As big fans of the biggest fiesta in the world, we are sad to say goodbye to the San Fermín Festival and the Running of the Bulls this year. However, given the huge risks associated with COVID-19 and international travel, we understand the reasoning. It just whets our appetite to return to Pamplona in 2021 and party twice as hard.So, what can you do while waiting for 12 more pages of the calendar to turn? We've been looking around for other options and found some interesting options closer to home. Whether you're ready to hop in the car tomorrow, or want to plan something for later in 2020, we are intrigued with the idea of inland cruising. Most people immediately think, "river cruising" when we say that, but there are also inland seas to ply. More specifically, the Great Lakes of North America offer 94,000 square miles of water to explore.
We looked into it a bit more, and it turns out there are no less than four major cruise lines operating multi-day tours on the Great Lakes. The fact that each night is spent in an American or Canadian port means you're close to great services and high-quality health care. It will feel like an ocean cruise, without the downside of being on a huge ship overseas. Most of the Great Lakes Cruises are on ships carrying less than 200 people, so it is a very intimate experience.
We hope you enjoy your domestic travel options. Nothing compares to the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, but you should at least enjoy the time you have until we can welcome you back to fiesta!
To Whom It May Concern:
I am a Professional Pet Care Specialist in the Tulsa area and have had the opportunity to work with Marj Satterfield on several occasions. My experience with Marj has been very positive and as a result I have recommended several of my “pet parents” to her. Marj’s Training Programs have been very beneficial to my clients and their feedback continues to be extremely positive. Classes have been provided during convenient days/times and my clients like the individual attention given them because there is always more then one trainer on site.
I recommend Marj to my clients because she:
We are offering for the first time ever a class designed just for kids to learn to train their dogs.
Do you have a budding dog trainer? Was a dog purchased for a companion for a specific child in the family?
Your child and dog/puppy will spend Fridays with our expert staff and the result will be a trained dog and happy child.
Your pup will learn the basics: Attention getting, sit stay, come when called, walk on a loose leash, down stay calming techniques, great games to play with dogs properly, stop jumping, mouthing, and more. Your child will learn how to work as a team with their dog, learn appropriate ways to play and a couple of neat tricks. The only rule of engagement is that your child can actually handle the dog…once we show them how..i.e 50 pound child….90 pound dog….mmm not the best scenario?
Class size is VERY limited; You MUST call me to enroll!
Do you allow your dog to go out to the end of it’s leash when walking and approach every dog it sees and get in the other dogs “face” Do you have some snide comment when the strange dog (and owner) growls or snaps at your dog? Do you think if your dog is allowed to greet every dog it sees that you are “Socializing ” it? If this describes you …You are the person I warn my class members about…YOU are a RUDE dog owner….yes you are…and don’t go there with the “He only wants to say Hi” your dog really could care less about other dogs except you have made him/her that way…Where and when did you decide that that was the way to “Socialize your dog? How’s that working out for you? I’ll bet your poor dog gets growled or snapped at more times then he is met with a dog who thinks your’s is “special” This is not the way to socialize your dog…Get yourself to a great group class where your dog has to pay attention to just you and tune out all the other dogs and people and you will have a dog that can be around other dogs without whirling and twirling.
Will I help you fix your dog that is lunging and growling at other dogs or people 20 yards away? Sure that is easy to fix…will I help you make your dog one that will allow another dog to invade his/her space? (two foot around your self and your dog) NO ..NO I say. No Where is it written that your dog has to let another dog in it’s face…well it may be written somewhere but I would challenge the author…
The same applies to you OVER-PETTERS out there…have you never seen a dog before? Do you not own a dog? What makes you think you need to touch every dog you see? If I see you coming towards me and my dog I will firmly tell you not to pet my dog…that’s right No petting. Now if you approach and ask to pet my dog …that’s a different story…And what’s up with kids and dogs lately? I was walking my BIG black German Shepherd through the PetCo store and she had a stuffed toy in her mouth that she dearly loves .when out of nowhere a little girl came running up and took the stuffed toy right out of my dog’s mouth!!! I was so shocked that I just stood there…and then the Mom of the little girl asked if my dog would bite her over the toy? I wouldn’t of cared if she would of kerchomped that kid……Parents….DO NOT DO NOT let your children run up to strange dogs….just because someone has their dog out in public does not mean that it is safe around people, pets and children….(By the way if your dog is not safe around other pets, people and children) it should not be out in public!! till it has had some training classes!! having it out in public is not how to “fix” that problem….Really!!
Nix on those STUPID flexi-leads too… you have no control over your dog and they are useless and unsafe…I have many tales of dogs dragging their owners….twining them up with the leads or getting eaten out at the end of those leads by a strange dog that is not on leash….it only takes a few seconds and your little dog is killed or injured by a larger loose dog.. because you can’t get to it in time because it is so far away from you…By the way do you know how to get a dog off of another one or God forbid off of a person? Pick up it’s back legs…any dog will let go of whatever it is chomped onto. It works every time….So think before you let your dog run up to another…NO ONE likes a RUDE Dog Owner.
