An update from our trainer extraordinaire, Cherry, who is working with Liz. Liz has a very special situation. She wants her Yorkshire Terrier mix, rescued by Cherry with In Dog We Trust, trained for her parents as a Service Dog. Her mom and dad had a wonderful dog, Missy, who died of cancer a few years ago and they spent a lot of money to keep her alive. Liz wants to foster and train Smokey for her mother, who is 75. Her mother is changing and wants a dog again to sit in her lap and pet all day. Her mother cannot get around very well now, uses a walker, does not drive anymore, and has fallen 5 times in the last 5 months. Liz’s father, who is 78, walks her by carrying her purse and holding onto her mother’s arm. They go to Walmart everyday in Schertz. Liz’s mother is losing a little of her mind in some ways but is still sharp in others. Liz’s deepest hope in her heart is that with a trained Service Dog, her parents will get out more and add to the quality of their lives, taking Smokey to Walmart and doctor’s appointments, and be encouraged to try new places. How beautiful and compassionate is that?
Liz also finds that Smokey helps her with her anxiety levels.
Cherry writes about their first session together:
“I had a wonderful training session with Liz and little Smokey. Smokey was found terrified in the middle of a busy highway. I told my husband to stop the truck! And despite cars and trucks honking at me, I got to the middle of the road and scooped Smokey up in my arms and took him home.
After 3 weeks of flyers and advertising and no one even looking for him, we got him neutered and soon he was ready to go…we put him up for adoption, and Liz and her husband came straight over and adopted him on the spot!
SDIT Smokey absolutely adores them both and they are doing so well as a family. Our training session was spent discussing how it is important to get everyone on board when it comes to Smokey’s training. Visitors, family and anyone else must respect that Smokey is in training and is not to be spoiled by picking him up when he demands it.
It is quite common with “cutie pie” dogs that people are tempted to spoil them, but it is important that everyone is on the same page if Smokey is to learn proper Service Dog work.
I am very fond of giving visual examples to explain myself, so I told Liz that it’s similar to when a mother says it’s ok for their child to jump on the bed but dad says it isn’t. Rules must be rules period.
We also talked about treats, using low fat ones for training, and not to give raw hides to chew as they can break off and choke the dog.
Smokey is doing well, although at the moment he is beyond spoiled! However, with consistency and adhering to clear commands, there is no reason why Smokey cannot take his training to a good level.
A great ending for a terrified little dog in the middle of a highway, and Liz is already benefiting from holding him close when she feels anxiety creeping in!”