Sodapops Training

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Kelly

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Usually at Walmart, as they allow any animal into the store.
Walmart allows horses into their stores? Any kinds of pets?? Any animals?? I did not know this. I knew Home Depot and Lowe’s allows animals, but didn't know about Walmart. Cant wait to go to Walmart with a pony! I love taking them into different stores for training and desensitization. Thanks!!!

Sorry to be off topic, but do you know of any others stores that allow horses? Besides your typical pet store….. Petco, petsmart…
 

Kelly

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Update: I just called Target & Kohl’s and they both said ”Yes” to pets! Oh my! This opens up so many new adventures for us 💕😍



What kind of vest are you getting her?
 
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ServiceMini

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Walmart allows horses into their stores? Any kinds of pets?? Any animals?? I did not know this. I knew Home Depot and Lowe’s allows animals, but didn't know about Walmart. Cant wait to go to Walmart with a pony! I love taking them into different stores for training and desensitization. Thanks!!!

Sorry to be off topic, but do you know of any others stores that allow horses? Besides your typical pet store….. Petco, petsmart…
Technically, Wallmart is not pet friendly, but they have a HORRIBLE policy of not questioning animals. 😓 I cannot count how many times my service dog has been lunged at in stores, and they refused to kick the agressive animals out. Federal and state laws also state no animals in carts, but they allow it anyways. So i'll be using the go-pro to video tape for legal reasons incase any pets try attacking her, because pets tend to either be super quiet or completely freak out at her. 😅 But as for pet-friendly stores, I do know a lot!!



Lowes
Joann Fabrics
Bass Pro Shop
Barns n Nobles
Icecream shops and other outside-venders are typically pet-friendly

As for vest, I'm either commissioning one to be made, or making it and then commissioning someone to embroider or use a circut to iron on words :) Here is a photo of the designs! It will have pockets and a handle for me to hold to help her down stairs. :)

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ServiceMini

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Also, for a Sodapop update:

She managed to crack her head open on an antique sewing machine. 😖 She has a nasty cut, but the vet said it will heal on its own and to just keep it clean. So far it's been healing very quickly.

Tonight we went for a walk, and somebody was sweet enough to donate a dog jacket to her! It's a horse-type dog jacket that her golden retriever had before she passed. She brought it out as we were passing by her house, and came over and Sodapop let her put it on her and stood still as she adjusted it and everything! I will need to grab photos. But she has gotten to be so good at letting other people handle her too. :D

We were also charged by a dog who got out of their house, luckily they were very friendly! I got between Soda and the dog as they came running over, and was able to catch him before he got to her, but she never stopped eating grass. She's a bit too mellow sometimes! Even with all the barking, she just stayed calm. We walked all over, and practiced ignoring lawn mowers today which she didn't have any trouble with at all.
 

ServiceMini

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Today Sodapop met a Great Dane, a youngster who is called Norma. 😍 I just love her. She was very friendly, but also very confused and really wanted Sodapop to play with her LOL. Some of the pictures of Soda and Norma make them look close to the same size, but Sodapop is only about half her size.
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Her alerts have still been 100% , so I've been documenting them carefully.

I was surprised the other day. I haven't had a full on meltdown near her before, but the other day I did when I got some horrible news. She came over and nudged my hands out of my hair and nuzzled me until I started petting her, and was more cuddly than she's ever been before. It really awed me to know how gentle and caring she can be, when she's typically friendly but aloof. She just insisted on being center of attention, doing all the tricks she new and licking my cheeks, something she's never done before. She likes to give kisses, but usually she licks feet instead of faces. 😅

It made me very proud of her. She really is a natural, and has adapted so well to her line of work. She seems to thrive off of having something to do, and it's nice to see that she does it even without treats lol.
 

ServiceMini

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Hey all! It's been awhile sense I updated!

Life has been very chaotic lately. I fell while looking for cow skulls in the woods, and bruised the head of my femur about three weeks ago! So no walks what so ever, and most training has been put on hold.

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Sodapop is doing good though! She's growing out her winter coat, and because she's been spending so much time outside, I haven't shaver her down again yet.


We had a little fire out back, and she did great around it. In fact, she enjoys it so much due to our friends coming over that when she saw someone else with a fire down the street a few days later, she started whinnying at them trying to get them to come say hi!
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This is her on her walk with a nice teen girl who takes her out every so often for me around town. :) She enjoys seeing the big blow up decorations! 1636492787786.png

Speaking of Halloween, she did dress up and help me hand out candy! She was whinnying at every group that walked by, hamming it up by giving kisses and trying to shake hands through her fence. She finally met my brother, his wife and my neice, they were all charmed by her. :)

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So far for training, we've taken quite a bit of time off. Which isn't really very concerning for me, as I have the goal of having her fully 100% trained by four years, and she'll be six months tomarrow. :) Slow is fast when it comes to training.


What kind of training have yall been working on? Did anybody else dress up and hand out candy or go trick or treating? :)
 

Kelly

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She is getting so big! What a cutie!!

Cool costume! I love the handcuffs! Thunder was a bumble bee.

I hope you are feeling better. Moral of the story, DO NOT go into the woods looking for cow skulls, it can be very dangerous!🤣😘😘
 

ServiceMini

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She is getting so big! What a cutie!!

Cool costume! I love the handcuffs! Thunder was a bumble bee.

I hope you are feeling better. Moral of the story, DO NOT go into the woods looking for cow skulls, it can be very dangerous!🤣😘😘

The sad part is, I didn't even find the cowskulls! 🤣 I am starting to be able to stand for awhile again, but much walking lands me back in bed pretty quickly lol.

