451 Posts

travelers.compass Sometimes I forget how he looks at me because with him around I'm able to see the world again. #puppylove #sidewalksmile 4d

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travelers.compass Was this the best Saturday ever?
I got to spend this morning playing with guns while Kostyl got to sleep in. #lazy

Okay if I'm honest I'm actually terrified of fire arms. I just never enjoyed them. I do think they have a very valuable place in the skills one can cultivate to protect ones self and family. So getting the chance to participate in #gunsandgirls is something I really value. There are TONS of super knowledgeable instructors, a staggering variety of guns(Model 19 S&W was my favorite this year), and basically a mound of FREE ammo! #yesplease

After guns and girls I took Kostyl out for some serious puppy play time since he's been such a good boy and had been cooped up all morning. That meant fetch and generic play time outside with the added bonus of a pupcup from the campus #StarBucks because the baristas LOVE him. They don't get to give a lot of pupcups because they're located inside a building on campus with no drive through so not a lot of canine customers come through.

Now he's curled up next to me and I'm enjoying the rain and a nice cup of tea because we're FINALLY getting a nice thunderstorm. I'm always so much happier when it's raining... I really needed this day.

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travelers.compass This one's from last night and I'm pretty damn impressed.
We went to a local restaurant that's about as close as this tiny town gets to rowdy(excluding the bars). There was a LOT of stimuli.

What does my very much not yet fully trained service doggie do? Keeps a perfect heel(I'd like to thank @theadventuresofflynn and their totally awesome traffic lead for that), offered some natural blocking which I was able to reinforce for use later as a task, and once we were seated he settled immediately and alternated napping and checking in on me!

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travelers.compass Doing some DPT to help calm me down after I slipped and fell down a flight of stairs on campus... #gonnaleaveamark

Kostyl took my uncoordinated descent like a champ and just sped up to keep pace. When I managed to catch myself he sat down on the step next to me, sniffed to be sure I was okay, and waited for me to assess the damage before I gave the 'go' command and we resumed our originally planned exit.

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travelers.compass Kostyl was cleared by the vet that nothing was wrong with him so I'm thinking the diarrhea dilemma was those treats... Since it's all cleared up we're back to work!

The bank I frequent to cash my paychecks gave me permission to train Kostyl there so today was his first trip in.

He did an awesome down stay while I waited and people were walking around but when we were walking he decided to start pulling something fierce and spinning his wheels on the slick floor!!
We'll be going to the pet friendly store later to practice heel on slick floors some more.
My sincerest apologies to the rest of the service dog community for representing everyone so poorly!
  •   hope_the_miracle_service_mutt You're fine training accidents are gonna happen 2w
  •   travelers.compass @hope_the_miracle_service_mutt I really appreciate the support. I was making him stop and sit to try and regain a bit of control as we were walking. I know one teller was looking at us pretty skeptically but I figured it's almost always better to stop and try to correct than just hurriedly leave. 2w
  •   painsomniac You should have seen Lu freak out and refuse to get in the elevator in DC 2w
  •   travelers.compass @painsomniac We haven't gotten to try an elevator yet since my town is so small we don't have many but I'm hoping he'll be okay. Any tips? 2w
  •   golden_servicedog_baron I agree, better to stop and correct before leaving. Always leave on a good note :) 2w
  •   jwarpdx @travelers.compass I am so impressed by his training! And everyone has those moments - I recently had a guide dog puppy poop in a mall on a Saturday afternoon We were very poor reps that day! 2w
  •   acheron_theimp Hiccups happen ;) work through them n keep going. You did the right thing yo ;) 2w
  •   painsomniac LOTS of treats. The floor moving is scary!!! 2w

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travelers.compass Poor dinosaur dog got the poops really bad this afternoon and that put a stop to our plans to do an outing.
Super proud of him for still letting me know and holding it till while I got ready and we got outside. This makes me just that much more confident in his house breaking and willingness to give me a warning if something is wrong.
I'm taking a sample to the vet but I think it's the new treats I started giving him.

This treat type was on sale at the market so I chose them over the more expensive single ingredient ones I'd have preferred to get him.
Never again!

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travelers.compass We were lucky to catch the garbage truck going by on our way back from breakfast. Kostyl was a bit skittish at first but then we calmly sat and watched till he decided it was okay.

Love that he checks with me to make sure it's okay and is willing to trust me and settle when I tell him to even when he's nervous. He knows he doesn't have to fight or flee because I'm there and will protect him.

#team #trust

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travelers.compass I'm happiest when it's raining but foggy mornings are still a nice perk. I appreciate a good sunny day but I just feel better mentally and physically when it's storming.

