Friday, August 20, 2010

Second City Round 2

Last week my family, Serena and I went down to Chicago for dinner at the Athenian Room and to go to Second City.  This time we sat outside at The Athenian Room which was awesome because there was plenty of room for Serena to spread out!  She even had a chance to read the menu:

 Unfortunately I wouldn't let Serena order anything but the waitress was super awesome and brought her a pan filled with water which Serena immediately splashed in!  It was so nice of them.

We got to the city much later than we wanted due to traffic so we got to Second City 10 min before it started.  You don't have assigned seats at Second City, it is first come first serve so I was nervous about finding a place for Serena.  The head manager was very sweet and gave us an option of two spots, next to the music instruments or way in the back corner.  The music instruments seats were better seats and last time Serena didn't care about the instruments so that is where we chose.  The manager told me that next time I can just call and say I have a service dog and they will reserve seats for us.  Crazy cool!  

They warned me that they would be using drums but I didn't realize they meant huge tribal drums that the musician would bang on for a long long time.  Serena lost it.  She was okay for the first few bangs but then it got very very very loud and Serena freaked.  I couldn't blame her and tried to put her between my feet and comfort her but it was too loud and it just kept going so I had to remove her from the situation.  I took her to the back of the theater and she was shaking and trembling like crazy.  I had to wrap my body around her and rub her and just sit there.  Eventually she calmed down and I was able to sit in a seat back there with her laying next to me.  Every time the tribal drums happened she would try to run but by the end of the whole thing she would just sit up and watch.  Very good for her! 

The third act was improve so I asked the manager if they had drums and she said no so I went back to my original seat.  The musician came up to me and apologized like crazy for freaking Serena out.  I told him it wasn't his fault and not to worry.  He still felt really bad and asked if he could say hi to Serena.  I said yes and he sat on the floor and talked to her and rubbed her all over.  She loved it!  It was also really good because she was able to realize that the guy making all the noise before was really just a person.

She didn't want to sit next to me for the improve because she kept thinking the drums were going to happen again.  I kept putting her back where I told her to stay next to me.  Eventually she lay down and relaxed.  Overall it was a good experience and I am really happy she was able to overcome her fear.  Next time I will most definitely call ahead!

Serena forgiving me for the loud drums:

I love my puppy :-)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

How torture your dog 101

Make her practice her "hold" command with a hot dog and then take lots of pictures!

And then you make her "give" it back to you.  Oh how she was like "WHAT?" hahaha

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Her official name

Linda was going through Serena's files and sent me Serena's show name.  It's "MAWP's Grand Slam Queen."  So cute!!

Nothing really else new to report.  Serena found a beanie baby toy and proceeded to rip it to shreds today.   I have little white beads all over my room and in the hall way. She was laying in the middle of it all as if to say "look mom!  look what I did... isn't it cool?!?!"  Oh Miss Serena...

Thursday, August 5, 2010


Serena can pull down light switches now!  She kind of learned this trick by accident.  Normally they teach service dogs how to do this with a board and light at their level.  I was goofing around with her do "up" on the wall by the switch and she was sniffing it so I said "get it" and she grabbed and pulled down.  Awesome!!  So every day we have been working on "up" and then "get it" and eventually I turned it into "switch".  Today was the first day when I said switch and she put her paws on the wall and pulled down the light switch!  Next I will teach her to push it up with her nose!

After teaching her to do it on the light switch downstairs, we went upstairs and I showed her the one in my room.  Now when I go to bed I have her run over and shut off the lights :-)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


This is a little out of order but I never got around to talking about the two parades Serena and I have joined this past month.  The first was the Mokena, IL 4th of July Parade.  We are trying to get as much information out to the public as possible and a parade is a great way to do that!  It was super hot so we had to keep stopping to give the dogs water but they all were wonderful and brought many smiles to people's faces.

Serena (left) and her sister Venus waiting around for the parade to start.  All the dogs wore angel wings :-)

Serena making a friend.  This whole football team came over to have her shake and she was very good and let each boy have their turn.  This surprised me because she used to be PETRIFIED of children. 

Part of the MAWP crew waiting to join the parade:

Walking in the parade:

The next parade we joined was the Disabilities Pride Parade in Chicago about a week ago.  Unfortunately Serena and I missed the parade itself because traffic was horrible and it took us almost 3 hours to get into Chicago (its usually about a 45min drive).  Luckily after the parade they had an event at Daley Plaza where My Angel with Paws had a booth and we got to talk to many many people.  It really was an awesome day.  I talked to potential clients in need of dogs, families of people in need of dogs and potential puppy raisers.  Serena did her job of being cute and performing all her skills.  She was a good sport and did many 'shakes' and played dead and showed off her "doggie push-up" skills.

What really made me oh so proud was how she handled people in wheel chairs.  We met many people who have severe mobility issues and could barely move the joystick on their chair.  They wanted to pet Serena but their movement is very abrupt and random.  I wasn't sure how she was going to handle it because of her past and how she is afraid of new people.  She was perfect.  She even went as far as putting her head under someone's hand who couldn't quite move to her.  It took all my effort not to cry in happiness.  Dogs are truly amazing creatures and moments like that are exactly why I do this.

Serena loved Mike and really enjoyed hanging out with him while we talked:

This is Bree, a 5 month old Golden Retriever, making friends:

This is Bauer, Bree's brother, also making new friends:

Deb and Gabriel (left) and Kaylee and Bauer talking to potential clients and their families:

The parade was a huge success and told many people in the disabled community about us.  We will be there again next year!