Category Archives: Houston

Wounded Warrior Ed found his perfect SDIT, Casper

Congratulations to Wounded Warrior, Ed, who found his perfect SDIT, Casper!!! Ed was recently medically retired. He suffers from PTSD and TBI, anxiety, depression, light sensitivity, poor balance, and a bad memory. He takes multiple medications and has a hard time remembering when to take them. He is being seen at the VISOR clinic at the Debakey VA center here Houston. Ed will be training with our trainer Bo Hughes in Houston.

Kendra, our trainer in Houston, has been fostering Casper – and now he has found his forever home!

Bo writes:

“Ed and Casper seem made for each other! Ed’s wife Amber also fell in love with Casper! Training will begin soon!”

Amy and SDiT Emma

From our trainer, Kendra, who is in Houston. She is working with Amy and her SDIT, Emma. Not so happy news.

“Amy just received the sad news that she has Multiple Sclerosis. She has been falling and getting hurt a lot. So, the family has decided that Amy needs a Service Dog the most right now, because if she falls while her husband is at work, she needs Emma to bring her the phone to call 911. Amy would also like Emma to help open and close doors, and be trained to work alongside a wheelchair for preparation when the MS brings her to that point.

At our session, Emma was not feeling well. We went to Petsmart just to have Amy and Emma get the feel of being in public together. Amy took Emma to the vet right after our session, and they discovered that she needed her anal glands expressed. So she is feeling much better now.”

I suggested to Kendra that Amy get a medical alert button to wear around her neck in case she falls. They have them at any Medical Device pharmacies. In addition, I explained to Kendra the “science” behind anal gland expression, impaction, and possible infection. While it does not seem like a pleasant topic to talk about, it is very important for all dog owners to be aware of this.

If you’ve seen your dog scooting across the room on his bottom, it could be a sign of anal sac disease. Dogs have two small pouches on either side of their anus. They make a smelly, oily, brown fluid that dogs use to identify each other and mark their territory. It’s why they often sniff each others’ behinds. Anal gland oils also help the defecation of hard stool. Anal sac disease begins as an uncomfortable impaction and can progress to an infection or abscess.

Symptoms that your dog needs to have his anal glands expressed are scooting, licking or biting its rear end, a bad smell coming from its rear, or constipation when trying to pass stool.

Normally, when a dog poops, the fluid in his anal sacs is squeezed out, too. It’s when they aren’t completely emptied that problems develop. The fluid inside can become so dry and thick that it plugs up the openings. This is called impaction. Thankfully, impacted sacs are easy to treat. The glands can be gently emptied, or expressed, with your fingers. You may have to do this regularly, and to save a trip, your vet can show you how. Our three dogs – Savage, Bonnie, and Molly, rarely need their glands expressed. But our beagle, Cherry, needs hers done about twice a month. Different breeds are prone to needing manual expression done more often. It is easy to do at home if shown by your veterinarian how to do it.

If your dog repeatedly has impactions, you vet may suggest adding more fiber to his diet. This increases the size of his poop, which puts more pressure on the sacs to empty naturally. If your dog doesn’t have a problem, there is no need for you to empty his sacs.

Left untreated, the impaction will turn into an infection. Look for yellow or bloody pus oozing from his sacs. This painful condition can cause your dog to act fearful or angry. Your vet will wash out the sacs and give your dog antibiotics. An untreated infection will develop into an abscess (a swollen, tender mass of puss) and could break open. Your vet will open and drain the abscess and usually prescribe antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs. Daily warm compresses can help, too.

If your dog keeps having problems, your vet may want to remove his anal sacs with surgery. It’s a simple procedure, but can result in complications like fecal incontinence (when his poop leaks uncontrollably).

Roxy in Flight

Wonderful news from Ronnie, who is training with Kendra in Houston, and his SDIT, Roxy!

Hi Kendra!

So we just returned from our vacation on Sunday. We flew out of Houston into Detroit, Michigan. Roxy did outstanding!! Right off the bat in the security checkpoint she acted like a seasoned traveler. Once on the plane, she curled up and fell asleep. She popped up a few times on descent, but we gave her some treats to help with her big old ears LOL. She was a pro at the airport, keeping watch and covering behind me while waiting at the baggage claim. It didn’t snow very much, but she saw it and sniffed around outside – I don’t think she was a fan All in all, Roxy did great and I think gave Service Dogs a good showing! I wanted to get her a pair of wings to put on her vest but totally forgot – I guess I’ll have to remember next time!


Unbelievable kindness

Unbelievable kindness. Ken, a Wounded Warrior who has Service Dog “Mozart”, does this amazing artwork. He is donating proceeds from the sale of it to help wounded warriors get funding for Service Dog training with Service Dog Express!!! THANK YOU KEN!!!!!

Helping Veterans suffering from PTSD the oppurtunity to adopt  service dogs to assist in their rehabilitation at no cost
Helping Veterans suffering from PTSD the opportunity to adopt service dogs to assist in their rehabilitation at no cost

Update from Ronnie

A happy update from one of our clients, Ronnie, and his SD, Roxy – sent to his trainer, Kendra!

“Hi Kendra,

Just wanted to update you on Roxy and I. Unfortunately, I have been working a lot so we were pretty limited to where we went except for work. She has been doing great at night waking me up during nightmares! Recently, Marleah and I went to the movies and the Renaissance Festival with Roxy. She did great at the movies – she even put her head between seats to watch the movie. She also did great at the festival; tons of meet & greets and did awesome every time. I’m so proud of her and thank you for all the amazing training.”



