From our trainer Kendra in Houston, who is training with Dera and her son Caleb, who has autism.
“Dera and her son Caleb had a meet and greet today. I found this beautiful dog, Anna, at my local high kill shelter after an assessment. It went perfectly! Anna bonded amazingly with them. She played with Caleb, and sniffed him on multiple occasions. Caleb was nervous at first due to Anna’s size, but he warmed up to her quickly. Anna took to them like they were best friends! She is very gentle, and even let us brush her long coat. Anna already knows “sit” and “come”. I received an email from Dera that Anna is fitting right in at home! Neither one of us can believe that she has been in the shelter so long just because of her size. She will make one amazing Service Dog!
Dera wrote about the first trip home: I am sitting here is disbelief that this dog was at a shelter! On the car ride home, she was nervous with extra drool but laid on the floor of the car quietly even though the boys were all acting very excited to have her there. When we got home, we kenneled our dog, Bear, to let Anna explore the backyard, which went smoothly. We gave her a bath which helped a lot!
We introduced Bear with both dogs on leads. Bear was a little unwelcoming at first, but Anna was very good. After walking around the yard with both dogs on leash, we let them off. My neighbor’s very vocal and rowdy dog was out running the fence, which stirs Bear up. Anna got a little excited, so I went and stopped Bear from running and barking. Anna was very responsive. I told her to “leave it”, and she simply sat and looked at me!
We then came inside for lunch where we decided to put her in the kitchen until we have a chance to work more with her. The boys went down for a nap and we sat down to watch a movie. Anna will put her front paws on the couch, but we tell her off and then praise her when she sits.
Bear barked at the mailman, Anna perked up and paced a little, but no vocalizing! With training she is going to be amazing!
Apparently, Anna is also kennel trained. I led her in with her new Martingale collar, and she went right in and laid down. Kaleb has really started to take to her! He clipped her leash on and started his own training session! He would tell her “sit”, then gently push on her hips. When she would sit, he would ruffle her head with both hands and say “good girl”. He is a master at copying anything he sees. He saw me do this with Bear yesterday.
I CANNOT believe anyone would give her up!