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Last Update: 3/27/05


Here are some basic tasks, retrieving and carrying items.
These simple tasks make me free from manipulating wheelchair in narrow aisles,
falling down when bend or reach for object.

[pic]Nicholas brings a pen
Here you are... then praise me !

* Retrieving Objects From Floor *

It maybe the most famous service dog task.

Though I can move my both hands, I can't see well the dropped items and often fall down because of bad balance. Picking things up is not easy.
This task can help not only persons who can't use their hands/arms, but also persons with difficulty for bending, such as who have back/joint pain or who use long cane/crutches.

Left: Retrieving a pen
It's easy and fun.
(at shopping mall, in Tucson)

Below: Picking up a dropped coin
Difficulty is according to the floor conditions. A 10 yen coin is between his teeth.
(at a supermarket, in Tokyo)

[pic]Trying to fetch a coin on the floor
Chasing a coin

[pic]Fetching it with his teeth and tangue
A Japanese coin is between his teeth

Below, left: Hard to pick up vs. hard worker
It's hard to pick up a card from smooth floor, but my skilled dog never damages a magnetic card or a thinner one.
(at a grocery store, in Tucson)
Below, right: Brings into my hand
He brings items to my hand, and never gives up even when I drop the item again and again. Each time he watches my hand's positioning to find best way to reach.
(at a hospital, in Tokyo)
[pic]Picking a debit card up from tiled floor
Maybe easier if it's on carpet or tatami

[pic]Putting paws on handler's lap to bring a cell phone
Bringing the cell phone and wagging his tail

* Help For Shopping *

While my hands are busy to control wheelchair, my service dog is so helpful.

When we were in the states, I could have my dog to get merchandise(of course we had to be careful to never damage other merchandise), now in Japan, I use my cane to drop the item I would buy, then the dog retrieves it.

Right: Carrying stuff we bought
Our instructor told, Nicholas (a 63lb labrador) should carry up to about 5lb in his mouth, lighter is better. A service dog should not be overloaded.
(at a supermarket, in Tokyo)

Below, left: Good timing verbal direction tells the dog which one is wanted
Below, right: He also drops the item into the basket or brings up to the counter
(both at a grocery store, in Tucson)
[pic]Holding a small bag
Carefully keeps the bag away from wheel

[pic]Putting a bottle out from the shelf
That's it!

[pic]Carrying a bottle beside the handler
Don't drop it...

[pic]Looking at TV control on the desk
I've found!

[pic]Standing up to get TV control
Got it!

* Fetching Object By Name *

He knows words such as "TV control", "purse", "phone", "cane"...
Finding object by name, bringing breakable things or things dogs hate(such as metal) are taught in the training.

Left, above: Looking for the specified item
Left, below: Taking it from the desktop
He often is asked for retrieving the TV control. Sometimes he retrieves the air conditioner's control when I need TV control, but it's not a serious mistake, is it?

Below, left: Gently holding fragile stuff
Below, right: Bringing a piece of kleenex from the box
He carries my glasses, a thin piece of paper, soft riceball at convinience store, and so on. He holds only the strap when brings my cell phone.

(all at my apartment)

[pic]Holding eyeglasses gently
Never damages a lens

[pic]Put a piece of kleenex out from the box
Soft mouth!

[pic]Bringing drink to upstairs
Nicholas has to learn watching his step carefully

* Over The Stairs *

Because my parents' house has steps and stairs, Nicholas delivers things between my parents and me.
Service dog is the only technology which can find and bring object to a person with disability from another floor. He also brings object to specified place or person.

Left: Bringing drink from downstairs
When I had to stay in bed after the eye surgery, he brought eyedrops, painkiller, and cell phone. What a great help!
(at my parents' house)

* Bringing Object to Specific Place/Person*

He also can understand specific places and items and brings object to them. He brings waste to trush box, places back TV control on the table, or brings object to person.
Dropping object into box or basket is a useful task and helpful when we go shopping.

Right: Putting waste into trash box
This is a very small and unstable trush box, sometime his wagging tale knocks it down...
(at my apartment)
[pic]Putting a waste into the trush box
Cerefully drop into the small box

Also pictures of more tasks maybe coming, such as

*Helping garbage*
Taking items out from under wheelchair/furniture by using paws*
*Bringing my purse up to high counter*

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