Thank you so much for thinking of us. The meeting is at 2:30 so keep your good vibes going around that time. I am planning to leave Javelin home today since I don't think I want to bring him to meet someone new and have a big elevator ride to get there and have him too jazzed up for it. The person I am meeting with is someone who I regard as a gentleman so hopefully it will be smooth sailing. I'll be back to let you know how it goes in the late afternoon or early evening.
I am frustrated. I have a cold and I stayed home yesterday because of it. I would have also stayed home today since I only have one lecture and it would have been easy to adjust my schedule, but I went to campus specifically for this meeting with the ADA officer. I went straight to class when I got to campus and then straight to the meeting. His secretary told me she had left voice messages at home and on my office phone and had emailed me but that was all approximately one hour before the appointment we had made last week. She told me he left early because he didn't feel well. She didn't want to reschedule for tomorrow since she wasn't sure he would be in, so I made sure she understood that I was a bit put off since I had come in also not "feeling well (I actually feel pretty wiped out from schlepping around in heat and humidity at the hottest part of the day)" specifically to take this meeting. I told her I would call during my office hour later in the day tomorrow. If he is there hopefully we can just talk on the phone.
It does suck, doesn't it? How does barely an hour's notice constitute sufficient advance notice to cancel a meeting unless it is for a true emergency? I thought about not going to work today and had I decided not to go I would have called his office by about 10:00 AM to tell him we needed to reschedule.
Apparently he was on campus, but went home one hour or less before our scheduled meeting, since I know he was at a meeting that ook place before my class. Also our class schedules are on file in several places so he or his secretary could have known that I was in class at the time she left her messages. I would have stayed and taken the meeting and then gone home since the advance warning wasn't adequate.
On the positive side, perhaps he feels that this meeting not that big a deal... as in not worth worrying about. I know it is hard to imagine, but his perspective could very well be that the points you have made are valid and should be corrected. Cancelling the meeting like he did is unprofessional, but I don't think it has anything to do with the issue. Just in case, (oh ye of little faith) document and keep records of all meetings and their cancellations. Keeping my fingers crossed that the poor guy just has a worse case of whatever got you.
Thanks for that perspective on the cancellation Charmed. I had a bit of worry associated with it and felt really frustrated when I got there and found he had gone home. I really hold his secretary to task for not figuring out how to notify me in a meaningful and effective way. She could have called my department, or any of a couple of other places to find out where I was and have the message delivered to me at my classroom. They track down students they need to talk to by sending campus safety with messages for them all the time. Hopefully I can just talk to him on the phone today and leave this issue behind us.
After one more little bit of fits and starts we finally took that meeting today. His secretary called my office and left a message to see if I could come at 2:30 instead of 3:00 (which since I had class until 2:15 I didn't get in time to really make that work). Then I saw the person who I was meeting with at 3:00 down the hall in my building at 2:30 with someone from my department who I have a long and bad history with, so I was worried that the person from my department had been whispering in his ear about Javelin and his take on my situation.
I got to the ADA/AAO just before 3:00 and after a little bit of a tense start it actually went pretty well. It is clear that he wants to give me the right to have Javelin with me but he does want some sort of a letter (not with specifics on records or diagnoses) from a doctor stating that the assistance I hope Javelin will train for successfully would be useful to me so that he can counter any complaint from a person on campus with the answer that he has evidence that Javelin's presence is to assist me. I told him that I couldn't produce that right away since I will have to get an appointment to talk to the doctor about the letter and what it needs to say, but that I would take care of it. I was assured that the letter would be kept locked in the safe in the ADA/AAO office and that the only person who has access to the office when the director is not in his office is the chief of public safety and that confidentiality would be protected.
He did tell me that there was a person in my department who had indicated he did not want to be in contact with Javelin because he is allergic to dogs and has asthma. Okay, I can understand that if it is true, but if so then why not just talk to me like a decent person rather than to go outside my department and behind my back? When I went back to my department I asked my chairperson if she knew who had voiced the concerns and she did tell me who it is. I have known this person for well over ten years, have worked closely with him during that time and actually he has met both Lily and Javelin in the past and never sought to avoid them. I also believe his parents have long had dogs, so I kind of think he is BSing, but that shouldn't really be my problem. His odd behavior in this does explain why he hasn't done some of the work he is normally supposed to do for me this semester, but then again there is odd history with this person and various other members of my department over time.
I did ask the person I was meeting with how to proceed in the interim until I got the letter to him and he told me to proceed as I have been and to bring Javelin with me to work. He said he actually wished I had brought him to the meeting so he could see him. Since he told me that I should call him when I had the letter for him so that he could pick it up (specifically he told me not to put it in the inter office mail) I told him I would make sure that I had Javelin with me when he stopped by to get it.
Now if only I could get Javelin to stop barking at pedestrians in the parking lot we might get somewhere with all of this. He has gotten a lot better at negotiating crowded halls. I still have to say leave for some of the people we pass, but not all. He is being a gem in class. He sleeps near me in lecture (lightly though since if I walk away he pops up to see what I am doing). Last night when he stood up I gave him a drop signal and he laid right back down. Being able to leave him on a down stay in lab would help me out a bit since the space at the student benches is a little tight in some classes so last night not having him trail after me right away was good progress. I did spend some time sitting with one of my lab groups in the afternoon yesterday so that I could label some materials for them (two people out of four were absent). Javelin was lying behind where I was sitting and a number of people passed by him by stepping over him with him remaining on the down, so that was really good on his part as well.
I have a letter from my audiologist & ENT indicating my hearing problems. I keep in my filing cabinet just in case anyone gives me trouble. I had thought they only required a letter from a doctor if you were flying or needed an ESA, which is not a service dog. I could be wrong.
