Author Topic: Hi, Im Jomorningstar  (Read 5615 times)

Offline JoMorningstar

  • Gnawer
  • *
  • Posts: 16
  • Heather *packed* going to Pow Wow
    • View Profile
    • Apache Creations.
Hi, Im Jomorningstar
« on: September 01, 2008, 06:29:52 pm »
my name is josephine morningstar, i live in northeast massachusetts. Im owned by Heather, my Great pyrenees Medical Alert service dog (Masd), and Maji, (masc) a bengal male.

I am originally from Missouri, (born / raised) and have been in New England since Feb 2001.

I design and make Bone&Gemstone jewelry, I attend pow wows, and Heather enjoys the flute music. Sits very attentively, paws close together, and does not like anyone around her to talk when they play the flutes.  she really loves the very low   pitched ones.

I was born with spina bifida, primary immune disorder, and ehlers-danlos syndrome. I have as long as i can remember, had a large dog that was my service dog, even before there was a name for them. I use a wheelchair most of the time, its safer for me as the EDS allows my joints to hyperflex too much, besides pain, i can wind up in a heap on the ground without warning most times. Heather keeps me from falling. She is good at her job.

This is the first pyr that i have had, before her were 5 wolf hybrids, which i really loved sharing my life. The Great Pyrenees is as close to the wolf in thinking as any i have come across, so we get along well.

Heather alerts to my Central Apnea (caused by Meningocele manque), reactive Airway disorder (caused by Primary immunodeficien cy disorder) and helps keep my balance (ehlers-danlos syndrome)

when we go places.. i hear alot of compliments on Heather. she is much loved and people remember her name and always ask how she is doing. (im just the tag a long)  ;)

Heather also does some hearing alerts for me.. I had the audio exam 2 yrs ago.. the first time thru, i was not aware that i was reacting to Heather hearing the noises.. The tech said that it was amazing how subtle Heather was in her alerting. but it was quite clear that i was reacting to her cues.  so the next time around.. i was blindfolded.  LOL and had to remember not to respond to her nose nudges except to breathe deeper. A couple of times Heather pawed at me rather  incessantly I found out later, that they were playing various tones and that i just was not hearing them.

So two years ago i qualified for hearing aides in both ears.. the right is the worst.. but they pick up so much static that i do not use them. Heather does the work for me.

I think that Great Pyrs are truly awesome dogs. and even rank above my beloved Wolves.

When out and about, and asked what Heather does for me.. i can truthfully say.. *she keeps me alive*..
Josephine Morningstar & Heather, Grt Pyr MASD
Native American in New England.
Never threaten anyone. It ruins the surprise.

lins_saving_grace

  • Guest
Re: Hi, Im Jomorningstar
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2008, 06:32:08 pm »
welcome to BPO.  nice to meet you.  I'm Lin, from SW Michigan, and I am owned by Grace, the rottie.

Offline ZooCrew

  • Tail Wagging Champ
  • *****
  • Posts: 3355
  • Never say Never to a pet in need
    • View Profile
Re: Hi, Im Jomorningstar
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2008, 06:51:49 pm »
Hello and welcome!  It's not that often you see giant breed dogs as service dogs.  Sounds like she has been a great help to you.

I worked briefly for a training facility for service dogs.  Only a fill-in position and by the time they asked me to come on permanently my pet sitting business had just started taking off so I had to decline. 

My name is Chris and my crew is listed below.  :)

Offline pyr4me

  • Grand Master
  • ***
  • Posts: 651
    • View Profile
Re: Hi, Im Jomorningstar
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2008, 07:30:18 pm »
Hello and welcome to BPO! Heather sounds like an amazing dog. My name is Jennifer and my crew, including my adopted Pyr, is listed below.  :)
Jennifer

Tipper (8 1/2 yrs) Golden Retriever/Sheltie mix
Jenny (4 yrs) Great Pyrenees
Gabriel (14 yrs) Sealpoint Himalayan cat
Melanie (11 yrs) Domestic medium hair cat

"You think dogs will not be in heaven? I tell you, they will be there long before any of us."
~Robert Lewis Steven

Offline London_Pyr_Lover

  • BPO Guru
  • ****
  • Posts: 1265
    • View Profile
Re: Hi, Im Jomorningstar
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2008, 07:36:48 pm »
Welcome to BPO Jo, Heather sounds like just an amazing all around dog, you must be so thrilled to be sharing your life with her.  We'd love to see pictures of her if you ever get the chance.  ;)  My name is Alex, my Pyr girl is named Naja, and my other dog Moo is half Cairn Terrier half toy poodle, and half evil gremlin.  ;) :D

I would personally love to learn more about training service dogs, Pyrs especially.  I'm sure that you are a wealth of knowledge and I look forward to reading more about you and your fur family.  :)
My Sponsership page for my very first race!

