Opie & Service Pup Piper

Opie: 2 year old retired service dog. Piper: 3 month old future service dog. Our Girl: Joyfully living life with chronic illnesses.

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Opie: We got the port fixed for now! My girl is currently at the hospital doing a quick infusion. She may have a bit of build up at the end of the catheter that is making it a bit trickier to use. With my girl’s port not working, during the day we had to take extra anti pass out precautions. We spent the day cuddling, which is our favorite way to spend the day! My girl still passed out twice, but we are looking forward to less passing out now that the port is back up and running. My girl’s port is very important in her treatment plan. Her Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome our POTS causes her to be hypovolemic and pass out. Thanks to the port we can do saline infusions every three days that raise her blood volume and help keep her vitals more stable. In the end doing all of this means less passing out. Tonight we are thankful for a working port! #opietheservicedog #servicepuppiper #servicedogintraining #vizsla #vizslapuppy #wirehairedvizsla #servicedog #workingdog #dogonduty #medicalalertdog #dogtraining #servicedogsofinstagram #respectthevest #dogsofinstagram #cardiacalertdog #pointer #hungarianvizsla #vizslasofinstagram #labsofinstagram #invisibleillness #disability #potsie #spoonie #chronicillness #dysautonomia #lupus #migraine #sjogrens #hashimotos

13💬

Piper: I have been practicing spending time in my big boy kennel! My girl says it’s very important that I can be calm, comfortable, and happy in my kennel when she leaves or if I have to ever stay at the vets. I have been eating my meals in my closed kennel along with having peanut butter Kong breaks in there. Doing these things makes me think my kennel is the biggest food machine ever! I have started going in and out of it all on my own too, which shows my girl that what we are doing is working. Unfortunately, yesterday we discovered my girl’s port isn’t working. My girl and Mom decided not to panic and try again today, but it still wouldn’t work. Hopefully, tomorrow morning we will have a plan of action in place. #opietheservicedog #servicepuppiper #servicedogintraining #vizsla #vizslapuppy #wirehairedvizsla #servicedog #workingdog #dogonduty #medicalalertdog #dogtraining #servicedogsofinstagram #respectthevest #dogsofinstagram #cardiacalertdog #pointer #hungarianvizsla #vizslasofinstagram #labsofinstagram #invisibleillness #disability #potsie #spoonie #chronicillness #dysautonomia #lupus #migraine #sjogrens #hashimotos

10💬

Opie: Piper is a creative thinker! Our trainer and girl know that Piper knows his hypoglycemia scent, but also knew something just wasn’t right. One week they tried taking it back a step and the next week they tried making the treats less obvious. This week they solved the mystery, instead of bumping my girl’s elbow Piper had turned the alert into a hand bump. All along Piper knew what he was doing and now we do too! Once they realized this it all made sense. When training a service dog sometimes you have to be flexible, although it wasn’t the original plan it works just as well. Piper bumping my girl’s hand also means we don’t have to wait for him to grow to give standing alerts! High five Piper! 🙌🐕 #opietheservicedog #servicepuppiper #servicedogintraining #vizsla #vizslapuppy #wirehairedvizsla #servicedog #workingdog #dogonduty #medicalalertdog #dogtraining #servicedogsofinstagram #respectthevest #dogsofinstagram #cardiacalertdog #pointer #hungarianvizsla #vizslasofinstagram #labsofinstagram #invisibleillness #disability #potsie #spoonie #chronicillness #dysautonomia #lupus #migraine #sjogrens #hashimotos

21💬

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Piper: Here’s a sneak peak into our weekend! Last night we had family friends over and I was a very good boy! Even with all the cooking and commotion, I calmly relaxed by the sink like a real service dog! During the day today my mom and girl ran errands and when they got home we got to enjoy our Kongs on our places for being good all day! After that Opie and my girl had a nice cuddle together. Opie has been a lot happier and feeling a bit better since we made a medication adjustment this week. We are all so thankful that Opie is getting closer to being his happy self and I am thankful that he loves to play even more now! #opietheservicedog #servicepuppiper #servicedogintraining #vizsla #vizslapuppy #wirehairedvizsla #kong #servicedog #workingdog #dogonduty #medicalalertdog #dogtraining #servicedogsofinstagram #respectthevest #dogsofinstagram #cardiacalertdog #pointer #hungarianvizsla #vizslasofinstagram #labsofinstagram #invisibleillness #disability #potsie #spoonie #chronicillness #dysautonomia #lupus #migraine #sjogrens #hashimotos

