A] Personal Details
1] Your Name?
“Laddie, or one of their previous dog’s names, depending on what I’m up to. A lot of the time, it’s a mix between mine and their second last dog, Maggie and it comes out Maddie.”
2] Your 2 Leggeds Names?
“Davina and Gary”
3] What type of K9 are you? [Breed]
“I’m a seven-eighths Chocolate Labrador and one-eighth Bernese Mountain.”
4] How Old Are You?
“I’ll be three on May 4th.”
5] Do you run your household?
6] Do you live inside or outside the house?
“Inside the house & I’m always at Davina’s side”
7] Where about in the world do you live?
B] Exercise/Play Time/Adventuring
8] How often do you take your 2 leggeds for a walk?
“At least once a day”
9] Do you vary the walks or trek the same route every day?
“We vary the walks and because I’m a service dog, we spend a lot of time walking through stores and malls while I go through all my training exercises.”
10] Do your 2 leggeds allow you to talk to other K9’s on your walks or do they huff and puff behind you and urge you to hurry along?
“If I have my service jacket on I’m not allowed to talk to anyone, especially other K9’s, but if we’re at the park, or out for a stroll, I’m allowed to talk to other K9’s.”
11] Are you allowed to do ‘stuff’ on your walks freely?
“If I’m working, I have to listen very intently to make sure I’m heeling, halting, or blocking at the right times. I also have to glance up at Davina every 30 seconds or so to make sure she isn’t having one of those panic/anxiety attacks. If she is, I need to nudge her with my nose to bring her back to reality.”
“If we’re at the dog park, or walking off leash on a country trail, I can run wild, but no matter where we are, Davina never lets me roll in fox scat or dead animals, she thinks I’m far too regal for that.”
12] Have your 2 leggeds ever embarrassed you? If so how?
“No, I’m really quite regal. I even cross my legs when I’m lying down, makes me look like I’m a prince or something.”
13] Do your 2 leggeds expect you to fetch the ball/toy every time during soft/hard play?
“No. In fact, I’m not one for fetching balls, but I will bring you my Wubba if you come for a visit.”
* Do you have favourite toys and if so what are they?
“I do and I mentioned it in the question above, it’s called a Wubba and I love taking it and dropping it on Davina & Gary’s feet because it always gets their attention. Sometimes they say ‘ouch,’ but I think that’s just their way of saying they’re excited to see me.”
14] Are you loved every day?
“Yes. Every single day”
No, I’m far too regal to be tickled
Yes, I love to be cuddled
Made to feel special?
“All the time! Davina and Gary always acknowledge me when I come into the room by touching my head or back and talking to me. They tell me all the time how handsome I am, and I’m not sure what that is, but they also tell me I’m such a good boy and I know that’s a good thing. Davina makes me feel extra special because every time we go into a different room she moves my bed so it’s always close to her. That way I always have a comfortable place to lie while I’m at her side, taking care of her.”
15] Do your 2 leggeds take you away on holidays with them?
“We haven’t been on a holiday together yet, but they are trying to find out how to take me across the pond to England to visit some very good friends. Apparently, they lifted the quarantine, so I don’t have to be away from them for six months, now all I need is to be micro-chipped and have my rabies vaccination up to date.”
16] Do you get to pick where you go if they do?
17] Are you given treats? Too few or just right? What are your favourites?
“Yes, lots of them and especially when I’m working. Gary makes home-made dog treats and I love them all! He makes all different flavours; turkey, beef, heart, and liver, to name a few and the best thing is they don’t contain any preservatives or fillers of any kind – they are 100% meat.”
18] Are you fed a nutritional diet?
19] Is your food moist or dry or both or even the raw meat diet?
“I’m fed a raw food diet of chicken carcasses, sardines, pork, and beef with sides of fruit and vegetables. I’m pretty sure the only things I don’t get to eat are the foods that are poisonous to me like grapes, onions, avocados. Oh, and that dark brown stuff Davina loves so much, I think I heard them call it Barkthins’ chocolate?”
20] Do you enjoy it or is it boring?
“I love it and I savour every mouth-full. In fact, Davina and Gary tell everyone that I’m an incredibly slow eater.”
21] Do you eat it every day, or sometimes refuse to?
“I eat it every day.”
