Posts Tagged ‘labradoodle’

Kat and Beau, a Dysautonomia Service Dog Alert Team

January 2nd, 2014 by Carrie, the Just Mildly Medicated gal

As I sit on a wait list for a service dog I have become more aware of the ways my own life will change when my match is ready. Not just the excitement of the call or the trip to meet him or her but also the changes that having my own canine partner with me will bring.

 

I am lucky enough to be part of a large social network that gives me the opportunity to connect with so many people. Kat is one of the people I have connected with and she has been kind enough to share her journey with me and now with all of you.

 

Thank you Kat!

Kat and Beau

 

 

I know you suffer from Dysautonomia but the illness can be so different from person to person. Can you share with us how Dysautonomia has impacted your life?

 

“Dysautonomia has impacted my life greatly. My symptoms started when I was just 9 years old. I would pass out on occasion but doctors couldn’t find anything wrong with me. Since my symptoms weren’t too bothersome, I began competitive swimming and was ranked in my state. Swimming was something I loved and planned on doing through college. At age 16, I had a tilt table test done and when I passed out, my heart stopped for 28 seconds. I was diagnosed with Neurocardiogenic Syncope and had a pacemaker implanted. We believe the surgery triggered my Dysautonomia and caused my symptoms to intensify.

After my surgery, I began passing out daily- 5 to 10 times. I unfortunately had to quit swimming because my symptoms became so extreme. Early this year, I saw a specialist who officially diagnosed me with Dysautonomia, POTS, and Gastroparesis. Day to day, syncope is my most bothersome symptom because it greatly limits my independence. I often require the use of medical devices such as wheelchairs, walkers, and shower chairs. I’ve seen many specialist for my conditions and none of them really know what to do with me. Two cardiologists have officially said that I am the most complicated case they’ve seen. For most, medicine does the trick. 

 Many people ask me how I can go through all of this with such a great attitude and I just tell them about all of the amazing people I have met along this journey and the many blessings I have received that I wouldn’t have otherwise like Beau.”

 

What originally made you think you pursue a service dog?

 

“My grandmother heard from a friend about a one of a kind dog alerting to syncope. Most medical alert dogs alert to diabetes, seizures, and allergies so syncope is new to the service dog world. I was turned down by multiple organizations until I finally found one willing to experiment and try to train a dog for syncope. “

 

I’ve had the pleasure of seeing pictures of Beau before today and he is an adorable labradoodle. What was the process like to chose Beau?

“Beau’s trainer prefers to work with labradoodles not only because they are loyal and loving dogs, but because they are also hypoallergenic. The breeder did an aptitude test on the puppies to see which ones would be good for service work and that’s how Beau became mine. I couldn’t imagine having any other dog be my hero. “

 Blog Kat1

 

What types of things will Beau do to assist you?

“At an early age of only 11 weeks old, Beau alerted to a syncopal episode and has been doing so ever since. That in itself is a miracle but Beau will learn much more. He will be able to pull my wheelchair, help retrieve dropped items (bending over causes syncope) get help when needed, and much more. He is amazing and will help me to gain my independence back. My hope is that I will be able to attend a college with him rather than doing online courses.”

What is Beau learning right now?

“Beau naturally began alerting to syncopal episodes when he was just 11 weeks old. Ever since then, he has hasn’t missed an episode. Right now, Beau is working on a multitude of things. He already has all of the basic commands down and even knows them in sign language. So the next step for him is to learn the more specific commands that I need him to know.”

 

You are able to share time with Beau during his training so you are getting a taste of what daily life with a service dog will be like. What would you say has been the biggest adjustment to life with a canine partner has been so far?

 “The biggest adjustment to having a service dog at your side is learning to deal with people. Many will stare and some will even make comments. Some of those comments will be positive, and some will be negative. It’s also really hard when you are dealing with an employee who doesn’t know ADA law and tries to tell you that your dog is not welcome. This is all the more reason why we need to spread Service Dog Awareness!”

Beau at work

Beau at work

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.