9💬

Opie: What have you been working on today? Today my girl, Piper, and I practiced our place command. I worked on my self control by staying in my place while Piper worked on going onto his place and releasing off of it. Place is a great command for all dogs to have so that we can be sent there when our people are busy around the house or when they have someone at the door. As a service dog it can be used at work, school, or restaurants with our people so that we stay calm, quiet, and out of the way. For only his second day of place Piper did a great job! #opietheservicedog #servicepuppiper #servicedogintraining #vizsla #vizslapuppy #wirehairedvizsla #servicedog #workingdog #dogonduty #medicalalertdog #dogtraining #servicedogsofinstagram #respectthevest #dogsofinstagram #cardiacalertdog #pointer #hungarianvizsla #vizslasofinstagram #labsofinstagram #invisibleillness #disability #potsie #spoonie #chronicillness #dysautonomia #lupus #migraine #sjogrens #hashimotos

6💬

Piper: Week 15 ✅ I’m growing like a weed! Can you believe I already weigh 27 pounds!? This week brought a lot of firsts like channeling my inner beaver. I decided that the best chewing real estate in the house was all the woodwork and wooden furniture. What can I say my teeth hurt! All that growing meant that I no longer fit inside my puppy bed or kennel, so I got new, bigger, and better ones! I also showed my girl my newest trick: popping infusion bags and trying to drink their contents. My girl says thankfully she had just finished it. With how big and smart I am my family often forgets that I truly am still a little puppy, I guess this is how I remind them! #opietheservicedog #servicepuppiper #servicedogintraining #vizsla #vizslapuppy #wirehairedvizsla #puppy #servicedog #workingdog #dogonduty #medicalalertdog #dogtraining #servicedogsofinstagram #respectthevest #dogsofinstagram #cardiacalertdog #pointer #hungarianvizsla #vizslasofinstagram #labsofinstagram #invisibleillness #disability #potsie #spoonie #chronicillness #dysautonomia #lupus #migraine #sjogrens #hashimotos

11💬

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Opie: Today was filled with a lot of rest and a big surprise! My girl had to stay on bed rest for most of the day, so that she didn’t pass out and get hurt while everyone was at work. This gave us plenty of opportunities for cuddles, naps, and for Piper and I to entertain our girl with our antics. My girl had been sitting on her bed watching us play when all of a sudden Piper stared at her and started walking backwards, he then took off running and flung himself into my girl’s chest knocking her over onto the bed. Her heart rate was 180! After that he laid on her until her heart rate came back down. These alerts are very important because my girl can’t tell when her heart is going too fast or slow, when we let her know it can prevent her from passing out or at least get her to a safer position. Yesterday Piper started his scent training for this alert so that we can be confident that my girl will consistently be alerted to this. In his first session he learned the difference between the scent and the blank and also started pairing the scent with his alert! Go Piper! #opietheservicedog #servicepuppiper #servicedogintraining #vizsla #vizslapuppy #wirehairedvizsla #servicedog #workingdog #dogonduty #medicalalertdog #dogtraining #servicedogsofinstagram #respectthevest #dogsofinstagram #cardiacalertdog #pointer #hungarianvizsla #vizslasofinstagram #labsofinstagram #invisibleillness #disability #potsie #spoonie #chronicillness #dysautonomia #lupus #migraine #sjogrens

50💬

Opie: Sometimes taking one step forward to get answers means taking a few steps backwards. After my girl’s test yesterday she continued to pass out and vomit all the way back to Michigan and today at home. All the vomiting and passing out exacerbated my girl’s existing proximal weakness, which means today she is using her walker. We are so thankful for all the tools we have to help aid my girl in her fight with chronic illness. Thankfully, Piper is one brave pup and has not been afraid of the walker at all. As service dogs it is important for us to be comfortable around all types of assistive devices that we may encounter in the world and know how to work alongside the devices our girl uses. Now we can check walkers off that list! #opietheservicedog #servicepuppiper #servicedogintraining #vizsla #vizslapuppy #wirehairedvizsla #servicedog #workingdog #dogonduty #medicalalertdog #dogtraining #servicedogsofinstagram #respectthevest #dogsofinstagram #cardiacalertdog #pointer #hungarianvizsla #vizslasofinstagram #labsofinstagram #invisibleillness #disability #potsie #spoonie #chronicillness #dysautonomia #lupus #migraine #sjogrens