Really? Where did you read that? Of course everything you read on the internet is “True”!!! I am not sure what year that I started hearing that from training clients. Well now you can say you “read” somewhere that you “Can” use a crate for punishment. I am NOT saying to use your crate for only punishment that wouldn’t make sense. However, think of your dog’s crate as his/her “Room”. Picture this; My child just colored my walls with permanent marker…after letting him know how much trouble he is in I now send him to his room to think about his crappy behavior. (this analogy does not work if you never would send your child to his room; I would surmise that you have an unruly child as well as a dog) The same with your dog …if you have caught him with your best pair of flip flops…I am going to make my correction and then send him to his crate to “think” about it…If your dog does something naughty and you barely correct him and nothing else happens. I would venture to guess that he will repeat the behavior time and time again with most behaviors getting worse and worse. I have used crating after crappy behavior for 38 some years and the behavior stops OH SO quickly and we can move on to bigger and better things. Again I welcome any debate on this subject (and gee my dogs love their crates).And I don’t care if”Mrs.Harper” (fictional character) says not to use a crate for punishment….what makes her more an expert than me?…
The secret to heeling is using the correct equipment. I LOVE this collar…it is inexpensive and works quickly to get your dog heeling so your walks can be productive.
It is the StarMark Training Collar available for you to order right here …it works for all types of dogs ..from small to large… I do not recommend it for very large out of control dogs till you get them under control…
TRY IT YOU’LL LIKE IT!
Go Forth and Train!
Marj the Dog Trainer
More serious injury and death is caused by these products than any other dog management/training tool, in my experience.. not only do you not have any real control of your dog it is impossible to correct them or make any real headway with behavior problems when walking your dog. Also when your dog is 15 to 26 feet out in front of you they are “bait” for roaming dogs, hooligan kids, etc. Here is a laundry list of Retractable lead horror stories..if after reading this you want to still use one…all I can say is you were warned….
Leash is dropped- your dog frightened by the plastic leash handle now zipping noisily toward him, bolts. The leash seems to chase him. Your dog runs into the street or races blindly away to be lost.
Cord/tape is grabbed- Your grab the cord or tape as it plays out, the injury is immediate, your flesh is cut like meat.
Cord/tape wraps around you (or someone else)- Again, deep wounds but also risk of amputation, especially of fingers.
Clip/collar breaks – When this happens, the leash retracts at full speed and the end of the line that does not go into the handle whips around at top speed. Injuries to eyes,teeth and face result.
These things DO happen! Here are a few real-life stories:
Dog runs ahead of her human into an elevator. Doors close, car goes . Dog dies.
Dog dashes into the road and under the wheels of a car. Dog dies.
Dog runs around his human then bolts after a squirrel. Owner goes to the ER with ankle wounds down to the bone.
Dog bolts after another dog, pulls person over, drags her along the ground, cord gets tangled in her hand. Finger amputated.
Dog walking on the other side of road from person. Bicyclist comes around corner; to avoid hurting either dog or person or both with a tangle; the biker runs bike off the the side. Dislocates both shoulders and breaks a wrist.
Now common sense would dictate that you would not be walking with your dog on the other side of the road…but I do see people using these leads without any regard to the safety of their dog or other people.
Is a little “extra freedom” worth it?
Worth the risk of serious injury or death to you, your dog or someone else?
Please use a regular leash, It’s safer, for everyone.
This product is FANTASTIC for shy dogs, anxious dogs, aggressive dogs, dogs that over-bark, dogs that submissively pee,dogs afraid of fireworks, thunder, or their own shadow, dogs that are anxious in the car, train or plane!
It uses the same idea as swaddling a baby to make it more calm…
Also the Tellington Touch method to work with dogs with behavior problems includes using the swaddling idea.
The Thundershirt used in conjunction with a great training class can eliminate or dramatically deal with many behavior problems.
You can order the Thundershirt by clicking on this link or call me about including this in your plan to change your dog’s behavior.
For some reason I find people are bound and determined to continue to use useless collars and harnesses on their dogs. Leads too( see post on the equally as useless retractable leads) I suppose a lot of it has to do with color and patterns and such…and the producers of training collars are getting better at making them in fru fru collars and patterns. Many years ago the “Positive Training” movement decided that “choke chains” were cruel and unusual and just about have made them go the way of the DODO BIRD. So then everyone jumped on using a buckle collar …for training…well in my opinion buckle collars cause more damage to a dogs trachea than a “choke” collar or a martingale collar could ever possibly do. Buckle collars are like clothes lining a dog..they put pressure only in one spot…the dogs windpipe ….if the dog pulls when walking..all that pressure sits in that spot…so the more pressure the more the dog pulls.and the more damage it does. We have all heard the horror stories of dog hanging themselves with choke collars on and they should be removed when the dog is unattended. But Martingale collars or check collars as they are sometimes called do not choke the dog they put pressure all the way around the neck like a choke collar but they do not tighten all the way so as to cut off air supply should the dog somehow get it hooked on something. Collars that put pressure all the way around the neck allow you to actually teach the dog to walk by your side or “heel” . You CANNOT effectively teach a dog to walk on a loose leash with a buckle collar or worse with a silly harness…I know they make some “no pull” harness that is supposed to teach your dog to heel…but again I have yet to see it work effectively.
