Category Archives: Blind

A Fall To Remember

Here is a warning story for anyone with tiny dogs. We have four…Grandma (Skipper), Grandpa (Pirate), Momma (Maui) and baby (Saylor). They all sleep with us in our king size bed that is a bit higher than a typical bed. Because of this we have a carpeted dog ramp on my side of the bed. The dogs learned to use it and come and go with ease.


Not my dog or bedroom, but likeness of my dog ramp.

Maui is our biggest…almost eight pounds and although she uses the ramp to get on the bed, she has a habit of jumping off Dad’s side onto the hard wood floor. We tried to keep a fluffy rug there as a cushion but sometimes it gets moved and I cringe if I hear her knees hit the floor before I can grab her. Because of this I purchased two Wellness Pet Mats that I discovered at the Global Pet Expo. Since I am starting a site with solutions for older dogs and this helps with arthritis and other ailments I thought we’d get one to try it out and also cushion Maui’s daring jumps.

We got the biggest one for Dad’s side to cover a bigger area to cushion her jumps. We also got one a bit smaller for my side of the bed next to the ramp in case our little ones miss the ramp since Grandpa and Grandma are nearly blind. I never got around to placing the smaller one on my side…until today.

Late last night I came to bed later than usual because we are fostering a 3 week old kitten and I had to bottle feed him once more before bed. The room was pitch dark and as I came in the dogs awoke. Faithful tiny 4 pound Pirate (Grandpa) got up to greet me as I fumbled plugging in my phone in the dark…then I heard the terrible hard thud…He got too close to the edge near the ramp and fell on the very thin throw rug…then he made a terrible long agonizing scream. I got the light on and there he was laying on his side twitching with his little front legs stretched out in front of him.

By now my husband was waking and I grabbed up Pirate, placed him on my bed and his front legs were like straight steel rods, I couldn’t move or bend them…he was breathing heavy…I thought for sure he broke his neck or spine. I dialed the E R vet who said the vet just left (it was 12:03am). I started praying out loud for Pirate as I got the number for another ER. I called them and they said we could come right away.

We flew out the door within less than 4 minutes of the accident. I held Pirate against my chest vowing that if he was paralyzed, I’d carry him around, strap him to my chest for the rest of his life, hand feed him and do whatever it took to bring comfort to my precious little pal.

Then I started to pray…I prayed for full and complete healing in Jesus name over and over again, then I sang a little hymn into his ear as we were exiting the expressway.

My husband dropped me at the door while he parked and they were there to greet me at the door. The nurse asked me to put him down on the big scale….I told her I was worried about his spine and his legs were stiff…she reminded me they would need his weight in case of a RX Prescription. I gently placed him on the scale and he was remarkably quiet. (He is a very vocal dog usually). 4.2 Pounds…I scooped him up and we waited for the vet. By the time the vet came into the room and I put him down on the table, his tiny legs had loosened and were bendable! She took his vitals and left for a few minutes.

By the time the vet entered, Pirate was able to stand by himself on the table…he was a bit wobbly and his right front leg seemed bent in a bit. The vet wasn’t concerned and released him without any meds or treatment. By the next day he was back to his old self! We got our miracle and dodged a bullet!


Pirate on purple rug12-24-10 033

Sweet tiny Pirate…very fragile but big attitude and bigger heart!

In the meantime, I hurried my launch of and Gramp Paws on Facebook to bring solutions to older senior or disabled pets. I will detail my solution to keep the Yorkies safe in my next blog. Please stay tuned and be sure to visit and like our new Gramp Paws Facebook page!


What Exactly is a SERVICE DOG?

I’m often asked what qualifies my dog to be a service dog.  The easiest way to answer that is the dog must provide a specific service to their disabled handler.  There is also a Therapy Dog or Emotional Support Dog.  Only Service Dogs qualify for full access under ADA. 

A disability can be obvious such as wheelchair bound, blind, or other physical handicap but it can also be a disability not so obvious to the general public…such as a seizure alert dog, sugar dog for diabetics, balance dog for those with Meniere’s disease, hearing alert dogs…just to name a few. 

A Therapy dog has special training and has to pass a temperament test to be calm and not startle easily around all kinds of situations.  Emotional support dogs that help people with anxiety or depression may travel on airlines only with a Doctor’s letter.

Service Dog on the other hand should be able to travel anywhere with or without documentation….although carrying  documentation or a vest & ADA Full Access cards with the Law spelled out does help avoid embarrassment by the uninformed public and business owners.

