NOW ON INSTAGRAM!

Hi friends,

I just thought I should let you all know that I have been a little slow with keeping up with this blog. I spend most of my time updating on Instagram and it is the best place to see new photos of Toki. Click on the photo below to be brought to her account.

 

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Follow us and we will follow you back. Just leave a comment with your username! 

Look forward to seeing you all there ūüôā

 

 

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Being left home alone

While I am at work from 5am-9am there is a small period where Toki is left home alone. It is usually from 20-30 minutes. What she accomplishes in that time is pretty extraordinary. I have tried to crate train her but she barks non-stop and I live in an apartment. I feel it’s bad enough leaving her home alone when she is so used t being with me. I think Cory and I just have to put any sort of cardboard in the trash. I love my little monkey but she can be bad sometimes. I thought I would share this video evidence with you for a nice giggle. 

Enjoy your day ūüôā

Baby Steps.

So this past year has been very hard on me financially as I am still waiting on a decision from disability. I decided last month that I would go job hunting to try to make ends meet. I went to numerous interviews with Toki and nothing came of them. I since have had to make another hard step in my recovery; working alone without her. The only way I was comfortable doing this was leaving her home with Cory. Also, I knew I would not be able to handle dealing with customers or crowds because of my social anxiety. It narrowed my list down and my options became pretty bare. I ended up taking a job at a local book store doing stock at 5am -9am. I knew it would be super hard on my body getting up so early, but I felt better knowing Toki would be home with Cory and I would only have to deal with a few people and books during my shifts.

With taking on this job though, some people have come to think I can do anything without Toki and I should just leave her at home during the day when I am out places. I can not express enough that this step is one of the hardest in my recovery, first getting a job and now I have to be without her for 4 hours a day. I don’t want to work at all but I have to pay bills that are piling up until my disability support gets sorted out next year.

The only times I have ever been without Toki have been for her safety and she is always left with someone I trust and am comfortable with. I can not have my service dog getting sick or stressed out all day because then she can not work for me.

I think it is pretty sad that I have to justify why and when I have my Service Dog. It really isn’t anyone’s business but my own. I will not leave her home alone like other dogs that are pets because she isn’t trained to do that, she is trained to help me when I need her.

It’s been a lot of downs lately since starting this new job but I am just going to keep pushing towards my goal. Toki is still with me when I get home until I¬†leave¬†for work at 5am the next day. Not only have I ¬†had the stress of getting a job for the first time in 2 years but now I am learning to work on my own. I just wish other people understood how hard this is for me and that these are just baby steps.

Being Assertive

Recently in group therapy I learned about being assertive. I never noticed how bad I was with speaking up for myself. I have noticed though that I am getting a lot better since having Toki. I used to get uncomfortable and get so nervous I wouldn’t say anything to the person distracting or petting her. I would always just let it happen and beat myself up after because I should not have let it happen.

Now when I am out with Toki I find it easier than it once was. I think I realized that I had to change my attitude to be more assertive so I could stop beating myself up and help Toki not get distracted. I think having Toki really made me become more assertive and it’s still strange to me. I still have some days where I don’t say anything but I have to remember I am working on myself everyday.

Just today I had two people in the hospital try to pet Toki and I stopped them both and explained she is working. I really wish people understood the “NO PETTING”/DISTRACTING”¬†rule when seeing a Service Dog because it really makes a difference in Toki’s¬†focus. Furthermore, it really upsets me¬†when I am assertive and then people try to have me justify why they can not pet my dog. I really get upset because it really isn’t any of their business. I had a man reach out to pet her the other day and I said, “Please do not pet her she is a Service Dog.” His response was, “A Service dog for what?!” like he was all butt hurt or something. It really upset me because here I was being assertive and he just asked me to justify why I said no by asking personal questions (Some people…).

Sometimes I still find being assertive very hard but I feel that since having Toki I have become much better at it. I never thought I would be comfortable enough to tell people “no” or speak my mind. It still feels really good every time I stop someone from petting Toki and my fianc√©e still gives me a thumbs up or praises me for doing it. ¬†Here’s to working on being more¬†assertive with things other than Toki. I just have to keep making baby steps and one day I will be there!

waiting patiently for group to start.

Healthy Doggy Snacks

I am sharing this photo with all my dog loving friends. I found the photo floating around on-line but do not know the actual source of it. However, I thought it would be something every dog owner should consider when spoiling their furry friends. Toki loves to eat apples but I always keep her away from the seeds! 

Moving Day Soon

Blog posts have been a little slow due to moving in a week. Toki seems pretty excited, while I am super nervous.  I will have a post about our move soon once we get settled in.

In the meantime, here is a cute photo I took of Toki relaxing on our porch the other day.

FAQs

What breed is Toki? 

She is a Rat Terrier.

Where did you get Toki?

Toki was adopted from Just N Time Rescue in Barrie,ON and was a rescue from a hoarding situation in Ohio. It is hard to believe how far she has come since then and I thank Just N Time for her everyday.

How old is Toki?

An estimate of her age is between 4-6 years old and an exact age is not known because she was a rescue.

Is Toki a certified Service Dog? 

Toki is not a ‘certified’ Service Dog but that does not mean she is not a Service Dog. She is not from an organization but has been trained by myself with the help of trainers, to my specific needs. Service Dogs do not need to have certification¬†to work in Ontario,Canada but proper paperwork is needed from a treating physician.

What makes Toki a Service Dog and not a pet? 

Toki is trained to help me with any issues related to my medical condition. She is trained on queues and body language to assist me when necessary. She is brought into stores with me because she is needed for me to function daily. Toki is not just a dog out for a walk and fun time, she is a trained working dog.

What Does Toki do for you?

I do not feel comfortable going into specifics but Toki helps me with my daily life. She helps me when I need assistance with my condition. Toki is a PTSD service dog and that is all I really feel comfortable with people knowing. What exactly she does for me is really personal and when I am asked, I find it very rude because it really isn’t anyone’s business but my own.

What does PTSD stand for?

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Does Toki know any tricks?

¬†I have not trained Toki to perform any tricks because I feel it is not relevant to what she is needed for in my life. Don’t get me wrong though, she can make a whole bowl of food disappear!

Does Toki go everywhere with you?

Toki goes everywhere with me including stores and restaurants. The only time Toki does not go with me somewhere is if it is not good for her health/safety. She stays home with my Mom during these times. This would be places like the zoo due to the possibility of her catching something from the animals or the beach because there is a risk she can get heatstroke. I always put her health and safety into account before I take her anywhere with me.

Can I pet Toki?

No, please do not pet or distract my dog as she is working and needs to focus on myself. If Toki is not working, than she can be pet but please always ask first.