If you leave your training collar (not a choke collar) on your dog he/she is always ready for a training session so that all you have to look for is your leash. If you have to grab your dog quickly and evacuate your house or car you are assured your dog cannot back his/her head out of his collar in a moment of panic. I would never travel(that means anytime it leaves your house!) with my dog without their training collar on…
When your dog has his training collar on and you put your leash on your dog knows it’s time to “work” ! and gee my dogs get to go with me a lot..they think it’s fun…but it is really “work”.
So do your dog and your self a favor and ALWAYS have the proper collar on so that your dog is ready and able to go with you at a moments notice.
Oh and one more handy hint…if your dog is coming for boarding to my house..don’t even think of bringing it without a training collar on!!!
The hallmark of dogdom is the art of graceful waiting. Dogs excel at this..they mark the passing of time by external events not the ticking of a clock. I have never seen a dog check his wrist watch and make a note that you will be home in 7.5 hours or longer if you go to the grocery store for dinner “stuff”. Yes I do think that dogs know when it’s dinnertime, or time to go to class, or the timing of anything in your house that occurs at the same time everyday.Leaving a dog home alone for hours at a time is NOT cruel ( even in a crate) nor is it un-natural. Waiting for the arrival of the beloved human is the natural state of the dog.Let me qualify that; leaving your dog “outside” in the heat/cold without proper shelter; or worse chained; NOT ok.Turned down by a rescue group because you work out of the home? Go get your dog elsewhere!!There is no formula for the hours a dog can or cannot spend alone including hours in a crate. (no matter what the internet says) (oh I forget; if it’s on the internet it must be accurate)Think you need a dog walker, pet sitter, doggie daycare, food puzzles, dogs on the television programming, juggler, mime or game director, or race home at lunch or right after work (eliminating a normal life) just to have a dog…NONSENSE!! dogs for year have gladly waited for their owners to come home no matter when…Trust the Dog!!
Your dogs oral misbehaviors are heavily influenced by the dog food you choose! This includes over-barking, destructive chewing, and aggression towards other dogs and people. Also common sense would dictate that when you feed your dog properly (as they would feed themselves) they live long healthy lives! Please take notice that dogs were not meant to live on dry dog food alone (that does not mean to feed them canned food). In all of our beginning classes, everybody always asks for a list of recommended foods, so I finally sat down and compiled it.
Other sound sources of GOOD information about dog food are Whole Dog Journal, Dog Food Advisor (online) or a great ground-breaking book, “Foods Pets Die For” by Ann Martin.
You will know your dog is not using it’s food properly because they will shed all the time (they should only shed twice a year) they may have bad breath, (also may indicate parasites) more stools out in back yard, can’t learn.
Never buy more dog food than you can use in 3 weeks. Why? because the fat they spray on the food at the last of the processing starts to deteriorate once the bag is open. If the fat has gone bad your dog may vomit, refuse to eat the food (smart dog) have loose stools, and other stomach and digestive ailments. Be sure to store your food in an air tight container.
1) Victor – great price point, USA made and sourced. Marj uses the yellow bag, Jessica prefers the Ocean Fish formula: http://www.victordogfood.com/
2) Fromm – Old, excellent company out of Wisconsin. Highly recommended! http://frommfamily.com/
3) Merrick– excellent food, a little bit pricier if you’re feeding multiple dogs: http://www.merrickpetcare.com/
Note: I tried the Whole Earth Farms branch of the Merrick brand and didn’t like it, but it’s your choice!
4) Bil-Jac– old company, one of Marj’s favourites, especially the BilJac meat for weaning puppies: http://www.bil-jac.com/
5) Earthborn Holistic – Good, US made food: http://www.earthbornholisticpetfood.com/us/
6) Evanger’s – excellent food, a little hard to find in Tulsa but worth it! http://www.evangersdogfood.com/
7) Wysong – the ONLY veterinary diet we recommend! http://www.wysong.net/
8) Natural Balance
9) Castor & Pollux (which can be found at Reasor’s stores now)
10) Fresh Pet
11) Natural Instinct
12) Nature’s Variety Instinct.
These others I would feed if the price was lower:
What foods we do NOT recommend!
Purina Pro Plan
Blue Buffalo (We have had a lot of problems with this food recently so it’s made it to this list)
Any of the weird grocery store brands (Ol’ Roy, Gravy Train, Kibbles n’ Bits, Alpo)
When you acquire your dog, you become their advocate. What this means is that you protect your dog from injury, from other dogs, and from themselves. How do you protect your dog from themself? By teaching them the skills to be successful, correcting them in that teaching process when they are wrong, preventing them from being in a situation where they cannot be successful (being ridden by small children, the dog park, being let loose to roam property) and pushing their boundaries so they can cope with the unexpected.
That is your responsibility to your dog, and when you fulfill it, they will pay you back in spades.
Creek is a lovely, intelligent, earnest boy, and he is learning here to temper his enthusiasm with restraint – and get what he wants in the end!
This is only Angelina’s 5th lesson, EVER! She is a little hotshot, and so can your dog be!
There has been a “trendy” attitude the past few years about getting dogs enough exercise…yes dogs do need exercise and here comes the “but”…
Walking your Labradoodle, your German Shepherd, or your Great Dane around the neighborhood on a leash does not qualify as exercise, except maybe for you.
Under-exercised dogs are more reactive to all kinds of things more than ones who get enough exercise. “But” if you are trailing your dog around your neighborhood with him dragging you, fence fighting, charging dogs, kids, adults with beards and peeing his or her way to China you are letting your dog know that is how you want him to walk around the neighborhood. So in my opinion you are doing more harm than good.
