Monday, December 29, 2008

How Good!

Just how good can a good dog get? Having never been on a leash and collar, Tag dressed up in his Sunday best and went out for an afternoon on the town. It was time that he take the leap out of familiar home territory and training facilities. He donned his Service Puppy vest, a leash and a collar and pranced his way into the car.  He picked up on the working part of working right away. We got out of the car and headed for the the front door of the restaurant and Tag assumed his position. He pulled in tight to Nicole's stride and heeled in and around the establishment. Palmer's is cafeteria style with concrete floors and all at top volume. Clanking and banging of the pots and pans, those crazy scrapes of chairs being pushed back into place. 

Oh, the stares and rumblings that he got when he made his appearance. All heads turned, all conversations turned, and all smiled at the cute little service puppy. He performed dutifully. We all got the trays and headed to the tables. Not one jerk on the leash did he attempt to make, not a whisp of noise did he make, not at all was he any more then a very good dog. He took a position by our sides as we set down. Interestingly enough he was good enough not to beg, he simply laid down out our sides and fell asleep. What more do we need to know about a Service Puppy that is growing into his own?   He really is a good dog.

Friday, December 26, 2008

TAG sees his first Broadway Show

He didn't get any special accommodations when he asked to see Spamalot. We got tickets for the show on Christmas night. This was Tag's third trip into public during this crazy holiday week. His personality and attention to only us is all we could have asked for. He will be one special service dog. 

The show had lots of noises and sounds of roaring thunder as King Arthur clapped his coconuts together through the forest. He did scoot himself back into the seats a bit, but overall he did a marvelous job.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Sessions have wrapped up for a winter break.

We finally got our programs in line and on track with astounding results.  Thinking back and realizing that the agility program had no structure or true direction and now ... it is going full force and making the biggest impact on those who participate. Nicole created a training for therapists that wanted to know more about the handling skills that it takes to run a dog agility course. Three cheers to everyone that participated  in the day long training. As a handler in one of the sessions I can see that the therapists better understand the applications and are creating a more effective program. 

2nd Annual Winter Classic.

Did I say that correctly? Yes, indeed I did. We will be celebrating our first full year of NADAC trails in the Des Moines area and I do not hesitate to say that it is our 2nd Annual event! Let see if we can beat our record of -6º at the start of the weekend. We will have some extra heaters and the concession will be offering up warm cinnamon rolls and hot drinks. Hey listen, there is really nothing else to do but have some fun and run some agility! Can't wait to see you there.

January Fun Run - Birthday Bash

Its that time of year and we are getting ready for the cold chill that sets into Iowa. We are going to crank up the temperature a bit and have a Birthday Bash Fun Run on January 3, 2009. Yep, thats right, 2009! Its here already. The premium has been posted and I venture to guess that it will be a good day on the course. Hope to see everyone at the party.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Animal Assisted Crisis Response Workshop

We didn't know what to expect when we volunteered to host the Animal Assisted Crisis Response Workshop in Des Moines. Cindy Ehlers came into town with her crew of evaluators and instructors with a blaze of glory. AACR teams have responded to numerous crisis locations including Huricane Katrina, Northern Illinios University, 9/11, Virginia Tech shootings, Parkersburg, Iowa to rattle off a few of the places they have made an enormous impact on the victims of these tragedies. The workshop was more then we could have anticipated. Every section of information, roll-play exercises and in-field opportunities provided a solid foundation for what you might experience. We have individuals travel from Kentucky, Ohio, Missouri, Kansas to be a part of this training session. There were a few key take aways that surfaced to make the second workshop even better then this first. 

Thursday, December 4, 2008

'Tis the season. Right?

Whether you celebrate Saint Lucia, Christmas or Chanakuh these pictures would make great gifts for this holiday season.

I just found this link to the images taken for the September Agility Trial. There are some really great shots. So, you need to get a gift for that special someone? These images are for sale. Per the photographer the images that are posted have enough resolution to make a nice 4x6 image. He does have larger images and we will need to contact him for those. Jerry Ranch was the photographer for the day. 

