www.parentingyourcomplexchild.com/ServiceDog.html Service Dog
This page was last updated: March 29, 2011
Penny Lane finally arrived on Saturday, June 12, 2004.   She is a Weimaraner about 2 years old.   The story of finding her is on www.lighthouseparents.com/ServiceDog.html
It seems as if she has someone else instructing her besides Larry and I (her instinct or the Lord - probably both).  She has no service dog training but she seems to know many things that Billy Ray needs from her.  She lays next to him when he is sleeping instinctively.  They are bonding incredibly well.

We are snapping pictures as we go along and posting so you can watch their progress together.
Yo Bill, don't stop here, there is something in that barn I want to see (horses) - her first meeting of the horses
We are already running out of room on the page so I am putting pictures in a Photo Album. It will take more time to load but we will be able to have more pictures. 
Penny Lane's first outing with Billy Ray was a barbecue hosted by Prudential Real Estate Professionals - Woodburn, Oregon Branch.  We thought it was great practice for this counter surfing dog before we tried taking her into a restaurant.  Other pictures of the event and of Penny Lane and Billy Ray with Mike McNamara, our realtor, are in the photo album on the left.
For general information regarding service dogs click
For our tribute to Sheba (former service dog) click
I just started a mailing new mailing list group called Service Dogs.  We are going to be discussing Penny Lane's training, the rewards and pitfalls of having a service dog for your child as well as various applicable laws and resources.  Hopefully it can help you decide whether or not to pursue a service dog for your child.  It is hooked to this site as opposed to Yahoo or MSN groups to avoid some of the spam and advertising that comes with them.  Just like in those groups when one person writes or responds it will go to the whole group.  I am not sure how to keep the archives yet but we will work on that.  If you'd like to join e-mail me and I will subscribe you.
Billy Ray is having lots of problems physically now including a constant battle with infections.  His breathing has also been a major concern to me.  I am finding him white with no apparent respiration and the other morning I couldn't find a pulse. When I touch him or move him he jumps and takes a breath.  Then his color comes back within a few minutes.  I do understand that on rare occasions Down's Syndrome children have just stopped breathing so I watch him carefully.  The specialist chided me about that one day in front of my own Dad so I am reminded that I should get my own rest because I need that to take care of him.  However, as he has been ill lately he is having more incidents of shallow breathing and it frightens me more.

Penny and I have been checking him constantly.  This morning I was scurrying around folding clean laundry on my bed because the house is going to be shown by the realtor.  Billy Ray and Penny Lane were in his bed in his room when I started.  I had heard Penny jump off Billy Ray's bed and rush to me.  She came to me and got behind my knees and pushed.  I told her that she had already had her pigs ear which is what she normally bugs me for.  She kept pushing until I realized she was pushing towards Billy Ray's room not the kitchen.  When I headed for his room she literally ran to his room looking back as if to say hurry.  She beat me there and was on his bed.  He jumped up. He was very cold and white. I can't be sure but I bet he had stopped breathing.

I have told her a few times when he has scared me before that she should help me watch him to make sure he is still breathing.  I never dreamed she could understand that.  Call me crazy but I think she did!!
Billy Ray had been having a rough few days - pulling everything out of his shelves and closets, etc. because he didn't feel well and couldn't communicate what was going on.  The house was to be shown to prospective buyers the day I snapped this picture.  I had stripped the sheets and decided to do his room last hoping it would still be picked up when the buyers arrived.  He went into his room and I waited a couple of minutes to follow.  He was noisy so I knew where he was.  All of a sudden it got quiet so I went to check and the above picture is what I found.  At first I worried about Penny Lane being crushed but she looked at me, making no attempt to get away or begging for help to get free.  When I got back with the camera she was asleep again.