Talking about the service dog,

tongue rollover at Hopeful Parents today.

I won’t lie, I’m hoping everyone over there at HP will get a service dog for their child(ren). I’ve been sending Carrie e-mail pics of dogs for close to a year now, trying to convince her to get over her dislike of dogs, and aquire one for her son Rojo. I’m manipulative that way. I’m learning to accept this about myself. Heck, if I had my way, I’d ask all of you to send Carrie pictures of cute dogs:

carrie wilson link @

Yes indeedy. Self-acceptance is the key. After all, no one is perfect.

P.S. Can you roll your tongue like Jingle? Some people can’t. It’s genetic. I myself have been blessed with tongue rolling ability. It’s one of my gifts.

Man at the Market

I took Jingle to the Farmer’s Market yesterday morning. After tactfully extricating myself from a conversation with my Mennonite friend who was adament animals have no souls, I walked around with purpose, gathering my wares.






“Good girl, Jingle! Good girl.”

After finishing shopping I took the opportunity to walk Jingle around the whole market, getting her acclimated without Riley in preparation for the next outing with Riley. One woman stopped me to ask about her. Then another stopped, then a man, who kind of hung back, listening to the conversation.  He seemed a bit odd. Perhaps homeless? Perhaps mentally ill? I couldn’t put my finger on it.

“She’s a service dog for my daughter. We just brought her home two days ago.”

“Is your daughter blind?” a woman asked.

“She has autism.”

The man stepped forward and touched me on the forearm.  

“I just had to touch you. Bless your heart,” he said, beaming kindness. 

He was holding me in reverence because my child has autism.

Most of us who have kids on the spectrum have been looked at with scorn. With judgement. With pity. With blame. With, “Whew, thank God I dodged that bullet.”  I don’t know if I’ve ever received reverence before.  

My first thoughts about this man were, “Perhaps homeless? Perhaps mentally ill?” I couldn’t put my finger on it.

Perhaps angel? Perhaps teacher?

Perhaps a reminder to hold reverence, for everyone.

Cute Dog Pictures

PIMG0025Some pictures from 4 Paws today. These puppies are in a kennel, right in the same room we do our training. They are so stinking cute I can’t stand it!  They play wild, wild, wild, and then they all plop down at once and fall asleep. Love the tongue on the blondie.  



sleepy pups

 Huh? Huh? What?


This here is Monty. He’s in our class. Isn’t he beautiful? He’s being trained as a seizure alert dog, and he’s a little depressed. It isn’t that he doesn’t like his new family, but apparently German Shepherds are very loyal dogs. He misses his peeps. Jeremy the trainer says it will take him a little while to adjust.


This is Clarabel. She’s also a seizure alert dog. The little white triangle on her matt is a piece of doggy birthday cake in her honor. Her new mom shared it with the group. All the other dogs gulped it down, but Clarabel is watching her girlish figure. She couldn’t possibly partake.


And here is our Jingle. Jingle did some amazing work today. Read all about it on the service dog page.


Off We Go!

ready to go!After almost a year of waiting we leave tomorrow to meet  Riley’s service dog. The bags are packed. The groceries are bought, the cat/house sitter arrives in the morning(poor cats, they’ve never met a dog in their lives)!

I honestly have very little idea what to expect at 4 Paws. I do know the dog sees its family as a pack. I like the concept.

Pack O’Neil, reporting for duty.

I’ll be blogging about the experience on the service dog page (up and to the right). Thank you to everyone who has supported us on the way to Jingle.   

Much love,

Pack O’Neil