There are many types of Service Dog Identification that helps overcome public ignorance of the ADA Laws.( not required by law)

Different Types of Service Dog Identification

Look for my next blog with common questions about Service Dogs.Here is the actual ADA Law:

Service Animals

The Department of Justice published revised final regulations implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for title II (State and local government services) and title III (public accommodations and commercial facilities) on September 15, 2010, in the Federal Register. These requirements, or rules, clarify and refine issues that have arisen over the past 20 years and contain new, and updated, requirements, including the 2010 Standards for Accessible Design (2010 Standards).


This publication provides guidance on the term “service animal” and the service animal provisions in the Department’s new regulations.

  • Beginning on March 15, 2011, only dogs are recognized as service animals under titles II and III of the ADA.
  • A service animal is a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability.
  • Generally, title II and title III entities must permit service animals to accompany people with disabilities in all areas where members of the public are allowed to go.

How “Service Animal” Is Defined

Service animals are defined as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Examples of such work or tasks include guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling a wheelchair, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, reminding a person with mental illness to take prescribed medications, calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack, or performing other duties. Service animals are working animals, not pets. The work or task a dog has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person’s disability. Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA.

This definition does not affect or limit the broader definition of “assistance animal” under the Fair Housing Act or the broader definition of “service animal” under the Air Carrier Access Act.

Some State and local laws also define service animal more broadly than the ADA does. Information about such laws can be obtained from the State attorney general’s office.

Where Service Animals Are Allowed

Under the ADA, State and local governments, businesses, and nonprofit organizations that serve the public generally must allow service animals to accompany people with disabilities in all areas of the facility where the public is normally allowed to go. For example, in a hospital it would be inappropriate to exclude a service animal from areas such as patient rooms, clinics, cafeterias, or examination rooms. However, it may be appropriate to exclude a service animal from operating rooms or burn units where the animal’s presence may compromise a sterile environment.

Service Animals Must Be Under Control

Under the ADA, service animals must be harnessed, leashed, or tethered, unless these devices interfere with the service animal’s work or the individual’s disability prevents using these devices. In that case, the individual must maintain control of the animal through voice, signal, or other effective controls.

Inquiries, Exclusions, Charges, and Other Specific Rules Related to Service Animals

  • When it is not obvious what service an animal provides, only limited inquiries are allowed. Staff may ask two questions: (1) is the dog a service animal required because of a disability, and (2) what work or task has the dog been trained to perform. Staff cannot ask about the person’s disability, require medical documentation, require a special identification card or training documentation for the dog, or ask that the dog demonstrate its ability to perform the work or task.
  • Allergies and fear of dogs are not valid reasons for denying access or refusing service to people using service animals. When a person who is allergic to dog dander and a person who uses a service animal must spend time in the same room or facility, for example, in a school classroom or at a homeless shelter, they both should be accommodated by assigning them, if possible, to different locations within the room or different rooms in the facility.
  • A person with a disability cannot be asked to remove his service animal from the premises unless: (1) the dog is out of control and the handler does not take effective action to control it or (2) the dog is not housebroken. When there is a legitimate reason to ask that a service animal be removed, staff must offer the person with the disability the opportunity to obtain goods or services without the animal’s presence.
  • Establishments that sell or prepare food must allow service animals in public areas even if state or local health codes prohibit animals on the premises.
  • People with disabilities who use service animals cannot be isolated from other patrons, treated less favorably than other patrons, or charged fees that are not charged to other patrons without animals. In addition, if a business requires a deposit or fee to be paid by patrons with pets, it must waive the charge for service animals.
  • If a business such as a hotel normally charges guests for damage that they cause, a customer with a disability may also be charged for damage caused by himself or his service animal.
  • Staff are not required to provide care or food for a service animal.

Miniature Horses

In addition to the provisions about service dogs, the Department’s revised ADA regulations have a new, separate provision about miniature horses that have been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. (Miniature horses generally range in height from 24 inches to 34 inches measured to the shoulders and generally weigh between 70 and 100 pounds.) Entities covered by the ADA must modify their policies to permit miniature horses where reasonable. The regulations set out four assessment factors to assist entities in determining whether miniature horses can be accommodated in their facility. The assessment factors are (1) whether the miniature horse is housebroken; (2) whether the miniature horse is under the owner’s control; (3) whether the facility can accommodate the miniature horse’s type, size, and weight; and (4) whether the miniature horse’s presence will not compromise legitimate safety requirements necessary for safe operation of the facility.

For more information about the ADA, please visit our website or call our toll-free number.

