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maryjomcconnell Goodbye porn studio turned black box-you served us well. Musical Theatre Factory "got the FAC out"! #wereworkinonit 4w

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maryjomcconnell Get the FAC out party --end of an era at the Musical theatre Factory #wereworkinonit 4w

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Normal Mary Jo McConnell
maryjomcconnell Rolling 60 folding chairs 11 blocks up 8th Avenue with these crazy guys as part of The Musical Theatre Factory load out! #wereworkinonit 4w

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maryjomcconnell Last production at The Musical Theatre Factory-black box on 40th St--the end of an era.
Congrats to Anna Grace Carter and Eric Grunin! #wereworkinonit
4w

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maryjomcconnell Started rehearsal tonight for this interesting musical! "In 1861, Emma was fond of adventure, a little ambitious, and a good deal romantic – but when the Union needed defending, she found herself a man. As her alias Frank Thompson, this brave young woman serves her country as a soldier, a nurse, and a spy."
I play Frank Thompson 30 years after the war as a veteran fighting for her military pension. Monday 1/11 8pm at The Musical Theatre Factory www.mtf.nyc #veterans #wereworkinonit
1mon

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kennavee She hasn't mastered the selfie quite yet.. #wereworkinonit #mylove #khloek 1mon

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travelers.compass It's official. We have the two most difficult dogs to get a decent picture of.
Bri the black hole and Kostyl the laser beast.
Despite their lack of photogenic ability these stellar canines made Walmart on Christmas Eve a breeze.
We all deserve medals...

#AKCGermanShepherd #GSD #немецкаяовчарка #servicedog #servicedogintraining #Костыль #practicemakespermanent #wereworkinonit #riverdoggear
2mon

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travelers.compass The ever awkward life of us.

Kostyl was getting a little too enthusiastic about the nickname "German Shedder" so Thursdays are now bath day.
Since we don't have a tub we use a self serve dog wash #rubadubdogwash but of course it was raining so we had to blow dry again at home. He actually LOVES the blowdryer and was mad because I wouldn't let him play eat the air.
#squeakyclean #soggydoggy
3mon

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travelers.compass #PSA #publicserviceannouncement
It's amazing the range of people you meet when you have a service dog. There are those who quietly whisper both good and bad things when they think you can't hear them. Stare with various faces of wonder and horror when they think you don't see. Those who physically block your path and ask to say hello to the dog. There are those who simply pet the dog as they go past, some of whom apologize as they realize it's a service dog and not just a pet someone brought into the store. There are those who take his patience and mine for granted and repeatedly bump against us while waiting in line and simply step closer when he tries to move to do his job and keep them back from me.
These are just some of the types of strangers I met yesterday.

Some made this constant onslaught of public curiosity easier to deal with and to those I always try to offer a smile or some comment of thanks.

To those who make already difficult excursions more so, I usually stay quiet but I'm learning how to speak up with both tact and strength.
When I ask you to please give us space, please just do so quickly and quietly. My dog is not in your way any more than I am because he is an extension of myself. I work very hard with him to ensure we are never inhibiting the publics right to move freely throughout their space and frequently startle people when he expands back out of some hidden place I asked him to cram himself to avoid such obstructions. Odds are that if you see him he's doing his job and ensuring I get the space I need and you can't seem to respect.
If you think we are in your way for whatever reason, try speaking with me, your fellow human, before shouldering me and kicking my medical equipment out of your way.
Respect the vest.

Please, when you see a dog of any kind, give it space until you've asked the owner if it's alright to interact with the dog.
Do not crowd over them and be sure not to step on paws or tails.
Yes my dog is sweet and calm and will just make faces at me or try to lean into a strangers offered love but not all dogs you meet will. Not all dogs in stores will. Not all dogs that have a vest that says service dog will.
Be safe.
3mon

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travelers.compass First experience with a muzzle in his life. Think it went well?
I gave him a second to smell it then told him to touch and this happened!

Look at this punk. He doesn't even need me!
I had all these ideas on how to muzzle train in positive ways and he loves it instantly without any of my coaxing!

Maybe there's still hope and he won't like it clipped?
#bane #banedog
3mon
  •   sweet_sundance The same thing happened when I introduced mine to a muzzle. I was sure he'd at least try to paw it off but he was totally cool. 3mon
  •   travelers.compass @velouria_cptsd I'm glad you asked. Kostyl has never been even the least bit aggressive, in fact we just got back from @mudbaygreenwood where he was soaking up and dishing out love to the employees. It's very important to muzzle train any dog no matter how sweet they are in case there is ever a time they need to wear one. If they are injured or under certain laws, to name a few. By training before that time and making muzzles a positive experience it makes the situation less stressful for everyone involved. 3mon
  •   travelers.compass @sweet_sundance Especially cool with all that zombie get up! Best Halloween costume EVER and another great example of why muzzle training is important for @velouria_cptsd 3mon
  •   fluffnmutt I try and try to make it positive for my girl. She was so alright with it for the first week. Then we ended up with some dogs in the same area where I would walk her and she realized that the muzzle stops her mouth play with other dogs so she tries to paw it off her. So its back to step one for us! She. Is not dog aggressive, just people fear reactive. 3mon
  •   travelers.compass @fluffnmutt We believe in you! Nothing wrong at all with taking a step back and running at it again. I'm interested to see how he tolerates it when we go for a walk or if I leave it on for a while but that's going to be a little later before we try that. For now we're throwing a party for this baby step. 3mon
  •   penny.sdit Oh my gosh he's so proud of himself! 3mon
  •   travelers.compass @penny.sdit I love his smooshed nose touchy face. Look mom I'm REALLY touching it! 3mon
  •   penny.sdit He's so goofy <3 3mon

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travelers.compass Happy Tuesday from the driftwood doggies! #dogsonlogs
🌲
Since Kostyl decided to take a swim in the ocean bath day has been moved up in the schedule.
Why can't you be a good, clean, and civilized doggy like Miss Bri?!
🚿
3mon

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travelers.compass I solemnly swear this concludes our training spam... for today.
.
Every moment, every action, is an excuse to train and reward.