Dogs need to run or trot, even if they are just playing ball in the house. If you have a normal sized backyard or even if you don’t you will see your dog doing what I call “loop de loops” they will run fast around the yard for 10 or 15 minutes all by themselves; dogs really do know what is good for themselves…if you have two dogs they get plenty of exercise!
Dogs profit tremendously from having something constructive to think about they need mental exercise, and that gets us back to obedience training!
Obedience training always makes a dog (and owner) more confident…it will teach your dog to walk on a loose leash with no drama….come when called and to pay attention to you…you’re alpha remember? Then go beyond basic dog training! Teach your dog to track a scent (your kids or grandkids for example) find your cell phone…jump over agility obstacles; hold still while a child reads to him. Teach him anything but bad habits, and keep his mind and body busy…
Well here goes: those of you in my classes know how I feel about dog parks….on the whole I do not suggest people use them…now before you start spewing your hate mail to me I am going to give my reasons….I do NOT think that they are a good way to socialize your dog…you want your dog to be under control around other dogs…think about it …turning your dog loose to run like a maniac with other dogs does not teach them self control when encountering other dogs; all they learn is to be out of control around other dogs…. do dogs appreciate another dogs company YES! the other dog in your household or an actual dog that they are familiar with that they can have a play date with is how that works. Do dogs play rough and tumble when with each other yes..again it does not usually involve 20 other swirling, twirling dogs. And yes the Bully’s…there are some in every dog park…do you want your dog to become a bully? or to become so submissive that is is always picked on? If your dog has never had any formal training and you take it to the park so that it can really ignore your commands show me the productivity in that! Is my dog trainer’s diary full of crappy dog park stories? Do they out- number the good dog park stories? Yes and Yes…can you have a good experience at a dog park …I guess so…who should use a dog park…those of you who live in an apartment and your dog needs to get out and run some loop-de-loops preferably not with 20 other dogs chasing him…is there an alternative to dog parks? you bet..Dog Day Cares that have a schedule and structured play times that match well suited dogs with each other You can always teach your dogs some tricks…teach him to find your cell phone, your keys….your kids….better yet let him have some “Zen” time in your yard just connecting with the earth and enjoying the day.
I’m not sure of the allure of dog parks…it makes no sense to me…I of course have multiple dogs so they have plenty of time to play with each other…do they have time to be by themselves..always…do I think they have to play well with strange dogs NO and NO and NO…are my dogs perfectly fine around strange dogs YES and YES; have they gotten that way because they went to a dog park No…and No…have they gotten that way because I let them sniff every dog in the face that they meet? NO and NO…but that will be the next post…Meeting and Greeting….Hooey I say…
Please keep your hate mail to a minimum…you won’t change my mind…and it will just get deleted!!!
Ellie is a sweet little 8 year old girl with special needs due to mosaic Trisomy 18 (Edwards syndrome). She is full of life and extremely physically healthy despite this diagnosis, which is both wonderful and potentially dangerous. She has many of the same safety and sensory considerations that are usually associated with autism spectrum disorder: She is a “runner,” and does not fully understand the dangers of streets, parking lots, pools, etc. She is a very strong climber and has recently learned to unlock and open doors. This is not as much of a problem during the day, however Ellie sometimes gets out of bed in the middle of the night and plays for a while before deciding to wake us up. We’re so concerned that she will decide to try to go outside at night that one of us sleeps either with her or on the couch by the double deadbolt and chain locked door! Her sensory needs are profound. One of the therapists at her school said that Ellie is the most sensory-seeking child she had ever met. She loves anything that squishes down, swings, shakes, or spins her. Pressure, rocking on her hands and knees, and fidgeting with things between her fingers is very soothing to her when she’s overstimulated or panicking (at every single medical appointment she goes to).
We have been able to manage her behaviors and sensory needs so far, but she has reached the “No! Ellie do!” stage and has no appreciation for our efforts to ensure her safety. She has even started to sneak around and try to do things on her own without our seeing her! Her special needs may change some over time, but Ellie will always need extra help. She is obsessed with dogs, which makes a service animal the ideal way to give her a sense of independence while allowing us some peace of mind.
We went to Glad Wags, Inc. in Tulsa, OK, a couple of weeks ago to meet Phoenix, an Australian Shepherd who was already trained to be a level 5 service dog. Level 5 dogs are most often paired with people who need assistance with multiple (possibly complex) tasks on a daily basis
Ellie is not the typical recipient of a Level 5 dog, but after we emailed Marj the Dog Trainer our service dog inquiry with a description of Ellie’s safety and sensory needs, we received her reply within hours, “I may have a dog for you right now!” As it turns out, Phoenix had been returned because his desire to be as close as possible to his human was problematic for the original owner. He and Ellie will be like peas in a little tiny pod; she’s a top- notch space invader, too!
My name is Paul Broerman, I am 56 years old and was born with mild Cerebral Palsy. At the age of eleven, I developed Transverse Myelitis’ leaving me paraplegic. Eight years ago I wore out my shoulders. I am now effectively a quadriplegic and rely on a power chair. Recently, I met Marj Satterfield and Glad Wags, and was teamed with a service dog named Jet. Working with Jet has given me new hope in helping myself and others recognize the value of a service animal.
