Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Friday, December 11, 2009
If the measure of a man is based upon what he leaves behind, then Dan Backer was truly a great man. Dan shared so much of himself while he was with us, that many more stories exist than I can possible share here. Our community was a far better place because Dan lived in it.
Dan was surely surprised to stumble upon Paws & Effect, learning about us through a trainer at Rover’s Ranch. He wasn’t sure what it entailed or even whether he wanted to be involved, but in true Dan character, he figured it wouldn’t hurt to try becoming a Pet Partner. Jesse had never trained for dog agility, but she proved to be a natural, working with Dan for more than two years at ChildServe. Over the course of the last few years, Dan became a ribbon-winning dog handler, a confident trainer and more capable than even he thought he could become.
At one of the seminars he attended with us, Dan was pretty convinced that everything Kathy Sdao discussed was beyond his capacity to apply – and nobody was more surprised to learn that he could successfully change a cue for a dog’s behavior. Hence, “jump” became “cow” so that Jesse could be the “cow that jumped over the moon.” The ability to change a cue for a behavior became integral at ChildServe, especially when a particular child couldn’t say a certain thing or move a certain way. Dan could modify the cue to something the child could perform and then encourage a child to continue to work with Jesse. I clearly recall a little boy who lost both of his parents in a car accident and the injuries he suffered in the same incident. How hard that little boy worked to hold a treat and give it to Jesse. And the smile that followed was unusual which made us cherish it all the more. Dan managed to turn the speech/physical/occupational therapy sessions that we fondly call “agility” into a spectator sport for that little boy. His grandfather brought him in every week to watch Dan work with the child to whom he was assigned.
Not many volunteers will hear that it is more fun to spend time with them and their dog doing agility than it is to go to Disneyworld (take that Make-A-Wish!) So popular was Jesse that she had the honor of taking professional photographs for senior photos with the young lady she worked for weekly at ChildServe. Dan was not immune from the things we witness at ChildServe and he often commented on how difficult it was to watch another person’s condition deteriorate. He cherished the fun they had together each Thursday, driving 45 minutes each way to participate at ChildServe.
Dan brought a nice perspective to our cause and even some tools. Our second Pet Partner evaluation was held one fateful Saturday morning during torrential rains and deafening claps thunder of a storm that refused to move on through. The lights went out and the evaluations were in jeopardy. Individuals had driven from Burlington, Iowa City and Cedar Rapids as far as four hours of white knuckle driving. Dan ran home, grabbed his generator, extension cords and enough fuel to get us through the day. Dan lit the place up. Without Dan and his mechanical know how saved the day.
We are so fortunate to have many photos of Dan and Jesse together. For the second time in just a few months we are grieving the loss of a friend. While we couldn’t be more fortunate to have such wonderful people in our lives, we wish that we were given more time to enjoy their friendship.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Monday, December 7, 2009
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Our canine companions are so caring and sharing that they give us photo opportunities like this one.
It truly is one of those precious times that make us love our family, family and most of all, our canine buddies.
They bring us great joy and ah!
(the bed is being shared with our Service Puppy 'Keeper')
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Friday, November 13, 2009
Saturday, November 7, 2009
That's where the video picks up....and tells the rest of my story. Enjoy.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Our partnership with ChildServe has provided us all an open door of wonderful experiences.
We really do make a difference for the kid's and everyone we visit.
Each one of us who volunteer with Paws & Effect can gloat about the work that you are doing.
Oh, and our Pet Partners are having fun too!
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Yay, Gabor for showing them how it's done.
Monday, October 26, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
In an act of play, Tag tore the callous on his upper pad. It was sore and causing him unrest. So much so that he asked to be held all night long to make it feel better. When morning came, he did not hesitate to ask to go to the vet. He got a bandage pad and vets wrap that was aqua blue and had dark blue bones. Doesn't get any better than that.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Tag's adventure opened the door for a journey into the underground tunnels and Studio 51. He got to see the on stage production of "House of Yes". He watched the show intently through a hurricane, screams and gun shots. Never did he utter a word. While intrigued by the action on stage he managed himself better than most in the theatre. We applaud Tag for a commendable performance. You can see for yourself, he is interested enough in theatre to read the play bill from the next show.