As soon as I go for his food bowl Kostyl puts himself in his kennel to wait for his meal because that's what he's been trained to do.
Today I asked him to break that routine and he loved the challenge.
Since we've been working on it so much today I took a shot in the dark ( #badummtss ) and asked him to come all the way out and across the room to turn the lights on so I could see what I was doing while making his lunch.
# #cleverboy #foodmotivated
3mon

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travelers.compass Day two of light switch training.
Service dog bloopers

"Fine Mum if you're not going to give me a treat for at least trying I'll just re-eat this one I've been saving at the back of my throat!
Don't you know raptors don't chew?!"

He's 100% fine and once I stopped laughing we did get back to work and he earned a fresher treat.
#spithappens
3mon

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travelers.compass Rocking a little purple today for #epilepsyawareness for all the friends and fighters out there as we #DareTo go on our walk without a training collar and hopefully encourage others to go the distance in learning about this chronic disorder.

Although November is #epilepsyawarenessmonth the approximately 50 million people(friends, family, and every other beautiful soul) living with #epilepsy doesn't get to forget about the chronic disorder on December 1st.
So please, #DareTo be seizure smart. Learn what epilepsy is and what you can do in case of emergency.
To find out more about epilepsy and what you should know about seizures please visit:
www.epilepsy.com/get-help/seizure-first-aid
3mon

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travelers.compass -Part 3-
To prove he's really an over achiever Kostyl not only turned the lights off but also back on like it's no big deal for someone without opposable thumbs!

#nighttime #daytime
3mon
  •   lulu_and_elli What is Kostyl's main purpose for you as a service dog apart from being a great friend. Hope this isn't too intrusive a question. 3mon
  •   travelers.compass @lulu_and_elli Although sweet being a great friend is not a task at all so that doesn't make him a service dog. Kostyl helps me in a number of ways through various tasks related to my disability. His primary function is alert and response. This specific task of working the lights being part of a much bigger response task set. 3mon
  •   lulu_and_elli @travelers.compass it's ok I realise that being a friend doesn't qualify him to be a service dog, I wasn't being literal, lol. I ask because I suffer from seizures and am looking into what different service dogs do for different disabilities ie PTSD, alerting of low blood sugar, narcolepsy etc etc. Can you expand on your disability or if you are not comfortable I completely understand. Have a great day and I commend you on all the training you have done with him, I have been watching over the past while and it's incredible. 3mon
  •   travelers.compass @lulu_and_elli Service dogs have a wide variety of ways to assist folks of many disabilities indeed! The disability for which Kostyl was prescribed to me for is PTSD(civilian) though I have a few other conditions(ocular migraines for example) which complicate things further and Kostyl helps with as well. I'd be happy to answer any additional questions you have. Just perhaps not publicly. Although I try to be open about my disability, the challenges it causes, and the various ways Kostyl assists me most of it is still private medical information I'm just not comfortable broadcasting. Additionally laws are so diverse even within the United States, not to mention differences between countries, it's difficult for me to give you any helpful legal information or references to places that might help you without knowing more about you. Feel free to direct message me if you'd like to speak privately! 3mon
  •   travelers.compass @lulu_and_elli I completely forgot to say thank you for the compliment! 😶 We have our struggles and things to work on but I was very lucky to get such a willing companion as my partner. Kostyl aims to please and we're always looking to improve our communication and skills as a team. 3mon
  •   lulu_and_elli @travelers.compass thank you so much for being so open and I apologise for asking such personal questions. I also want to say I wish you all the best with your conditions it's really not easy so good for you for facing them head on. After my head injury and subsequent seizures followed by depression I have a small understanding of what people with disabilities have to go through. BTW I have no idea how to privately message on Instagram, lol. 3mon
  •   travelers.compass @lulu_and_elli I'll message you then if you'd like that just let me know. Check the upper right corner of your home screen on Instagram to see direct messages! 3mon

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travelers.compass -Part 2-
Why settle for mood lighting when you can really make it impossible to find the treat!
Moments like this I'm REALLY glad that my dog takes treats nicely instead of chomping like the raptor heritage dictates he should.

#nighttime #daytime
3mon

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travelers.compass -Part 1-
Since we've mastered the touch lamp time to move on to bigger and brighter bulbs.

Tonight was the first try at having Kostyl turn out the lights from a switch and of course he made it look like we've been practicing for ever.

Silly human give the poor pup a challenge!
Wanna play a game of #nighttime #daytime ?
3mon

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travelers.compass This is why I don't mind if Kostyl doesn't spend much time looking directly at me.
Just because my service dog doesn't appear to others like he's focused on me doesn't mean he's not paying attention to the things he should.
Kostyl's often demonstrated his ability to multitask so I see zero problem with letting him take it all in if I'm not needing his full undivided attention.
He still gives spot on alerts while he observes our world, in this case, a massive game of tag at the parkour gym.
#gotogether #Kurgo #riverdoggear
3mon

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