Saturday, December 11, 2010

Important notice for family & friends friends from CCI

Hi Family and Friends,

I received my CCI training manual today, lots of information, they have informed me to inform you of the following:

It is particularly critical in the first month after team training that I establish control and achieve responsiveness in my dog. In conjunction with getting to know and bonding with my dog.  Setting ground rules and maintaining leadership will be my primary focus. It is very important that you regard the dog as a working animal. It will be detrimental to our (the dogs and myself) working relationship in the long run if the dog receives inviting looks, petting or verbal stimulation from anyone. 

You can best support me by ignoring the dog for the first four to six weeks that we are home.  This does not mean that I can't share with you or show you what the dog does for me. You can support us by not approaching the dog with excitable and emotional greetings. Please remain low key and do not pet I can allow you to shake hands with the dog.  If the dog does get greeted with excitement the dog will run towards you and loose focus on me. (Not good)

Lastly the dog will be of a very special diet so please no treats.

Thank you so much for your continued support and I know it will be hard to follow the above because we are all animal lovers, but it will be VERY IMPORTANT that the dog and I form a relationship after all we will be together 24/7 for the next 8 to 10 years.

Any questions please ask, and please feel free to attend the graduation on Feb 11, 2011 in Santa Rosa (more on this at a later date)

Love Tina

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

I Got the Call

It is so funny how things all happen for a reason!  This morning my mom and I were talking, saying that Jan 2011 will be one year that I have been on CCI's waiting list for a service dog and that we could not believe how fast it has gone by already.  I couldn't wait to get the annual update forms in the mail and that I probably had just six to eight more months of waiting.

We were outside in the front yard and our neighbor comes walking up to chit chat, and he had out of the blue asked me if i had any updates with the status of getting my service dog, I smiled at him and said no still waiting but it should happen sometime in 2011.

I then came inside, I sat down the phone rang I glanced at the number it was 707 area code (Santa Rosa - CCI main campus) I thought to myself it's a tella marketer but I excitely answered the call. To my surprise it was CCI I figured they just needed annual review updates or something since that time was getting close.  I almost dropped the phone when these words came out of the ladies mouth "We would like to invite you to the Feb 2011 team training for your service dog!"  I course said yes, but at the same time bit my tongue because my mom was not in the house but I knew she wouldn't mind.

I then called her right away to tell her the news she was still outside chatting with the neighbor, I could hardly speak shaking and crying at the same time.  She came inside and just looked at me and said you are joking right with a dazed look on her face. But nope not joking it's really happening.

We leave for Santa Rosa on 1/30/11 where I will be matched and train with my new buddy for two weeks.  I cannot wait to have him or her by my side.  I will be sure to update on our new adventures together. 

The next time I post I will be days away from meeting my new best buddy.  It has been a long time coming I can't wait.  Thanks to all my friends and family for there love and support.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Waiting Waiting Waiting

Yes, I am still alive and have not posed in a while because nothing is really happening. November marked the 10th month of being on the waiting list.  Waiting is so hard, I am not sure how much longer I can take it. 

There are some things coming up that I am looking forward to.  Jan 12th of 2011 will mark my one year of  being on the waiting list and that means some news from CCI with annual update forms can't wait to get those in the mail. The last bit of good news to look forward to is that since the average wait is a year and a half, I "should" be going to one of the 2011 team training camps. Of course I don't know which one yet but it could be Feb, May, Aug, or Nov!  A lot of wishful thinking here but I can wish for either, Feb or May we shall see!

Until next time woof!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

CCI Puppy Visit

Puppies yes puppies!
I have been talking to people that are involved with CCI on Facebook and connected with a lady that made a suggestion that I find a way to help CCI to help with my wait time to be invited to team training. (Which will probably be August 2011).

I got in contact with a lady who told me to contact some breeder / caretakers who were locally near me to help socialize a litter of CCI puppies.  So on October 1st that is just what my mom and I got to do. Here are some pictures.  They are so darn cute, good luck to them on their adventures hopefully they will all be service dogs and help people someday.

The only black in the litter, Charlie is so cute.
Myself and Chrissy the only female, I fell in LOVE

Mama, CCI Jill the 4th  

More fun shots

Monday, August 30, 2010

Flying... Dogs

It has been a while since I last posted, I thought I would post really quick about this awesome article I found about CC1.

Flying with Dogs (be sure to look at the great pictures)

Flying is another adventure I look forward to with my new furry best friend when that time comes.  Oh and can you believe it has almost been eight months since first being put on the waiting list

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Slowly but surely!

Slowly but surely the months are passing until I get my new fury best friend. August 12th I will have been waiting for seven months.

For months now I have been looking online at all the different pet stores and making wish lists of things I will need / want for my new pal. I have been looking at crates a lot lately I wanted something that was easy enough to fold up and travel with. Well that was easy to find, but I could never find one in the size I need that was blue. (Everything I get for the dog will be blue just to have fun and stick with the CCI colors.

While searching I finally found a blue one so I decided I better purchase it before it's gone. YAY I am so excited. I will slowly but surely be purchasing things as the right stuff comes along. My hope is to have everything he / she needs in blue before coming home.

Saturday, July 3, 2010


It's been a while since I have last posted. The months seem to be flying by, but not fast enough the excitement is getting hard to contain. July 12th will be six months that I have been on the waiting list! With the average wait being a year and a half hopefully this time next year I will have my new pal.

