MeOW It’s Service Cat Monday…and we’re here. MOL We got a couple questions that have fairly short answers, so we’ll deal with those and then tell ya’ a story. How’s that sound? Me needs to get the business pawrt of this posty outta the way furst tho’. Trainin’ is all ‘bout Repetition and Rewards. As with all our Trainin’ posts, the followin’ will be written in human English fur translation and reader ease. Ifin you’ve missed any of the posts in this series, you can paw the links at the end of this or any Service Cat Monday post. As always, our Service Cat posts aren’t meant to be a step by step training manual but rather, tips, tricks and techniques mommy has successfully used in her many years of trainin’ 4 legged furries, purrticularly the feline species. Ifin ya’ have any questions or post suggestions, not limited to Service Cat training, purrlease feel furee to send us an e-mail, leave in the comment section, or paw on the contact us tab to send us a private message. WhMew That’s a lot of disclaimer stuffs. Anyways, let’s get to those questions.
Our sweet Persian furiend Valentine asked, “Which animal was the hardest to train?” This question was asked in response to last weeks’ post when we revealed that mommy has trained not only cats and dogs, but also pigs and horses. Mommy had to think long and hard on this one, as each animal is different, and the tasks she trained were different. When she got started in training, she was training dogs basic commands and tricks to make them more sociable and fit in with their humans better. You know, things like, stay, sit, down, roll over, high five, etc.. Mommy says every puppy/doggy can benefit from some basic training, and that dogs are generally the easiest to train, because they are so food motivated. Now, that doesn’t mean all dogs fit this category, but most do.
Cats/Kittens can be challenging, at least until you find their motivator, and remember, you’re the one in charge of training. MOL Mommy trained pot bellied pigs things like, sit, stay, come, roll over, use the litterbox and leash walking to name a few. Pigs are intelligent creatures and highly food motivated. As for horses, mommy’s job was to break them, and train them for rodeo roping, ranch herding, and racing. Different horses for different jobs of course. Mommy says horses are by far the largest animal she’s trained and the only animal that has thrown her into more than one barbed wire fence or muddy patch of ground. And while mommy’s specific techniques are seen as bordering on the looney side, they work, at least for her. Mommy says all animals respond to love and affection. She liked to spend a day or two brushing, talking to and singing to a horse before mounting them for the first time. During that day or two she would apply pressure to their backs, put on saddle blankets, bridles and reins. In the end, mommy says, no species was harder than the other, because the tasks trained varied from basic commands to extraordinary tasks.
Our second question came from our furiends at Eastside Cats. They wanted to know if mommy could get any tax relief or other financial benefits/deductions since Raena and me are Service Cats. In a word, NO. Because the ADA doesn’t recognize Cats as Service Animals, there is no financial help or deductions allowed. However, each State, can offer some benefits if they choose. And there are exceptions that exist under the Fair Housing Act, and the Air Carrier Access Act. Most of you are familiar with the clause that keeps landlords from refusing rentals to anyone claiming to have and need a Service Animal of any reasonable species. Mommy says, please, don’t ask to move your emotional support pony into a second story one bedroom apartment. Use some common sense. Landlords also aren’t allowed to charge any fees or make any unreasonable requests or cause undue financial or other hardship to the handler relating to the Service Animal(s).
And Airlines and other Public Transportation service providers can’t refuse to let a Service Animal accompany their handler while using their services. HUD and Rural Development allow the disabled person to submit receipts for the care and upkeep of said Service Animal(s) as a medical cost to be used in the formula to determine the amount of rent the disabled person must pay in a subsidized home. Mommy is able to take advantage of the benefits allowed under the Fair Housing Act. For every $30.00 spent on the Service Animal, $1.00 is deducted from the base rent. (ie; base rent is $400.00, you spend about $1500.00 a year on Service Animal, Your rent is lowered by about $4.00 a month.) It’s not a lot, but mommy says every little bit helps. Especially when we are her largest bill every month. Mommy’s not complaining, she says she wouldn’t have it any other way.
There are a few other benefits that handlers can sometimes take advantage of. Some VETs offer a small discount for Service Animals. This is not usually posted, so you should remember to ask if your VET offers such a discount. Some of the big Pet food companies will sponsor Service Animals by providing food and medical care for the Service life of a Service Animal. However, this is generally a benefit only available to those Service Animals recognized by the ADA, dogs; and the occasional “media darling”. We’ve heard about a few emotional support animals benefitting from this. Their handlers are ex-military. Please understand, we are grateful those Service men and women can benefit from this, we just wish it was an option for others as well.
Whmew!!! Me just thought these answers would be short and sweet. Me thinks we’ll skip the story fur now, and tell ya’ next week. We’re guessin’ most of ya’ are thinkin’ mommy and Raena haven’t been wheelchair training during mommy’s recovery. Well, ifin you’re thinkin’ that, you’d be wrong. Yep Wrong with a capital R…, or, a capital W…or, well whatever, you’d be wrong. ‘Member, trainin’ is all ‘bout Repetition, Repetition, Repetition. But trust me, you definitely wanna hear ‘bout Raena’s trainin’ over the last couple of days. MOL MOL MOL So, join us next week fur mommy’s loopy trainin’ sessions with Raena. And don’t furget to leave your questions, suggestions and comments fur us. And get caught up by pawin’ the links below or at the end of any Service Cat Monday posty.
Till the next time…………………………………….Be Blest!!!
Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses
Deztinee and RaenaBelle