Check them out for yourself.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Why old dogs are the best dogs.

Found this article on the Washington Post. I don't normally post outside articles but felt this was so appropriate and helps shed light on the human perspective and why a dogs perspective might just be the better way to go. Enjoy reading and don't forget to view the photo gallery. The images are delightful.

Click here for the article: Why old dogs are the best dogs.

The image above: Jake, 16, like most dogs, doesn't understand photographs. So he's most likely not being taunted by this image of his younger self or wistfully contemplating the heartless assault of time. Photographer: Michael S. Williamson

Friday, November 14, 2008

Need We Say More?

Take a moment and make a difference. 

Dustin and Hard Tack on course for Paws & Effects Fall Festival NADAC Trail. The fist in the air captures the spirit of the game. Congratulations Dustin, Hard Tack and Linda. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Senior Photos

When the time rolls around and the only thing you can focus on is graduation day from high school and getting your senior photo but yet you reach out and include a very special friend in the process. Dan got a call from the Champion family a few weeks ago requesting Jesse (Dan's Pet Partner) be in Paige's senior photos. OK, so you are graduating, you are a teen ager and you want Jesse to be in the photo? Wow, what an honor that is to have the opportunity to share this momentous experience. So they set up the time for the photo shoot one weekend towards the end of August to meet out in Winterset Iowa. They set up shop and snapped the photos. It turns out that Jesse was so appreciative that she didn't know what to say but Thank You. It isn't often that you make a deep and meaningful connection but Dan and Jesse have tapped in to the hearts of many and this time it was Paige.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Touch N Go

The kids came out in force to compete and complete a Touch N Go course. 

Quinn pushed Speed through the hoop to the next obstacle.

Paige and Jesse are always a steadily perfect combination.

Dustin raced Hard Tack through the whole course.

Alex had a great run with Jersey and showed strong skills in commanding the next obstacle.

Thanks to Pat Fox and NADAC for allowing us to compete. 

Congratulations Kim and Charlie

Another of Paws & Effects "classic" NADAC Agility competitions. The Fall Festival produced a 1000 point achievement award. Kim Anderson and her dog Charlie earned and received recognition for NADAC's Lifetime Points Award. The first award is earned at 1000 points and then you have to stretch for the 2,500, 5,000, and 7,500 points awards. 


Fall Festival

We couldn't have asked for a nicer weekend. The temperature was in the mid 70s and the sky was mostly clear. Even had a nice fog lifting from the grass on our early Sunday morning start. The weekend was a complete success filled with winners and awards. Kim Anderson and her dog Charlie hit NADAC's Lifetime Point Award. They have earned a whopping 1000 points.

The kids came out and ran the Touch and Go course and they all deserve a huge round of applause. Alex got her first run in with Jersey and if you would have seen the smile on her face when Gloria assisted her around the was precious. These are the moments that we dream about and these are the moments that the kids relish. 

Thanks to all that volunteered to make this happen. Couldn't do it without all your help.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Beaverdale Fall Festival Main Stage.

Thanks to Bone-A-Patreat for inviting us to the Beaverdale Fall Festival main stage. Paws & Effect followed up some talented animals with an agility demonstration and the first real public appearance by our two service dogs in training. Kim Rhea and Sammy took to the agility equipment like it was yesterdays news. They also tossed in a couple other tricks just to show off to the cheering crowd. They especially liked it when Kim blew a kiss and Sammy caught it out of thin air. Next up was Anamaria who took Roggen for a spin around the two jumps, two tunnels and a couple other obstacles. This was all in front of a crowd of 250 - 300 people. She did her own show boating as if this wasn't her first time! The finale was the service puppies(Seneca and Tag) being handled by Ana Maria and Carmen. The service puppies did everything that was asked of them and more. The "and more" part was that this was their first time out in a public setting with a number of other animals around the staging area, plenty-o-distractions and they were so focused on what they needed to do, and did it with ease. This was a spectacular spectacle. We all had a ton of fun. Thanks again to April at Bone-A-Patreat. Helk, having emceed our part of the event I even took a crack at running through the agility course. What a hoot!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Beaverdale Fall Festival Parade.

