From Candace, our trainer in Fort Worth, who is working with the Morrison family to train Dawn’s husband, a Wounded Warrior, who suffers from PTSD.
“Dawn Morrison is helping her husband train their tripod German Shepherd Dog mix, Nova, while her husband is receiving treatment. While gathering some baseline information, I noticed that Nova was having some problems maintaining an upright position during walking tasks. I also noted that she would dip on her one front leg every 5 steps or so. I decided to offer some suggestions on strengthening her legs, and increasing her endurance. We also went over some basic command work such as “come,” “sit,” “down,” and “stay.” She knows the basics, but what the Morrison family needs to focus on is getting her response time quicker. We did include some walking, but a good portion of the session was focused on education and action planning, as Nova did require a significant amount of rest. They were given a lot of information, but they were implementing the correct strategies with training his SDIT, so she was doing extremely well.
Today, I could tell the difference in Nova’s endurance level. She was able to tolerate more activity and training, subsequently lessening the down/lag time between commands. However, it was noted that she was dipping on her one front left every 5-7 hops. I was concerned about her joint integrity and offered some advice to help protect her from possible injury. I also saw that she needs some major work with “heel,” and walking in general. I think this will be an uphill battle for the Morrison Family as it is a little harder for Nova to regulate her speed. However, good news on the horizon, as they found someone who is donating Nova a prosthetic leg!! In the mean time, they will wrap up her leg and continue the basic to advance obedience work, until Mr. Morrison is out of treatment and back home with his family. At that time, more specialized training and socialization will begin. I’m so excited to be a part of their journey!”
Of course, Nova’s Service Dog abilities will constantly be monitored by their veterinarian