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This topic has 2 replies, 2 voices, and was last updated 1 month ago by DeAnn R.

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    • #24864
      DeAnn R
      Keymaster

      Horton is officially a Minnesotan.  Despite being more well-traveled than I, his whining indicated he disliked the long car ride.  Luckily, that’s likely to be the extent of our long-distance road trips.  Since Canine Companions has their own breeding program he was born in California.  Then his his puppy raisers from Kansas loved him up, trained basic obedience and socialized him before advanced training in Ohio.  There he learned specialized commands like get, tug and push.  Luckily the Minnesota accent didn’t throw him off too much.

      Canine Companions has a gift for partnering individuals with the dogs.  Even though the application process seems long, that’s helpful to gauge our needs.  Out of this group I had the most physical limitations.  That didn’t stop the organization from giving me a dog with a bit of a stubborn streak.  Knowing how I handled my other dogs, they knew I could manage.  That’s not to say I didn’t get discouraged when I was last to accomplish my given tasks.  Maybe I was last, but the key point, I accomplished them.  Here’s a link to the graduation video https://www.facebook.com/NBC4Columbus/videos/774230296676524 .  We had a celebrity dog, Buckeye, in the bunch so we made the local news.

      Now that we’re home we’re settling into a routine. He’s already picked up several items from the floor for me. As a mellow fellow, I’m still figuring out what gets him excited. So far I know he likes cuddles and belly rubs. His favorite command is “tug” and he loves going for walks. Especially when I go fast. Over the next couple months I’ve told friends and family to hold off giving him attention. We have to build our bond to be a successful team. Hibernation mode might work out in my favor where that’s concerned.

    • #24875
      Alyssa Silva
      Keymaster

      Horton is adorable!

      To make you feel a little better about your experience, the last time I got a service dog did NOT go how I had originally planned. On the first night, the director of the org made it very clear that if they don’t feel as though the recipients don’t match well with their dogs, they could very well return home dog-less. That worried me!

      The following day I was matched with a high-energy yellow lab. She was adorable. However… that night when the world was asleep, she escaped from her kennel where she stayed on-site and ate ALL the food from our first session earlier that day.

      She was so sick the next day and wasn’t listening to my commands. Everyone was bonding well with their dogs, then there was me. The dog wanted nothing to do with me, and I broke down crying. I was going to be that girl going home dog-less.

      That’s when the founder of the org swooped in and said, “someone go get Wish right now. She’ll be a better fit.” A furry black golden soon jumped into my lap, and on Tuesday we’ll be celebrating our 5 year anniversary together. 🙂

      We were behind on training compared to the others because of that fiasco but she was worth the wait. I’m sure you feel that way about your guy too!

    • #24879
      DeAnn R
      Keymaster

      Thanks for sharing Alyssa.  We also got the no guarantee to go home with a dog disclaimer, but they try their hardest not to let that  happen.  After the first day, one of the trainers did approach me and asked if I thought it was working.  Since I also have a stubborn streak I wasn’t ready to give up on it.  We’re going to make a good  team, it’s just going to take more time this go-round.  I’m glad Wish found her way into your life.

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