Service Dog Saga Part 2: Meeting Horton
For those of you who think having a service dog is fun, you’re right. It’s also a lot of work that takes time, energy and patience. On Monday I met my new service dog, Horton. He’s a handsome 2 year old black lab/retriever who has those sad happy eyes. His mellow temperament will compliment my less than exuberant personality nicely. Not only will he assist me with tasks he’ll challenge me as well. Pictures to come.
Team training is to teach us how to work with the dogs. Canine Companions has different categories of placements. In my class there are two service dog teams including myself, two skilled companion teams where a younger individual and a parent work with the dog and two facility dog placements. Those dogs and their handlers work in a facility of some sort whether it’s a school, courthouse, clinical or some other type of setting.
Not only do we get to work with our dog, we attend lectures, do homework and take exams. By the end of the day both ourselves and the dogs are exhausted. We don’t just get handed these amazing creatures and told here you go. Having never met us, we can’t expect the dogs to cater to our every whim. We need to learn how to earn their respect and become their leaders. No easy task.
It’s been frustrating at times. Especially when it seems like the class is surpassing me and I’ve done this before. Canine Companions has a knack for placements though, and I doubt they’d match me with a dog I couldn’t handle.
If you have questions about the dogs and types of placements or the process please ask!
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