23💬

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Piper: The last two days my girl has been in Cleveland for a few appointments and a big test. The big test was a water deprivation test to see if my girl has diabetes insipidus, which is not the kind of diabetes you are thinking of. It is in fact not related to diabetes mellitus at all. Diabetes insipidus is a rare disorder that occurs when a person has an imbalance of water and salt in their body caused by the kidneys passing very dilute urine. My girl had preliminary blood work done and if came back deficient in ADH or antidiuretic hormone. This is the hallmark sign of central diabetes insipidus along with being very thirsty and using the restroom extra. My girl has always had extra thirst so her doctors thought it could be a possibility. The test was very hard for my girl. She had to hold all food, drinks, and medication from midnight last night all the way until 4pm today. As you can imagine this did not go well causing passing out, a mast cell flare, and hypoglycemia! Thankfully, the preliminary results are looking like my girl might not have central diabetes insipidus, but primary polydipsia instead. This is a much more manageable condition! My girl is so thankful to be able to eat and drink again! #opietheservicedog #servicepuppiper #servicedogintraining #vizsla #vizslapuppy #wirehairedvizsla #servicedog #workingdog #dogonduty #medicalalertdog #dogtraining #servicedogsofinstagram #respectthevest #dogsofinstagram #cardiacalertdog #pointer #hungarianvizsla #vizslasofinstagram #labsofinstagram #invisibleillness #disability #potsie #spoonie #chronicillness #dysautonomia #lupus #migraine #sjogrens #diabetes

21💬

Opie: Today we are turning a new leaf! When my girl teaches us new commands we start by learning them in a low distraction environment and then slowly we add distractions and advance to harder environments. Piper started learning his basic commands in the family room from there we went to the deck, then the driveway, and finally the grass in the front yard! All of the squirrels, falling leaves, insects, and cars that drive by are great things to learn to ignore. Practicing these things helps teach Piper to focus on my girl in all environments, which is very important for a medical alert service dog. Losing focus or being distracted could mean missing giving my girl an important alert and her passing out. Starting in a low distraction environment and then building distraction, duration, and distance helps us service dogs to avoid that and can help any dog listen better. How are you enjoying the fall? #opietheservicedog #servicepuppiper #servicedogintraining #vizslapuppy #vizsla #wirehairedvizsla #servicedog #workingdog #dogonduty #medicalalertdog #dogtraining #servicedogsofinstagram #respectthevest #dogsofinstagram #cardiacalertdog #pointer #hungarianvizsla #vizslasofinstagram #labsofinstagram #invisibleillness #disability #potsie #spoonie #chronicillness #dysautonomia #lupus #migraine #sjogrens

13💬

Piper: Today was an incredible day! My girl was able to go to the Novi Pet Expo and watch Sara and Hero @thesupercollies from America’s Got Talent perform with @stuntdogproductions ! She watched the show twice and even got to chat with Sara afterwards! My girl loved watching them do the tricks and dancing that they are known for and getting to hear what an awesome service dog Hero is. Like me one of Hero’s tasks is alerting Sara to her low blood sugar! My girl and I have been wanting to get into doing trick dog work because of my love for learning. Sara told us about her amazing app @pupprschool that explains step by step how to do over thirty tricks that she uses in her routines! It even has a built in clicker! Tonight we attempted the first step of one of the tricks, can you guess which trick it is? #opietheservicedog #servicepuppiper #servicedogintraining #vizsla #vizslapuppy #wirehairedvizsla #trickdog #servicedog #workingdog #dogonduty #medicalalertdog #dogtraining #servicedogsofinstagram #respectthevest #dogsofinstagram #cardiacalertdog #pointer #hungarianvizsla #vizslasofinstagram #labsofinstagram #invisibleillness #disability #potsie #spoonie #chronicillness #dysautonomia #lupus #migraine #sjogrens

