3 Weeks Old!

The puppies are three weeks old now! Just one more week and we will be able to snuggle and play with them! I have finally decided on the name Noble for my dog. It turns out that I will be getting him on September 23rd instead of October.

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The breeder said that he sends them to their homes at seven weeks instead of eight because they will just be outside the last week anyway. I am praying that the next few weeks go by quickly because I’m really struggling. It’s getting harder to wake up in the morning without Keen’s big nose in my face, and tail thumping.

The only thing that’s keeping me going is getting all the stuff I need to have before I take Noble home. Whenever I see Keen’s old vest, I can’t help but start bawling. This grieving for Keen has turned out to be harder than I thought. I thought I could easily get over it. Easily be able to forget him, but I now know that will never be possible. You easily forget your first service dog.

Your first one is what you will most likely compare all of your other ones to. I never understood why some people never get the same breed twice. You can never forget your first. I know that I can train this dog, but my confidence in myself fluctuates so much, so often. Thankfully my parents are willing to help me out, and keep my head in the right place.

I don’t know how this is gonna turn out… But I keep praying.

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How it Went…

I had my interview Wednesday. I think it went pretty well. We decided to give a week trial to make sure everything will work out. Their worries were that Keen would get up and cause someone to trip, that the noise would be too much for him, and the fumes would bother him. Those are not my worries. I mean he has been to a middle school band concert and has been to a hair salon. He will do fine.

I’m just worried about whether or not I can do it. It’ll be hard work and I’m excited for it, but I have never done anything in the painting industry before. I don’t like having to learn new things. There is a higher chance of me doing something wrong… Yeah… That’s my anxiety talking. I know everyone makes mistakes when they learn something new, but the worry is still there.

My brother in law says that if those were the worries, that Keen and I will get the job. So I’m happy about that. The interview was actually the best one I have ever had. Half of it was spent telling the lady about service dogs and what it’s like to have one. She has a son who has type one diabetes and they were thinking about getting him a dog. 

It’s was quite the coincidence that I had just written a post on adjusting to life with a service dog on my blog, Keen4Abbie. So, I was really prepared for the conversation. I brought the information for the program that trained Keen so that she could verify Keen was a trained service dog if she wished. By the end of the interview, she said she was use the information to look into a dog for her son as well. BOO YAH! 

It went really well. I’m still excited. Usually by the end of the interview, I don’t want the job. Now, I want it more! Really excited for just about everything right now. That is a nice change.

Scared and Angry

That seems to be all I am these days. Either scared, angry, or both. Not a very good combination. I am just so frustrated with how everything is turning out. Every time I try to pursue a change in my life, it blows up in my face or I mess something up. I am so done with this (If you haven’t noticed, this is the angry side of me talking)! I’m tired of being rejected or making a fool of myself. Just done.

It seems that I’m teetering on the edge now, and all it will take to send me over it is just one more negative thing. Whether it be forgetting to refill the shampoo bottle at work, or having a confrontation with someone. I just don’t know if I can take it any,ore. I just keep on messing things up and ruining my chances at moving away from the edge. I just keep proving time and time again at how much of a screw up I am.

I was really looking forward to getting a job I applied for and I had already gotten the phone interview, and they were still interested in me. Last week, I was in the process of setting up a time for my in person interview, but I forgot to call her back. I have a bit of a short term memory loss issue because of my TBI when I was eight, so I have a very strict schedule to help me to remember all the necessary things.

When we went out of town last weekend, it put my schedule out of whack. So, I forgot to call her back. Now it is almost Thursday and I haven’t called her back for a week. I was really looking forward to the job, but I am afraid of being turned down because of my be late. I don’t even know if I have time to meet for an interview anyway. My boss will be out of town till the 24th of this month starting this Sunday. I know… I’m screwed.

I am just so disappointed in myself. No. Not disappointed. Disgusted. The thing that has helped me get my life back is now preventing me from obtaining a livelihood (Keen). When you get a dog, the most frustrating thing that a trainer will ALWAYS point out is that “the dog is not the problem. The handler is.” Your dog will reflect you and your training. 

So, if you go to a person and ask them, “Can you fix my dog?” They will find the problem in the way you are talking to your dog, handling your dog, or the way you are feeling when you are handling the dog. Ugh! I was told the last one in my visit. I was told that I am going to have to stop feeling anxious when he starts acting up. That just makes me want to scream. I got Keen to be specifically trained to help me work through my anxiety problems. He not turning out the way I thought.

I better stop here. My anger is rising as I continue to write. 

I Give Up

I have been job searching for six months now. I have gone to so many interviews. And I give up. As soon as the people see that I have Keen, it’s a deal breaker and they say they are gonna call me, but never do. I am so fed up with it that I have been going to interviews saying, “I have been on a job hunt for a while now and have been turned away because I have my dog. I don’t want to waste yours or my time, so… Is he a deal breaker?” Some say no and some say yes and I just leave. For those who say no and continue the interview, I never get a call back. 

I still have my job at the kennel, but it is getting so stressful that I can’t even handle doing chores without breaking down into an anxious heap. As much as it scares me, I need a change. I need a different job. I need a different routine. I need to do different things that are out of my comfort zone on a regular (ish) basis.

People have been telling me that I just need to keep working at the kennel. That I’m not liking it because I’m doing things that are not in my comfort zone. And that I just need to think about it before I make any rash decisions. That pisses me off. People do not know what I’m feeling. I know the difference between doing something out of my comfort zone, and doing something that is unhealthy for me to continue (mentally and physically).