Offline JoMorningstar

  • Gnawer
  • *
  • Posts: 16
  • Heather *packed* going to Pow Wow
    • View Profile
    • Apache Creations.
Re: Hi, Im Jomorningstar
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2008, 09:47:14 pm »

I would personally love to learn more about training service dogs, Pyrs especially.  I'm sure that you are a wealth of knowledge and I look forward to reading more about you and your fur family.  :)

Blush.. thank you.  would not know where to start..  ;) So if you have a particular interest.. let me know and i will be glad to share what i have learned or am still learning. I think like these sdog teams.. we both are in a constant learning curve.

One brag on my part, Thursday, I went with my cousin (and her sdog) to Walmart in New Hampshire, (no sales tax in the state)  And i was following along behind my cousin and grabbing the things that i had on my shopping list and adding them to HER cart..

Ive been having some more trouble the last 6 wks with my knees, more pain and hyperflexation with that comes more crunching. about half way thru winding thru the aisles. Heather moves in front of me and wont let me go forward.  I tried talking to her. and she would not budge.. when i tried to back up. she stepped on my foot. she is heavy, 125 lbs of her.

my cousin got to the end of the aisle and turned to come up the next one.. I told Heather, we could meet her. Heather moved. but when i moved my knee she touched it with her nose .. sort of a shove, and then stopped me again.  another customer standing near me.. had me stop also.. said that she  had heard me roll over something with my wheelchair, and that it had sounded like i had cracked or broken it.  she looked very carefully . but found nothing.. when i moved again nd moved my rt knee again.. the noise happened again. and this time the woman saw Heather nose nudge my knee again. She remarked what a smart dog i had. I had to grin and agree.  Now Heather nose nudges me every time my knee starts to make noises that i can not hear, no pain, i do feel the crunching noises. Heather stops me and makes me stay still for a bit and not move it .. if i do not listen to her.. it gives out on me.

I reinforce this alert by praising Heather, and adding the task in with the praise.. my way with Heather is that i say *thank you Heather, for warning me about my knee. Good Job! Heather!*

Heather also walks beside me sometimes when i try to walk. and when my knee starts to dislocate and go sideways. Heather leans into the leg and stops it from going to far.. its still hurts but i dont fall down as much this way. I will put my hand down on her back and pat her.. I tell her that i love her, or that she is good dog, or mostly i tell her that she is awesome and pyrfect .. she wags her tail grin.

I live in a house that was built in 1820. its on the historical record (my cousin says it as hysterical record  ;D) so its far from being accessible. So i have to walk some and inside the house. the hallways are narrow enough that i can walk with a hand on the wall. Heather is also between me and the wall. so the knees do not have as much chance to dislocate as other times.

I just thought it was a neat thing that Heather is now letting me know before my leg buckles out from under me.. the more things go *south* with me.. the more Heather steps up her duties.. She is one awesome dog in my book.. but then im prejudiced ;D ;D
Josephine Morningstar & Heather, Grt Pyr MASD
Native American in New England.
Never threaten anyone. It ruins the surprise.

Offline GoldenPyrs

  • Supreme Drooler
  • ****
  • Posts: 1681
    • View Profile
Re: Hi, Im Jomorningstar
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2008, 01:11:44 am »
Hi & welcome Jo & Heather!
Marie

And my pups:
Daisy a 9 y/o Golden/Lab mix
Sammy a 6-7(?) y/o Great Pyrenees adopted 3/07
Cassie a 3 y/o Pyr/Mystery Snuggle Bunny mix adopted 2/07

My angel girls waiting at the Bridge:
Cara 1989-2001 Great Pyrenees
Sally ? - 1993 Dobie(rescued '92)
Halley 2002-2006 Great Pyrenees