18💬

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Opie: Do you recognize that pull? It is actually what I use to open doors for my girl. Piper loves to play and especially loves to play tug, but recently he has become obsessed with the door pulls hanging around the house. He knows that I use them to open the doors, but didn’t quite know what to do with them. Today my girl took down the pull and rewarded piper for pulling on it. This is the first step for him to learn how to open doors! He had a blast getting rewarded for playing his favorite game and then we both played a short game of tug together! We help open doors for my girl when she uses a wheelchair, walker, has neuropathy, is dizzy, and when she can’t open the door due to her proximal weakness. Many people ask if service dogs love their jobs and the answer is yes because we get to play our favorite games with our girl all day long. #opietheservicedog #servicepuppiper #servicedogintraining #vizsla #wirehairedvizsla #vizslapuppy

7💬

Piper: Boy did week 14 fly by! My girl was so surprised by how much I grew this week. My legs and feet seemed to shoot out of no where! With all of that growing I had to say goodbye to my baby collar which was much harder for my girl than me. This week as I grew I also discovered my potential to be a sled dog. My girl and Mom were not as impressed with this new extreme pulling skill of mine, but it’s a work in progress. After all I am only 14 weeks old! #Opietheservicedog #servicepuppiper #servicedogintraining #vizsla #vizsla #vizslapuppy #wirehairedvizsla #servicedog #workingdog #dogonduty #medicalalertdog #dogtraining #servicedogsofinstagram #respectthevest #dogsofinstagram #cardiacalertdog #pointer #hungarianvizsla #vizslasofinstagram #labsofinstagram #invisibleillness #disability #potsie #spoonie #chronicillness #dysautonomia #lupus #migraine #sjogrens

25💬

Opie: My girl loves to cook, which means us pups spend a lot of time in the kitchen. Kitchen manners are very important so that we stay safe while we are keeping our girl safe. This week I transformed into chef Opie to help my girl teach Piper the rules of the kitchen. We taught him to be calm and lay on the rug with me, to definitely not jump into the oven or touch the oven door, and not to jump on the counter (we are still working on that one). In a few days Piper went from running around the kitchen to sleeping on the rug while my girl was cooking! He is on his way to earning his very own chef hat and title! #opietheservicedog #servicepuppiper #servicedogintraining #vizsla #vizslapuppy #wirehairedvizsla #servicedog #workingdog #dogonduty #medicalalertdog #dogtraining #servicedogsofinstagram #respectthevest #dogsofinstagram #cardiacalertdog #pointer #hungarianvizsla #vizslasofinstagram #labsofinstagram #invisibleillness #disability #potsie #spoonie #chronicillness #dysautonomia #lupus #migraine #sjogrens

24💬

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Piper: When my girl brought me home a little over a month ago she could never have imagined how much I would help her in such little time and honestly neither could I. One of the places my girl’s POTS or postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome has always been bad is in the shower. She has always passed out more often there which has led to drowning, water in her lungs, and a near death experience. Because of these experiences showering has been a scary task for my girl. When my girl got Opie showering suddenly became a lot less scary because he could warm her that something would happen. When Opie started having his own health problems it became a lot harder for him to alert. My girl doesn’t expect anything of Opie, so when he does alert it is a nice surprise. Unfortunately that has made showering dangerous a and scary experience again. We take many precautions like having someone in the bathroom while she showers and having her elevate her feet while showering. I have been pretty interested in my girl’s different scent while showering, but today I stepped up my game! While my girl was showering I jumped into the shower and sat as near to her as I could and kept sniffing at her. My girl knew from this that her POTS must have been acting up and boy was I correct. Her heart rate was already 174 and had an irregular beat! My trainer decided we have to further this and we are starting my POTS alert training in two weeks! My girl took her first samples for it today off my alert too! I can’t wait to be a Paws for POTS dog too! #opietheservicedog #servicepuppiper #vizsla #vizslapuppy #wirehairedvizsla #servicedogintraining #servicedog #workingdog #dogonduty #medicalalertdog #dogtraining #servicedogsofinstagram #respectthevest #dogsofinstagram #cardiacalertdog #pointer #hungarianvizsla #vizslasofinstagram #labsofinstagram #invisibleillness #disability #potsie #spoonie #chronicillness #dysautonomia #lupus #migraine #sjogrens