The older retired gentlemen at the coffee shop always make me smile because they are so polite. Usually at least one of them comes to sit with me but they always asks permission instead of just assuming I'm willing to entertain company. They never get offended when I decline and simply quietly apologise for bothering me, wish me well, and return to their friends. When I do invite them to sit they show me what beautiful characters they each are and ask very good questions about Kostyl, his breed, the law regarding service dogs, and training.
I have spent years educating myself but I won't ever know everything and our conversations often encourage me to consider things I wouldn't otherwise.

#respectthevest #respectyourelders

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travelers.compass I love that I have friends who are officers of the law and willing to do uniform socialization with Kostyl!
#ossifer #k9unit
just kidding
Also shout out to the wonderful people who asked if they could pet him while we were training AND didn't get upset when the answer was no.

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travelers.compass Yes hello this is dog? #captainobvious

Fitted our new pack last night and wore it to breakfast this morning.

Our favorite lady at the doughnut shop said Kostyl looked very grown up and we spent some time talking to another customer about service dogs.

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travelers.compass From foul beast to handsome prince.

It's amazing what a little shampoo can do!
You can sure see a lot of his mama's red when he's all pretty but he's growing up to be really dark like his papa.

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travelers.compass I ask a lot of Kostyl and sometimes he has his crazy moments where I worry that he is telling me that he isn't cut out to be a service dog.

I often find myself saying that "he's just a puppy and has a lot of training still to come" when I'm asked about his training but it always feels so high pressure to really understand what he's telling me, whether it's just 'I have to potty.', 'I want to do what you want but I just don't understand.', or 'I don't want to be a service dog.'.
I never want to force him to do this work and I for sure don't want to burn him out and have to wash him out because I didn't listen to what he was trying to say.

Today I realized that he IS only 4 months old and if he's this good now, I'm excited for the future. He WANTS to work and I DO recognize when it's time to let him be a puppy. That's something to be proud of for both of us.
Today his heel was much better than it has been lately. That slacking is my fault for a lack of reinforcement.

During our walks he didn't bark at any people or dogs. Thanks for the encouragement and advice on that @myProzachaspaws!
He even sat quietly by me while our walking buddy went to say hello to another dog that was only a few meters away!
On top of generic leash etiquette he was perfect at both breakfast and dinner outings by staying under while he watched people pass by, ignoring food on the floor, and even dozing off at times but still checking on me if I moved.
Our waitresses were awesome too and knew proper service dog etiquette which made everything that much more perfect.

My tired boy gets LOTS of love tonight.
  •   myprozachaspaws Just remember, slow is fast, and they're only a crazy puppy for so long. Embrace it. :) 4w
  •   myprozachaspaws Glad I could help. 4w
  •   travelers.compass @myprozachaspaws Oh he definitely got to be a crazy puppy today too. Ran till he almost dropped chasing sticks, and me down by the river. He is also apparently a HUGE basketball fan... Would not stop watching a game till the players came over to say hi and even then kept staring around them at the ball but I had to touch it before he would trust it and sniff it. 4w
  •   smaug.the.gsd Such a good boy. You are doing a great job @travelers.compass 4w
  •   prince_matthew_pew_pew @travelers.compass it's for sure a hard road to travel. I know matthew made me question him many times. But we made it thru it! Even though he's been in my life for over a year, everyday he surprises me on how well behaved he is! One question...you have him in restaurants at 4 months? Every trainer I've worked with and spoken with has always said public access should wait until 6-8 months. 4w
  •   travelers.compass @prince_matthew_pew_pew Yes we do very limited public access and have been since he was first vet cleared for it and house broken. I was originally going to wait but after speaking to quite a few trainers and service dog organizations locally I decided that starting early was better for us. Basically I'm doing what a puppy raiser would, just with a higher vested interest in the final outcome so I do demand more of him when we're out than a puppy raiser would I think, and so far I think this is working well. I live in a state with no protection for 'in training' dogs so everywhere we go has given us specific permission and I'm ALWAYS prepared to leave the moment he tells me he's close to done but honestly he seems to enjoy it and really beginning to understand on vs off duty. 3w
  •   prince_matthew_pew_pew @travelers.compass that is awesome! And it's great that is doing so well! Sadly in my area where isn't a lot of education on SD in general..I still get "oh is he in training" and when I reply no,,,I get you not blind or in a wheelchair. Matthew has been "out of the in training" phrase for 8 months. Although we all know that all SD teams are always training in same way. But I'm just now training matthew "in house" restaurant, but he does perfect!! But I still get the in training question because people can't understand why someone like me would have a sd, I have seizures and ptsd 3w

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travelers.compass You know you have a large breed service dog when your chair has extra legs and he still has a lot of growing to do!! 😐
#servicedogprobs #legsfordays

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