Monday, October 5, 2009
As the old saying goes "Don't take a bull into a china shop".
Now we can say "Take a Service Dog into the glass shop to avoid catastrophe".
Well, if it weren't for the leash I may have gone astray. Thanks Tag for holding your tail very, very still!
Friday, September 18, 2009
Click here for the premium.
If you want something to remember it with check out our merchandise on Paws & Effects Cafe Press.
Monday, September 14, 2009
Friday, September 4, 2009
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
OK, he is going through a tough teenage period right now and the rebel in him is overriding his handsome, kind, caring, loving side.
Watch the video and see the fantastic work Haley has put into him. He has truly come a long way in his training and obedience.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Several Paws & Effect dogs got to participate throughout the week. When the students were done with the exam they turned it over to Paws & Effect to talk about therapy and service dogs.
Kids always amaze us with their questions: Why does this dog have different colored toe nails? Why do we put the flea and tick medicine up higher on our cats neck (after demonstrating where we would apply it to a dog)? Why do some dogs have more grey hair than others? Aren't some dogs always skinnier than others? Why do some dogs get tan spots in their eyes? What are these red spots (referring to the cut away of a clean ear and a infected ear, the answer wasn't obvious to us)? Does she (Cadence) feel safer up here on the ledge than down on the ground (Cadence was perched on the edge of the patio peering out to all the activity)?
It was a great Iowa State Fair experience!
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Monday, August 10, 2009
Nothing could be any more fickle then the weather this summer in Iowa. We have had a little bit of this and a lot of that tossed our way. Overall it has been incredibly mild summer of course, until this Saturday! Saturday was our August Pet Partner Evaluations in Iowa City. The temperatures reached 95º and the humidity was right up there. What's not to like about heat and humidity, not to mention the dogs were right there with us on that observation.
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Nicole and Cadence are flying the friendly skies! Thank you United. They are on their way to Washington DC (Tysons Corner actually) for a Crisis Response workshop being taught by the FBI and hosted by AACR. Cadence's favorite thing to do is read Hemishpheres while waiting for her connection in Chicago.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
|By Nancy Svoboda on Monday, 06 July 2009|
|As an agency, we have agreed to support a non|
-profit organization called Paws & Effect™. One
of the most important segments of this business
is the raising, training, and placement of service
dogs locally. Service dogs need real-world
experience to learn to help those with special
needs. This is where we have agreed to help out.
Beginning the week of July 6, Steve Hirsch will be bringing
a service dog to the agency for training 2 or 3 times per week.
The yellow lab will be wearing a vest indicating not to pet him
because he is working. He will be at Steve’s side wherever
Obviously, this is a new experience for the agency, and we
hope it will be successful. However, we recognize that some
employees may be allergic to dogs. If you have any questions,
concerns, etc., please contact Nancy Svoboda so we can
work together to make this a great experience for everyone.
From Paws and Effect:We're excited to introduce you to "Tag," whose full name,
Partager, means "to share" in French. Tag, a yellow lab,
will be a year old on July 1. In the true spirit of the word,
we appreciate your willingness to share in the experience
of training a service dog. Tag has learned to open
handicapped accessible doors by touching the associated
pressure plate; open and close interior doors by tugging
on the handle (when a tugging object is available) or by
pushing it shut with his nose; retrieve large and small items
and placing them back in a person's hand. Consistent
with the minimum standards of Assistance Dogs International,
Tag has learned at least three tasks to offset the limitations
a person may experience if they were mobility impaired.
You'll find that Tag is very quiet and gentle as well as
hardworking and diligent. For now, he has demonstrated some
fabulous work in public, although he still has some resistance
to going up and down stairs. With that, there may be times
when you see Steve actually training Tag and we hope that you'll
acknowledge them with a quick greeting and continue on. Of
course, every once in a while, Tag's age will shine through and
he'll demonstrate that he can be a silly, adolescent dog. We
are seeing that less and less, but know that there will be times
that it is just too plain hard to work, and an effort to engage
others to play will be offered. Again, ignoring the
behavior when it happens will provide Steve the opportunity to
redirect Tag into more appropriate public behavior.
