Monday, 31 December 2012

Happy New Year Update

I am happy to see the end of the year!  It wasn't a horrible year by any means, it's just that I am looking SO forward to what 2013 is going to bring on.  To start things off, Asia is finally feeling better.  Once the swelling in her brain went down so did her dizziness.  She is slowly getting back to herself but will need a little work catching back up to where she was in homeschool.
I am happy to say that we will be starting off 2013 with good health.  The kids have won their battle against the cold and flu bugs that they had and there have been no more seizures! That's worth celebrating!

2013 is the year of learning for Griffin and Jedi.  They have had a great start already but now that they are 14 weeks old they will be doing regular training exercises.  The first part of their training has been getting them introduced to our home and routines.  They have bonded with each person in the family and get along with everyone, including the cats.  
They know what is expected of them and what is not allowed.  They are both very smart and this is why I need to make sure I keep them on track.  Both have a bad habit.  Griffin can get up on the kitchen table.  I have had to move the fruit bowl so this clown will stay out of the fruit.  He's like a toddler, taking one bite of each apple. Grrrr.  Jedi can open baby gates.  I have no idea how she does it but she can.  I hear the gate open and then I hear her big feet climbing up the stairs.  She always comes right to me, perhaps wanting some praise for being so smart.  Both dogs have learned how to hold the bottom piece of toilet paper just right and then run, unrolling the entire roll of paper.  Oh the fun these two clowns bring!  The toilet paper in our main floor bathroom is hidden now.  If you come for a visit and promise not to tell the pups where it is, I'll tell you where it is hidden. 

We recently found a local supplier for training treats.  Wheat-free treats and dehydrated liver treats.  I am looking forward to working with this company and supporting local businesses.  Jedi, River, and Griffin will get to sample the treats tomorrow...New Years Day.  What a perfect way to start the year from a dog's point of view! 

Happy New Year to all of our readers!  We hope that you will visit us often in 2013.  This is the year of awesomeness! The year I will graduate from Animal Behavior College, the year Griffin and Jedi will become full service dogs, and the year of awesome change! Many Blessings and good health to all of you.

Sunday, 23 December 2012

The Bad and the Good

Wow, our family has been on a crazy ride for the last few days.  It started with a nasty virus that had me down at the emergency department with 2 of my daughters on Friday night.  (Asthma and ear infections)  I spent a number of hours down there with the girls while my husband took care of things at home.  Once we were done at the hospital I called Brian to tell him that I was on my way home.  He answered the phone yelling "Help! Help! Call 911, Asia is having a seizure".  So here I am, down at the hospital with my 2 daughters and Asia is at least a 20 minute drive away.  The seizure was short so I stayed on the phone with Brian and made my way home.

  When I got home Asia was terrified.  She had temporarily lost her vision because of the seizure and was just so afraid. The seizure was short so I didn't take her to the hospital because normally she doesn't seize twice in a row and the shorter seizures are not as dangerous.
  I was wrong.  Asia did end up at the hospital and she did end up seizing again...12 times in a row!!  I was totally out of my comfort zone with this because it was not her usual seizure pattern.  It was so scary watching my daughter go through this.  She'd feel the seizure coming, River was alerting and she kept crying and telling me she was afraid she was going to die.
  As we were leaving to go to the hospital another seizure hit.  The good news is that Griffin showed us that he is able to smell the pheromones that she gives off when having seizures.  This is incredible news because Griffin went right up to Asia and frantically sniffed her.  He was so worried that he actually pee'd on the floor.  He then pawed at Asia with his front paws as she was having her seizure.
   This behaviour from Griffin was amazing.  He is only 12 weeks and already can do this. We now need to work on him coming and telling us when he senses the pheromones.  What an awesome dog!  I didn't get a reaction from Jedi but I think she was outside at that time.
   Asia is home now but still quite unwell.  We aren't sure about the amount of damage she may have sustained from all of the seizures or whether there has been any regression at all.  She has been sleeping the whole thing off with extra Ativan on board.

  We are so very sad about everything Asia has gone through this weekend, especially at a time of year when kids are supposed to be having fun.  Our heart breaks a little more with each and every seizure she has.  We are now hoping for a nice quiet holiday with no more scary stuff.  We are not out of the woods yet because Asia is still a very sick little girl.  We just hope the seizures stay away but I have our hospital bags packed just incase we have to rush down to the hospital again.  I really hope not!  OUr family just can't handle anymore right now.

