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Pictures from Japan

Nicky in his red service dog cape, holding his leash on command. Hi, friends ! Long time no see.
Do you remember me and my dog Nicky?
Nicky, a black lab who was born in Japan and trained in the US, at TOP DOG, Tucson, AZ.

We graduated TOP DOG's owner-trained service dog program in July of 2000.
Now we are in Tokyo, and yes, Nicky is still working as my service dog.
In Japan, we have only very limited access as a service dog team. Even though, Nicky is very valuable and important for me. He is doing fine, and his skills as a service dog are polished day by day.

Here are some latest pictures of Nicky, to show our friends in the states.
I hope you would remember the "Canine Exchange Student" and how he was terrible in the training class! (Woof, you know, my handler was so terrible, too...Nicky)
The hyper dog is now become a hard worker.

Yuki + Nicky, Tokyo, Japan, 2002

Pic on left: Nicky in Top Dog's cape.
**Latest News(Apr.2004)-- Nicky now passed all the certification test to become a "Legal" service dog under the Japanese new law about assistance dogs.
I appreciate Top Dog's office and trainers, for the paperworks and worm help for the test and registeration in Japan. Also appriciate Linda of ADI, for she recomended Top Dog to Japanese organization which tested us.
[pic]Nicky picks up a pen [pic]Nicky picks the phone [pic]Nicky closes a heavy door
[pic]Nicky helps shopping [pic]Nicky helps shopping << Nicky, working in Tucson(1999-2000)

In the training class, Nicky had learned many service dog tasks such as picking up dropped items, bringing phone, opening/closing doors, turning switches on/off, and pulling my wheelchair.

He had been a good helper, but in Japan, There are different culture and environment and some new tasks are needed.

[pic]Nicky turns light on [pic]Nicky pulls light switch string << These are common light switches in old Japanese style houses. The pulling string is usually too thin and weak for a strong large breed dog. Now he can pull it so gently, then release quickly.

But... I once asked him to turn the light on, when he was waiting my "Release!" for his dinner. Yes, he was so excited getting a chance to show how he is good, good enough to get more food ! That was the only time he broke the light switch.
[pic]Nicky brings drink to upstair << When we stay my parents house, Nicky often delivers things between my parents and me, because the house is not wheelchair friendly.

>> We Japanese often sit on Tatami-floor directly. Standing up is always problem for me, so he learned the "brace" command. Not for having my weight on his shoulder, just for balance, ofcourse.

Because of my bad balance, I had never thought he can brace me, other words I couldn't trust him. If he would move a little, or just be distructed, I would fall !
Actually, now he is a great help and never let me fall.
This is also a practice to trust each ohter.
[pic]Nicky braces me standing up from tatami
>> We are having trouble with public access, every day. They are changing, but still an owner-trained service dog is often considered as a skillful pet, not a legal service dog. We will have to do paperworks and have exams to get a legal right under the new low.

Nicky is the first owner-trained service dog who passed the "train test" and got a written permisson to ride trains.

These pictures are memory of our first trip by super express. We were also welcome to restaurants.
[pic]Nicky relaxing under the table in a restaurant [pic]Nicky and me waiting the train

[pic]Nicky opens the fridge [pic]Nicky gets the bottle from the fridge << Open the fridge, find the drink, bring it to mom at the next room... and, ofcourse back to close the fridge !

When I'm sitting on Tatami-floor, moving is harder than when I'm in a chair, and there is a small step between the room and kitchen.
So I have Nicky to deliver items from the fridge, though when I was in the US, I never felt that I needed this help.

He can also bring my eyedrop (usually in the fridge), which is needed every four hours.
[pic]Nicky brings a bottle [pic]Nicky closes the fridge with his nose
>> Nicky enjoys learning new tasks, but still what he loves most is pulling me in a wheelchair !
He not only pulls me, also can stop before we come to obstacles or avoid them. It's so helpfull for me, visually impared.

He is still like a "6 year-old puppy", but getting older. I don't want to hurt his muscles and joints, so I will teach him to push my back in the wheelchair with his head. It maybe easier for his body.

I really appriciate to my instructors, that they taught me how to teach and use my service dog, even when he got older or in another country !
[pic]Nicky pulls my wheelchair in harness

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(Sorry, currently no other English page)

Walking Together--Nicholas, my service dog, my partner
Another web site of us, and it has many English Pages.