BIG NEWS!

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After a few weeks I have finally decided to make it official and public; Toki is officially retired as of today.

Since I have had Toki I have made leaps and bounds in my recovery and I really don’t think I could have come this far without her. I have had many group sessions with learning to cope with anxiety which has helped me immensely as well. Toki proved me with the extra step  I needed to bring myself back into society. Since having her I have got a part-time job and am now looking for full-time work. Something I would have never seen myself doing ever again.

Don’t worry, Toki is still my family dog and she has been transitioned slowly into full retirement. She does really well being at home alone now and she seems to enjoy the retired life. I still take her out to the park as much as I can. She is a normal dog now, no more working but that leaves plenty of time for Timbits and walks.

I am going to keep this blog and her Facebook page available for any other service dog owners or people looking into a service dog. I am always wiling to share my experience with my SD and share the knowledge I have about them. It will also be a place that people can still see photos and updates on her.

Toki is still a huge part of my life and I am so thankful for her everyday. Here’s to a new chapter for the both of us.

I hope you will continue to follow our adventures.

 

Cheers!

-Samantha and Toki

 

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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 🙂

Sweater Weather is Here!

We woke up to feeling a bit chilly today. It is 13 degrees celcius here so that means time to put our sweaters on! 

Here is Toki in her favourite knit.

  

Out for a long walk…

So Toki and I were bored at home yesterday and we decided to take a walk to the pet store which is an hour walk away. Toki took her time to sniff everything on the way so that added another half hour. After cramped feet and sweating like crazy, we made it. I was quite proud of myself because I hate going outside alone and especially down a main street for that long. I also have a pain condition so I was not sure I would make it but I did and I am actually quite proud of myself. I made sure to give Toki lots of treats at the pet store. Thankfully we did not have to walk back because Cory met us there. It was a fun adventure! 

Here is a photo after our long walk 🙂 

 

Is Toki an Actual Service Dog?

This is a question I get a lot with Toki and usually I reply with “Yes, she is.” It seems the public believes that only dogs coming from organizations are “actual” Service Dogs.  I am here to put that myth to rest and let everyone know that any dog can be a trained Service Dog no matter what the size or breed.

JD Serada Photography

All breeds can be trained to be a Service Dog if the dog fits the right demeanour. Just because a certain breed has a bad reputation does not deem them unfit to work or define their ability to perform in public. Toki looks a lot like a Jack Russell so people automatically assume she is a hyper mess. Well not all Jack Russells are crazy when trained properly and Toki is not even a Jack Russell; she is a Rat Terrier. She is a dream to train as Rattie’s are very trainable and she also has a very docile personality which was perfect for myself as her handler and trainer. She has been trained in obedience and the services she provides me with. Small dogs are usually used for tasks that do not assist with mobility or standing. This is because they are low to the ground and require the handler’s ability to crouch down to them. Toki is not used to assist me with my mobility so being small is not an issue for myself. She can still jump up if she is needed and I can get close to her when I need to.

On numerous occasions I have been asked if Toki is a “real Service Dog” and i have always been so confused as to what a “real Service Dog” was.  Toki is a “Service Dog” so I am unsure what people are defining as “real”. I would never ask anyone with a medical device if it was real and it is actually quite rude to ask.  It does get very annoying to have to explain to people she is a trained Service Dog and that Service Dogs do not have to come from a special organization. Toki is used to assist me and what she does for myself is really no one’s business. She is used to help me with my daily living and that is all you need to assume when you see us.

Please know that any dog big or small and any breed can be used as a Service Dog and what they do for their handler is very personal and not really anyone’s business but their own. As people we should not be asking about medical history or diagnosis’ when we see someone with a medical device; which is what a Service Dog is. Just know that when you see a Service Dog they are helping to make their handler’s daily life a much better experience.

Any dog can be a Service Dog no matter the breed or size.