Unfortunately, Sheba, while perfect for Billy Ray had one flaw, she loved to chase cars along our fence when they drove onto the neighbors property. She injured her leg. We treated it for a long time and it was felt that surgery wouldn't help. Eventually she couldn't work with Billy Ray but remained a pet until there was nothing else that could be done to keep her comfortable and we put her down.
Enter Penny Lane who was in foster care with Heartland Weim Rescue and we heard about her through our friends Cliff and Shela Nielsen . Through a chain of events and the fact we had a friend's son coming home from college in Olathe, KS and could transport her Penny Lane came to be Billy Ray's next service dog. She was the dog no one wanted and was at risk of being put down because she had problems with her ears and was partially deaf. I had provided similar care to Katie when she had problems with her ears so was not frightened away from Penny Lane. However, what I didn't realize was that Katie was well trained before her ears became and issue and we needed to provide more extensive training to Penny Lane because she was a service dog whereas Katie had been a pet. Training for Penny Lane has not been very successful and she has become much more of a pet than a service dog.
However, Penny Lane has contributed to Billy Ray and to me in ways I could have never trained her to do. We got her about a year before Billy Ray had the health crisis and ventilator episode shared previously. When he began go through breathing changes which have never been thoroughly diagnosed but he appears to literally stop breathing and Penny Lane somehow senses it and comes to get me. I can sleep because I trust her to monitor it. I wrote about it here .
Below is a picture that shows the relationship between the two. He doesn't really want her to sleep on the bed because she lays on the covers and he can turn over as well. However, this one morning he was dressed and went back to bed and crawled up beside him on his other pillow. He covered her up and fortunately this was one of those Kodak momemts I didn't miss.
As a rescue dog her exact age was a guess. It was suggested that she might be 2 years old but our vets have suggested she was probably 4-5 years old when we got her nearly 5 years ago. She has had multiple health issues the entire time but she has been manageable. Her weight has been a constant struggle and it was just believed that Billy Ray gave her too many bites (which he does) but it was finally discovered that she has a thyroid problem and we have been treating that. However, recent tests performed show that she has liver issues as well. She is being treated for both and is on a special diet for the liver issues. Her vet advised that we would probably be able to maintain her another year but two years was stretching it.
Thus, it seemed time to consider a new service dog. There are now service dog agencies that we could work with but because it is used a specific way for Billy Ray and I want to work with it myself, we are going through a breeder we know. I hope to share on pictures and video blogging when we get started training.
Until next time,
Peggy Lou Morgan
for a complete list of my blogs and sites see www.peggyloumorgan.com