ADA Website

To receive e-mail notifications when new ADA information is available,

visit the ADA Website’s home page and click the link near the top of the middle column.

ADA Information Line

800-514-0301 (Voice) and 800-514-0383 (TTY)

24 hours a day to order publications by mail.

M-W, F 9:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., Th 12:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. (Eastern Time)

to speak with an ADA Specialist. All calls are confidential.

For persons with disabilities, this publication is available in alternate formats.

Duplication of this document is encouraged. July 2011

Eye for an Aye or A Pirate’s Life For Me!

Well, I guess am healed enough to get this off my chest. I have come thru the worst trauma of my life.

It all started on day a few months ago when everything was good….all 4 of us were laying around, chewing on sticks and well, doing just about what we always do…laying around…when, this wild gang of roving escapees showed up at our door.

Mom got the brilliant idea to help them find their way back home…there were two of them to be exact (does that qualify as a gang? or maybe a two pack?) there was a big one and the other I call Shortie, looked like someone sawed his legs in half! They were sniffing around the front of our house all morning…Mom was working in the office and very distracted by them so she took me out to pee and see what was going on. They came over friendly enough, we smelled butts, the usual stuff, and then they ran away.

I came in and went back to my bear rug. They came back. Mom brought them into the screen room and read the big one’s tag. She called the vet and they gave her his address. She was in the process of getting a leash to return that one to confinement when the rest of us heard them barking on the other side of our front door.

Well, we all were incensed that these scoundrels were that close to our carefully guarded den and all four of us, Skipper ( my main squeeze and mother of my pups) and Maui and Buoy all started giving them what for by barking, yipping, growling ” Get away from our territory! Can’t you tell we peed here and that means this is our turf?”

We worked ourselves up into such a frenzy, I don’t remember a lot after that….everything is kinda fuzzy like it happened in …s l o w.. m o t i o n… Next thing I remember was Lisa and Mom yelling at us! I mean really yelling very loud. I came to my senses a little and realized I had my son’s muzzle in my mouth…and he was furiously biting my face!   What????  How did this happen? A moment ago it was us against them….not against each other!

dog aggression product picture 300x240 Your Dog Training Questions: My Once Friendly Dog Is Attacking Her Sibling

Next thing I know Mom is yelling at Lisa while she is running towards us ” Pick them up! Throw them in the pool!”

What??  I didn’t want to go into the pool!  Buoy my son must have also heard this and I don’t think he wanted to go into the pool either so we both let go of each other at the same time……..That’s when it hit me….Mom started saying “Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God!”

She put me on the porch table and asked Lisa to look at my eye. She actually asked her if it looked like it was hanging out!


I was still in shock…Mom and Lisa started rushing around, mom put me in my box and was yelling to Lisa to get the keys…they opened the door and the two hoodlums came running into our house. Mom was upset trying to get me to the vet while chasing these two creeps around our house trying to get them out.

Finally, she got them out and we sped to the Mcabee clinic. Mom was trying not to throw up, and I could see with my one good eye that Lisa was visibly upset but trying to make my mom feel ok. She did really good but I knew she was upset too….”It must be real bad”, I thought even though they keep telling me, “you are Ok Pirate, You are ok!

As soon as we hit the vet doors I forgot about my eye, I smelt that familiar vet smell…that’s when I started shaking… Mom kept telling me I was going to be ok but she couldn’t look at me.

Within minutes, they put me in a small room. A guy came out and said “OH!” when he looked at me. He  ran and got the vet right away. I think her name was Dr. Seelhoff or something. She was nice. She did not seem to be upset at all! She was calm and acted like I was normal….at last she wasn’t trying to hold back vomiting like mom was.

She told mom that this stuff happens all the time, and she has seen this many times and knew exactly what to do. She said she would need to rush me back to surgery in order to try to save my eye. She said they would put it back in, sew it shut for a few weeks….

“What???? Sew my eye shut?”

And after about 3/4 weeks she’d take the stitches out and see if I could see…Well, it was tough at first only using one eye. They put this big plastic cone around my head and drugged me for about a week. I was afraid to even take one step, but with Mom and Dad’s help they coaxed me and carried me a lot. Within a week I was soon running everywhere, but couldn’t help notice Mom telling everyone how crooked I was running. I guess because I had to turn my head back and forth to see where I was going with the good eye (Left) it made me look kinda like a snake when I ran,

Oh yea, I remember just before going back to surgery when the doc had me in her left arm, she asked mom what my name was…..Mom told her “ Pirate”….The doc burst out laughing! (I think that was uncalled for considering my condition…nothing to laugh at!) She asked mom,

“No what is his REAL name?”

