Service Dog Questions - pictures added

Taken from Facebook. Short questionnaire about Gus
  1. 1. What is your service dog's name and breed?
    Wintermoon's Augustus (Gus), golden retriever
  2. 2. Where did you get them?
    Breeder
  3. 3. How old are they?
    Three years old
  4. 4. Is your dog a Prospect, SDiT, or fully trained?
    Fully trained
  5. 5. How many tasks does your service dog know and what are they?
    Deep pressure therapy, find my phone, blocking and other crowd work, watch my back, trained anxiety alert and response, find my car (work in progress still), find (The fiancé, my mom, dad, brother, sister in-law, friend), retrieve, interrupt dissociation and a couple more I'm forgetting....
  6. 6. What is their favorite treat and/or toy?
    Stella and Chewey Treats and literally the newest toy in the house or his jolly ball.
  7. 7. What do you feed them, and why?
    Healthy Weight Formula by 4Health. Because of his thyroid problems he puts on weight way too easily (that and he's a golden). 4Health is a high rated brand that he was eating before the weight issues so I just moved him to the healthy weight formula when we needed to.
  8. 8. What is your current gear set up?
    ? Julius K-9 Aquamarine Harness, one of his many leashes, with a pink and teal para-chord martingale (I need to have one made in just teal but I can't remember who made this one and I love the fit and braid), a tag that says "I am Your Sunshine"and sometimes his pinch collar instead of the martingale.
  9. 9. What is your dream gear set up?
    up? A real leather collar by Paco and a new vest. And a martigale in teal. Still in search of the perfect vest.
  10. 10. If you use patches, what does your favorite patch say?
    You Shall Not Pet....unfortunately on a vest that does not fit anymore.
  11. 11. What is the most challenging part of being a service dog handler?
    Dealing with the days where he is sick or unable to work for some reason or I can't take him with me. I can function without him but it's not fun. Relying on a medical device in general is not ideal but especially not a living one that has so many variables and scary things that could happen to it. Since Benny died/retired I live in fear of what could happen to Gus.
  12. 12. What is your favorite part about being a service dog handler?
    Knowing that the bond I have with him is unlike a bond I have with any other dog and that he chooses every day to work for me when he could just as easily choose not to. I feel honored that he wants to help me and wants to go to work each day.
  13. 13. What question do you hate being asked as a handler?
    Not a question but the comment "you're so lucky to get to take your dog everywhere with you!"
  14. 14. What's one thing you wish everyone knew about service dogs?
    That not all service dogs are guide dogs and not all psychiatric service dogs are for veterans. Also that it's rude to ask what a service dog is for.
  15. 15. What one thing do you wish the general public would do or not do around service dogs?
    Try and distract him on purpose.
  16. 16. What one piece of advice would you give a new service dog handler?
    Breed matters. The reason labs, goldens and standard poodles are the most used psychiatric service dogs are because they are the most successful candidates. Having a "unique" breed doesn't make you cool, it just puts you at a higher risk of having a dog wash out which means more money spent, more emotional pain and a longer path to a fully trained, functioning service dog.
  17. 17. Are your family and friends supportive of your service dog?
    Yes. Very.
  18. 18. How did you decide a service dog was right for you?
    A lot of research. Years of experience with dogs and knowing the effect they already had on my mental health even without trained tasks. And I'd tried about everything else. 19. After your current service dog retires, will you get another? Why or why not? Yes. At this point it looks like I'll still be in need of one. If when the time comes I won't be in need of one then things may change but at this point, yes.
  19. 20. If you will get another, what breed do you want?
    A standard poodle
  20. 21. What does your service dog struggle with the most?
    Separation from me.
  21. 22. What do they excel at?
    Remaining calm even in the most chaotic situations, knowing when I need him and showing up every single time, keeping me on my toes (aka making me a better trainer/handler), interacting with other dogs, blocking.
  22. 23. Have you ever had any major public access issues?
    Not major.
  23. 24. Describe your service dog in 3 words.
    Loyal, stubborn, steady.