Thunder looks adorable! :)

And I'm sure Hershey and Mint were super cute too 🥰 @HersheyMint
 

ServiceMini

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Small training update: Sodapop is now pooping on command!! We STILL haven't gone anywhere non-pet-friendly, as we're currently lacking a vehicle that is ours, and mom is all sorts of afraid of her having a poop accident in the vehicle we're using despite her having a diaper she wears in cars because she used to prefer pooping in them (which apparently is just a horse type of thing we've gotta work through lol).

We're basically done with house training as well. :) I am so proud of her, she just needed time to physically and mentally mature enough for it to 'click'. I think Six Months is about the time when it finally fully clicked, as we haven't had any accidents sense just before she hit that mark.

We managed to get in a walk the other day as well! She was thrilled, as we haven't walked sense I hurt my hip. We took about three hours to get a little over a mile and a half done, but I needed lots of breaks in my rollator to avoid doing too much strain on the hip. But she definitely enjoyed walking, and was letting out little whinnies at everyone we saw.

Still no update on her vest. I gave it to a friend of my mothers to put together as she plans on opening a sewing business when she retires, but this is the first vest she's making. So I also included her vest I made her, and a old vest I used to use on her before I started marking her as a service horse. It's been over a month now, so I'm starting to get upset; as I could have had a professionally custom made one for much less in this amount of time, with embroidery. This will be without embroidery, so I'll have to custom order more words. But I do have my first batch of words for the vest!

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How clean cut they are makes me sort of wish I had a vinyl cutter of my own! A friend made them for us, it's the facebook page I use, an 'ask for photos' one, and the Instagram I use. :) I got two of each. This way people can just take a photo of her information to look us up later lol.

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Here she is with my shepherd mix, in her first bit of real snow sense I've had her! She loved it, which is the opposite of what I expected given how she loves standing by the heaters LOL. She is still all shaggy, as she's been spending a lot of time outside given how bad my hip was; but I'm hoping soon she'll be returning to a full-time house horse. At night I put her back outside to prevent her from having accidents while nobody is awake to reward her for using her litterbox. And for now she isn't getting too super heated while inside, but I know as her coat keeps growing, she'll get pretty warm and need to be shaved.
 

ServiceMini

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The picture with your dog puts her size into perspective! Too cute. 😍 Do they play together?
My dog Ziggy (the one in the photo) ALLWAYS tries to get her to play. 🤣 Sodapop doesn't have any of it lol. They do like to herd each other though! Sodapop will run around and Ziggy runs circles around her, and inside Sodapop will herd Ziggy room to room. Sodapop also loves shoving her head under Ziggy and lifting her up over her neck for some odd reason; I try to keep her from doing it but once in awhile she sneaks a quick dog-flip, and Ziggy just stands there on her front paws all confused. I'm lucky my animals all love each other so much LOL.

With my other dog, she'll grab his dogtags and shake them around :) This video is from when she was younger. Ponyboy is much more relaxed than Ziggy, Ziggy paws at her when she tries shaking her tags.

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ServiceMini

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Yall I am SO Proud of Sodapop. Along with no accidents inside for a long time now, and finally understanding pooing on command, she had a MAJOR make-dad-proud moment!

We were messaged by a neighbor asking if we'd bring her down to let some people who were visiting meet her. The dad (who seems a bit nervious around all animals, less so around Sodapop though) opened the door wide up and Sodapop went up one step halfway, stopped, went back down and pooed outside after peeing on the way down the street. I was SO proud of her. Of course she didn't realize we were staying outside, and afterword's was very stubbornly trying to get inside where it was warm.
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Not sure how impressed the dad was with her pooping in the driveway, but I'm super proud of her little noggin working out to go BEFORE she thought she was going inside.

But it made me so proud! It really showed me just how much she 'gets' pottying in the proper places now. It makes me excited to start public access soon, as soon as I get her vest in and get the labels made for it

It also makes me question how anybody could not want her little fuzzy butt inside at a party. 🤣
 

ServiceMini

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Okay, so we've done public access training twice now, and she nailed it both times! :)

The first time we went to dollar general for a quick shopping trip at dollar general after a visit to country max. She did amazing, even though someone brought in a pet dog after us. This was November 21st.
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We practiced 'Front', Touch, Positioning cues, and leave-it, along with a few scratch interruptions. She did amazing, and showed zero nervousness!



After she did so well at Dollar General, we decided to try out Walmart in her new-to-her Harness (it used to belong to my service dog before he got his new vest!), which helped a lot in teaching her to walk slightly ahead of me instead of directly next to me. We did Walmart on the 23rd.
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It shocked me, their staff are trained on service horses! So we had no access issues at all, just asked the legal questions and that was it. :) I am so proud of her, we practiced her tasks, and she caught a fainting spell and made me sit down, then continued to rub her face on me until it was over, even with people trying to distract her. She made me so proud!

I will say thought that it was slightly unnerving to be ALL over Facebook after our trip (and many people weren't kind).
But it's to be expected until people in the area get more used to her. And at least people sent me photos of us together!

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After Walmart we returned to Country max for more bedding for her litter box, where she was a complete doll and loved getting attention, then we went to the local gas station.
It shocked me how many people know about service horses, or about Sodapop in particular!

Her newest thing is that she interrupts me from shaking my leg, something I do that precedes having a meltdown, so I know to stop and find a way to calm down. :)
 

Willow Flats

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Good to hear she is doing so well and that you are being welcomed into the businesses. I have read several news articles over the last few years featuring minis as service animals, so it's great that you are seeing and bringing an awareness out in the world!
 
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