Saturday, February 6, 2016

Poke - Poke... is this thing alive? And On Autism Service Dogs...

I guess I don't blog very much. I am a pretty busy person and kinda prefer the short and sweetness of Twitter. But things are going on that I think it might be helpful to share with others so I am going to try and do this more often.

My daughter's autism service dog, Darwin, has had to be retired because he has arthritis. His job is keeping the couch warm now. We have begun to embark on getting a new dog to train for her. I thought I was going to have to wait a year, but my sister-in-law convinced me to try and do a "Go Fund Me" towards the new dog b/c it couldn't hurt to try. So I did. And lots of kind friends and total strangers have helped us out. It's incredible. We are going to be able to get a dog next month that we will start training right away! Catherine is over the moon excited!

I figured it might be helpful for others for me to document our autism service dog training. I trained her other dog and will train this one as well. I want to train for some more difficult tasks now that Catherine is older her needs are different. I will be hiring a (or some) professional trainers to help me out.

Service dogs from organizations are a wonderful thing, but the ones with free dogs have waitlists of about two years, and even then the dog is a "maybe" and that's only IF you are accepted onto the waitlist in the first place. Other organizations want a $13,500 - $20,000 + "donation" for them to provide a dog. It's perfectly legal to train your own dog, and you can do so with the help of a hired trainer, or even completely on your own. Once your dog has trained for tasks that help your disability you can go down and register him/her as a service dog. It's very wrong to pretend your pet is a service dog. If you need a dog for companionship for an emotional need you can apply to your dr for a note for an "Emotional Support Animal". This would give you the right to have the animal in your rented home or apartment - even if that housing doesn't allow pets. It doesn't allow you to take your dog to the store etc with you. Doing so hurts those who need service dogs and puts service dogs in danger. Please don't. However, if you are disabled, physically or you can have a psychiatric service dog (for example for PTSD), and are able to train a dog to help you and preform tasks that you need help with on your own or by hiring a private trainer, it's perfectly okay to do so as per ADA.

What does an autism service dog do? I got asked that a lot when we were out with my daughter's retired dog when he was working. Tasks would be different person to person, but some tasks that an autism dog can do for an individual are:

Anchoring - if the (usually child in this case) is attempting to elope (run away in a dangerous manor) the dog will lay down and "anchor" the child so they can't run away and put themselves into danger.

Guiding - a lot of people with autism can have difficulty navigating places, especially busy or crowded places, and may step in front of people or cars and get themselves or others hurt. The dog can help with that by guiding them safely and stopping if there is danger.

Interrupting Panic Attacks/Self Injurious Behavior/ Emotional Breakdowns/ Stemming -( I personally don't think that it's really beneficial to stop stemming behaviors but that's another post.) However, service dogs can help with any of these situations listed by nuzzling or licking etc a person and basically insisting the person stop the behavior and pet the dog.

Deep Pressure Therapy - most people with autism have sensory issues and many people with autism find deep/heavy pressure to be very soothing. (For more google Temple Grandin's "Hug Machine"). A service dog can be trained to lay on the person and provide soothing pressure that eases a sensory meltdown.

Seeking - if a person with autism wanders without their dog, their dog can be taught to help find them.

Guide to Safety - if a person with autism becomes lost or disoriented with their dog their dog can learn to guide them back home or to a safe location where they can get assistance.

Social Bridge - People like dogs. A dog can be a bridge that allows the person with autism something to break the ice socially with others and something to talk about.

Sensory Relief - The presence of the dog can help an autistic person escape sensory overload by allowing the person to pet and hug them, and to take a little break from the Big Loud World by focusing in on the dog for sometime until their sensory system gets regulated.

Turning on the Lights - an autism service dog can turn on (or off) the lights in a room to make a person with autism be able to enter if they are too afraid to do so otherwise.

Retrieve - Autism dogs can retrieve dropped items (or anything they are trained to retrieve) for the person with autism who may have trouble doing so without help.

These are just some of the things an autism service dog can do. There are more! If you have an autism service dog, or know someone who does and would like to add to my list, please comment!

Autism Superhero Dog

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Gluten Free Sunbutter Kiss Cookies

I remember how yummy warm peanut butter cookies were... before I was allergic! Now that I'm allergic to both peanuts and wheat,  I wondered, could I make a cookie that was not only edible but good? The answer is YES! These are easy to make and just as good if not better than regular peanut butter cookies. They even have the same texture!

Gluten Free Sunbutter Kiss Cookies
Yield approx 48 cookies

1/2 cup cold butter
1/2 cup creamy Sunbutter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg
2 Tbl spoons milk
1 3/4 cups Gluten Free Baking Flour Mix (I used Bob's Redmill Gluten Free Baking Mix)
1/2 cup crystal sugar (I used Sugar In The Raw)
Milk chocolate kisses (unwrapped!)