I have been talking about getting a new job since I got my GED, and I have been searching for one since then as well. There is nothing rash about it. I had no idea that it would be this hard to get hired with a service dog. It is so discouraging to get continuously turned down because I have to work with Keen by my side.

Quite frankly, I feel stuck. I don’t want to quit my current job until I have another to replace it. At the same time, no one is going to hire me, and this job is seriously wearing me down. I find myself back in that depression loop, and just as bad as the first time. Only I don’t think I have anything to keep me going. Keep me looking ahead. My family keeps planning road trips to go this summer, but I can’t go because I can’t handle sitting in a car without having flashbacks.

I feel as if I have been forced into this rut once again. I find myself planning again, and not having anyone to talk me down from the ledge. GRR! I hate this. I have no money, and sooner or later, no job. I want help, but I can’t afford the help. And, honestly, I’m ashamed to be stuck in this rut again. Ashamed to need to ask for help again. I try to tell my mom, but she discredits what I’m feeling with, “Ask God what to do.” Or, “Just pray about it. It will pass.” Comments. I don’t know what to do…

Young Women and Service Dogs

I am only 18 years old and being out in the world with a disability is a very stressful and scary thing. One of the top things the trainers at the program were looking for in my dog was to make sure the dog would be able and willing to protect me. There are a lot of creeps out in the world and I can’t imagine what they would do if I was having a seizure. During Keen’s training, he had a little bit of an aggression issue, but the trainer didn’t train all of it out of him because she wanted him to be a bit protective.

He has progressed a lot since then, and he tends to watch people now and if a person looks, smells, or sounds sketchy, he will give a warning growl for them to back off. Sometimes his reaction is a bit uncalled for like he will growl at someone that is kind of hunched over their cart and staring at him. When that happens, I tell him to “leave it” and “watch me.” The watch me command is him giving me eye contact. When he does that, it breaks his focus on that person and we move on. 

When the person really is a bit sketchy, I don’t correct his growling. He doesn’t growl in an aggressive way like showing his teeth and snapping. He just gives a low rumble and makes eye contact with the person he is directing it towards. The person usually gets the signal and move along or stop looking at me or Keen. I remember the trainer telling me that if I ran into a situation where I was in danger from another person, all I would have to do is let go of Keen.

Before I had him, I would be out in town and be watching everybody and wary of people’s glances. Once I got Keen, all of that went away because I knew he had my back and he would let me know if something was happening behind me. I don’t live a very dangerous town, but there are always those few people.

I guess the point of this post is to tell young women, or really all women, that it would be a good idea to get a large dog with a bit of a protective nature. Always talk with a trainer about what dog would work best for you, but it would be wise to think about their ability to protect you if need be. Especially if your disability includes passing out, seizures, or any form of unawareness. It will put your mind at ease to know that your dog has the ability to keep you safe in all aspects.

Wanting to Write

I am wanting to write to decompress. I have been feeling discouraged during my job search. I didn’t it would be this hard to get hired with a service dog. It just really sucks that people are to lazy to take me on for the fear of having to accommodate me. I was afraid that was the reason so whenever I do the interview, I tell them they don’t have to accommodate me at all. I can take care of myself. Or rather Keen can take care of me and I take care of him.

I asked the trainer for the program I went through to train Keen what kind of jobs I should look for. She said that a desk job would probably be easiest, but nothing in the food industry for obvious reasons. I can legally get hired for a food type job, but it is just considerate to not try. That is unless you want to be in the food industry. In that case, go for it.

I was looking at being the housekeeper for hotels, but my friend said that it is terribly high stress and not to do it. So, then I looked at a front desk job at a hotel, but all the hotels around here are looking for night shift people. My brain shuts off at 9 pm, so it’s not really a good option for me.

I applied for so many jobs in the past couple days and no one has answered me yet. I am going to apply for one more and then see what happens. For now, I’m going to make due with my current job. I’m going to suggest getting sheep shears for all the collies I groom. I am seriously killing my grooming clippers whenever I shave a collie. It’s unnatural, but all the collies around here are working dogs, so the owners don’t want to have to deal with all the burs and mats. And neither do I.

I guess we’ll see what happens with my life. I am determined to go to college. I am going to try everything I can to get money saved up for it. Even if no one will hire me, I will start my paracor ding business up again and make a bit of money that way. Ugh… I hate dealing with the unknown. It’s so stressful.

Painful Week

This past week has turned out to be a very painful one. I sprained my thumb, then sprained my ankle, go a massive bruise on my knee, and then sliced my leg by accident while shaving. I have also had a migraine all week and have been extremely sore. It seems that the universe is against me and my enjoying life. 

I woke up this morning and had a cup of coffe to help with my migraine, when my little sister came downstairs and asked if I had heard from my bestie this morning. I said no and she told me that one of the foster kids that my bestie’s grandparents cared for had hung himself last night. 

I just couldn’t believe it. We had seen him the lastnight and acted perfectly fine. I didn’t know him well, but it turns out that his dad died from cancer yesterday and that is what sent him over the edge. It’s not a happy thing to hear about. Especially since I was planning to do the same thing. I couldn’t stop thinking my bestie and her family and what they must be going through. My bestie and the other foster kid has been texting me and they seem to be doing ok. 

Anyways, I’ve got an extremely full week further ahead of me and no time for vacations. My boss it taking the rest of June, July, and part of August off for vacation. I am actually really angry about it because my family and I are planning to go on a trip this summer and I now have no time to go. I’ve been doing more job searching and have sent out countless resumes. I’m really hoping to get an answer from somebody. I feel as if my overworked body is going to snap from all the tension. 

I’m so done…