We were so graciously invited to join Beaverdale Books float in the Fall Festival Parade. Paws & Effect has partnered with Beaverdale Books and have set up a literacy program where the kids can sign up for an opportunity to read to the dogs. This has been met with great success and the program will grow as we get more Pet Partner teams available. The Parade started at 47th and Hickman and passed all the way through down  town Beaverdale and finished up around Douglas Avenue. There were lots of people lining the streets to snatch the candy that scooted across the way and many got the opportunity to pet the dogs. No better combination then dogs and candy. Or at least I don't think so. Linda and her dog Hard Tack accompianed Roggen and me. Another fantastic opportunity to spread the word and have fun at the same time.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Illumifest of Lights

We are in the spot light at the 1st Annual Illumifest of Lights in West Des Moines. Please check it out and be a part of the live auction Saturday evening (Sept 27).

Monday, September 8, 2008

Pet Partner Training Course - Des Moines

Each time I teach one of these courses I am always sensitive to fulfill everyones expectation of the course. There is so much material to cover, so much to know, so much to do that I would be nearly impossible to know if everyone gets it. 

It is a daunting amount of information to ingest and be able to turn around and evaluate with their pet partner, complete the packet, and get launched into the wonderful world of volunteering with your animal. 

Yes, I get it, ...
... there is a lot to do. 
... it seems like a huge commitment. 
... you are pouring out money to make this happen. 

Yes, I get it, and I can reassure you that it is well worth every minute, every dollar, every e-mail/phone call when you get that first smile from your client visit and knowing that you have changed their life forever. 

Seems like a bold statement but you will understand it the first time you get an opportunity to share that story with someone else and know it was you, and your pet that made it happen. It is so worth it. 

Ten motivated individuals attended this weekends session and each brought a unique angle to why they wanted to do this and what they had to offer. We might even get a Llama out of the deal if we talk really nicely to a couple of the attendees. 

We were so excited to have such an interested and involved group. 

Thanks to all that attended.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Illumifest of Lights

Paws & Effect artist Eric Shumate was selected to light it up when his entry made the top twenty of Iowa Artists that submitted ideas for a traditional paper lantern. "Far be it for me to do anything traditional" said Eric. 

Ideas submitted were drawn from the ancient / traditional Chinese lanterns.

I started the project in early August, the same weekend of the Iowa State Fair kick off. I realized that I couldn't be a part of the Corn Dog Eating world record and I was sorely disappointed to not get a Pork Chop on a Stick but I needed the time to focus and I did get the chance to be an artist again. What a great project. Paws & Effect is using the lantern to start our first fundraiser which will be held at the Nature Lodge at the Raccoon River Park on Valentines Day. One Heart. Four Paws. Look for details regarding this excellent opportunity to celebrate a new meaning for Valentines Day.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Premium is Available.

We have posted the NADAC premium for our Fall Festival (September 27-28) Trial.

Thanks for your patients and look forward to seeing you at the show.

Community Service

Paws & Effects Pet Parnter Valerie Davenport reached out to her employer when their community service fair was asking for participants at their annual event. She contacted Nicole and I about setting up a table at Farm Bureau's internal community service fair. How could we say no to getting the information out about our group/s. The fair kicked off at 11:00 AM on Wednesday (August 27, 2008) and there was a mad dash to the hit of the exhibit. What pre-tell would that have been? It was our secret weapon, the service puppy and her Pet Partner Pepper. Projected a slide show of the three programs: Pet Partners, NADAC Agility, and our Service Dogs. This was accompanied by a collection of music and candy. Marketing the people on so many fronts how could they not come by and see what we are all about.