In a large bowl beat the cold butter and the Sunbutter with a mixer on medium speed until creamy, about 30 seconds. Add the brown sugar, baking powder and baking soda, and mix until creamy, making sure to scrape the sides. Mix in egg, milk and vanilla. Mix in the flour in small batches until well combined. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes. Meanwhile unwrap your chocolate kisses and set them aside.

Preheat the oven to 350. Place crystal sugar in a small bowl. Roll the chilled dough into 1 inch balls and coat in the crystal sugar. Place 2 inches apart on a baking paper covered cookie sheet. Return unused dough to the refrigerator between batches. Bake 9 - 12 minutes until very lightly browned around the edges. Remove from the oven and working very quickly press a chocolate kiss into the center of each cookie. Carefully slide the baking paper with the cookies off of the hot cookie sheet and allow to cool, you can now move on to shaping and baking your next batch.


Note: If you do not have a wheat allergy and only have a peanut allergy you can simply substitute the gluten free flour for traditional all-purpose wheat flour in the same amount! These are great cookies to bring for school parties in case anyone has an allergy. These are very good and will be enjoyed by everyone, even those with no allergies who are used to 'regular' baked goods!

Tags: Peanut Allergy, Peanut Free, Gluten Allergy, Wheat Allergy, Gluten Free, Cookies, Chocolate

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Help Save a Kitty and get my jewelry as a thank you!

I am trying to help raise money to save my cousin's lovely kitty, Manzanita.

Please visit our fundraiser at Give Forward here:

 I am offering to match dollar for dollar for a jewelry purchase at Studio Regency... that is, if you publicly (use your name so I can verify your donation) donate 
$30 to the Help Save Manzanita Fund, I will give you a credit of $30 towards jewelry from my shop here Studio Regency. If you donate $10 you can have $10 in jewelry, $100 = $100 in jewelry and so on. We are nearly half way there to get this kitty into surgery and every little bit helps. If you would like to help this kitty and to get a piece of my lovely handmade jewelry in the process please go to the fundraiser and make your donation. Come back here and let me know in the message tab what piece you would like and where to send it. Feel free to share this fundraiser with your friends. Thank you so much for your time and every little bit helps. If you want to do $1 or $5 I will give you a gift certificate to use on a purchase with me later on. ♥ Please Help Save Manzanita ♥

You can view my current available designs on the facebook page here:

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Giving Up the Flesh

I had seen him just the day before
I saw the signs
The dark color creeping in
Talking to people who were not there
The pinch of blue around the temples and the lips
No more food or even water
He was making his way out
His body fighting itself to stay alive
Fighting itself to die
I had to go home
Back to my children
In a panic
In a rage
Because I was not THERE
And I left her all alone with him
All alone watching him die
Watching what she refused to see
"We have lots of time."
As I called and begged and searched for a way
A phone call
"I'm on my way."
"Don't worry it's not going to be anytime soon."
Five minuets later
"Your grandfather just died while I was on the phone with you."
Racing up
What's the hurry
He is gone
Seeing him for the last time I ever will
Our relationship is over
No more time left for any stories
The last link to my father gone now
I cut his hair to keep
Told him I was sorry for the bad job
But didn't think he would mind
I had seen him just the day before
He is much as he was
Mouth open
Ready for a snore
But none will come
He is gone
Two hours dead and body still warm
Not from the life of flesh but from the infection that rages
New signs already
Signs of the change that sets in
Mouth is dry
Flesh is.... changed
The dance and the race and the fight of each cell
To live
Each second
Each day
The spark is two hours gone
We spend our lives fighting to live
And in just moments after death wins
We are changed
Our bodies are not pure pieces of our souls
They are meat
That dies and rots
Our family is strange
We scoff at the idea of God
But ghosts
Well, we suppose that is likely
My Grandmother thinks he sends her messages through the radio
I hope it is so

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

4,000 FB Fan Giveaway WINNERS!

Thank you to everyone who supports Studio Regency by being a fan on the Facebook page! The winners have been chosen by and are as follows!

Heather Rogers Stenger is the winner of the $55 Bloom Edwardian Earrings - 24k Gold and Sterling Silver Flower Earrings! Congratulations!
Holly Fynn is the winner of the $42 As You Wish Necklace - Victorian Bottle Necklace Full of Dandelion Seeds - Customizable! Congratulations!
Kristen Moore is the winner of the $65 Nebula Labradorite Gemstone Necklace! Congratulations!
Elizabeth Layton is the winner of the $45 Countess Edwardian Pearl Earrings - Inspired by Downton Abbey! Congratulations!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

4,000 Fan Giveaway!

The Studio Regency page on facebook is getting very close to reaching 4,000 Fans! So in anticipation of reaching that number, I am announcing a giveaway in appreciation of your support! The entries for the giveaway will start immediately and will close one week after Studio Regency reachs the 4,000 fan mark.
This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. The winners will be announced first on my blog! and via email and then I will publicly post them on the facebook page afterward! Thank you for being a supporter of Studio Regency and good luck! ♥

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Harry Potter Necklace

There is a give-a-way on at this link for a cute Harry Potter necklace!