Hello Name is Katie McFarland I have PTSD and was so excited to find Glad Wags. Not only did they share my enthusiasm for training a retired racing greyhound as my service dog…Marj was with me by phone assisting me in testing “Cora” when I made the trip to Memphis to meet her. Cora is one of a dozen working Greyhounds as Service Dogs. Marj and the staff at Glad Wags have made my weekly drive from northwest Arkansas worth the trip! Cora has given me back my “life”
Braydon was born one day before his due date on October 3, 2006. His pregnancy was totally normal, uneventful, and wonderful! After I had not felt him move I decided, I needed to get to the hospital. Born just in time, Braydon had to be resuscitated, but he was alive. Due to his traumatic birth, Braydon suffered a severe stroke. The stroke had lasting effects on Braydon. He now has cerebral palsy, hydrocephalus, and epilepsy. He is unable to eat and requires a feeding tube for nourishment. He also struggles with sleep, waking up about 10 to 20 times a night.
Braydon is a miracle and an absolute joy! His smile can brighten the darkest days! He is so tough and happy and rarely shows any negative emotions. We are so proud of Braydon and are so excited to get his dog, Charlie. I know they will be best buddies!
Carter, in July of 2006, was diagnosed with Juvenile Diabetes more commonly known as Type 1. His pancreas no longer produces beta cells needed to make insulin for his body to regulate his blood sugar. Due to type 1, Carter cannot live without artificial insulin. He wears an insulin pump 24 hours a day, checks his blood sugar 6-10 times a day, and has several shots a week to bring his blood sugar into “normal” ranges. Even though Carter has checked his blood sugar over 2920 times the past 8 years, he still struggles to detect when his blood sugar is “low” or “high”. When Carter goes low, he can have seizures and lose consciousness and when he is running “high”, he has a horrible headache, vomits, and feels extremely ill. If he is high for too long, there is damage to his body and he can go into diabetic ketosis (coma). As Carter grows low blood sugars at night can become very scary because he doesn’t recognize then while he is asleep. We have had a few terrifying nights with Carter’s blood sugar reaching down into the high teens. We are excited about Carter having a service dog. Dogs are incredibly sensitive to smells and can recognize drops and spikes in blood sugar before humans are aware.
Thank you Glad Wags and Autumn Rigsbee!!!
So I shouldn’t be amazed, but I am. Carter and I went to Tulsa to work with the dog training to be his service dog. Over the past several week…s we’ve been supplying the trainer with some of Carter’s smelly things as well as qtip swabs of his mouth recorded at various blood sugar levels. Once fully trained, the dog will be his 24/7 companion and notify him or others when his glucose levels are out of range. Last night, Carter checked his blood sugar at the beginning of class and it was normal (within range) at 116.
They worked hard together on commands, distractions and then they were just playing. The dog out of the blue kept going after Carters wrist and licking it. At first we thought it was just being playful. However the dog grew more persistent and it dawned on us that the dog was trying to alert Carter. Carter quickly checked his blood sugar and it was 76 and dropping. I was completely amazed as was the trainer.
Those are activities they didn’t expect to see him display for several more weeks or longer. I immediately had tons of respect and confidence in Carter’s new companion. BTW the dog is a beautiful Golden Retriever / Australian Shepard mix with long deep red hair. We needed to come up with a unique name to register him as a service dog. The trainer had been calling him Teddy and he reminds one of a Teddy Graham snack. So with Carter’s love for soccer he went for Teddy Graham Zusi.
Note: D.A.D. stands for Diabetic Alert Dog.
My name is Autumn. Kuma is my Diabetic Alert Service Dog for hypoglycemia. He has been trained to read low blood sugar levels whenever I dip below 70. More times than I can count has he let me know that I need to take care of myself to prevent disaster. Kuma provides other services for me as well. He has been taught to assist me up the steps (give me the extra umpf I don’t have myself), helps me up off the ground when I fall, as well as bracing to hold me steady when my sugars do drop before I get to where I am going and I get lightheaded. I am so thankful for Marj and her training for Kuma and helping me to have such a wonderful dog that brings me a piece of mind.
Glad Wags is a program under Ms. Abilities America. Sassy is our current title holder’s service dog, and was the first graduate from Glad Wags. Marj is the trainer of the Glad Wags dogs, and has been doing it for several years. Sassy was a dog that came from the Wal-Mart Parking lot. Elizabeth tried to train Sassy on her own, but was struggling to get Sassy to become the best service dog. Through frustration, Elizabeth reached out to find a program that would help get Sassy into becoming the best service dog possible. Sassy was showing many aggressive behaviors due to Elizabeth not understanding and knowing how to train Sassy. Thankfully, she came across Marj. Through many training sessions Sassy has become a service dog that is able to help with Elizabeth’s balancing (Elizabeth utilizes a wheelchair due to her paralysis, Spina Bifida, MS, Sarcoidosis, and Congestive Heart failure). Sassy also helps with Elizabeth knowing when her sugars are out of balance, she might have an asthma attack, and knowing when her heart is giving her troubles. Sassy also helps with Elizabeth’s spasms in her legs and back by adding pressure where needed rather sitting in her lap to decrease the spasms of the legs or adding pressure to her back to decrease the spasms in the back. Sassy also will alert Elizabeth is someone is coming up beside Elizabeth in her blind areas or when Elizabeth has a dizzy spell. Sassy has been able to go to help Elizabeth teach in a Public School classroom and also at Wal-Mart. Sassy is an amazing dog due to the training that Marj has provided to her.