We received a lot of compliments for what we have accomplished and plenty of interest in our Programs and lots of contacts for potential volunteers. 

Thanks to Valerie and Farm Bureau Insurance for opening the doors to Paws &  Effect.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Paws & Effect Hosted the AVA Dog Days of Summer Walk

The AVA (American Volkssport Association) started its August walk in Beaverdale (pocket community of Des Moines) Iowa. It was the Dog Days of Summer by name but the weather blew the curve on the heat, kicking out a mere 70º. It was a spectacular morning for a walk and that is just what 57 individuals and 13 Canine Walkers did, they went for a walk. The walk went through the neighbor hood down to the Drake University area and included a cemetery, a courthouse, and a couple more items that can be counted towards specific achievements by the Volksporters. This event was hosted by Paws & Effect to promote the human animal bond and also to tie into the AVA's Greater Des Moines Chapter Canine Walker program that will be promoted by the national organization next year. Another great event for Paws & Effect.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Heart Connection of Iowa

The Heart Connection of Iowa reached out to Paws & Effect to provide a welcome distraction for the kids and their families. We had the opportunity to spread a little more love and joy with our furry friends. Paws & Effect had 7 Pet Partner volunteers doing the honors at West Des Moines Learning Resource Center. We were also able to provide a check for $200 to their cause as an extension of donated time by associates from The Integer Group. The kids and their families appreciated the time to bond with the dogs.

For more information on The Heart Connection of Iowa Click here.

TAG - He's it.

We picked up service dog #2. His name: Partager (which means "to share" in French.) He prefers to be called TAG. This little yellow lab loves his kennel, preferring it for sleeping and toy chewing. He slept in it all night without a peep. Literally. In fact, we drove all the way home and he didn't make a sound in an hour and a half. We are elated that we have such a great start.

After his first vets visit he checks out with flying colors. He is one of the happiest dogs I have seen. His tail incessantly whacked the side of the kennel all the way home out of sheer joy. He is a happy boy and will make someone a very nice service animal.

Remember: we have a puppy shower for Tag this Saturday at 6:00 at 2815 44th Street in Des Moines. Please join us and bring a new dog/puppy toy!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Breaking News: Great success in Cedar Rapids

The much anticipated Pet Partner evaluation weekend ended with so much success we are overjoyed by the outcome. We started early Saturday morning and wrapped up by 3:30 Sunday afternoon with the majority of teams passing the evaluation are "Ready". Those teams that weren't quite ready still showed that they had most of the skills and aptitude drilled in and with a spot of polishing will be ready to go. We want to encourage both sides of the fence as we see great things coming from this group and with the St. Lukes Pet Pals program. Several hoo-rahs go out to Chris Montross for pulling the community together in support of Delta Society's Pet Partner program and unifying what could have been a divisive group. To see the 14 members that passes this weekend thrills us all to know that we can continue to change lives through the human-animal bond. Another hoo-rah to the St. Lukes foundation for supporting this brilliant effort of loving and caring. We couldn't do this without all of them.

Another story to address would be that Greyhounds really can sit even after adverse electro-shocking to keep them from sitting at the start line at the race track. Two hoo-rays go out to Kathy and Rick for stepping up and really cranking out some positive reinforcement with their Greyhound Reba. It prooves that Greyhounds really can sit and they will do it on their own. More hooooo-rays go out to the whole Cedar Rapids animal community that wants to see this succeed.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Seneca Update

Seneca has turned four month of age and need I mention that he is showing his abilities beyond his age. He made his first trip / s into public last week and we captured some of the event in pictures. This has been a grand entrance into being able to offer so much more to those who have the need.

Seneca Update

Seneca has turned four month of age and need I mention that he is showing his abilities beyond his age. He made his first trip / s into public last week and we captured some of the event in pictures. This has been a grand entrance into being able to offer so much more to those who have the need.