Shrimp, BBQ and Cabaret

Gonna try to be brief as I really need to catch up!!!

Shrimp’s game

As is his way, Ulysses did great at the Shrimp’s game. A number of kids came up to him, asking to pet him. He was still while they pet his golden locks. The highlight, though, was having South Paw stop by. Ulysses did great with him too! Didn’t shy away; didn’t seem concerned and definitely not aggressive. And yes, we got some good pictures!


He was so tired at the end of the evening!


5 & Dime Cabaret

Some dear friends (and best voices in Jacksonville) were performing in a cabaret for

Ulysses sports the obligatory program photo

The 5 & Dime, one of our local theatres. Josh’s “best friend” is Ulysses, and Ulysses is my show buddy so you know he had to go with me. (Josh actually came running up saying, “My best friend is here! My best friend is here! Oh, hi Susan.” LOL) Due to some renovations at The 5 & Dime’s theatre, the cabaret was at Bab’s Lab in the Cork District, a location we had not been to before. We arrived early; I got Ulysses out of the truck but did not loop the hands-free leash over my shoulder as I figured we would be inside quickly. So with leash in one hand and treat bag in the other, we walked around the truck to the side-walk to find ourselves charged by a guard dog behind a fence in the space next to Bab’s Lab. Ulysses went berserk, naturally, so now I have a teenage, 55 pound, puppy jumping like a kangaroo while a dog is trying his best to get to us through the fence. I got Ulysses over to where I had something to help me block his view of the other dog, and started settling him down. A gentleman got out of his car and crossed the street, asking if I needed any help. As politely as I could (while my heart rate was at about 180, my brain was racing a mile a minute, and my hands were full), I thanked him but declined his assistance. After I finally calmed Ulysses down, I put the hands-free leash on, filled my hand with treats and readied us to go into the building. It was at that point that I saw that the door to the cabaret wasn’t

He’s so chill at events!

there on the sidewalk. Nope. Had to walk down a sidewalk between the fenced yard with the dog and the building to get to the door. Oh boy! The dog/fence was on my left, the heeling side, but I decided to keep Ulysses on my left – between me and the fence, right next to the guard dog. We walked over, the dog started his protection and I kept shoving treats at Ulysses. Without any issue, we made it to the door and inside. My first words – can I have a beer! Interestingly enough, the gentleman who offered assistance sat behind me with his family, and at intermission they complimented me on how I handled the situation. I’m glad I didn’t know I had an audience! (And the cabaret was fantastic as always!)



2nd Annual Military Appreciation
Veterans United Craft Brewery

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Ulysses and I had a good time at the Brewery, catching up with friends and enjoying some craft beer.  (Well, I enjoyed the beer; Ulysses watched.)  And the BBQ was fantastic!






From Around the Web…


Service Dog Solutions:
Next Steps in Federal Support for Veterans with PTSD

  • About 140,000 of America’s veterans deployed since 9/11 suffer from PTSD. Standard VA treatments have been ineffective, or even made things worse.
  • Service dogs offer an alternative to traditional treatments as highly trained companions that provide emotional support to veterans suffering from PTSD.
  • The proposed PAWS Act sets up guidelines to make service dogs an official treatment option for American veterans—an alternative that Congress should support.




Awesome note from one our warriors.
“I just want to thank K9s For Warriors for introducing me to my new battle buddy. This experience has been life changing in more than one way. First, my battle buddy, Susie, has already changed my life. I’ve heard a few things recently that I don’t hear very often: “you look relaxed,” “you are smiling,” “you look happy, “you don’t look angry.” These may seem like small things, but they are huge in my life. I’ve also had the privilege of meeting some of the most amazing people I’ve ever known. Your entire staff and all the volunteers bent over backwards to make us feel at home. I’m not sure if one of the intended results was to change my outlook on humanity, but I witnessed first hand that there are a lot of people that truly care. They aren’t in it for anything but to give to people that are in need. Sometimes we go through life and our experiences begin to form negative opinions that actually become “truths” for us. The last three weeks have challenged those false “truths” in my life. Please share with your staff and volunteers that their hard work and commitment has not gone unrecognized. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!”