22] Are you allowed to sample your 2 leggeds food?
“Nope. I am a service dog and if I happen to taste how delicious 2 leggeds food is, I may misbehave when we’re in a restaurant and grab something off a table or snoop around on the floor and I’m supposed to be very quiet and unobtrusive. So much so that when we leave a restaurant, the only words they want to hear are, “I didn’t even know there was a dog in here.’”
23] Do you eat your food when you are expected to, or when you wish to?
“I eat my food when I’m expected to.”
D] Your Personal K9 Stuff
24] Do you have a favourite piece of 2 legged clothing and if so, do they know?
25] Go on be a Devil – tell us what it is ….?
“Not being a Devil, I just don’t like clothing. I prefer tissues, or paper towels because it breaks up when I chew it, which makes it easier to swallow.”
26] Do you deliberately play up at times, just to annoy or worry the 2 leggeds?
“You keep forgetting that I’m far too regal to act up or annoy the 2 leggeds, especially Davina. She’s always so tense and fearful that I need to stay focused for her.”
27] Do you have a bed?
“I sure do and as I mentioned earlier, Davina makes sure that no matter where my bed is, it’s always beside her.”
28] If so, do you sleep in your bed, or their bed, or the couch or all three and more?
“I am way too large and regal an animal to try and squish myself in between the 2 leggeds, besides, they sit way too close to each other and they are always holding hands – YUCK! I love my bed and if I’m sleeping, 90% of the time, I’m on my bed.”
29] How much alone time or ‘just you’ time do you have?
“I have a lot of time when they aren’t fussing over me because Gary isn’t allowed to fuss over me and Davina spends most days working rather diligently writing her book, her blog/website or writing articles for other 2 leggeds.”
30] Do your 2 leggeds make you dress up?
* For which holiday or festivity is this applicable?
“I’m pretty sure I mentioned that I crossed my legs like a prince, so no, they haven’t tried. The only thing my 2 leggeds put on me is my jacket and the only person allowed to put it on me is Davina …
… and I’m not allowed to ‘engage’ with anyone, other than Davina when I have it on.”
* Pose for pictures?
“I don’t pose, I tolerate.”
31] Do you actually enjoy it or simply tolerate it because it appears to please them?
“Like I said, I tolerate it and only because it makes Davina so happy.”
32] Do you have a friendly vet?
“I sure do and she’s a holistic vet, which means she doesn’t give Davina a hard time about feeding me raw, and she makes sure that I don’t get any unnecessary meds or vaccinations. She does something called a titre instead, and what a titre does is find out how much of the antibodies from the vaccinations I’m getting are left in my system. One of Davina’s last dogs ended up with an auto-immune disorder from a vaccination and it has made her quite cautious about how many vaccinations I get.”
33] What would be your perfect day?
“Everyday is my perfect day! I’m walked regularly, I get to run off leash and play with other dogs at least five times a week. Unlike most other K9’s I get to go into stores and restaurants on a daily basis and you wouldn’t believe the attention I get when I’m in those places. In fact, Davina is working on a campaign to try and educate the public because even though my jacket clearly states that I’m working, people, strangers, in fact, keep trying to “engage’ with me, and I can’t make sure Davina is safe while I’m being distracted.”
In spite of everything … the manipulations and the training you must subject them to – are they happy that you are there to mentor for them?
“They are ecstatic, especially Davina! When we were at the Doctor’s the other day, Davina’s Doctor was quite astonished that for the first time in over a decade, her blood pressure was normal the first time it was taken, and Davina said that it had to be because of me.”
Finally, in your own words tell us something about both you and your 2 leggeds that the questions haven’t touched on or asked about – something unique …
“I’ve already told you about how special I am, but I don’t have a blog or a website. I’m far too busy taking care of Davina for that. Although, if you’re interested in finding more about me, Davina writes about me on her website, so check out her BLOGS.”
My special thanks to Laddie and Davina and Gary for taking part in our K9 questionnaire and sharing the inside story with us and for allowing us to see into the working role of the service dog, which is an extremely important and vital position today and is the balance point between being independent and or excluded from society.
Hope you enjoyed reading … Tootle Pip from Doodlepip!
If you are interested in pawticipaing please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and l will email you back with the questionnaire.