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Last Update: 5/14/06


Because I have only my manual wheelchair to get around, the task most expected on my service dog is
helping with mobility, where there is a slope or a small step.
He now knows the height and width of me in wheelchair, and avoids obstacles and never let me hit on one.
Another expected task is helping to stand up or back to the chair if I fall.
I really appreciate Nicholas, for he gave me a new mobility.
So Nicholas, I would go on a diet to reduce your load...

[pic]In a red harness
Poses in harness

* Harness We Need *

The hasrness we use for pulling is made in the US, just designed for service dogs. It doesn't hurt dog.
Correct sizing and wearing on my dog are not easy, but it is more confortable for me and my dog than harnesses I bought at petshop. Also it is machine washable.

It has one handle and I also attached another one. I hold on one or both handles when I need my dog pulling or providing balance. A flexible leash would be attached on my wrist.

In the small pouch attached on the dogs shoulder, there are some vinyl bag to pick up dog's waste, service dog ID card, written permitions to ride trains from some railway companies, a copy of insurance policy(Nicholas is a safe dog but insured against if we would trouble with public), vaccination certificate and our legal certification(under Japanese law).

* Pulling Partner In Wheelchair *

Right, above: Helping me holding the basket on lap and controlling wheelchair
At food court or fast food restaurant, he takes me to the table, while my hand must hold the tray on my lap and not able to push wheels.
But this must be a support in case of need, a service dog should NEVER pull a wheelchair all the way or too long distance.
(at a grocery in Tucson)

Right, below: Helping when my arms are tired
On a long passage of a huge hospital, my arms got tired, but I had a help. But look! Nicholas was distracted by the camera...
On a flat floor, wheelchair moves easily so dog can pull it for a longer distance, but I have to be careful for that Nicholas' feet wouldn't slip on the floor.
(at a hospital in Tokyo)

[pic]Pulling wheelchair through an aisle
"Take me to the casher"

[pic]Enjoys pulling, his tail is wagging
What he likes most is pulling me in wheelchair, but I must be careful about his joints

[pic]going up slope
Pulls wheelchair and avoids obstacles

* Helping Slopes/Curb cuts *

Left: Pulls me up the slope, also avoids a signboard
It's helpful to go pebbly sidewalk. With his help I can push my wheelchair straight on surface leans left or right.
I maybe not able to find a small gap or obstacles so a powerchair can be dangerous. But a service dog itself stop at curb or avoid obstacles, even if I can't find them.
After Nicholas became age 10, I don't have him pull me at slopes from side, for his health.
(at a shopping mall in Tucson)

When the caster of my wheelchair would be caught by small bump or dimple, he helps me to pass them by pulling the rope attached to lframe of the wheelchair.

Right: Tugs the rope to help wheelchair (who took the picture was in the same wheelchair the dog was pulling)
Nicholas is in front of me and tugging the rope with his mouth. With this way my both hands are able to push wheels, so Nicholas doesn't have to tug very strongly.
(at a store in Tokyo)

Below: Helping to go up a curb
I put casters on the curb, then Nicholas helps me by tugging the rope. of course I myself also push both wheels.
Pictures were took in 2003, and now I use a lighter wheelchair which is easier to fall back. Nicholas also can prevent my falling with this skill.

[pic]Pulling rope attached on wheelchair
Demonstration on a flat surface, to take this picture...

[pic]Pulling the rope attached to wheelchair
Nicholas tugs the rope strongly.

[pic]Go up a curb with Nicholas' help
It's teamwork!

* Helping When Partner Falls *

Below, left: Braces for standing up
When I fall or need to stand up from floor, he supports me standing up. I taught the command "brace" after we came back to Japan, because it is needed so often in living with tatami and futon.
If the dog moves a little, it's enough to let me fall. We need to trust each other and have a good teamwork, to brace and stand up.
(at my parents' house)

Below, right: Retrieving the phone for an emargency
If I can't stand up even with his help, or in case I need someone for help, Nicholas brings me the phone.
The phone has some neighbors' numbers in its memory, I can call for help.
Also Nicholas brings me the cane when needed to stand up.
(at the apartment I stayed in Tucson)

[pic]holding on dog's shoulder to stand up
Nicholas gives me stablity and balance

[pic]Taking a portable phone
Phone can be a lifeline

Below: Brings empty wheelchair
When my wheelchair rolls away (just like when I fall), Nicholas gets it back to me with same skill that he helps me at curbs, tugging the strap on the wheelchair. It is also useful at hotels or hospital.
The wheelchair in these pictures is the one I use currently (in 2006), it has a bandana on the front frame.
(at a hospital in Tokyo)
[pic]going to get wheelchair rolled away
Even long distance
[pic]Tugs wheelchair back
Tugging the bandana on frame

Also pictures of these tasks maybe coming;

*Pushing my back in wheelchair*
*Providing balance to go up/down curbs*
*Preventing fall when I bend to pick up his waste*
*Find my mother and lead her to me when needed*

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