We have SUCH a special client, words cannot even express how much working with this brilliant young man has inspired everyone at SDE. Travis is an extremely intelligent older teen who is confined to a wheelchair and cannot speak nor move. He has a special machine that he can use to speak. He requires around-the-clock care by his amazing family and nurses, but the one thing he CAN do – and we know this because we first saw it when he was matched by In Dog We Trust’s wonderful SDIT, Teddy, is SMILE!!!!! And he can LAUGH!!!! The family was having a difficult time finding a Service Dog for Travis because all the dogs they met were afraid of his wheelchair and other devices. But not Teddy! In fact, the minute Teddy first saw Travis, he ran to him and literally jumped up on his lap!! Cherry, who runs In Dog We Trust, started to say “Teddy – off!”, but Travis’ parents said “No! This is what we have been looking for!” And Travis’ smile and giggles were enough to make everyone cry tears of joy. After a long session, off they went – and Cherry’s last view of her rescue, Teddy, was of Teddy lying happily at the base of Travis’ wheelchair – ready to start his new life! MIRACLES HAPPEN!
Beverly is training with Travis and his family and Teddy, although the family has done so much training themselves, there is little to be done! Here is Beverly’s last write-up.
“Meridan, Travis’ mother, Travis, and his nurses have done a great job with Teddy so far! He already knows to sit when Travis makes his chair “Beep”, and Teddy is learning to walk beside Travis’s chair in a perfect “heel” position. He’s been learning “Up” to get up on the bed when someone pats the bed, (Travis and Teddy ALWAYS sleep together), so we added the computer voice to the command. Teddy is brilliant and picks things up very quickly. Since Travis is a bit nervous about feeding Teddy treats from his hand, he places the treat into a small dish they have affixed to the side of the chair. We worked with Teddy on “leave it” so he would learn to wait until Travis puts the treat into the dish and moves his hand to get the treat. Teddy did very well learning this, and it seemed to put Travis at ease. I discussed with Meridan how to work with Teddy on being more comfortable loading and unloading from the vehicle. In addition, we practiced “Up” to get Teddy up on the bed by the computer voice command and “Off” to get him to get off the bed. We used both the computer and my hand signal. Next session, we will work with Teddy on following Travis’s hand signals while someone assists with the voice commands from the computer.”
WHAT AN AMAZING, AMAZING YOUNG MAN, FAMILY, AND DOGGY!!!
The first picture is Teddy responding to the “beep” and keeping a watchful eye on Travis. The second picture is Teddy listening to “Travis” and awaiting his reward for being a “Good Boy”. Look at those smiles on Travis’ face!! I think Teddy is smiling, too!!!!
PS – I just had to add a comment. Looks like Travis has a thing for young ladies in bikinis!!! We could put a bikini on Teddy…..