We know it is challenging to resist petting a dog while it is
working, but refraining from doing so allows the dog to keep
his focus on the person for whom it is working. This dog has
been trained to avert eye contact with other humans as well
as making the effort to keep the tail wagging to a minimum.
In doing so, the dog discourages further interactions because
he appears aloof. Mistakes happen, sometimes it is just too
much to ask and we end up speaking with the dog or reaching
for them. Recognize this is a good training opportunity for the
dog, no apologies are required. However, we hope to see
spontaneous interactions decrease as people get used to seeing
Steve with Tag.
Once things settle in, we'll try to set up an opportunity where
people can play with Tag when his vest is off. Tag enjoys water,
retrieving, tugging, general fun and games and, of course,
being a lab, food.
Know how much your efforts are appreciated and how valuable
this experience is for Tag. He will be placed shortly after his stay
with Steve and we'll be happy to share all the details of his
placement as they become available
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
It is a big week in the Angel's home with Seneca preparing for placement and Keeper just starting his puppy-raising adventures. It won't be often that the service dogs cross paths, but look at what happens when they do!
Monday, June 15, 2009
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Heddie Leger is a Paws & Effect volunteer in Missouri who participates in a R.E.A.D. program with her two dogs. Heddie has graciously shared photos from their end of the school year celebration in which each child received a medal for their efforts and improvement. Paws & Effect was able to provide a free book for each of the 30 children involved in this year's program.
Saturday, May 9, 2009
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Monday, May 4, 2009
Through a Delta Society relationship, Seneca and our Pet Partners got FREE eye exams at the Lloyd Veterinarian Medical Center on the campus of Iowa State University. Seneca (Service Dog), Roggen, Cadence, and Butley (Pet Partners) all got a joy ride to the University where they hob-knobbed with the best-of-best vet students in the country. We will let you know what we find out after we get the results.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Does it get any better? Warmer weather. A brisk breeze. Sunshine.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Monday, April 6, 2009
Mateo rates on cuteness, and likability. He also puts the pups through a rigorous testing session.
We always like to add in an Orange toy or two. If they don't take to Orange they are going to have a difficult time passing the "True Service Dog Test" thats applied when Eric gets involved.
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Seneca got his first trip to Culver's. A favorite spot for frozen custard (far better then ice cream) with all the mixin's and known for the Butter Burger. How could you go wrong with that combination? He couldn't. Actually, Seneca did far better then I did. Shortly after sitting down with our drinks I promptly reached across and knocked over a large Root Beer (another one of the reasons to like Culver's). Seneca took the water fall of soda pop right on the nose and didn't bat an eye even while I was frantically tossing all the napkins on top of the ever cascading fluid and ice mixture. All's well that ends well. And his / our experience ended on the high note.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Once again the quality versus quantity ratio was sustained for another round. What do I mean by quality versus quantity? I can define it in part by saying that getting to know the attendance of this weekends workshop are all top notch. Each time we teach we are perplexed by the numbers that aren't coming out of the wood work but we are also so pleased with those few that do. To everyone that spent the weekend with us, our hats are tipped to you in appreciation. Not many would have given up March Madness for nearly 70 slides in PowerPoint. To that, again, we appreciate your initial commitment.
If anyone else takes one of our workshops you will be asked one question. "What one thing or two could you tell us about yourself that most people don't know?" We never know what to expect of the answers we get but we learn so much from every ones honesty and without a doubt, we realize why these individuals are the cream of the crop and why they are offering themselves and their animals up for the wonderful world of volunteering.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Have no issue putting pen to paper and signing autographs. What? You haven't seen this months Childserve Interactions? Paws & Effect is highlighted in their pet therapy programs article.
Yes, that is a picture of Roggen and me on the cover and Nicole and Cadence on the inside spread. Neat article and we Thank Childserve for having us involved with their organization and getting the opportunity to work with such great children.
Our work as volunteers is greeted by smiles from the kids nearly every time visit. Taking a moment and making a difference is what it is all about.
We will post the full article when it is posted online or first get written permision.