72💬

Opie: Did you know that puppies have back feet? Well, the puppies don’t! Being a service dog it is very important to have very good control of back feet. We use them to walk backwards, pivot, have a tight heel, work next to a wheelchair, and to get in and out of cars. Piper is beginning to learn his rear end awareness and the first part of this is back foot targeting. First he got rewarded for having only his back feet on the rug when walking forward and now he is actually walking backwards and gets rewarded when his back feet both touch the rug. This will help him to have a fast, accurate, and straight back. He is a fast learner after just transitioning to this yesterday! Go Piper! #opietheservicedog #servicepuppiper #servicedogintraining #vizsla #vizslapuppy #wirehairedvizsla #servicedog #workingdog #dogonduty #medicalalertdog #dogtraining #servicedogsofinstagram #respectthevest #dogsofinstagram #cardiacalertdog #pointer #hungarianvizsla #vizslasofinstagram #labsofinstagram #invisibleillness #disability #potsie #spoonie #chronicillness #dysautonomia #lupus #migraine #sjogrens

22💬

Happy national saxophone day! Did you know that my girl’s major in college is music education with an emphasis on saxophone? She has been playing saxophone 11 years! That’s even older than my big brother Triton! She has played 100s of concerts and even given a joint recital! Opie was even on stage with her for her last concert! Playing saxophone has always been something that my girl has been able to excel at, no matter how sick she is. Her teacher thinks that being sick actually gives her an edge in someways. She is able to take all of her emotions from being sick and express it through her music! Unfortunately her low oxygen levels and the current state of her health make it unsafe to play the saxophone. In all of her years of playing this is the first time she has had to take a major break from it. Hopefully, next semester she will be healthy enough to play again. Maybe someday she will be coming to speakers near you! #opietheservicedog #servicepuppiper #servicedogintraining #saxophone #vizsla #vizslapuppy #wirehairedvizsla #servicedog #workingdog #dogonduty #medicalalertdog #dogtraining #servicedogsofinstagram #respectthevest #dogsofinstagram #cardiacalertdog #pointer #hungarianvizsla #vizslasofinstagram #labsofinstagram #invisibleillness #disability #potsie #spoonie #chronicillness #dysautonomia #lupus #migraine #sjogrens #musicmajor

18💬

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Opie: Big changes are coming! While we wait for my girl’s doctors to have conversations and make decisions we are doing all we can do to help. Today, we got true hepa filters for downstairs and my girl’s bedroom. They will clean the bacteria, pet hair, dander, pollen, mold spores, smoke, odors, dust, and chemical odors from the air. This will hopefully help lessen my girl’s mast cell activation syndrome attacks. We can already smell the difference. This came as a surprise because we keep a very clean house! Our other big change for the day was getting Piper a bigger collar! His neck has grown to the last wrung in his puppy collar, so it was time. This time Mom picked it out and I must say he looks pretty snazzy! #opietheservicedog #servicepuppiper #wirehairedvizsla #servicedogintraining #vizsla #vizslapuppy #servicedog #workingdog #dogonduty #medicalalertdog #dogtraining #servicedogsofinstagram #respectthevest #dogsofinstagram #dailydoseofcute #cardiacalertdog #pointer #hungarianvizsla #vizslasofinstagram #labsofinstagram #invisibleillness #disability #potsie #spoonie #chronicillness #dysautonomia #lupus #migraine #sjogrens #mastcellactivationsyndrome

