[nagdu] close call

Darla Rogers djrogers0628 at gmail.com
Fri Jul 26 03:01:59 UTC 2013

I know of Rebecca's story; I'm sad the school didn't do something sooner, as
I believe the dog was a good dog just not suitable for guide work.
Sometimes, I don't think certain traits or temperament issues show up until
training and even after the team leaves, but to sweep something like that
under the rug is not good; Rebecca's very safety was at issue here, and I
know of a dog from a different school given to a handler who wasn't strong
enough to handle the dog--in lots of ways he sounds like Rebecca's dog--it
pulled her off a curb, in my presence, but the school finally did replace
the dog, and I believe this dog was retired to a good home.
	That is why I think we consumers must be more vocal and stand up for
ourselves; I don't think there is one of us who doesn't realize the amount
of resources it takes to breed, train and place these dogs, but a serious
mistake is going to go very public, and funds will fall off anyway.
	I have made it clear to a number of schools what I will and won't
deal with--going home with a sick dog--a dog who isn't safe--my last dog
decided, at some point, she no longer wished to work, but I'm getting flak
from some for retiring her, and she is, in ways, having a hard time with it,
but I need a dog who can work with my lifestyle not the other way around.
Darla & Huck

-----Original Message-----
From: nagdu [mailto:nagdu-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Rebecca Ilniski
Sent: Thursday, July 25, 2013 5:20 PM
To: NAGDU Mailing List, the National Association of Guide Dog Users
Subject: Re: [nagdu] close call

Back in 2010 I had a dog that was aggressive as he would lunge and growl at
other dogs.  I worked for 3 years from 07 to 2010 trying to work with him as
he did well in all other situations.  I knew that I could never go to a
convention or somewhere where I knew there would be a lot of dogs around.  I
worked with a trainer that had worked for a long time at the school.  There
were three things that went on.  In 08 I was pulled down when I attempted to
relieve my dog as he went after a guy who had 2 
dogs across the street.   I sprained my ankle.  In 09 I went to New York 
to visit a friend.  While I was drinking a soda and sitting on a bench, my
dog took off growling at a lady who had a small dog.  Yes I was sitting on
my dog's leash but since he pulled hard he got away and almost ran in to the
road.  I called the school and wanted to have him go back for some extensive
training.  When I spoke to the trainer I was working with, he stated that I
needed to find a different way of holding him and yada yada yada.  I told
him if I had another episode that the dog was going to be retired
immediately and no uncertain terms was I going to continue working this dog.
The final straw came on August 13,
2010 on my way to Williamsport to visit my parents.  I had gotten off of the
bus to relieve my dog and transfer buses.  As I stood there, someone with a
dog came up and I was immediately pulled down.  No growling from either dog
took place.  The driver was shocked and told the guy to take his dog out of
the area as I was being drug in the parking lot among buses.  I never let go
of the leash and am lucky I only sustained some scrapes.  The driver was
shocked as he didn't think service dogs were supposed to behave this way.  I
stated that he was a dog and dogs will be dogs and said they are generally
not supposed to do these types of things.  That afternoon I called the
school and spoke to the head of training and he was retired.  I placed him
in a nice home and still hear stories about him sometimes.  I to this day
have no idea how he made it through training.  That's my experience of guide
dogs that are aggressive.  I think he wanted to play as he never bit a dog
but when I heard him growl it sure didn't sound like it.

Rebecca and Zeb
email: rilniski at gmail.com
facebook: www.facebook.com/rebeccai5
Zeb's facebook: www.facebook.com/zeb.ilniski

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