them to London! Remember to look for today’s pictures.
Guess what else my service dog London can do… she knows how to alert to a seizure! She’s been working with her trainer Shelby the past few months on what my seizures look like. My Mommy and Daddy sent video of one of my typical seizures to Shelby along with notes of what all of my seizures have looked like. Shelby then spent the past few months prompting London to bark when she plays “the seizure game.” Again, to London a seizure is just a game. Shelby shakes, London barks, Shelby gives London a treat, London wins the game. But now, London is starting to learn that she needs to bark any time anyone shakes.
Today in class we learned how to practice “the seizure game” with London. She immediately remembered playing the game with Shelby and now barks every time she sees the actions or hears the sounds we make to mimic the sounds that Kye makes when she’s having a seizure.
London is also trained to react to the scent of a seizure, but that is not something I, my Mommy, or my Daddy can produce for her any time we want to practice. In time, as she is with me for my seizures she will begin to learn the scent that I give off normally and during a seizure. Then with time, she may even be able to sense when I’m giving off that seizure scent before my seizure starts. If that happens, she may bark, or sniff, or lick me. My Mommy and Daddy can then get me to a safe spot and have my rescue medication ready.
Before lunch we went out tracking again. London is doing a great job searching for me. After tracking we went to a restaurant and London laid under the table and slept for the entire meal!
Today we also worked on tethering, when London acts like an anchor to make sure I can’t get too far away. Mommy and Daddy talked with the trainer about toys, grooming, and health… but I’ve had such a busy week that I slept through most of that snuggled in Mommy’s lap. They talked a lot about which toys are safe for London and which toys she should avoid – this is important so that London stays healthy but also to ensure good behavior.
After class, we took London back to the Service Dog Park at Wright State University. We met London’s friends Obi (Obi Wan) and Han (Han Solo), from the Start Wars litter, at the park. They had a great time running together and playing ball. Then, we went to Dick’s Sporting Goods and London practiced her public access work. She did a perfect job. Remember to check out today’s pictures.
Happy Halloween!!! We have more tuckered out puppies today! I can tell see that the dogs are working awfully hard when they are tracking. Plus we ended the night with Trick or Treating!
Today we started with some classroom training. Most of the time was spent going over questions the mommies and daddies had. They we practiced putting London in the ‘Down’ and ‘Heal’ positions and giving her lots of distractions. This mimics real life when we are out in public. We also practiced ‘under’. This will be used especially when we are out at restaurants and need London to sit under the table for the whole meal. Before we left London was given her vest to use in public!
Then we went back to the park for tracking training. London gets so excited as soon as she realizes it’s time to play the tracking game. She puts all of her energy into findings her girl. Nothing else seems to matter to her. She runs the entire time. Today I “took a walk” at the baseball complex. I left the parking lot, walked across a ball field, and into the picnic pavilion. With the rain today it took London much longer to find my track (like 30 seconds instead of 3). Once she found the scent though she took off to find me!
Then I went to the local mall for my first public outing with London. We practiced walking around the mall, going into stores, riding the elevator, and walking staircases. She did an excellent job today! Check out her video from the mall.
Best of all, tonight students from the Wright State University – 4 Paws University Foster Program helped us Trick or Treat in the hotel lobby. Almost all of the kids and their dogs dressed up in costumes. My best friend at training brought a Mini Mouse outfit for London so she would match her brother Bronx, dressed up at Mickey. Of course, I was dressed as Rapunzel! You can see all the pictures here!
London and I are worn out and begging Mommy and Daddy for bed even though it is only 7pm! Time for a good nights sleep to get ready for our busy day of training tomorrow!
Talk about tuckered out puppies! We’ve been making our dogs work really hard so they can show mommies and daddies what they can do. This afternoon during class almost all of the dogs were passed out on their mats. Here’s why…
This morning, half of the class had in-class training. That’s what London did. We worked on staying in the ‘sit’ or ‘down’ positions while being distracted (walking around them, clapping, talking to them, stepping over them, petting them). Any time a dog got up they were told “No.” and they returned to their position. They usually didn’t need to be corrected again. We also spent time working on ‘Heal’ while being distracted.
Then later in the morning the classes switched, and we got to take London to her first outing. We went to a park that had playgrounds and sports fields for tracking. London is trained to track me down if I get away. She uses my scent to find me. Everyone leaves a “scent trail” of skin cells when the walk. Right now London is still tracking her trainer. By this time next week London will be trained to track my scent. I went with Mommy and the 4 Paws trainer to hide in the woods just off one of the soccer fields. London put on a special harness used for tracking. She wasn’t allowed to see where I went. As soon as the trainer told her “Where’s your girl? Find your girl!” she took off like a lightning bolt. Daddy and the trainer had to run super fast to be able to keep up with her. They said she didn’t slow down the whole time. She ran the length of the soccer field, to an opening in the woods, and down a trail until she found me just off the trail. Then, we all celebrated and praised her with a big party of treats and a ball. She thinks this is just a game – she doesn’t realize that to my Mommy and Daddy, this is a big deal. You see I’ve already wandered off a few times and fortunately each time a stranger kept me safe. Now London can find me!
After lunch, we were back to class. We talked about the dogs’ first night in the hotel rooms. We talked about new commands like “Come” and “Lap.” ‘Come’ is pretty obvious, but we won’t be using it all the time like we would with pet dogs. ‘Lap’ is a really cool command. When London is told ‘Lap.’ she puts her head on me wherever Mommy and Daddy point. They can use this command any time I need to be comforted, like when I’m sad or after I have seizure. We also practiced ‘auto-stand.’ London is trained to stop and stand still whenever we stop walking so that she doesn’t knock Kye over by sitting down.
