Travel

Traveling to the capital

Graham is the best travel companion.  I don’t travel often. Work keeps me tied down and I lack confidence to go out on my own. Day trips are fine; I can jump in my car, explore a new place, and I’m back in my own warm bed by early evening. Where’s the fun in that? In early March, my mom surprised me with the chance to fly to D.C. with her and Graham. We have family down in Alexandria, Virginia, and visiting them would be a fantastic opportunity. I had been planning a trip back in November but due to a rotator cuff injury, I had to cancel. This was the perfect chance to get back out there… and I wouldn’t be totally alone. I requested the time off about three weeks before the flight and approval came immediately. My mom purchased the tickets, we planned for my dad to…

We have been together for 5 years

I want to apologize for such a long absence. The last year has been filled with crazy work days, a new apartment, and a rotator cuff injury that has added complications to my only source of mobility. I’ve gone through multiple managers, learned how to clear my car of snow after large storms, and have moved into an apartment with stairs. I even hope to search for my very own house in the next few years. None of it would be possible without Graham, and I want to return to sharing our journeys and adventures together. Five years have passed. Five years have passed since I was lucky enough to receive my best friend, and partner in crime, Graham. He is an incredible companion and I know, for a fact, that I would not be where I am today without him. He continues to teach me lessons in patience, understanding,…

A new year, a new job, and a return to blogging!

Greetings! Graham and I cannot believe that a year has gone by since we have touched this blog and for that, we are terribly sorry. Life has been absolutely nuts and, as you may be able to tell from the title, a lot has been going on! First of all, we would like to wish you a Happy 2016! A new year means a new start and boy did this one start off fast for us. This past July, our lives took a sudden change. A new job was beginning and that meant a new commute, a new apartment and all new people, and dogs(!) to meet and befriend! We had joined a company far far larger than the last and though this one would also require long hours in the office, it held that sweet sweet satisfaction of being a dog-friendly work environment. Sure, you may shake your head…

Keeping Organized

We all are weighed down by medical expenses, bills, prescriptions and other important documents that we need to keep track of. Our pets are too! With Graham, I also want to keep track of what happens when we go out, skills we may need to brush up on and his overall health. For the past year I’ve been a big fan of using ARC notebooks for all my note taking, be it for work or for personal. The notebooks are extremely customizable and easy to set up. You can order them online or buy them at Staples for a low cost. You can buy accessories from calendar pages to to-do lists, project planning, rulers, highlighter tabs and so much more. For the more adventurous, you can purchase a special hole punch that punches paper to fit the “disc” system that the ARCs use. Because I’m a graphic designer, I…

Greeting Service Dogs … or any dog for that matter

Today’s blog post isn’t so much about Graham as it is about watching how people react around service dogs. Many don’t know what to do. Some have a general idea of what’s acceptable and what isn’t while others are completely clueless. As a service dog handler, I encounter all types of these people on a daily basis, from my time running errands to roaming my apartment building. Approaching a service dog can cause trouble for everyone involved. A service dog is there to help their handler. If a stranger, or even a friend for that matter, approaches a working dog, the level of distraction in a possibly already stimulating environment can be disastrous. For myself, if something were to startle Graham, my balance could be compromised with the crutches. If he gets too excited and jumps into me, my support might disappear. He weighs more than half of me. Many…

A Stroll Down Newbury

Saturday was an exciting and busy day for Graham and I. It was my mother’s birthday and a whole girls day was planned. The morning started as any other. We were lazy to get up, Graham and Simi playing with each other while I hit snooze a few times. Breakfast time rolled around, however, and I was forced to get up and feed the crew. Graham had a full cup of food while I had a light breakfast, planning for the day ahead. My mother rolled in around 11 am and after a few minutes of organizing and greetings, we were off. I drove her through the city of Boston and turned onto Newbury Street. The spots were all taken. Snow made visibility difficult and caused a two-lane road to become 1 and a half at times. We drove for a few blocks, nearly missing a few chances to park.…

A Night Out

Everyone likes to get out of the house and explore the town or find a nice place to eat. It’s fun, different and most definitely breaks up our mundane routines. For Graham, it’s time to work. Getting Prepared Restaurants are unpredictable, for the most part. They can be noisy, quiet, clean, grimy… you get the idea. Okay, so for the most part, you can guess if a place is going to be busy or not. A dinner on Tuesday night is going to bring in a completely different atmosphere than dinner on a Friday or Saturday night. Let’s be real. Who really wants to go out to dinner in the middle of the week when they have to get up early for work the next morning? Graham and I certainly don’t! When I go out with Graham, I have to be ready for all of these factors. It could be…

How do you handle the cold with your dogs?

Winter is a tough time for humans and canines alike. Jackets only go so far for us and fur coats are just the same for our furry companions. Most dogs don’t need to go out unless they are pottying. For assistance dogs, it’s different. For Graham, being outside is a much more common occurance, especially during the morning and evening commutes. I avoid taking him out if I can but when he has to get out into the harsh reality that is New England, I bundle him out in a Smartpack dog jacket and booties. It doesn’t seem to be enough to keep him comfortable when we are walking any sort of distance. Are there other ways to keep my companion safe and warm in these temperatures? With next week’s forecast being ominous, I worry that it will be extra hard on Graham. All thoughts and opinions are much appreciated!

An Introduction

Hi. I’m Katerina Rose and Graham is my assistance dog. Throughout our journey together, I have discovered how little people understand of service animals and what they can do for us. In the beginning I knew very little of assistance animals. Like most people I’ve encountered, I only knew of seeing-eye-dogs. I didn’t realize that there was so much more to these animals than what mainstream media has shown us. After living with Graham for a few years, I wanted to find a way to expose people to these wonderful creatures. Hopefully this blog will be entertaining as well as informative of what it’s like to live with such an amazing animal. Graham’s changed my life and I don’t know what I would do without him. He is a part of my family. He goes everywhere with me. He graduated from college with me and he will continue to grow with me as I journey…

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