Friday, January 6, 2012

Almost One

It is hard to believe that Eli is approaching one year of age.
At last check, Eli weighed in at eight pounds. He seems to be staying right around eight to nine pounds so I am pretty sure he is as big as he is going to get.
Eli has been incredible with doing his job. He certainly cannot demonstrate his willingness to do so any more than he does. He does not want me out of his sight. Eli is definitely the cutest babysitter I have ever seen and absolutely the favorite of any babysitter I have ever had in my life.
It has been suggested that Eli is muzzled when we are in public. At first I thought that was a good idea to protect others from being nipped. However, the more I give thought to it, the more I do not like it. People SHOULD NOT be reaching for Eli. It aggravates me a lot when people just reach out to touch him when we are out in public. Eli is supposed to help me feel more confident living with my disability and I should not have to shy away from situations for fear of how Eli is going to be treated. The more important reason I am uncomfortable with the idea of muzzling Eli is that he uses his mouth to alert me to symptoms. I feel as though he and I would have to do some retraining with the muzzle, but I am nervous about how he would react to the device. Eli is not able to stop me as a bigger dog would be able to. All Eli has, really, is his mouth. A muzzle would handicap him, I feel.
We are working on Eli being able to potty outside under the supervision of someone other than me. It is important for Eli to be able to take care of himself out of my presence. Right now, he barely goes out the door if I am not. When he does, he stands on the porch right at the door waiting to be let back inside. This needs to be worked on. Of course, I need to have others' cooperation with this part of Eli's ongoing training.
Eli does tend to test his limits out of doors, although he is getting better with his outside obedience. I am not sure if I can give credit to obeying my requests or if he just goes on his instinct to have to stay with me. In any event, obedience in a distracting environment needs to be strengthened and I have really been looking forward to agility classes to help with this. Unfortunately, I keep coming up short of the finances to be able to attend.
Eli does change people's views of his breed. Not a day goes by that I do not receive compliments on how smart and well-behaved Eli is. I know part of it can be attributed to the hard work and devotion I have given, but not every dog has it in them to be a working dog. It just so happens that this tiny dog has the drive to serve. <3
*??)  CRySTaLLyNN                          
?..??..*??) ?..*?)
(?..? (?..` ? God understands our prayers even when we can't find the words to say them.*??)
Sent from my BlackBerry®


  1. A dog that nips shouldn't even be in public as a service dog! And at barely one year of age it's impossible for any dog to be a service dog. Especially one that is so protective that it can nip. If someone accidentally came to close or bumped you, and your dog attacks, it's going to make all service dog owners look bad. My first SD was about the size of your dog, and never once did I have to consider muzzling. I'm disappointed that you're bringing a dangerous dog into public, when your dog is going to be a representation of all of us who own behaved Service dogs. I can understand a dog having a bad day, and maybe barking or not following directions 100% of the time... But a nipping/biting dog can be dangerous, no matter how small it is.

  2. Eli is not a dangerous dog. There is one place I have been told I cannot bring him. I wrote and the response back suggested that he be muzzled in order for me to bring him there. This was their suggestion that I do not agree with 100%, but a suggestion I would consider in order to be able to go there.

  3. A nipping dog is indeed considered dangerous. God forbid something happens to you while in public, and he bites someone trying to help you? Service dog etiquette requires that dogs must behave appropriately in public, and possibly nipping a person is a big no-no. Even though a SD isn't supposed to be touched, would if a child comes up to your dog and gets bitten? You would be at fault because service dog owners should be prepared for anything.