Tonight, after class we went to Wright State University. This is where the only Service Dog Park in the world is located. Wright State is known for its accessibility for students with disabilities. London got to run for a just a few minutes, but I’m sure we’ll go back. Then we took London to dinner at our hotel . She laid in the ‘down’ position the entire meal and didn’t move a muscle (and we were sitting right next to the door, so people were coming in and our the whole time). Not many new pictures today, but there are videos on the Team Kye Fan Page on Facebook.
Tomorrow we get to do more tracking training and go to the mall. London will get her service dog vest!
Wowsers was I beat today. Training is tough; I spent most of the day snuggled with London and my iPad. I even took a nap on mommy at the end of the day.
Today we learned about how London is trained to detect and alert to seizures. I haven’t been having seizures very frequently, so a really nice family sent “seizure shirts” to 4 Paws for me. They can train the dogs on seizure scent from anyone not just me! A seizure shirt is basically just the clothing that someone was wearing when they had a seizure. 4 Paws then uses those shirts to get the dogs used to the scent that a person gives off when the have a seizure. Dogs sense of smell is something like 25X stronger than ours. London should bark when she senses an increase in the scent in me. At least that is what we pray for. Dogs are capable of alerting up to 24 hours in advance of a seizure!
Today we worked on distractions. Remember how I said that London is trained to hold a sit or down until told a new command? Today, the trainer brought his big German Shepherd to class. Brody laid in the middle of the room in a down all day, except for breaks and lunch. We had London “down” and mommy and daddy walked around her clapping and whistling and stepping over her. She did a great job holding her position. We also practiced giving commands when not standing right in front of London. She is trained to react to a command given at a normal talking volume even when mommy and daddy are out of sight or with hand signals.
Today’s new commands included learning to walk with London in the “Heal” command. This means that she walks right next to her handler, keeping pace, with her ear even with the handler’s legs, even when they make turns. She did a great job. All of the dogs still need some correction because they are still learning that they need to follow commands even if it’s not their trainer. The other new command we worked on is kind of a trick too. London barks on command when you say “Bark!” This is important so that we can teach her appropriate/desired times to bark and tell her “No” when it is not appropriate. Lastly we learned “Place.” London has a mat that is her place. When we point and give the command “Place,” London goes to the mat and lays down. Then until told a new command, she can do whatever she wants as long as at least 2 paws stay on the mat. She can lay, sit, stand, stretch, chew a bone, play with a toy, she just needs to stay on the mat. This is much more relaxed than the “Down” command, where she is only allowed to lay down and may not move around.
Then tonight, I GOT TO BRING LONDON BACK TO MY ROOM!!! From now on, I will take London back to the hotel every night. We can’t go out in public until this weekend, but she is sleeping in my bed tonight, and I love it!!! Now mommy and daddy have to work with her at night to practice commands and practice working with London off her leash. She is already doing a great job. When you look at today’s pictures you’ll see a picture of my dinner. London was “Down” right next to my food and didn’t touch it!
Goodnight, I’m going to bed with my London!
Today was Day 2 of training at the 4 Paws for Ability temporary facility. Did you know that they have grown so much that they are building a bigger training center?!
Today I got to get London out of the van that brought her to training. The trainers show up each day in 2 vans with all of the dogs. I got to walk London from the van to her kennel (crate) inside. I was a little sad because the most of the morning was lecture time for mommy and daddy. They have an awful lot to learn about how to work with London.
Today they learned about ‘bonding.’ London has spent a long time training with Shelby, but London needs to start to learn that I’m her person and mommy and daddy are her handlers. So today Shelby didn’t even come to class. We learned that London needs to know that I’m special to her. One way we do that is to ‘bait’ me. Yup… I’m bait. That means that whenever London is away from me, mommy and daddy put treats with me so when London comes back I can give her treats to make her excited to see me again. Over time, she will just learn to be excited to see me even without the treats. We also learned that every time I lay on top of London or have a meltdown, we need to give her extra treats so she learns that it’s okay and she needs to stay with me. Her trainer said, “The dog won’t like the crying, but with the treats she will think, ‘man when this kid cries, I get treats! This is pretty cool! I’m gonna hang out with this treat machine.'” We also learned that even though London is supposed to be loved all the time, she should only get special loving when I’m around. If I’m at school, she should just co-exist with whomever is home. This part might be really tough for my family (that means no cuddling for daddy and London if I’m not there!)
We spent time working on what it means when London is told ‘sit’ or ‘down.’ She is supposed to stay there until told a new command. We practiced that by throwing her favorite treats on the floor near her and playing with a ball right in front of her. If she got up or moved towards the treat/ball she was told ‘No, sit’ or ‘No, down.’ I was amazed that she only needed to be corrected once! This obedience along with good manners will ensure she is on her best behavior in public, like restaruants.
Then we learn some of the tricks that London can do. Yup, tricks. This is a way that I can socialize with other kids, using London as tool. I even got to go out on training floor with mommy and daddy for this part. London knows how to shake, give me five, and high five! I’ll show you how she does this, you just need to ask me! Check out the new picture from to day at the bottom of the Meet London page. Look for the picture of me standing outside in front of the training center.