Mom said. “PIRATE!”

The Doc then quickly apologized saying she thought mom was kidding. Then…Mom started laughing! Can you believe it? Here I am waiting for who knows what and they are laughing!

Anyway, Mom told the doc that it was ok and she appreciated the brief moment of humor over my name being Pirate and having one eye or something I still don’t understand, but I saw mom was feeling a bit better so I guess it was ok.

Several weeks later, they took the stitches out and “Praise God! I could see!” Mom’s and everyone else’s prayers must have worked! (I heard her asking everyone to pray that I would be able to keep my eye and see again)

I have full vision and Mom and Dad said I even look better. They said they can’t even see the scar or anything…Life is good…except…

I miss my son Buoy, ever since this happened, Mom and Dad won’t let us play anymore. One of us always has to be locked up or separated. So we get to see each other through the cage doors…..and don’t tell mom but sometimes whoever is out of the cage lifts his leg and pees on it right through the door…..she would get mad, but that’s is a special ritual we have with each other…….Father son stuff you probably wouldn’t understand……

Life is good, don’t know if we will ever play together ever again, but who cares…I have 2 eyes!

Oh by the way, if anyone reading this can fill me in on something I don’t understand…..There is this joke going around my family…..about my name……They say my name fits and I have true Pirate tendencies…. I sit on shoulders. (that’s where my nickname Parrot Dog comes from) They accuse me of raping Skipper…. pillaging everyone’s bones and toys , and now this one eye thing………Mom said things come in 3’s and from now on I should be ok….then dad throws in this one thing…”PEGLEG!”


I left off yesterday giving you a little background on Buoy the Service Dog and Nan.  Nan has been working with Buoy since last summer 2011.  He has brought great joy into her life.  He is by her side at all times and usually sleeps on her head, (yes I said head) and licks her forehead and eyes as she falls asleep. Her eyelids of course.  Licking eyeballs would be gross!  It’s like he immediately knew she couldn’t see and he is trying to clear them for her.

As I mentioned in our first blog we were at the Southern Pet Expo in West Palm last Saturday.   Mom called in the afternoon and was concerned that Buoy was injured and in pain.  We were about 4 hours from home and just entered the Expo.  I asked about a million questions:

“What’s wrong?”

“I felt his head, the top of his head feels hot…hotter than usual.”

“Maybe he was just playing in the yard with Ginger and overheated a bit…is he

otherwise ok?”

“No, I feel this large marble size lump on the side of his nose.”

“Mom, could it be something stuck in his beard?  See if it comes out, maybe it’s a

group of those stickem seeds that they pick up sometimes.”

“No, it’s not anything attached, it is under his skin.”

“Do you have him with you right now?”

“Yes, he is on my lap right now.”

“Feel around and tell me is it on top of his nose or on the side of it?”

“It’s on the side of it.  I think he is in pain, he whimpers whenever I touch


“I wish I was closer right now….do you think he might have gotten stung  with

something or bit by a snake?”

“I don’t know, it feels really big…like a big marble.”

“Darn, I wish I was closer.  Let me think of who can look at it.  He may need to

get to the Emergency Vet…Call Erin, she may be home.  Ask her to come take a

look.  If it is an emergency she could take you to the vet.  How is he   now? Is he

eating or drinking?”

“I don’t know if he ate but I could hear him drinking.  He seems ok as long as I

hold him.  He definitely doesn’t like me touching the lump.”

“OK Mom, poor baby, just comfort him and love on him till I can think

of someone to come check on it.  I’m saying a prayer now that it isn’t anything

serious or expensive.”

Buoy was on our mind as we explored the pet expo.  I felt helpless being away and worried that if something happened to Buoy it would crush my mom.  The sound of her voice has so much laughter and happiness since they became a pair.  We prayed through the day for the little dog to be ok..

After the expo and a quick stop by the beach, we met up with my other daughter and her friend in Del Ray Beach for dinner.  I also asked her to pray for Buoy at dinner.  After a great meal on the water, we walked down Atlantic and came across an outdoor Elvis show.

 We went by his show for a few songs when Erin called.  It was very loud and hard to hear her.  I asked about Buoy.  She had just come from Nan’s and told me she didn’t know what was wrong with him.  She said she checked him out and thought maybe he had a problem with his tooth.  She lifted his lip and saw his gum could have been a bit swollen by his tooth.  She said she couldn’t really see anything that looked like an emergency but it probably was his tooth.  She was almost home and didn’t feel confident it was an emergency.