31💬

Piper: Being a little dog with a big job can be pretty tiring! This morning started out with playtime, training, and then a nice long nap. After my nap though I may have noticed that something was not right. After nap time is normally my crazy time, but all I wanted to do was sit and stare at my girl. This is normally my way of saying I want up on the bed, but every time my girl helped me up I went right back to my stare statue. A little bit later my girl got a terrible headache! I then actually wanted on the bed and laid on her head for at least an hour. For dogs that learn hypoglycemia alert it is very common to pick up on migraine alert and to communicate this through intense staring. I may have tried to alert my girl to a headache and I definitely wanted to help make it better! With some mast cell medications and my help, my girl and I fought off the headache! I was a great tool in my girl’s healthcare today! #opietheservicedog #servicepuppiper #servicedogintraining #vizsla #vizslapuppy #wirehairedvizsla #servicedog #workingdog #dogonduty #medicalalertdog #dogtraining #servicedogsofinstagram #respectthevest #dogsofinstagram #dailydoseofcute #cardiacalertdog #pointer #hungarianvizsla #vizslasofinstagram #labsofinstagram #invisibleillness #disability #potsie #spoonie #chronicillness #dysautonomia #lupus #migraine #sjogrens #mastcellactivationsyndrome

41💬

Opie: On Wednesday Piper turned 3 months old! It is crazy to think how much our lives have changed over the past month and a half. It has been amazing to watch this little guy grow, learn, and gain a personality. He has been amazing at helping my girl and has a natural knack for scent work. My favorite thing about Piper though is that I finally have a play mate. My other siblings Triton and Boo have never wanted to play with me, but Piper and I have grown to love chasing, chewing, and cuddling each other! If I am near, you can bet Piper isn’t far behind. Now if only those sharp puppy fangs would fall out. #opietheservicedog #servicepuppiper #servicedogintraining #vizsla #vizslapuppy #wirehairedvizsla #servicedog #workingdog #dogonduty #medicalalertdog #dogtraining #servicedogsofinstagram #respectthevest #dogsofinstagram #dailydoseofcute #cardiacalertdog #pointer #hungarianvizsla #vizslasofinstagram #labsofinstagram #invisibleillness #disability #potsie #spoonie #chronicillness #dysautonomia #lupus #migraine #sjogrens

33💬

Piper: My girl had her custom lightweight wheelchair consultation today! She met with a physical therapist and assistive technology professional to determine if this wheelchair would help give her some independence back. The verdict was yes! Everyone agreed that this tool will give my girl freedom around the house and outside of it. In the house right now when Mom and Dad are at work she has to try to stay laying down as much as she can so that she won’t get hurt from passing out with them gone. With the new wheelchair she will be able to wheel around the house and they won’t have to worry! Right now when my girl leaves the house she doesn’t last long because of fatigue and extreme proximal weakness that does not look to be getting better any time soon. The custom lightweight wheelchair will help her be able to go places and do things with friends and for longer periods of time. It has also been decided that my girl needs a smart drive. This neat device will clip under her wheelchair and propel it for her, so that she doesn’t tire herself out or sublux her shoulders trying to push it. This means she will be able to control her wheelchair and no one will have to push it for her! The smart drive is controlled by a bracelet that will tell it to stop, go, and control speed! The professionals thought of everything down to what back rest would be best for my girls scoliosis. The things they might not have thought of Mom was on top of! My girl is so excited to get some sort of independence back! #opietheservicedog #servicepuppiper #servicedogintraining #vizsla #wirehairedvizsla #vizslapuppy #servicedog #workingdog #dogonduty #medicalalertdog #dogtraining #servicedogsofinstagram #respectthevest #dogsofinstagram #dailydoseofcute #cardiacalertdog #pointer #hungarianvizsla #vizslasofinstagram #labsofinstagram #invisibleillness #disability #potsie #spoonie #chronicillness #dysautonomia #lupus #migraine #sjogrens

34💬

Piper:Trick or treat!👹 I celebrated my first holiday with my family and boy was it fun! We carved pumpkins (I ate some leftovers), decorated, and had some spooky training fun! I was a shark(puppy teeth), Opie was an ice cream, and my girl was a scuba diver. 🦈🍨🏄‍♀️🏊‍♀️Together we made our own day at the beach! 🏖️☀️ I wore my costume all day to get used to the feeling of wearing something different. Some day when I am a service dog I will have to wear different vests and harnesses to help my girl, so we are getting an early start! My favorite part of the day was when all of the trick or treaters came! 🎃 My dad gave them treats and my girl and I showed them my tricks! 👻 They loved seeing the tiny puppy that knew so many fun tricks.😇 My spin and twirl were the biggest hits! Happy Halloween! #opietheservicedog #servicepuppiper #servicedogintraining #vizsla #vizslapuppy #wirehairedvizsla #servicedog #workingdog #dogonduty #medicalalertdog #dogtraining #servicedogsofinstagram #respectthevest #dogsofinstagram #dailydoseofcute #cardiacalertdog #pointer #hungarianvizsla #vizslasofinstagram #labsofinstagram #invisibleillness #disability #potsie #spoonie #chronicillness #dysautonomia #lupus #migraine #sjogrens