I was diagnosed 12 years ago with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I am also told by doctors that this is a permanent condition. Until about a year and a half ago I was completely unable to go out in public and making doctors appointments was traumatic. I had gotten Riley Dawg to train as a service Dog about 3 years ago to help me cope with my disorder. The first year and a half I went to various trainers for help in preparing him for his work. Not only was there no success in training him, he was completely miss trained for Service Dog Work. I had given up hope that he would ever be able to help me in public. I was so embarrassed to have him seen in public, his actions so inappropriate I would not take him with me when I needed to. I had given up hope he could be a Service Dog in public even though his work at home was invaluable. My therapists and a doctor told me of and recommended Glad Wags and Marj The Dog Trainer for my needs. After just one hour of evaluation Marj explained what Riley needed and what I would need to have a competent Service Dog. AT the time I was still unable to talk much less communicate well and was at a great disadvantage. The first six months of his training not only set Riley up for proper work and behavior, Marj completely reversed all the incorrect training I had followed. Today I can leave my home and go our without hesitation and confident Riley will do all that he needs to do to get me through it. I continue training with Marj to not only enhance Riley’s Service Dog work but have a goal of him being able to provide Search and Rescue services. Thanks to Marj and Glad Wags I have a True Service Dog Working that will not fail me the rest of his life. I thank God every time I go out for Marj in our lives and enabling all the needed changes for this to be a success.
When our daughter, Sarah was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, generalized anxiety and panic disorder, we began our search for ways to maintain her independence as a college student. In addition to getting her medical care and counseling, we learned the benefits of service dogs. As I pursued acquiring service dog for her, little did I know how daunting the task would be. I was told there would be at least a 6 month to 2 year wait and the cost could be upwards to $20,000.00. I was even told that only certain breeds could be utilized and that our existing dogs couldn’t remain in our household. In my heart, I knew that we couldn’t part with our 3 dog family members and my experience with training our own dogs told me that it couldn’t possibly take a full 2 years to train a low level service dog in spite of the responses I was getting. We didn’t need a dog to open doors or walk our daughter through traffic; some of the tasks we needed for service dogs for PTSD, depression and anxiety were to help reorient the person to reality, provide a calming presence and to apply pressure to the abdomen to help relieve anxiety. I knew that in addition, the dog had to be well trained in basic obedience, but knew this didn’t take 2 years. Some of the local service dog organizations wouldn’t even discuss this option with me and were downright rude. Enter Marj Satterfield of Glad Wags.
I found Marj through a chance encounter online and quickly emailed her with our story and our needs. She emailed me back within hours and I called her the next day. My tears of joy couldn’t be contained when I heard those magic words “I can help you and we can have a dog for Sarah within a few weeks.” By this point, we were desperate to find help to keep her in school and I knew a service dog was vital. We met with Marj and Sarah visited with 2 or 3 dogs to try to find the right fit but there just wasn’t a good emotional connection. While talking with her about options, such as going to the kill shelters to pick out a dog, which she often does, she asked what breed we would prefer. We already had an Australian Shepherd and knowing their intelligence, ease of training and their nickname as the Velcro dog, that was our suggestion. After a pause, Marj offered us one of her personal dogs who she had purchased as a puppy to show that had not grown large enough to meet the breed standard. Our shock was replaced with joy when Sage met Sarah and the love affair began. Sage moved into Sarah’s dorm room within a couple of weeks. As parents, my husband and I truly believe that but for Sage, Sarah might have taken her life.
Sage and Sarah are a real team now; we have only had Sage in our life for 7 months now but with continued training, Sage has learned new skills as needed. Sarah has recently been diagnosed with Narcolepsy and Cataplexy and Sage loves her newest task of waking Sarah up every morning. She has also, on her own without promoting or training by Sarah or Marj, began “herding” Sarah to the bed to take a nap when she is becoming irritable or appears excessively sleepy.
Sage accompanied Sarah and I to Las Vegas this summer where I attended a professional conference. Sage went through the TSA security checkpoint off leash and without even as much as a collar like a champ. She flew Southwest Airlines like it was an everyday event and even conquered the moving sidewalk in the Las Vegas Airport. The casinos were of no issue and even went to the Grand Canyon.
When we received Sage from Marj, she told us the cost of Sage but gave her to us without expecting a penny that day, with the statement of “pay me what you can, when you can, as you can.” This is not just a business but truly the calling of her heart to help those with disabilities. Last spring, our family organized a motorcycle poker run to raise money for Glad Wags and was able to pay off the balance we owed on Sage. Not everyone is that fortunate. Sarah has continued to work to find other organizations that will raise funds for Glad Wags to help fund other service dogs. Recently, a service organization she was part of while at school had a fund raiser and brought in $111.00. That’s a lot from poor college students!
