Saturday, October 30, 2010

The 2nd Hurdle

It costs $10,000 - $30,000 to train a Service Dog. That's a big hurdle. That doesn't include the dog, itself. The dogs I'm looking at cost $1000.  So I negotiated with the trainer. Part of her fee is the care and maintenance. I can do that. She normally trains for people with severe impairment and she was open to me raising and obedience training the puppy. Normally you get one a year or so after you buy one and it's gone through training.

Now, there are a number of sites that train dogs and place them for free. They have long waiting lists and practice a kind of placement triage. I doubt I'd rank very high when compared to a woman with 2 autistic children, who's husband left her and she's raising them on her own. Autism Spectrum Disorders range from mild to severe. Epileptic/seizure sufferers and vets are also high propriety. Then there's the mobility impairment, the blind and the deaf. I'd have a tuff time convincing anyone that my disability is real and deserves a dog when assessed next to the other worthy clients. There are also grants, but they have the same waiting list.

So I talked to my perspective trainer. She will work with me on an hourly basis and guide my service dog training, do the toxic scent work and take the dog on field trips. She estimates it should cost me $5000. When I compare it to what it would cost if someone else did all the training, that's a real deal. Besides, she's even willing to wash the dog, (yard rinse) when she brings it back. Good thing it will be a poodle ~they love the water! Living with me, it will get a lot of baths.

I would never have thought I would spend $6000 + for a dog. I can probably get a prescription from Dr. Smith. That way at least it will be tax deductible. Kinda gives me a stomach ache just thinking about it. Of course, thinking about the sudden, life threatening crashes I've been through this last season... well that's worse.

So, I'm going to think about the positive aspects. It will be cute! Somehow or other I'm supposed to be able to add pictures to this. I'm giving this a try. We'll see how this works. Hold your breath!  Whoa!  Cool! This is Promise Land Poodles', Zoey. This is exactly what the poodle I use to dream about looked like. Isn't she great?

Seriously though, It would be huge to have a poodle/barometer that alerted me before I hit the bottom, and that alerted me to exposures...

Then there is the resurrection of a impish idea I once had... "The Professors" as I like to call them, come every fall for the opening weekend of pheasant season. They bring their big tough German Short-haired Pointers. Powerful, freight trains of hunting. I always thought it would be great fun to have a hunting poodle. Put pink ribbons on it's ears and give it a pink camo hunting vest and take it out to hunt circles around those pointers. LOL  Don't get me wrong, the professors have in their history of favorite hunting dogs, an adorable cocker spaniel or two. And we had the honor of inheriting B.G. when George passed. We loved Beege, but he was all German Short-haired Pointer: Big runner, and a freight train. But it would be worth the giggle to see the look on Ted's face and hear him say, "Well!..." in particular way of his. They're such good sports!

Think about this with me. Post your  opinion. I'd like to hear it. :^)

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