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
I really appreciate Nicholas, for he gave me a new mobility.
So Nicholas, I would go on a diet to reduce your load...
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
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)
"Take me to the casher"
What he likes most is pulling me in wheelchair, but I must be careful about
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
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.
Demonstration on a flat surface, to take this picture...
Nicholas tugs the rope strongly.
* 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)
Nicholas gives me stablity and balance
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)
Even long distance
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*