Marj and Glad Wags continue to provide assistance to those with disabilities, often at Marj’s own personal expense. As a healthcare provider, I know professionally and personally the benefits a service dog can provide and have referred several people to Glad Wags. In October, Sarah, Sage and I will travel to Atlanta to attend a national conference on Narcolepsy. Hopefully, we will be able to share how vital Sage’s assistance is to Sarah’s health and well-being, thus helping others with narcolepsy.
Marj and Glad Wags have been a blessing to so many, including our family. Even after a few short months, we cannot imagine our lives without Sage in it. Sarah will tell you that Sage is better than any medicine and is a vital part of her healthcare. We have hope for Sarah’s future and Sage, Marj Satterfield and Glad Wags played a huge role that!!
Cute song but a pet store is not where you want to buy a puppy UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES!! Let’s address where to actually buy a puppy ….before I get on this soapbox let me give you some facts about puppies from birth to 8 weeks (the PROPER age to get a puppy) The mother dog contributes 75% of the puppies genetic makeup and temperament. Meaning if the mommy dog has genetic problems 75%of those problems i.e. hip dysplasia will be passed on to her puppies. If she is afraid of people, is aggressive towards people, afraid of thunderstorms etc. she passes that on to her puppies. If puppies are separated from their mother before 5 weeks they become an aggressive dog risk. The mother dog teaches her puppies “inhibited” bite between the 5th and 7th week. Meaning when the puppy tries to bite hard on his mom the mother dog corrects that puppy so he does not clamp down with his mouth. This is called “inhibited” bite. So when a crappy uninformed breeder sells you a puppy that is under 6 weeks of age you have now purchased a puppy who is at risk to bite you or your kids in the future. So when you take home this underage puppy and then start playing tug of war, chase me games, wrestle games and you all of a sudden have scars on your arms or your kids are now afraid of the puppy you got especially for them guess where it came from? An ethical, informed breeder handles his/her puppies properly from birth; raises them inside, keeps them clean and matches them to the proper buyer. The buyer then has a great dog that will stay with them until a ripe old age.
So I am going to make people mad or at least I will get them thinking about where to “get” a dog. We have entered into a trend of being politically correct about where we get dogs…the shelter folks have done a great job in convincing people the only place to get a dog is from a shelter. “Crap” I say. I would NEVER suggest that a family with kids (especially under 5; and why are you getting a dog with “little” kids in the house anyway) adopt a dog from a shelter. That’s right not from a shelter; especially from a shelter that does not “test” their dogs for adoptability; and match them to the proper family for it’s temperament, size, age, etc. Most dogs are not in shelters because they are “well behaved” Since 1974 when I started to do dog rescue up until now I have yet to meet someone abandoning a dog that is well-behaved.
Sooo if you are going to adopt a dog for your family of kids you are adopting a dog with “baggage”. You will have no idea about that “baggage” it could be as simple as a barking problem or as serious as a “biting” problem. So where are you supposed to get a dog you ask? I have no problem with saving a dog that has been abandoned but be thoughtful about where you adopt if from…if you want a Poodle go to a local Poodle rescue. They usually have the dogs living in a foster home and can tell you exactly what the behavior problems are and/or have actually fixed the problems or will assist you in fixing them. They are also (or should be ) good at telling you NO a Poodle is not the right breed for your family and tell you why. If you gt to a shelter or private rescue group ask if they temperament test…if they don’t know what that is; or say No simply go somewhere else.
Most shelters have an 80% return rate…
So you have done your research, you have gotten on some reliable websites and you have decided that you want a “Three toed herding dog” where do you go?
What do you ask for or look for in selecting where to get your “Three-toed herding dog”
You can start by contacting your local AKC or UKC kennel club and see if they offer a breeder referral list. Many times these breeders have to sign a code of ethics and maintain certain standards to be on the referral list.
An ethical breeder will only breed a litter every couple of years. they will require you to sign a contract that will guarantee you a genetically sound puppy (because they have tested and screened parents for genetic diseases) and a temperamentally sound puppy according to the breed standard. If something goes wrong with the puppy genetically they will refund your money or replace the puppy. You may have to agree to spay/neuter the puppy, keep it as a house dog , and/or take it to training. My contract to purchase a puppy from me is 5 pages long. My adoption contract for a rescue dog is 3 pages long. If I brought a puppy into the world or I rescued a dog; it is my moral responsibility to maintain an interest in that puppy/dog for it’s life time. Meaning if at ANY time you cannot keep a dog that you have gotten from me it comes back to me immediately.
Now some shelters/rescue groups/ breeders go over the top when it comes to requirements to obtain a dog from them but I would rather have too many than not enough. If you do not feel comfortable with the breeder/shelter/rescue group and you don’t feel that they will be available to answer any questions that you may have then go ELSEWHERE!
What to pay for a puppy/dog? Well that is a huge debate..in my opinion a pet purebred puppy (that you must spay or neuter) from an ethical breeder that comes with a guarantee will cost anywhere from $600 to $1,200 dollars depending on the breed. Show puppies are a different discussion. Can you get a nice puppy for $300 dollars sure; purchased with the knowledge that it may have a genetic problem that could be heartbreaking.
Let’s talk puppy mills..my description of a “puppy mill” is ANYONE who breeds dogs for profit, does no genetic testing, places puppies too early, or has more than one litter every two to three years.
