Sunday, July 23, 2006

A Bit About Nelson

Nelson,specially trained as my Hearing Ear Dog,is my canine soulmate and best friend! "Nellie" is a Standard Poodle crossbreed. The question I get asked most is"I can see the Poodle in him,but what is he crossed with?"

His father was a beautiful black purebred Standard poodle,A Canadian Show Champion by the name of "Tudorose Lord Baden Powell" or "Baden" for short. His mother was a miniature poodle/sheltie/schnauzer cross. Hard to imagine,but just look at how handsome my boy is on Grad Night!

He was born May 6,1994. We graduated May 9,1996 after he was fostered and trained,then I attended a 2 week training session at the Lions Foundation Dog Guides Canada,located in Oakville Ontario. He is specially trained to alert me to sound by touching me with his paw and leading me to the source of the sound. I was also the first legally blind Hearing Ear Dog Graduate. (HED for short). Some of the sounds that Nelson alerts me to are: door knocks,a ringing telephone,timers on various appliances, someone calling my name and the ever important fire alarm or smoke detector.

Grad Night was pretty special. Mom and Dad were the first guests to arrive that night. I was in my room just finishing getting ready for the ceremony. One of the Kennel staff directed them to my room and told them"That's been her cell for the last 2 weeks!" I opened the door to let them in. For Mom,it was love at first sight"Aw Nelson come see Nana!" The picture on the far right is Mom and I just before the ceremony.

Dad is the family photographer and he was behind the camera the whole night!

To this day,Nelson is an energetic,steady and happy worker. His positive reinforcement training with the use of treats,voice praise and hugs (He LOVES hugs!) keeps him happily alerting to sounds.

Nelson has got me through the best and the worst of times over the last 10+years. The bond between us is hard to describe. The best way I can put it is,think how much you love your family pet or foster puppy,multiply that by a thousandfold and you will have an idea how much Nelson means to me.

Mom was so proud of us,she bragged about us to everyone. She told them"Now that Crystal has Nelson,she is totally independent. I don't have to worry about her dying in a fire anymore." I can relax in my own apartment,not worrying if the knock on the door is mine or a neighbour's.(Nelson only alerts me if the knock is at my door), I don't have to hit the "mute" button on the TV whenever the phone rings,he lets me know when it is my phone. I trust him so much I can take my hearing aids out at home and he will let me know if there is a sound that needs my attention. He also loves it when I put his jacket on him for outings. He prances proudly at my side.

Nelson is my special gift from God and Dog Guides Canada.


Blogger thepuppyraiser said...

aww...that's neat

4:05 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home