Of course since I do not know if the dog will be male or female I have been calling him/her "woof" Recently my mom and I where out shopping and we popped into the pet store. It was there that I saw the placemat that said "woof" I just could not pass it up, and then I saw the cutest food and water bowls. I had to buy them I just couldn't help it so now my new pal has his/her supply collection started and getting them helped me contain a bit of excitement. Gosh I really can't wait.

Happy Tails for now.... WOOF

Friday, April 9, 2010

CCI and Youtube

Well, I have watched all the CCI videos on youtube many times over and over... I am sure I will continue to it helps with the wait. To know that one day I will hopefully have a new furry best friend to help me.

Here are some of my favorites

The first one really shows how much a service dog can change someone's life.
The next one is just the start to a dogs training thank you so much puppy raisers.
And lastly the excitement of team training... can't wait until it's my turn, in this video you can see the wonderful things these dogs do.

There are so many more feel free to browse and have fun.

Oh yeah one more thing Tuesday April 12th marks my three months of waiting YAY getting closer!

Friday, March 12, 2010

2 Months :)

It just dawned on me that today, marks two months that I have been on the waiting list. Hopefully only 1 year and 4 months left to go YAY:)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Application Process

So the next day after the fair, I went home and wanted to apply for a dog. While doing research I was shocked at how involved the application was. The more I thought about it, it had to be. If you are accepted they give these dogs to you fully trained (knowing about 40 commands and free of charge)

To my surprise the application process for me went very smooth and quicker then I expected. I quickly filled out the application to hopefully receive an application. The CCI staff made it very clear that at anytime my application could be dropped and there was no guarantee that I would be excepted into the program. So while I was very excited for every new step in the process I always made it a point to tell myself I could be denied. So after I filled out the application for an application I waited on pins and needles hoping to get some good news in the mail. About three weeks later I opened my e-mail with an application. WOW I thought to myself I made it through step one.

So I wasted no time filling out the application and it turned out that I need a trainer assistant (someone who would also learn to handle to dog for brief times if I was not able too. My mom stepped up to the plate, thank you MOM. So we both had to fill out applications asking things like how would a dog benefit me, what were my day to day activities etc. (if the application was excepted I would then be contacted for a phone interview.

Three weeks later I got a phone call they wanted to do a phone interview with me I was so excited scared that I would not have made it that far. The phone interview was about 30 minutes asking me questions again similar to the application but they also asked things like would I be able to handle the dog on my own and would I be willing to use a crate etc. At the end of the phone interview came a question that shocked me "If I were excepted onto the waiting list and when I went to team training (a two week long training course, where you are matched with a dog and you and the dog learn to work together and bond) would I be okay with the possibility of a "no placement" if they see something wrong?" I was very honest with them and told them I would be hurt but it's something I would have to except. The phone interview went well but it had to be reviewed so I was back to waiting again.

To my surprise a few weeks later I received mail from CCI with medical forms. YAY I made it through to the next step. So I quickly made an appointment with my doctor and she happily filled them out for me. :) Mailed those back I was almost done with the process if the forms were excepted I had the final and biggest thing ahead of me yet the personal interview. So it had to be the middle of October something came in the mail from CCI. I was at school when I got a call from my mom I was so excited yet nervous so I had her open it they wanted to do a personal interview with me. They would call my the make an appointment the first part of the year.

So I was back to waiting again, the first of the year had came and went by this time it was like January 5th. I was getting nervous and almost getting ready to call them to see what was up. To my surprise I had an e-mail from a gentlemen asking if he could do a home interview on January 12th. (CCI usually does the personal interviews in groups but sometimes they do home interviews so you are able to get on the waiting list faster if excepted.)

January 12th came it was a lot of fun, asked me tons of questions, gave me a chance to ask questions. And even went as far as testing my ton of voice for giving dog commands and praising the dog. It was hard to do it with no dog there but it is something I was always remember such a fun and funny time. At the end of the interview things looked like they were going to go in my favor but I still had to wait for one more review of my entire application.

More waiting, but at least this was the final time before I knew if I made it on to the waiting list or not. Three weeks went by and I hadn't heard anything, I was waiting for the mail every day and nothing I was starting to get heart broken. I finally called because I could not take it anymore, I called and the lady said "congrats you have been excepted onto the waiting list" I nearly dropped the phone and after we hung up hugged my mom and cried. I had made it.

So now comes more waiting! I am on the waiting list as of my personal interview date so 1/12/10. The average wait is a year and a half but it will be so worth it to have a chance at team training and hopefully get placed with a dog.

So things might be a bit slow as I have a long time to wait. If anyone has any questions e-mail me and I will blog about them. So as it stands most likely the next time I blog I will be off to team training to hopefully be matched with my new furry best buddy.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

What made me decide to apply for a service dog?

I get asked that question a lot. I had thought about the possibility of having a service dog for years. I went to try to apply years ago at 17 but I dropped my application due to information I was not happy with. It made me sad but I went on with life. It was not until the Monterey County Fair in August of 2009 that the thought to apply again came to my mind. The thought came to my mind because while at the fair I met Lacy a dog being trained by Canine Companions for Independence . I asked if I could pet her and such enough her trainer said yes. So not a moment later the trainer gave Lacy the "visit" command and she had laid her head in my lap for pets. The trainer and I talked a bit and she thought I would be a good candidate to apply.

After the visit I thought to myself it sure would be nice, to have a dog by my side to help me with things like, opening doors, picking up items that I drop. Most important to me was for a dog to help me do these things in public. Also it would be great to have a dog by my side as a confidence boast and to have a friend at all times. I then talked to my mom about applying and to my surprise everyone was okay with it,

More tomorrow of my adventures of the application process with Canine Companions for Independence!