Common sense would dictate that you DO NOT “meet” someone in a parking lot and buy a puppy out of the back of their truck or van or on the side of the road or a Wal Mart parking lot. The same goes for the internet a great way to let lots of people know you are breeding dogs; but quite often these are puppies from puppy mills, or careless breeders.. ask lots of questions before you have a puppy shipped to you sight unseen, How old is the mother dog, do they show their dogs, why did they have this litter, what type of guarantee do they give; are the puppies raised in the house, have they had at least one round of shots, is this the only breed of dog they raise; do they test for genetic diseases; can you come to their home and pick up your puppy? If they don’t answer yes to these questions or have good answers they are most likely a puppy mill or at best a careless breeder and these puppies are not socialized, the parents are warehoused and given minimum care and treated like a commodity. You end up with their gross misconduct when it comes to breeding dogs and the only “victim” is the puppy who gets abandoned because you cannot get it house-trained or continues to have behavior problems no matter what you do to correct it.
That being said..be sure whatever dog you purchase, find, inherit, or adopt you buy a crate; use it and immediately enroll said dog in a training class to ensure that the dog is a companion that you will enjoy for a lifetime..
Ok all of you that know me or have attended our classes know my opinion about walking dogs mindlessly through the neighborhood. That being said before striking our for a stroll with your dog in this heat..please be mindful of how hot the sidewalks get…
Do this test before you start…put your hand on the sidewalk and let it sit there for 10 seconds; now raise it up to the level of where your dog’s belly should be; feel the heat rising? Now you have an accurate “dogmometer” Let’s face it no one does well when it’s so hot and no walk is worth having your dog have an episode of heatstroke..it can be fatal…or have paw damage from walking on scalding hot pavement. Save your walks for the cooler part of the day..or better yet…do 10 minutes of ArmChair Dog Training and mentally fatigue your dog without heatstroke!!!
Go Forth and Train!
My quirky, beautiful, funny, generous, talented, creative, computer whiz, always had a smile on her face, dependable and an exceptional dog trainer..how heartbreaking to have lost you.I was so blessed to have had Autumn as part of my staff and as a friend.Hopefully all of us strive to leave a positive mark in the world before we leave it. Autumn did just that: Her legacy is JET and TEDDY and BLUSH and DOTTIE and GIBS and KUMA her gentle giant! and let us not forget BACON!Please join me in prayers and light for Chris (her husband since June 4th of this year) and her family in this time of loss for all of us!Glad Wags will always have a piece of us missing!I will post more about a final celebration in honor of Autumn in the days to come Marj today the Heartbroken Dog Trainer
HAPPY ST. PATRICKS DAY!!!
The year is flying by! Our POKER RUN is coming up quickly; I really need some more volunteers to help with collecting donations and sponsors. If you own a business…or frequent a business that appreciates what a difference a Service Dog can make in a person’s life we NEED their support! Everything that you donate is fully tax deductible and I can write you a receipt for your taxes!!
We could use some restaurant gift cards…maybe some quick trip cards…we are still collecting liquor and accessories that can go in our “Stock your Bar” basket. Also anything that might go with a telescope. A book, anything to do with Astronomy…please also encourage your family, friends and countrymen to attend the “After Party”. It is family friendly and will start about 4:30 pm and go until?
Here are those all important Dates:
Sunday March 1 2 pm Training in Arkansas. Clarksville rec center
NO Advanced classes Thursday March 5, Muskogee
Thursday March 5 New Beginning class Muskogee 7:30 pm (class sold out)
Friday March 13, Poker Run meeting 7 pm dinner will be prepared.
Friday March 20 Therapy Dog night 6 pm Parkside.
Thursday March 26 NO classes Muskogee
Friday March 27 Therapy Dog night 6:30 pm at “Sterling House” Claremore (address to follow)
SAVE THE DATE
NO Saturday Classes in April!!!
Saturday April 5th…All day NADOI conference OKC
Saturday April 11 Azalea Parade Muskogee
Saturday April 18 1 mile walk to benefit Parkside Physc. Hospital
Saturday April 25 Poker Run to Benefit Glad Wags Service Dogs 9 am Training center.
We have a new system for update reminders on events!
If you would like to sign up for our text alert system that reminds you when we have events, please send the message @gladwags1 to the number 81010 (81010 is the “phone number” you are sending the message “@gladwags1” to!) and that will sign you up for the service!
We hope this will help everybody out!
Oh my gosh I think it hasn’t rained today!I
I sure hope that the rainy season is now behind us!
Please join us on June 17th for “Bark in the Park” at Drillers stadium.
I will be having a booth there and will have a few tickets for those of you who want to come watch the game; otherwise the tickets are $10 each to sit on the grass with your dog and watch the game – come prepared for any type of weather.
If you are on our Therapy Dog or our Demo Dog team I will be making another shirt order…$25 each on Wednesday the 3rd of June.
Thursday 4 of June new beginning class in Muskogee 7:30 pm
Saturday 6th of June! 3:00pm Field trip for Service Dogs, bring $ for admission/lunch
Saturday 13th of June 2:00 line up for parade in Choteau – Always fun for a dog to have a “new” event to go to.
Friday 19th of June 6pm Therapy Dog night Parkside.
Friday 26th of June 6:30 on Sterling House in Claremore
Get your flea and tick treatment on your lawns or get your lawn guy to spray right away….do not wait any longer in order to stay ahead of those pesky critters!!