From First Coast News:  One local ninja warrior is testing himself, all to honor his brother, an army veteran who committed suicide.  How he hopes “American Ninja Warrior” will help his cause.


Rory Diamond, CEO of K9s For Warriors, is a Facebook junkie like me.  (Rory, I say that very lovingly.)  For that I’m very grateful as his posts spread the great work that K9s For Warriors is doing … and gives me lots to share with you!

This week, some of our employees participated in “warrior for a day” training. These staff members leashed up to gain insight on what it is like to train with a service dog. We would like to thank all of our wonderful dog and warrior trainers who made this possible. We appreciate your hard work!






Air Carrier Act has changed – check with airline.



Susie was at Flagler Humane Society and was sent to K9s For Warriors and trained to be a service dog for her new dad Walter. Here she is at her graduation. Congratulations Susie!




Until next week, be safe.
This blog, week 17, represents May 22nd – 28th, 2017.



Please note that article sources do not indicate my personal political leanings.
If the article is true and supports K9s for Warriors,
I do not care what side of the aisle it was written from!




While we did quite a bit during Week 15, Ulysses thinks what happened on

Ulysses with Kathy (middle) along with a couple of the trainers at Camp K9 after I dropped him off for surgery.

Wednesday deserves to be the title of this weeks blow.  Poor Fuzznuts went from Brazilian to Hazel.  I joked for a few days that his new nickname was “Tom Brady.”  (Let me know if you get my joke.)  All joking aside, he went through the neutering surgery like a champ.  No reaction to anesthesia; no need for the cone-of-shame.  You would have thought he went to Camp K9 to see his friends!  Has 3 stitches that I’ll take out after 10 days.



With the cast of The Hallelujah Girls!

This was a week of theatre for the blonde boy.  On Monday, he joined me at my photo shoot of Hallelujah Girls at ABET in Atlantic Beach.  This was a tough night for him as I was moving around the theatre while he needed to just chill in the center aisle.  Bad Momma forgot to bring a chew toy to keep him occupied; now I need to sew up his leash.



The obligatory program photo for Facebook checkin!


Then on Friday, we were back at The 5 and Dime to see their production of A New Brain.
As he has done in the past, he was gentle with the friends he made in the lobby, and during the show, he just slept at my feet.  The music in this show was fabulous, with a lot of loud belters.  As far as Ulysses was concerned, they were all singing beautiful lullabies to him.






Kathy, our adviser at K9s for Warriors, has divided the 40+ puppies into beginning, intermediate and advanced groups, instead of age related groups.  This is a good thing as not all dogs are alike in how quickly they mature or learn.  But – EEEK!  She put Ulysses in the advanced group.  We need to step up our training game to keep up with the others, that’s for sure.

Anyway, we had our first class with the new group on Saturday.  To help the dogs with confidence and learning to face different situations, Kathy had us working on some agility equipment.  Weaving in and out of cones on a loose leash and stepping over tubes lying in our path were not a problem for the blonde boy.  However, when asked to jump through the ring, go down a ramp or go through a tunnel, his look said, “You want me to do WHAT?”  With coaxing and bribing, he finally made it through those too.  Our biggest obstacle still remains how to behave when around other dogs.  He just loses his freaking mind!!!



Ulysses finished his 15th week with restaurant lunches, sitting outside both times to enjoy what is probably our last weekend of cool-ish temps.  Hooters on Saturday and Clark’s Fish Camp on Sunday.  While at Hooters, we took time to walk on the docks, continuing to train in different situations.  He had no problem whatsoever walking on a dock.  (If you’re thinking this isn’t a big deal, it actually is.  Diva, my 10 year old Spaniel mix, almost army-crawls when on a dock.  She can’t stand it and isn’t going to change her mind!)


