Back to Work


Chloe was sick with a “tummy thing” Saturday through Sunday. Many people do not realize that a working dog is susceptible to occasional “tummy rumblings” and other “doggie colds” as they are exposed to so much more than a pet. At Fidos For Freedom, we are encouraged to take our working partners to the vet every 6 months for a “well check”. Chloe receives many vaccinations that are not even required by law, just to insure that her immune system has the very best defense against sickness. She gets sick about 3 times a year, and they are usually tummy things.

Early Saturday morning she woke me up with the same alert she uses to let me know my alarm was going off. At first I mumbled “good girl”, and reached for the alarm to turn it off. I think the fact that I was SO TIRED, I thought to look at the clock. 1:42 AM. Hmmm…

Chloe proceeded to show me why she got me up… poor sick girl! I put her on a hamburger/rice mixture for 48 hours. I fry and then strain (+ rinse with water) the very leanest hamburger, and boiled some white rice. Mixed together it seems to be the very best thing for an upset stomach. I keep these things on hand all the time.

The picture above is Chloe right when I told her Monday morning that we were going to “go to work”! She was so excited! She ran to the window, and then stayed literally under my feet until I dressed her in her vest to go. One of the hardest things for she and I is for me to have to put her in her kennel. Sunday morning church, and a few errands had her resting and me? Well I felt practically naked without her. I kept looking around for my backpack (Chloe’s stuff) everywhere I went. chloe-march-17th-010.jpg

Many adjustments are made and even necessary when you have a working dog. You have to prepare in advance before going anywhere. Do I have water for Chloe and her collapsible bowl? Do I have her mat? Do I have treats, extra leash, ADA law book and “rights of access” brochures? It’s almost like carrying a diaper bag with me wherever I go. I remember those days when my kids were little and I had to “cart” their stuff around. Now I am doing it again. But Chloe does so much for me… the least I can do is carry some of her things!

The nice thing about saying, “Let’s go to work”? Chloe enjoys working so much! She practically jumps into her vest, and prances right out to the van! She loves being by my side and “showing” me sounds all day long. If Chloe had her way? She’d not ever take sick leave.

Denise Portis
©2008 Hearing Loss Diary

2 thoughts on “Back to Work

  1. Chloe is beautiful. She seems very smart if she loves to go to “work” every day! I would love to have a working dog someday. I do have a German Shepherd that “knows” I can’t hear. And I haven’t trained her that way. All I have to do is watch her when she hears something.

    Sorry to hear Chloe has been sick. Hope she gets better!

  2. Thanks Laurie! She seems to be back to her old self. I think it’s harder on ME than on HER for her to be sick as I’ve grown accustomed to having her by my side everyday! I missed 4 phone calls during the 48 hours she was on “kennel rest”! Grin!


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