This week on The Hound of Daksterville, we talk with Kiba the Cosplay Corgi and his handler/mom Nicole. These two are one heck of a team having fun as cosplayers at cons as well as having a service dog/handler relationship. Kiba and Nicole were happy to give us some insight into this unique relationship and what it’s like to be a team in and out of costume.
GeekMom: Thanks for talking with me today guys. I know your busy with cosplay and treats so I appreciate your time.
Nicole: You’re welcome. Thanks for talking with us. We’re never too busy to answer questions and help others
Kiba: Did you say treats??!!!!?? I’ll do anything for treats!! Also for a belly rub….or a few games of fetch!! But seriously, where are the treats???
GM: When it comes to interacting with someone’s service animal, what is the proper etiquette?
Nicole: Best thing to do is to ignore them as much as possible. They have super important jobs for their owner and are a literal lifeline for them. Many handlers also have social anxiety, so people wanting to talk to them is a trigger. Hence why it’s best to just ignore both of them like they were just anyone else in the store.
Kiba: I know we’re all super cute, but we really have to focus on our job!
GM: Kiba, your cosplays are awesome. How do you handle your role as service pup and cosplaying celeb at conventions?
Kiba: Thank you!! Mom makes my cosplays!! When at conventions, I have learned that Mom will tell me “go say hi” and that means it’s OK for me to interact with other people. I still watch her closely though just in case. It took me a few cons to learn how to balance both though.
GM: Any tips for other pups looking to achieve the same discipline as yourself?
Kiba: Find a really good private trainer and even then, still practice constantly on what you learned!! Whenever Mom and I go out it’s like a final exam or even a pop quiz to see how much I’m remembering from our training practices at home.
GM: Are there activities that limit you because you have a service dog?
Nicole: There aren’t many activities since Kiba is pretty up for anything. Without him though, my entire life is limited. I wouldn’t ever really leave the house and would be on many more different medications, which would also make it hard to leave the house.
GM: What activities do you enjoy doing together to break away from the handler/service dog relationship?
Nicole: It’s nice to go to the park on nice days and play fetch, or go to a lake for him to swim in. Sometimes just a game of chase or hide-and-seek in the house is nice too.
Kiba: Fetch is my favorite game!!!
GM: Do you have a special memory with Kiba that you’d like to share?
Nicole: The main one that comes to mind is the first day I got him. I was living in Yuma, AZ at the time and drove up to Phoenix to pick him up. He was about the size of my shoe and just all fluff! We instantly bonded and he has been my little shadow since then.
GM: Not everyone knows the laws regarding service dogs. What advice do you have for someone who may have an issue with someone about their dog being allowed somewhere?
Nicole: Check out the ADA laws is a must!! All handlers need to know the ADA laws like the backside of our hands since we all deal with public access issues almost daily. Also doesn’t help that online websites are selling IDs and registries as a legit thing when they actually are NOT. Then they show the ID to businesses and businesses think it’s legit as well.
So then when I go into the place, they demand to see my ID and when I tell them I don’t have one because there is no such thing, they give me grief over it. So then I have to do a quick education to the business about the laws. It’s a pain when you’re just trying to make a quick trip for milk or something.
GM: Kiba, do you have any upcoming cosplays people should keep an eye out for?
Kiba: Mom is going to try getting us both new cosplays for Wondercon! She is going to be Erza Scarlet and I’m going to be Happy! I also might have a new Overwatch character but Mom is still trying to decide on who.
A special thanks to Kiba and Nicole for taking the time out to speak with me and educate us on what it’s like to be a service dog team.
Next week on The Hounds of Daksterville…
I’ll be diving into the truths and myths of service animals including registration services, what public access means, and more.
HEY GUYS! Bakster here. I’m Dakster’s pup. Sorry to interrupt your day, but I’m looking to get trained as a service dog and I need your help. The place that wants to train me doesn’t accept kibble and treats for payment. They said I need some actual cash. If you’d like to support me in my mission to become a super pup for my mommy donate or share my GoFund Me so I can earn my cape. Thank you!!