CONGRATULATIONS to Ronnie, a Wounded Warrior with PTSD and TBI, who, with the excellent training of Kendra, passed his PAT with now SD, Roxy!!!

“We met at target to do Ronnie’s PAT. I am SO proud of the hard work and dedication of this team! They did beautifully on the PAT and they PASSED!!! Roxy was born to do this work; as a matter of fact, when I was trying to get a picture she kept getting up to do covers because people were walking behind Ronnie! She just does it without having to be told! These two make the perfect team and are so inseparable, they love each other so much and it shows!!!! Congratulations you two!!!!”

Cane Corso – SDiT Titan

From our wonderful trainer, Kendra, in Houston, who is working with Marissa, who suffers from severe mobility issues and anxiety, and her SDIT, gorgeous Cane Corso, Titan!

“We had a two hour training session. At first Titan is very intimidating from his pure size but he is so well behaved! He already knows “sit”, “down”, “leave it”, “stay”, “bracing”, and firm “covers”. He does get too excited at times so we started training “go lay down”. It’s a certain spot where he can go to just chill out and calm down. This spot will also be used for door manners. Titan will alert to the door, then be placed in his spot and taught to stay there until released. I talked with Marissa about being the pack leader and not letting Titan in front. I taught her how to claim her space and not just let Titan run in the doors ahead or through her. And she did beautifully! I told her to open the door fully instead of just cracking it open and stand in the door way (claiming her space) and tell him to sit once, then “Wait” for him to listen. This will build respect and Titan will learn to look to Marissa for direction on his next move. Once he was sitting calm and looking at her, he could enter in a calm manner. After she did this, Titan came in nice and calmly. We worked on “watch me” with distraction, and “stay” until released; we also worked on “sit/stay” at a distance. I also started to work on him leaving my hands alone if I have a treat in them; not nibbling on my hands. Marissa and Titan will continue to work on duration with the commands he knows well, will continue to teach “go lay down”, and Marissa will make Titan calmer by doing state of mind training with him. They will continue work on Titan’s door manners as well. Our next session will be outside.”

Ronnie and Roxy

From our wonderful trainer Kendra, in Houston. She is training with Ronnie, a Wounded Warrior with PTSD and TBI, and his SDIT, Roxy!

“We met at Target and practiced a mock Public Access Test. Roxy did perfect! We also practiced walking behind a cart, and they will continue working on that.

At our next met we will have the official Public Access Test. In the picture is Roxy in a dressing room; she goes right under the chair. She is going to rock the exam!”


Emileigh visits Disneyland!

Look at this remarkable article regarding our dear former client, Emileigh!!!!! We were training with Emileigh and her mother, Kelly, until our former trainer in Houston had to go elsewhere due to changes. But we have been following lovely Emileigh and her search for the perfect SDIT after she had a few sessions learning about SDs with us – and now she found a beautiful Labradoodle that will become her SD!!!! What a remarkable family – and we are all praying and wishing for happiness for the entire Marsh family!!!

Cypress girl gets her wish to visit Disneyland

Wounded Warrior Ronnie and his SDIT, Roxy

From our wonderful trainer, Kendra, who is training with Wounded Warrior Ronnie and his SDIT, Roxy!

“I met with Ronnie and SDIT Roxy today at Toys R Us. Roxy did a controlled load and unload of of the vehicle. She walked safely in the parking lot and entered in a controlled manner. We walked with a cart to practice and Roxy was not at all distracted by the cart. She does tend to move to the side to be able to see around the cart, so we will work on having her follow right next to Ronnie’s side. I told Ronnie when walking with a cart, practice walking right next to the isle so Roxy can’t veer ahead. This way she will learn where she needs to be beside the buggy in a heel.

We went to the ball isle and worked with tossing and bouncing balls, as this is Roxy’s weak point. At first, Roxy was very intent on watching me with the ball. So I moved a bit further away as Ronnie got her to sit and watch him. I bounced and threw the ball in the air and she stayed sitting and looked right back at him. So slowly I moved closer and closer until eventually I could walk past her. She then did something really awesome. As she was in the aisle and I was walking past her bouncing the ball, she scooted over to give me more room to pass! So we moved on, and I sat on a skateboard and pushed myself toward her and past her. She wasn’t bothered.

We walked through the store and Ronnie and Roxy had a meet and greet with a customer and she did it perfectly. I also put some quarters in the ride on machine at the front of the store to see what her reaction would be, and she was unsure at first, but with some reassuring she was over it in a matter of seconds. Ronnie also put her in a sit/stay and walked to the other side of the aisle and around the aisle (I was holding the leash) and she stayed. She did, however, stand up when he was back in her sight because she was so happy to see him again! Roxy does have some anxiety when Ronnie isn’t in her sight in public, but I more believe it’s because she knows he needs her – it’s just the way they interact and how she is constantly looking at him and how he interacts with her. She just lays on the floor and watches Ronnie.

Roxy’s bond with Ronnie is amazing. They are best friends and she will do anything for him. He told me that the other day there were out and a man was standing entirely too close to Ronnie, so he just tugged on Roxy’s leash and she went between Ronnie and the other man – and the man was so close that Roxy moved him away as she got in place. Roxy is a natural and Ronnie’s dedication really shows. I am so proud of both of them!

We also walked next door to the grocery store. We worked on walking through the store and practiced “leave it” with Roxy not sniffing. We will continue to work in that. We will work some more at the mall next week to see how she does at sitting down and eating and also work on Roxy’s nervousness around the bedding aisle. Ronnie taught Roxy “belly rub” and “Shake” and “hugs”!