The Right Dog For The Right Family

A beautiful write-up from our trainer, Pat, who is working with 7 year-old Lisa. Lisa’s mother wrote that young Lisa suffers from a number of diagnoses, including epilepsy secondary to brain malformation , dysphasia, polymicrogyria, incontinence, cortical dysplasia, extrapyramidal cerebral palsy, microcephaly, sleep disorder, congenital encephalopathy, aggression, is non-verbal, and functions intellectually at the rate of a 2 year-old. She also has many ABILITIES and can be so loving if her behaviors don’t get in the way….one of the main reasons we need a service dog.”

“Lisa is a beautiful and charming seven year old who has found her outlet to the rest of the world. Terrified of all dogs large and small, Lisa was an unlikely match for any dog. But Nina, a little Yorkie mix who had avoided all other human contact that day at the adoption event, walked right up to Lisa, and the two instantly created a special bond! In the weeks that Nina has been with Lisa’s family, Lisa’s outbursts and tantrums have declined in frequency and severity. Nina lays on Lisa’s lap even through a tantrum, even though Lisa sometimes doesn’t want her there because she wants to have her tantrum. Nina just holds tight and rides the storm through, and Lisa calms so much faster because of her! Lisa’s disabilities prevent her from communicating normally, but she will pat her lap and Nina jumps up. Today, I would swear that Lisa actually said the word “Nina”, but sadly Mom Erica didn’t hear it to verify my ears. There are so many examples that Erica told of to show how positive an effect Nina has had on Lisa.

Today was SDE’s first introduction to Lisa and her dog Nina, and the tiny 9 lb dog was so afraid of the leash that she hid under the furniture. But she will eventually lay down on the floor and crawl out from her hiding spot, and cuddles with even a stranger. Play with her, and she happily trots around with the leash gently held in my hand. Ignore her, and she quietly sits by my feet with big black eyes pleadingly asking for attention. I fully accepted Nina as Lisa’s Service Dog candidate. No other dog could be better suited to serving Lisa’s needs. To watch them together is to see a human-canine relationship that any parent would love for their child.

Through our training, Nina will learn to play fetch, and will in turn teach Lisa to throw a ball. Nina will learn to walk nicely on a leash, and will in turn teach Lisa the joy of walking her best friend. Nina already knows how to calm Lisa, giving her the potential to go places and do things that she couldn’t do before. Though it may take some time, Nina’s goal is to pass the Public Access Test. No less would suffice, because Nina has stepped into training for her purpose in life… Lisa’s Service Dog.”

Erica, Lisa’s mother, wrote this beautiful note back to trainer, Pat:

“I can’t wait!! We are all so excited! My job and my life is for Lisa and of course my entire gang here, but I do put a lot of dedication into getting everything I can for Lisa and doing everything I can to help her be as functional a person as her little heart, brain, and body will allow.

It was so great to meet you and see the love and dedication you put into these cases. We seem to have found the right dog for the right family, and the right trainer to help dog and family work you together toward something that will amaze just about everyone who knows Lisa! I’m writing this and crying like a baby to even fathom the things Lisa may be able to do someday just because of Nina. I imagine she’ll blurt out some more words and then we might have to have a party!

Again, thanks for choosing us (a rescue dog family) to work with. We’re ready!