Thursday, July 25, 2013

Harriet. Sweet Harriet.

Harriet with her homemade Service Dog backpack.

(Made by Lu. Filled with First Aid supplies.)

We have always been a pet family. (In fact, Dave brought his dog--a Golden Retriever, Barney--on our very first date.)

There's just something about having animals that makes our family/life seem more normal and more fun.

So over the years we have had cats, guinea pigs, fish, turtles and beautiful dogs. They have each been a huge part of our lives. (And the reason for our expertise in carpet cleaning. Ugh.)

But my point!

This past week I read a book about a "Service Dog" entitled "Comet's Tale," and as a result I learned that there's a whole world of animal care/life I didn't even know existed.

Sure, I'd always known what a "Seeing Eye Dog" was, and our local library has a "Therapy Dog" that the kids can read with once a month, oh--and I remember from childhood cartoons that Saint Bernards carry bourbon in a tiny barrel around their neck so that skiers with hypothermia don't die on the slopes, but I had no idea there were other types of "Service Dogs."

Did you?

There are dogs to help with all kinds of conditions:

--hearing impairment
--post traumatic stress disorder

And the list goes on an on. 

It's phenomenal what pets can do for us (and hopefully vice versa).

Okay, back to my point!

Ever since I read this book (48 hours--ha ha ha), I've been talking to our family about either participating in training someone's service dog OR teaching Harriet (our dog) to be a service dog (certifying her).

So imagine my surprise when yesterday--our first day of unofficial service training for Harriet--we hit a Road Block.

We'll call that Road Block "Lake Man Jack," the man who operates our local lake. (Names have been changed to protect the innocent. PS: Well, not Harriet's.)

Because, you see, according to Lake Man Jack dogs aren't allowed on the lake. 

Even Service Dogs. Untrained. Uncertified Service Dogs!

What in the honk? You have to be kidding me?!

Apparently Lake Man Jack doesn't know the Americans With Disabilities Act--because Sweet Harriet actually does get to go on the lake if she's a Service Dog. (Again, a licensed, certified Service Dog. Technicalities Schmechnicalities.)

So there, Mr. Government man. Take that.

Of course, I didn't challenge the law yesterday--because technically Harriet needs 2 bazillion hours of training, a sweet vest, and a certificate before she goes out into the community of volunteerism.

But once she has it, I'm telling you, the first place we are going is to the dang lake.


PS: It will probably also bolster our credibility/case if we can break Harriet of her DUCK HUNTING HABITS before we see Lake Man Jack again. I'm not sure service dogs should be hauling arse after waterfowl. Might be a bit of a problem.


Canoeing the lake yesterday ... without our Sweet Harriet.

Stuck in the reeds. Story of my life.

With my BFF Janae's kids.
(Janae was there too, only with Harriet on land.)

Jr., Zu, Lu, Janae's daughter, and my shoulder.

Harriet and Zu--AFTER Harriet jumped in the lake and chased a duck
(and got us in trouble with Lake Man Jack).


PS: In other news, I'd like to thank my friend Amy J. for telling us about Speculoos'/Trader Joe's cookie butter. Oh my!

You put it on toast, pancakes, or eat it straight outta the jar.

So tasty.