Anatomy of a bath, complete with the side-eye look at the end.


Ulysses with his foster sisters, Diva and Dakotah



Along with going to ABET to shoot The Hallelujah Girls, we got a peak at the program for the show’s run.  A huge THANK YOU once again to ABET for including a full page “ad” for K9s for Warriors, helping us spread the word about this wonderful organization.



Another huge THANK YOU to B3 Dog Services for their monthly donation to K9s For Warriors!  They donate $1 for every dog walk they do during the month; that’s a LOT of walking.  If you’re looking for a dog service in Jacksonville, give B3 a call!



Thank You NOSA!!!!Image may contain: sky and outdoor

I received an email from a theatre friend telling me that NOSA (Naval Officers’ Spouses’ Associationmade a $500 donation to K9s for Warriors, “based largely on your blogs!”  I’m humbled and sincerely thankful!





The May class in on campus, paired with their dogs and working towards their new life.  10 warriors in the class.  Here are 7 of them with their dogs!





Posted on K9s Facebook page….




We still need Puppy Raisers!!!




Congratulations to Shari Duval who is a finalist for the 2017 Eve Award!  BRAVO!




Brett and Reagan’s Story

Every now and then I head over to K9s YouTube channel to watch the warriors’ stories.  This one is Brett’s, whose mom started K9s.




15 Ways My K9s For Warriors Service Dog Has Helped Me

I discussed my situation with a fellow veteran who suggested I apply to Onyxthe K9s For Warriors organization. I applied to the program and was immediately supported by the President of the organization, Shari Onyx2Duval. I shared my anxiety about the process and she lovingly calmed my fears by helping me understand how the dog will help me. But ultimately she asked me to trust that she would take good care of me and all the other veterans who came through the program.
(Tissue warning….)





Purdue University: Service Dogs & PTSD

The goal of our research at the OHAIRE lab is to empirically evaluate the effects of service dogs on the mental health and wellness of military members diagnosed with PTSD and their families. In particular, we are interested in determining if military members with PTSD who have been placed with a service dog will show changes in PTSD symptom severity, physiological arousal, and social competency compared to those receiving usual treatment services while on the waitlist to receive a PTSD service dog.

We are also interested in the spouse’s perspective from the service dog placement. Do spouses of military veterans experience any effects from the service dog being inside the home? To answer this question, we are also measuring spousal stress, caregiver burden, relationship satisfaction, and overall family functioning from the spouse’s point of view. Future research will plan to incorporate children and other family members. 

Our research is conducted in collaboration with K9s for Warriors, an Assistance Dogs International (ADI) accredited organization providing service dogs for veterans with PTSD, traumatic brain injury (TBI), military sexual trauma (MST), and mobility issues.





P.A.W.S. Act
Puppies Assisting Wounded Servicemembers

Senators reintroduce PAWS Act, saying dogs can be a veteran’s best friend

“Service dogs can provide support, peace, and joy to these Americans as they confront the invisible scars of war,” Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Neb., said in reintroducing Puppies Assisting Wounded Servicemembers, or PAWS Act.

Senators Fischer and Booker Reintroduce PAWS Act

Full Text of the Bill

Note:  If you Google this, don’t mix it up with the “Pet and Women Safety” Act.  While this is something we also need, it’s not what K9s for Warriors is working with and towards.  Shame they’re both using the same acronym.



Petland Franchisees Donate Pup To K9s For Warriors

Jacksonville Petland Owners To Provide Veteran With Service Dog




Bayer launches Operation K9 Care to provide free wellness care for service dogs aiding United States veterans with PTSD

Nationwide program reduces financial burden of service dog ownership for K9s For Warriors graduates

I have been searching for information on the Bayer program off and on for months.  Finally found this.


Until next week, be safe.
This blog, week 15, represents May 1st – 7th, 2017.



Little humor sent my way as I was finishing this blog…

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