At this point, I was worried out of my mind and assumed he must have a bad abscess.  Poor dog, suffering, I felt so helpless.  I called Mom told her what Erin said.

“Mom, Erin didn’t seem upset but was not sure what it was.  She said she looked

him over and couldn’t really see a lump but lifted his lip and saw  hat part of his

gum stuck out around his tooth.  Maybe that was it.  She said it didn’t look

definitely swollen, you know how things always feel bigger than they actually

look.  But she said she wasn’t a good judge of how it should look.”

“It must be an abscess…and it’s infected.  That’s why his head felt hot.  He has

a fever.  I wonder If I can give him an aspirin?  When will you be back home?”

“Not in time to get him to the vet if this is an emergency…It’s very loud here…Let

me get to the car and call you back.”

It was about 9:15 pm. I called Aloma Jancy Animal Hospital and asked about their emergency hours.  They said they were there till midnight but it was super busy.  I explained the injury the best I could and she told me they would be opened Sunday night from 8pm till 10pm.  She said not to give him aspirin because it could make him bleed and make things worse.  Just keep him comfortable till he could be seen.

By now, my imagination was out of control and I was trying to think of how to get Buoy help immediately.  I called mom back and told her not to give him meds.  Then brainstormed who could come over and take her to the vet at 9:30 on a Saturday night.  Maybe her friend Katie could drive.  I said, “If it’s bad mom, just show up and they will look at him if it is really serious”.   Mom didn’t want to bother her; she had her grandchildren with her that night. I thought about calling my neighbor…then mom thought of her other friend…who also is her groomer.

“Great idea Mom, call her now and call me back!”

“I’ve got good news.  Janine will stop by tomorrow morning at 10 and look it

him.  But she has a 10:30 appointment and is busy.  If he needs a vet, we’ll have

to find someone else to drive us.”

“Great!  I feel a little better.  Since she works with dogs and knows him, I  trust

her judgment.  I will pray tonight that whatever it is healed by tomorrow and

she finds nothing. Call me as soon as you know.”

I did pray throughout the night that Buoy would be ok.  The next morning Mom called.  She was crying.  I misunderstood and thought she was crying.  Crying about poor poor Buoy. She was laughing!

“What’s the matter Mom?  What is it?  Is Janine there?”

“She just left…you are never going to believe this.  It wasn’t his tooth, it’s his


“Oh no!  An abcess in his eye?  Is his eye still there?

            (I will post another story sometime on why I asked this.)

“ Yes, he is OK.  It’s his eye!”

“What’s wrong with his eye?  What happened?  Is he going to the vet?”

“Nothing is wrong with his eye.  She said it was his eye I was feeling…do me a

favor, close your eyes and feel on the side of Saylor’s nose…do her eyes feel like

big marbles sticking out?”

“WHAT?…You were feeling his eyeballs?  You said on the side of his nose.”

“His eyes are on the side of his nose.  He has a tiny nose.”

“Mom, were you feeling by the tip of his nose near his teeth or by the top of his

snout on top of his head?”

“His snout is so tiny I can feel the tip and his head at one time.  Do these dogs

have bulging eyeballs?  I’m not kidding these things feel like those giant marbles!

Tell me what you feel on your dog’s face with your eyes closed.”

“No they don’t have bulging eyeballs but if you press on their eyes compared to

the top of the head and snout, they do feel like they stick out but it doesn’t look

like that.  Mom, feel both sides, do they feel the same size?”

“Yes, two huge marbles sticking out from the side of his nose!  I can’t contain

myself…this is the funniest thing…I have a totally different picture of what these

dogs look like! Hahahahaha! The tears are coming out of my eyes this is so

funny!  I can’t believe I was feeling his eyeballs!”

“Mom, didn’t you think to feel both sides?”

“He felt hot, and I was worried, so I started to feel him all over until I found  the

bulge.  I had no idea you could feel their little eyeballs like that!”

“Oh Mom, no wonder he whimpered and didn’t like you touching there…you

were pushing on his eyeballs!”

At this, my mom started laughing hysterically and couldn’t catch her breath.  I was relieved, and a bit shocked at the same time, but couldn’t resist joining in on her contagious laugh.  In the background as she started laughing, I could also hear Buoy laughing!  He mimics her every sound.  I’ve heard him bark, growl, cry, talk, complain, howl, but this was a first,  now I heard him laughing…laughing at all of us!


Mom is totally blind and has a little service dog.  A Yorkie named Buoy.  He is NOT a Guide dog for the blind but a service dog.   When she is out with him and using her white cane, people … Continue reading

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