Archive for December, 2010

Today’s search term…

I just got home from a fun dinner with three KSDS friends of mine and our dogs. There were four people at a 4-top table with four dogs squished in under and around us. It was great to see Beale behave reasonably well in that situation. I was very proud, especially because she’s had very little practice being in public with other service dogs. That’s one of the downsides of living so far away from KSDS’s Washington, Kan., facility.

So when I got home, I checked my blog stats and found that someone accessed after searching for “is it illegal to use my dog as a service dog and pass myself off as disabled whe i am able bodied (sic).” I am glad this person came here, and I hope he read my FAQ about where to get a vest like Beale’s. And I hope he felt really really horrible for considering pulling off this farce. I’m not sure what the laws are like in each state, but regardless of the legality, this person’s suggestion is immoral. If you’re unsure of why I feel this way, please visit my FAQ.


And to L., C. and B. (and your respective pups), I am sorry to turn a “great night out with friends” post into a rant. I love you all and am so glad we were able to get together.


Love from Kansas,

Becka and Beale


December 27, 2010 at 8:57 pm Leave a comment

Mom’s newest adventure: Bike and Build

Jack and I are frequently asked whether we will raise another KSDS puppy after Beale goes off to college. The quick answer is “No.” I will not be “trading” Beale for a new puppy when she is called back.

There are several reasons we are not ready to have a new puppy that soon, first of which is that I’m not sure I will be emotionally able to raise another puppy if Beale doesn’t pass her health tests. News of Trego’s cataracts was really difficult to handle and put a huge damper on raising Beale for a while, so I believe I need to wait for Beale’s graduation to decide whether I can take on another puppy.

My second reason is much more exciting: This summer I will be riding a bike from Providence, Rhode Island, to the California coast to benefit Bike and Build! During this time, I will be, of course, unable to fulfill puppy raising duties. Jack and I discuss our puppy raising future often, and I am sure we will decide whether to raise another pup when I get home from my trip.

You want to hear more about that, you say? OK! Bike and Build is a non-profit group that spreads awareness of and raises money to benefit affordable housing groups. As a member of a 35-person team, I will ride about 4,500 miles in two months. During this time, we will be giving presentations about the affordable housing cause and working at construction sites for Habitat for Humanity and similar groups.

To be able to go on this trip, I must first fulfill service requirements with a local affordable housing group (I’ve chosen Sacramento Habitat for Humanity) and raise $4,000 to pay my way and contribute to the cause. Throughout the fund-raising process, I will be explaining Bike and Build’s mission and spreading awareness of our country’s current affordable housing crisis. A lot of information about affordable housing is currently available at I will also be constantly learning more about this problem and, I hope, finding the time and motivation to keep a Bike and Build-specific blog so that I can relay this information and updates on my fund-raising and training progress to my supporters in this endeavor. I plan to get said blog set up this week, and will let you know how to access it as soon as I get that done!

If you are interested in donating to my trip or getting together to hear more about affordable housing and Bike and Build, please visit or e-mail me at

Service animals and their partners will always be important to me, so don’t worry, I’m not “switching causes.” I’m just exploring other areas of inequality and trying to do what I can to change the world. It’s possible… right?

Happy Holidays!

Love and gratitude sent your way from Kansas City,


December 26, 2010 at 4:55 pm 1 comment

Merry Christmas!

Beale and I are in Kansas for the holidays, so we finally have a few moments to tell you what’s up.

We are doing very well. Beale is a VERY good dog, and has even been a good dog at Aunt Pam’s house in Kansas where the temperature hasn’t been above freezing.

Frankly, I was surprised at how well Beale has done with the cold. She had been refusing to go out to potty in Sacramento, presumably because of the cold, wet ground. Here, she’s doing OK, even though she keeps sliding all over my mom’s deck.

Beale did a great job on the airplane (as expected), and has received more compliments here in Kansas than I’ve ever heard about her in California. I’ve been pretty proud of my baby girl.

Tomorrow, we are going out to eat with some other puppy raisers and KSDS folk. I can’t tell you how excited Beale is for this trip! It will be her SECOND time ever out to eat with other dogs. I hope she can handle that!


Love from Kansas,

Becka and Beale

December 26, 2010 at 4:38 pm Leave a comment

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