Offline Ali

  • BPO Fanatic
  • ***
  • Posts: 838
  • My girls!
    • View Profile
Re: Hi, Im Jomorningstar
« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2008, 01:02:12 pm »
I know that service dogs are capable of astounding things, but Heather sounds phenomenal! It sounds like she has such a wonderful bond with you! I find that so touching...How very wonderful that you two have each other. Welcome to BPO!
I'm Ali in Northern California, and my two lovely ladies are in my avatar - Tani (brindle) and Kai (black).
Ali
mom of 4 humans AND
Tani (TAH-nee or rhymes with "Bonnie")- Aussie/Pittie?Boxer?Mutt!
Kai - Aussie/Dobie
Kenji - big ol' black cat
Mika and Nishi - kitty sisters, foster failures!
Tasia Ladysnake - ball python

Offline JoMorningstar

  • Gnawer
  • *
  • Posts: 16
  • Heather *packed* going to Pow Wow
    • View Profile
    • Apache Creations.
Re: Hi, Im Jomorningstar
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2008, 09:30:03 am »
I know that service dogs are capable of astounding things, but Heather sounds phenomenal! It sounds like she has such a wonderful bond with you! I find that so touching...How very wonderful that you two have each other. Welcome to BPO!
I'm Ali in Northern California, and my two lovely ladies are in my avatar - Tani (brindle) and Kai (black).

There are 2 other people in my group that have pyrs as service dogs.. One lives in Western Mass, and the other is in st louis mo.  The one in western Mass, I first met her at pow wow. and Heather alerted for her for blood sugar drops  AND another lady for *cessation of breath*.. that lady had sleep apnea but was dozing off in the shade. every time she stopped breathing.. Heather was bumping her foot hard enough to wake her up.. the lady complained at first.. and i asked Heather *show me*.. Heather came to me and gave me her cue (she blows out harder thru her nose, it puffs air on my arm)  for me needing to exhale on her nose.. (not blow).. So i told the lady to exhale on Heathers nose, as she wanted to check out her breath.. the lady did, and Heather then tried to make the woman sit up straighter.. and then Heather put her nose under the ladys chin and shoved it upwards.. by this time at Pow wow.. we had an audience.. <g>  So i told the lady to sit up and breathe deep and then exhale on Heather again.. she did. and Heather was satisfied.. came back over to lay beside me and my wheelchair.. When the lady started to scoot back down in the seat to doze again.. Heather was back up and trying to make her sit up straighter.. I asked the lady then.. *do you have sleep apnea*.. the lady said.. YEAH.. why do you ask?? .. i said..*then why are you trying to sleep out here without putting the cpap machine on????? .. then the lady said.. omg..guess i should go inside the trailer to take my nap.. *

everyone standing around.. applauded Heather who was wanting to hide her head at that time.. she was just doing what a livestock guardian dog does.

I helped the lady in Western Mass get her Pyr service dog.  He came from a breeder friend in Mississippi.  i talked her into donating the boy to my friend in western Mass.. she has had him 2 yrs now.. for her he does mobility and blood sugar alerting..  we try to get together as often as we can.. but with the gas prices the way they are.. its rough now.

the other lady that lives in St Louis, she uses her pyr for mobility.

There are alot of pyrs that do therapy / visitation work. they are a natural for that as well.

Pyrs just look like huge cuddly stuffed animals.. and it melts the public around us..  we do have to guard a bit harder to keep people from distracting them by petting.. but  i think that is a small price.. compared to all that they can do for their person.. for all the medical alert dogs that i have had to have in the past.. the pyr seems to be the most able to catch onto this type of training the fastest..  but then im prejudiced.

everyone that meets Heather is amazed when watching her do her subtle alerts.. we have them honed down to the point that they do not draw much attention to us.. I have also used / encouraged heather to use common dog behaviours for alerts.. for the reason of NOT drawing much attention to my medical issues.. its bad enough to be in a wheelchair.. or worse trying to wobble around I do not need a sdog that is very demonstrative with the alerts.. they just need to blend into what other dogs might do.. the fact that they are cues to me.. is the secret..

I have to carry a caffiene drink with me all the time. it sits in a drink holder in the bck of my wheelchair.. my heart rate speeds up too fast when i move around. but the caffiene actually calms me down. (hyperactive adult) so when the heart is speeding up and getting too high (if it stays there it causes my airways to shut down) Heather hooks her nose under my hand and takes it backwards toward the location of the bottle of caffiene drink.. I know that i need to drink some.. and i have to exhale softly onto Heathers nose between swigs for Heather to check.. she will lay down or turn around when i hve consumed enough.

this is how we are such an awesome team.. and the cues do not take so long to train.. they are just normal dog behaviours.. even the hand hook..
Josephine Morningstar & Heather, Grt Pyr MASD
Native American in New England.
Never threaten anyone. It ruins the surprise.