Clearly, your poodles are your babies and super important to you. It feels like your coworkers are well aware. Whenever in a situation like this, I always want to know "why" to get closure but it is better to focus on the "what". It is important for you to protect yourself carefully. My trainer said that most places will not give you a hard time if your dog is trained and certified by an institution/ 501c3. Perhaps you could look to apply and enroll him in a local program like me and Lucky. I do know some programs won't take a dog over 2 years but Javey is already very well trained.
Whew. I'm glad that meeting went well. I can understand them wanting a doctor's note, and I am glad they will be protecting it confidentially. The person is acting weird... sigh. Sometimes you have to let other people whirl. Do you have to work closely with this person? I sure hope not.
It sounds like Javelin is doing well. You're a great trainer, and I knew he'd do fantastic. With a few more weeks of repetition, he'll have everything sorted during labs. Barking at pedestrians though...
Javvy, Noelle has something important she would like to tell you.
This is Noelle. When the cape goes on the mouth goes shut. I learneded that the hard way. My mom issued what she called a level 47 correction when I barked. She was so mad at me that I never dooed that again. You don't want to know what a level 47 correction is like, so just remember what I said. When the cape goes on the mouth goes shut.
Thank you, Noelle. I'm a R+ kind of trainer 95% of the time. The other 5%... Let's just say Noelle learned in 10 seconds that barking was extremely forbidden. It wasn't fun, it wasn't pretty, I probably freaked out a few strangers in the process. But, Noelle learned real quick I wasn't playing around. When you're kind and gentle 95% of the time, that 5% has a serious impact.
If you want to be nicer, you already know what to do. Two weeks of look at that should help him stop barking at pedestrians, by giving him something rewarding to do with all that poodle energy.
However, if you do decide on a level 47 correction, make sure you do it where no one you will ever see again is watching. It's a scary sight. Leash pop, grab mouth roughly, "NO BARKING!!!!!!!!! WHY ARE YOU BARKING! NO BARKING! NO!" Noelle thought I was scary scary scary. Cape goes on, the mouth goes shut. I'm laughing now, but it wasn't funny then. Poor Noelle crouched into a poodle slink, ears down, tail down, body low. Mom wasn't kidding around. Got the point across, though, and fixed the problem. Sometimes one solid correction is worth a thousand little ones.
I'm glad you get to have Javelin help you at work. He's going to grow into his job and amaze you. I know it. I just... know. And I can't wait to hear how he does. Go Javelin, go!
Noelle, thank you for your advice. My mom yelled at me big time yesterday when I barked a people walking past our truck. I will try really hard, but I suspect my mom may get to a level 47 correction (which sounds very unpleasant) since I find it very hard not to bark at those people walking around our truck.
The person who is acting weird is just weird, always has been and seems always will be. He preps one of my courses and as long as he has set everything up properly and sends the part time person to check during class that it is all right then he can stay away from my lab and I probably will be happier for it.
The ADA person who I met with didn't indicate that he would not allow Javelin but just needs a letter so he can say to anyone who asks/complains that he has verified my need for having him with me. He will be a self trained service dog, assuming I can get him past the bumpy spots of car travel and improve his focus in the halls. I am very happy with how he does in my classes so far.
Mfmst is right about a saboteur. Remember Brene Brown's advice, "Don't try to win over the haters, you are not the jackass whisperer." Avoid, avoid.
As far as hallway manners, it's tough for people because poodles are so attractive. Noelle's problem is she's cute and adorable. Javelin's problem is he's drop dead gorgeous. So, people are always going to go aw at him. Leave it is useful, but there's an even better cue to help both your dog and the stranger. Ready for a secret?
Javelin (and Lucky!) need to learn "No flirting!" You know when he's flirting. A stranger approaches and he starts poodle high stepping, leaning out to look at an approaching person. Hey there good looking.
He stops flirting and looks at you, you walk past the stranger together.
The secret trick behind No flirting is this... You reward no flirting heavily at home. Load No Flirting as Javelin's super awesome treat jackpot from heaven cue. No dog food for this trick. Go to the grocery store and buy a chuck steak. About three bucks, up to the right or left of the good steaks. Grill it rare. Chop tiny. Always say, No flirting in a serious voice, but pair those words with steak. Pavlov style this until "No flirting" will make him turn his head thinking, yum, steak.
Now, here's how it looks in action. A stranger is approaching Javelin, eyeing him like omg a standard poodle what a beautiful dog, I want to hug him. Javelin notices this approaching stranger and begins high stepping. Why don't you come up and see me sometime?
Whoosh, his head turns to you. Why would I want hamburger when I can have steak at home?
Double win, no flirting applies to the stranger as well as the dog. The stranger thinks the dog is in trouble and ignores him.
You walk past the stranger and heavily reward at the end of the encounter.
She shoots, she scores!
In crowds, I trained Noelle with no flirting, and also with the quick zigzag maneuver. Zigzag means, pay attention because we're gonna move in a dozen directions around people together, ready go. Zigzag is a dance move in heel position, and I swear it's what I say most in public. I love zigzag as a cue.
By the end of the semester, Javelin will have things more cemented. By the end of next semester it'll be even better. When summer comes, you'll develop telepathy. When that happens, you'll loose your breath. Noelle is 11 months into this adventure and telepathy is developing. The bond between service dog and handler is intense and unique. You are on your way to a magical place. Enjoy the journey. The destination is beyond beautiful. Go team! Go!
oh I love those cues! They went right on my list for Cole. Hopefully he will be my girls successor. Her pay attention to me cue is Your Working but I like stop flirting better. AND at only 20 inches tall Cole is a cute and handsome black abstract. ....