25💬

Drum roll please! In the state of Michigan October is dysautonomia awareness month! My girl and I have been working pretty hard at making this happen since August! If you look closely you can see that Governor Snyder even used a turquoise pen to sign it (the official color for dysautonomia)! We want to give a big thank you to @onetoughnerd for making this happen! Dysautonomia is the malfunction of the autonomic nervous system, this means that everything your body does automatically like sweating, digesting food, regulating body temperature, heart rate, or even breathing isn’t controlled properly. Dysautonomia is said to feel equivalent to living with copd or congestive heart failure. Even though people with dysautonomia look normal on the outside on the inside they are going through all of this, which is why it's considered an invisible illness. There are about 15 types of dysautonomia including Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, familial dysautonomia, and orthostatic hypotension. My biggest and most debilitating symptom is passing out with no warning and waking up with memory loss. Imagine having to go through your day knowing at any point you could drop unconscious and wake up not knowing what day, month, or maybe even year it is. Because of this I have never been I able to drive, had many concussions, injuries, a torn retina, and a near death experience. I share this not for sympathy, but to raise awareness for this terrible illness that myself, my sister and 70 million others around the planet are fighting. In the year 2017 it will take approximately 6 years and 7 doctors just to get a diagnosis. I hope that by sharing this we can make it easier for people who are already suffering to get the care and help they need. The only way this can start is more awareness of dysautonomia in public and in our medical system. I am so grateful and proud to live in a state that prioritizes making that happen. Dysautonomia awareness month may be ending but for me it never ends. I invite you to join me in raising awareness and making noise for turquoise every day. #opietheservicedog #servicepuppiper #servicedogintraining #vizsla #wirehairedvizsla #vizslapuppy

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Opie: We had been planning a big announcement for tonight, but my girl’s brain fog thinks we should wait until tomorrow. Brain fog is a symptom of my girl’s dysautonomia and can make it hard to focus, concentrate, multitask, talk, write, remember, focus, think clearly, and absorb information. Hint: our big announcement has to do with dysautonomia awareness month! I felt a lot better today and my whole family noticed! I had a great time spending the afternoon being chased by and chasing Piper around the house! My girl says it was so nice to see me happy! Stay tuned for our announcement tomorrow! #opietheservicedog #servicepuppiper #servicedogintraining #servicedog #workingdog #dogonduty #medicalalertdog #dogtraining #servicedogsofinstagram #respectthevest #dogsofinstagram #dailydoseofcute #cardiacalertdog #mobilitydog #labradors_ #justlabradors #talesofalab #worldoflabs #blacklab #labsofinstagram #invisibleillness #disability #potsie #spoonie #chronicillness #dysautonomia #lupus #migraine #sjogrens

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Piper: Are you feeling sleepy? I am! Being a puppy and especially a puppy training to be a service dog is very tiring. There’s the playing, eating, cuddling, and who could forget all the training sessions. My girl is also feeling sleepy, but that is because she has chronic illnesses. Chronic illnesses effect everyone differently, but all of my girl’s chronic illnesses have one symptom in common: fatigue. For her keeping up with me is a big job, but thankfully I love to nap and so does she. We both use our naps to restore energy and get through our day. Nighty night! #opietheservicedog #servicepuppiper #servicedogintraining #vizsla #vizslapuppy #wirehairedvizsla #servicedog #workingdog #dogonduty #medicalalertdog #dogtraining #servicedogsofinstagram #respectthevest #dogsofinstagram #dailydoseofcute #cardiacalertdog #pointer #hungarianvizsla #vizslasofinstagram #labsofinstagram #invisibleillness #disability #potsie #spoonie #chronicillness #dysautonomia #lupus #migraine #sjogrens

