Congratulations, team! From our wonderful trainer, Sue, who has been working with Rachel and her now SERVICE DOG, “Bella”! They passed their Public Access Test! Rachel is 7 years old and was diagnosed with PTSD this past year. Her triggers are loud noises and “knocking” sounds, where she tends to shut down and dose not communicate well in crowds. Sue worked with Rachel and Rachel’s mother, Rebecca throughout the process.
Rachel and Bella are an awesome team. We started 10 March 2015 and worked within her financial means. Rebecca and Rachel were very dedicated to training. When we first started training, Bella used to be bird, dog and cat reactive and pull on a leash. Not anymore!! Bella ignores distractions like this, gets along with other dogs and cats now, and heels perfectly. Bella knows how to use the elevator and has ridden the bus. She goes with Rachel to her equine therapy sessions. Bella is still a little scared of the horses, but we keep her at a tolerable distance from them. She also walks Rachel to school. When Rebecca and Rachel go to stores, Rachel has her own special short leash that I had her pick out and Bella walks between Rachel and Rebecca. Bella walks very nicely by a grocery cart.
I still have Rebecca take Rachel and Bella on short trips to the stores and to the grocery store during low traffic times. I have them go to restaurants where they can eat quickly or have the waiter bring their food in a to-go box in case they have to do a quick exit if Rachel starts to experience severe symptoms.
I will continue doing other training with them as they can afford.
Someday, it would be nice to allow Bella to go to Rachel’s school, but that is hard to do within the school district – but we will work on that. So, right now Rachel can have Bella go with her in public and to restaurants without having panic attacks. Rebecca has a plan for restaurants and stores in case Rachel has her anxiety attacks. A family member is usually with them in case they are needed.
Rachel has had fewer meltdowns since we have trained Bella!”