Posts Tagged ‘goldendoodle’

Diane Sawyer arranged for my Service Dog

April 25th, 2013 by Carrie, the Just Mildly Medicated gal

It all started almost a year ago with a phone call from my sister in law. She happened to be watching Diane Sawyer on ABC World News and saw that the upcoming story was on service dogs being trained for people who faint. She called me, my sister in law… not Diane Sawyer… I put ABC World News on then I called my dad and we all watched it.

Link: Dog Saves Owner From Fainting Could a dog’s sense of smell help monitor blood pressure?

Canine Partners for Life has trainers who work with potential cardiac alert dogs. The hope is to detect the drop in BP that happens right before a person becomes symptomatic. They never mention what the young woman in this interview suffers from but it is clearly Orthostatic Intolerance, mostly likely Hypotension since all of the emphasis was on blood pressure and not heart rate.

I called CPL and we spoke about my medical issues and symptoms and they sent an application packet. It took me almost a week to fill out the 8 pages of questions, have friends write reference letters (thanks Dawn and Meredith) and I had to write two essays. I wrote the check for the application fee and printed off 3 photos of my family and I as they requested, and it was in the mail.

CPL reviewed my application and they felt they could train a dog for me. I was accepted to the program but it was far from a done deal though. We had a SKYPE interview to go over more details. Murphy’s Law, the connection was less than desirable but we were able to finish the conversation. During the interview we talked more about what I like to do, places I like to go, as well as my ability to care for a dog physically, emotionally, as well as financially.

The next step was a letter from my Neurologist, he was more than willing to fill out the paperwork with additional information he thought would be helpful. Then it became official, my name now sits on a wait list at Canine Partners for Life.

Then a bit of anxiety, how different will life be with a service dog, how long will my wait be, do I really need this to improve my quality of life… I am sure someone could use it more than me. Ahhh, that last line, so true. I have a non stop internal battle with really believing this is my situation but that is a whole different post.

Because I have a child with a dog allergy we have to wait longer than the average person on the list, waiting for not only a poodle or poodle mix when they work mostly with retrievers but a poodle or poodle mix with a knack for potential cardiac alert could be years from now.

So far I am almost at one year into my wait. Every six months there is some type of update to do. At my six month mark it was a detailed journal of episodes and I am coming due again for my next assignment. I knew it was too soon but I couldn’t help inquiring, the matches for the summer session have already been made.

Some really great news is that as we have sat this last year on the wait list at Canine Partners for Life our family dog has started alerting to my episodes. Now Maggie the Goldendoodle is no official alert dog, she alerts to pizza just as well as an episode. I am pretty sure if pizza was in the same room as me having an episode she wouldn’t look twice at me.

When its quiet in the house and she is paying attention to me, and not napping on the couch, she will alert and it gives me the 5 to 10 seconds that can make a difference in getting to a better location. We are working with Maggie’s training so she can focus her alerts a bit more consistently while we wait for my service dog.

This is our family pet Maggie the Goldendoodle. The way she noses my hand when it starts is what she starts doing before my episodes.

There is still a long wait but it is helpful to have Maggie doing her part now though I do look forward to someday having a dog trained to focus on me, even more so than pizza. I will keep you posted on Maggie’s training to see if she can fine tune this natural skill as well as our journey to receiving a service dog.