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Opie: Happy Saturday! This morning Piper and I had a great time learning about the tunnel with our girl. As dogs and especially as service dogs it is important for us to be exposed to new and different things. Learning new things keeps us confident and our minds sharp. Piper wasn’t too sure about the tunnel, so he got treats every time he came closer to it. I however was the king of the tunnel! My girl thinks we might have found my new hobby, agility. For service dogs it is important to have a dog sport to have fun, tire us out, make our team bond stronger, and to keep us learning! What is your hobby? #opietheservicedog #servicepuppiper #servicedogintraining #vizsla #vizslapuppy #wirehairedvizsla #servicedog #workingdog #dogonduty #medicalalertdog #dogtraining #servicedogsofinstagram #respectthevest #dogsofinstagram #dailydoseofcute #cardiacalertdog #pointer #hungarianvizsla #vizslasofinstagram #labsofinstagram #invisibleillness #disability #potsie #spoonie #chronicillness #dysautonomia #lupus #migraine #sjogrens

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Piper: Today I had a very big day! I gave my girl my first proper blood sugar alert! 🚨 This means without prompting I picked her hypoglycemia scent out of the air and told her by using my alert signal! I bumped her arm and just kept bumping! I got rewarded with an amazing game of tug and lots of treats! Playing after training or an alert helps cement the behavior in my memory, plus it’s my favorite game and a great reward! My achievement today is a big step in my training! My girl still can’t believe how such a little puppy can be so smart! #opietheservicedog #servicepuppiper #servicedogintraining #vizsla #vizslapuppy #wirehairedvizsla #servicedog #workingdog #dogonduty #medicalalertdog #dogtraining #servicedogsofinstagram #respectthevest #dogsofinstagram #dailydoseofcute #cardiacalertdog #pointer #hungarianvizsla #vizslasofinstagram #labsofinstagram #invisibleillness #disability #potsie #spoonie #chronicillness #dysautonomia #lupus #migraine #sjogrens

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Opie: My Mom and girl are home! We were going to go to get pumpkins, but after my girl passed out we decided that pumpkins were just not in the cards. Instead we had a fun day relaxing and going on a short walk! I also helped give Piper a bath, which put him straight to sleep. After that my girl got her new meds today for her mast cell activation syndrome and she isn’t reacting to them! She is allergic to some fillers so every new prescription is a gamble, but today we won big time! #opietheservicedog #servicepuppiper #servicedogintraining #vizsla #vizslapuppy #wirehairedvizsla #servicedog #workingdog #dogonduty #medicalalertdog #dogtraining #servicedogsofinstagram #respectthevest #dogsofinstagram #dailydoseofcute #cardiacalertdog #pointer #hungarianvizsla #vizslasofinstagram #labsofinstagram #invisibleillness #disability #potsie #spoonie #chronicillness #dysautonomia #lupus #migraine #sjogrens

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Opie: Today was my girl’s big appointment day at the Cleveland Clinic! It started with learning about my girl’s vocal chord dysfunction and starting vocal chord therapy, which went really well! Next my girl had her long awaited immunology/allergy appointment with the mast cell specialist, he started my girl on severely new treatments and diagnosed her with mast cell activation syndrome. My girl was so excited to get a treatment plan the same day as the diagnosis! After that my girl saw her doctor who is trying to lead her team at the clinic. He is very smart, nice, but also honest. He said that my girl’s conditions are out of control and that things need to change so that something really bad doesn’t happen to my girl. He is going to be making some big phone calls to several of my girl’s doctors to get a better treatment plan in motion and to try to get a handle on some of my girl’s more concerning test results. While my girl was away Piper and I held down the fort with plenty of naps and I kept a watchful eye on him. That’s what big brothers are for after all! #opietheservicedog #servicepuppiper #vizsla #vizslapuppy #wirehairedvizsla #servicedogintraining #servicedog #workingdog #dogonduty #medicalalertdog #dogtraining #servicedogsofinstagram #respectthevest #dogsofinstagram #dailydoseofcute #cardiacalertdog #pointer #hungarianvizsla #vizslasofinstagram #labsofinstagram #invisibleillness #disability #potsie #spoonie #chronicillness #dysautonomia #lupus #migraine #sjogrens

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