Hug your loved ones.  Nobody knows how long they will be here.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Random Act of Kindness Contest

We are starting something new here at Service Dog for Sienna.  Every Friday we encourage everyone to do 1 Random Act of Kindness.  Bless a stranger, a friend, whoever needs a good deed.  Then, send us your story at to be entered into our monthly draw.  A name will be chosen and a really cool prize will be shipped your way.  This is open to anyone in Canada or the United States.  We have been blessed so many times and we are only at the beginning of our journey with Griffin and Jedi.  This world NEEDS this.  Please join us!  Friday is coming up soon.  What will your RAK (random act of kindness)be?

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Update Time!

The pups have grown!  I can't believe how big they have gotten since last week.  Their abilities continue to grow and I am ready to start challenging them even more.  I have taken 12 days off work so I can focus on the training and really challenge these little  big pups.
Both puppies enjoy their walks and are being to trained to sit at each curb and cross the street only on command.  They sit and get their feet wiped after their walk and we are working hard with all obedience commands now.  I plan on setting up some mazes to help their problem solving skills.  This will start with the weave poles and tunnels.  Just like children, the brain develops very quickly in the first years and I want to give these two the very best start they can have.  So far, no challenge I have given has defeated them.  They are smart and problem solve so well.
I was in our favourite store the other day (Urban Paws, Kingston) and noticed that they are now selling dog puzzles/games.  They are whimsical little wooden problem solving games for dogs that encourage brain development and problem solving.  I am going to buy a couple of these games sometime in the New Year to help encourage these little munchkins even more.  Both dogs thrive on a good strong schedule, lots of interactive toys, and a load of love.  
 Have a wonderful Holiday Season full of lots of loving family, yummy treats, and wet kisses.

Samantha and Brian

Friday, 7 December 2012

Sponsorship News and a HUGE Thank You!!

Today I had the privilege of meeting Jedi's sponsor, Mr. Ron Cotton from Kingston Nissan.  This very kind man had read our story in the newspaper and decided to come forward and sponsor Sienna's dog Jedi.  We are SO thankful for his sponsorship and his incredible kindness!

Jedi showered Mr. Cotton with kisses and also really enjoyed meeting the rest of the Kingston Nissan staff.  We were given a terrific badge to sew onto Jedi's jacket which Jedi will proudly wear for the duration of her service work.  

Mr. Cotton presented us with the badge for the jacket for Jedi and then he offered me another badge for Griffin as well as another sponsorship check!  CarOne is Kingston Nissan's used car lot and they are now Griffin's sponsor. We are SO incredibly thankful to this kind man for his help, his love of dogs, and the encouragement he has given us.  

Thank you Mr. Ron Cotton from Kingston Nissan for your wonderful gifts.  We were so happy to meet you and am sorry that Griffin was unable to come and meet you.  Once Asia is back on her feet we will bring her in and her special dog Griffin.  We look forward to bringing the dogs in often so you can see how they are doing.  Thank you form the bottom of our hearts!

Brian and Samantha Knapp

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Borrowing River...again

We have had a bit of a rough week over here with Sienna's seizures.  This has made it difficult for me to update this blog so I apologize for not having a new post sooner.  We also had a few problems with River.  She got sick and needed an emergency vet trip and almost had to have surgery.  She had a hematoma on her ear, a very large one, and her wonderful vet helped us clear it all up.  She is now feeling better and is back to work.

The fact that River was out of commission and Sienna and Asia both needed her really helped me realize how good it is that we have Jedi and Griffin.  River is 10 years old now and with age comes the odd medial problem.  Many service dogs retire by 10 years of age but here is River, working for 2 very intense children.  

Jedi and Griffin are doing very well.  The only problem we are having is that they have really bonded with us and don't like being in their crate at night.  This is causing lack of sleep for all of us.  The fact that they have bonded so well is great but I wonder why they have had a hard time for the last 5 nights. Could it be that they just miss us, or could it be that the last 5 days have been the days that Sienna has not been well?  Hummm, are these two sweeties noticing "something".  I certainly hope so.  My current task is to stop Sienna's seizures and an increase in meds should help her.  I am keeping a notebook of Sienna's bad days and the nights that the pups won't settle.  There most certainly could be a connection and if there is I will be SO thrilled. We are off to CHEO (Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario) in Ottawa.  Have a great Sunday!  We are now off to the Autism Ontario Christmas Party.