training hard

Passing out; location, location, location

March 22nd, 2013 by Carrie, the Just Mildly Medicated gal

Location, location, location… it’s important in more than just real estate!
With hindsight being 20/20 I can tell you I should have chosen to clean the bathroom but instead I chose to bathe my dog.
I was pretty proud of myself, having a goldendoodle can be a lot of grooming maintenance so this was crossing a big thing off the ‘To Do’ list. It also means sitting with a blow dryer for just shy of an hour to get this sweetie pie dry. I actually love this time because its alone time and as a mom of 4 bathing the dog feels like a break.
 After about 30 minutes I felt odd and knew passing out was around the corner. This part of my world with Dysautonomia. It always amazes me how many thoughts I have in those moments beforehand. I slowly take in my immediate surroundings, this is crucial to do as soon as the feeling hits so I can have as much control over where I gracefully place my wilting frame.
Its during this survey of the land that I realize a few things
1. I am in the bathroom 2 boys share
2. This bathroom hasn’t been cleaned in exactly 7 days
3. I can actually see pee at the base of the toilet
So I wake up and honestly can’t decide if I think its funny or terrible. Obviously both because I took this pic when I came out of it so I could show you how gross it was.
My husband just saw the gross side of it and cleaned the boys bathroom when he got home, he is awesome. I still think its kind of funny.
Cute Goldendoodle pics to make you less disgusted at the state of my boys bathroom…

My Designer Dog; Labradoodle and Goldendoodle discrimination

January 11th, 2013 by Carrie, the Just Mildly Medicated gal

My dog faces discrimination

God I wish I were joking here but seriously for every 10 “oh my gosh your dog is so cute” I am bound to hear one dissertation on how ‘poodle mixes still cause allergens’ or ‘how in the world could you pay for  an overpriced mutt when there are so many in shelters?’

Crazy thing is it comes from both ends of the dog world spectrum, people with AKC purebreds and people who rescue. So in place of my usual Friday’s Letters, which normally consist of a few quickie lines to inanimate objects or people who cannot or are not interested in defending themselves on my Blog  (like my kids and celebrities) I’ve decided to tackle a few ‘designer dog’ issues.

** If you feel the need to argue these please feel free to comment, you can share this post with others who would like to argue too. The more the merrier J

**If you, like me, think who gives a whahoo about what kind of dog someone has you are pardoned from reading and may just glance at pics of my awesome dog and comment on her cuteness.

Goldendoodle cuteness

Poodle Mixes are not hypoallergenic —

It is true; dogs are animals and cannot be truthfully called hypoallergenic by definition. However many are allergy friendly.  If you find a reputable breeder (yes, I will tackle that next but there ARE reputable doodle breeders) you can work with them on your specific needs. Many people are allergic to a dog’s saliva and or dander. The first generation cross of poodle and lab or golden usually has a wide range of looks as well as shedding. Once you get to what is called an F1B in goldendoodle world, a low to non-shedding goldendoodle with a poodle the results are more consistent.

We did some standard allergy tests on 3 different pups from 2 different litters. My son reacted to one.  Temperament tests were done with the remaining two and we made our choice and signed Maggie up for live in puppy training before we were to pick her up.
Maggie does not shed and we’ve had no allergic reaction to her.
More information can be found at

Goldendoodles make great napping buddies

No reputable Breeder would breed mixes —

By current short definition a reputable breeder breeds to advance their breeding program and for their love and devotion to purebred dogs.  Considering ALL dogs are a product of selective breeding the term purebred is kind of silly. Look for a breeder who screens their dogs for genetic problems, will tell you the good points as well as the bad points of the breed (doodles require lots of grooming), will usually insist puppies sold as pets be spayed/neutered, will usually take back any dog of their breeding at any age. Visit the location, use your judgment.

Goldendoodles are well read

Designer Dog cost hype —

In short, yes. I do believe the price of certain designer dogs is too high. There is a lot of hype over certain breeds like labradoodles and goldendoodles, supply and demand is what determines price. This isn’t necessarily a breeder taking advantage this is an example of a free market. If someone is breeding a quality popular dog the asking price will be higher. Just be sure you are looking at a quality dog, many back yard mom and pop breeders are charging the same or slightly less than some quality breeding facilities with a full staff.

more Goldendoodle cuteness

Why not rescue —

For me personally the allergy testing made rescue seem like not as viable an option, however, don’t assume the couple down the street with three doodle dogs isn’t rescuing! Wonderful agencies deal specifically with doodles. If you are in love with the doodle and want to rescue check out the following sites.