In honor of Assistance Dog Week (( http://www.assistancedogweek.org/about ))
today i am sharing the steps we use in training Service Dog how to respond when a pill drops on the floor.
Symptoms of tremor, and lack of estimated personal space can be a problem.
Just like i seem to have a hole in my lip when it comes to eating or drinking, the same is true for taking my pills. Not uncommon that a pill lands on the floor. Sometimes i realize it dropped — and sometimes i don’t.
Goal is that
*1*: dog will notify me when pill is dropped, because i may not realize it)
*2*: “find” (point to) the pill location, (because i might not be able to find it)
*3*: WITHOUT dog eating the pill !!! (We don’t need a sick dog!!)
When i start filling weekly pill bottles i tell Hero “Pill Watch”. Hero sits or lays nearby, watching for a pill to drop. i have a colored TicTac candy on the table, easy to grab for training. Picked TicTac candies because they are not dangerous to dog in case he swallows it during training process, similar-sized to most of my pills, and their bright colors are easier seen when they drop.
To start with, i “accidentally” dropped a TicTac about 4 or 5 times, every week when i filled pill canisters. Now i “accidentally” drop a TicTac once or twice, and a Fish Oil capsule once every week. Eventually i will only go thru the “accident” process probably three to five times every month — just enough to keep Hero aware of his task.
When filling pill canisters i will
*1*: “accidentally” drop a TicTac, then say “Hero, Bark!!”
*2*: After he barks i say “Hero, Find” — and grab a small treat.
*3*: When he gets his muzzle close to the candy i say “Leave it!” then i say “Hero, Whisper”.
*4*: After his quiet bark (loud exhale?) i put the treat in front of his muzzle and remove the TicTac.
(once in a while, i will give him an extra-high-value treat instead of the standard smaller treat).
We worked with Hero to have him bring high-value unique “found” treasures to myself or husband — without eating them. Example: We will discreetly place a Pupperoni Sausage on the floor somewhere. When he comes across it we are watching, and one of us tells him to “take it to …” (the other person). He is expected to do this WITHOUT eating the item !!!
Service Dog Links at >> https://truthfulkindness.com/about/life-other/animals/service-dog-links/ .
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* Admin issues: SHARE dementia awareness thru buttons below. Feel free to leave your thoughts in the form of comments, but please filter your comments with truthful loving kindness to all concerned. If interested in receiving notice of future blog postings, subscriptions are available through a “follow” button in the upper left corner (MS Explorer) or lower right (Safari, Mozilla Firefox and Chrome). If there is an advertisement below, I have no control over what is shown. My own full legal name is Truthful Loving Kindness. My current diagnosis is still Mild Cognitive Impairment, but my neurologist said I am in a unique position for helping because I have “one foot in each door”. Text Copyright © Truthful L. Kindness 2020Aug02. Tags are: assistance dog, dementia, dog, medication, PLwD, service dog, symptom, task, tremor.